Citation
The Swiss family Robinson, or, Adventures of a father and mother and four sons in a desert island

Material Information

Title:
The Swiss family Robinson, or, Adventures of a father and mother and four sons in a desert island
Uniform Title:
Schweizerische Robinson
Portion of title:
Adventures of a father and mother and four sons in a desert island
Creator:
Wyss, Johann David, 1743-1818
Low, Sampson, 1797-1886 ( Publisher )
Measom, George S ( Engraver )
Simpkins, Marshall, and Co ( Publisher )
Whittaker & Co ( Publisher )
Houlston & Stoneman ( Publisher )
Gilbert & Rivington ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.
Whittaker and Co., <etc.>
Manufacturer:
Gilbert & Rivington
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
New ed., -- combining the first and second series, illustrated with notes and engravings.
Physical Description:
viii, 525 p., <8> leaves of plates : ill., map ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Castaways -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1852 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre:
Robinsonades ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Imprint also includes: Houlston and Stoneman ; and Sampson Low.
General Note:
Added title page, engraved.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by George Measom.
Funding:
Brittle Books Program

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027029840 ( ALEPH )
25030413 ( OCLC )
ALJ0686 ( NOTIS )

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Full Text










“The monster raised bis head; bat either because nongiiofthe shots had
touched him, or because the scales of his skin were impenetrable to balls, he
appeared to have received no wound. Frita and I then fired:”

Page 334,



A
2

ROBIE





THE

SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON;

OR,

ADVENTURES

OF
A FATHER AND MOTHER AND FOUR SONS
IN

A DESERT ISLAND,

Hem Evrition,

COMBINING THE FIRST AND SECOND SERIES,
ILLUSTRATED WITH

NOTES AND ENGRAVINGS.

LONDON:

SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.; WHITTAKER AND CO.;
HOULSTON AND STONEMAN; AND SAMPSON LOW.

1852.



LONDON ;
GILBERT & RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
ST. JOHN’S SQUARE,



PREFACE.

Tur first part of the Swiss Family Robinson was published
many years ago, and has ever since that time remained
one of our standard works for the young; it has passed
through fourteen editions, and although of the juvenile
class, is read by persons of all ages with pleasure and in-
struction. The descriptions of the different animals,
their nature and habits, the uses of different planta, and
other natural productions of the earth, are delimeated
with the utmost fidelity. No story can be better caleu-
lated to awaken and reward curiosity, to excite amiable
sympathies, to show the young inquirer after good, that
the accidents of life may be repaired by the efforts of his
own thought, and the constancy of his own industry; and
to rouse the most inert to emulation.

The second portion, more recently published, bids fair
to rival its predecessor in popularity. In its pages the use-
ful, the moral, and the entertaining so naturally mix with
or succeed each other, that every generous taste is suited.
The intense interest of the narrative is fully sustained,

the same regard is paid to virtuous principle throughout,
a2



iv PREFACE.

and the whole is pervaded by a devotional sense of the
goodness of our merciful Creator.

In the present edition the two series are combined in
a single volume. The success which has hitherto attended
the work has induced the publishers to present it in this
condensed form, which, while it omits nothing of import-
ance, nor detracts from the interest of the original, enables
them to offer it at a price, which will place it within the
reach of a still more numerous class of readers.

London, July, 1842.



ADVERTISEMENT,

BY

THE EDITOR.

A Pastor or Clergyman of West Switzerland, having
lost his fortune in the Revolution of 1798, resolved to
become a voluntary exile, and to seek in other climates
the means of support for himself and his family. He
sailed accordingly with his wife and children, four sons,
from twelve to five years of age, for England, where he
accepted an appointment of Missionary to Otaheite ; not
that he had any desire to take up his abode in that island,
but that he had conceived the plan of passing from thence
to Port Jackson, and domiciliating himself there as a free
settler, and no better opportunity of accomplishing his
objects then presented itself. He possessed a considerable
knowledge of agriculture, and by this means hoped, with
the aid of his sons, to gain an advantageous establishment,
which his own country, convulsed with the horrors of war,
denied him. He turned the small remnant of his fortune
into money, and bought with it seeds of various sorts, and
a few cattle asa farming stock. The family took their
passage accordingly, satisfied with this consolation—that
they should still remain together: and they sailed with
favourable winds till within sight of New Guinea. Here
they were attacked by a destructive and unrelenting
tempest ; and it is in this crisis of their Adventures that
the Swiss Pastor begins the Journal which is now prg-
sented to the Public.





SETTLEMENT OF THE SWISS PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY IN THE
DESERT JSLAND.

A. Arcadia. M. Cotton Wood.
B. Sugar-canes. N. Flamingo Marsh.
C. Cabbage Palm Wood. | O. Cascade.

D. Gourd Wood. P. Falcon’s Nest.
E. Bamboos. Q. Palm Cocoa Wood.
F. Pass—Drawbridge. R. Family Bridge.
G. Acorn Wood. S. Root Plantation.
H. Rice Marsh. T. Tent House.

I. Monkey Wood. U. Grotto.

'K. The Farm. V. Marsh.

L. Lake. W. Shark’s Island.



CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE
1, A Shipwreck, and Preparations for Deliverance . . . 1
2. A Landing, and consequent Occupations . . . . IW
3. Voyage of Discovery . : 29
4. Return from the Voyage of Discovery. ~A Nocturnal Alarm . 46
5. Return to the Wreck.—A Troop of Animals in Cork-Jackets 58
6. Second Journey of Discovery performed byt the Mother of the

Family . . : . . - 94
7. Construction of a Bridge : . . . . . - 85
8. Change of Abode. : - 96
9. Construction of a Ladder. —Settling i in the Giant Tree - 106

10. The Sabbath and the Parable . . . . » WW

11. Conversation, a Walk, and Discoveries . . . - 129

12, The Sledge.—Bathing.—The Kangaroo. + 142

13. More Stores from the Wreck.—The Tortoise Harnessed - 152
14. Another Trip to the Wreck.—A New Trade . -. « Il
15. The Cracker and the Pinnace.—A Kitchen Garden. - 169
16. Gymnastic Exercises; Various Discoveries ; Bingeler Ani-

mals, &. . - . I8l
17. Excursion into Unknown Tracts . . . 194
18. Useful Occupations and Labours. Embellishments . - 206
19. A New Domain.—The Troop of Buffaloes. —The Vanquished .

Hero. . 218
20. The Malabar Eagle. —Sago "Manufactory. —Bees « . . + 225
21. Treatment of Bees.—Staircase.—Training of the Buffalo.—

Manufactures, &c. . . 234
22. The Wild Ass.— Difficulty in braking it.The Heath-Fowl’s

Nest. . . - 241
23, Flax ;—and the Rainy Season . . : . . . 251
24. Spring.—Spinning.—Salt-Mine . . ~ + « 288
25. House in the Salt Rock.—New Discoveries . . 270

96. Completion of T'wo Farm-Houses.—A Lake.—The "Beast
with a Bill.---A Bout =. . . . . . 282



Vill CONTENTS.

CHAP. FAGE
27. Anniversary of our Deliverance.—Holiday Rejoicings . « 243
28. Bird-taking.—Molucca-Pigeons.—The Dove-Cot . . 298
29. Return of the Rainy Season.— Winter Occupations. - 310

30. The Whale.—Its Dissection.—Uses of the different Parts . 317
31, Excursion to Prospect Hill—A Turtle Drive —Weaving-

Machine.—Basket-making . 325
32. The Alarm.—The Boa-Constrictor and its Victim. —Serpents
and the Serpent-Eater . . 333

33. The Burial of the Ass, and Stuffing the Skin of the Boa. —
Boa-nesting—Excursion to the Farm-House, and Fresh
Diseoveries . . . . . . oe - 342

34. The Pig-Hunt.—The Otaheitan Roast.—Excursion into the
Savanna.—The Ostrich-Hunt.—The Land Turtles . - 357

35. Discovery of Porcelain Earth, and Pepper.—Excursion of the
Boys on the Savanna.—Their Return and Adventures . 371

36. Ostriches again—A Hunt and a Capture.—The Return to
Felsenheim . . . . 379

37. Taming the Ostrich. —Various Manufactures . . 386

38. Return of the Rainy Season.—The Cajack. —Conchology . 396

39. Adventures of the Boys.—Use of the Air-Pump for Skinning.
—Harvesting . . - 404

40. Trial of the Cajack—The Sea-Cow. —A Storm. —Salmon - 413

41. The Drawbridge.—Sugar and the Sugar-cane.—Adventures

of an Expedition to the Savanna. 424
42. Despatches from the Interior. — Adventures in the Savanna

continued.—Alarming Intelligence . . 436
43. The Redoubt.—Various valuable Discoveries. —-Crocodiles

and Alligators.—Fortification of Shark Island . . 447
44, A General Review of the Colony after Ten Years’ Retablish.

ment . 459
45. Excursion of Fritz. —A Discovery of Pearle. | —Intelligence of

a Fellow-Creature . . 470
46. The Edible Birds’ Nests.—The Pearl- Fishery. — Departure of

Fritz for the Smoking Rock . . 483
47. Our Adopted Sister.—Attack of Wolves. ~Preparation for

Returning Home . : 491
48. Return to Felsenheim.—Fritz’s Narrative, and Emily's 8 His.

tory . . . . . . . . . 500
49. Conclusion . . . ‘ . . . . - 514



SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

CHAPTER I.
A Shipwreck, and Preparations for Deliverance.

wee Areapy the tempest had continued six days;
on the seventh its fury seemed still increasing; and the
morning dawned upon us without a prospect of hope, for
we had wandered so far from the right track, and were so
forcibly driven toward the south-east, that none on board
knew where we were. The ship’s company were ex-
hausted by labour and watching, and the courage which
had sustained them was now sinking. The shivered
masts had been cast into the sea; several leaks appeared,
and the ship began to fill. The sailors forbore from
swearing; many were at prayer on their knees; while
others offered miracles of future piety and goodness, as
the condition of their release from danger. “My beloved
children,” said I to my four boys, who clung to me in
their fright, “God can save us, for nothing is impossible
to Him. We must however hold ourselves resigned, and,
instead of murmuring at his decree, rely that what He
sees fit to do is best, and that should He call us from this
earthly scene, we shall be near Him in heaven, and united
through eternity.”



2 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

My excellent wife wiped the tears which were falling
on her cheeks, and from this moment became more tran-
quil; she encouraged the youngest children who were
leaning on her knees ; while I, who owed them an example
of firmness, was scarcely able to resist my grief at the
thought of what would most likely be the fate of beings
so tenderly beloved. ‘We all fell on our knees, and sup-
plicated the God of Mercy to protect us; and the emotion
and fervour of the innocent creatures are a convincing
proof that even in childhood devotion may be felt and un-
derstood, and that tranquillity and consolation, its natural
effects, may at that season be no less certainly experienced.
Fritz, my eldest son, implored, in a loud voice, that God
would deign to save his dear parents and his brothers,
generously unmindful of himself: the boys rose from
their posture with a state of mind so improved, that they
‘seemed forgetful of the impending danger. I myself
. began to feel my hopes increase, as I beheld the affecting
group. Heaven will surely have pity on them, thought I,
and will save their parents to guard their tender years !

At this moment a cry of “Land, Land!” was heard
through the roaring of the waves, and instantly the vessel
struck against a rock with great violence: a tremendous
cracking succeeded, as if the ship was going to pieces:
the sea rushed in, in all directions; we perceived that the
vessel had grounded, and could not long hold together.
The captain called out that all was lost, and bade the men
lose not a moment in putting out the boats. The sounds
fell on my heart like a thrust from a dagger: “We are
lost!” I exclaimed, and the children broke out into
Piercing cries. I then recollected myself, and, addressing
them again, exhorted them to courage, by observing that
the water had not yet reached us, that the ship was near
land, and that Providence would assist the brave. “Keep



THR SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 8

where you are,” added I, “while I go and examine what
is beat to be done.”

I now went on the deck. A wave instantly threw me
down, and wetted me to the skin; another followed, and
then another. I sustained myself as steadily as I could;
and looking around, a scene of terrific and complete dis-
aster met my eyes: the ship was shattered in all direc-
tions, and on one side there was a complete breach. The
ship’s company crowded into the boats till they could con-
tain not one man more, and the last who entered were
now cutting the ropes to move off. I called to them with
almost frantic entreaties to stop and receive us also, but
in vain; for the roaring of the sea prevented my being
heard, and the waves, which rose to the height of moun-
tains, would have made it impossible to return. All hope
from this source was over, for, while I spoke, the boats,
and all they contained, were driving out of sight. My
best consolation now was to observe, that the slanting
position the ship had taken would afford us present pro-
tection from the water; and that the stern, under which
was the cabin that enclosed all that was dear to me on
earth, had been driven upwards between two rocks, and
seemed immovably fixed. At the same time, in the dis-
tance southward, I descried through clouds and rain,
several nooks of land, which, though rude and savage in
appearance, were the objects of every hope I could form
in this distressing moment.

Sunk and desolate from the loss of all chance of human
aid, it was yet my duty to appear serene before my
family : “ Courage, dear ones,” cried I on entering their
cabin, “let us not desert ourselves: I will not conceal
from you that the ship is aground; but we are at least in
greater safety than if she were beating upon the rocks;
our cabin is above water; and should the sea be more

B2



4 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

calm to-morrow, we may yet find means to reach the land
in safety.”

What I had just said appeased their fears, for my family
had the habit of confiding in my assurances. My wife,
however, more accustomed than the children to read my
thoughts, perceived the anxiety which devoured me. I
made her a sign which conveyed an idea of the hopeless-
ness of our situation; and I had the consolation to see
that she was resolved to support the trial with resigna-
tion; “ Let us take some nourishment,” said she; “our
courage will strengthen with our bodies: we shall per-
haps need this comfort to support a long and melancholy
night.”

- Soon after night set in: the fury of the tempest had
not abated ; the planks and beams of the vessel separated
in many parts with a horrible crash. We thought of

‘ the boats, and feared that all they contained must have

sunk under the foaming surge.

My wife had prepared a slender meal, and the four
boys partook of it with an appetite to which their parents
were strangers. They went to bed, and, exhausted by
fatigue, soon were snoring soundly. Fritz, the eldest, sat
up with us: “I have been thinking,” said he, after a long -
silence, “how it may be possible to save ourselves. If
we had some bladders or cork-jackets for my mother and
my brothers, you and I, father, would soon contrive to
swim to land.”

“That is a good thought,” said I; “we will see what
ean be done.”

Fritz and I looked about for some small empty fir-
kins ; these we tied two and two together with handker-
chiefs or towels, leaving about a foot distance between
them, and fastened them as swimming-jackets under the
arms of each child, my wife at the same time preparing



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 5

one for herself. We provided ourselves with knives,
some string, and other necessaries which could be put
into the pocket, hoping that if the ship went to pieces in
the night, we should either be able to swim to land, or be
driven thither by the waves.

Fritz, who had been up all night, and was fatigued with
his laborious occupations, now lay down near his brothers,
and was soon asleep; but their mother and I, too
anxious to close our eyes, kept watch, listening to every
sound that seemed to threaten a further change in our
situation. We passed this awful night in prayer, in
agonizing apprehensions, and in forming various resolu-
tions as to what we should next attempt. We hailed
with joy the first gleam of light which shot through a
small opening of the window. The raging of the winds
had begun to abate, the sky was become serene, and hope
throbbed in my bosom, as I beheld the sun already tinging
the horizon. Thus revived, I summoned my wife and
the boys to the deck, to partake of the scene. The
youngest children, half forgetful of the past, asked with
surprise, why we were there alone, and what had become
of the ship’s company? I led them to the recollection of
our misfortune, and then added, “Dearest children, a
Being more powerful than man has helped us, and will,
no doubt, continue to help us, if we do not abandon our-
selves to despair. Observe, our companions, in whom we
had so much confidence, have deserted us, and that
Divine Providence, in its goodness, has given us protec-
tion! But let us show ourselves willing in our exertions,
and thus deserve support from Heaven. Let us not forget
this useful maxim, and let each labour according to his
strength.”

Fritz advised that we should all throw ourselves into
the sea, while it was calm, and swim to land.—* Ah ! that



6 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

may be well enough for you,” said Ernest, “for you can
swim; but we others should soon be drowned. Would
it not be better to make a float of rafts, and get to land
all together upon it P”’

“Vastly well,” answered I, “if we had the means for
contriving such a float, and if, after all, it were not a dan-
gerous sort of conveyance. But come, my boys, look each
of you about the ship, and see what can be done to ena-
ble us to reach the land.”

They now all sprang from me with eager looks, to do
as I desired. I, on my part, lost no time in examining
what we had to depend upon as to provisions and fresh
water. My wife and the youngest boy visited the animals,
whom they found in a pitiable condition, nearly perishing
with hunger and thirst. Fritz repaired to the ammunition
room; Ernest to the carpenter’s cabin; and Jack to the
apartment of the captain; but scarcely had he opened the
door, when two large dogs sprang upon him, and saluted
him with such rude affection, that he roared for assist-
ance, as if they had been killing him. Hunger, however,
had rendered the poor creatures so gentle, that they
licked his hands and face, uttering all the time a low sort
of moan, and continuing their caresses till he was almost
suffocated. Poor Jack exerted all his strength to drive
them away; at last he began to understand, and to sym-
pathize in their joyful movements, and put himself upon
another footing: he got upon his legs; and gently taking
the largest dog by the ears, sprang upon his back, and
with great gravity presented himself thus mounted before
me, as I came out of the ship’s hold. I could not refrain
from laughing, and I praised his courage: but I added a
little exhortation to be cautious, and not go too far with
animals of this species, who, in a state of hunger, might
be dangerous.



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 7

By-and-by my little company were again assembled
round me, and each boasted of what he had to contribute.
Fritz had two fowling-pieces, some powder and small-shot,
contained in horn flasks, and some bullets in bags.

Ernest produced his hat filled with nails, and held in
his hands a hatchet and a hammer; in addition, a pair of
pincers, a pair of large scissors, and an auger, peeped out
at his pocket-hole.

Even the little Francis carried under his arm a box of
no very small size, from which he eagerly produced what
he called some little sharp-pointed hooks. His brothers
smiled scornfully. “Vastly well, gentlemen,” said I;
“but let me tell you that the youngest has brought the
most valuable prize. These little sharp-pointed hooks, as
Francis calls them, are fishing-hooks, and will probably
be of more use in preserving our lives than all we may

find besides in the ship. In justice, however, I must con- —
fess, that what Fritz and Ermest have contributed will ©

also afford essential service.”

“TJ, for my part,” said my wife, “have brought no-
thing ; but I have some tidings to communicate which I
hope will secure my welcome: I have found on board a
cow and an ass, two goats, six sheep, and a sow big with
young: I have just supplied them with food and water,
and I reckon on being able to preserve their lives.”

“All this is admirable,” said I to my young labourers ;
“and there is only master Jack, who, instead of thinking
of something useful, has done us the favour to present us
two personages, who, no doubt, will be principally dis-
tinguished by being willing to eat more than we shall
have to give them.”

“ Ah!” replied Jack, “ but if we can once get to land,
you will see hat they will assist us in hunting and
shooting.”



8 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“True enough,” said I, “ but be so good as to tell us
how we are to get to land, and whether you have con-

trived the means ?”

‘ ®T am sure it cannot be very difficult,” said Jack with
an arch motion of his head. ‘“ Look here at these large
tubs. Why cannot each of us get into one of them, and
float to the land? I remember I succeeded very well in
this manner on the water, when I was visiting my god-
father at S***.”

“Every one’s thought is good for something,” cried I,
“and I begin to believe that what Jack has suggested is
worth a trial: quick, then, boy! give me the saw, the
auger, and some nails; we will see what is to be done.”
I recollected having seen some empty casks in the ship’s
hold: we went down, and found them floating in the
water which had got into the vessel ; it cost us but little
trouble to hoist them up, and place them on the lower
deck, which was at this time scarcely above water. We
saw, with joy, that they were all sound, well guarded by
iron hoops, and in every respect in good condition; they
were exactly suited for the object; and, with the assist-
ance of my sons, I instantly began to saw them in two.
In a short time I had produced eight tubs, of equal size,
and of the proper height. We now allowed ourselves
some refreshment of wine and biscuit. I viewed with
delight my eight little tubs, ranged in a line. I was
surprised to see that my wife did not partake our
eagerness; she sighed deeply as she looked at them:
“ Never, never,” cried she, “can I venture to get into
one of these.”

“Do not decide so hastily, my dear,” said I: “my
plan is not yet complete ; and you will.see presently that
it is more worthy of our confidence than this shattered
vessel which cannot move from its place.”



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 9

I then sought for a long pliant plank, and placed my
eight tubs upon it, leaving a piece at each end reaching
beyond the tubs; which, bent upward, would present an
outline like the keel of a vessel: we next nailed all the
tubs to the plank, and then the tubs to each other, as
they stood, side by side, to make them the firmer, and after-
wards two other planks, of the same length as the first,
on each side of the tubs. "When all this was finished, we
found we had produced a kind of narrow boat, divided
into eight compartments, which I had no doubt would be
able to perform a short course in calm water.

But now we discovered that the machine we had con-
trived was so heavy, that with the strength of all united,
we were not able to move {t an inch from its place. I
bid Fritz fetch me 2 crow, who soon returned with it: in
the meanwhile I sawed a thick round pole into several
pieces, to make some rollers. I then, with the crow,
easily raised the foremost part of my machine, while Fritz
placed one of the rollers under it.

“ How astonishing,” cried Ernest, “that this engine,
which is smaller than any of us, can do more than our
united strength was able to effect! I wish I could know
how it is constructed.”

I explained to him as well as I could the power of
Archimedes’ lever, with which he said he could move the
world, if you would give him a point from which his
mechanism might act, and promised to explain the nature
of the operation of the crow when we should be safe on
land.

One of the points of my system of education for my
sons was, to awaken their curiosity by interesting obser-
vations, to leave time for the activity of the imagination,
and then to correct any error they might fall into. I
contented myself now, however, with this general remark,



v

10 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

that God sufficiently compensated the natural weakness
of man by the gifts of reason, of invention, and the
adroitness of the hands; and that human meditation and
skill had produced a science, called mechanics, the object
of which was, to teach us how to make our natural strength
act to an incredible distance, and with extraordinary
force, by the intervention of instruments.

Jack here remarked, that the action of the crow was
very slow.

“Better slow than never, Jack,” replied I. “ Expe-
rience has ever taught, and mechanical observations have
established as a principle, that what is gained in speed is
lost in strength: the purpose of the crow is not to en-
able us to raise any thing rdpidly, but to raise what is
exceedingly heavy; and the heavier the thing we would
move, the slower is the mechanical operation. But are
you aware what we have at our command, to compensate
this slowness ?”

“Yes, it is turning the handle quicker.”

“Your guess is wrong; that would be no compen-
sation : the true remedy, my boy, is to call in the assist-
ance of patience and reason: with the aid of these two
fairy powers I am in hopes to set my machine afloat.”
As I said this, I tied a long cord to its stern, and the
other end of it to one of the timbers of the ship, which
appeared to be still firm, so that the cord being left loose
would serve to guide and restrain it when launched. We
now put a second and a third roller under, and applying
the crow, to our great joy our machine descended into the
water with such a velocity, that if the rope had not been
well fastened, it would have gone far out to sea. But
now & new difficulty presented itself: the boat leaned so
much on one side, that the boys all exclaimed they could
not venture to get into it. I was for some moments in



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 11

the most painful perplexity ; but it suddenly occurred to
me, that ballast only was wanting to set it straight. I
drew it near, and threw all the useless things I could find
into the tubs, so as to make weight on the light side: by
degrees the machine became quite straight and firm in the
water, seeming to invite us to take refuge in its protection.
All now would get into the tubs, and the boys began to
dispute which should be first. I drew them back, and
seeking a remedy for this kind of obstacle, I recollected
that savage nations make use of a paddle for preventing
their canoes from upsetting. I once more set to work to
make one of these.

I took two poles of equal length, upon which the sails
of the vessel had been stretched, and having descended
into the machine, fixed one of them at the head, and the
other at the stern, in such a manner as to enable us to
turn them at pleasure to right or left, as should best
answer the purpose of guiding and putting it out to sea. I
stuck the end of each pole, or paddle, into the bung-hole
of an empty brandy-keg, which served to keep the pad-
dies steady, and to prevent any interruption in the
management of our future enterprise.

There remained nothing more to do, but to find in what’
way I could clear out from the incumbrance of the wreck.
I got into the first tub and steered the head of the
machine, so as to make it enter the cleft in the ship’s
side, where it could remain quiet. I then remounted
the vessel, and sometimes with the saw, and sometimes
with the hatchet, I cleared away, to right and left, every
thing that could obstruct our passage; and, that being
effected, we next secured some oars for the voyage we re-
solved on attempting.

We had spent the day in laborious exertions; it was
already late; and as it would not have been possible to



12 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

reach the land that evening, we were obliged to pass a
second night in the wrecked vessel, which at every in-
stant threatened to fall to pieces. We next refreshed
ourselves by a regular meal; for, during the day’s work,
we had scarcely allowed ourselves to take a bit of bread,
or a glass of wine. Being now ina more tranquil and
unapprehensive state of mind than the day before, we all
abandoned ourselves to sleep; not, however, till I had
used the precaution of tying the swimming apparatus
round my three youngest boys and my wife, in case the
storm should again come on. I also advised my wife to
dress herself in the clothes of one of the sailors, which
were so much more convenient for swimming, or any
other exertions she might be compelled to engage in.
She consented, but not without reluctance, and left us to
look for some that might best suit her size. Ina quarter
of an hour she returned, dressed in the clothes of a young
man who had served as volunteer on board the ship; and
T soon found means to reconcile her to the change, by re-
presenting the many advantages it gave her, till at length
she joined in the merriment her dress occasioned, and
one and all crept into our separate hammocks, where a
delicious repose prepared us for the renewal of our
labours.

CHAPTER II.
A Landing and consequent Occupations.

By break of day we were all awake and alert, for hope
as well as grief is unfriendly to lengthened slumbers.
When we had finished our morning prayer, I said, “We
must now, with the assistance of Heaven, enter upon the
work of our deliverance. The first thing to be done, is



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 13

to give to each poor animal on board a hearty meal; we
will then put food enough before them for several days ;
we cannot take them with us; but we will hope it may
be possible, if our voyage succeeds, to return and fetch
them. Are you allready? Bring together whatever is
absolutely necessary for our wants. It is my wish that
our first cargo should consist of a barrel of gunpowder,
three fowling-pieces, and three carbines, with as much
small-shot and lead, and as many bullets as our boat will
carry ; two pairs of pocket-pistols, and one of large ones,
not forgetting s mould to cast balls in: each of the boys,
and their mother also, should have a bag to carry game in;
you will find plenty of these in the cabins of the officers.””
—We added a chest containing cakes of portable soup,
another full of hard biscuits,an iron pot, a fishing-rod, a
chest of nails, and another of different utensils, such as
hammers, saws, pincers, hatchets, augers, &c., and lastly,
some sail-cloth to make a tent. Indeed the boys brought
so many things, that we were obliged to reject some of
them, though I had already exchanged the worthless bal-
last for articles of use in the question of our subsistence.

When all was ready we stepped bravely each into a tub.
At the moment of our departure the cocks and hens
began to cluck, as if conscious that we had deserted them,
yet were willing to bid us a sorrowful adieu. This sug-
gested to me the idea of taking the geese, ducks, fowls, and
pigeons with us; observing to my wife, that if we could
not find means to feed them, at least they would feed us.

‘We accordingly executed this plan. We put ten hens
and an old and a young cock into one of the tubs, and
covered it with planks ; we set the rest of the poultry at
liberty, in the hope that instinct would direct them to-
wards the land, the geese and the ducks by water, and
the pigeons by the air.



14 THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON.

We were waiting for my wife, who had the care of this
last part of our embarkation, when she joined us loaded
with a large bag, which she threw into the tub that
already contained her youngest son. We then started
in the following order :—

In the first tub, at the boat’s head, my wife, the most
tender and exemplary of her sex, placed herself. In the
second, our little Francis, a lovely boy, six years old, re-
markable for the sweetest and happiest temper, and for
his affection to his parents. In the third, Fritz, our eldest
boy, between fourteen and fifteen years of age, a hand-
some, curlpated youth, full of intelligence and vivacity.
In the fourth was the barrel of gunpowder, with the cocks
and hens, and the sail-cloth. In the fifth, the provisions
of every kind. In the sixth, our third son, Jack, a light-
hearted, enterprising, generous lad, about ten years old.
In the seventh, our second son, Ernest, a boy of twelve
years old, of a rational, reflecting temper, well-informed
for his age, but somewhat disposed to indolence and plea-
sure. In the eighth, a father, to whose care the task of
guiding the machine for the safety of his beloved family
was intrusted. Each of us had useful implements within
reach ; the hand of each held an oar, and near each was a
swimming apparatus, in readiness for what might happen.
The tide was already at half its height when we left the
ship, and I had counted on this circumstance as favourable
to our want of strength. We held the two paddles long-
ways, and thus we passed without accident through the
cleft of the vessel into the sea. The boys devoured with
their eyes the blue land they saw at a distance. We
rowed with all our strength, but long in vain, to reach it;
the boat only turned round and round: at length I had
the good fortune to steer in such a way that it proceeded
in a straight line. The two dogs, perceiving we had



‘HE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 15

abandoned them, plunged into the sea and swam to the
boat ; they were too large for us to think of giving them
admittance, and I dreaded lest they should jump in and
upset us. Turk was an English dog, and Flora a bitch of
the Danish breed. I was in great uneasiness on their
account, for I feared it would not be possible for them to
swim so far. The dogs, however, managed the affair with
perfect intelligence. When fatigued, they rested their
fore-paws on one of the paddles, and thus with little effort
proceeded.

Jack was disposed to refuse them this accommodation,
but he soon yielded to my argument that it was cruel and
unwise to neglect creatures thrown on our protection, and
who indeed might hereafter protect us in their turn, by
guarding us from harm, and assisting in our pursuit of
animals for food. “ Besides,” added I, “ God has given
the dog to man to be his faithful companion and friend.”

Our voyage proceeded securely, though slowly; but the
nearer we approached the land, the more gloomy and un-
promising its aspect appeared. The coast was clothed
with barren rocks, which seemed to offer nothing but
hunger and distress. The sea was calm; the waves,
gently agitated, washed the shore, and the sky was serene
in every direction; we perceived casks, bales, chests, and
other vestiges of shipwrecks, floating round us. In the
hope of obtaining some good provisions, I determined on
endeavouring to secure some of the casks. I bade Fritz
have a rope, a hammer, and some nails ready, and to try
to seize them as we passed. He succeeded in laying hold
of two, and in such a way that we could draw them after
us to the shore. Now that we were close on land, its
rude outline was much softened; the rocks no longer ap-
peared one undivided chain; Fritz, with his hawk’s eye,
already descried some trees, and exclaimed that they were



16 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

palm-trees. Ernest expressed his joy that he should
now get much larger and better cocoa-nuts than he had
ever seen before’. I, for my part, was venting audibly
my regret, that I had not thought of bringing a telescope
that I knew was in the captain’s cabin, when Jack drew
a small one from his pocket, and with a look of triumph
presented it to me. .

The acquisition of the telescope was of great import-
ance ; for with its aid I was able to make the necessary
observations, and was more sure of the route I ought to
take. On applying it to my eye, I remarked that the
shore before us had a desert and savage aspect, but that
towards the left the scene was more agreeable; but when
I attempted to steer in that direction, a current carried
me irresistibly towards the coast that was rocky and
barren.” By-and-by we perceived a little opening be-
tween the rocks, near the mouth of a creek, towards which
all our geese and ducks betook themselves; and I, relying
on their sagacity, followed in the same course. This

opening formed a little bay; the water was tranquil, and
" neither too deep nor too shallow to receive our boat. I
entered it, and cautiously put to shore on a spot where
the coast was about the same height above the water as
our tubs, and where, at the same time, there was a quan-
tity sufficient to keep us afloat. The shore extended in-
land, in something of the form of an isosceles triangle,
the upper angle of which terminated among the rocks,
while the margin of the sea formed the basis.

All that had life in the boat jumped eagerly on land.
Even little Francis, who had been wedged in his tub like
a potted herring, now got up and sprang forward; but,
with all his efforts, he could not succeed without his

' The cocos nucifera, of the order of palma, grows in both the East
and West Indies.



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 17

mother’s help. The dogs, who had swam on shore, re-
ceived us, as if appointed to do the honours of the place,
jumping round us with every demonstration of joy ; the
geese kept up a loud cackling, to which the ducks, from
their broad yellow beaks, contributed a perpetual thorough
bass; the cocks and hens which we had already set at
hberty, clucked; the boys chattering all at once, pro-
duced altogether an overpowering confusion of sounds:
to this was added the disagreeable scream of some pen-
guins and flamingoes, which we now perceived; the
latter flying over our heads, the others sitting on the
points of the rocks at the entrance of the bay. Though
we could not avoid making a comparison between the
sounds they uttered, and the harmony of the feathered
musicians of our own country, I had yet one advantage
in perspective ;—it was, that should we hereafter be
short of food these very birds might serve for our sub-
sistence.

The first thing we did on finding ourselves safe on
terra firma, was to fall on our knees, and return thanks
to the Supreme Being who had preserved our lives, and
to recommend ourselves with entire resignation to the
care of his paternal kindness.

‘We next employed our whole attention in unloading
the boat. How rich we thought ourselves in the little
we had been able to rescue from the merciless abyss of
waters! ‘We looked about for a convenient place to set
up a tent under the shade of the rocks; and having all
consulted and agreed upon a place, we set to work. We
drove one of our poles firmly into a fissure of the rock;
this rested upon another pole, which was driven perpen-
dicularly into the ground, and formed the ridge of our tent.
A frame for a dwelling was thus made secure. We next
threw some sail-cloth over the ridge, and stretching it to

c



18 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

a convenient distance on each side, fastened its extremities
to the ground with stakes. Lastly, I fixed some tenter-
hooks along the edge of one side of the sail-cloth in front,
that we might be able to enclose the entrance during
night, by hooking in the opposite edge. The chests of
provisions, and other heavy matters, we had left on the
shore. The next thing was to desire my sons to look
about for grass and moss, to be spread and dried in the
sun, to serve us for beds. During this occupation, in
which even the little Francis could take a share, I erected
near the tent a kind of little kitchen. A few flat stones
I found in the bed of a fresh-water river, served for a
hearth. I got a quantity of dry branches: with the largest
I made a small enclosure round it; and with the little
twigs, added to some of our turf, I made a brisk, cheer-
ing fire. We put some of the soup-cakes, with water,
into our iron pot, and placed it over the flame; and my
wife, with her little Francis for a scullion, took charge of
preparing the dinner.

In the meanwhile, Fritz had been reloading the guns,
with one of which he had wandered along the side of the
river. He had proposed to Ernest to accompany him;
but Ernest replied that he did not like a rough, stony
walk, and that he should go to the sea-shore. Jack took
the road towards a chain of rocks which jutted out into
the sea, with the intention of gathering some of the
muscles which grew upon them.

My own occupation was now an endeavour to draw the
two floating casks on shore, but in which I could not
succeed; for our place of landing, though convenient
enough for our machine, was too steep for the casks.
While I was looking about to find a more favourable
spot, I heard loud cries proceeding from a short distance,
and recognized the voice of my son Jack. I snatched



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 19

my hatchet, and ran anxiously to his assistance. I soon
perceived him up to his knees in water in a shallow, and
that a large lobster had fastened its claws in his leg.
The poor boy screamed pitiably, and made useless efforts
to disengage himself. I jumped instantly into the water ;
and the enemy was no sooner sensible of my approach,
than he Jet go his hold, and would have scampered out to
sea, but I turned quickly upon him, took him up by the
body, and carried him off, followed by Jack, who shouted
our triumph all the way. He begged me at last to let
him hold the animal in his own hand, that he might him-
self present so fine a booty to his mother. Accordingly,
having observed how I held it to avoid the gripe, he laid
his own hand upon it in exactly the same manner; but
scarcely had he grasped it, when he received a violent
blow on the face from the lobster’s tail, which made him
loose his hold, and the animal fell to the ground. Jack
again began to cry out, while I could not refrain from
laughing heartily. In his rage he took up a stone, and
killed the lobster with a single blow. I was a little
vexed at this conclusion to the scene.—“ This is what we
call killing an enemy when he is unable to defend him-
self, Jack ; it is wrong to revenge an injury while we are in
a state of anger: the lobster, it is true, had given you a
bite; but then you, on your part, would have eaten the
lobster. So the game was at least equal. Another time,
I advise you to be both more prudent and more merci-
ful.’—“ But, pray, father, let me carry it to my mother,”
said Jack, fearless now of further warfare; and accord-
ingly he carried it to the kitchen, triumphantly exclaim-
ing, “Mother, mother, a sea libster!—Ernest, a sea
Jobster! Where is Fritz? Take care, Francis, he will
bite you.” Ina moment all were round him to examine
the wonderful creature, and all proclaimed their astonish-
co 2



20 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ment at his enormous size, while they observed that its
form was precisely that of the common lobster so much
in use in Europe.

“Yes, yes,” said Jack, holding up one of the claws:
“you may well wonder at his size: this was the frightful
claw which seized my leg, and if Thad not had on my
thick sea pantaloons, he would have bit it through and
through: but I have taught him what it is to attack me:
I have paid him well.”

“Oh, oh! Mr. Boaster,” cried I, “you give a pretty
account of the matter. Now mine would be, that if I
had not been near, the lobster would have shown you
another sort of game; for the slap he gave you in the
face compelled you, I think, to let go your hold. And it
is well it should be thus; for he fought with the arms with
which nature had supplied him, but you had recourse to
a great stone for your defence. Believe me, Jack, you
have no great reason to boast of the adventure.”

Ernest, ever prompted by his savoury tooth, recom-
mended that the lobster should be put into the soup, which
would give it an excellent flavour: but this his mother
opposed, observing, that we must be more economical
of our provisions, for the lobster of itself would furnish a
dinner for the whole family. I now left them, and
walked again to the scene of this adventure and exa-
mined the shallow; I then made another attempt upon
my two casks, and at length succeeded in getting them
into it, and in fixing them there securely on their
bottoms.

On my return, I complimented Jack on his being the
first to procure an animal that might serve for subsist-
ence, and promised him, for his own share, the famous
claw which had furnished us with so lively a discussion.

“Ah! but Ihave seen something too, that is good to



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 21

eat,” said Ernest; “and I should have got it ifit had
not been in the water, so that I must have wetted my
feet-——”

“Oh! that is a famous story,” cried Jack: “TI can tell
you what he saw,—some nasty muscles: why, I would
not eat one of them for the world.—Think of my
lobster !”*

“That is not true, Jack; for they were oysters, and
not muscles, that I saw: I am sure of it, for they stuck
to the rock, and I know they must be oysters.”

“ Fortunate enough, my dainty gentleman,” interrupted
I, addressing myself to Ernest; “since you are so well
acquainted with the place where such food can be found,
you will be so obliging as to return and procure us some.
In such a situation as ours, every member of the family
must be actively employed for the common good; and,
above all, none must be afraid of so trifling an inconve-
nience as wet feet.”

“TT will do my best, with all my heart,” answered Er-
nest; “and at the same time I will bring home some salt,
of which I have seen immense quantities in the holes of
the rocks, where I have reason to suppose it is dried by
the sun. I tasted some of it, and it was excellent.
Pray, father, be so good as to inform me whether this
salt was not left there by the sea?”

“No doubt it was, Mr. Reasoner, for where else do you
think it could come from? You would have done more
wisely if you had brought us a bag of it, instead of spend-
ing your time in profound reflections upon operations so
simple and obvious; and if you do not wish to dine upon
& soup without flavour, you had better run and fetch a
little quickly.”

He set off, and soon returned: what he brought had
the appearance of sea-salt, but was so mixed with earth



22 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and sand, that I was on the point of throwing it away ;
but my wife prevented me, and by dissolving, and after-
wards filtering some of it through a piece of muslin, we
found it admirably fit for use.

“Why could we not have used some sea-water,” asked
Jack, “instead of having all this trouble?”

“So we might,” answered I, “if it had not a somewhat
sickly taste.” While I was speaking, my wife tasted the
soup with a little stick with which she had been stirring
it, and pronounced that it was all the better for the salt,
and now quite ready. “But,” said she, “Fritz is not
come in. And then, how shall we manage to eat our
soup without spoons or dishes? Why did we not re-
member to bring some from the ship ?””—“ Because, my
dear, one cannot think of every thing at once. We shall
be lucky if we have not forgotten even more important
things.”—“ But, indeed,” said she, “this is a matter which
cannot easily be set to rights. How will it be possible
for each of us to raise this large boiling pot to his lips?”

I soon saw that my wife was right. Wee all cast our
eyes upon the pot with a sort of stupid perplexity, and
looked a little like the fox in the fable, when the stork
desires him to help himself from a vessel with a long neck.
Silence was at length broken, by all bursting into a hearty
laugh at our want of every kind of utensil, and at the
thought of our own folly, in not recollecting that spoons
and forks were things of absolute necessity.

Ernest observed, that if we could but get some of the
nice cocoa-nuts he often thought about, we might empty
them, and use the pieces of the shells for spoons.

“Yes, yes,” replied 1; “if we could but get,—but we
have them not; and if wishing were to any purpose, I had
as s00n wish at once for a dozen silver spoons; but, alas!
of what use is wishing?”



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 28

' “But at least,” said the boy, “ we can use some oyster-
shells for spoons.”

“Why this is well, Ernest,” said I, “and is what I
call a useful thought. Run then quickly for some of
them. But, gentlemen, I give you notice, that no one of
you must give himself airs because his spoon is without a
handle, or though he chance to grease his fingers in the
soup.”

Jack ran first, and was up to his knees in the water
before Ernest could reach the place. Jack tore off the
fish with eagerness, and threw them to slothful Ernest,
who put them into his handkerchief, having first secured
in his pocket one shell he had met with of a large size.
The boys came back together with their booty.

Fritz not having yet returned, his mother was begin-
ning to be uneasy, when we heard him shouting to us
from small distance, to which we answered by similar
sounds. In a few minutes he was among us, his two
hands behind him, and with a sort of would-be melancholy
air, which none of us could well understand.—“ What have
you brought ?”’ asked his brothers ; “let us see your booty,
and you shall see ours.”—* Ah! I have, unfortunately,
nothing.” —“ What! nothing at all?’’ said I1—*“ Nothing
at all,” answered he. But now, on fixing my eye upon
him, I perceived a smile of proud success through his
assumed dissatisfaction. At the same instant Jack,
having stolen behind him, exclaimed, “A sucking pig! a
sucking pig!’ Fritz, finding his trick discovered, now
proudly displayed his prize, which I immediately per-
ceived, from the description I had read in different books
of travels, was an agouti, an animal common in that
country, and not a sucking pig, as the boys had supposed.
“The agouti,” says M. de Courtills, in his voyage to St.
Domingo, “is of the size of a hare, and runs with the



24 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

same swiftness ; but its form is more like the pig, and he
makes the same grunting noise. He is not s voracious
animal, but is nice in the choice of his food. When his
appetite is satiated, he buries what remains, and keeps it
for another time. He is naturally of a gentle temper ;
but if provoked, his hair becomes erect, he bites, and
strikes the ground with his hind feet like the rabbit,
which he also resembles in digging himself a burrow
under ground: but this burrow has but one entrance ; he
conceals himself in it during the hottest part of the day,
taking care to provide himself with a store of patates and
bananas. He is usually taken by coursing, and some-
times by dogs, or with nets. When it is found difficult
to seize him, the sportsman has only to whistle. As soon
as the agouti hears the sound, he is instantly still, re-
mains resting on his hind feet, and suffers himself to be
taken. His flesh is white, like that of the rabbit; but it
is dry, has no fat, and never entirely loses a certain wild
flavour, which is disagreeable to Europeans. He is held
in great esteem by the natives, particularly when the
animal has been feeding near the sea on plants impreg-
nated with salt. They are therefore caught in great
numbers, and for this reason the species is much dimi-
nished.”—“ Where did you find him? How did you get
at him? Did he make you run a great way ?” asked all
at once the young brothers. I, for my part, assumed a
somewhat serious tone.—“I should have preferred,” ob-
served I, “that you had in reality brought us nothing to
your asserting a falsehood. Never allow yourself, even
in jest, my dear boy, to assert what you know to be an
untruth. By such trifles as these, a habit of lying, the
most disgusting of vices, may be induced. Now then
that I have given you this caution, let us look at the
animal. Where did you find it ?”



{THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 25

Fritz related, that he had passed over to the other side
of the river. “Ah!” continued he, “it is quite different
from this place; the shore is low, and you can have no
notion of the quantity of casks, chests, and planks, and
different sorts of things washed there by the sea. Ought
we not to go and try to obtain some of these treasures ?”
—“ We will consider of it soon,” answered I; “ but first
we have to make our voyage to the vessel, and fetch away
the animals: at least you will all agree, that of the cow
we are pretty much in want.”—“If our biscuit were
soaked in milk, it would not be so hard,’ observed our
dainty Ernest.—%I must tell you too,” continued Fritz,
“that over on the other side there is as much grass for
pasturage as we can desire; and besides a pretty wood, in
the shade of which we could repose. Why then should
we remain on this barren desert side ?’’—“ Patience,”
replied I; “there is a time for every thing, friend Fritz:
we shall not be without something to undertake to-
morrow, and even after to-morrow. But, above all, I am
eager to know if you discovered in your excursion any
traces of our ship companions?”—“ Not the smallest
trace of man, dead or alive, on land or water; but I have
seen some other animals, that more resemble pigs than
the one I have brought you, but with feet more like
those of the hare; the animal I am speaking of leaps
from place to place; now sitting on his hind legs, rubbing
his face with his front feet, and then seeking for roots,
and gnawing them like the squirrel. If I had not been
afraid of his escaping me, I should have tried to catch
him with my hands, for he appeared almost tame.”

We had now notice that our soup was ready, and each
hastened to dip his shell into the pot, to get out a little;
but, as I had foreseen, each drew out a scalded finger,
and it was who could scream the loudest. Ernest was



26 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the only one who had been too cautious to expose himself
to this misfortune: he quietly took his muscle-shell, as
large and deep as a small saucer, from his pocket, and
carefully dipping it into the pot, drew it out filled with as
much soup as was his fair share, and casting a look of
exultation on his brothers, he set it down till it should
be cold enough to eat.

“You have taken good care of yourself, I perceive,”
said. “But now answer me, dear boy, is the advantage
worth the pains you take to be better off than your com-
panions? Yet this is the constant failing in your cha-
racter. As your best friend, I feel it my duty to dis-
appoint you of the expected prize; I therefore adjudge
your dish of delicious soup to our faithful followers, Turk
and Flora. For ourselves, we will all fare alike; we will
simply dip our shells into the pot till hunger is appeased ;
but the picked dish for the dogs, Emest: and all the
rest alike!”

This gentle reproach sunk, I perceived, into his heart ;
he placed the shell, filled with soup, upon the ground,
and in an instant the dogs had licked up every drop.
We on our parts were as ready as they, and every eye
was fixed on the pot, watching for the steam to subside
a little, that we might begin dipping; when, on looking
round, we saw Turk and Flora standing over the agouti,
gnawing and tearing him fiercely with their teeth and
paws. The boys all screamed together: Fritz seized his
gun, and struck them with it; called them the unkindest
names, threw stones at them, and was so furious, that if
I had not interfered, it is probable he would have killed
them. He had already bent his gun with the blows he
had given them, and his voice was raised so high as to
be re-echoed from the rocks.

‘When he had grown a little cool, I seriously remon-



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 27

strated with him on his violence of temper. I re-
presented to him what distress he had occasioned his
mother and myself for the event of a rage so alarming ;
that his gun, which might have been so useful, was now
spoiled; and that the poor animals, upon whose assist-
ance we should probably so much depend, he had, no
doubt, greatly injured. “Anger,” continued I, “is
always a bad counsellor, and may even lead the way to
crimes: you are not ignorant of the history of Cain,
who in a moment of violent anger killed his brother.” —
“Say no more, my dearest father,” interrupted Fritz in a
tone of horror. ‘‘ Happy am I to recollect, on this occa-
sion,” resumed. I, “that it was not human creatures you
treated thus. But an angry person never reasons; he
scarcely knows whom he attacks. The most convincing
proof of this is, that you just now fell upon two dumb
animals, incapable of judgment, and who most likely
thought that your agouti was placed there, as the soup
had been before, for them to eat. Confess, too, that it
was vanity which excited the furious temper you ex-
hibited. If another than yourself had killed the agouti,
you would have been more patient under the accident.”
Fritz agreed that I was right, and, half drowned in tears,
entreated my forgiveness.

Soon after we had taken our meal, the sun began to
sink into the west. Our little flock of fowls assembled
round us, pecking here and there what morsels of our
biscuit had fallen on the ground.—Just at this moment
my wife produced the bag she had so mysteriously hud-
dled into the tub. Its mouth was now opened; it con-
tained the various sorts of grain for feeding poultry—
barley, peas, oats, &., and also different kinds of seeds
and roots of vegetables for the table. In the fulness of
her kind heart she scattered several handfuls at once



28 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

upon the ground, which the fowls began eagerly to seize.
I complimented her on the benefits her foresight had
secured for us; but I recommended a more sparing use
of so valuable an acquisition, observing, that the grain, if
kept for sowing, would produce a harvest, and that we
could fetch from the ship spoiled biscuit enough to feed
the fowls. Our pigeons sought a roosting-place among
the rocks; the hens, with the two cocks at their head,
ranged themselves in a line along the ridge of the tent;
and the geese and ducks betook themselves in a body,
cackling and quacking as they proceeded, to a marshy bit
of ground near the sea, where some thick bushes afforded
them shelter.

A little later, we began to follow the example of our
winged companions, by beginning our preparations for
repose. First, we loaded our guns and pistols, and laid
them carefully in the tent: next, we assembled together
and joined in offering up our thanks to the Almighty for
the succour afforded us, and supplicating his watchful care
for our preservation. With the last ray of the sun we
entered our tent, and, after drawing the sail-cloth over
the hooks, to close the entrance, we laid ourselves down
close to each other on the grass and moss we had col-
lected in the morning.

The children observed, with surprise, that darkness
came upon us all at once; that night succeeded to day
without an intermediate twilight—*This,” replied I,
“makes me suspect that we are not far from the equator,
or at least between the tropics, where this is of ordinary
occurrence ; for the twilight is occasioned by the rays
of the sun being broken in the atmosphere; the more
obliquely they fall, the more their feeble light is extended
and prolonged; while on the other hand, the more per-
pendicular the rays, the less their declination: con-



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 29

sequently the change ‘from day to night is much more
sudden when the sun is under the horizon.”

I looked once more out of the tent to see if all was
quiet around us. The old cock, awaking at the rising of
the moon, chanted our vespers, and then I lay down to
sleep. In proportion as we had been during the day
oppressed with heat, we were now in the night incon-
venienced by the cold, so that we clung to each other for
warmth. A sweet sleep began to close the eyes of my
beloved family ; I endeavoured to keep awake till I was
sure my wife’s solicitude had yielded to the same happy
state, and then I closed my own. Thanks to the fatigue
we had undergone, our first night in the desert island
was very tolerably comfortable.

CHAPTER ITI.

Voyage of Discovery.
I was roused at the dawn of day by the crowing of the
cocks. I awoke my wife, and we consulted together as
to the occupations we should engage in. We agreed that
we should seek for traces of our late ship companions, and
at the same time examine the nature of the soil on the
other side of the river, before we determined on a fixed
place of abode—My wife easily perceived that such an
excursion could not be undertaken by all the members of
the family ; and full of confidence in the protection of
Heaven, she courageously consented to my proposal of
leaving her with the three youngest boys, and proceeding
myself with Fritz on a journey of discovery. I begged
her to prepare some breakfast for us, while I awoke the
Children. They were soon roused, and when I asked
Jack for his lobster, he ran and fetched it from a cleft in



80 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the rock, in which he had concealed it: “I was deter-
mined,” said he, “that the dogs should not treat my
lobster as they did the agouti, for I knew them for a sort
of gentlemen to whom nothing comes amiss.”—“T am
glad to see, Jack,” said I, “that that giddy head upon
your shoulders can be prevailed upon to reflect. ‘Happy
is he who knows how to profit by the misfortunes of
others,’ says the proverb. But will you not give Fritz
the great claw, to carry with him for his dinner in our
journey ?”

“What journey ?” asked all the boys at once.—“ Ah!
we will go too: a journey! a journey!” repeated they,
clapping their hands, and jumping round me like little
kids. “For this time,” said I, “it is impossible for all
of you to go; we know not yet what we are to set about,
nor whither we are going. Your eldest brother and my-
self shall be better able to defend ourselves in any danger
without you; besides that with so many persons we could
proceed but slowly. You will then all three remain with
your mother in this place, which appears to be one of
perfect safety, and you shall keep Flora to be your guard,
while we will take Turk with us. With such a protector,
and a gun well loaded, who shall dare treat.us with dis-
*, respect? Make haste, Fritz, and tie up Flora, that she
may not follow us; and have your eye on Turk, that he
may be at hand to accompany us; and see the guns are
ready.”

At the word guns, the colour rose in the cheeks of my
poor boy. His gun was so bent as to be of no use; he
took it up and tried in vain to straighten it: I let him
alone for a short time: but at length I gave him leave to
take another, perceiving with pleasure that the vexation
had produced a proper feeling in his mind. A moment
after, he attempted to lay hold of Flora to tie her up; but



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. $1

the dog, recollecting the blows she had so lately received,
began to snarl, and would not go near him. Turk
behaved the same, and I found it necessary to call
with my own voice, to induce them to approach us.
Fritz, then, in tears entreated for some biscuit of his
mother, declaring that he would willingly go without his
breakfast to make his peace with the dogs: he accordingly
carried them some biscuit, stroked and caressed them,
and in every motion seemed to ask their pardon. As of
all animals, without excepting man, the dog is least
addicted to revenge, and at the same time is the most
sensible of kind usage, Flora instantly relented, and began
to lick the hands which fed her; but Turk, who was of a
more fierce and independent temper, still held off, and
seemed to feel a want of confidence in Fritz’s advances.
-— Give him a claw of my lobster,” cried Jack, “for I
mean to give it all to you for your journey.”

“I cannot think why you should give it at all,” in-
terrupted Ernest, “for you need not be uneasy about
their journey. Like Robinson Crusoe, they will be sure
enough to find some cocoa-nuts, which they will like
much better than your miserable lobster: only think, a
fine round nut, Jack, as big as my head, and with at least
a teacup-full of delicious sweet milk in it!”

“Oh! brother Fritz, pray do bring me some,” cried
little Francis.

We now prepared for our departure: we took each a
bag for game, and a hatchet: I put a pair of pistols in
the leather band round Fritz’s waist, in addition to the
gun, and provided myself with the same articles, not
forgetting a stock of biscuit and a flask of fresh river
water. My wife now called us to breakfast, and we all
attacked the lobster; but its flesh proved so hard, that
there was a great deal left when our meal was finished,



32 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and we packed it for our journey without further regret
from any one. The sea-lobster is an animal of consider-
able size, and its flesh is much more nutritious, but less
delicate, than the common lobster.

Fritz urged me to set out before the excessive heat
came on.—“ With all my heart,” said I, “but we have
forgot one thing.” —“ What is that?” asked Fritz, look-
ing round him; “I see nothing to do but to take leave of
my mother and my brothers.” —‘* I know what it is,” cried
Ernest ; “we have not said our prayers this morning.” —
“That is the very thing, my dear boy,” saidI. “ We are
too apt to forget God, the Giver of all, for the affairs of
this world: and yet never had we so much need of his
care, particularly at the moment of undertaking a journey
in an unknown soil.”

Upon this our pickle, Jack, began to imitate the sound
of church bells, and to call “Bome! bome! bidi bome!
To prayers, to prayers, bome, bome!’’— Thoughtless
boy!” cried I, with a look of displeasure, “ when will you
be sensible of that sacredness in devotion that banishes
for the time every thought of levity or amusement ?
Recollect yourself, and let me not have again to reprove
you on a subject of so grave a nature.”

In about an hour we had completed the preparations
for our departure. I had loaded the guns we left behind,
and I now enjoined my wife to keep by day as near the .
boat as possible, which in case of danger was the best and
most speedy means of escape. My next concern was to
shorten the moment of separation, judging by my own
feelings those of my dear wife; for neither could be
without painful apprehensions of what new misfortune
might occur on either side during the interval. In the
midst of our adieus I drew Fritz away, and we were
soon approaching the sea-shore where we turned our



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 33

thoughts upon ourselves and the immediate object of our
journey.

The banks of the river were every where steep and
difficult, excepting at one narrow slip near the mouth on
our side, where we had drawn our fresh water. The other
side presented an unbroken line of sharp, high, perpendi-
cular rocks, We therefore followed the course of the
river till we arrived at a cluster of rocks at which the
stream formed a cascade: a few paces beyond, we found
some large fragments of rock which had fallen into the
bed of the river; by stepping upon these, and making
now and then some hazardous leaps, we contrived to reach
the other side. We proceeded a short way along the
rock we had ascended in landing, forcing ourselves a pas-
sage through tall grass, which twined with other plants,
and was rendered more capable of resistance by being
half dried by the sun. Perceiving, however, that walking
on this kind of surface in so hot a sun would exhaust our
strength, we looked for a path to descend and proceed along
the river, where we hoped to meet with fewer obstacles,
and perhaps to discover traces of our ship companions.

When we had walked about a hundred paces, we heard
aloud noise behind us, as if we were pursued, and per-
ceived a rustling motion in the grass, which was almost
as tall as ourselves. I was a good deal alarmed, thinking
that it might be occasioned by some frightful serpent, a
tiger, or other ferocious animal. But I was well satisfied
with Fritz, who, instead of being frightened, and running
away, stood still and firm to face the danger, the only
motion he made being to see that his piece was ready,
and turning himself to front the spot from whence the
noise proceeded. Our alarm was, however, short ; for what
was our joy on seeing rush out, not an enemy, but our
faithful Turk, whom in the moment of parting we had

D



34 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

forgotten, and whom no doubt our anxious relatives had
sent on to us! Ireceived the poor creature with lively
joy, and did not fail to commend both the bravery and
discretion of my son, in not yielding to even a rational
alarm, and for waiting till he was sure of the object be-
fore he resolved to fire: had he done otherwise, he might
have destroyed an animal likely to afford us various kinds
of aid, and to contribute by the kindness of his temper to
the pleasure of our domestic scene.—‘“ Observe, my dear
boy,” said I, “to what dangers the tumult of the passions
exposes us: the anger which overpowered you yesterday,
and the terror natural to the occasion we have this mo-
ment witnessed, if you had unfortunately given way to it,
might either of them have produced an irretrievable mis-
fortune.”

Fritz assured me he was sensible of the truth and im-
portance of my remarks: that he would watch constantly
over the defects of his temper ; and then he fell to caress-
ing the faithful and interesting animal.

Conversing on such subjects, we pursued our way. On
our left was the sea, and on our right the continuation of
the ridge of rocks which began at the place of our landing,
and ran-along the shore, the summit every where adorned _
with fresh verdure and a great variety of trees, We
were careful to proceed in a course as near the shore as
possible, casting our eyes alternately upon its smooth ex-
panse and upon the land in all directions to discover our
ship companions, or the boats which had conveyed them
from us; but our endeavours were in vain.

Fritz proposed to fire his gun from time to time, that,
should they be any where concealed near us, they might
thus be led to know of our pursuit.

“This would be vastly well,” I observed, “if you could
contrive that the savages, who are most likely not far dis-



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 35

tant, should not hear the sound, and come in numbers
upon us.”—“T am thinking, father,” interrupted Fritz,
“that there is no good reason why we should give our-
selves so much trouble and uneasiness about persons who
abandoned us so cruelly, and thought only of their own
safety.”’

“There is not only one good reason, but many,” re-
plied I: “first, we should not return evil for evil: next,
it may be in their power to assist us; and lastly, they
are perhaps at this moment in the greatest want of as-
sistance. It was their lot to escape with nothing but life
from the ship, if indeed they are still alive, while we had
the good fortune to secure provisions enough for present
subsistence, to a share of which they are as fully entitled
as ourselves.”

“ But, father, while we are wandoring here, and losing
our time almost without a hope of benefit to them, might
we not be better employed in returning to the vessel, and
saving the animals on board P?”

“When a variety of duties present themselves for our
choice, we should always give the preference to that which
can confer the most solid advantage. The saving of the
life of a man is a more exalted action than the contribut-
ing to the comfort of a few quadrupeds, whom we have
already supplied with food for several days; particularly
as the sea is in so calm a state, that we need entertain no
apprehension that the ship will sink or go entirely to
pieces just at present.”

My son made no reply to what I said, and we seemed
by mutual consent to take a few moments for reflection.

When we had gone about two leagues, we entered a
wood situated a little further from the sea: here we threw
ourselves on the ground, under the shade of a tree, by
the side of a clear running stream, and took out some

D2



36 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

provisions and refreshed ourselves. We heard the chirp-
ing, singing, and motion of birds in the trees, and ob-
served, as they now and then came out to view, that they
were more attractive by their splendid plumage than by
any charm of note. Fritz assured me that he had caught
a glimpse of some animals like apes among the bushes,
and this was confirmed by the restless movements of
Turk, who began to smell about him, and to bark so loud
that the wood resounded with the noise. Fritz stole
softly about, and presently stumbled on a small round
body which lay on the ground: he brought it to me, ob-
serving that it must be the nest of some bird—‘< What
makes you of that opinion?” said I. “It is, I think,
much more like a cocoa-nut.”

“ But I have read that there are some kinds of birds,
which build their nests quite round: and look, father,
how the outside is crossed and twined.”

“ But do you not perceive that what you take for straws
crossed and twined by the beak of a bird, is in fact a coat.
of fibres formed by the hand of Nature? Do you not
remember to have read, that the nut of a cocoa-shell is
enclosed within a round, fibrous covering, which again is
surrounded by a skin of a thin and fragile texture? I
see that in the one you hold in your hand, this skin has |
been destroyed by time, which is the reason that the
twisted fibres (or inner covering) are so apparent: but
now let us break the shell, and you will see the nut in-
side.”

‘We soon accomplished this; but the nut, alas! from
lying on the ground, had perished, and appeared but little
different from a bit of dried skin, and not the least in-
viting to the palate.

Fritz was much amused at this adventure. “How I
wish Ernest could have been here!” cried he. “How he



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 87

envied me the fine large cocoa-nuts I was to find, and the
whole teacup-full of sweet delicious milk which was to
spring out upon me from the inside !—But, father, I my-
self believed that the cocoa-nut contained a sweet refresh-
ing liquid, a little like the juice of almonds ; travellers
surely tell untruths!”’

“Travellers certainly do sometimes tell untruths, but
not, I believe, on the subject of cocoa-nuts which, it is
well known, contain the liquid you describe, just before
they are ina state of ripeness. It is the same with our
European or hazel nuts, with a difference of quantity ; and
also that in the unripe state they contain only a pith of a
sub-acid taste: one property, however, is common to both,
that as the nut passes maturity, the milk diminishes, by
thickening, and becoming the same substance as the nut.
If you put a ripe nut a little way under the earth, ina
good soil, the kernel will shoot and burst the shell: but
if it remain above ground, or in a place that does not
suit its nature, the principle of vegetation is extinguished
by internal fermentation, and the nut perishes as you
have seen.”

“TJ am now surprised that this principle is not extin-
guished in every nut; for the shell is so hard it seems
impossible for a softer substance to break it.”

“ The peach-stone is no less hard; the kernel, notwith-
standing, never fails to break it, if it is placed in a well-
nurtured soil.”

“Now I begin to understand. The peach-stone is di-
vided into two parts, like a muscle-shell; it has a kind of
seam round it, which separates of itself when the kernel
is swelled by moisture: but the cocoa-nut in my hand is
not so divided, and I cannot conceive of its separating.”

“T grant that the cocoa-nut is differently formed ; but
you may see by the fragments you have just thrown on



88 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the ground, that Nature has in another manner stepped
in to its assistance. Look near the stalk, and you will
discover three round holes, which are not, like the rest of.
its surface, covered with a hard impenetrable shell, but
are stopped by a spongy kind of matter; it is through
these that the kernel shoots.”

“Now, father, I have the fancy of gathering all the
pieces together and giving them to Ernest, and telling
these particulars: I wonder what he will say about it,
and how he will like the withered nut ?”

“ Now the fancy of your father, my dear boy, would be
to find you without so keen a relish for a bit of mischief.
Joke with Ernest, if you will, about the withered nut;
but I should like to see you heal the disappointment he
will feel by presenting him at last with a sound and per-
fect nut, provided we should have one to spare.”

After looking for some time, we had the good luck to
meet with one single nut. We opened it, and finding it
sound, we sat down and ate it for our dinner, by which
means we were enabled to husband the provisions we had
brought. The nut, it is true, was a little oily and rancid ;
yet, as this was not a time to be nice, we made a hearty
meal, and then continued our route. We did not quit the
wood, but pushed our way across it, being often obliged to
cut a path through the bushes, overrun by creeping plants.
At length we reached a plain, which afforded a more ex-
tensive prospect, and a path less perplexed and intricate.

We next entered a forest to the right, and soon ob-
served that some of the trees were of a singular kind.
Fritz, whose sharp eye was continually on o journey of
discovery, went up to examine them closely. “ Father,
what odd trees, with wens growing all about their trunks!”
T had soon the surprise and satisfaction of assuring him
_ that they were bottle gourds, the trunks of which bear



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 39

fruit. Fritz, who had never heard of such a plant, could
not conceive the meaning of what he saw, and asked me
if the fruit was a sponge or a wen.—“ We will see,”’ I re-
plied, “if I cannot unravel the mystery. Try to get down
one of them, and we will examine it minutely.”

“T have got one,” cried Fritz, “and it is exactly like a
gourd, only the rind is thicker and harder.”

“Tt then, like the rind of that fruit, can be used for
making various utensils,” observed I; “plates, dishes,
basing, flasks. We will give it the name of the gourd-
tree.”

Fritz jumped for joy.—“ How happy my mother will
be!” cried he in ecstasy; “she will no longer have the
vexation of thinking, when she makes soup, that we shall
all scald our fingers.”

“What, my boy, do you think is the reason that this
tree bears its fruit only on the trunk and on its topmost
branches ?”

“TI think it must be because the middle branches are
too feeble to support such a weight.”

“You have guessed exactly right.”

“ But are these gourds good to eat P”

“ At worst they are, I believe, harmless; but they have
not a very tempting flavour. The negro savages set as
much value on the rind of this fruit as on gold, for its use
to them is indispensable. These rinds serve them to keep
their food and drink in, and sometimes they even cook
their victuals in them.”

“Oh, father! it must be impossible to cook their vic-
tuals in them, for the heat of fire would soon consume
such a substance.”

“TI did not say the rind was put upon the fire. When
it is intended to dress food in one of these rinds, the pro-
cess is, to cut the fruit into two equal parts, and scoop



40 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

out the inside; some water is put into one of the halves,
and into the water some fish, a crab, or whatever else is
to be dressed: then some stones, red hot, beginning with
one at a time, are thrown in, which impart sufficient heat
to the water to dress the food, without the smallest injury
to the pot.”

We next proceeded to the manufacture of our plates
and dishes. I taught my son how to divide the gourd
with a bit of string, which would cut more equally than a
knife ; I tied the string round the middle of the gourd as
tight as possible, striking it pretty hard with the handle
of my knife, and I drew tighter and tighter till the gourd
fell apart, forming two regular-shaped bowls or vessels;
while Fritz, who had used a knife for the same operation,
had entirely spoiled his gourd by the irregular pressure of
his instrument. I recommended his making some spoons
with the spoiled rind, as it was good for no other purpose.
I, on my part, had soon completed two dishes of conve-
nient size, and some smaller ones to serve as plates.

Fritz was in the utmost astonishment at my success.
“I cannot imagine, father,” said he, “how this way of
cutting the gourd could occur to you!”

“T have read the description of such a process,” replied
I, “in books of travels; and also that such of the savages
as have no knives, and who make a sort of twine from
the bark of trees, are accustomed to use it for this kind of
purpose.”

“And the flasks, father; in what manner are they
made?”

“For this branch of their ingenuity they make prepa-
ration a long time beforehand. If a negro wishes to have
a flask, or bottle with a neck, he binds a piece of string,
linen, or*bark of a tree, or any thing he can get, round
the part nearest the stalk of a very young gourd; he



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 41

draws this bandage so tight, that the part at liberty soon
forms itself to a round shape, while the part which is
confined contracts, and remains ever after narrow. By
this method it is that they obtain flasks or bottles of a
perfect form.”

“ Are then the bottle-shaped gourds I have seen in
Europe trained by a similar preparation ?”

“No, they are of another species, and what you have
seen is their natural shape.”

Our conversation and our labour thus went on together.
Fritz had completed some plates, and was not a little
proud of the achievement. “Ah, how delighted my mo-
ther will be to eat upon them!” cried he. “But how
shall we convey them to her? They will not, I fear, bear
travelling well.”

“We must leave them here on the sand for the sun to -
dry them thoroughly ; this will be accomplished by the
time of our return this way, and we can then carry them
with us; but care must be taken to fill them with sand,
that they may not shrink or warp with the excessive heat.”
My boy did not dislike this task; for he had no great
wish to carry such a load on our journey of further dis-
covery. Our sumptuous service of porcelain was accord-
ingly spread upon the ground, and for the present aban-
doned to its fate.

We amused ourselves, as we proceeded, in endeavour-
ing to fashion some spoons from the fragments of the
gourd-rinds ; but in the mean time we did not neglect the
great object of our pursuit,—the making every practicable
search for our ship companions. But our endeavours,
alas! were all in vain.

After a walk of about four leagues in all, we arrived at
4 spot where a slip of land reached far out into the sea,
on which we observed a rising piece of ground or hill.



42 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

‘We determined to ascend it, concluding we should obtain
a clear view of all adjacent parts, which would save us the
fatigue of further rambles. We accordingly accomplished
the design.

We did not reach the top of the hill without some diffi-
culty; but when there, we beheld a scene of wild and
solitary beauty, comprehending a vast extent of land and
water. The shore, rounded by a bay of some extent, the
bank of which ended in a promontory on the further side ;
the agreeable blue tint of its surface: the sea, gently
agitated by waves in which the rays of the sun were re-
flected ; the woods, of variegated hues and verdure, formed
altogether a picture of such magnificence, of such new
and exquisite delight, that if the recollection of our un-
fortunate companions, engulfed perhaps in this very ocean,
had not intruded to depress our spirits, we should have
yielded to the ecstasy the scene was calculated to inspire.
It was however in vain that we used our telescope in all
directions; no trace of man appeared; and, from this
moment, we began to lose even the feeble hope we had
entertained. We, however, became but the more sen-
sible of the goodness of the Divine Being, in the special
protection afforded to ourselves, in conducting us to a
home where there was no present cause for fear of dan-
ger from without, where we had not experienced the want
of food, and where there was a prospect of future safety
for us all. We had encountered no venomous or ferocious
animals; and, as far as our sight could yet reach, we were
not threatened by the approach of savages. I remarked
to Fritz, that we seemed destined to a solitary life, and
that it was a rich country which appeared to be allotted
us for a habitation ;—“ at least, my son, our habitation it
must be, unless some vessel should happen to put on
shore on the same coast, and be in a condition to take us



THE SW1SS FAMILY ROBINSON. 43

back to our native land. And God's will be done!”
added I; “for he knows what is best for us. Having
left our native country, fixed in the intention of inhabit-
ing some propitious soil, it was natural at first to en-
counter difficult adventures. Let us therefore consider
our situation as no disappointment in any essential re-
spect. We can pursue our scheme for agriculture. We
shall learn to invent arts. Our only want is numbers.”

“ We, however,” observed Fritz, “form a larger society
than was the lot of Adam before he had children; and, as
we grow older, we will perform all the necessary labour,
while you and my mother enjoy ease and quiet.”

“Your assurances are as kind as I can desire, and they
encourage me to struggle with what hardships may present
themselves. "Who can foresee in what manner it may be
the will of Heaven to dispose of us? In times of old,
God said to one of his chosen, ‘TI will cause a great nation
to descend from thy loins.’ ”

“ And why may not we too become patriarchs, father f”’

“Why not, indeed? But come, my young patriarch,
let us find a shady spot, that we may not be consumed
with the fierce heat of the sun before the patriarchal con-
dition can be conferred upon us. Look yonder at that
inviting wood: let us hasten thither to take a little rest,
before we return to our dear expecting family.”

We descended the hill, and made our way to a wood of
palms, which I had just pointed out to Fritz: our path
was clothed with reeds, entwined with other plants, which
greatly obstructed our march. We advanced slowly and
cautiously, fearing at every step to receive a mortal bite
from some serpent that might be concealed among them.
We made Turk go before, to give us timely notice of any
thing dangerous. I also cut a reed-stalk of uncommon
length and thickness, for my defence against any enemy.



44 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

It was not without surprise that I perceived a glutinous
sap proceed from the divided end of the stalk. Prompted
by curiosity, I tasted this liquid and found it sweet and
of a pleasant flavour, so that not a doubt remained that
we were passing through a plantation of sugar-canes. I
again applied the cane to my lips, and sucked it for some
moments, and felt singularly refreshed and strengthened.
I determined not to tell Fritz immediately of the fortunate
discovery I had made, preferring that he should find it
out for himself. As he was at some distance before me,
I called out to him to cut a reed for his defence. This
he did, and without any remark, used it simply for a stick,
striking lustily with it on all sides to clear a passage.
The motion occasioned the sap to run out abundantly
upon his hand, and he stopped to examine so strange’a
circumstance. He lifted it up, and still a larger quantity
escaped. He now tasted what was on his fingers. Oh!
then for the exclamations —“ Father, father, I have found
some sugar!—some syrup! I have a sugar-cane in my
hand! Run quickly, father!”—We were soon together,
rejoicing in our fortunate discovery.

“We will take home a good provision of the canes; it
will be so delightful to regale my mother and my little
brothers with them!”

“TT have no objection ; but do not take too heavy a load,
for you have other things to carry, and we have yet far to
go.”

Counsel was given in vain. He persisted in cutting
at least a dozen of the largest canes, tore off their leaves,
tied them together, and putting them under his arm,
dragged them, as well as he was able, to the end of the
plantation. We regained the wood of palms withou ac-
cident: here we had scarcely stretched our limbs in the
shade, when a great number of large monkeys, terrified by



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 45

the sight of us and the barking of Turk, stole so nimbly,
and yet so quietly, up the trees, that we hardly perceived
them till they had reached the topmost parts. From this
height they fixed their eyes upon us, grinding their teeth,
making horrible grimaces, and saluting us with s¢reams
of hostile import.—Being now satisfied that the trees were
palms, bearing cocoa-nuts, I conceived the hope of obtain-
ing some of this fruit in a milky state, through the mon-
keys. Fritz, on his part, prepared to shoot at them in-
stantly. He threw his burdens on the ground, and it was
with difficulty I could prevent him from firing.

“ Ah, father, why did you not let me fire? Monkeys
are such malicious, mischievous animals! Look how they
raise their backs in derision of us!”

“ And is it possible that this can excite your vengeance,
my most reasonable Mr. Fritz’? To say the truth, I have
myself no predilection for monkeys, who, as you say, are
naturally prone to be malicious. But as long as an animal
does us no injury, or if his death can in no shape be useful
in preserving our own lives, we have no right to destroy
it, and still less to torment it for our amusement, or from
an idle desire of revenge. But what will you say if I
show you that we may find means to make living mon-
keys contribute to our service? See what I am going to
do; but step aside for fear of your head. If I succeed,
the monkeys will furnish us with plenty of our much-
desired cocoa-nuts.””

I now began to throw some stones at the monkeys ;
and though I could not make them reach to half the height
at which they had taken refuge, they showed every mark
of excessive anger. With their accustomed trick of imi-
tation, they furiously tore off, nut by nut, all that grew
upon the trunk near them, to hurl them down upon us;
so that it was with difficulty we avoided the blows; and



46 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

in a short time a great number of cocoa-nuts lay on the
ground round us. Fritz laughed heartily at the excellent
success of our stratagem; and as the shower of cocoa-
nuts began to subside, we set about collecting them. We
chose a place where we could repose at our ease, to feast
on this rich harvest. We opened the shells with a
hatchet, but first enjoyed the sucking of some of the
milk through the three small holes, where we found it
easy to insert the point of a knife. The milk of the cocoa-
nut has not a pleasant flavour; but it is excellent for
quenching thirst. "What we liked best was a kind of solid
cream which adheres to the shell, and which we scraped off
with our spoons. We mixed with it a little of the sap of
our sugar-canes, and it made a delicious repast.

Our meal being finished, we prepared to leave-the wood
of palms. TI tied all the cocoa-nuts which had stalks toge-
ther, and threw them across my shoulder. Fritz resumed.
his bundle of sugar-canes. We divided the rest of the
things between us, and continued our way towards home.

CHAPTER IV.

Return from the Voyage of Discovery. .A Nocturnal
Alarm.

My poor boy now began to complain of fatigue; the
sugar-canes galled his shoulders, and he was obliged to
shift them often. At last he stopped to take breath.—
“T never could have thought,” cried he, “that a few
sugar-canes could be so heavy. How sincerely I pity the
poor negroes who carry heavy loads of them! Yet how
gmt I shall be when my mother and Ernest are tasting
them!”

While we were conversing and proceeding onwards,



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 47

Fritz perceived that from time to time I sucked the end
of a sugar-cane, and he would needs do the same. It
was in vain, however, that he tried: scarcely a drop of
the sap reached his eager lips.—‘ What can be the rea-
son,” said he, “that though the cane is full of juice, I
cannot get out a drop!”

“The reason is,” answered I, “that you make use
neither of reflection nor of your imagination.”

“Ah! I recollect now; is it not a question about air?
Unless there were a particular opening in the cane I may
suck in vain ; no juice will come.”

“You have explained the nature of the difficulty, but
how will you manage to set it right ?”’

“Let me see: I imagine that I have only to make a
httle opening just above the first knot, and then the air
can enter.”

“ Exactly right. But tell me what you think would be
the operation of this opening near the first knot; and in
what manner can it make the juice get into your mouth ?”

“The pith of the cane being completely interrupted in
its growth by each knot, the opening made below could
have no effect upon the part above; in sucking the juice
I draw in my breath, and thus exhaust the air in my
mouth: the external air presses at the same time through
the hole I have made, and fills this void; the juice of the
cane forms an obstacle to this effort, and is accordingly
driven into my mouth. But we must not become too
expert in the art of drawing out the juice, or but few of
the canes will reach our good friends in the tent.”

“T also am not without my apprehensions, that of our
acquisition we shall carry them only a few sticks for fire-
wood; for I must bring another circumstance to your
recollection: the juice of the sugar-cane is apt to turn
sour soon after cutting, especially in such heat as we now



48 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

experience ; we may suck them, therefore, without com. :
punction at the diminution of their numbers.”

“Well, then, if we can do no better with the sugar-
canes, at least I will take them a good provision of the
milk of the cocoa-nuts, which I have here in a tin bottle.”

“Tn this too, my generous boy, I fear you will be dis-
appointed. The milk of the cocoa-nut, no less than the
juice of the sugar-cane, when exposed to the air and heat,
turns soon to vinegar. I would almost wager that it is
already sour; for the tin bottle which contains it is parti-
cularly liable to become hot in the sun.”

“Oh! father, how provoking! I must taste it this very
minute.’’—The tin bottle was immediately lowered from
his shoulder, and he began to pull the cork; as soon as it
was loose the liquid flew upwards, hissing and frothing
like champagne.

“Bravo, Fritz! you have manufactured there a wine of
some mettle. I must now caution you not to let it make
you tipsy.”

“Oh, taste it, father, pray taste it, it is quite delicious,
not the least like vinegar: it is rather like excellent new
wine: its taste is sweet, and it is so sparkling! do take a
little, father. Is it not good? If all the milk remains in
this state, the treat will be better even than I thought.”

“T wish it may prove so, but I have my fears: ita
present state is what is called the first degree of ferment-
ation; the same thing happens to honey dissolved in
water, of which hydromel is made. When this first
fermentation is past, and the liquid is clear, it becomes
a sort of wine or other fermented liquor, the quality of
which depends on the materials used. By the application
of heat, there next results a second and more gradual fer-
mentation, which turns the fluid into vinegar. But this
may be prevented by extraordinary care, and by keeping



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 49

the vessel that contains it in a cool place. Lastly, a
third fermentation takes place in the vinegar itself, which
entirely changes its character, and deprives it of its taste,
its strength, and its transparency. In the intense tem-
perature of this climate, this triple fermentation comes
on very rapidly, so that it is not improbable that, on
entering our tent, you might find your liquids turned to
vinegar, or even to a thick liquid of ill odour: we may
therefore venture to refresh ourselves with a portion of
our booty, that it may not all be spoiled. Come, then, I
drink your health, and that of our dear family. I find
the liquor at present both refreshing and agreeable ; but
I am pretty sure that, if we would arrive sober, we must
not venture on frequent libations.”

Our regale imparted to our exhausted frames an increase
of strength and cheerfulness. We reached the place
where we had left our gourd utensils upon the sands ; we
found them perfectly dry, as hard as bone, and not the
least misshapen. We now, therefore, could put them
into our game-bags conveniently enough, and this done,
we continued our way. Scarcely had we passed through
the little wood in which we breakfasted, when Turk
sprang away to seize upon a troop of monkeys who were
skipping about and amusing themselves without observing
our approach. They were thus taken by surprise; and
before we could get to the spot, our ferocious Turk had
already seized one of them ; it was a female, who held
young one in her arms, which she was caressing almost
to suffocation, and which incumbrance deprived her of
the power of escaping. The poor creature was killed,
and afterwards devoured; the young one hid himself in
the grass, and looked on, grinding his teeth all the time
that this horrible feat was performing.

The next scene that presented itself was of a different

E



50 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

nature, and comical enough. The young monkey sprang
nimbly on Fritz’s shoulders, and fastened his feet in the
stiff curls of his hair ; nor could the cries of Fritz, nor all
the shaking he gave him, make him let go his hold. I
ran to them, laughing heartily, for I saw that the animal
was too young to do him any injury, while the panic
visible in the features of the boy made a ludicrous con-
trast with the grimaces of the monkey, whom I in vain
endeavoured to disengage. “There is no remedy, Fritz,”
said I, “but to submit quietly and carry him. The con-
duct of the little creature displays a surprising intelli-
gence ; he has lost his mother, and he adopts you for his
father; perhaps he discovered in you something of the
air of a father of a family.”

“Or rather the little rogue found out that he had to
do with a chicken-heart, who shrinks from the idea of ill-
treating an animal which has thrown itself on his pro-
tection. But I assure you, father, he is giving me some
terrible twitches, and I shall be obliged to you to try
once more to get him off.”

With a little gentleness and management I succeeded.
T took the creature in my arms as one would an infant,
nor could I help pitying and caressing him. He was not
larger than 9 kitten, and quite unable to help himself.

“Father,” cried Fritz, “do let me have this little
animal to myself. I will take the greatest care of him;
T will give him all my share of the milk of the cocoa-nuts,
till we get our cows and goats; and who knows? his
monkey instinct may one day assist us in discovering
some wholesome fruits.”

“T have not the least objection,” answered I, “It is
but just that the little protégé should be given up to
your management and discretion; much will depend on
your manner of educating him; by and by we shall see



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 51

whether he will be fittest to aid us with his intelligence,
or to injure us by his malice; in this last case we shall
have nothing to do but to get rid of him.”

We now thought of resuming our journey. The little
orphan jumped again on the shoulders of his protector, while
I on my part relieved my boy of the bundle of canes.

In pleasant conversation we forgot the length of our
journey, and soon found ourselves on the bank of the
river, and near our family, before we were aware. Flora
from the other side announced our approach by a violent
barking, and Turk, who began to be acquainted with the
country, ran off to meet his companion. Shortly after,
our much-loved family appeared in sight, with demon-
strations of unbounded joy at our safe return. They
advanced along by the course of the river, till they on
one side, and we on the other, had reached the place we
crossed in the morning. We repassed it again in safety,
and threw ourselves into each other’s arms. Scarcely
had the young ones joined their brother, than they again
began their joyful exclamations: “A monkey, a live
monkey! Papa, mamma, a live monkey! Oh, how delight
ful! How did you catch him? What a droll face he
has !””—“ He is very ugly,” said little Francis, half afraid
to touch him.—* He is prettier than you,” retorted Jack ;
“only see, he is laughing: I wish I could see him eat.”
—“ Ah! if we had but some cocoa-nuts!”’ cried Ernest ;
“could you not find any? Are they nice ?”—“ Have
you brought me any milk of almonds?” asked Francis,
—“Have you met with any unfortunate adventure?”
interrupted my wife. In this manner, questions and ex-
clamations succeeded to each other with such rapidity as
not to leave us time to answer them.

At length, when all became a little tranquil, I answered
them thus: “Most happy am I to return to you again,

E 2



52 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

my best beloved, and, God be praised! without any new
misfortune. We have even the pleasure of presenting
you with many valuable acquisitions; but in the object
nearest my heart, the discovery of our ship companions,
we have entirely failed.”

“Since it pleases God that it should be so,” said my
wife, “let us endeavour to be content, and let us be
grateful to Him for having saved us from their unhappy
fate, and for having once more brought us all together: I
have had much uneasiness about your safety, and imagined
a thousand evils that might beset you. But put down
your burdens; we will all help you; for though we have
not spent the day in idleness, we are less fatigued than
you. Quick then, my boys, and take the loads from your
father and your brother.”

Jack received my gun, Ernest the cocoa-nuts, Francis
the gourd-rinds, and my wife my game-bag. Fritz dis-
tributed the sugar-canes, and put his monkey on the back
of Turk, to the great amusement of the children, at the
same time begging Ernest to relieve him of his gun. But
Ernest, ever careful of his ease, assured him, that the
large heavy bowls with which he was loaded were the
most: he had strength to carry. His mother, a little too
indulgent to his lazy humour, relieved him of these; and
thus we proceeded all together to our tent.

Fritz whispered me, that if Ernest had known what
the large heavy bowls were, he would not so readily have
parted with them. Then turning to his brother, “ Why,
Ernest,” cried he, “do you know that these bowls are
cocoa-nuts, your dear cocoa-nuts, and full of the sweet
nice milk you have so much wished to taste?”

“What, really and truly cocoa-nuts, brother? Pray
give them to me, mother ; I will carry them, if you please,
and I can carry the gun too.”



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 53.

“No, no, Ernest,” answered his mother, “you shall
not tease us with more of your jong-drawn sighs about
fatigue: a hundred paces and you would begin again.”
Ernest would willingly have asked his mother to give him
the cocoa-nuts, and take the gun herself, but this he was
ashamed to do; “I have only,” said he, “to get rid of
these sticks, and carry the gun in my hand.”

“TI would advise you not to find the sticks heavy,
either,” said Fritz drily; “I know you will be sorry if
you do: and for this good reason,—the sticks are sugar-
canes!”

“ Sugar-canes! Sugar-canes !’’ exclaimed they all; and,
surrounding Fritz, made him give them full instructions
on the sublime art of sucking sugar-canes.

My wife, also, who had always entertained a high
respect for the article of sugar in her household manage-
ment, was quite astonished, and earnestly entreated we
would inform her of all particulars. I gave her an
account of our journey and our new acquisitions, which I
exhibited one after the other for her inspection. No one
of them afforded her more pleasure than the plates and
dishes, because, to persons of decent habits, they were
articles of indispensable necessity. We now adjourned
to our kitchen, and observed with pleasure the pre-
parations for an excellent repast. On one side of the
fire was a turnspit, which my wife had contrived by
driving two forked pieces of wood into the ground, and
placing a long even stick, sharpened at one end, across
them. By this invention she was enabled to roast fish,
or other food, with the help of little Francis, who was
entrusted with the care of turning it round from time to
time. On the occasion of our return, she had prepared
us the treat of a goose, the fat of which ran down into
some oyster-shells placed there to serve the purpose of a



54 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

dripping-pan. There waa, besides, a dish of fish, which
the little ones had caught; and the iron pot was upon
the fire, provided with a good soup, the odour of which
increased our appetite. By the side of these most ex-
hilarating preparations stood one of the casks which we
had recovered from the sea, the head of which my wife
had knocked out, so that it exposed to our view a cargo
of the finest sort of Dutch cheeses, contained in round
tins. All this display was made to excite the appetite of
the two travellers, who had fared but scantily during the
day; and I must needs observe, that the whole was very
little like such a dinner as one should expect to see on a
desert island.

“What you call a goose,” said my wife, “is a kind of
wild bird, and is the booty of Ernest, who calls him by a
singular name, and assures me that it is good to eat.”

“Yes, father, I believe that the bird which I have
caught is a kind of penguin, or we might distinguish him
by the surname of Stupid’. He showed himself to be-a
bird so destitute of even the least degree of intelligence,
that I killed him with a single blow with my stick.”

1 Penguin. A bird of the goose kind, found near the straits of Ma-
gellan: but two species also exist in New Guinea. It is about the size
of the Indian cock; the feathers on the back are black, and on the
belly white. It has a large neck, circled round with a white collar.
Properly speaking, it has no wings, but two pinions which hang like two
little arms from its sides, having no feathers beyond the joint. These
pinions serve the purpose of fins, in enabling the penguin to swim with
ease, but it cannot fly. The tail is short; the feet black; the beak
narrow, and rather larger than that of the raven. The bird carries its
head erect in walking, and the pinions fall at its side; so that when
many of them are seen in a line along the shore, where they are accus-
tomed to assemble in large numbers, they may, from a distance, be
mistaken for little men. Their flesh is well tasted, but their skin is so
tough, that, but for the extreme stupidity of their nature, it would be
difficult to destroy them.—See Valmont de Bromare.



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 55

“What is the form of his feet, and of his beak P”
asked I.

“ His feet are formed for swimming; in other words,
he is what is called web-footed; the beak is long, small,
and a little curved downwards: I have preserved his head
and neck, that you might examine it yourself: it reminds
me exactly of the penguin, described as so stupid a bird
in my book of natural history.”

My wife here interrupted us to announce that supper
was ready, at the same time proposing that the cocoa-
nuts, which the boys had already begun eagerly to exa-
mine, should serve for dessert.

We accordingly seated ourselves on the ground; each
article of the repast was placed in one of our new dishes,

' the neat appearance of which exceeded all our expecta-

tions. My sons had not patience to wait, but had broken
the cocoa-nuts, and already convinced themselves of their
delicious flavour; and then they fell to making spoons
with the fragments of the shells. The little monkey,
thanks to the kind temper of Jack, had been served the
first, and each amused himself with making him suck the
corner of his pocket-handkerchief, dipped in the milk of
the cocoa-nut. He appeared delighted with the treatment
he received, and we remarked with satisfaction that we
should most likely be able to preserve him.

The boys were preparing to break some more of "the
nuts with the hatchet, after having drawn out the milk
through the three little holes, when I pronounced the word
halt, and bade them bring me a saw ;—the thought had
struck me, that by dividing the nuts carefully with this
instrument, the two halves, when scooped, would remain
with the form of tea-cups or basins already made to our
hands. Jack, who was on every occasion the most active,
brought me the saw. I performed my undertaking in the



56 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

best manner I could, and in a short time each of us was
provided with a convenient receptacle for food. My wife
put the share of soup which belonged to each into the new
basins, delighted that we should no longer be under the
necessity, as before, of scalding our fingers by dipping
into the pot; and I firmly believe, that never did the
most magnificent service of china occasion half the plea-
sure to its possessor, as our utensils, manufactured by our
own hands from gourds and cocoa-nuts, excited in the
kind heart of my wife. Fritz asked me, if he might not
invite our company to taste his fine champagne, which he
said would not fail to make us all the merrier—* I have
not the least objection,” answered I, “but remember to
taste it yourself before you serve it to your guests.” He
ran to draw out the stopple and to taste it.—“ How un-
fortunate!” said he, “it is already turned to vinegar.”

“What, is it vinegar?” exclaimed my wife: “How
lucky! it will make the most delicious sauce for our bird,
mixed with the fat which has fallen from it in roasting,
and will be as good a relish as a salad.” The same sauce
improved our dish of fish also. Each boasted most of
what he himself had been the means of procuring: it was
Jack and Francis who had caught the fish in one of the
shallows, while Ernest was employed with very little
trouble to himself in securing his penguin. My poor
wife had herself performed the most difficult task of all,
that of rolling the cask of Dutch cheeses into the kitchen,
and then knocking out its head.

By the time we had finished our meal, the sun was re-
tiring from our view; and recollecting how quickly the
night would fall upon us, we were in great haste to regain
our place of rest. My wife had considerately collected a
tenfold quantity of dry grass, which she had spread in the
tent, and being all heartily fatigued by the exertions of



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 57

the day, we soon fell into a profound and refreshing
sleep.

But I had not long enjoyed this pleasing state, when I
was disturbed by the motion of the fowls on the ridge of
the tent, and by a violent barking of our vigilant safe-
guards, the dogs. My wife and Fritz had also been
alarmed ; so we each took a gun, and sallied forth.

The dogs continued barking with the same violence,
and at intervals even howled. We had not proceeded
many steps from the tent, when we perceived by the light
of the moon a terrible combat. At least a dozen jackals
had surrounded our brave dogs, who defended themselves
with the stoutest courage, and had already laid three or
four of their adversaries on the ground.

I, for my part, had apprehended something worse than
jackals. —“ We shall soon manage to set these gentlemen
at rest,” said I. “Let us fire both together, my boy;
but let us take care how we aim, for fear of killing the
dogs; mind how you fire, that you may not miss, and I
‘shall do the same.” ‘We fired, and two of the intruders
fell instantly dead upon the sands. The others made
their escape ; but we perceived it was with great difficulty,
in consequence, no doubt, of being wounded. Turk and
Flora afterwards pursued them, and put the finishing
stroke to what we had begun ; and thus the battle ended;
but the dogs, true Caribbees by nature, made a hearty
meal on the flesh of their fallen enemies. My wife, see-
ing all quiet, entreated us to lie down again and finish
our night’s sleep ; but Fritz asked me to let him first drag
his jackal towards the tent, that he might exhibit him the
next morning to his brothers.”

The children had not once awoke during the whole of
the scene which had been passing, and having nothing
further to prevent us, we lay down by their side till day



58 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

began to break, and till the cocks, with their shrill morn-
ing salutation, awoke us both. The boys being still
asleep, afforded us an excellent opportunity to consult
together respecting the plan we should pursue for the
ensuing day.

CHAPTER V.

Return to the Wreck.—A troop of Animals in Cork-
Jackets.

I BRoxs a silence of some moments, with observing to my
wife, that I could not but view with alarm the many diffi-
culties we had to encounter. “(In the first place, a jour-
ney to the vessel. This is of absolute necessity ; at least,
if we would not be deprived of the cattle and other useful
things, all of which we risk losing by the first heavy sea.
What ought we to resolve upon? Should not our very
first endeavour be the contriving a better sort of habita-
tion, and a more secure retreat from wild beasts, also a
separate place for our provisions? I own I am at a loss
what to begin first.”

“ All will fall into the right order by degrees,” observed
my wife; “patience and regularity in our plans will go as
far as actual labour. I cannot, I confess, help shuddering
at the thought of this voyage to the vessel ; but if you
judge it to be of absolute necessity, it cannot be under-
taken too soon.”

“T will follow your advice,” said I, “and without fur-
ther loss of time. You shall stay here with the three
youngest boys; and Fritz, being so much stronger and
more intelligent than the others, shall accompany me in
the undertaking.”

At this moment I started from my bed, crying out



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 59

loudly and briskly, “ Get up, children, get up; it is almost
light, and we have some important projects for to-day ; it
would be a shame to suffer the sun to find us still sleeping,
we who are to be the founders of a new colony!”

At these words Fritz sprang nimbly out of the tent,
while the young ones began to gape and rub their eyes,
to get rid of their sleepiness. Fritz ran to visit his jackal,
which during the night had become cold and perfectly
stiff. He fixed him upon his legs, and placed him like a
sentinel at the entrance of the tent, joyously anticipating
the wonder and exclamations of his brothers at so unex-
pected a sight. Jack was the first who appeared, with
the young monkey on his shoulders; but when the little
creature perceived the jackal, he sprang away in terror,
and hid himself at the furthest extremity of the grass
which composed our bed, covering himself with it so com-
pletely, that scarcely could the tip of his nose be seen.

The children were much surprised at the sight of a
yellow-coloured animal standing without motion at the
entrance of the tent-—“ O what can it be!’’ cried Francis,
stepping back a few paces from fear ; “is it a wolf?” —“ No,
no,” said Jack, going near the jackal, and taking one of
his paws, “it is a yellow dog, and he is dead ; he does not
move at all.”—“ Tt is neither a dog nor a wolf,” inter-
rupted Ernest in a consequential tone: “do you not see
that it is the golden fox ?”-—* Best of all, most learned
professor!’’ now exclaimed Fritz. “So you can tell an
agouti when you see him, but you cannot tell a jackal;
for jackal is the creature you see before you, and I killed
him myself in the night.”

Ernest.—In the night, Fritz? In your sleep, I sup-
pose——

Fritz —No, Mr. Ernest; not in my sleep, as you 80
good-naturedly suppose, but broad awake, and on the



60 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

watch to protect you from wild beasts! But I cannot won-
der at this mistake in one who does not know the differ.
ence between a jackal and a golden fox!

Ernest.—You would not have known it either, if papa
had not told you——

“ Come, come, my lads, I will have no disputes,” inter-
rupted I. “Fritz, you are to blame in ridiculing your
brother for the mistake he made. Ernest, you are also to
blame for indulging that little peevishness of yours. But as
to the animal, you all are right and all are wrong; for he
partakes at once of the nature of the dog, the wolf, and
the fox.” The boys in an instant became friends; and
then followed more questions, answers, and wonder in
abundance.—“ And now, my boys, let me remind you,
that he who begins the day without first addressing the
Almighty, ought to expect neither success nor safety in his
undertakings. Let us therefore acquit ourselves of this
duty before we engage in other occupations.” .

Having finished our prayers, the next thing thought of
was breakfast. To-day their mother had nothing to give
them for their morning meal but some biscuit, which was
so hard and dry, that it was with difficulty we could
swallow it. Fritz asked for a piece of cheese to eat
with it, and Emest cast some searching looks on the
second cask we had drawn out of the sea. In a minute he
came up to us, joy sparkling in his eyes; “ Father,” said
he, “this cask is filled with excellent salt butter. I made
a little opening in it with a knife ; and see, I got out enough
to spread nicely upon this piece of biscuit.”

“You have indeed made a fortunate discovery,” answered
I. “But now let us profit by the event. Who will have
some butter on his biscuit ?”’ The boys surrounded the
cask in a moment, while I made a hole in the bottom,
sufficiently large to take out a small quantity at a time.



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 61

We toasted our biscuit, and, while it was hot, applied the
butter, and contrived to make a hearty breakfast.

“ One of the things we must not forget to look for in
the vessel,” said Fritz, “is a spiked collar or two for our
dogs, as a protection to them should they again be called
upon to defend themselves from wild beasts, which I fear
is too probable will be the case.”

“Oh!” says Jack, “I can make spiked collars, if my
mother will give me a little help.”

“That I will, most readily, my boy ; for I should like
to see what new fancy has come into your head,” cried she.

“Yes, yes,” pursued I, “as many new inventions as
you please; you cannot better employ your time; and if
you produce something useful, you will be rewarded with
the commendations of all. But now for work. You, Mr.
Fritz, who, from your superior age and discretion, enjoy
the high honour of being my privy-counsellor, must make
haste and get ycurself ready, and we will undertake to-day
our voyage to the vessel. You younger boys will remain
here, under the wing of your kind mother: I hope I need
not mention, that I rely on your perfect obedience to her
will, and general good behaviour.”

While Fritz was getting the boat ready, I looked about
for a pole, and tied a piece of white linen to the end of it:
this I drove into the ground, in a place where it would be
visible from the vessel; and I concerted with my wife,
that in case of any accident that should require my prompt
assistance, they should take down the pole and fire a gun
three times as a signal of distress, in consequence of which
I would immediately turn back. But I gave her notice,
that there being so many things to accomplish on board
the vessel, it was probable that we should not, otherwise,
return at night ; in which caseI, on my part, also pro-
mised to make signals. My wife had the good sense and



62 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the courage to consent to my plan. She, however, ex-
torted from me a promise that we should pass the night
in our tubs, and not on board the ship. We took nothing
with us but our guns and arecruit of powder and shot,
relying that we should find provisions on board.

‘We embarked in silence, casting our anxious looks on
the beloved objects we were quitting. Fritz rowed steadily,
and I did my best to second his endeavours, by rowing
from time to time with the oar which served me for a
rudder. When we had gone some distance, I remarked
a current which was visible a long way. To take ad-
vantage of this current, and to husband our strength
by means of it, was my first care. Little as I knew
of the management of sea affairs, I succeeded in keep-
ing our boat in the direction in which it ran, by which
means we were drawn gently on, till at length the gradual
diminution of its force obliged us again to have recourse
to our oars; but our arms having now rested for
some time we were ready for new exertions. A little
afterwards we found ourselves safely arrived at the cleft
of the vessel, and fastened our boat securely to one of
ita timbers,

Fritz the first thing went to the main deck, where he
found all the animals we had left on board assembled. I
followed him, well pleased to observe the generous impa-
tience he showed to relieve the wants of the poor
abandoned creatures, who, one and all, now saluted us
by the sounds natural to its species. It was not so much
the want of food, as the desire of seeing their accustomed
human companions, which made them manifest their joy
in this manner, for they had a portion of the food and water
we had left them still remaining. We took away what
was half spoiled, and added a fresh supply, that no anxiety
on their account might interrupt our enterprise. Nor did



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 63

we neglect the care of renewing our own strength by a
plentiful repast.

While we were seated, and appeasing the calls of hun-
ger, Fritz and I consulted what should be our first occu-
pation; when, to my surprise, the advice he gave was,
that we should contrive a sail for our boat.—“ You
astonish me, Fritz,” cried I, “ what makes you think of
this at so critical a moment, when we have so many things
of indispensable necessity to arrange?’ —“ True, father,”
said Fritz; “but let me confess that I found it very dif-
ficult to row for so long a time, though I assure you I did
my best, and did not spare my strength. I observed that,
though the wind blew strong in my face, the current still
carried us on. Now, as the current will be of no use in
our way back, I was thinking that we might make the
wind supply its place. Our boat will be very heavy when
we have loaded it with all the things we mean to take
away, and 1 am afraid I shall not be strong enough to
row to land; so do you not think that a sail would be a

‘ good thing just now ?”

“T perceive much good sense in your argument,”’ I re-
plied, “and feel obliged to my privy-counsellor® for his
good advice. The best thing we can do is, to take care
and not overload the boat, and thus avoid the danger of
sinking, or of being obliged to throw some of our stores
overboard. We will, however, set to work upon your
sail; it will give us a little trouble. But come, let us
begin.”

T assisted Fritz to carry a pole strong enough for a
mast, and another not so thick for a sailyard. I directed
him to make a hole in a plank with a chisel, large enough
for the mast to stand upright init. I then went to the
sail-room, and cut a large sail down to a triangular shape :
T made holes along the edges, and passed cords through



64 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

them. We then gota pulley, and with this and some
cords, and some contrivance in the management of our
materials, we produced a sail.

Fritz, after taking observations through a telescope of
what was passing on land, imparted the agreeable tidings
that all was still well with our dear family. He had dis-
tinguished his mother walking tranquilly along the shore.
He soon after brought me a small streamer, which he had
cut from a piece of linen, and which he entreated me to
tie to the extremity of the mast, as much delighted with
the streamer as with the sail itself. He gave to our
machine the name of The Deliverance ; and in speaking
of it, instead of calling it a boat, it had now always the
title of the little vessel.

“But now, father,” said Fritz, looking kindly on me as
he spoke, “as you have eased me of the labour of rowing,
it is my turn to take care of you. I am thinking to make
you a better contrived rudder; one that would enable
you to steer the boat both with greater ease and greater
safety.” —‘ Your thought would be a very good one,”
said I, “ but that I am unwilling to lose the advantage of
being able to proceed this way and that, without being
obliged to veer. I shall therefore fix our oars in such
@ manner as to enable me to steer the raft from either
end.” Accordingly I fixed bits of wood to the stem and
stern of the machine, in the nature of grooves, which
were calculated to spare us a great deal of trouble.

During these exertions the day advanced, and I saw
that we should be obliged to pass the night in our tubs,
without much progress in our task of emptying the vessel.
We had promised our family to hoist a flag as a signal, if
we passed the night from home, and we found the
streamer precisely the thing we wanted for this purpose.

We employed the remnant of the day in emptying the



THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON. 65

tubs of the useless ballast of stones, and putting in their
place what would be of service, such as nails, pieces of
cloth, and different kinds of utensils, &c. &c. The Van-
dals themselves could not have made a more complete
pillage than we had done. The prospect before us of an
entire solitude made us devote our attention to the se-
curing as much powder and shot as we could, as a means
of catching animals for food, and of defending our-
selves against wild beasts. Utensils for every kind of
workmanship, of which there was a large provision in the
ship, were also objects of incalculable value to us. The
vessel, which was now a wreck, had been sent out as a
preparation for the establishment of a colony in the
South Seas, and had been provided with a variety of
stores not commonly included in the loading of a ship.
Among the rest, care had been taken to have on board
considerable numbers of European cattle: but so long a
voyage had proved unfavourable to the oxen and the
horses, the greatest part of which had died, and the
others were in so bad a condition, that it had been found
necessary to destroy them. The quantity of useful things
which presented themselves in the store-chambers made
it difficult for me to select among them, and I much re-
gretted that circumstances compelled me to leave some
of them behind. Fritz, however, already meditated
a second visit; but we took good care not to lose the
present occasion for securing knives and forks, and
spoons, and a complete assortment of kitchen utensils,
In the captain’s cabin we found a little chest filled with
bottles of many sorts of excellent wine, which we put
into our boat. We next descended to the kitchen, which
we stripped of gridirons, kettles, pots of all kinds, a small
roasting-jack, &c. Our last prize was a chest of choice
eatables, intended for the table of the officers, containing
F



66 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Westphalia hams, Bologna sausages, and other savoury
food. I took care not to forget some little sacks of
maize, of wheat, and other grain, and some potatoes. We
next added such implements for husbandry as we could
find ; shovels, hoes, spades, rakes, harrows, &c. &c. Fritz
reminded me that we had found sleeping on the ground
both cold and hard, and prevailed upon me to increase
our cargo by some hammocks, and a certain number of
blankets; and as guns had hitherto been the source
of his pleasures, he added such as he could find of a
particular costliness or structure, together with some
‘sabres and clasp-knives. The last articles we took were
a barrel of sulphur, a quantity of ropes, some small
string, and a large roll of sail-cloth. The vessel appeared
to us to be in so wretched a condition, that the least
tempest must make her go to pieces. It was then quite
uncertain whether we should be able to approach her any
more.

Our cargo was so large, that the tubs were filled to the
very brim, and no inch of the boat’s room was lost. The
first and last of the tubs were reserved for Fritz and me
to seat ourselves in and row the boat, which sank so low
in the water, that if the sea had not been quite calm, we
should have been obliged to ease her of some of the load-
ing: we, however, used the precaution of putting on our
swimming-jackets, for fear of any misfortune.

It will easily be imagined that the day had been labo-
riously employed. Night suddenly surprised us, and we
lost all hope of returning to our family the same evening.
A large blazing fire on the shore soon after greeted our
sight,—the signal agreed upon for assuring us that all
was well, and to bid us close our eyes in peace. We re-
turned the compliment, by tying four lanterns, with lights
in them, to our mast-head. This was answered, on their



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 67

part, by the firing of two guns; so that both parties had
reason to be satisfied and easy.

After offering up-our earnest prayers for the safety of
all, and not without some apprehension for our own, we
resigned ourselves to sleep in our tubs, which appeared
to us safer than the vessel. Our night passed tranquilly
enough: my boy Fritz slept as soundly as if he had been
in a bed: while I, haunted by the recollection of the
nocturnal visit of the jackals, could neither close my eyes
nor keep them from the direction of the tent. I had,
however, great reliance that my valiant dogs would do
their duty, and was thankful to Heaven for having en-
abled us to preserve so good a protection.

Early the next morning, though scarcely light, I
mounted the vessel, hoping to gain a sight of our beloved
companions on shore. While Fritz was preparing a sub-
stantial breakfast of biscuit and ham, the brightness of the
day had come on, and by the aid of a large telescope I dis-
covered my wife coming out of the tent, and looking
attentively towards the vessel, and at the same moment
perceived the motion of the flag upon the shore. A load
of anxiety was thus taken from my heart; for I had the
certainty that all were in good health, and had escaped
the dangers of the night.—“ Now that I have had a sight
of your mother,” said I to Fritz, “my next concern is
for the animals on board; let us endeavour to save the
lives of some of them at least, and to take them with us.”

“Would it be possible to make a raft, to get them all
upon it, and in this way get them to shore?” asked
Fritz.

“But what a difficulty in making it! and how could
we induce a cow, an ass, and a sow, either to get upon a
raft, or, when there, to remain motionless and quiet?
The sheep and goats one might perhaps find means to re-

F2



68 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

move, they being of a more docile temper: but for the
larger animals, I am at a loss how to proceed.”

“ Let us tie a swimming-jacket round the body of each
animal, and contrive to throw one and all into the water ;
you will see that they will swim like fish, and we can
draw them after us.”

“J think your invention is admirable: let us therefore
at once make the experiment.”

‘We hastened to the execution of our design: we fixed
a jacket on one of the lambs, and threw it into the sea.
He sunk at first, and I thought him drowned; but he soon
re-appeared, shaking the water from his head, and in a
few seconds he had learned completely the art of swim-
ming. After another interval, we observed that he
appeared fatigued, gave up his efforts, and suffered him-
self to be borne along by the course of the water, which
sustained and conducted him to our complete satisfaction.
—* Victory!” exclaimed I with delight: “these useful
animals are all our own; let us lose not a moment in
adopting the same means with those that remain, but take
care not to lose our little lamb.” Fritz now would have
jumped into the water to follow the poor creature who was
still floating safely on the surface; but I stopped him till I
had seen him tie on a swimming-jacket. He took with
him a rope, first making a slip-knot in it, and soon over-
taking the lamb, threw it round his neck, and drew him
back to our boat: and then took him out of the water.

‘We next got four small water-butts, emptied them, and
then carefully closed them again, uniting them with a
large piece of sail-cloth, and nailing one end to each cask.
I strengthened this with a second piece of sail-cloth, and
this contrivance I destined to support the cow and the
ass, two casks to each, the animal being placed in the
middle, with a cask on either side. I added a thong of



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 69

leather, stretching from the casks across the breast and
haunches of the animal, to make the whole secure; and
thus, in Jess than an hour, both my cow and my ass were
equipped for swimming.

It was next the turn of the smaller animals: of these
the sow gave us the most trouble: we were first obliged
to put a muzzle on her to prevent her biting ; and then
we tied a large piece of cork under her body. The sheep
and goats were more accommodating, and we had soon
accoutred them for our adventure. And now we had
succeeded in assembling our whole company on the deck,
in readiness for the voyage; we tied a cord to either
the horns or the neck of each animal, and to the other
end of the cord a piece of wood similar to the mode used
for making nets, that it might be easy for us to take
hold of the ropes, and so draw the animal to us, if it
should be necessary. We struck away some more of the
shattered pieces of wood from the fissure of the vessel, by
which we were again to pass. We began our experiment
with the ass, by conducting him as near as possible to the
brink of the vessel, and then suddenly shoving him off.
He fell into the water, and for a moment disappeared ;
but we soon saw him rise, and in the action of swimming
between his two barrels, with a grace which really merited
our commendation.

Next came the cow’s turn: and as she was infinitely
more valuable than the ass, my fears increased in due
proportion. The ass had swum so courageously, that he
was already at a considerable distance from the vessel, so
shat there was sufficient room for our experiment on the
cow. We had more difficulty in pushing her overboard :
but she reached the water in as much safety as the ass
had done before; she did not sink so low in it, and was
no less perfectly sustained by the empty barrels. Accord-



70 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ing to this method we proceeded with our whole troop,
throwing them one by one into the water, where by-and-
by they appeared in a group floating at their ease, and
seemingly well content. The sow was the only exception :
she became quite furious, set up loud squalling, and
struggled with so much violence in the water, that she
was carried to a considerable distance, but fortunately in
a direction towards the landing-place we had in view.
‘We had now not a moment to lose. Our last act was
to put on our cork-jackets ; and then we descended with-
out accident through the cleft, took our station in the boat,
and were soon in the midst of our troop of quadrupeds.
We now perceived how impossible it would have been
for us to have succeeded in our enterprise without the
aid of a sail; for the weight of so many animals sunk the
boat so low in the water, that all our exertions to row to
such a distance would have been ineffectual; while, by
means of the sail, she proceeded completely to our satis-
faction, bearing in her train our company of animals: nor
could we help laughing heartily at the singular appearance
we made. My last act on board the vessel had been to
take one look more at the beloved beings we had left on
land, and I perceived my wife and the three boys all in
motion, and seeming to be setting out on some excursion :
but it was in vain that I endeavoured, by any thing I saw,
to conjecture what their plan might be. I therefore
seized the first moment of quiet to make another trial
with my glass, when a sudden exclamation from Fritz
filled me with alarm.—“ Dear father!’ cried he, “we are
lost! a fish of an enormous size is coming up to the
boat.”—“ And why lost!” said I, half angry, and yet
half partaking of his fright. “Be ready with your gun,
and the moment he is close upon us we will fire upon
- him.” He had nearly reached the boat, anc had seized



THE SWISS FAMILY: ROBINSON. val

the foremost sheep: at this instant Fritz aimed his fire so
skilfully, that the balls of the gun were lodged in the head
of the monster, which was an enormous shark. The fish
half turned himself round in the water and hurried off to
sea, leaving us to observe the lustrous smoothness of his
belly, and that as he proceeded he stained the water red,
which convinced us he had been severely wounded. I
determined to have the best of our guns at hand the rest
of the way, lest we should be again attacked by the same
fish, or another of his species.

The animal being now out of sight, and our fears ap-
peased, I resumed the rudder; and as the wind drove us
straight towards the bay, I took down the sail, and conti-
nued rowing till we reached a convenient spot for our
cattle to land. I had then only to untie the end of the
cords from the boat, and they stepped contentedly on
shore. Our voyage thus happily concluded, we followed
their example.

Thad already been surprised and uneasy at finding none
of my family looking out for us on the shore: but I was
soon relieved by the joyful sounds which reached our
ears, and filled our hearts with rapture. It was my wife
and the youngest boys who uttered them, the latter of
whom were soon close up to us, and their mother followed
not many steps behind, each and all of them in excellent
health, and eager to welcome us back. When the firat
burst of happiness at meeting had subsided, we all sat
down on the grass, and I began to give them an account
2f our occupations in the vessel, of our voyage, and of all
our different plans and their success. My wife could find
no words to express her surprise and joy at seeing so
many useful animals round us; and the hearty affection
she expressed for them increased my satisfaction at the
completion of our enterprise.



42 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“Yes,” said Fritz, a little consequentially ; “for this
once, the privy-counsellor has tried his talents at inven-
tion.”

“‘This, indeed, is very true,” replied I; “in all humi-
lity have I to confess, that to Fritz alone all praise be-
longs, and that to his sagacity it is that we are indebted
for our success.”

Ernest and Jack now ran to the boat, and began to
shout their admiration of the mast, the sail, and the flag,
desiring their brother to explain to them how all the
things they saw had been effected, and what he himself
did of them. In the mean time we began to unpack our
cargo, while Jack amused himself with the animals, took
off the jackets from the sheep and goats, bursting from
time to time into shouts of laughter at the ridiculous
figure of the ass, who stood before them adorned with his
two casks and his swimming apparatus, and braying loud
enough to make us deaf.

Perceiving that no preparations were making for sup-
per on our arrival at the tent, I told Fritz to bring us the
Westphalia ham. The eyes of all were now fixed upon
me with astonishment, believing that I could only be in
jest; when Fritz returned, displaying with exultation a
large ham, which we had begun to cut in the morning.
“A ham!” cried one and all; “a ham! and ready
dressed! What a nice supper we shall have!” said they,
clapping their hands to give a hearty welcome to the
bearer of so fine a treat.—‘ It comes quite in the nick of
time too,” interrupted I; “for to judge by appearances, a
certain careful steward I could name seems to have in-
tended to send us supperless to bed, little thinking, I
suppose, that a long voyage by water is apt to increase
the appetite.”

“TI will tell you presently,” replied my wife, “ what it



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 73

vas that prevented me from providing a supper for you
all at an early hour: your ham, however, makes you ample
amends ; and I have something in my hand with which I
shall make a pretty side-dish.”” She now showed us about
a dozen turtles’ eggs, and then hurried away to make an
omelette of some of them.

“ Look, father,” said Ernest, “if they are not the very
same which Robinson Crusoe found in his island! See,
they are like white balls, covered with a skin like wetted
parchment! ‘We found them upon the sands along the
shore.”

“Your account is perfectly just, my dear boy,” said I:
“by what means did you make so useful a discovery ?”—
“Oh, that is part of our history,” interrupted my wife ;
“for I also have a history to relate, when you will be so
good as to listen to it.’’

“ Hasten then, my love, and get your pretty side-dish
ready, and we will have the history for the dessert. In
the mean time I will relieve the cow and the ass from
their jackets. Come along, boys, and give me your help.”
—I got up, and they all followed me gaily to the shore.
We were not long in effecting our purpose with the cow
and the ass, who were animals of a quiet and kind tem-
per; but when it was the sow’s turn, our success was
neither so easy nor so certain; for no sooner had we un-
tied the rope than she escaped from us, and ran so fast
that none of us could catch her. The idea occurred to
Ernest of sending the two dogs after her, who caught at
her ears, and sent her back, while we were half deafened
with the hideous noise she made; at last she suffered us
to take off her cork-jacket. We now laid the accoutre-
ments across the ass’s back, and returned to the kitchen ;
our slothful Ernest highly delighted that we were likely
in future to have our loads carried by a servant.



74 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

In the meanwhile the kind mother had prepared the
omelette, and spread a table-cloth on the end of the cask
of butter, upon which she had placed some of the plates
and silver spoons we had brought from the ship. The
ham was in the middle, and the omelette and the cheese
opposite to each other; and altogether made a figure not
to be despised by the inhabitants of a desert island. By-
and-by the two dogs, the fowls, the pigeons, the sheep,
and the goats had all assembled round us, which gave us
something like the air of sovereigns of the country. It
did not please the geese and ducks to add themselves to
the number of these our loyal subjects; they deserted us
for a marshy swamp, where they found a great abundance
of little crabs which furnished a delicious food for them,
and relieved us of the care of providing for their support.

When we had finished our repast, I bade Fritz present
our company with a bottle of Canary wine, which we had
brought from the captain’s cabin, and I desired my wife
to indulge us with the promised history.

CHAPTER VI.

Second Journey of Discovery performed by the
Mother of the Family.

“You pretend,” said my wife, with a smile, “to be
curious about my history, yet you have not let me speak
a single word in all this time: but the longer a torrent is
pent up, the longer it flows when once let loose. Now,
then, that you are in the humour to listen, I shall give
vent to a certain little movement of vanity which is flut-
tering at my heart. Not, however, to intrude too long
upon your patience, we will skip the first day of your ab-



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 75

sence, in the course of which nothing new took place, ex-
cept my anxiety on your account, which confined me for
the most part to the spot from whence you embarked,
and from which I could see the vessel. But this morn-
ing, when I was made happy by the sight of your signal,
and had set up mine in return, I looked about, before the
boys were up, in hopes to find a shady place where we
might now and then retire from the heat of the sun; but
I found not a single tree. This made me reflect a little
seriously on our situation. It will be impossible, said T
to myself, to remain in this place with no shelter but a
miserable tent, under which the heat is even more ex-
cessive than without. Courage, then! pursued I; my
husband and my eldest son are at this moment employed
for the general good; why should not I be active and en-
terprising also? why not undertake, with my younger sons,
to do something that shall add some one comfort to our
existence ? I will pass over with them to the other side
of the river, and examine the country respecting which
my husband and Fritz have related such wonders. I will
try to find out some well shaded agreeable spot, in which
we may all be settled. I now cast another look towards
the vessel; but perceiving no sign of your return, I de-
termined to share a slight dinner with the boys, and then
we set out resolutely on a journey of discovery for a habi-
tation better sheltered from the sun.

“In the morning, Jack had slipped to the side of the
tent where Fritz had hung the jackal, and with his knife,
which he sharpened from time to time upon the rock, he
cut some long strips of skin from the back of the animal,
and afterwards set about cleaning them. Ernest disco-
vered him in this uncleanly occupation; and as he is, as
we all know, a little delicate, and afraid to soil his fingers,
he not only refused to give Jack any assistance, but



"6 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

thought fit to sneer a little at the currier-like trade which
he had engaged in. Jack, who, as we also know, has not
the most patient temper in the world, raised his hand to
give him a little cuff. Ernest made his escape, more
alarmed, I believe, by Jack’s dirty hands, than by the ex.
pected blow: while I, for my part, ran to set them right,
and to give a mother’s reproof to both. Jack persisted
that he had a justification full and undeniable in the great
usefulness of the said dirty work; ‘for,’ observed he, ‘it
is intended to make some collars which I shall arm with
spikes, and the dogs will wear them for our defence.’ I
saw in an instant that Ernest had been the aggressor, and
on him fell the reproof: I represented how little a squeam-
ishness like his suited with the difficulties of our situa-
tion, in which one and all were called upon to assist in
any employment that should promise to contribute to the
general good.

“Jack returned to his strips of skin, the cleaning of
which he completed very cleverly. When he had finished
this part of his undertaking, he looked out from the chest
of nails those that were longest and which had the largest
and flattest heads; these he stuck through the bits of
skin intended for the collars, at small distances. He next
cut a strip of sail-cloth, the same breadth as the leather,
and laying it along on the heads of the nails, politely
proposed to me the agreeable occupation of sewing them
together, to prevent the heads of the nails from injuring
the dogs. I begged to be excused; but seeing the good
humour with which he tried to sew them himself, and
that, with all his good-will, it was too hard a task, I re-
warded him by doing it myself.

“ But now having yielded the first time, I found I had
made myself liable to further clains. The next thing
was a belt for himself, which he had manufactured of the



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 77
same materials, and was impatient to see completed, it
being intended to contain his pistols. ‘We shall see,’
said he, strutting about as he spoke, ‘if the jackals will
dare to attack us.’—‘ But, dear Jack, you do not foresee
what will happen ;—a piece of skin not entirely dry is
always liable to shrink when exposed to the heat; so,
after all, you will not be able to make use of it. My
little workman, as I said this, struck his forehead, and
betrayed other marks of impatience,—‘ What you say is
true,’ said he, ‘and I had not well considered ; but I know
of an effectual remedy.’ He then took a hammer and
some nails, and stretched his strips of leather on a plank,
which he laid in the sun to dry quickly ; thus preventing
the possibility of their shrinking. I applauded his inven-
tion, and promised him I would not fail to give you a full
account of his proceedings.

“T next assembled them round me, and informed them
of my plans for an excursion ; and you may believe I heard
nothing like a dissenting voice. They lost not a moment
m preparing themselves ; they examined their arms, their
game-bags, looked out the best clasp-knives, and cheerfully
nndertook to carry the provision-bags; while I, for my
share, was loaded with a large flask of water and a hatchet,
for which I thought it likely we might find a use. I also
took the light gun which belongs to Ernest, and gave him
in return a carbine, which might be loaded with several
balls at once. We took some refreshment, and then sal-
lied forth, attended by the two dogs for our escort. Turk,
who had already accompanied you in the same direction,
seemed well aware that he knew the way, and proceeded
at the head of the party in quality of a conductor.

“ As we advanced, I reflected that our safety depended
in some measure on the two boys, because it was they
only who knew how to use the guns, and I now began to



78 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

feel how fortunate it was that you had accustomed them
from infancy to face danger of every kind. ‘We arrived
at the place at which you had crossed the river, and
succeeded in passing over, though not without difficulty.

“Ernest was the first in reaching the other side. The
little Francis entreated me to carry him on my back,
which was difficult enough. At length we found means
to manage pretty well, thanks to Jack, who relieved me
of my gun and the hatchet. But for himself, finding he
was scarcely able to stand under his added weight, he
resolved to go straight into the water at once, rather than
run the risk of slipping, by stepping on the loose wet
pieces of stone so heavily loaded. I myself had great
difficulty to keep myself steady with the dear little burden
at my back, who joined his hands round my neck, and
leaned with all his weight upon my shoulders. After
having filled my flask with river-water, we proceeded on
our way till we had reached the top of the hill which you
described to us as so enchanting. I continued for some
time to look around and admire in silence ; and for the first
time since the event of our dreadful accident at sea, I
felt my heart begin to open to a sense of enjoyment and
of hope.

“In casting my eyes over the vast extent before me, I
had observed a small wood of the most inviting aspect. I
had so long sighed for a little shade, that I resolved to
bend our course towards it; for this, however, it was
necessary to go a long way through a strong kind of grass,
which reached above the heads of the little boys; an
obstacle which, on trial, we found too difficult to overcome.
We therefore resolved to walk along the river, and turn
at last upon the wood. We found traces of your footsteps,
and took care to follow them till we had come to a place
which seemed to lead directly to it; but here again we



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 79

were interrupted by the height and thickness of the grass,
which nothing but the most exhausting endeavours could
have enabled us to get: through.

“ At this point our attention was arrested by a sudden
noise, and looking about, we perceived a large bird rising
from the thickest part of the grass, and mounting in the
air. Each of the boys prepared to fire, but before they
could be ready, the bird was out of the reach of shot.
Ernest was bitterly disappointed, and instantly exchanged
the gun for the carbine I had given him, crying, ‘ What
pity ! If I had but had the lightest gun! if the bird had
not got away so fast, I should certainly have killed him.
Ob! if one would but come at this very moment!’

“ readiness, this being, as I understand, one of his great
arts ; but as the opportunity is gone, let us look for the
place in the grass from which he mounted; we may judge
at least of his size by the mark he will have left there.’
The boys all scampered away to the place, when suddenly
b second bird, exactly like the first, except that he was a
little larger, rushed out with a great noise and mounted
above their heads.

“The boys remained stupid with astonishment, fol-
lowing him with their eyes without speaking a word, while
for my own part, I could not help laughing heartily. Oh!
such fine sportsmen as we have here! cried I; ‘ they will
never let us be in want of game, I plainly perceive. Ah! if
one would but come at this very moment !’ Ernest, always 8
little disposed to vent uneasiness by crying, now began
to whimper; while Jack, with a curious mixture of tragi-
comic bravery upon his features, his eyes darting upon
the mounting traveller, takes off his hat, makes a profound
bow, and roars out, as if for the bird to hear, ‘Have the
goodness, Mr. Traveller, to indulge me once more with s



80 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

little visit, only for a single minute: you cannot imagine
what good sort of people we are: I entreat that we may
have the pleasure of seeing you once again——~’ We now
minutély examined the place from which the birds had
mounted, and found a kind of large nest formed of dry
plants, of clumsy workmanship; the nest was empty,
with the exception of some broken shells of eggs. I
inferred from this, that their young had lately been
hatched ; and observing at this moment a rustling motion
among some plants of shorter growth, at some distance
from the spot on which we stood, I concluded that the
young covey were scampering away in that direction; but
as the motion soon ceased, we had no longer a guide to
conduct us to their retreat. We next reached a little
wood, where a prodigious quantity of unknown birds were
skipping and warbling on the branches of the trees,
without betraying the least alarm at our vicinity. The
boys wanted to fire on them; but this I absolutely
forbade, and with the less scruple, as the trees were of so
enormous a height as to be out of gun-shot reach. You
cannot possibly form an idea of the trees we now beheld!
‘You must somehow have missed this wood ; or so extraor-
dinary a sight could not have escaped your observation.
What appeared to us ata distance to be a wood was only
in reality a group of fourteen trees, the trunks of which
seemed to be supported in their upright position by arches
on cach side, these arches being formed by the roots of
the trees.

“ Jack climbed with considerable trouble upon one of
these arch-formed roots, and with a pack-thread in his
hand measured the actual circumference of the tree itself,
He found that it measured more than fifteen braches
(the brache is equal to twenty-two inches and a half).
I made thirty-two steps in going round one of those giant



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 81

productions at the roots; and its height from the ground
to the place where the branches begin to shoot may be
about thirty-six braches. The twigs of the tree are strong
and thick ; its leaves moderately large in size, and‘ bearing
some resemblance to the hazel-tree of Europe; but I was
unable to discover that it bore any fruit. The soil imme-
diately round and under its branches produced in great
abundance a short thick kind of plant, unmixed with any
of the thistle kind, and of a perfectly smooth surface.
The large breadth of shade which presented itself, seemed
to invite us to make this spot the place of our repose ;
and my predilection for it grew so strong, that I resolved
to go no further, but to enjoy its delicious coolness till it
should be time to return. I sat down with my three sons
around me. We took out our provision-bags: a charming
stream, formed to increase the coolness and beauty of the
scene, flowed at our feet, and supplied us with a fresh and
salutary beverage. Our dogs were not long in reaching
us; they had remained behind, sauntering about the
skirts of the wood. To my great surprise, they did not
ask for any thing to eat, but lay down quietly, and were
soon asleep at our feet. For my own part, I felt that I
could never tire of beholding and admiring this enchanting
spot ; it occurred to me, that if we could but contrive a
kind of tent that could be fixed in one of the trees, we
might safely come and make our abode here. I had found
nothing in any other direction that suited us so well in
every respect; and I resolved to look no further. When
we had shared our dinner among us, and were resting
after our fatigue, Jack intreated me to finish sewing the
linen strips to his leather belt. The little coxcomb had
80 great an ambition to strut about and exhibit bimself
in this new ornament, that he had taken the trouble to
carry the piece of wood on which he had nailed his skin
G



82 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

along with him through the whole of our expedition. Find-
ing that the skin was really dry, I granted his request,
preferring, since work I must, to do it now when I had the
advantage of being in the shade. When I had finished,
we set out on our return; and on reaching the sea-
shore we found, as I expected, pieces of timber, poles,
large and small chests, and other articles, which I knew
had come from the vessel. None of us, however, were
strong enough to bring them away; we therefore con-
tented ourselves with dragging all we could reach to the
dry sands, beyond the reach of the waves at high water.
Our dogs, meanwhile, were fully employed in catching
crabs, which they drew with their paws to the shore as the
waves washed them up, and on which they made an
excellent repast. I now understood it was this sort of
prey which had appeased their hunger before they joined
us at dinner.

Presently we perceived Flora employed in turning over
& round substance she had found in the sands, some
pieces of which she swallowed from time to time. Ernest
also perceived her motions, and did us the favour, with
his usual composure, to pronounce just these words :—
‘They are turtles’ eggs.’

“Run my children,’ cried I, ‘and get as many of them
as you can; they are excellent, and I shall have the
greatest pleasure in being able to regale our dear travellers
on their return with so new and delicious a dish.” We
found it difficult to make Flora leave the eggs, to which
8he had taken a great fancy. At length, however, we
succeeded in collecting near two dozen of them, which we
secured in our provision-bags. When we had concluded
this affair, we by accident cast our eyes upon the sea, and
to our astonishment perceived a sail, which seemed to be
joyfully approaching towards the land. I knew not what



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 83

to imagine; but Ernest exclaimed that it was you and
Fritz; and we soon had the happiness of being convinced
that he was right! We ran eagerly towards the river,
re-crossed it as before, and soon arrived at the place of
your landing, when we had nothing further to do but to
throw ourselves into your arms!”

“ And you think we could set up a tent in one of those
giant trees at a distance of sixty-six feet from the ground!
And by what means are we to ascend this tree? for at
present I have no clear view of this important part of the
subject.”

I perceived a tear stealing into my wife’s eye, that she
could not prevail upon me to think as she wished of her
discovery, and that I treated the subject of her giant trees
with so little respect.

“Do you recollect,” said she, “the large lime-tree in
the public walk of the town we lived in; and the pretty
little room which had been built among its branches, and
the flight of stairs which led to it? What should hinder
us from effecting such a contrivance in one of my giant
trees, which afford even superior facilities in the enormous
size and strength of their branches, and the peculiar
manner of their growth ?”

“Well, well, we shall see about it. In the mean while,
my boys, let us extract a little lesson in arithmetic from the
subject of these marvellous trees, for this, at least, will be
deriving a real benefit from them. Tell me, learned Mr.
Ernest, how many feet there are in thirty-six braches ? for
that, your mother assures us, is the height of the trees.”

Ernest —To answer this question, I must know first
how many feet or inches the brache contains.

Father—The brache or half-ell, contains one foot ten
inches, or twenty-two inches. Now then make your
calculation.

a 2



84 THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON.

Ernest.—I do not find it so easy as I thought. You
must help me, Fritz: you are older than J am.

Fritz~—With all my heart. First we take thirty-six
braches ; then multiply 36 by 22, the number of inches
each brache contains, and you have 792; divide this by
12, the number of inches in a foot, and it will give us 66
for the number of feet. Is that right, father ?

Father —Yes, quite right. So, my dear wife, you will have
every evening to climb sixty-six feet to get to bed, which,
as we have no ladder, is not the easiest thing imaginable.
Now then let us see how many feet the tree is in cireum-
ference, taking it round theroots. Your mother found that
she walked round it in thirty-two steps. Tell us then,
Ernest, how many feet do you think these thirty-two steps
would make ?

Ernest.— You always ask me the things that I know
nothing at all about; you should tell me, at least, how
many feet there are in a step.

Father —Well, say two feet and a half to each step.

Ernest.—Twice 82 makes 64; the half of 32 is 16;
which added to 64 makes 80 feet.

Father. —Very well. Tell me now, if you recollect the
proper term in geometry for the circumference of a circle,
or say of a tree, since we are talking of trees.

Ernest.—Oh, you may be sure that I could not forget
that it is called the periphery.

Father.—Right. And what is the term for any line
which may be drawn from one point of the periphery to
another, passing through the centre? Now, Jack, you
may show us what a great geometrician you intend to
be.

Jack.—TI believe it is called the diameter.

Father.—So far right. Next, can you tell me what is
the diameter of a periphery of eighty feet, and what dis-



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 85

tance there is between the extremities of the roots of the
giant tree and its trunk ?

The boys all began to reckon, and soon one said one
number, one another, at random; but Fritz called out
louder than the rest, that the distance was twenty-six feet.

Father.—You are pretty near. Tell me, did you make
a calculation, or was it a mere guess P

Fritz. —No, father, not a guess: but I will tell you. In
the town in which we lived, I have often taken notice that
the hatter, when he was about to bind the edge of a hat,
always measured three times the length of the diameter,
and a trifle over, for the quantity of riband he should use.

Father.—So ; height from the ground to the branches,
sixty-six feet; thickness, eight feet in diameter; and
twenty-eight feet distance from the extremities of the
roots to the trunk: they really, with propriety, may be
called giant trees.

‘We now performed our devotions, and retired to rest,
grateful to find ourselves once more together, and in
health. We soon closed our eyes, and enjoyed tranquil
slumbers till break of day.

CHAPTER VII.

Construction of a Bridge.

Wuen my wife and I awoke the next morning, we re-
sumed the question of our change of abode. I observed
to her, that it was a matter of difficulty, and that we
might have reason to repent such a step. “My own
opinion is,” said I, “that we had better remain here,
where Providence seems to have conducted us; the place
is favourable to our personal safety, and is near the vessel,
from which we may continue to enrich ourselves: we are



86 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

on all sides protected by the rocks; it is an asylum in-
accessible but by sea, or by the passage of the river, which
is not easily accomplished. Let us then have patience
yet a little longer at least, till we have got all that can be
removed, or that would be useful to us from the ship.”

My wife replied, that the intense heat of the sands was
insupportable; that by remaining, we lost all hope of
procuring fruits of any kind, and must live on oysters, or
on such wild birds as that we found so unpalatable. “As
for the safety you boast of,” pursued she, “the rocks did
not prevent our receiving a visit from the jackals; nor
is it improbable that tigers or other animals might follow
their example. Lastly, as to the treasures we might
continue to draw from the vessel, I renounce them with
all my heart. We are already in possession of provisions
and other useful things: and, to say the truth, my heart
is always filled with distressing apprehensions, when you
and Fritz are exposed to the danger of that perfidious
element the sea.”

“We will then think seriously of the matter; but let
us have a well-digested scheme of operation before we
leave this spot for your favourite wood. First, we must
contrive a store-house among the rocks for our pro-
visions and other things, to which, in case of invasion in
the wood, we can retreat for safety. This agreed, the
next thing is to throw a bridge across the river, if we are
to pass it with all our family and baggage.”

“A bridge!” exclaimed my wife; “can you possibly
think of such a thing? If we stay while you build a
bridge, we may consider ourselves as fixed for life. Why
should we not cross the river as we did before? The ass
and the cow will carry all we possess upon their backs.”

“But do you recollect, that to keep what they carry
dry, they must not perform their journey as they did from



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 87

the vessel? For this reason, then, if for no other, we
must contrive a bridge. We shall want also some sacks
and baskets to contain our different matters; you may
therefore set about making these, and I will undertake
the bridge, which, the more I consider, the more I find
to be of indispensable necessity ; for the stream will, no
doubt, at times increase, and the passage become im-
practicable in any other way. At this moment it would
be found so for our shortest-legged animals, and I am
sure you would not wish to see them drowned.”

“Well, then, a bridge let there be,” said my wife;
“and you will leave our stock of gunpowder here, I hope ;
for I am never easy with it so near us: a thunder-storm,
or some thoughtless action of one of the boys, might ex-
pose us to serious danger.”

“You are right, my love ; and I will carefully attend to
your suggestion. We will keep on hand only asufficient
quantity for daily use; I will contrive a place in the rock
for the rest, where it will be safe from the chance of fire
or dampness.”

Thus, then, we decided the important question of re-
moving to a new abode ; after which, we fixed upon a plan
of labour for the day, and then roused the boys. Their
delight on hearing of our project may easily be con-
ceived, but they expressed their fear that it would be a
long while before a bridge could be built; a single hour
appearing an age to them, with such a novelty in view as
the prospect of removing to the wood, to live under the
giant trees. They, in the fulness of their joy, entreated
that the place might be called The Promised Land.

We now began to look about for breakfast; Fritz
taking care not to neglect his monkey, who sucked one
of the goats as contentedly as if she had been its mother.
My wife undertook to milk another, and then the cow,



88 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and afterwards gave some of the milk to each of the
children: with a part of what remained she made a sort of
soup with biscuits, and the rest she put into one of the
flasks, to accompany us in our expedition. During this
time, I was preparing the boat for another journey to the
vessel, to bring away a sufficient quantity of planks and
timbers for the bridge. After breakfast we set out; and
now I took with me Ernest as well as Fritz, that we
might accomplish our object in a shorter time.

We rowed stoutly till we reached the current, which
soon drew us on beyond the bay; but scarcely had we
passed a little islet, lying to one side of us, than we per-
ceived a prodigious quantity of sea-gulls and other birds.
I had a curiosity to discover what could be the reason of
such an assemblage of these creatures. I steered for the
spot; but finding that the boat made but little way, I
hoisted my sail.

To Ernest our expedition afforded the highest delight.
He was in ecstasies at seeing the sail begin to swell, and
the motion of the streamer in the air. Fritz, on his part,
did not for a moment take his eyes from the islet where
the birds were. Presently he suddenly exclaimed, “TI see
what it is; the birds are all pecking at a monstrous fish,
which lies dead upon the soil.”

I approached near enough to step upon the land, and
after bringing the boat to an anchor with a heavy stone,
we stole softly up to the birds. "We soon perceived that
the object which had attracted them was in reality an
enormous fish, which had been thrown there by the sea.
So eagerly were they occupied with the feast, that not
one of them attempted to fly off. We observed with
astonishment the extreme voracity of this plumed group:
each bird was so intent upon its prey, that we might have
killed great numbers of them with our sticks alone.



THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 89

Fritz did not cease to express his wonder at the mon-
strous size of the animal, and asked me by what means
he could have got there ?

“I believe,’ answered I, “you were yourself the
means; there is every appearance that it is the very shark
you wounded yesterday. See, here are the two balls
which you discharged at his head.”

“ Yes, yes, it is the very same,” said my young hero,
skipping about for joy: “I well remember I had two balls
in my gun, and here they are, lodged in his hideous
head.”

“I grant it is hideous enough,” continued I; “ its
aspect even when dead makes one shudder; particularly
when I recollect how easy it would have been for him to
have devoured us. See what a huge mouth he has, and
what a rough and prickly skin! one might almost use it
for a file; and his length must be above twenty feet. We
ought to be thankful to Providence, and a little to our
Fritz also, for having delivered us from such a monster!
But let us take away with us some pieces of his skin, for
I have an ides that it may in some way or other be useful
to us. But how to get at him is the difficulty.”

Ernest drew out the iron ramrod from his gun, and by
striking with it to right and left among the birds, soon
dispersed them. Fritz and I then advanced and cut
several long strips of the skin from the head of the shark,
with which we were proceeding to our boat, when I ob-
served, lying on the ground, some planks and timbers
which had recently been cast by the sea on this little
island. On measuring the longest, we perceived they
would answer our purpose; and with the assistance of
the crow and a lever which we had brought with us, found
means to get them to the boat, and thus spare ourselves
the trouble of proceeding to the vessel. With great ex-



Full Text







“The monster raised bis head; bat either because nongiiofthe shots had
touched him, or because the scales of his skin were impenetrable to balls, he
appeared to have received no wound. Frita and I then fired:”

Page 334,
A
2

ROBIE


THE

SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON;

OR,

ADVENTURES

OF
A FATHER AND MOTHER AND FOUR SONS
IN

A DESERT ISLAND,

Hem Evrition,

COMBINING THE FIRST AND SECOND SERIES,
ILLUSTRATED WITH

NOTES AND ENGRAVINGS.

LONDON:

SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.; WHITTAKER AND CO.;
HOULSTON AND STONEMAN; AND SAMPSON LOW.

1852.
LONDON ;
GILBERT & RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
ST. JOHN’S SQUARE,
PREFACE.

Tur first part of the Swiss Family Robinson was published
many years ago, and has ever since that time remained
one of our standard works for the young; it has passed
through fourteen editions, and although of the juvenile
class, is read by persons of all ages with pleasure and in-
struction. The descriptions of the different animals,
their nature and habits, the uses of different planta, and
other natural productions of the earth, are delimeated
with the utmost fidelity. No story can be better caleu-
lated to awaken and reward curiosity, to excite amiable
sympathies, to show the young inquirer after good, that
the accidents of life may be repaired by the efforts of his
own thought, and the constancy of his own industry; and
to rouse the most inert to emulation.

The second portion, more recently published, bids fair
to rival its predecessor in popularity. In its pages the use-
ful, the moral, and the entertaining so naturally mix with
or succeed each other, that every generous taste is suited.
The intense interest of the narrative is fully sustained,

the same regard is paid to virtuous principle throughout,
a2
iv PREFACE.

and the whole is pervaded by a devotional sense of the
goodness of our merciful Creator.

In the present edition the two series are combined in
a single volume. The success which has hitherto attended
the work has induced the publishers to present it in this
condensed form, which, while it omits nothing of import-
ance, nor detracts from the interest of the original, enables
them to offer it at a price, which will place it within the
reach of a still more numerous class of readers.

London, July, 1842.
ADVERTISEMENT,

BY

THE EDITOR.

A Pastor or Clergyman of West Switzerland, having
lost his fortune in the Revolution of 1798, resolved to
become a voluntary exile, and to seek in other climates
the means of support for himself and his family. He
sailed accordingly with his wife and children, four sons,
from twelve to five years of age, for England, where he
accepted an appointment of Missionary to Otaheite ; not
that he had any desire to take up his abode in that island,
but that he had conceived the plan of passing from thence
to Port Jackson, and domiciliating himself there as a free
settler, and no better opportunity of accomplishing his
objects then presented itself. He possessed a considerable
knowledge of agriculture, and by this means hoped, with
the aid of his sons, to gain an advantageous establishment,
which his own country, convulsed with the horrors of war,
denied him. He turned the small remnant of his fortune
into money, and bought with it seeds of various sorts, and
a few cattle asa farming stock. The family took their
passage accordingly, satisfied with this consolation—that
they should still remain together: and they sailed with
favourable winds till within sight of New Guinea. Here
they were attacked by a destructive and unrelenting
tempest ; and it is in this crisis of their Adventures that
the Swiss Pastor begins the Journal which is now prg-
sented to the Public.


SETTLEMENT OF THE SWISS PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY IN THE
DESERT JSLAND.

A. Arcadia. M. Cotton Wood.
B. Sugar-canes. N. Flamingo Marsh.
C. Cabbage Palm Wood. | O. Cascade.

D. Gourd Wood. P. Falcon’s Nest.
E. Bamboos. Q. Palm Cocoa Wood.
F. Pass—Drawbridge. R. Family Bridge.
G. Acorn Wood. S. Root Plantation.
H. Rice Marsh. T. Tent House.

I. Monkey Wood. U. Grotto.

'K. The Farm. V. Marsh.

L. Lake. W. Shark’s Island.
CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE
1, A Shipwreck, and Preparations for Deliverance . . . 1
2. A Landing, and consequent Occupations . . . . IW
3. Voyage of Discovery . : 29
4. Return from the Voyage of Discovery. ~A Nocturnal Alarm . 46
5. Return to the Wreck.—A Troop of Animals in Cork-Jackets 58
6. Second Journey of Discovery performed byt the Mother of the

Family . . : . . - 94
7. Construction of a Bridge : . . . . . - 85
8. Change of Abode. : - 96
9. Construction of a Ladder. —Settling i in the Giant Tree - 106

10. The Sabbath and the Parable . . . . » WW

11. Conversation, a Walk, and Discoveries . . . - 129

12, The Sledge.—Bathing.—The Kangaroo. + 142

13. More Stores from the Wreck.—The Tortoise Harnessed - 152
14. Another Trip to the Wreck.—A New Trade . -. « Il
15. The Cracker and the Pinnace.—A Kitchen Garden. - 169
16. Gymnastic Exercises; Various Discoveries ; Bingeler Ani-

mals, &. . - . I8l
17. Excursion into Unknown Tracts . . . 194
18. Useful Occupations and Labours. Embellishments . - 206
19. A New Domain.—The Troop of Buffaloes. —The Vanquished .

Hero. . 218
20. The Malabar Eagle. —Sago "Manufactory. —Bees « . . + 225
21. Treatment of Bees.—Staircase.—Training of the Buffalo.—

Manufactures, &c. . . 234
22. The Wild Ass.— Difficulty in braking it.The Heath-Fowl’s

Nest. . . - 241
23, Flax ;—and the Rainy Season . . : . . . 251
24. Spring.—Spinning.—Salt-Mine . . ~ + « 288
25. House in the Salt Rock.—New Discoveries . . 270

96. Completion of T'wo Farm-Houses.—A Lake.—The "Beast
with a Bill.---A Bout =. . . . . . 282
Vill CONTENTS.

CHAP. FAGE
27. Anniversary of our Deliverance.—Holiday Rejoicings . « 243
28. Bird-taking.—Molucca-Pigeons.—The Dove-Cot . . 298
29. Return of the Rainy Season.— Winter Occupations. - 310

30. The Whale.—Its Dissection.—Uses of the different Parts . 317
31, Excursion to Prospect Hill—A Turtle Drive —Weaving-

Machine.—Basket-making . 325
32. The Alarm.—The Boa-Constrictor and its Victim. —Serpents
and the Serpent-Eater . . 333

33. The Burial of the Ass, and Stuffing the Skin of the Boa. —
Boa-nesting—Excursion to the Farm-House, and Fresh
Diseoveries . . . . . . oe - 342

34. The Pig-Hunt.—The Otaheitan Roast.—Excursion into the
Savanna.—The Ostrich-Hunt.—The Land Turtles . - 357

35. Discovery of Porcelain Earth, and Pepper.—Excursion of the
Boys on the Savanna.—Their Return and Adventures . 371

36. Ostriches again—A Hunt and a Capture.—The Return to
Felsenheim . . . . 379

37. Taming the Ostrich. —Various Manufactures . . 386

38. Return of the Rainy Season.—The Cajack. —Conchology . 396

39. Adventures of the Boys.—Use of the Air-Pump for Skinning.
—Harvesting . . - 404

40. Trial of the Cajack—The Sea-Cow. —A Storm. —Salmon - 413

41. The Drawbridge.—Sugar and the Sugar-cane.—Adventures

of an Expedition to the Savanna. 424
42. Despatches from the Interior. — Adventures in the Savanna

continued.—Alarming Intelligence . . 436
43. The Redoubt.—Various valuable Discoveries. —-Crocodiles

and Alligators.—Fortification of Shark Island . . 447
44, A General Review of the Colony after Ten Years’ Retablish.

ment . 459
45. Excursion of Fritz. —A Discovery of Pearle. | —Intelligence of

a Fellow-Creature . . 470
46. The Edible Birds’ Nests.—The Pearl- Fishery. — Departure of

Fritz for the Smoking Rock . . 483
47. Our Adopted Sister.—Attack of Wolves. ~Preparation for

Returning Home . : 491
48. Return to Felsenheim.—Fritz’s Narrative, and Emily's 8 His.

tory . . . . . . . . . 500
49. Conclusion . . . ‘ . . . . - 514
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

CHAPTER I.
A Shipwreck, and Preparations for Deliverance.

wee Areapy the tempest had continued six days;
on the seventh its fury seemed still increasing; and the
morning dawned upon us without a prospect of hope, for
we had wandered so far from the right track, and were so
forcibly driven toward the south-east, that none on board
knew where we were. The ship’s company were ex-
hausted by labour and watching, and the courage which
had sustained them was now sinking. The shivered
masts had been cast into the sea; several leaks appeared,
and the ship began to fill. The sailors forbore from
swearing; many were at prayer on their knees; while
others offered miracles of future piety and goodness, as
the condition of their release from danger. “My beloved
children,” said I to my four boys, who clung to me in
their fright, “God can save us, for nothing is impossible
to Him. We must however hold ourselves resigned, and,
instead of murmuring at his decree, rely that what He
sees fit to do is best, and that should He call us from this
earthly scene, we shall be near Him in heaven, and united
through eternity.”
2 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

My excellent wife wiped the tears which were falling
on her cheeks, and from this moment became more tran-
quil; she encouraged the youngest children who were
leaning on her knees ; while I, who owed them an example
of firmness, was scarcely able to resist my grief at the
thought of what would most likely be the fate of beings
so tenderly beloved. ‘We all fell on our knees, and sup-
plicated the God of Mercy to protect us; and the emotion
and fervour of the innocent creatures are a convincing
proof that even in childhood devotion may be felt and un-
derstood, and that tranquillity and consolation, its natural
effects, may at that season be no less certainly experienced.
Fritz, my eldest son, implored, in a loud voice, that God
would deign to save his dear parents and his brothers,
generously unmindful of himself: the boys rose from
their posture with a state of mind so improved, that they
‘seemed forgetful of the impending danger. I myself
. began to feel my hopes increase, as I beheld the affecting
group. Heaven will surely have pity on them, thought I,
and will save their parents to guard their tender years !

At this moment a cry of “Land, Land!” was heard
through the roaring of the waves, and instantly the vessel
struck against a rock with great violence: a tremendous
cracking succeeded, as if the ship was going to pieces:
the sea rushed in, in all directions; we perceived that the
vessel had grounded, and could not long hold together.
The captain called out that all was lost, and bade the men
lose not a moment in putting out the boats. The sounds
fell on my heart like a thrust from a dagger: “We are
lost!” I exclaimed, and the children broke out into
Piercing cries. I then recollected myself, and, addressing
them again, exhorted them to courage, by observing that
the water had not yet reached us, that the ship was near
land, and that Providence would assist the brave. “Keep
THR SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 8

where you are,” added I, “while I go and examine what
is beat to be done.”

I now went on the deck. A wave instantly threw me
down, and wetted me to the skin; another followed, and
then another. I sustained myself as steadily as I could;
and looking around, a scene of terrific and complete dis-
aster met my eyes: the ship was shattered in all direc-
tions, and on one side there was a complete breach. The
ship’s company crowded into the boats till they could con-
tain not one man more, and the last who entered were
now cutting the ropes to move off. I called to them with
almost frantic entreaties to stop and receive us also, but
in vain; for the roaring of the sea prevented my being
heard, and the waves, which rose to the height of moun-
tains, would have made it impossible to return. All hope
from this source was over, for, while I spoke, the boats,
and all they contained, were driving out of sight. My
best consolation now was to observe, that the slanting
position the ship had taken would afford us present pro-
tection from the water; and that the stern, under which
was the cabin that enclosed all that was dear to me on
earth, had been driven upwards between two rocks, and
seemed immovably fixed. At the same time, in the dis-
tance southward, I descried through clouds and rain,
several nooks of land, which, though rude and savage in
appearance, were the objects of every hope I could form
in this distressing moment.

Sunk and desolate from the loss of all chance of human
aid, it was yet my duty to appear serene before my
family : “ Courage, dear ones,” cried I on entering their
cabin, “let us not desert ourselves: I will not conceal
from you that the ship is aground; but we are at least in
greater safety than if she were beating upon the rocks;
our cabin is above water; and should the sea be more

B2
4 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

calm to-morrow, we may yet find means to reach the land
in safety.”

What I had just said appeased their fears, for my family
had the habit of confiding in my assurances. My wife,
however, more accustomed than the children to read my
thoughts, perceived the anxiety which devoured me. I
made her a sign which conveyed an idea of the hopeless-
ness of our situation; and I had the consolation to see
that she was resolved to support the trial with resigna-
tion; “ Let us take some nourishment,” said she; “our
courage will strengthen with our bodies: we shall per-
haps need this comfort to support a long and melancholy
night.”

- Soon after night set in: the fury of the tempest had
not abated ; the planks and beams of the vessel separated
in many parts with a horrible crash. We thought of

‘ the boats, and feared that all they contained must have

sunk under the foaming surge.

My wife had prepared a slender meal, and the four
boys partook of it with an appetite to which their parents
were strangers. They went to bed, and, exhausted by
fatigue, soon were snoring soundly. Fritz, the eldest, sat
up with us: “I have been thinking,” said he, after a long -
silence, “how it may be possible to save ourselves. If
we had some bladders or cork-jackets for my mother and
my brothers, you and I, father, would soon contrive to
swim to land.”

“That is a good thought,” said I; “we will see what
ean be done.”

Fritz and I looked about for some small empty fir-
kins ; these we tied two and two together with handker-
chiefs or towels, leaving about a foot distance between
them, and fastened them as swimming-jackets under the
arms of each child, my wife at the same time preparing
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 5

one for herself. We provided ourselves with knives,
some string, and other necessaries which could be put
into the pocket, hoping that if the ship went to pieces in
the night, we should either be able to swim to land, or be
driven thither by the waves.

Fritz, who had been up all night, and was fatigued with
his laborious occupations, now lay down near his brothers,
and was soon asleep; but their mother and I, too
anxious to close our eyes, kept watch, listening to every
sound that seemed to threaten a further change in our
situation. We passed this awful night in prayer, in
agonizing apprehensions, and in forming various resolu-
tions as to what we should next attempt. We hailed
with joy the first gleam of light which shot through a
small opening of the window. The raging of the winds
had begun to abate, the sky was become serene, and hope
throbbed in my bosom, as I beheld the sun already tinging
the horizon. Thus revived, I summoned my wife and
the boys to the deck, to partake of the scene. The
youngest children, half forgetful of the past, asked with
surprise, why we were there alone, and what had become
of the ship’s company? I led them to the recollection of
our misfortune, and then added, “Dearest children, a
Being more powerful than man has helped us, and will,
no doubt, continue to help us, if we do not abandon our-
selves to despair. Observe, our companions, in whom we
had so much confidence, have deserted us, and that
Divine Providence, in its goodness, has given us protec-
tion! But let us show ourselves willing in our exertions,
and thus deserve support from Heaven. Let us not forget
this useful maxim, and let each labour according to his
strength.”

Fritz advised that we should all throw ourselves into
the sea, while it was calm, and swim to land.—* Ah ! that
6 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

may be well enough for you,” said Ernest, “for you can
swim; but we others should soon be drowned. Would
it not be better to make a float of rafts, and get to land
all together upon it P”’

“Vastly well,” answered I, “if we had the means for
contriving such a float, and if, after all, it were not a dan-
gerous sort of conveyance. But come, my boys, look each
of you about the ship, and see what can be done to ena-
ble us to reach the land.”

They now all sprang from me with eager looks, to do
as I desired. I, on my part, lost no time in examining
what we had to depend upon as to provisions and fresh
water. My wife and the youngest boy visited the animals,
whom they found in a pitiable condition, nearly perishing
with hunger and thirst. Fritz repaired to the ammunition
room; Ernest to the carpenter’s cabin; and Jack to the
apartment of the captain; but scarcely had he opened the
door, when two large dogs sprang upon him, and saluted
him with such rude affection, that he roared for assist-
ance, as if they had been killing him. Hunger, however,
had rendered the poor creatures so gentle, that they
licked his hands and face, uttering all the time a low sort
of moan, and continuing their caresses till he was almost
suffocated. Poor Jack exerted all his strength to drive
them away; at last he began to understand, and to sym-
pathize in their joyful movements, and put himself upon
another footing: he got upon his legs; and gently taking
the largest dog by the ears, sprang upon his back, and
with great gravity presented himself thus mounted before
me, as I came out of the ship’s hold. I could not refrain
from laughing, and I praised his courage: but I added a
little exhortation to be cautious, and not go too far with
animals of this species, who, in a state of hunger, might
be dangerous.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 7

By-and-by my little company were again assembled
round me, and each boasted of what he had to contribute.
Fritz had two fowling-pieces, some powder and small-shot,
contained in horn flasks, and some bullets in bags.

Ernest produced his hat filled with nails, and held in
his hands a hatchet and a hammer; in addition, a pair of
pincers, a pair of large scissors, and an auger, peeped out
at his pocket-hole.

Even the little Francis carried under his arm a box of
no very small size, from which he eagerly produced what
he called some little sharp-pointed hooks. His brothers
smiled scornfully. “Vastly well, gentlemen,” said I;
“but let me tell you that the youngest has brought the
most valuable prize. These little sharp-pointed hooks, as
Francis calls them, are fishing-hooks, and will probably
be of more use in preserving our lives than all we may

find besides in the ship. In justice, however, I must con- —
fess, that what Fritz and Ermest have contributed will ©

also afford essential service.”

“TJ, for my part,” said my wife, “have brought no-
thing ; but I have some tidings to communicate which I
hope will secure my welcome: I have found on board a
cow and an ass, two goats, six sheep, and a sow big with
young: I have just supplied them with food and water,
and I reckon on being able to preserve their lives.”

“All this is admirable,” said I to my young labourers ;
“and there is only master Jack, who, instead of thinking
of something useful, has done us the favour to present us
two personages, who, no doubt, will be principally dis-
tinguished by being willing to eat more than we shall
have to give them.”

“ Ah!” replied Jack, “ but if we can once get to land,
you will see hat they will assist us in hunting and
shooting.”
8 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“True enough,” said I, “ but be so good as to tell us
how we are to get to land, and whether you have con-

trived the means ?”

‘ ®T am sure it cannot be very difficult,” said Jack with
an arch motion of his head. ‘“ Look here at these large
tubs. Why cannot each of us get into one of them, and
float to the land? I remember I succeeded very well in
this manner on the water, when I was visiting my god-
father at S***.”

“Every one’s thought is good for something,” cried I,
“and I begin to believe that what Jack has suggested is
worth a trial: quick, then, boy! give me the saw, the
auger, and some nails; we will see what is to be done.”
I recollected having seen some empty casks in the ship’s
hold: we went down, and found them floating in the
water which had got into the vessel ; it cost us but little
trouble to hoist them up, and place them on the lower
deck, which was at this time scarcely above water. We
saw, with joy, that they were all sound, well guarded by
iron hoops, and in every respect in good condition; they
were exactly suited for the object; and, with the assist-
ance of my sons, I instantly began to saw them in two.
In a short time I had produced eight tubs, of equal size,
and of the proper height. We now allowed ourselves
some refreshment of wine and biscuit. I viewed with
delight my eight little tubs, ranged in a line. I was
surprised to see that my wife did not partake our
eagerness; she sighed deeply as she looked at them:
“ Never, never,” cried she, “can I venture to get into
one of these.”

“Do not decide so hastily, my dear,” said I: “my
plan is not yet complete ; and you will.see presently that
it is more worthy of our confidence than this shattered
vessel which cannot move from its place.”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 9

I then sought for a long pliant plank, and placed my
eight tubs upon it, leaving a piece at each end reaching
beyond the tubs; which, bent upward, would present an
outline like the keel of a vessel: we next nailed all the
tubs to the plank, and then the tubs to each other, as
they stood, side by side, to make them the firmer, and after-
wards two other planks, of the same length as the first,
on each side of the tubs. "When all this was finished, we
found we had produced a kind of narrow boat, divided
into eight compartments, which I had no doubt would be
able to perform a short course in calm water.

But now we discovered that the machine we had con-
trived was so heavy, that with the strength of all united,
we were not able to move {t an inch from its place. I
bid Fritz fetch me 2 crow, who soon returned with it: in
the meanwhile I sawed a thick round pole into several
pieces, to make some rollers. I then, with the crow,
easily raised the foremost part of my machine, while Fritz
placed one of the rollers under it.

“ How astonishing,” cried Ernest, “that this engine,
which is smaller than any of us, can do more than our
united strength was able to effect! I wish I could know
how it is constructed.”

I explained to him as well as I could the power of
Archimedes’ lever, with which he said he could move the
world, if you would give him a point from which his
mechanism might act, and promised to explain the nature
of the operation of the crow when we should be safe on
land.

One of the points of my system of education for my
sons was, to awaken their curiosity by interesting obser-
vations, to leave time for the activity of the imagination,
and then to correct any error they might fall into. I
contented myself now, however, with this general remark,
v

10 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

that God sufficiently compensated the natural weakness
of man by the gifts of reason, of invention, and the
adroitness of the hands; and that human meditation and
skill had produced a science, called mechanics, the object
of which was, to teach us how to make our natural strength
act to an incredible distance, and with extraordinary
force, by the intervention of instruments.

Jack here remarked, that the action of the crow was
very slow.

“Better slow than never, Jack,” replied I. “ Expe-
rience has ever taught, and mechanical observations have
established as a principle, that what is gained in speed is
lost in strength: the purpose of the crow is not to en-
able us to raise any thing rdpidly, but to raise what is
exceedingly heavy; and the heavier the thing we would
move, the slower is the mechanical operation. But are
you aware what we have at our command, to compensate
this slowness ?”

“Yes, it is turning the handle quicker.”

“Your guess is wrong; that would be no compen-
sation : the true remedy, my boy, is to call in the assist-
ance of patience and reason: with the aid of these two
fairy powers I am in hopes to set my machine afloat.”
As I said this, I tied a long cord to its stern, and the
other end of it to one of the timbers of the ship, which
appeared to be still firm, so that the cord being left loose
would serve to guide and restrain it when launched. We
now put a second and a third roller under, and applying
the crow, to our great joy our machine descended into the
water with such a velocity, that if the rope had not been
well fastened, it would have gone far out to sea. But
now & new difficulty presented itself: the boat leaned so
much on one side, that the boys all exclaimed they could
not venture to get into it. I was for some moments in
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 11

the most painful perplexity ; but it suddenly occurred to
me, that ballast only was wanting to set it straight. I
drew it near, and threw all the useless things I could find
into the tubs, so as to make weight on the light side: by
degrees the machine became quite straight and firm in the
water, seeming to invite us to take refuge in its protection.
All now would get into the tubs, and the boys began to
dispute which should be first. I drew them back, and
seeking a remedy for this kind of obstacle, I recollected
that savage nations make use of a paddle for preventing
their canoes from upsetting. I once more set to work to
make one of these.

I took two poles of equal length, upon which the sails
of the vessel had been stretched, and having descended
into the machine, fixed one of them at the head, and the
other at the stern, in such a manner as to enable us to
turn them at pleasure to right or left, as should best
answer the purpose of guiding and putting it out to sea. I
stuck the end of each pole, or paddle, into the bung-hole
of an empty brandy-keg, which served to keep the pad-
dies steady, and to prevent any interruption in the
management of our future enterprise.

There remained nothing more to do, but to find in what’
way I could clear out from the incumbrance of the wreck.
I got into the first tub and steered the head of the
machine, so as to make it enter the cleft in the ship’s
side, where it could remain quiet. I then remounted
the vessel, and sometimes with the saw, and sometimes
with the hatchet, I cleared away, to right and left, every
thing that could obstruct our passage; and, that being
effected, we next secured some oars for the voyage we re-
solved on attempting.

We had spent the day in laborious exertions; it was
already late; and as it would not have been possible to
12 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

reach the land that evening, we were obliged to pass a
second night in the wrecked vessel, which at every in-
stant threatened to fall to pieces. We next refreshed
ourselves by a regular meal; for, during the day’s work,
we had scarcely allowed ourselves to take a bit of bread,
or a glass of wine. Being now ina more tranquil and
unapprehensive state of mind than the day before, we all
abandoned ourselves to sleep; not, however, till I had
used the precaution of tying the swimming apparatus
round my three youngest boys and my wife, in case the
storm should again come on. I also advised my wife to
dress herself in the clothes of one of the sailors, which
were so much more convenient for swimming, or any
other exertions she might be compelled to engage in.
She consented, but not without reluctance, and left us to
look for some that might best suit her size. Ina quarter
of an hour she returned, dressed in the clothes of a young
man who had served as volunteer on board the ship; and
T soon found means to reconcile her to the change, by re-
presenting the many advantages it gave her, till at length
she joined in the merriment her dress occasioned, and
one and all crept into our separate hammocks, where a
delicious repose prepared us for the renewal of our
labours.

CHAPTER II.
A Landing and consequent Occupations.

By break of day we were all awake and alert, for hope
as well as grief is unfriendly to lengthened slumbers.
When we had finished our morning prayer, I said, “We
must now, with the assistance of Heaven, enter upon the
work of our deliverance. The first thing to be done, is
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 13

to give to each poor animal on board a hearty meal; we
will then put food enough before them for several days ;
we cannot take them with us; but we will hope it may
be possible, if our voyage succeeds, to return and fetch
them. Are you allready? Bring together whatever is
absolutely necessary for our wants. It is my wish that
our first cargo should consist of a barrel of gunpowder,
three fowling-pieces, and three carbines, with as much
small-shot and lead, and as many bullets as our boat will
carry ; two pairs of pocket-pistols, and one of large ones,
not forgetting s mould to cast balls in: each of the boys,
and their mother also, should have a bag to carry game in;
you will find plenty of these in the cabins of the officers.””
—We added a chest containing cakes of portable soup,
another full of hard biscuits,an iron pot, a fishing-rod, a
chest of nails, and another of different utensils, such as
hammers, saws, pincers, hatchets, augers, &c., and lastly,
some sail-cloth to make a tent. Indeed the boys brought
so many things, that we were obliged to reject some of
them, though I had already exchanged the worthless bal-
last for articles of use in the question of our subsistence.

When all was ready we stepped bravely each into a tub.
At the moment of our departure the cocks and hens
began to cluck, as if conscious that we had deserted them,
yet were willing to bid us a sorrowful adieu. This sug-
gested to me the idea of taking the geese, ducks, fowls, and
pigeons with us; observing to my wife, that if we could
not find means to feed them, at least they would feed us.

‘We accordingly executed this plan. We put ten hens
and an old and a young cock into one of the tubs, and
covered it with planks ; we set the rest of the poultry at
liberty, in the hope that instinct would direct them to-
wards the land, the geese and the ducks by water, and
the pigeons by the air.
14 THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON.

We were waiting for my wife, who had the care of this
last part of our embarkation, when she joined us loaded
with a large bag, which she threw into the tub that
already contained her youngest son. We then started
in the following order :—

In the first tub, at the boat’s head, my wife, the most
tender and exemplary of her sex, placed herself. In the
second, our little Francis, a lovely boy, six years old, re-
markable for the sweetest and happiest temper, and for
his affection to his parents. In the third, Fritz, our eldest
boy, between fourteen and fifteen years of age, a hand-
some, curlpated youth, full of intelligence and vivacity.
In the fourth was the barrel of gunpowder, with the cocks
and hens, and the sail-cloth. In the fifth, the provisions
of every kind. In the sixth, our third son, Jack, a light-
hearted, enterprising, generous lad, about ten years old.
In the seventh, our second son, Ernest, a boy of twelve
years old, of a rational, reflecting temper, well-informed
for his age, but somewhat disposed to indolence and plea-
sure. In the eighth, a father, to whose care the task of
guiding the machine for the safety of his beloved family
was intrusted. Each of us had useful implements within
reach ; the hand of each held an oar, and near each was a
swimming apparatus, in readiness for what might happen.
The tide was already at half its height when we left the
ship, and I had counted on this circumstance as favourable
to our want of strength. We held the two paddles long-
ways, and thus we passed without accident through the
cleft of the vessel into the sea. The boys devoured with
their eyes the blue land they saw at a distance. We
rowed with all our strength, but long in vain, to reach it;
the boat only turned round and round: at length I had
the good fortune to steer in such a way that it proceeded
in a straight line. The two dogs, perceiving we had
‘HE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 15

abandoned them, plunged into the sea and swam to the
boat ; they were too large for us to think of giving them
admittance, and I dreaded lest they should jump in and
upset us. Turk was an English dog, and Flora a bitch of
the Danish breed. I was in great uneasiness on their
account, for I feared it would not be possible for them to
swim so far. The dogs, however, managed the affair with
perfect intelligence. When fatigued, they rested their
fore-paws on one of the paddles, and thus with little effort
proceeded.

Jack was disposed to refuse them this accommodation,
but he soon yielded to my argument that it was cruel and
unwise to neglect creatures thrown on our protection, and
who indeed might hereafter protect us in their turn, by
guarding us from harm, and assisting in our pursuit of
animals for food. “ Besides,” added I, “ God has given
the dog to man to be his faithful companion and friend.”

Our voyage proceeded securely, though slowly; but the
nearer we approached the land, the more gloomy and un-
promising its aspect appeared. The coast was clothed
with barren rocks, which seemed to offer nothing but
hunger and distress. The sea was calm; the waves,
gently agitated, washed the shore, and the sky was serene
in every direction; we perceived casks, bales, chests, and
other vestiges of shipwrecks, floating round us. In the
hope of obtaining some good provisions, I determined on
endeavouring to secure some of the casks. I bade Fritz
have a rope, a hammer, and some nails ready, and to try
to seize them as we passed. He succeeded in laying hold
of two, and in such a way that we could draw them after
us to the shore. Now that we were close on land, its
rude outline was much softened; the rocks no longer ap-
peared one undivided chain; Fritz, with his hawk’s eye,
already descried some trees, and exclaimed that they were
16 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

palm-trees. Ernest expressed his joy that he should
now get much larger and better cocoa-nuts than he had
ever seen before’. I, for my part, was venting audibly
my regret, that I had not thought of bringing a telescope
that I knew was in the captain’s cabin, when Jack drew
a small one from his pocket, and with a look of triumph
presented it to me. .

The acquisition of the telescope was of great import-
ance ; for with its aid I was able to make the necessary
observations, and was more sure of the route I ought to
take. On applying it to my eye, I remarked that the
shore before us had a desert and savage aspect, but that
towards the left the scene was more agreeable; but when
I attempted to steer in that direction, a current carried
me irresistibly towards the coast that was rocky and
barren.” By-and-by we perceived a little opening be-
tween the rocks, near the mouth of a creek, towards which
all our geese and ducks betook themselves; and I, relying
on their sagacity, followed in the same course. This

opening formed a little bay; the water was tranquil, and
" neither too deep nor too shallow to receive our boat. I
entered it, and cautiously put to shore on a spot where
the coast was about the same height above the water as
our tubs, and where, at the same time, there was a quan-
tity sufficient to keep us afloat. The shore extended in-
land, in something of the form of an isosceles triangle,
the upper angle of which terminated among the rocks,
while the margin of the sea formed the basis.

All that had life in the boat jumped eagerly on land.
Even little Francis, who had been wedged in his tub like
a potted herring, now got up and sprang forward; but,
with all his efforts, he could not succeed without his

' The cocos nucifera, of the order of palma, grows in both the East
and West Indies.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 17

mother’s help. The dogs, who had swam on shore, re-
ceived us, as if appointed to do the honours of the place,
jumping round us with every demonstration of joy ; the
geese kept up a loud cackling, to which the ducks, from
their broad yellow beaks, contributed a perpetual thorough
bass; the cocks and hens which we had already set at
hberty, clucked; the boys chattering all at once, pro-
duced altogether an overpowering confusion of sounds:
to this was added the disagreeable scream of some pen-
guins and flamingoes, which we now perceived; the
latter flying over our heads, the others sitting on the
points of the rocks at the entrance of the bay. Though
we could not avoid making a comparison between the
sounds they uttered, and the harmony of the feathered
musicians of our own country, I had yet one advantage
in perspective ;—it was, that should we hereafter be
short of food these very birds might serve for our sub-
sistence.

The first thing we did on finding ourselves safe on
terra firma, was to fall on our knees, and return thanks
to the Supreme Being who had preserved our lives, and
to recommend ourselves with entire resignation to the
care of his paternal kindness.

‘We next employed our whole attention in unloading
the boat. How rich we thought ourselves in the little
we had been able to rescue from the merciless abyss of
waters! ‘We looked about for a convenient place to set
up a tent under the shade of the rocks; and having all
consulted and agreed upon a place, we set to work. We
drove one of our poles firmly into a fissure of the rock;
this rested upon another pole, which was driven perpen-
dicularly into the ground, and formed the ridge of our tent.
A frame for a dwelling was thus made secure. We next
threw some sail-cloth over the ridge, and stretching it to

c
18 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

a convenient distance on each side, fastened its extremities
to the ground with stakes. Lastly, I fixed some tenter-
hooks along the edge of one side of the sail-cloth in front,
that we might be able to enclose the entrance during
night, by hooking in the opposite edge. The chests of
provisions, and other heavy matters, we had left on the
shore. The next thing was to desire my sons to look
about for grass and moss, to be spread and dried in the
sun, to serve us for beds. During this occupation, in
which even the little Francis could take a share, I erected
near the tent a kind of little kitchen. A few flat stones
I found in the bed of a fresh-water river, served for a
hearth. I got a quantity of dry branches: with the largest
I made a small enclosure round it; and with the little
twigs, added to some of our turf, I made a brisk, cheer-
ing fire. We put some of the soup-cakes, with water,
into our iron pot, and placed it over the flame; and my
wife, with her little Francis for a scullion, took charge of
preparing the dinner.

In the meanwhile, Fritz had been reloading the guns,
with one of which he had wandered along the side of the
river. He had proposed to Ernest to accompany him;
but Ernest replied that he did not like a rough, stony
walk, and that he should go to the sea-shore. Jack took
the road towards a chain of rocks which jutted out into
the sea, with the intention of gathering some of the
muscles which grew upon them.

My own occupation was now an endeavour to draw the
two floating casks on shore, but in which I could not
succeed; for our place of landing, though convenient
enough for our machine, was too steep for the casks.
While I was looking about to find a more favourable
spot, I heard loud cries proceeding from a short distance,
and recognized the voice of my son Jack. I snatched
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 19

my hatchet, and ran anxiously to his assistance. I soon
perceived him up to his knees in water in a shallow, and
that a large lobster had fastened its claws in his leg.
The poor boy screamed pitiably, and made useless efforts
to disengage himself. I jumped instantly into the water ;
and the enemy was no sooner sensible of my approach,
than he Jet go his hold, and would have scampered out to
sea, but I turned quickly upon him, took him up by the
body, and carried him off, followed by Jack, who shouted
our triumph all the way. He begged me at last to let
him hold the animal in his own hand, that he might him-
self present so fine a booty to his mother. Accordingly,
having observed how I held it to avoid the gripe, he laid
his own hand upon it in exactly the same manner; but
scarcely had he grasped it, when he received a violent
blow on the face from the lobster’s tail, which made him
loose his hold, and the animal fell to the ground. Jack
again began to cry out, while I could not refrain from
laughing heartily. In his rage he took up a stone, and
killed the lobster with a single blow. I was a little
vexed at this conclusion to the scene.—“ This is what we
call killing an enemy when he is unable to defend him-
self, Jack ; it is wrong to revenge an injury while we are in
a state of anger: the lobster, it is true, had given you a
bite; but then you, on your part, would have eaten the
lobster. So the game was at least equal. Another time,
I advise you to be both more prudent and more merci-
ful.’—“ But, pray, father, let me carry it to my mother,”
said Jack, fearless now of further warfare; and accord-
ingly he carried it to the kitchen, triumphantly exclaim-
ing, “Mother, mother, a sea libster!—Ernest, a sea
Jobster! Where is Fritz? Take care, Francis, he will
bite you.” Ina moment all were round him to examine
the wonderful creature, and all proclaimed their astonish-
co 2
20 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ment at his enormous size, while they observed that its
form was precisely that of the common lobster so much
in use in Europe.

“Yes, yes,” said Jack, holding up one of the claws:
“you may well wonder at his size: this was the frightful
claw which seized my leg, and if Thad not had on my
thick sea pantaloons, he would have bit it through and
through: but I have taught him what it is to attack me:
I have paid him well.”

“Oh, oh! Mr. Boaster,” cried I, “you give a pretty
account of the matter. Now mine would be, that if I
had not been near, the lobster would have shown you
another sort of game; for the slap he gave you in the
face compelled you, I think, to let go your hold. And it
is well it should be thus; for he fought with the arms with
which nature had supplied him, but you had recourse to
a great stone for your defence. Believe me, Jack, you
have no great reason to boast of the adventure.”

Ernest, ever prompted by his savoury tooth, recom-
mended that the lobster should be put into the soup, which
would give it an excellent flavour: but this his mother
opposed, observing, that we must be more economical
of our provisions, for the lobster of itself would furnish a
dinner for the whole family. I now left them, and
walked again to the scene of this adventure and exa-
mined the shallow; I then made another attempt upon
my two casks, and at length succeeded in getting them
into it, and in fixing them there securely on their
bottoms.

On my return, I complimented Jack on his being the
first to procure an animal that might serve for subsist-
ence, and promised him, for his own share, the famous
claw which had furnished us with so lively a discussion.

“Ah! but Ihave seen something too, that is good to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 21

eat,” said Ernest; “and I should have got it ifit had
not been in the water, so that I must have wetted my
feet-——”

“Oh! that is a famous story,” cried Jack: “TI can tell
you what he saw,—some nasty muscles: why, I would
not eat one of them for the world.—Think of my
lobster !”*

“That is not true, Jack; for they were oysters, and
not muscles, that I saw: I am sure of it, for they stuck
to the rock, and I know they must be oysters.”

“ Fortunate enough, my dainty gentleman,” interrupted
I, addressing myself to Ernest; “since you are so well
acquainted with the place where such food can be found,
you will be so obliging as to return and procure us some.
In such a situation as ours, every member of the family
must be actively employed for the common good; and,
above all, none must be afraid of so trifling an inconve-
nience as wet feet.”

“TT will do my best, with all my heart,” answered Er-
nest; “and at the same time I will bring home some salt,
of which I have seen immense quantities in the holes of
the rocks, where I have reason to suppose it is dried by
the sun. I tasted some of it, and it was excellent.
Pray, father, be so good as to inform me whether this
salt was not left there by the sea?”

“No doubt it was, Mr. Reasoner, for where else do you
think it could come from? You would have done more
wisely if you had brought us a bag of it, instead of spend-
ing your time in profound reflections upon operations so
simple and obvious; and if you do not wish to dine upon
& soup without flavour, you had better run and fetch a
little quickly.”

He set off, and soon returned: what he brought had
the appearance of sea-salt, but was so mixed with earth
22 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and sand, that I was on the point of throwing it away ;
but my wife prevented me, and by dissolving, and after-
wards filtering some of it through a piece of muslin, we
found it admirably fit for use.

“Why could we not have used some sea-water,” asked
Jack, “instead of having all this trouble?”

“So we might,” answered I, “if it had not a somewhat
sickly taste.” While I was speaking, my wife tasted the
soup with a little stick with which she had been stirring
it, and pronounced that it was all the better for the salt,
and now quite ready. “But,” said she, “Fritz is not
come in. And then, how shall we manage to eat our
soup without spoons or dishes? Why did we not re-
member to bring some from the ship ?””—“ Because, my
dear, one cannot think of every thing at once. We shall
be lucky if we have not forgotten even more important
things.”—“ But, indeed,” said she, “this is a matter which
cannot easily be set to rights. How will it be possible
for each of us to raise this large boiling pot to his lips?”

I soon saw that my wife was right. Wee all cast our
eyes upon the pot with a sort of stupid perplexity, and
looked a little like the fox in the fable, when the stork
desires him to help himself from a vessel with a long neck.
Silence was at length broken, by all bursting into a hearty
laugh at our want of every kind of utensil, and at the
thought of our own folly, in not recollecting that spoons
and forks were things of absolute necessity.

Ernest observed, that if we could but get some of the
nice cocoa-nuts he often thought about, we might empty
them, and use the pieces of the shells for spoons.

“Yes, yes,” replied 1; “if we could but get,—but we
have them not; and if wishing were to any purpose, I had
as s00n wish at once for a dozen silver spoons; but, alas!
of what use is wishing?”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 28

' “But at least,” said the boy, “ we can use some oyster-
shells for spoons.”

“Why this is well, Ernest,” said I, “and is what I
call a useful thought. Run then quickly for some of
them. But, gentlemen, I give you notice, that no one of
you must give himself airs because his spoon is without a
handle, or though he chance to grease his fingers in the
soup.”

Jack ran first, and was up to his knees in the water
before Ernest could reach the place. Jack tore off the
fish with eagerness, and threw them to slothful Ernest,
who put them into his handkerchief, having first secured
in his pocket one shell he had met with of a large size.
The boys came back together with their booty.

Fritz not having yet returned, his mother was begin-
ning to be uneasy, when we heard him shouting to us
from small distance, to which we answered by similar
sounds. In a few minutes he was among us, his two
hands behind him, and with a sort of would-be melancholy
air, which none of us could well understand.—“ What have
you brought ?”’ asked his brothers ; “let us see your booty,
and you shall see ours.”—* Ah! I have, unfortunately,
nothing.” —“ What! nothing at all?’’ said I1—*“ Nothing
at all,” answered he. But now, on fixing my eye upon
him, I perceived a smile of proud success through his
assumed dissatisfaction. At the same instant Jack,
having stolen behind him, exclaimed, “A sucking pig! a
sucking pig!’ Fritz, finding his trick discovered, now
proudly displayed his prize, which I immediately per-
ceived, from the description I had read in different books
of travels, was an agouti, an animal common in that
country, and not a sucking pig, as the boys had supposed.
“The agouti,” says M. de Courtills, in his voyage to St.
Domingo, “is of the size of a hare, and runs with the
24 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

same swiftness ; but its form is more like the pig, and he
makes the same grunting noise. He is not s voracious
animal, but is nice in the choice of his food. When his
appetite is satiated, he buries what remains, and keeps it
for another time. He is naturally of a gentle temper ;
but if provoked, his hair becomes erect, he bites, and
strikes the ground with his hind feet like the rabbit,
which he also resembles in digging himself a burrow
under ground: but this burrow has but one entrance ; he
conceals himself in it during the hottest part of the day,
taking care to provide himself with a store of patates and
bananas. He is usually taken by coursing, and some-
times by dogs, or with nets. When it is found difficult
to seize him, the sportsman has only to whistle. As soon
as the agouti hears the sound, he is instantly still, re-
mains resting on his hind feet, and suffers himself to be
taken. His flesh is white, like that of the rabbit; but it
is dry, has no fat, and never entirely loses a certain wild
flavour, which is disagreeable to Europeans. He is held
in great esteem by the natives, particularly when the
animal has been feeding near the sea on plants impreg-
nated with salt. They are therefore caught in great
numbers, and for this reason the species is much dimi-
nished.”—“ Where did you find him? How did you get
at him? Did he make you run a great way ?” asked all
at once the young brothers. I, for my part, assumed a
somewhat serious tone.—“I should have preferred,” ob-
served I, “that you had in reality brought us nothing to
your asserting a falsehood. Never allow yourself, even
in jest, my dear boy, to assert what you know to be an
untruth. By such trifles as these, a habit of lying, the
most disgusting of vices, may be induced. Now then
that I have given you this caution, let us look at the
animal. Where did you find it ?”
{THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 25

Fritz related, that he had passed over to the other side
of the river. “Ah!” continued he, “it is quite different
from this place; the shore is low, and you can have no
notion of the quantity of casks, chests, and planks, and
different sorts of things washed there by the sea. Ought
we not to go and try to obtain some of these treasures ?”
—“ We will consider of it soon,” answered I; “ but first
we have to make our voyage to the vessel, and fetch away
the animals: at least you will all agree, that of the cow
we are pretty much in want.”—“If our biscuit were
soaked in milk, it would not be so hard,’ observed our
dainty Ernest.—%I must tell you too,” continued Fritz,
“that over on the other side there is as much grass for
pasturage as we can desire; and besides a pretty wood, in
the shade of which we could repose. Why then should
we remain on this barren desert side ?’’—“ Patience,”
replied I; “there is a time for every thing, friend Fritz:
we shall not be without something to undertake to-
morrow, and even after to-morrow. But, above all, I am
eager to know if you discovered in your excursion any
traces of our ship companions?”—“ Not the smallest
trace of man, dead or alive, on land or water; but I have
seen some other animals, that more resemble pigs than
the one I have brought you, but with feet more like
those of the hare; the animal I am speaking of leaps
from place to place; now sitting on his hind legs, rubbing
his face with his front feet, and then seeking for roots,
and gnawing them like the squirrel. If I had not been
afraid of his escaping me, I should have tried to catch
him with my hands, for he appeared almost tame.”

We had now notice that our soup was ready, and each
hastened to dip his shell into the pot, to get out a little;
but, as I had foreseen, each drew out a scalded finger,
and it was who could scream the loudest. Ernest was
26 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the only one who had been too cautious to expose himself
to this misfortune: he quietly took his muscle-shell, as
large and deep as a small saucer, from his pocket, and
carefully dipping it into the pot, drew it out filled with as
much soup as was his fair share, and casting a look of
exultation on his brothers, he set it down till it should
be cold enough to eat.

“You have taken good care of yourself, I perceive,”
said. “But now answer me, dear boy, is the advantage
worth the pains you take to be better off than your com-
panions? Yet this is the constant failing in your cha-
racter. As your best friend, I feel it my duty to dis-
appoint you of the expected prize; I therefore adjudge
your dish of delicious soup to our faithful followers, Turk
and Flora. For ourselves, we will all fare alike; we will
simply dip our shells into the pot till hunger is appeased ;
but the picked dish for the dogs, Emest: and all the
rest alike!”

This gentle reproach sunk, I perceived, into his heart ;
he placed the shell, filled with soup, upon the ground,
and in an instant the dogs had licked up every drop.
We on our parts were as ready as they, and every eye
was fixed on the pot, watching for the steam to subside
a little, that we might begin dipping; when, on looking
round, we saw Turk and Flora standing over the agouti,
gnawing and tearing him fiercely with their teeth and
paws. The boys all screamed together: Fritz seized his
gun, and struck them with it; called them the unkindest
names, threw stones at them, and was so furious, that if
I had not interfered, it is probable he would have killed
them. He had already bent his gun with the blows he
had given them, and his voice was raised so high as to
be re-echoed from the rocks.

‘When he had grown a little cool, I seriously remon-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 27

strated with him on his violence of temper. I re-
presented to him what distress he had occasioned his
mother and myself for the event of a rage so alarming ;
that his gun, which might have been so useful, was now
spoiled; and that the poor animals, upon whose assist-
ance we should probably so much depend, he had, no
doubt, greatly injured. “Anger,” continued I, “is
always a bad counsellor, and may even lead the way to
crimes: you are not ignorant of the history of Cain,
who in a moment of violent anger killed his brother.” —
“Say no more, my dearest father,” interrupted Fritz in a
tone of horror. ‘‘ Happy am I to recollect, on this occa-
sion,” resumed. I, “that it was not human creatures you
treated thus. But an angry person never reasons; he
scarcely knows whom he attacks. The most convincing
proof of this is, that you just now fell upon two dumb
animals, incapable of judgment, and who most likely
thought that your agouti was placed there, as the soup
had been before, for them to eat. Confess, too, that it
was vanity which excited the furious temper you ex-
hibited. If another than yourself had killed the agouti,
you would have been more patient under the accident.”
Fritz agreed that I was right, and, half drowned in tears,
entreated my forgiveness.

Soon after we had taken our meal, the sun began to
sink into the west. Our little flock of fowls assembled
round us, pecking here and there what morsels of our
biscuit had fallen on the ground.—Just at this moment
my wife produced the bag she had so mysteriously hud-
dled into the tub. Its mouth was now opened; it con-
tained the various sorts of grain for feeding poultry—
barley, peas, oats, &., and also different kinds of seeds
and roots of vegetables for the table. In the fulness of
her kind heart she scattered several handfuls at once
28 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

upon the ground, which the fowls began eagerly to seize.
I complimented her on the benefits her foresight had
secured for us; but I recommended a more sparing use
of so valuable an acquisition, observing, that the grain, if
kept for sowing, would produce a harvest, and that we
could fetch from the ship spoiled biscuit enough to feed
the fowls. Our pigeons sought a roosting-place among
the rocks; the hens, with the two cocks at their head,
ranged themselves in a line along the ridge of the tent;
and the geese and ducks betook themselves in a body,
cackling and quacking as they proceeded, to a marshy bit
of ground near the sea, where some thick bushes afforded
them shelter.

A little later, we began to follow the example of our
winged companions, by beginning our preparations for
repose. First, we loaded our guns and pistols, and laid
them carefully in the tent: next, we assembled together
and joined in offering up our thanks to the Almighty for
the succour afforded us, and supplicating his watchful care
for our preservation. With the last ray of the sun we
entered our tent, and, after drawing the sail-cloth over
the hooks, to close the entrance, we laid ourselves down
close to each other on the grass and moss we had col-
lected in the morning.

The children observed, with surprise, that darkness
came upon us all at once; that night succeeded to day
without an intermediate twilight—*This,” replied I,
“makes me suspect that we are not far from the equator,
or at least between the tropics, where this is of ordinary
occurrence ; for the twilight is occasioned by the rays
of the sun being broken in the atmosphere; the more
obliquely they fall, the more their feeble light is extended
and prolonged; while on the other hand, the more per-
pendicular the rays, the less their declination: con-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 29

sequently the change ‘from day to night is much more
sudden when the sun is under the horizon.”

I looked once more out of the tent to see if all was
quiet around us. The old cock, awaking at the rising of
the moon, chanted our vespers, and then I lay down to
sleep. In proportion as we had been during the day
oppressed with heat, we were now in the night incon-
venienced by the cold, so that we clung to each other for
warmth. A sweet sleep began to close the eyes of my
beloved family ; I endeavoured to keep awake till I was
sure my wife’s solicitude had yielded to the same happy
state, and then I closed my own. Thanks to the fatigue
we had undergone, our first night in the desert island
was very tolerably comfortable.

CHAPTER ITI.

Voyage of Discovery.
I was roused at the dawn of day by the crowing of the
cocks. I awoke my wife, and we consulted together as
to the occupations we should engage in. We agreed that
we should seek for traces of our late ship companions, and
at the same time examine the nature of the soil on the
other side of the river, before we determined on a fixed
place of abode—My wife easily perceived that such an
excursion could not be undertaken by all the members of
the family ; and full of confidence in the protection of
Heaven, she courageously consented to my proposal of
leaving her with the three youngest boys, and proceeding
myself with Fritz on a journey of discovery. I begged
her to prepare some breakfast for us, while I awoke the
Children. They were soon roused, and when I asked
Jack for his lobster, he ran and fetched it from a cleft in
80 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the rock, in which he had concealed it: “I was deter-
mined,” said he, “that the dogs should not treat my
lobster as they did the agouti, for I knew them for a sort
of gentlemen to whom nothing comes amiss.”—“T am
glad to see, Jack,” said I, “that that giddy head upon
your shoulders can be prevailed upon to reflect. ‘Happy
is he who knows how to profit by the misfortunes of
others,’ says the proverb. But will you not give Fritz
the great claw, to carry with him for his dinner in our
journey ?”

“What journey ?” asked all the boys at once.—“ Ah!
we will go too: a journey! a journey!” repeated they,
clapping their hands, and jumping round me like little
kids. “For this time,” said I, “it is impossible for all
of you to go; we know not yet what we are to set about,
nor whither we are going. Your eldest brother and my-
self shall be better able to defend ourselves in any danger
without you; besides that with so many persons we could
proceed but slowly. You will then all three remain with
your mother in this place, which appears to be one of
perfect safety, and you shall keep Flora to be your guard,
while we will take Turk with us. With such a protector,
and a gun well loaded, who shall dare treat.us with dis-
*, respect? Make haste, Fritz, and tie up Flora, that she
may not follow us; and have your eye on Turk, that he
may be at hand to accompany us; and see the guns are
ready.”

At the word guns, the colour rose in the cheeks of my
poor boy. His gun was so bent as to be of no use; he
took it up and tried in vain to straighten it: I let him
alone for a short time: but at length I gave him leave to
take another, perceiving with pleasure that the vexation
had produced a proper feeling in his mind. A moment
after, he attempted to lay hold of Flora to tie her up; but
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. $1

the dog, recollecting the blows she had so lately received,
began to snarl, and would not go near him. Turk
behaved the same, and I found it necessary to call
with my own voice, to induce them to approach us.
Fritz, then, in tears entreated for some biscuit of his
mother, declaring that he would willingly go without his
breakfast to make his peace with the dogs: he accordingly
carried them some biscuit, stroked and caressed them,
and in every motion seemed to ask their pardon. As of
all animals, without excepting man, the dog is least
addicted to revenge, and at the same time is the most
sensible of kind usage, Flora instantly relented, and began
to lick the hands which fed her; but Turk, who was of a
more fierce and independent temper, still held off, and
seemed to feel a want of confidence in Fritz’s advances.
-— Give him a claw of my lobster,” cried Jack, “for I
mean to give it all to you for your journey.”

“I cannot think why you should give it at all,” in-
terrupted Ernest, “for you need not be uneasy about
their journey. Like Robinson Crusoe, they will be sure
enough to find some cocoa-nuts, which they will like
much better than your miserable lobster: only think, a
fine round nut, Jack, as big as my head, and with at least
a teacup-full of delicious sweet milk in it!”

“Oh! brother Fritz, pray do bring me some,” cried
little Francis.

We now prepared for our departure: we took each a
bag for game, and a hatchet: I put a pair of pistols in
the leather band round Fritz’s waist, in addition to the
gun, and provided myself with the same articles, not
forgetting a stock of biscuit and a flask of fresh river
water. My wife now called us to breakfast, and we all
attacked the lobster; but its flesh proved so hard, that
there was a great deal left when our meal was finished,
32 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and we packed it for our journey without further regret
from any one. The sea-lobster is an animal of consider-
able size, and its flesh is much more nutritious, but less
delicate, than the common lobster.

Fritz urged me to set out before the excessive heat
came on.—“ With all my heart,” said I, “but we have
forgot one thing.” —“ What is that?” asked Fritz, look-
ing round him; “I see nothing to do but to take leave of
my mother and my brothers.” —‘* I know what it is,” cried
Ernest ; “we have not said our prayers this morning.” —
“That is the very thing, my dear boy,” saidI. “ We are
too apt to forget God, the Giver of all, for the affairs of
this world: and yet never had we so much need of his
care, particularly at the moment of undertaking a journey
in an unknown soil.”

Upon this our pickle, Jack, began to imitate the sound
of church bells, and to call “Bome! bome! bidi bome!
To prayers, to prayers, bome, bome!’’— Thoughtless
boy!” cried I, with a look of displeasure, “ when will you
be sensible of that sacredness in devotion that banishes
for the time every thought of levity or amusement ?
Recollect yourself, and let me not have again to reprove
you on a subject of so grave a nature.”

In about an hour we had completed the preparations
for our departure. I had loaded the guns we left behind,
and I now enjoined my wife to keep by day as near the .
boat as possible, which in case of danger was the best and
most speedy means of escape. My next concern was to
shorten the moment of separation, judging by my own
feelings those of my dear wife; for neither could be
without painful apprehensions of what new misfortune
might occur on either side during the interval. In the
midst of our adieus I drew Fritz away, and we were
soon approaching the sea-shore where we turned our
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 33

thoughts upon ourselves and the immediate object of our
journey.

The banks of the river were every where steep and
difficult, excepting at one narrow slip near the mouth on
our side, where we had drawn our fresh water. The other
side presented an unbroken line of sharp, high, perpendi-
cular rocks, We therefore followed the course of the
river till we arrived at a cluster of rocks at which the
stream formed a cascade: a few paces beyond, we found
some large fragments of rock which had fallen into the
bed of the river; by stepping upon these, and making
now and then some hazardous leaps, we contrived to reach
the other side. We proceeded a short way along the
rock we had ascended in landing, forcing ourselves a pas-
sage through tall grass, which twined with other plants,
and was rendered more capable of resistance by being
half dried by the sun. Perceiving, however, that walking
on this kind of surface in so hot a sun would exhaust our
strength, we looked for a path to descend and proceed along
the river, where we hoped to meet with fewer obstacles,
and perhaps to discover traces of our ship companions.

When we had walked about a hundred paces, we heard
aloud noise behind us, as if we were pursued, and per-
ceived a rustling motion in the grass, which was almost
as tall as ourselves. I was a good deal alarmed, thinking
that it might be occasioned by some frightful serpent, a
tiger, or other ferocious animal. But I was well satisfied
with Fritz, who, instead of being frightened, and running
away, stood still and firm to face the danger, the only
motion he made being to see that his piece was ready,
and turning himself to front the spot from whence the
noise proceeded. Our alarm was, however, short ; for what
was our joy on seeing rush out, not an enemy, but our
faithful Turk, whom in the moment of parting we had

D
34 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

forgotten, and whom no doubt our anxious relatives had
sent on to us! Ireceived the poor creature with lively
joy, and did not fail to commend both the bravery and
discretion of my son, in not yielding to even a rational
alarm, and for waiting till he was sure of the object be-
fore he resolved to fire: had he done otherwise, he might
have destroyed an animal likely to afford us various kinds
of aid, and to contribute by the kindness of his temper to
the pleasure of our domestic scene.—‘“ Observe, my dear
boy,” said I, “to what dangers the tumult of the passions
exposes us: the anger which overpowered you yesterday,
and the terror natural to the occasion we have this mo-
ment witnessed, if you had unfortunately given way to it,
might either of them have produced an irretrievable mis-
fortune.”

Fritz assured me he was sensible of the truth and im-
portance of my remarks: that he would watch constantly
over the defects of his temper ; and then he fell to caress-
ing the faithful and interesting animal.

Conversing on such subjects, we pursued our way. On
our left was the sea, and on our right the continuation of
the ridge of rocks which began at the place of our landing,
and ran-along the shore, the summit every where adorned _
with fresh verdure and a great variety of trees, We
were careful to proceed in a course as near the shore as
possible, casting our eyes alternately upon its smooth ex-
panse and upon the land in all directions to discover our
ship companions, or the boats which had conveyed them
from us; but our endeavours were in vain.

Fritz proposed to fire his gun from time to time, that,
should they be any where concealed near us, they might
thus be led to know of our pursuit.

“This would be vastly well,” I observed, “if you could
contrive that the savages, who are most likely not far dis-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 35

tant, should not hear the sound, and come in numbers
upon us.”—“T am thinking, father,” interrupted Fritz,
“that there is no good reason why we should give our-
selves so much trouble and uneasiness about persons who
abandoned us so cruelly, and thought only of their own
safety.”’

“There is not only one good reason, but many,” re-
plied I: “first, we should not return evil for evil: next,
it may be in their power to assist us; and lastly, they
are perhaps at this moment in the greatest want of as-
sistance. It was their lot to escape with nothing but life
from the ship, if indeed they are still alive, while we had
the good fortune to secure provisions enough for present
subsistence, to a share of which they are as fully entitled
as ourselves.”

“ But, father, while we are wandoring here, and losing
our time almost without a hope of benefit to them, might
we not be better employed in returning to the vessel, and
saving the animals on board P?”

“When a variety of duties present themselves for our
choice, we should always give the preference to that which
can confer the most solid advantage. The saving of the
life of a man is a more exalted action than the contribut-
ing to the comfort of a few quadrupeds, whom we have
already supplied with food for several days; particularly
as the sea is in so calm a state, that we need entertain no
apprehension that the ship will sink or go entirely to
pieces just at present.”

My son made no reply to what I said, and we seemed
by mutual consent to take a few moments for reflection.

When we had gone about two leagues, we entered a
wood situated a little further from the sea: here we threw
ourselves on the ground, under the shade of a tree, by
the side of a clear running stream, and took out some

D2
36 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

provisions and refreshed ourselves. We heard the chirp-
ing, singing, and motion of birds in the trees, and ob-
served, as they now and then came out to view, that they
were more attractive by their splendid plumage than by
any charm of note. Fritz assured me that he had caught
a glimpse of some animals like apes among the bushes,
and this was confirmed by the restless movements of
Turk, who began to smell about him, and to bark so loud
that the wood resounded with the noise. Fritz stole
softly about, and presently stumbled on a small round
body which lay on the ground: he brought it to me, ob-
serving that it must be the nest of some bird—‘< What
makes you of that opinion?” said I. “It is, I think,
much more like a cocoa-nut.”

“ But I have read that there are some kinds of birds,
which build their nests quite round: and look, father,
how the outside is crossed and twined.”

“ But do you not perceive that what you take for straws
crossed and twined by the beak of a bird, is in fact a coat.
of fibres formed by the hand of Nature? Do you not
remember to have read, that the nut of a cocoa-shell is
enclosed within a round, fibrous covering, which again is
surrounded by a skin of a thin and fragile texture? I
see that in the one you hold in your hand, this skin has |
been destroyed by time, which is the reason that the
twisted fibres (or inner covering) are so apparent: but
now let us break the shell, and you will see the nut in-
side.”

‘We soon accomplished this; but the nut, alas! from
lying on the ground, had perished, and appeared but little
different from a bit of dried skin, and not the least in-
viting to the palate.

Fritz was much amused at this adventure. “How I
wish Ernest could have been here!” cried he. “How he
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 87

envied me the fine large cocoa-nuts I was to find, and the
whole teacup-full of sweet delicious milk which was to
spring out upon me from the inside !—But, father, I my-
self believed that the cocoa-nut contained a sweet refresh-
ing liquid, a little like the juice of almonds ; travellers
surely tell untruths!”’

“Travellers certainly do sometimes tell untruths, but
not, I believe, on the subject of cocoa-nuts which, it is
well known, contain the liquid you describe, just before
they are ina state of ripeness. It is the same with our
European or hazel nuts, with a difference of quantity ; and
also that in the unripe state they contain only a pith of a
sub-acid taste: one property, however, is common to both,
that as the nut passes maturity, the milk diminishes, by
thickening, and becoming the same substance as the nut.
If you put a ripe nut a little way under the earth, ina
good soil, the kernel will shoot and burst the shell: but
if it remain above ground, or in a place that does not
suit its nature, the principle of vegetation is extinguished
by internal fermentation, and the nut perishes as you
have seen.”

“TJ am now surprised that this principle is not extin-
guished in every nut; for the shell is so hard it seems
impossible for a softer substance to break it.”

“ The peach-stone is no less hard; the kernel, notwith-
standing, never fails to break it, if it is placed in a well-
nurtured soil.”

“Now I begin to understand. The peach-stone is di-
vided into two parts, like a muscle-shell; it has a kind of
seam round it, which separates of itself when the kernel
is swelled by moisture: but the cocoa-nut in my hand is
not so divided, and I cannot conceive of its separating.”

“T grant that the cocoa-nut is differently formed ; but
you may see by the fragments you have just thrown on
88 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the ground, that Nature has in another manner stepped
in to its assistance. Look near the stalk, and you will
discover three round holes, which are not, like the rest of.
its surface, covered with a hard impenetrable shell, but
are stopped by a spongy kind of matter; it is through
these that the kernel shoots.”

“Now, father, I have the fancy of gathering all the
pieces together and giving them to Ernest, and telling
these particulars: I wonder what he will say about it,
and how he will like the withered nut ?”

“ Now the fancy of your father, my dear boy, would be
to find you without so keen a relish for a bit of mischief.
Joke with Ernest, if you will, about the withered nut;
but I should like to see you heal the disappointment he
will feel by presenting him at last with a sound and per-
fect nut, provided we should have one to spare.”

After looking for some time, we had the good luck to
meet with one single nut. We opened it, and finding it
sound, we sat down and ate it for our dinner, by which
means we were enabled to husband the provisions we had
brought. The nut, it is true, was a little oily and rancid ;
yet, as this was not a time to be nice, we made a hearty
meal, and then continued our route. We did not quit the
wood, but pushed our way across it, being often obliged to
cut a path through the bushes, overrun by creeping plants.
At length we reached a plain, which afforded a more ex-
tensive prospect, and a path less perplexed and intricate.

We next entered a forest to the right, and soon ob-
served that some of the trees were of a singular kind.
Fritz, whose sharp eye was continually on o journey of
discovery, went up to examine them closely. “ Father,
what odd trees, with wens growing all about their trunks!”
T had soon the surprise and satisfaction of assuring him
_ that they were bottle gourds, the trunks of which bear
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 39

fruit. Fritz, who had never heard of such a plant, could
not conceive the meaning of what he saw, and asked me
if the fruit was a sponge or a wen.—“ We will see,”’ I re-
plied, “if I cannot unravel the mystery. Try to get down
one of them, and we will examine it minutely.”

“T have got one,” cried Fritz, “and it is exactly like a
gourd, only the rind is thicker and harder.”

“Tt then, like the rind of that fruit, can be used for
making various utensils,” observed I; “plates, dishes,
basing, flasks. We will give it the name of the gourd-
tree.”

Fritz jumped for joy.—“ How happy my mother will
be!” cried he in ecstasy; “she will no longer have the
vexation of thinking, when she makes soup, that we shall
all scald our fingers.”

“What, my boy, do you think is the reason that this
tree bears its fruit only on the trunk and on its topmost
branches ?”

“TI think it must be because the middle branches are
too feeble to support such a weight.”

“You have guessed exactly right.”

“ But are these gourds good to eat P”

“ At worst they are, I believe, harmless; but they have
not a very tempting flavour. The negro savages set as
much value on the rind of this fruit as on gold, for its use
to them is indispensable. These rinds serve them to keep
their food and drink in, and sometimes they even cook
their victuals in them.”

“Oh, father! it must be impossible to cook their vic-
tuals in them, for the heat of fire would soon consume
such a substance.”

“TI did not say the rind was put upon the fire. When
it is intended to dress food in one of these rinds, the pro-
cess is, to cut the fruit into two equal parts, and scoop
40 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

out the inside; some water is put into one of the halves,
and into the water some fish, a crab, or whatever else is
to be dressed: then some stones, red hot, beginning with
one at a time, are thrown in, which impart sufficient heat
to the water to dress the food, without the smallest injury
to the pot.”

We next proceeded to the manufacture of our plates
and dishes. I taught my son how to divide the gourd
with a bit of string, which would cut more equally than a
knife ; I tied the string round the middle of the gourd as
tight as possible, striking it pretty hard with the handle
of my knife, and I drew tighter and tighter till the gourd
fell apart, forming two regular-shaped bowls or vessels;
while Fritz, who had used a knife for the same operation,
had entirely spoiled his gourd by the irregular pressure of
his instrument. I recommended his making some spoons
with the spoiled rind, as it was good for no other purpose.
I, on my part, had soon completed two dishes of conve-
nient size, and some smaller ones to serve as plates.

Fritz was in the utmost astonishment at my success.
“I cannot imagine, father,” said he, “how this way of
cutting the gourd could occur to you!”

“T have read the description of such a process,” replied
I, “in books of travels; and also that such of the savages
as have no knives, and who make a sort of twine from
the bark of trees, are accustomed to use it for this kind of
purpose.”

“And the flasks, father; in what manner are they
made?”

“For this branch of their ingenuity they make prepa-
ration a long time beforehand. If a negro wishes to have
a flask, or bottle with a neck, he binds a piece of string,
linen, or*bark of a tree, or any thing he can get, round
the part nearest the stalk of a very young gourd; he
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 41

draws this bandage so tight, that the part at liberty soon
forms itself to a round shape, while the part which is
confined contracts, and remains ever after narrow. By
this method it is that they obtain flasks or bottles of a
perfect form.”

“ Are then the bottle-shaped gourds I have seen in
Europe trained by a similar preparation ?”

“No, they are of another species, and what you have
seen is their natural shape.”

Our conversation and our labour thus went on together.
Fritz had completed some plates, and was not a little
proud of the achievement. “Ah, how delighted my mo-
ther will be to eat upon them!” cried he. “But how
shall we convey them to her? They will not, I fear, bear
travelling well.”

“We must leave them here on the sand for the sun to -
dry them thoroughly ; this will be accomplished by the
time of our return this way, and we can then carry them
with us; but care must be taken to fill them with sand,
that they may not shrink or warp with the excessive heat.”
My boy did not dislike this task; for he had no great
wish to carry such a load on our journey of further dis-
covery. Our sumptuous service of porcelain was accord-
ingly spread upon the ground, and for the present aban-
doned to its fate.

We amused ourselves, as we proceeded, in endeavour-
ing to fashion some spoons from the fragments of the
gourd-rinds ; but in the mean time we did not neglect the
great object of our pursuit,—the making every practicable
search for our ship companions. But our endeavours,
alas! were all in vain.

After a walk of about four leagues in all, we arrived at
4 spot where a slip of land reached far out into the sea,
on which we observed a rising piece of ground or hill.
42 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

‘We determined to ascend it, concluding we should obtain
a clear view of all adjacent parts, which would save us the
fatigue of further rambles. We accordingly accomplished
the design.

We did not reach the top of the hill without some diffi-
culty; but when there, we beheld a scene of wild and
solitary beauty, comprehending a vast extent of land and
water. The shore, rounded by a bay of some extent, the
bank of which ended in a promontory on the further side ;
the agreeable blue tint of its surface: the sea, gently
agitated by waves in which the rays of the sun were re-
flected ; the woods, of variegated hues and verdure, formed
altogether a picture of such magnificence, of such new
and exquisite delight, that if the recollection of our un-
fortunate companions, engulfed perhaps in this very ocean,
had not intruded to depress our spirits, we should have
yielded to the ecstasy the scene was calculated to inspire.
It was however in vain that we used our telescope in all
directions; no trace of man appeared; and, from this
moment, we began to lose even the feeble hope we had
entertained. We, however, became but the more sen-
sible of the goodness of the Divine Being, in the special
protection afforded to ourselves, in conducting us to a
home where there was no present cause for fear of dan-
ger from without, where we had not experienced the want
of food, and where there was a prospect of future safety
for us all. We had encountered no venomous or ferocious
animals; and, as far as our sight could yet reach, we were
not threatened by the approach of savages. I remarked
to Fritz, that we seemed destined to a solitary life, and
that it was a rich country which appeared to be allotted
us for a habitation ;—“ at least, my son, our habitation it
must be, unless some vessel should happen to put on
shore on the same coast, and be in a condition to take us
THE SW1SS FAMILY ROBINSON. 43

back to our native land. And God's will be done!”
added I; “for he knows what is best for us. Having
left our native country, fixed in the intention of inhabit-
ing some propitious soil, it was natural at first to en-
counter difficult adventures. Let us therefore consider
our situation as no disappointment in any essential re-
spect. We can pursue our scheme for agriculture. We
shall learn to invent arts. Our only want is numbers.”

“ We, however,” observed Fritz, “form a larger society
than was the lot of Adam before he had children; and, as
we grow older, we will perform all the necessary labour,
while you and my mother enjoy ease and quiet.”

“Your assurances are as kind as I can desire, and they
encourage me to struggle with what hardships may present
themselves. "Who can foresee in what manner it may be
the will of Heaven to dispose of us? In times of old,
God said to one of his chosen, ‘TI will cause a great nation
to descend from thy loins.’ ”

“ And why may not we too become patriarchs, father f”’

“Why not, indeed? But come, my young patriarch,
let us find a shady spot, that we may not be consumed
with the fierce heat of the sun before the patriarchal con-
dition can be conferred upon us. Look yonder at that
inviting wood: let us hasten thither to take a little rest,
before we return to our dear expecting family.”

We descended the hill, and made our way to a wood of
palms, which I had just pointed out to Fritz: our path
was clothed with reeds, entwined with other plants, which
greatly obstructed our march. We advanced slowly and
cautiously, fearing at every step to receive a mortal bite
from some serpent that might be concealed among them.
We made Turk go before, to give us timely notice of any
thing dangerous. I also cut a reed-stalk of uncommon
length and thickness, for my defence against any enemy.
44 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

It was not without surprise that I perceived a glutinous
sap proceed from the divided end of the stalk. Prompted
by curiosity, I tasted this liquid and found it sweet and
of a pleasant flavour, so that not a doubt remained that
we were passing through a plantation of sugar-canes. I
again applied the cane to my lips, and sucked it for some
moments, and felt singularly refreshed and strengthened.
I determined not to tell Fritz immediately of the fortunate
discovery I had made, preferring that he should find it
out for himself. As he was at some distance before me,
I called out to him to cut a reed for his defence. This
he did, and without any remark, used it simply for a stick,
striking lustily with it on all sides to clear a passage.
The motion occasioned the sap to run out abundantly
upon his hand, and he stopped to examine so strange’a
circumstance. He lifted it up, and still a larger quantity
escaped. He now tasted what was on his fingers. Oh!
then for the exclamations —“ Father, father, I have found
some sugar!—some syrup! I have a sugar-cane in my
hand! Run quickly, father!”—We were soon together,
rejoicing in our fortunate discovery.

“We will take home a good provision of the canes; it
will be so delightful to regale my mother and my little
brothers with them!”

“TT have no objection ; but do not take too heavy a load,
for you have other things to carry, and we have yet far to
go.”

Counsel was given in vain. He persisted in cutting
at least a dozen of the largest canes, tore off their leaves,
tied them together, and putting them under his arm,
dragged them, as well as he was able, to the end of the
plantation. We regained the wood of palms withou ac-
cident: here we had scarcely stretched our limbs in the
shade, when a great number of large monkeys, terrified by
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 45

the sight of us and the barking of Turk, stole so nimbly,
and yet so quietly, up the trees, that we hardly perceived
them till they had reached the topmost parts. From this
height they fixed their eyes upon us, grinding their teeth,
making horrible grimaces, and saluting us with s¢reams
of hostile import.—Being now satisfied that the trees were
palms, bearing cocoa-nuts, I conceived the hope of obtain-
ing some of this fruit in a milky state, through the mon-
keys. Fritz, on his part, prepared to shoot at them in-
stantly. He threw his burdens on the ground, and it was
with difficulty I could prevent him from firing.

“ Ah, father, why did you not let me fire? Monkeys
are such malicious, mischievous animals! Look how they
raise their backs in derision of us!”

“ And is it possible that this can excite your vengeance,
my most reasonable Mr. Fritz’? To say the truth, I have
myself no predilection for monkeys, who, as you say, are
naturally prone to be malicious. But as long as an animal
does us no injury, or if his death can in no shape be useful
in preserving our own lives, we have no right to destroy
it, and still less to torment it for our amusement, or from
an idle desire of revenge. But what will you say if I
show you that we may find means to make living mon-
keys contribute to our service? See what I am going to
do; but step aside for fear of your head. If I succeed,
the monkeys will furnish us with plenty of our much-
desired cocoa-nuts.””

I now began to throw some stones at the monkeys ;
and though I could not make them reach to half the height
at which they had taken refuge, they showed every mark
of excessive anger. With their accustomed trick of imi-
tation, they furiously tore off, nut by nut, all that grew
upon the trunk near them, to hurl them down upon us;
so that it was with difficulty we avoided the blows; and
46 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

in a short time a great number of cocoa-nuts lay on the
ground round us. Fritz laughed heartily at the excellent
success of our stratagem; and as the shower of cocoa-
nuts began to subside, we set about collecting them. We
chose a place where we could repose at our ease, to feast
on this rich harvest. We opened the shells with a
hatchet, but first enjoyed the sucking of some of the
milk through the three small holes, where we found it
easy to insert the point of a knife. The milk of the cocoa-
nut has not a pleasant flavour; but it is excellent for
quenching thirst. "What we liked best was a kind of solid
cream which adheres to the shell, and which we scraped off
with our spoons. We mixed with it a little of the sap of
our sugar-canes, and it made a delicious repast.

Our meal being finished, we prepared to leave-the wood
of palms. TI tied all the cocoa-nuts which had stalks toge-
ther, and threw them across my shoulder. Fritz resumed.
his bundle of sugar-canes. We divided the rest of the
things between us, and continued our way towards home.

CHAPTER IV.

Return from the Voyage of Discovery. .A Nocturnal
Alarm.

My poor boy now began to complain of fatigue; the
sugar-canes galled his shoulders, and he was obliged to
shift them often. At last he stopped to take breath.—
“T never could have thought,” cried he, “that a few
sugar-canes could be so heavy. How sincerely I pity the
poor negroes who carry heavy loads of them! Yet how
gmt I shall be when my mother and Ernest are tasting
them!”

While we were conversing and proceeding onwards,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 47

Fritz perceived that from time to time I sucked the end
of a sugar-cane, and he would needs do the same. It
was in vain, however, that he tried: scarcely a drop of
the sap reached his eager lips.—‘ What can be the rea-
son,” said he, “that though the cane is full of juice, I
cannot get out a drop!”

“The reason is,” answered I, “that you make use
neither of reflection nor of your imagination.”

“Ah! I recollect now; is it not a question about air?
Unless there were a particular opening in the cane I may
suck in vain ; no juice will come.”

“You have explained the nature of the difficulty, but
how will you manage to set it right ?”’

“Let me see: I imagine that I have only to make a
httle opening just above the first knot, and then the air
can enter.”

“ Exactly right. But tell me what you think would be
the operation of this opening near the first knot; and in
what manner can it make the juice get into your mouth ?”

“The pith of the cane being completely interrupted in
its growth by each knot, the opening made below could
have no effect upon the part above; in sucking the juice
I draw in my breath, and thus exhaust the air in my
mouth: the external air presses at the same time through
the hole I have made, and fills this void; the juice of the
cane forms an obstacle to this effort, and is accordingly
driven into my mouth. But we must not become too
expert in the art of drawing out the juice, or but few of
the canes will reach our good friends in the tent.”

“T also am not without my apprehensions, that of our
acquisition we shall carry them only a few sticks for fire-
wood; for I must bring another circumstance to your
recollection: the juice of the sugar-cane is apt to turn
sour soon after cutting, especially in such heat as we now
48 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

experience ; we may suck them, therefore, without com. :
punction at the diminution of their numbers.”

“Well, then, if we can do no better with the sugar-
canes, at least I will take them a good provision of the
milk of the cocoa-nuts, which I have here in a tin bottle.”

“Tn this too, my generous boy, I fear you will be dis-
appointed. The milk of the cocoa-nut, no less than the
juice of the sugar-cane, when exposed to the air and heat,
turns soon to vinegar. I would almost wager that it is
already sour; for the tin bottle which contains it is parti-
cularly liable to become hot in the sun.”

“Oh! father, how provoking! I must taste it this very
minute.’’—The tin bottle was immediately lowered from
his shoulder, and he began to pull the cork; as soon as it
was loose the liquid flew upwards, hissing and frothing
like champagne.

“Bravo, Fritz! you have manufactured there a wine of
some mettle. I must now caution you not to let it make
you tipsy.”

“Oh, taste it, father, pray taste it, it is quite delicious,
not the least like vinegar: it is rather like excellent new
wine: its taste is sweet, and it is so sparkling! do take a
little, father. Is it not good? If all the milk remains in
this state, the treat will be better even than I thought.”

“T wish it may prove so, but I have my fears: ita
present state is what is called the first degree of ferment-
ation; the same thing happens to honey dissolved in
water, of which hydromel is made. When this first
fermentation is past, and the liquid is clear, it becomes
a sort of wine or other fermented liquor, the quality of
which depends on the materials used. By the application
of heat, there next results a second and more gradual fer-
mentation, which turns the fluid into vinegar. But this
may be prevented by extraordinary care, and by keeping
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 49

the vessel that contains it in a cool place. Lastly, a
third fermentation takes place in the vinegar itself, which
entirely changes its character, and deprives it of its taste,
its strength, and its transparency. In the intense tem-
perature of this climate, this triple fermentation comes
on very rapidly, so that it is not improbable that, on
entering our tent, you might find your liquids turned to
vinegar, or even to a thick liquid of ill odour: we may
therefore venture to refresh ourselves with a portion of
our booty, that it may not all be spoiled. Come, then, I
drink your health, and that of our dear family. I find
the liquor at present both refreshing and agreeable ; but
I am pretty sure that, if we would arrive sober, we must
not venture on frequent libations.”

Our regale imparted to our exhausted frames an increase
of strength and cheerfulness. We reached the place
where we had left our gourd utensils upon the sands ; we
found them perfectly dry, as hard as bone, and not the
least misshapen. We now, therefore, could put them
into our game-bags conveniently enough, and this done,
we continued our way. Scarcely had we passed through
the little wood in which we breakfasted, when Turk
sprang away to seize upon a troop of monkeys who were
skipping about and amusing themselves without observing
our approach. They were thus taken by surprise; and
before we could get to the spot, our ferocious Turk had
already seized one of them ; it was a female, who held
young one in her arms, which she was caressing almost
to suffocation, and which incumbrance deprived her of
the power of escaping. The poor creature was killed,
and afterwards devoured; the young one hid himself in
the grass, and looked on, grinding his teeth all the time
that this horrible feat was performing.

The next scene that presented itself was of a different

E
50 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

nature, and comical enough. The young monkey sprang
nimbly on Fritz’s shoulders, and fastened his feet in the
stiff curls of his hair ; nor could the cries of Fritz, nor all
the shaking he gave him, make him let go his hold. I
ran to them, laughing heartily, for I saw that the animal
was too young to do him any injury, while the panic
visible in the features of the boy made a ludicrous con-
trast with the grimaces of the monkey, whom I in vain
endeavoured to disengage. “There is no remedy, Fritz,”
said I, “but to submit quietly and carry him. The con-
duct of the little creature displays a surprising intelli-
gence ; he has lost his mother, and he adopts you for his
father; perhaps he discovered in you something of the
air of a father of a family.”

“Or rather the little rogue found out that he had to
do with a chicken-heart, who shrinks from the idea of ill-
treating an animal which has thrown itself on his pro-
tection. But I assure you, father, he is giving me some
terrible twitches, and I shall be obliged to you to try
once more to get him off.”

With a little gentleness and management I succeeded.
T took the creature in my arms as one would an infant,
nor could I help pitying and caressing him. He was not
larger than 9 kitten, and quite unable to help himself.

“Father,” cried Fritz, “do let me have this little
animal to myself. I will take the greatest care of him;
T will give him all my share of the milk of the cocoa-nuts,
till we get our cows and goats; and who knows? his
monkey instinct may one day assist us in discovering
some wholesome fruits.”

“T have not the least objection,” answered I, “It is
but just that the little protégé should be given up to
your management and discretion; much will depend on
your manner of educating him; by and by we shall see
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 51

whether he will be fittest to aid us with his intelligence,
or to injure us by his malice; in this last case we shall
have nothing to do but to get rid of him.”

We now thought of resuming our journey. The little
orphan jumped again on the shoulders of his protector, while
I on my part relieved my boy of the bundle of canes.

In pleasant conversation we forgot the length of our
journey, and soon found ourselves on the bank of the
river, and near our family, before we were aware. Flora
from the other side announced our approach by a violent
barking, and Turk, who began to be acquainted with the
country, ran off to meet his companion. Shortly after,
our much-loved family appeared in sight, with demon-
strations of unbounded joy at our safe return. They
advanced along by the course of the river, till they on
one side, and we on the other, had reached the place we
crossed in the morning. We repassed it again in safety,
and threw ourselves into each other’s arms. Scarcely
had the young ones joined their brother, than they again
began their joyful exclamations: “A monkey, a live
monkey! Papa, mamma, a live monkey! Oh, how delight
ful! How did you catch him? What a droll face he
has !””—“ He is very ugly,” said little Francis, half afraid
to touch him.—* He is prettier than you,” retorted Jack ;
“only see, he is laughing: I wish I could see him eat.”
—“ Ah! if we had but some cocoa-nuts!”’ cried Ernest ;
“could you not find any? Are they nice ?”—“ Have
you brought me any milk of almonds?” asked Francis,
—“Have you met with any unfortunate adventure?”
interrupted my wife. In this manner, questions and ex-
clamations succeeded to each other with such rapidity as
not to leave us time to answer them.

At length, when all became a little tranquil, I answered
them thus: “Most happy am I to return to you again,

E 2
52 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

my best beloved, and, God be praised! without any new
misfortune. We have even the pleasure of presenting
you with many valuable acquisitions; but in the object
nearest my heart, the discovery of our ship companions,
we have entirely failed.”

“Since it pleases God that it should be so,” said my
wife, “let us endeavour to be content, and let us be
grateful to Him for having saved us from their unhappy
fate, and for having once more brought us all together: I
have had much uneasiness about your safety, and imagined
a thousand evils that might beset you. But put down
your burdens; we will all help you; for though we have
not spent the day in idleness, we are less fatigued than
you. Quick then, my boys, and take the loads from your
father and your brother.”

Jack received my gun, Ernest the cocoa-nuts, Francis
the gourd-rinds, and my wife my game-bag. Fritz dis-
tributed the sugar-canes, and put his monkey on the back
of Turk, to the great amusement of the children, at the
same time begging Ernest to relieve him of his gun. But
Ernest, ever careful of his ease, assured him, that the
large heavy bowls with which he was loaded were the
most: he had strength to carry. His mother, a little too
indulgent to his lazy humour, relieved him of these; and
thus we proceeded all together to our tent.

Fritz whispered me, that if Ernest had known what
the large heavy bowls were, he would not so readily have
parted with them. Then turning to his brother, “ Why,
Ernest,” cried he, “do you know that these bowls are
cocoa-nuts, your dear cocoa-nuts, and full of the sweet
nice milk you have so much wished to taste?”

“What, really and truly cocoa-nuts, brother? Pray
give them to me, mother ; I will carry them, if you please,
and I can carry the gun too.”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 53.

“No, no, Ernest,” answered his mother, “you shall
not tease us with more of your jong-drawn sighs about
fatigue: a hundred paces and you would begin again.”
Ernest would willingly have asked his mother to give him
the cocoa-nuts, and take the gun herself, but this he was
ashamed to do; “I have only,” said he, “to get rid of
these sticks, and carry the gun in my hand.”

“TI would advise you not to find the sticks heavy,
either,” said Fritz drily; “I know you will be sorry if
you do: and for this good reason,—the sticks are sugar-
canes!”

“ Sugar-canes! Sugar-canes !’’ exclaimed they all; and,
surrounding Fritz, made him give them full instructions
on the sublime art of sucking sugar-canes.

My wife, also, who had always entertained a high
respect for the article of sugar in her household manage-
ment, was quite astonished, and earnestly entreated we
would inform her of all particulars. I gave her an
account of our journey and our new acquisitions, which I
exhibited one after the other for her inspection. No one
of them afforded her more pleasure than the plates and
dishes, because, to persons of decent habits, they were
articles of indispensable necessity. We now adjourned
to our kitchen, and observed with pleasure the pre-
parations for an excellent repast. On one side of the
fire was a turnspit, which my wife had contrived by
driving two forked pieces of wood into the ground, and
placing a long even stick, sharpened at one end, across
them. By this invention she was enabled to roast fish,
or other food, with the help of little Francis, who was
entrusted with the care of turning it round from time to
time. On the occasion of our return, she had prepared
us the treat of a goose, the fat of which ran down into
some oyster-shells placed there to serve the purpose of a
54 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

dripping-pan. There waa, besides, a dish of fish, which
the little ones had caught; and the iron pot was upon
the fire, provided with a good soup, the odour of which
increased our appetite. By the side of these most ex-
hilarating preparations stood one of the casks which we
had recovered from the sea, the head of which my wife
had knocked out, so that it exposed to our view a cargo
of the finest sort of Dutch cheeses, contained in round
tins. All this display was made to excite the appetite of
the two travellers, who had fared but scantily during the
day; and I must needs observe, that the whole was very
little like such a dinner as one should expect to see on a
desert island.

“What you call a goose,” said my wife, “is a kind of
wild bird, and is the booty of Ernest, who calls him by a
singular name, and assures me that it is good to eat.”

“Yes, father, I believe that the bird which I have
caught is a kind of penguin, or we might distinguish him
by the surname of Stupid’. He showed himself to be-a
bird so destitute of even the least degree of intelligence,
that I killed him with a single blow with my stick.”

1 Penguin. A bird of the goose kind, found near the straits of Ma-
gellan: but two species also exist in New Guinea. It is about the size
of the Indian cock; the feathers on the back are black, and on the
belly white. It has a large neck, circled round with a white collar.
Properly speaking, it has no wings, but two pinions which hang like two
little arms from its sides, having no feathers beyond the joint. These
pinions serve the purpose of fins, in enabling the penguin to swim with
ease, but it cannot fly. The tail is short; the feet black; the beak
narrow, and rather larger than that of the raven. The bird carries its
head erect in walking, and the pinions fall at its side; so that when
many of them are seen in a line along the shore, where they are accus-
tomed to assemble in large numbers, they may, from a distance, be
mistaken for little men. Their flesh is well tasted, but their skin is so
tough, that, but for the extreme stupidity of their nature, it would be
difficult to destroy them.—See Valmont de Bromare.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 55

“What is the form of his feet, and of his beak P”
asked I.

“ His feet are formed for swimming; in other words,
he is what is called web-footed; the beak is long, small,
and a little curved downwards: I have preserved his head
and neck, that you might examine it yourself: it reminds
me exactly of the penguin, described as so stupid a bird
in my book of natural history.”

My wife here interrupted us to announce that supper
was ready, at the same time proposing that the cocoa-
nuts, which the boys had already begun eagerly to exa-
mine, should serve for dessert.

We accordingly seated ourselves on the ground; each
article of the repast was placed in one of our new dishes,

' the neat appearance of which exceeded all our expecta-

tions. My sons had not patience to wait, but had broken
the cocoa-nuts, and already convinced themselves of their
delicious flavour; and then they fell to making spoons
with the fragments of the shells. The little monkey,
thanks to the kind temper of Jack, had been served the
first, and each amused himself with making him suck the
corner of his pocket-handkerchief, dipped in the milk of
the cocoa-nut. He appeared delighted with the treatment
he received, and we remarked with satisfaction that we
should most likely be able to preserve him.

The boys were preparing to break some more of "the
nuts with the hatchet, after having drawn out the milk
through the three little holes, when I pronounced the word
halt, and bade them bring me a saw ;—the thought had
struck me, that by dividing the nuts carefully with this
instrument, the two halves, when scooped, would remain
with the form of tea-cups or basins already made to our
hands. Jack, who was on every occasion the most active,
brought me the saw. I performed my undertaking in the
56 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

best manner I could, and in a short time each of us was
provided with a convenient receptacle for food. My wife
put the share of soup which belonged to each into the new
basins, delighted that we should no longer be under the
necessity, as before, of scalding our fingers by dipping
into the pot; and I firmly believe, that never did the
most magnificent service of china occasion half the plea-
sure to its possessor, as our utensils, manufactured by our
own hands from gourds and cocoa-nuts, excited in the
kind heart of my wife. Fritz asked me, if he might not
invite our company to taste his fine champagne, which he
said would not fail to make us all the merrier—* I have
not the least objection,” answered I, “but remember to
taste it yourself before you serve it to your guests.” He
ran to draw out the stopple and to taste it.—“ How un-
fortunate!” said he, “it is already turned to vinegar.”

“What, is it vinegar?” exclaimed my wife: “How
lucky! it will make the most delicious sauce for our bird,
mixed with the fat which has fallen from it in roasting,
and will be as good a relish as a salad.” The same sauce
improved our dish of fish also. Each boasted most of
what he himself had been the means of procuring: it was
Jack and Francis who had caught the fish in one of the
shallows, while Ernest was employed with very little
trouble to himself in securing his penguin. My poor
wife had herself performed the most difficult task of all,
that of rolling the cask of Dutch cheeses into the kitchen,
and then knocking out its head.

By the time we had finished our meal, the sun was re-
tiring from our view; and recollecting how quickly the
night would fall upon us, we were in great haste to regain
our place of rest. My wife had considerately collected a
tenfold quantity of dry grass, which she had spread in the
tent, and being all heartily fatigued by the exertions of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 57

the day, we soon fell into a profound and refreshing
sleep.

But I had not long enjoyed this pleasing state, when I
was disturbed by the motion of the fowls on the ridge of
the tent, and by a violent barking of our vigilant safe-
guards, the dogs. My wife and Fritz had also been
alarmed ; so we each took a gun, and sallied forth.

The dogs continued barking with the same violence,
and at intervals even howled. We had not proceeded
many steps from the tent, when we perceived by the light
of the moon a terrible combat. At least a dozen jackals
had surrounded our brave dogs, who defended themselves
with the stoutest courage, and had already laid three or
four of their adversaries on the ground.

I, for my part, had apprehended something worse than
jackals. —“ We shall soon manage to set these gentlemen
at rest,” said I. “Let us fire both together, my boy;
but let us take care how we aim, for fear of killing the
dogs; mind how you fire, that you may not miss, and I
‘shall do the same.” ‘We fired, and two of the intruders
fell instantly dead upon the sands. The others made
their escape ; but we perceived it was with great difficulty,
in consequence, no doubt, of being wounded. Turk and
Flora afterwards pursued them, and put the finishing
stroke to what we had begun ; and thus the battle ended;
but the dogs, true Caribbees by nature, made a hearty
meal on the flesh of their fallen enemies. My wife, see-
ing all quiet, entreated us to lie down again and finish
our night’s sleep ; but Fritz asked me to let him first drag
his jackal towards the tent, that he might exhibit him the
next morning to his brothers.”

The children had not once awoke during the whole of
the scene which had been passing, and having nothing
further to prevent us, we lay down by their side till day
58 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

began to break, and till the cocks, with their shrill morn-
ing salutation, awoke us both. The boys being still
asleep, afforded us an excellent opportunity to consult
together respecting the plan we should pursue for the
ensuing day.

CHAPTER V.

Return to the Wreck.—A troop of Animals in Cork-
Jackets.

I BRoxs a silence of some moments, with observing to my
wife, that I could not but view with alarm the many diffi-
culties we had to encounter. “(In the first place, a jour-
ney to the vessel. This is of absolute necessity ; at least,
if we would not be deprived of the cattle and other useful
things, all of which we risk losing by the first heavy sea.
What ought we to resolve upon? Should not our very
first endeavour be the contriving a better sort of habita-
tion, and a more secure retreat from wild beasts, also a
separate place for our provisions? I own I am at a loss
what to begin first.”

“ All will fall into the right order by degrees,” observed
my wife; “patience and regularity in our plans will go as
far as actual labour. I cannot, I confess, help shuddering
at the thought of this voyage to the vessel ; but if you
judge it to be of absolute necessity, it cannot be under-
taken too soon.”

“T will follow your advice,” said I, “and without fur-
ther loss of time. You shall stay here with the three
youngest boys; and Fritz, being so much stronger and
more intelligent than the others, shall accompany me in
the undertaking.”

At this moment I started from my bed, crying out
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 59

loudly and briskly, “ Get up, children, get up; it is almost
light, and we have some important projects for to-day ; it
would be a shame to suffer the sun to find us still sleeping,
we who are to be the founders of a new colony!”

At these words Fritz sprang nimbly out of the tent,
while the young ones began to gape and rub their eyes,
to get rid of their sleepiness. Fritz ran to visit his jackal,
which during the night had become cold and perfectly
stiff. He fixed him upon his legs, and placed him like a
sentinel at the entrance of the tent, joyously anticipating
the wonder and exclamations of his brothers at so unex-
pected a sight. Jack was the first who appeared, with
the young monkey on his shoulders; but when the little
creature perceived the jackal, he sprang away in terror,
and hid himself at the furthest extremity of the grass
which composed our bed, covering himself with it so com-
pletely, that scarcely could the tip of his nose be seen.

The children were much surprised at the sight of a
yellow-coloured animal standing without motion at the
entrance of the tent-—“ O what can it be!’’ cried Francis,
stepping back a few paces from fear ; “is it a wolf?” —“ No,
no,” said Jack, going near the jackal, and taking one of
his paws, “it is a yellow dog, and he is dead ; he does not
move at all.”—“ Tt is neither a dog nor a wolf,” inter-
rupted Ernest in a consequential tone: “do you not see
that it is the golden fox ?”-—* Best of all, most learned
professor!’’ now exclaimed Fritz. “So you can tell an
agouti when you see him, but you cannot tell a jackal;
for jackal is the creature you see before you, and I killed
him myself in the night.”

Ernest.—In the night, Fritz? In your sleep, I sup-
pose——

Fritz —No, Mr. Ernest; not in my sleep, as you 80
good-naturedly suppose, but broad awake, and on the
60 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

watch to protect you from wild beasts! But I cannot won-
der at this mistake in one who does not know the differ.
ence between a jackal and a golden fox!

Ernest.—You would not have known it either, if papa
had not told you——

“ Come, come, my lads, I will have no disputes,” inter-
rupted I. “Fritz, you are to blame in ridiculing your
brother for the mistake he made. Ernest, you are also to
blame for indulging that little peevishness of yours. But as
to the animal, you all are right and all are wrong; for he
partakes at once of the nature of the dog, the wolf, and
the fox.” The boys in an instant became friends; and
then followed more questions, answers, and wonder in
abundance.—“ And now, my boys, let me remind you,
that he who begins the day without first addressing the
Almighty, ought to expect neither success nor safety in his
undertakings. Let us therefore acquit ourselves of this
duty before we engage in other occupations.” .

Having finished our prayers, the next thing thought of
was breakfast. To-day their mother had nothing to give
them for their morning meal but some biscuit, which was
so hard and dry, that it was with difficulty we could
swallow it. Fritz asked for a piece of cheese to eat
with it, and Emest cast some searching looks on the
second cask we had drawn out of the sea. In a minute he
came up to us, joy sparkling in his eyes; “ Father,” said
he, “this cask is filled with excellent salt butter. I made
a little opening in it with a knife ; and see, I got out enough
to spread nicely upon this piece of biscuit.”

“You have indeed made a fortunate discovery,” answered
I. “But now let us profit by the event. Who will have
some butter on his biscuit ?”’ The boys surrounded the
cask in a moment, while I made a hole in the bottom,
sufficiently large to take out a small quantity at a time.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 61

We toasted our biscuit, and, while it was hot, applied the
butter, and contrived to make a hearty breakfast.

“ One of the things we must not forget to look for in
the vessel,” said Fritz, “is a spiked collar or two for our
dogs, as a protection to them should they again be called
upon to defend themselves from wild beasts, which I fear
is too probable will be the case.”

“Oh!” says Jack, “I can make spiked collars, if my
mother will give me a little help.”

“That I will, most readily, my boy ; for I should like
to see what new fancy has come into your head,” cried she.

“Yes, yes,” pursued I, “as many new inventions as
you please; you cannot better employ your time; and if
you produce something useful, you will be rewarded with
the commendations of all. But now for work. You, Mr.
Fritz, who, from your superior age and discretion, enjoy
the high honour of being my privy-counsellor, must make
haste and get ycurself ready, and we will undertake to-day
our voyage to the vessel. You younger boys will remain
here, under the wing of your kind mother: I hope I need
not mention, that I rely on your perfect obedience to her
will, and general good behaviour.”

While Fritz was getting the boat ready, I looked about
for a pole, and tied a piece of white linen to the end of it:
this I drove into the ground, in a place where it would be
visible from the vessel; and I concerted with my wife,
that in case of any accident that should require my prompt
assistance, they should take down the pole and fire a gun
three times as a signal of distress, in consequence of which
I would immediately turn back. But I gave her notice,
that there being so many things to accomplish on board
the vessel, it was probable that we should not, otherwise,
return at night ; in which caseI, on my part, also pro-
mised to make signals. My wife had the good sense and
62 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the courage to consent to my plan. She, however, ex-
torted from me a promise that we should pass the night
in our tubs, and not on board the ship. We took nothing
with us but our guns and arecruit of powder and shot,
relying that we should find provisions on board.

‘We embarked in silence, casting our anxious looks on
the beloved objects we were quitting. Fritz rowed steadily,
and I did my best to second his endeavours, by rowing
from time to time with the oar which served me for a
rudder. When we had gone some distance, I remarked
a current which was visible a long way. To take ad-
vantage of this current, and to husband our strength
by means of it, was my first care. Little as I knew
of the management of sea affairs, I succeeded in keep-
ing our boat in the direction in which it ran, by which
means we were drawn gently on, till at length the gradual
diminution of its force obliged us again to have recourse
to our oars; but our arms having now rested for
some time we were ready for new exertions. A little
afterwards we found ourselves safely arrived at the cleft
of the vessel, and fastened our boat securely to one of
ita timbers,

Fritz the first thing went to the main deck, where he
found all the animals we had left on board assembled. I
followed him, well pleased to observe the generous impa-
tience he showed to relieve the wants of the poor
abandoned creatures, who, one and all, now saluted us
by the sounds natural to its species. It was not so much
the want of food, as the desire of seeing their accustomed
human companions, which made them manifest their joy
in this manner, for they had a portion of the food and water
we had left them still remaining. We took away what
was half spoiled, and added a fresh supply, that no anxiety
on their account might interrupt our enterprise. Nor did
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 63

we neglect the care of renewing our own strength by a
plentiful repast.

While we were seated, and appeasing the calls of hun-
ger, Fritz and I consulted what should be our first occu-
pation; when, to my surprise, the advice he gave was,
that we should contrive a sail for our boat.—“ You
astonish me, Fritz,” cried I, “ what makes you think of
this at so critical a moment, when we have so many things
of indispensable necessity to arrange?’ —“ True, father,”
said Fritz; “but let me confess that I found it very dif-
ficult to row for so long a time, though I assure you I did
my best, and did not spare my strength. I observed that,
though the wind blew strong in my face, the current still
carried us on. Now, as the current will be of no use in
our way back, I was thinking that we might make the
wind supply its place. Our boat will be very heavy when
we have loaded it with all the things we mean to take
away, and 1 am afraid I shall not be strong enough to
row to land; so do you not think that a sail would be a

‘ good thing just now ?”

“T perceive much good sense in your argument,”’ I re-
plied, “and feel obliged to my privy-counsellor® for his
good advice. The best thing we can do is, to take care
and not overload the boat, and thus avoid the danger of
sinking, or of being obliged to throw some of our stores
overboard. We will, however, set to work upon your
sail; it will give us a little trouble. But come, let us
begin.”

T assisted Fritz to carry a pole strong enough for a
mast, and another not so thick for a sailyard. I directed
him to make a hole in a plank with a chisel, large enough
for the mast to stand upright init. I then went to the
sail-room, and cut a large sail down to a triangular shape :
T made holes along the edges, and passed cords through
64 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

them. We then gota pulley, and with this and some
cords, and some contrivance in the management of our
materials, we produced a sail.

Fritz, after taking observations through a telescope of
what was passing on land, imparted the agreeable tidings
that all was still well with our dear family. He had dis-
tinguished his mother walking tranquilly along the shore.
He soon after brought me a small streamer, which he had
cut from a piece of linen, and which he entreated me to
tie to the extremity of the mast, as much delighted with
the streamer as with the sail itself. He gave to our
machine the name of The Deliverance ; and in speaking
of it, instead of calling it a boat, it had now always the
title of the little vessel.

“But now, father,” said Fritz, looking kindly on me as
he spoke, “as you have eased me of the labour of rowing,
it is my turn to take care of you. I am thinking to make
you a better contrived rudder; one that would enable
you to steer the boat both with greater ease and greater
safety.” —‘ Your thought would be a very good one,”
said I, “ but that I am unwilling to lose the advantage of
being able to proceed this way and that, without being
obliged to veer. I shall therefore fix our oars in such
@ manner as to enable me to steer the raft from either
end.” Accordingly I fixed bits of wood to the stem and
stern of the machine, in the nature of grooves, which
were calculated to spare us a great deal of trouble.

During these exertions the day advanced, and I saw
that we should be obliged to pass the night in our tubs,
without much progress in our task of emptying the vessel.
We had promised our family to hoist a flag as a signal, if
we passed the night from home, and we found the
streamer precisely the thing we wanted for this purpose.

We employed the remnant of the day in emptying the
THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON. 65

tubs of the useless ballast of stones, and putting in their
place what would be of service, such as nails, pieces of
cloth, and different kinds of utensils, &c. &c. The Van-
dals themselves could not have made a more complete
pillage than we had done. The prospect before us of an
entire solitude made us devote our attention to the se-
curing as much powder and shot as we could, as a means
of catching animals for food, and of defending our-
selves against wild beasts. Utensils for every kind of
workmanship, of which there was a large provision in the
ship, were also objects of incalculable value to us. The
vessel, which was now a wreck, had been sent out as a
preparation for the establishment of a colony in the
South Seas, and had been provided with a variety of
stores not commonly included in the loading of a ship.
Among the rest, care had been taken to have on board
considerable numbers of European cattle: but so long a
voyage had proved unfavourable to the oxen and the
horses, the greatest part of which had died, and the
others were in so bad a condition, that it had been found
necessary to destroy them. The quantity of useful things
which presented themselves in the store-chambers made
it difficult for me to select among them, and I much re-
gretted that circumstances compelled me to leave some
of them behind. Fritz, however, already meditated
a second visit; but we took good care not to lose the
present occasion for securing knives and forks, and
spoons, and a complete assortment of kitchen utensils,
In the captain’s cabin we found a little chest filled with
bottles of many sorts of excellent wine, which we put
into our boat. We next descended to the kitchen, which
we stripped of gridirons, kettles, pots of all kinds, a small
roasting-jack, &c. Our last prize was a chest of choice
eatables, intended for the table of the officers, containing
F
66 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Westphalia hams, Bologna sausages, and other savoury
food. I took care not to forget some little sacks of
maize, of wheat, and other grain, and some potatoes. We
next added such implements for husbandry as we could
find ; shovels, hoes, spades, rakes, harrows, &c. &c. Fritz
reminded me that we had found sleeping on the ground
both cold and hard, and prevailed upon me to increase
our cargo by some hammocks, and a certain number of
blankets; and as guns had hitherto been the source
of his pleasures, he added such as he could find of a
particular costliness or structure, together with some
‘sabres and clasp-knives. The last articles we took were
a barrel of sulphur, a quantity of ropes, some small
string, and a large roll of sail-cloth. The vessel appeared
to us to be in so wretched a condition, that the least
tempest must make her go to pieces. It was then quite
uncertain whether we should be able to approach her any
more.

Our cargo was so large, that the tubs were filled to the
very brim, and no inch of the boat’s room was lost. The
first and last of the tubs were reserved for Fritz and me
to seat ourselves in and row the boat, which sank so low
in the water, that if the sea had not been quite calm, we
should have been obliged to ease her of some of the load-
ing: we, however, used the precaution of putting on our
swimming-jackets, for fear of any misfortune.

It will easily be imagined that the day had been labo-
riously employed. Night suddenly surprised us, and we
lost all hope of returning to our family the same evening.
A large blazing fire on the shore soon after greeted our
sight,—the signal agreed upon for assuring us that all
was well, and to bid us close our eyes in peace. We re-
turned the compliment, by tying four lanterns, with lights
in them, to our mast-head. This was answered, on their
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 67

part, by the firing of two guns; so that both parties had
reason to be satisfied and easy.

After offering up-our earnest prayers for the safety of
all, and not without some apprehension for our own, we
resigned ourselves to sleep in our tubs, which appeared
to us safer than the vessel. Our night passed tranquilly
enough: my boy Fritz slept as soundly as if he had been
in a bed: while I, haunted by the recollection of the
nocturnal visit of the jackals, could neither close my eyes
nor keep them from the direction of the tent. I had,
however, great reliance that my valiant dogs would do
their duty, and was thankful to Heaven for having en-
abled us to preserve so good a protection.

Early the next morning, though scarcely light, I
mounted the vessel, hoping to gain a sight of our beloved
companions on shore. While Fritz was preparing a sub-
stantial breakfast of biscuit and ham, the brightness of the
day had come on, and by the aid of a large telescope I dis-
covered my wife coming out of the tent, and looking
attentively towards the vessel, and at the same moment
perceived the motion of the flag upon the shore. A load
of anxiety was thus taken from my heart; for I had the
certainty that all were in good health, and had escaped
the dangers of the night.—“ Now that I have had a sight
of your mother,” said I to Fritz, “my next concern is
for the animals on board; let us endeavour to save the
lives of some of them at least, and to take them with us.”

“Would it be possible to make a raft, to get them all
upon it, and in this way get them to shore?” asked
Fritz.

“But what a difficulty in making it! and how could
we induce a cow, an ass, and a sow, either to get upon a
raft, or, when there, to remain motionless and quiet?
The sheep and goats one might perhaps find means to re-

F2
68 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

move, they being of a more docile temper: but for the
larger animals, I am at a loss how to proceed.”

“ Let us tie a swimming-jacket round the body of each
animal, and contrive to throw one and all into the water ;
you will see that they will swim like fish, and we can
draw them after us.”

“J think your invention is admirable: let us therefore
at once make the experiment.”

‘We hastened to the execution of our design: we fixed
a jacket on one of the lambs, and threw it into the sea.
He sunk at first, and I thought him drowned; but he soon
re-appeared, shaking the water from his head, and in a
few seconds he had learned completely the art of swim-
ming. After another interval, we observed that he
appeared fatigued, gave up his efforts, and suffered him-
self to be borne along by the course of the water, which
sustained and conducted him to our complete satisfaction.
—* Victory!” exclaimed I with delight: “these useful
animals are all our own; let us lose not a moment in
adopting the same means with those that remain, but take
care not to lose our little lamb.” Fritz now would have
jumped into the water to follow the poor creature who was
still floating safely on the surface; but I stopped him till I
had seen him tie on a swimming-jacket. He took with
him a rope, first making a slip-knot in it, and soon over-
taking the lamb, threw it round his neck, and drew him
back to our boat: and then took him out of the water.

‘We next got four small water-butts, emptied them, and
then carefully closed them again, uniting them with a
large piece of sail-cloth, and nailing one end to each cask.
I strengthened this with a second piece of sail-cloth, and
this contrivance I destined to support the cow and the
ass, two casks to each, the animal being placed in the
middle, with a cask on either side. I added a thong of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 69

leather, stretching from the casks across the breast and
haunches of the animal, to make the whole secure; and
thus, in Jess than an hour, both my cow and my ass were
equipped for swimming.

It was next the turn of the smaller animals: of these
the sow gave us the most trouble: we were first obliged
to put a muzzle on her to prevent her biting ; and then
we tied a large piece of cork under her body. The sheep
and goats were more accommodating, and we had soon
accoutred them for our adventure. And now we had
succeeded in assembling our whole company on the deck,
in readiness for the voyage; we tied a cord to either
the horns or the neck of each animal, and to the other
end of the cord a piece of wood similar to the mode used
for making nets, that it might be easy for us to take
hold of the ropes, and so draw the animal to us, if it
should be necessary. We struck away some more of the
shattered pieces of wood from the fissure of the vessel, by
which we were again to pass. We began our experiment
with the ass, by conducting him as near as possible to the
brink of the vessel, and then suddenly shoving him off.
He fell into the water, and for a moment disappeared ;
but we soon saw him rise, and in the action of swimming
between his two barrels, with a grace which really merited
our commendation.

Next came the cow’s turn: and as she was infinitely
more valuable than the ass, my fears increased in due
proportion. The ass had swum so courageously, that he
was already at a considerable distance from the vessel, so
shat there was sufficient room for our experiment on the
cow. We had more difficulty in pushing her overboard :
but she reached the water in as much safety as the ass
had done before; she did not sink so low in it, and was
no less perfectly sustained by the empty barrels. Accord-
70 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ing to this method we proceeded with our whole troop,
throwing them one by one into the water, where by-and-
by they appeared in a group floating at their ease, and
seemingly well content. The sow was the only exception :
she became quite furious, set up loud squalling, and
struggled with so much violence in the water, that she
was carried to a considerable distance, but fortunately in
a direction towards the landing-place we had in view.
‘We had now not a moment to lose. Our last act was
to put on our cork-jackets ; and then we descended with-
out accident through the cleft, took our station in the boat,
and were soon in the midst of our troop of quadrupeds.
We now perceived how impossible it would have been
for us to have succeeded in our enterprise without the
aid of a sail; for the weight of so many animals sunk the
boat so low in the water, that all our exertions to row to
such a distance would have been ineffectual; while, by
means of the sail, she proceeded completely to our satis-
faction, bearing in her train our company of animals: nor
could we help laughing heartily at the singular appearance
we made. My last act on board the vessel had been to
take one look more at the beloved beings we had left on
land, and I perceived my wife and the three boys all in
motion, and seeming to be setting out on some excursion :
but it was in vain that I endeavoured, by any thing I saw,
to conjecture what their plan might be. I therefore
seized the first moment of quiet to make another trial
with my glass, when a sudden exclamation from Fritz
filled me with alarm.—“ Dear father!’ cried he, “we are
lost! a fish of an enormous size is coming up to the
boat.”—“ And why lost!” said I, half angry, and yet
half partaking of his fright. “Be ready with your gun,
and the moment he is close upon us we will fire upon
- him.” He had nearly reached the boat, anc had seized
THE SWISS FAMILY: ROBINSON. val

the foremost sheep: at this instant Fritz aimed his fire so
skilfully, that the balls of the gun were lodged in the head
of the monster, which was an enormous shark. The fish
half turned himself round in the water and hurried off to
sea, leaving us to observe the lustrous smoothness of his
belly, and that as he proceeded he stained the water red,
which convinced us he had been severely wounded. I
determined to have the best of our guns at hand the rest
of the way, lest we should be again attacked by the same
fish, or another of his species.

The animal being now out of sight, and our fears ap-
peased, I resumed the rudder; and as the wind drove us
straight towards the bay, I took down the sail, and conti-
nued rowing till we reached a convenient spot for our
cattle to land. I had then only to untie the end of the
cords from the boat, and they stepped contentedly on
shore. Our voyage thus happily concluded, we followed
their example.

Thad already been surprised and uneasy at finding none
of my family looking out for us on the shore: but I was
soon relieved by the joyful sounds which reached our
ears, and filled our hearts with rapture. It was my wife
and the youngest boys who uttered them, the latter of
whom were soon close up to us, and their mother followed
not many steps behind, each and all of them in excellent
health, and eager to welcome us back. When the firat
burst of happiness at meeting had subsided, we all sat
down on the grass, and I began to give them an account
2f our occupations in the vessel, of our voyage, and of all
our different plans and their success. My wife could find
no words to express her surprise and joy at seeing so
many useful animals round us; and the hearty affection
she expressed for them increased my satisfaction at the
completion of our enterprise.
42 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“Yes,” said Fritz, a little consequentially ; “for this
once, the privy-counsellor has tried his talents at inven-
tion.”

“‘This, indeed, is very true,” replied I; “in all humi-
lity have I to confess, that to Fritz alone all praise be-
longs, and that to his sagacity it is that we are indebted
for our success.”

Ernest and Jack now ran to the boat, and began to
shout their admiration of the mast, the sail, and the flag,
desiring their brother to explain to them how all the
things they saw had been effected, and what he himself
did of them. In the mean time we began to unpack our
cargo, while Jack amused himself with the animals, took
off the jackets from the sheep and goats, bursting from
time to time into shouts of laughter at the ridiculous
figure of the ass, who stood before them adorned with his
two casks and his swimming apparatus, and braying loud
enough to make us deaf.

Perceiving that no preparations were making for sup-
per on our arrival at the tent, I told Fritz to bring us the
Westphalia ham. The eyes of all were now fixed upon
me with astonishment, believing that I could only be in
jest; when Fritz returned, displaying with exultation a
large ham, which we had begun to cut in the morning.
“A ham!” cried one and all; “a ham! and ready
dressed! What a nice supper we shall have!” said they,
clapping their hands to give a hearty welcome to the
bearer of so fine a treat.—‘ It comes quite in the nick of
time too,” interrupted I; “for to judge by appearances, a
certain careful steward I could name seems to have in-
tended to send us supperless to bed, little thinking, I
suppose, that a long voyage by water is apt to increase
the appetite.”

“TI will tell you presently,” replied my wife, “ what it
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 73

vas that prevented me from providing a supper for you
all at an early hour: your ham, however, makes you ample
amends ; and I have something in my hand with which I
shall make a pretty side-dish.”” She now showed us about
a dozen turtles’ eggs, and then hurried away to make an
omelette of some of them.

“ Look, father,” said Ernest, “if they are not the very
same which Robinson Crusoe found in his island! See,
they are like white balls, covered with a skin like wetted
parchment! ‘We found them upon the sands along the
shore.”

“Your account is perfectly just, my dear boy,” said I:
“by what means did you make so useful a discovery ?”—
“Oh, that is part of our history,” interrupted my wife ;
“for I also have a history to relate, when you will be so
good as to listen to it.’’

“ Hasten then, my love, and get your pretty side-dish
ready, and we will have the history for the dessert. In
the mean time I will relieve the cow and the ass from
their jackets. Come along, boys, and give me your help.”
—I got up, and they all followed me gaily to the shore.
We were not long in effecting our purpose with the cow
and the ass, who were animals of a quiet and kind tem-
per; but when it was the sow’s turn, our success was
neither so easy nor so certain; for no sooner had we un-
tied the rope than she escaped from us, and ran so fast
that none of us could catch her. The idea occurred to
Ernest of sending the two dogs after her, who caught at
her ears, and sent her back, while we were half deafened
with the hideous noise she made; at last she suffered us
to take off her cork-jacket. We now laid the accoutre-
ments across the ass’s back, and returned to the kitchen ;
our slothful Ernest highly delighted that we were likely
in future to have our loads carried by a servant.
74 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

In the meanwhile the kind mother had prepared the
omelette, and spread a table-cloth on the end of the cask
of butter, upon which she had placed some of the plates
and silver spoons we had brought from the ship. The
ham was in the middle, and the omelette and the cheese
opposite to each other; and altogether made a figure not
to be despised by the inhabitants of a desert island. By-
and-by the two dogs, the fowls, the pigeons, the sheep,
and the goats had all assembled round us, which gave us
something like the air of sovereigns of the country. It
did not please the geese and ducks to add themselves to
the number of these our loyal subjects; they deserted us
for a marshy swamp, where they found a great abundance
of little crabs which furnished a delicious food for them,
and relieved us of the care of providing for their support.

When we had finished our repast, I bade Fritz present
our company with a bottle of Canary wine, which we had
brought from the captain’s cabin, and I desired my wife
to indulge us with the promised history.

CHAPTER VI.

Second Journey of Discovery performed by the
Mother of the Family.

“You pretend,” said my wife, with a smile, “to be
curious about my history, yet you have not let me speak
a single word in all this time: but the longer a torrent is
pent up, the longer it flows when once let loose. Now,
then, that you are in the humour to listen, I shall give
vent to a certain little movement of vanity which is flut-
tering at my heart. Not, however, to intrude too long
upon your patience, we will skip the first day of your ab-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 75

sence, in the course of which nothing new took place, ex-
cept my anxiety on your account, which confined me for
the most part to the spot from whence you embarked,
and from which I could see the vessel. But this morn-
ing, when I was made happy by the sight of your signal,
and had set up mine in return, I looked about, before the
boys were up, in hopes to find a shady place where we
might now and then retire from the heat of the sun; but
I found not a single tree. This made me reflect a little
seriously on our situation. It will be impossible, said T
to myself, to remain in this place with no shelter but a
miserable tent, under which the heat is even more ex-
cessive than without. Courage, then! pursued I; my
husband and my eldest son are at this moment employed
for the general good; why should not I be active and en-
terprising also? why not undertake, with my younger sons,
to do something that shall add some one comfort to our
existence ? I will pass over with them to the other side
of the river, and examine the country respecting which
my husband and Fritz have related such wonders. I will
try to find out some well shaded agreeable spot, in which
we may all be settled. I now cast another look towards
the vessel; but perceiving no sign of your return, I de-
termined to share a slight dinner with the boys, and then
we set out resolutely on a journey of discovery for a habi-
tation better sheltered from the sun.

“In the morning, Jack had slipped to the side of the
tent where Fritz had hung the jackal, and with his knife,
which he sharpened from time to time upon the rock, he
cut some long strips of skin from the back of the animal,
and afterwards set about cleaning them. Ernest disco-
vered him in this uncleanly occupation; and as he is, as
we all know, a little delicate, and afraid to soil his fingers,
he not only refused to give Jack any assistance, but
"6 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

thought fit to sneer a little at the currier-like trade which
he had engaged in. Jack, who, as we also know, has not
the most patient temper in the world, raised his hand to
give him a little cuff. Ernest made his escape, more
alarmed, I believe, by Jack’s dirty hands, than by the ex.
pected blow: while I, for my part, ran to set them right,
and to give a mother’s reproof to both. Jack persisted
that he had a justification full and undeniable in the great
usefulness of the said dirty work; ‘for,’ observed he, ‘it
is intended to make some collars which I shall arm with
spikes, and the dogs will wear them for our defence.’ I
saw in an instant that Ernest had been the aggressor, and
on him fell the reproof: I represented how little a squeam-
ishness like his suited with the difficulties of our situa-
tion, in which one and all were called upon to assist in
any employment that should promise to contribute to the
general good.

“Jack returned to his strips of skin, the cleaning of
which he completed very cleverly. When he had finished
this part of his undertaking, he looked out from the chest
of nails those that were longest and which had the largest
and flattest heads; these he stuck through the bits of
skin intended for the collars, at small distances. He next
cut a strip of sail-cloth, the same breadth as the leather,
and laying it along on the heads of the nails, politely
proposed to me the agreeable occupation of sewing them
together, to prevent the heads of the nails from injuring
the dogs. I begged to be excused; but seeing the good
humour with which he tried to sew them himself, and
that, with all his good-will, it was too hard a task, I re-
warded him by doing it myself.

“ But now having yielded the first time, I found I had
made myself liable to further clains. The next thing
was a belt for himself, which he had manufactured of the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 77
same materials, and was impatient to see completed, it
being intended to contain his pistols. ‘We shall see,’
said he, strutting about as he spoke, ‘if the jackals will
dare to attack us.’—‘ But, dear Jack, you do not foresee
what will happen ;—a piece of skin not entirely dry is
always liable to shrink when exposed to the heat; so,
after all, you will not be able to make use of it. My
little workman, as I said this, struck his forehead, and
betrayed other marks of impatience,—‘ What you say is
true,’ said he, ‘and I had not well considered ; but I know
of an effectual remedy.’ He then took a hammer and
some nails, and stretched his strips of leather on a plank,
which he laid in the sun to dry quickly ; thus preventing
the possibility of their shrinking. I applauded his inven-
tion, and promised him I would not fail to give you a full
account of his proceedings.

“T next assembled them round me, and informed them
of my plans for an excursion ; and you may believe I heard
nothing like a dissenting voice. They lost not a moment
m preparing themselves ; they examined their arms, their
game-bags, looked out the best clasp-knives, and cheerfully
nndertook to carry the provision-bags; while I, for my
share, was loaded with a large flask of water and a hatchet,
for which I thought it likely we might find a use. I also
took the light gun which belongs to Ernest, and gave him
in return a carbine, which might be loaded with several
balls at once. We took some refreshment, and then sal-
lied forth, attended by the two dogs for our escort. Turk,
who had already accompanied you in the same direction,
seemed well aware that he knew the way, and proceeded
at the head of the party in quality of a conductor.

“ As we advanced, I reflected that our safety depended
in some measure on the two boys, because it was they
only who knew how to use the guns, and I now began to
78 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

feel how fortunate it was that you had accustomed them
from infancy to face danger of every kind. ‘We arrived
at the place at which you had crossed the river, and
succeeded in passing over, though not without difficulty.

“Ernest was the first in reaching the other side. The
little Francis entreated me to carry him on my back,
which was difficult enough. At length we found means
to manage pretty well, thanks to Jack, who relieved me
of my gun and the hatchet. But for himself, finding he
was scarcely able to stand under his added weight, he
resolved to go straight into the water at once, rather than
run the risk of slipping, by stepping on the loose wet
pieces of stone so heavily loaded. I myself had great
difficulty to keep myself steady with the dear little burden
at my back, who joined his hands round my neck, and
leaned with all his weight upon my shoulders. After
having filled my flask with river-water, we proceeded on
our way till we had reached the top of the hill which you
described to us as so enchanting. I continued for some
time to look around and admire in silence ; and for the first
time since the event of our dreadful accident at sea, I
felt my heart begin to open to a sense of enjoyment and
of hope.

“In casting my eyes over the vast extent before me, I
had observed a small wood of the most inviting aspect. I
had so long sighed for a little shade, that I resolved to
bend our course towards it; for this, however, it was
necessary to go a long way through a strong kind of grass,
which reached above the heads of the little boys; an
obstacle which, on trial, we found too difficult to overcome.
We therefore resolved to walk along the river, and turn
at last upon the wood. We found traces of your footsteps,
and took care to follow them till we had come to a place
which seemed to lead directly to it; but here again we
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 79

were interrupted by the height and thickness of the grass,
which nothing but the most exhausting endeavours could
have enabled us to get: through.

“ At this point our attention was arrested by a sudden
noise, and looking about, we perceived a large bird rising
from the thickest part of the grass, and mounting in the
air. Each of the boys prepared to fire, but before they
could be ready, the bird was out of the reach of shot.
Ernest was bitterly disappointed, and instantly exchanged
the gun for the carbine I had given him, crying, ‘ What
pity ! If I had but had the lightest gun! if the bird had
not got away so fast, I should certainly have killed him.
Ob! if one would but come at this very moment!’

“ readiness, this being, as I understand, one of his great
arts ; but as the opportunity is gone, let us look for the
place in the grass from which he mounted; we may judge
at least of his size by the mark he will have left there.’
The boys all scampered away to the place, when suddenly
b second bird, exactly like the first, except that he was a
little larger, rushed out with a great noise and mounted
above their heads.

“The boys remained stupid with astonishment, fol-
lowing him with their eyes without speaking a word, while
for my own part, I could not help laughing heartily. Oh!
such fine sportsmen as we have here! cried I; ‘ they will
never let us be in want of game, I plainly perceive. Ah! if
one would but come at this very moment !’ Ernest, always 8
little disposed to vent uneasiness by crying, now began
to whimper; while Jack, with a curious mixture of tragi-
comic bravery upon his features, his eyes darting upon
the mounting traveller, takes off his hat, makes a profound
bow, and roars out, as if for the bird to hear, ‘Have the
goodness, Mr. Traveller, to indulge me once more with s
80 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

little visit, only for a single minute: you cannot imagine
what good sort of people we are: I entreat that we may
have the pleasure of seeing you once again——~’ We now
minutély examined the place from which the birds had
mounted, and found a kind of large nest formed of dry
plants, of clumsy workmanship; the nest was empty,
with the exception of some broken shells of eggs. I
inferred from this, that their young had lately been
hatched ; and observing at this moment a rustling motion
among some plants of shorter growth, at some distance
from the spot on which we stood, I concluded that the
young covey were scampering away in that direction; but
as the motion soon ceased, we had no longer a guide to
conduct us to their retreat. We next reached a little
wood, where a prodigious quantity of unknown birds were
skipping and warbling on the branches of the trees,
without betraying the least alarm at our vicinity. The
boys wanted to fire on them; but this I absolutely
forbade, and with the less scruple, as the trees were of so
enormous a height as to be out of gun-shot reach. You
cannot possibly form an idea of the trees we now beheld!
‘You must somehow have missed this wood ; or so extraor-
dinary a sight could not have escaped your observation.
What appeared to us ata distance to be a wood was only
in reality a group of fourteen trees, the trunks of which
seemed to be supported in their upright position by arches
on cach side, these arches being formed by the roots of
the trees.

“ Jack climbed with considerable trouble upon one of
these arch-formed roots, and with a pack-thread in his
hand measured the actual circumference of the tree itself,
He found that it measured more than fifteen braches
(the brache is equal to twenty-two inches and a half).
I made thirty-two steps in going round one of those giant
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 81

productions at the roots; and its height from the ground
to the place where the branches begin to shoot may be
about thirty-six braches. The twigs of the tree are strong
and thick ; its leaves moderately large in size, and‘ bearing
some resemblance to the hazel-tree of Europe; but I was
unable to discover that it bore any fruit. The soil imme-
diately round and under its branches produced in great
abundance a short thick kind of plant, unmixed with any
of the thistle kind, and of a perfectly smooth surface.
The large breadth of shade which presented itself, seemed
to invite us to make this spot the place of our repose ;
and my predilection for it grew so strong, that I resolved
to go no further, but to enjoy its delicious coolness till it
should be time to return. I sat down with my three sons
around me. We took out our provision-bags: a charming
stream, formed to increase the coolness and beauty of the
scene, flowed at our feet, and supplied us with a fresh and
salutary beverage. Our dogs were not long in reaching
us; they had remained behind, sauntering about the
skirts of the wood. To my great surprise, they did not
ask for any thing to eat, but lay down quietly, and were
soon asleep at our feet. For my own part, I felt that I
could never tire of beholding and admiring this enchanting
spot ; it occurred to me, that if we could but contrive a
kind of tent that could be fixed in one of the trees, we
might safely come and make our abode here. I had found
nothing in any other direction that suited us so well in
every respect; and I resolved to look no further. When
we had shared our dinner among us, and were resting
after our fatigue, Jack intreated me to finish sewing the
linen strips to his leather belt. The little coxcomb had
80 great an ambition to strut about and exhibit bimself
in this new ornament, that he had taken the trouble to
carry the piece of wood on which he had nailed his skin
G
82 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

along with him through the whole of our expedition. Find-
ing that the skin was really dry, I granted his request,
preferring, since work I must, to do it now when I had the
advantage of being in the shade. When I had finished,
we set out on our return; and on reaching the sea-
shore we found, as I expected, pieces of timber, poles,
large and small chests, and other articles, which I knew
had come from the vessel. None of us, however, were
strong enough to bring them away; we therefore con-
tented ourselves with dragging all we could reach to the
dry sands, beyond the reach of the waves at high water.
Our dogs, meanwhile, were fully employed in catching
crabs, which they drew with their paws to the shore as the
waves washed them up, and on which they made an
excellent repast. I now understood it was this sort of
prey which had appeased their hunger before they joined
us at dinner.

Presently we perceived Flora employed in turning over
& round substance she had found in the sands, some
pieces of which she swallowed from time to time. Ernest
also perceived her motions, and did us the favour, with
his usual composure, to pronounce just these words :—
‘They are turtles’ eggs.’

“Run my children,’ cried I, ‘and get as many of them
as you can; they are excellent, and I shall have the
greatest pleasure in being able to regale our dear travellers
on their return with so new and delicious a dish.” We
found it difficult to make Flora leave the eggs, to which
8he had taken a great fancy. At length, however, we
succeeded in collecting near two dozen of them, which we
secured in our provision-bags. When we had concluded
this affair, we by accident cast our eyes upon the sea, and
to our astonishment perceived a sail, which seemed to be
joyfully approaching towards the land. I knew not what
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 83

to imagine; but Ernest exclaimed that it was you and
Fritz; and we soon had the happiness of being convinced
that he was right! We ran eagerly towards the river,
re-crossed it as before, and soon arrived at the place of
your landing, when we had nothing further to do but to
throw ourselves into your arms!”

“ And you think we could set up a tent in one of those
giant trees at a distance of sixty-six feet from the ground!
And by what means are we to ascend this tree? for at
present I have no clear view of this important part of the
subject.”

I perceived a tear stealing into my wife’s eye, that she
could not prevail upon me to think as she wished of her
discovery, and that I treated the subject of her giant trees
with so little respect.

“Do you recollect,” said she, “the large lime-tree in
the public walk of the town we lived in; and the pretty
little room which had been built among its branches, and
the flight of stairs which led to it? What should hinder
us from effecting such a contrivance in one of my giant
trees, which afford even superior facilities in the enormous
size and strength of their branches, and the peculiar
manner of their growth ?”

“Well, well, we shall see about it. In the mean while,
my boys, let us extract a little lesson in arithmetic from the
subject of these marvellous trees, for this, at least, will be
deriving a real benefit from them. Tell me, learned Mr.
Ernest, how many feet there are in thirty-six braches ? for
that, your mother assures us, is the height of the trees.”

Ernest —To answer this question, I must know first
how many feet or inches the brache contains.

Father—The brache or half-ell, contains one foot ten
inches, or twenty-two inches. Now then make your
calculation.

a 2
84 THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON.

Ernest.—I do not find it so easy as I thought. You
must help me, Fritz: you are older than J am.

Fritz~—With all my heart. First we take thirty-six
braches ; then multiply 36 by 22, the number of inches
each brache contains, and you have 792; divide this by
12, the number of inches in a foot, and it will give us 66
for the number of feet. Is that right, father ?

Father —Yes, quite right. So, my dear wife, you will have
every evening to climb sixty-six feet to get to bed, which,
as we have no ladder, is not the easiest thing imaginable.
Now then let us see how many feet the tree is in cireum-
ference, taking it round theroots. Your mother found that
she walked round it in thirty-two steps. Tell us then,
Ernest, how many feet do you think these thirty-two steps
would make ?

Ernest.— You always ask me the things that I know
nothing at all about; you should tell me, at least, how
many feet there are in a step.

Father —Well, say two feet and a half to each step.

Ernest.—Twice 82 makes 64; the half of 32 is 16;
which added to 64 makes 80 feet.

Father. —Very well. Tell me now, if you recollect the
proper term in geometry for the circumference of a circle,
or say of a tree, since we are talking of trees.

Ernest.—Oh, you may be sure that I could not forget
that it is called the periphery.

Father.—Right. And what is the term for any line
which may be drawn from one point of the periphery to
another, passing through the centre? Now, Jack, you
may show us what a great geometrician you intend to
be.

Jack.—TI believe it is called the diameter.

Father.—So far right. Next, can you tell me what is
the diameter of a periphery of eighty feet, and what dis-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 85

tance there is between the extremities of the roots of the
giant tree and its trunk ?

The boys all began to reckon, and soon one said one
number, one another, at random; but Fritz called out
louder than the rest, that the distance was twenty-six feet.

Father.—You are pretty near. Tell me, did you make
a calculation, or was it a mere guess P

Fritz. —No, father, not a guess: but I will tell you. In
the town in which we lived, I have often taken notice that
the hatter, when he was about to bind the edge of a hat,
always measured three times the length of the diameter,
and a trifle over, for the quantity of riband he should use.

Father.—So ; height from the ground to the branches,
sixty-six feet; thickness, eight feet in diameter; and
twenty-eight feet distance from the extremities of the
roots to the trunk: they really, with propriety, may be
called giant trees.

‘We now performed our devotions, and retired to rest,
grateful to find ourselves once more together, and in
health. We soon closed our eyes, and enjoyed tranquil
slumbers till break of day.

CHAPTER VII.

Construction of a Bridge.

Wuen my wife and I awoke the next morning, we re-
sumed the question of our change of abode. I observed
to her, that it was a matter of difficulty, and that we
might have reason to repent such a step. “My own
opinion is,” said I, “that we had better remain here,
where Providence seems to have conducted us; the place
is favourable to our personal safety, and is near the vessel,
from which we may continue to enrich ourselves: we are
86 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

on all sides protected by the rocks; it is an asylum in-
accessible but by sea, or by the passage of the river, which
is not easily accomplished. Let us then have patience
yet a little longer at least, till we have got all that can be
removed, or that would be useful to us from the ship.”

My wife replied, that the intense heat of the sands was
insupportable; that by remaining, we lost all hope of
procuring fruits of any kind, and must live on oysters, or
on such wild birds as that we found so unpalatable. “As
for the safety you boast of,” pursued she, “the rocks did
not prevent our receiving a visit from the jackals; nor
is it improbable that tigers or other animals might follow
their example. Lastly, as to the treasures we might
continue to draw from the vessel, I renounce them with
all my heart. We are already in possession of provisions
and other useful things: and, to say the truth, my heart
is always filled with distressing apprehensions, when you
and Fritz are exposed to the danger of that perfidious
element the sea.”

“We will then think seriously of the matter; but let
us have a well-digested scheme of operation before we
leave this spot for your favourite wood. First, we must
contrive a store-house among the rocks for our pro-
visions and other things, to which, in case of invasion in
the wood, we can retreat for safety. This agreed, the
next thing is to throw a bridge across the river, if we are
to pass it with all our family and baggage.”

“A bridge!” exclaimed my wife; “can you possibly
think of such a thing? If we stay while you build a
bridge, we may consider ourselves as fixed for life. Why
should we not cross the river as we did before? The ass
and the cow will carry all we possess upon their backs.”

“But do you recollect, that to keep what they carry
dry, they must not perform their journey as they did from
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 87

the vessel? For this reason, then, if for no other, we
must contrive a bridge. We shall want also some sacks
and baskets to contain our different matters; you may
therefore set about making these, and I will undertake
the bridge, which, the more I consider, the more I find
to be of indispensable necessity ; for the stream will, no
doubt, at times increase, and the passage become im-
practicable in any other way. At this moment it would
be found so for our shortest-legged animals, and I am
sure you would not wish to see them drowned.”

“Well, then, a bridge let there be,” said my wife;
“and you will leave our stock of gunpowder here, I hope ;
for I am never easy with it so near us: a thunder-storm,
or some thoughtless action of one of the boys, might ex-
pose us to serious danger.”

“You are right, my love ; and I will carefully attend to
your suggestion. We will keep on hand only asufficient
quantity for daily use; I will contrive a place in the rock
for the rest, where it will be safe from the chance of fire
or dampness.”

Thus, then, we decided the important question of re-
moving to a new abode ; after which, we fixed upon a plan
of labour for the day, and then roused the boys. Their
delight on hearing of our project may easily be con-
ceived, but they expressed their fear that it would be a
long while before a bridge could be built; a single hour
appearing an age to them, with such a novelty in view as
the prospect of removing to the wood, to live under the
giant trees. They, in the fulness of their joy, entreated
that the place might be called The Promised Land.

We now began to look about for breakfast; Fritz
taking care not to neglect his monkey, who sucked one
of the goats as contentedly as if she had been its mother.
My wife undertook to milk another, and then the cow,
88 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and afterwards gave some of the milk to each of the
children: with a part of what remained she made a sort of
soup with biscuits, and the rest she put into one of the
flasks, to accompany us in our expedition. During this
time, I was preparing the boat for another journey to the
vessel, to bring away a sufficient quantity of planks and
timbers for the bridge. After breakfast we set out; and
now I took with me Ernest as well as Fritz, that we
might accomplish our object in a shorter time.

We rowed stoutly till we reached the current, which
soon drew us on beyond the bay; but scarcely had we
passed a little islet, lying to one side of us, than we per-
ceived a prodigious quantity of sea-gulls and other birds.
I had a curiosity to discover what could be the reason of
such an assemblage of these creatures. I steered for the
spot; but finding that the boat made but little way, I
hoisted my sail.

To Ernest our expedition afforded the highest delight.
He was in ecstasies at seeing the sail begin to swell, and
the motion of the streamer in the air. Fritz, on his part,
did not for a moment take his eyes from the islet where
the birds were. Presently he suddenly exclaimed, “TI see
what it is; the birds are all pecking at a monstrous fish,
which lies dead upon the soil.”

I approached near enough to step upon the land, and
after bringing the boat to an anchor with a heavy stone,
we stole softly up to the birds. "We soon perceived that
the object which had attracted them was in reality an
enormous fish, which had been thrown there by the sea.
So eagerly were they occupied with the feast, that not
one of them attempted to fly off. We observed with
astonishment the extreme voracity of this plumed group:
each bird was so intent upon its prey, that we might have
killed great numbers of them with our sticks alone.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 89

Fritz did not cease to express his wonder at the mon-
strous size of the animal, and asked me by what means
he could have got there ?

“I believe,’ answered I, “you were yourself the
means; there is every appearance that it is the very shark
you wounded yesterday. See, here are the two balls
which you discharged at his head.”

“ Yes, yes, it is the very same,” said my young hero,
skipping about for joy: “I well remember I had two balls
in my gun, and here they are, lodged in his hideous
head.”

“I grant it is hideous enough,” continued I; “ its
aspect even when dead makes one shudder; particularly
when I recollect how easy it would have been for him to
have devoured us. See what a huge mouth he has, and
what a rough and prickly skin! one might almost use it
for a file; and his length must be above twenty feet. We
ought to be thankful to Providence, and a little to our
Fritz also, for having delivered us from such a monster!
But let us take away with us some pieces of his skin, for
I have an ides that it may in some way or other be useful
to us. But how to get at him is the difficulty.”

Ernest drew out the iron ramrod from his gun, and by
striking with it to right and left among the birds, soon
dispersed them. Fritz and I then advanced and cut
several long strips of the skin from the head of the shark,
with which we were proceeding to our boat, when I ob-
served, lying on the ground, some planks and timbers
which had recently been cast by the sea on this little
island. On measuring the longest, we perceived they
would answer our purpose; and with the assistance of
the crow and a lever which we had brought with us, found
means to get them to the boat, and thus spare ourselves
the trouble of proceeding to the vessel. With great ex-
90 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ertion of our strength, we contrived to bind the timbers
together, with the planks upon them, in the manner of a
raft, and tied them to the end of the boat ; so that, through
this adventure, we were ready to return in four hours
from the time of departure, and might boast of having
done a good day’s work. I accordingly pushed again for
the current, which soon drove us out to sea; then I
tacked about, and resumed the direct route for the bay.
All this succeeded to my utmost wishes; I unfurled my
sail, and a brisk wind soon conveyed us to our landing-
place.

While we were sailing, Fritz, at my request, had nailed
the strips of skin we cut from the shark to the mast to
dry ; and he now observed to me that this was wrong, as
they had taken its round shape in drying, and could not
be made flat again.

“That was precisely my intention,” replied I; “ they
will be more useful to us round than flat; besides, you
have still some left, which you may dry flat: and then we
shall have a fine provision of shagreen, if we can find a
good method to rub off the sharp points, and afterwards
to polish it.”

“TI thought,” said Ernest, “that shagreen was made of
ass’s skin.” “And you were not mistaken,” rejoined I:
“the best shagreen is made in Turkey, Persia, and Tar-
tary, from skin taken from the back of the ass and
the horse. While the skin is yet moist, it is stretched
upon a kind of hard fat; they then beat the skin, by
which means the fat is incorporated, and gives the sur-
face the appearance of a kind of file: but very good sha-
green is also made from the skin of sea-fish, particularly
in France.”

Ernest asked his brother if he knew why the mouth of
the shark is not, as in other animals, placed in the middle
















































































« Jack reached us before the rest ; and his first act was to open the hand-

kerchief he held, and pour out a large number of lobsters at our feet.”
Page 91.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 91

of the snout, but directly under. Fritz confessed his in-
ability to answer this question.

“T suppose,” rejoined Ernest, “that the mouth of the
shark is thus placed with the intention of preventing him
from depopulating the sea and the land. With such a
voracious appetite as he possesses, nothing would escape
him if he had the power to seize his prey without turning
his body ; but as it is, there is time enough for a smaller
animal to make his escape.”

“Well reasoned, my young philosopher,” cried I;
“and though we should not always be able to comprehend
the intention of the Creator in the objects which sur-
round us, at least the conjectures we are induced to form
respecting them cannot fail of being a useful exercise to
the mind.”

We were once more landed safely on our shore, but no
one of our family appeared. We called to them as loud
as we could, which was answered by the same sounds in
return, and in a few minutes my wife appeared between
her two little boys returning from the river, a rising piece
of ground having concealed her from our sight: each car-
ried a handkerchief in -hand, which appeared filled with
some new prize: and little Francis had a small fishing-net
formed like a bag and strung upon a stick, which he car-
ried on his shoulder. No sooner did they hear our voices,
than they flew to meet us, surprised at our quick return.
Jack reached us before the rest; and his first act was to
open the handkerchief he held, and pour out a large num-
ber of lobsters at our feet ; their mother and little Francis
produced each as many more, forming all together a pro-
digious heap, and all alive; so that we were sure of ex-
cellent dinners for some days at least.

“ Now, have I not been very lucky, papa?” said little
Francis; “for you must know it was I who found them
92 "THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

out. Look, how many there are, and see how large they
are, and what fine claws they have! Iam sure they will
be quite delicious!” ~

Father.—Excellent indeed, my little fellow, and parti-
cularly if it was your industry that first discovered them.

Jack.—Yes, father, it was Francis who saw them first ;
but it was I who ran to tell mamma, and it was I who
fetched the net and put it to rights, and it was I who
went up to my knees in water to catch them.

Father —You make a charming story of it together,
my boys; but as it is an interesting subject, you may tell
me as many particulars as you please; it is indeed an
event of some importance for our kitchen, and I have
great pleasure in looking forward to partaking of a dish
of your providing.

Jack.—Well, then, papa, as soon as you were gone,
mamma sat down outside the tent and began to work,
while Francis and I took a little walk towards the river,
to find out a proper place for you to begin the bridge.

Father. —Bravo, Mr. Architect; I am much gratified
to find that careless head of yours for once employed upon
a useful subject. Did you find a proper place for me to
begin the bridge P

Jack.—Yes, father, yes. But listen, and you will
know all. When we reached the river we saw a large
stone just at the edge, and little Francis kneeling down
and touching it, suddenly cried out, “ Jack, Jack, Fritz’s
jackal is covered all over with lobsters! Run as fast as
you can.” JI sprang to him in an instant, and saw not
only the jackal covered with them, but legions more
coming in with the stream. I ran to tell mamma, who
quickly got the net you brought from the vessel. Partly
with this net, and partly with our hands, we caught those
you see in a very few minutes ; and we should have caught
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 93

a much larger number if we had not heard you call, for
the river is quite full of them.

“You took quite enough for once, my boy,” said I:
“a little at a time is the maxim that suits us best, and I
should even advise your taking the smallest of them back
to the river, where they will grow larger ; we shall still
have sufficient for several magnificent repasts.”

After giving in our turn an account of our voyage, my
wife set about dressing some of the lobsters, and in the
mean time Fritz and I employed ourselves in untying the
raft of timbers and planks, and in moving them from the
boat. I then imitated the example of the Laplanders, in
harnessing their rein-deer for drawing their sledges. In-
stead of traces, halters, &c., I put a piece of rope, with a
running knot at the end, round the neck of the ass, and
passed the other end between its legs, to which I tied the
piece of wood which I wished to be removed. The cow
was harnessed in the same manner, and we were thus
enabled to carry our materials to the spot which Architect
Jack had chosen at the river, as the most eligible for our
bridge: to say the truth, I thought his judgment excel-
lent; it was a place where the shore on each side was
steep, and of equal height ; there was even on our side an
old trunk of a tree lying on the ground, which I foresaw
would have its use.

“ Now then, boys,” said I, “the first thing is to see if
our timbers are long enough to reach to the other side:
by my eye, I should think they are; but if I had a sur-
veyor’s plane, we might be quite sure, instead of working
at a venture.”

“But my mother has some balls of packthread, with
which she measured the height of the giant tree,” inter-
rupted Ernest, “and nothing would be more easy than to
tie a stone to the end of one of them, and throw it to the
94 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

other side of the river; then we could draw it to the very
brink, and thus obtain the exact length that would be re-
quired for our timbers.”

“Your idea is excellent,” cried I; “nothing gives me
more pleasure than to see you exercise your invention :
run quickly and fetch the packthread.” He returned
without loss of time; the stone was tied to its end, and
thrown across as we had planned; we drew it gently back
to the river’s edge, marking the place where the bridge
was to rest: we next measured the string, and found that
the distance from one side to the other was eighteen feet.
It appeared to me, that to give a sufficient solidity to the
’ timbers, I must allow three feet at each end of extra
length for fixing them, making therefore in all twenty-
four ; and I was fortunate enough to find that many of
those we had brought did not fall short of this length.
There now remained the difficulty of carrying one end
across the stream; but we determined to discuss this
part of the subject while we ate our dinner, which had
been waiting for us more than an hour.

We all now proceeded homewards, and entering the
kitchen, we found our good steward had prepared for us
a large dish of lobsters; but before tasting them, she in-
sisted we should look at something she had been em-
ployed about: she produced two sacks intended for the
ass, which she had seamed with packthread; the work,
she assured us, had with difficulty been accomplished,
since, for want of a needle large enough to carry pack-
thread, she had been obliged to make a hole with a nail
for every stitch; we might therefore judge by her perse-
verance in such a task, of the ardour with which she
longed to see her plan of a removal executed. She re-
ceived on this occasion, as was well her due, abundance of
compliments and thanks from her companions, and also a
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 95

little good-humoured raillery. For this time we hurried
through our meal, each being deeply interested in the
work we were about to undertake, and thinking only of
the part which might be assigned him towards the execu-
tion of the Nonsuch; for this, for mutual encourage-
ment, was the name we gave our bridge, even before it
was in existence.

Having consulted as to the means of laying our tim-
bers across the river, the first thing I did was to attach
one of them to the trunk of the tree, of which I have
already spoken, by a strong cord, long enough to turn
freely round the trunk: I then fastened a second cord to
the other end of the timber, and tying a stone to its ex-
tremity, flung it to the opposite bank. I next passed the
river as I had done before, furnished with a pulley, which
I secured to a tree: I passed my second cord through the
pulley, and recrossing the river with this cord in my hand,
I contrived to harness the ass and cow to the end of the
cord. I next drove the animals from the bank of the
river: they resisted at first, but I made them go by force
of drawing. I first fixed one end of the beam firm to the
trunk of the tree, and then they drew along the other
end, so as gradually to advance over the river: presently,
to my great joy, I saw it touch the other side, and at
length become fixed and firm by its own weight. Ina
moment Fritz and Jack leaped upon the timber, and, in
spite of my paternal fears, crossed the stream with a joy-
ful step upon this narrow but effective bridge.

The first timber being thus laid, the difficulty was con-
siderably diminished ; a second and a third were fixed in
succession, and with the greatest ease. Fritz and I,
standing on opposite sides of the river, placed them at
such distances from each other as was necessary to form
a broad and handsome bridge: what now remained to be
96 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

done, was to lay some short planks across them quite close
to each other, which we executed so expeditiously, that
our construction was completed in a much shorter time
than I should have imagined possible. The delight of our
young workmen was beyond description, they danced and
shouted for joy. For my own part, I could hardly re-
strain myself from joining in these demonstrations; and
my wife, who had been the mover of all our operations,
was as little disposed to a silent calm enjoyment of our
success as any of the rest: she ran to one and then to
another, embracing each in turn, and was never tired of
passing and repassing on our piece of workmanship, which
was every where safe and even, and at least ten feet in
breadth. I had not fastened the cross planks to.each
other, for they appeared to be close and firm without it;
and besides, I recollected that in case of danger from any
kind of invasion, we could with the greater ease remove
them, and thus render the passage of the river more diffi-
cult. Our labour, however, had occasioned us so much
fatigue, that we found ourselves unable for that day to
enter upon new exertions; and the evening beginning to
set in, we returned to our home, where we partook
heartily of an excellent supper, and went to bed.

CHAPTER VIII.
Change of Abode.

As soon as we were up and had breakfasted the next
morning, I assembled all the members of my family to-
gether, to take with them a solemn farewell of this our
first place of reception from the awful disaster of the ship-
wreck. I confess that for my own part I could not leave
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 97

it without regret; it was a place of greater safety than
we were likely again to meet with ; i¢ was also nearer to
the vessel. I thought it right to represent strongly to
my sons the danger of exposing themselves as they had
done the evening before, along the river.—‘‘ We are now
going,” continued I, “to inhabit an unknown spot, which
is not so well protected by nature as that we are leaving:
we are unacquainted both with the soil and its in-
habitants, whether human creatures or beasts: much
caution is therefore necessary, and take care not to re-
main separate from each other.” Having unburdened
my mind of this necessary charge, we prepared for setting
out. I directed my sons to assemble our whole flock of
animals, and to leave the ass and the cow to me, that I
might load them with the sacks as before agreed; I had
filled these, and made a slit longways in the middle of
each, and to each side of the slits I tied several long
pieces of cord, which, crossing each other, and being
again brought round and fastened, served to hold the
sacks firmly on the back of the animal. We next began
to put together all the things we should stand most in
need of for the two or three first days in our new abode :
working implements, kitchen utensils, and a small pro-
vision of butter, &c. &c. I put these articles into the
two ends of each sack, taking care that the sides should
be equally heavy, and then fastened them on. I after-
wards added our hammocks to complete the load, and we
were about to begin to march, when my wife stopped me.
—“We must not,” said she, “leave our fowls behind, for
fear they should become the prey of the jackals. We
must contrive a place for them among the luggage,
and also one for our little Francis, who cannot walk
so far, and would interrupt our speed. There is also my
enchanted bag, which I recommend to your particular
H
98 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

care,” said she, smiling; “for who can tell what may pop
out of it for your good pleasure ?”

I now placed the child on the ass’s back, fixing the en-
chanted bag in such a way as to support him, and I tied
them together with so many cords, that the animal might
even have galloped without danger of his falling off. In
the mean while, the other boys had succeeded in catching
the cocks and hens and the pigeons, which were tied by
the feet and wings, put into a basket, covered with a net,
and placed in triumph on the top of our luggage.

We packed and placed in the tent every thing we were
to leave, and, for greater security, fastened down the ends
of the sail-cloth, at the entrance, by driving stakes through
them into the ground. We ranged a number of vessels,
both full and empty, round the tent, to serve as a ram-
part, and thus we confided to the protection of Heaven
our remaining treasures. At length, we set ourselves in
motion ; each of us, great and small, carried a gun upon
his shoulder, and a game-bag at his back. My wife led
the way with her eldest son, the cow and the ass imme-
diately behind them ; the goat, conducted by Jack, came
next; the little monkey was seated on the back of his
nurse, and made a thousand grimaces. After the goats
came Ernest, conducting the sheep, while I, in my
capacity of general superintendent, followed behind, and
brought up the rear; the dogs for the most part pranced
backwards and forwards, like adjutants to a troop of
soldiers. Our march was slow, and there was something
solemn and patriarchal in the spectacle we exhibited; I
fancied we must resemble our forefathers journeying in
the deserts, accompanied by their families and their pos-
sessions.—‘ Now then, Fritz,” cried I, “ you have the
specimen you wished for of the patriarchal mode of life ;
what do you think of it ?’”—*I like it much, father,” re-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 99

plied he: “I never read the Bible without wishing I had
lived in those good times.”

“ And I too,” said Ernest, “TI am quite delighted with
it; I cannot help fancying myself not merely a patriarch,
but a Tartar, or an Arab, and that we are about to dis-
cover I know not how many new and extraordinary things.
Is it not true, father, that the Tartars and the Arabs pass
their lives in journeying from one place to another, and
carrying all they have about with them ?”

“Tt is certainly for the most part true,” replied I, “and
they are denominated wandering tribes; but they gene-
rally perform their journeys attended by horses and
camels, by means of which they can proceed a little
faster, than if, like us, they had only an ass and a cow.
For my part, I should not be sorry if I were quite sure
that the pilgrimage we are now making would be our
last.””-—“ And I too am of your way of thinking,” cried
my wife; “and I hope that in our new abode we shall be
so well satisfied with the shade of such luxuriant trees,
that we shall not be inclined to further rambles.”

We had now advanced half way across our bridge,
when the sow for the first time took the fancy of joining
us. At the moment of our departure she had shown her-
self so restive and indocile, that we were compelled to
leave her behind us; but seeing that we had all left the
place, she had set out voluntarily to overtake us; taking
care, however, to apprize us, by her continual grunting,
that she disapproved of our migration.

On the other side of the river we experienced an in-
convenience wholly unexpected. The tempting aspect of
the grass, which grew here in profusion, drew off our ani-
mals, who strayed from us to feed upon it; so that, with-
out the dogs, we should not have been able to bring them
back to the line of our procession. The active creatures

H2
100 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

were of great use to us on this occasion; and when every
thing was restored to proper order, we were able to continue
our journey. For fear, however, of a similar occurrence,
I directed our march to the left, along the sea-side, where
the produce of the soil was not of a quality to attract
them.

But scarcely had we advanced a few steps on the sands,
when our two dogs, which had strayed behind among the
grass, set up a sort of howl, as if engaged in an encounter
with some formidable animal. Fritz in an instant raised
his gun to bis cheek, and was ready to fire; Jack ran
bravely after him, while I, fearing the dogs might be
attacked by some dangerous wild beast, prepared myself
to advance to their assistance. In spite of my exhorta-
tions to proceed with caution, the boys eagerly ran to
the place from which the noise proceeded, and in an in-
stant Jack had turned to meet me, clapping his hands,
and calling out, “ Come quickly, father, come quickly,
here is 8 monstrous porcupine!”

I soon reached the spot, and perceived that it was
really as they said. The dogs were running to and fro
with bloody noses about the animal; and when they
approached too near him, he made a frightful noise, and
pierced them with his quills so deeply and suddenly, that
the pain the wounds occasioned made them how! vio-
lently.

While we were looking on, Jack determined on an
attack, which succeeded well. He took one of the pistols
which he carried in his belt, and aimed it so exactly at
the head of the porcupine, that it fell dead the instant
he fired, and before we had a notion of what he was about.
This success raised Jack to the height of joy and vanity ;
but Fritz was out of humour because his younger brother
had deprived him of the honour of the day; and he


« He took one of the pistols which he carried in his belt, and aimed it so
exactly at the head of the porcupine, that it fell dead the instant he fired, and

before we had a notion of what he was atout.
Page 100.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 101

sought a subject of complaint against him, as the wolf did
with the poor little lamb. “Come, come, boys,” said I, “let
me hear no envious speeches and no reproaches ; luck for
one to-day, for ‘another to-morrow; but all for the
common good. Jack was, perhaps, a little imprudent,
but you must allow that he showed both skill and cou-
rage; let us not, therefore, tarnish the glory of his ex-
ploit.”” The boys now all got round the extraordinary
animal, and while they were talking over their adventure,
my wife and I hastened to relieve the dogs, by examining
the wounds which had been inflicted by the quills. Fritz
hurried on with his gun, hoping he should meet with
some animal of prey. What he most desired was to find
one or two of those large bustards which his mother had
described to him. We followed him at our leisure, taking
care not to incur any unnecessary fatigue; till at last,
without further accident or adventure, we arrived at the
place of the giant trees. Such indeed we found them,
and our astonishment exceeded all description.—I must
confess I had not formed an idea of their prodigious size.
“To you be all the honour, my dear wife, for the dis-
covery of this agreeable abode, in which we shall enjoy so
many comforts and advantages. The great point we have
to gain, is the fixing a tent large enough to receive us all,
in one of these trees, by which means we shall be per-
fectly secure from the invasion of wild beasts. I defy
even one of the bears, who are so famous for mounting
trees, to climb up by a trunk so immense, and so des-
titute of branches.”

We began now to release our animals from their
burdens, having first thrown our own on the grass. We
next used the precaution of tying their two fore-legs
together with a cord, that they might not go far away or
lose themselves. We restored the fowls to liberty ; and
102 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

then seating ourselves upon the grass, we held a family
council on the subject of our future establishment. I
was myself somewhat uneasy on the question of our safety
during the ensuing night; for I was ignorant of the
nature of the extensive country I beheid around me, and
what chauce there might be of our being attacked by
different kinds of wild beasts. I accordingly observed to
my wife that I would make an endeavour for us all to
sleep in the tree that very night. While I was delibe-
rating with her on the subject, Fritz, who longed to take his
revenge for the porcupine adventure, had stolen away to
a short distance, and we heard the report of a gun. This
would have alarmed me, if at the same moment we had
not recognized Fritz’s voice crying out, “I touched him!
I touched him!” and in a moment we saw him running
towards us, holding a dead animal of uncommon beauty
by the paws.— Father, look, here is a superb tiger-cat,”’
said he, proudly raising it in the air, to show it to the
best advantage.—“ Bravo! bravo!” cried I. “ Your ex-
ploit will call forth the gratitude of our cocks, hens, and
pigeons, for you have rendered them what they cannot
fail to think an important service. Ifyou had not killed
this animal, he would no doubt have demolished in one
night our whole stock of poultry. I charge you look
about in every direction, and try to destroy as many of
the species as fall in your way, for we cannot have more
dangerous intruders.”

Fritz.—I hope Jack will be so good as not to spoil the
beautiful skin of this animal as he did that of the jackal.
Only observe what beautiful figures it is marked with,
and the fine effect of the black and yellow spots; the
most richly-manufactured stuff could not exceed it in
magnificence. What is the exact name of the animal ?

Father —You may for the present give it the name of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 103

the tiger-cat. I do not, however, think that it is the
animal which is so denominated at the Cape of Good
Hope; I rather think it is the margay, a native of
America, an animal of extremely vicious dispositions
and singular voraciousness; he attacks all the birds
of the forest, and neither a man, a sheep, or goat,
that should fall in his way, could escape his rapacity. In
the name of humanity, therefore, we ought to be thankful
to you for having destroyed him.

Fritz — All the recompense I ask, father, is, that you
will let me keep the skin; and I wish you would tell me
what use I can make of it.

Father —One idea occurs to me: skin the animal care-
fully, so as not to injure it, particularly the parts which
cover the fore-legs and the tail. You may then make
yourself a belt with it, like your brother Jack’s. The odd
pieces will serve to make some cases to contain our uten-
sils for the table, such as knives, forks, spoons. Go then,
boy, and put away its bloody head, and we will see how
to set about preparing the skin.

The boys left me no moment of repose till I had shown
them how to take off the skins of the animals without
tearing them. In the mean while Ernest looked about
for a flat stone as a sort of foundation for a fire-place,
and little Francis collected some pieces of dry wood for
his mother to light a fire. Ernest was not long in finding
what he wanted, and then he ran to join us, and give us
his assistance, making, at the same time, various comments
and inquiries respecting the name of the trees we intended
to inhabit.—“ It is my opinion,” said he, “that they are,
really and simply, enormously large hazel-trees; see if
the leaf is not of exactly the same form.”—‘“ But that is
no proof,” interrupted I ; “for many trees bear leaves of
the same shape, but nevertheless are of different kinds.”
104 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Ernest.—I thought, father, that the mangrove-tree only
grew on the sea-shore, and in marshy soils ?

Father.—You were not mistaken : it is the black man-
grove-tree which loves the water. But there is, besides,
the red mangrove, which bears its fruit in bunches
something like our currant-bushes. This kind of the
mangle or mangrove-tree is found at a considerable dis-
tance from the sea, and its wood is used for dyeing red.
There is a third sort, which is called the mountain
mangrove, or yellow wood, and this is the kind whose roots
produce the beautiful arches you now see around us.

Presently little Francis came running, with his mouth
crammed full of something, and calling out, “ Mamma,
mamma! I have found a nice fruit to eat, and I have
brought you home some of it !”

“Greedy child!’ replied his mother, quite alarmed,
“what have you got there? Pray, do not swallow, in
this imprudent manner, the first thing that falls in your
way ; for by this means you may be poisoned, and then
you would die.” She made him open his mouth, and
took out with her finger what he was eating with so keen
arelish, With some difficulty she drew out the remains
of a fig—“ A fig!” exclaimed I: “where did you get
this fig P”

Francis.—I_ got it among the grass, papa; and there
are a great many more. I thought it must be good to
eat, for the fowls and the pigeons, and even the pig, came
to the place, and ate them in large quantities.

Father —“ You see then, my dear,” said I to my wife,
“that our beautiful trees are fig-trees, at least the kind
which are thus named at the Antilles.” I took this occa-
sion to give the boys another lesson on the necessity of
being cautious, and never to venture on tasting any thing
they met with, till they had seen it eaten by birds and
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 105

monkeys. At the word monkeys, they all ran to visit
the little orphan, whom they found seated on the root of a
tree, and examining with the oddest grimaces the half-
skinned tiger-cat, which lay near him. Francis offered
him a fig, which he first turned round and round, then
smelled at it, and concluded by eating it voraciously.—
“Bravo ! bravo! Mr. Monkey,” exclaimed the boys,
clapping their hands; “so then these figs are good to eat!
thank you, Mr. Monkey, for, after your wise decision, we
shall make a charming feast on them.”

In the mean while my wife had been busy in making a
fire, putting on the pot, and preparing for our dinner.
The tiger-cat was bestowed upon the dogs, who waited
impatiently to receive it. While our dinner was dressing,
I employed my time in making some packing-needles
with some of the quills of the porcupine, which the boys
had contrived to draw from his skin, and bring home. I

put the point of a large nail into the fire till it was
red-hot; then taking hold of it with some wet linen in
my hand, by way of guard, I with great ease perforated
the thick end of the quills with it. I had soon the
pleasure of presenting my wife with a large packet of long,
stout needles, which were the more valuable in her esti-
mation, as she had formed the intention of contriving
some better harness for our animals, and had been
perplexed how to set about them without some larger
needles. I however recommended to her to be frugal in
the use of her packthread, for which I should soon have
80 urgent a need, in constructing a ladder for ascending
the tree we intended to inhabit.

Thad singled out the highest fig-tree; and while we
were waiting for dinner, I made the boys try how high
they could throw a stick or stone into it. I also
tried myself ; but the lowest branches were so far from
106 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the ground, that none of us could touch them. I per-
ceived, therefore, that we should want some new inventions
for fastening the ends of my ladder to them. I alloweda
short pause to my imagination, during which I assisted
Jack and Fritz in carrying the skin of the tiger-cat to 4
near rivulet, where we confined it under water with some
large stones. After this we returned and dined heartily
on some slices of ham and bread and cheese, under the
shade of our favourite trees.

CHAPTER IX.
Construction of a Ladder.—Settling in the Giant Tree.

Our repast ended, I observed to my wife, that we should
be obliged to pass the night on the ground. I desired
her to begin preparing the harness for the animals, that
they might go to the sea-shore, and fetch pieces of wood,
or other articles which might be useful to us. I, in the
mean time, set about suspending our hammocks to.some
of the arched roots of the trees. I next spread a piece of
sail-cloth large enough to cover them, to preserve us from
the dew, and from the insects. I then hastened with the
two eldest boys to the sea-shore, to choose out such pieces
of wood as were most proper for the steps of my ladder.
Ernest was so lucky as to discover some bamboo canes in
a sort of bog. I took them out, and, with his assistance,
completely cleared them from the dirt; and stripping off
their leaves, I found, to my great joy, that they were pre-
cisely what I wanted. I then instantly began to cut them
with my hatchet, in pieces of four or five feet long : the
boys bound them together in fagots, and we prepared to
return with them to our place of abode. I next secured
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 107

some of the straight and most slender of the stalks, to make
some arrows with, of which I knew I should stand in need.
At some distance from the place where we stood, I per-
ceived a sort of thicket, in which I hoped to find some
young pliant twigs, which I thought might also be useful
to me: we proceeded to the spot; but apprehending it
might be the retreat of some dangerous reptile or animal,
we held our guns in readiness. Flora, who had accom-
panied us, went before. We had hardly reached the
thicket before she made several jumps, and threw herself
furiously into the middle of the bushes. Immediately a
troop of large-sized flamingoes' sprang out, and with a

1 Flamingo. This bird takes its name from the singular colour of
its plumage, being of a bright flame-coloured red. It is to be found
both in the old and the new continent. It is a gregarious animal, fre-
quenting the sea-shore and the marshes occasionally covered by the sea.
When the fiamingo sets out upon a fishing expedition, the birds range
themselves in file, so as, st adistance, to produce the appearance of an
extended line of soldiers. When drawn up in their military array,
there are always sentinels fixed, who, in case of alarm, utter a loud cry,
capable of being heard at a great distance, and considerably resembling
the sound of a trumpet: the sentinel then takes wing, and all the others
follow. They avoid all inhabited places, and live on the small fry of
fish, or shell-fish, and on insects that they find in the mud, into which
they plunge their long and singular beak. The flamingo builds its nest
on the ground, and generally in marshes; they scrape the mud into a
heap with their feet, so as to make little hillocks of a conical figure, and
a foot and a half in height; the hillock is a little hollowed at the top:
and in this hollow the female lays two or three eggs at most, upon
which she sits; her legs, which are very long, resting upon the level
ground, or plunged into the water, while with the back part of her body
she keeps the eggs in a proper state of warmth. The young ones run
with inexpressible quickness 8 few days after their birth, but do noé
‘segin to fly till they have acquired their full size. Their plumage is af
first of a pale grey approaching to white ; it grows redder as the young
flamingo increases in age: but nearly a year elapses before this bird
reaches its full stature ; at which time it first shows its robe of a bril-
liant flame-colour. The flamingo is considered as a delicate morsel for
108 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

loud rustling noise mounted into the air. Fritz fired, and
two of the birds fell among the bushes: one of them was
quite dead; the other was only slightly wounded in the
wing, and finding that he could not fly, he ran so fast to-
wards the water, that we were afraid he would escape us.
Fritz, in the joy of his heart, plunged up to his knees in
the swamp, to pick up the flamingo he had killed, and with
great difficulty was able to get out again; while I, warned
by his example, proceeded more cautiously in my pursuit
of the wounded bird. Flora came to my assistance, and
running on before, caught hold of the flamingo, and held
him fast till I reached the spot, and took him into my
protection. All this was effected with considerable
trouble; for the bird made a stout resistance, flapping its
wings with violence for some time. But at last I suc-
ceeded in securing him.

Fritz was not long in extricating himself from the
swamp; he now appeared holding the dead flamingo by
the feet: but I had more trouble in the care of mine, as
I had a great desire to preserve him alive. I had tied his
feet and his wings with my handkerchief: notwithstand-
ing which, he still continued to flutter about to a dis-
tressing degree, and tried to make his escape.

The joy of the boys was excessive, when they saw that
my flamingo was alive—“If we can but cure his wound,
and contrive to feed him, what a happiness it will be!”
the table, having some resemblance to the partridge in flavour. When
in full growth, it is more than four feet long from the beak to’the tail,
and nearly six feet high to the extremity of the talons. The neck and
legs are extremely long ; the plumage varies in colour on the different
parts of the body, from a bright vermillion to a beautiful rose colour,
and the legs and feet are of the same tint. There are, however, a few
black feathers in each wing: the beak in some is red, and in others

yellow; but the extremity in all is black.—New Dictionary of Natural
History.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 109

said they. “Do you think he will like to be with the
other fowls ?”

“TJ know,” answered I, “ that he is a bird that may be
easily tamed; but he will not thank you for such food as
we give our fowls; he will make his humble petition to
you for some small fish, a few worms, or insects.”

Ernest.—Our river will furnish him with all these:
Jack and Francis can catch as many as he will want:
and very soon, with such long legs as he has, he may
learn the way to the river and find them for himself. But,
father, are all flamingoes like this, of such a beautiful red
colour, and the wings so exquisitely tinted with purple?
I think I have seen the flamingo in my Natural History,
and the colours were not like these: so perhaps this is
not a flamingo at last.

Futher.—I believe it is a flamingo, Ernest, and that
this difference in the plumage denotes the age of the bird;
when very young they are grey: at a more advanced age
they are white; and it is only when they are full grown,
that they are adorned with this beautiful tinted plumage.
But one of you must hold our live flamingo, while I re-
peat my visit to the canes, for I have not done with them
yet. I accordingly selected some of the oldest of the
stalks, and cut from them their hard pointed ends, to
serve for the tips of my arrows, for which they are also
used by the savages of the Antilles; and, lastly, I looked
for two of the longest canes, which I cut, for the purpose
of measuring the height of our giant tree.

On rejoining our companions we were received with a
thousand expressions of interest and kindness. All were
delighted at the sight of our live flamingo, whose wound I
now began to examine. I found that only one wing was
injured by the ball, but the other had also been slightly
wounded by the dog laying hold of him. I applied some
110 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

ointment to both, which seemed immediately to euse the
pain. I next tied him by one of his legs, with a long
string, to a stake I had driven into the ground, quite near
to the river, that he might go in and wash himself when
he pleased.

In the mean time, the boys had tied the two longest
canes together, and were endeavouring to measure the
tree with them; but they found that they reached no
further than the top of the arch formed by the roots, and
assured me, that if I wished to measure the tree, J must
think of some other means. I however recalled to Fritz’s
memory some lessons in land-surveying he had received
in Europe, and that the measure of the highest mountains,
and their distance from each other, may be ascertained by
the application of triangles and supposed lines. I in-
stantly proceeded to this kind of operation, fixing my
canes in the ground, and making use of some string,
which Fritz guided according to my directions. I found
that the height of the lower branches of our tree was forty
feet; a particular I was obliged scrupulously to ascertain
before I could determine the length of my ladder. I now
set Fritz and Ernest to work, to measure our stock of
thick ropes, of which I wanted no less than eighty feet
for the two sides of the ladder; the two youngest I em-
ployed in collecting all the small string we had used for
measuring, and carrying it to their mother. For my
own part I sat down on the grass, and began to make
some arrows with a piece of the bamboo, and the short
sharp points of the canes I had taken such pains to
secure. As the arrows were hollow, I filled them with
the moist sand, to give them a little weight; and lastly, I
tipped them with a bit of feather from the flamingo, to
make them fly straight. Scarcely had I finished my work
whon Fritz joined us, having finished measuring the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 111

string: he brought me the welcome tidings, that our
stock, in all, was about five hundred fathoms, which I
knew to be more than sufficient for my ladder. I now
tied the end of a ball of strong thread to an arrow, and
fixing it to the bow, I shot it off in such a direction as to
make the arrow pass over one of the largest branches of
the tree, and fall again to the ground. By this method
I lodged my thread securely, while I had the command of
the end and the ball below. It was now easy to tie a
piece of rope to the end of the thread, and draw it upwards,
till the knot should reach the same branch. Having thus
made quite sure of being able to raise my ladder, we all
set to work with increased zeal and confidence. The
first thing I did was to cut a length of about one hundred
feet from my parcel of ropes, an inch thick ; this I divided
into two equal parts, which I stretched along on the
ground in two parallel lines, at the distance of a foot from
each other. I then directed Fritz to cut portions of
sugar-cane, each two feet in length. Ernest handed them
to me, one after another; and as I received them, I in-
serted them into my cords at the distance of twelve inches
respectively, fixing them with knots in the cord, while
Jack, by my order, drove into each a long nail at the two
extremities, to hinder them from slipping out again.
Thus, in a very short time, I had formed a ladder of
forty rounds in length, and, in point of execution, firm
and compact. I now tied it with strong knots to the
end of the rope which hung from the tree, and pulled it
by the other, till our ladder reached the branch, and
seemed to rest so well upon it, that the joyous exclama-
tions of the boys and my wife resounded from all sides.
All the boys wished to be the first to ascend upon it;
but I decided that it should be Jack, he being the
nimblest and of the lightest figure among them. Accord-
112 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ingly, I and his brothers held the ends of the rope and of
the ladder while our young adventurer tripped up the
rounds with perfect ease, and presently took his post upon
the branch; but I observed that he had not strength
enough to tie the rope firmly to the tree. Fritz now in-
terfered, assuring me that he could ascend as safely as
his brother; but as he was much heavier, I was not alto-
gether without apprehension. I fastened the end of the
ladder with forked stakes to the ground, and then gave
him instructions how to step in such a way as to divide
his weight, by occupying four rounds of the ladder at the
same time, with his feet and hands. It was not long
before we saw him side by side with Jack, forty feet above
our heads, and both saluting us with cries of exultation.
Fritz set to work to fasten the ladder, by passing the
rope round and round the branch; and this he performed
with so much skill and intelligence, that I felt: sufficient
reliance to determine me to ascend myself, and well con-
clude the business he had begun. But first I tied a large
pulley to the end of the rope, and carried it with me.
When I was at the top, I fastened the pulley to a branch
which was within my reach, that by this means I might
be able the next day to draw up the planks and timbers
I might want for building my aérial castle. I executed
all this by the light of the moon, and felt the satisfaction
of having done a good day’s work.

Having descended my rope ladder, I directed the chil-
dren to assemble all our animals, and to get what dry
wood we should want for making fires, which I looked to
as our defence against the attacks of wild beasts. I ex-
plained to them my reasons for this ; informing them that
in Africa, a country remarkable for its prodigious numbers
of ferocious animals, the natives secure themselves from
their nocturnal visits by lighting large fires, which all
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 113

these creatures are known to dread and avoid. My wife
presented me with the day’s work she had performed : it
was some traces, and a breast leather each for the cow and
the ass. I promised her, as a reward for her zeal and ex-
ertion, that we should all be completely settled in the
tree the following day, and we then assembled to supper.

All our animals came round us, one after the other.
My wife threw some grain to the fowls, to accustom them
to draw together in a particular spot ; and when they had
eaten it, we had the pleasure of seeing our pigeons take
their flight to the top of the giant tree, and the cocks and
hens perching and settling themselves upon the rounds
of the ladder. The quadrupeds we tied to the arched
roots of the tree, quite near to our hammocks, where they
quietly lay on the grass to ruminate in tranquillity. Our
beautiful flamingo was not forgotten, Fritz having fed
him with some crumbs of biscuit soaked in milk, which
he ate very heartily; and afterwards putting his head
under his right wing, and raising his left foot, he aban-
doned himself with confidence to sleep.

And now the gaping of one, and the outstretched arms
of another, gave us notice that it was time for our young
Isbourers to retire to rest. After performing our evening
devotions, I set fire to several of the heaps, and then
threw myself contentedly upon my hammock. My young
ones were already cased in theirs, and all, except myself,
were soon asleep.

T thought it necessary to keep watch during this first
night. Every leaf that stirred gave me the apprehension
that it was the approach of a jackal or a tiger, who might
attack us. As soon as one of the heaps was consumed, I
lighted another; and at length, finding that no animal
appeared, I by degrees became assured, and fell into a
sound sleep. The next morning we took our breakfast,

I
114 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and fell to work. My wife set off with Ernest, Jack,
and Francis, attended by the ass, to the sea-shore: they
had no doubt of finding some more pieces of wood, and they
thought it would be prudent to replenish our exhausted
store. In her absence, I ascended the tree with Fritz,
and made the necessary preparations for my undertaking,
for which I found it in every respect convenient; for the
branches grew close to each other, and in an exactly
horizontal direction. Such as grew in a manner to ob-
struct my design, I cut off either with the saw or hatchet,
leaving none but what presented me with a sort of found-
ation for my work. I left those which spread themselves
evenly upon the trunk, and had the largest circuit, as a
support for my floor. Above these, at the height of
forty-six feet, I found others, upon which to suspend our
hammocks; and higher still there was a further series of.
branches, destined to receive the roof of my tent, which
for the present was to be formed of nothing more than a
large surface of sail-cloth.

The progress of these preparations was slow. It was
necessary to raise certain beams to this height of forty
feet, that were too heavy for my wife and her little assist-
ants to lift from the ground. I had, however, the resource
of my pulley, which served to excellent purpose, and Fritz
and I contrived to draw them up to the elevation of the
tent, one by one. When I had already placed two beams
upon the branches, I hastened to fix my planks upon
them; and I made my floor double, that it might have
sufficient solidity if the beams should be warped from
their places. J then formed a wall of staves of wood like
a park-paling, all round for safety. This operation, and
a third journey to the sea-shore to collect more timber
occupied us all the morning, and after a slight dinner we
returned to finish our sérial palace, which began to make
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 115

an imposing appearance. We unhooked our hammocks
from the projecting roots, and by means of my pulley
contrived to hoist them up the tree. The sail-cloth roof
was supported by the thick branches above; and as it
was of great compass, and hung down on every side, the
idea occurred to me of nailing it to the paling on two
sides, thus getting not only a roof, but two walls also ;
the immense trunk of the tree forming a third side, while
in the fourth was the entrance to our apartment: and in
this I left a large aperture, both as a means of seeing
what passed without, and admitting a current of air to
cool us in this burning temperature. We also on this
side enjoyed an extensive view of the vast ocean, and its
lengthening shore. The hammocks were soon hung on
the branches, and every thing was ready for our reception
that very evening. ‘Well satisfied with the execution of
my plan, I descended with Fritz, who had assisted me
throughout the whole; and as the day was not far
advanced, and I observed we had still some planks re-
maining, we set about contriving a large table, to be
placed between the roots of the tree, and surrounded with
benches; and this place we said should be called our
dining-parlour. But this time we performed our task
imperfectly, for I confess I was much fatigued. The
table, however, was such as might be well endured, and
my wife expressed her approbation as she looked on,
busied with preparations for our supper. In the mean
time, the three youngest boys collected all the pieces of
wood we had thrown down from the tree, and a quantity
of small wood, to dry in a heap, at a small distance from
our fire-place.

Exhausted by the fatigues of the day, I threw myself
on a bank, and my wife having seated herself near me, I
observed to her, that the many blessings we enjoyed led

12
116 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the thoughts naturally to the beneficent Giver of them
all; and to-morrow being a Sabbath-day, we would rest
from work, in obedience to his command, and otherwise
keep it holy. We then summoned our young family, and
prepared them for its proper celebration. I called their
recollection to the nature of the Sabbath-day; to the
gratitude due from us to an Almighty Being, who had
saved and comforted us in the hour of peril, and the duty
of our prayers and acknowledgments. I informed them
that, after performing with them the service of the
church, I should read to them a paper I had composed for
the occasion, to which I had given the name of a parable
of the Great King. The children expressed their appro-
bation of what I had said, each in his own way, and we
now assembled round our table to partake of the supper
my wife had provided.

Our repast ended, the boys, by my direction, lighted
one of the heaps of wood. We tied long ropes loosely
round the necks of our dogs, purposing to mount to our
tent with the ends in my hand, that I might be able to
let them loose upon the enemy at the first barking I
should hear. Every one was eager to retire to rest, and
the signal for ascending the ladder was given. The three
eldest boys were up in an instant; then came their
mother’s turn, who proceeded slowly and cautiously, and
arrived in perfect safety. My own ascent was last, and
the most difficult ; for I carried little Francis on my back,
and the end of the ladder had been loosened at the
bottom, that I might be able to draw it up in the tent
during the night; every step, therefore, was made with
the greatest difficulty, in consequence of its swinging
motion. At last, however, I got to the top, and, to the
admiration of the boys, drew the ladder after me. It
appeared to them that we were in one of the strong
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 117

castles of the ancient cavaliers, in which, when the draw-
bridge is raised, the inhabitants are secured from every
attack of the enemy. Notwithstanding this apparent
safety, I kept our guns in readiness for whatever event
might require their use. We now abandoned ourselves
to repose ; and the fatigue we had all undergone induced
so sound a sleep, that daylight shone full in the front of
our habitation before our eyes had opened.

CHAPTER X.
The Sabbath, and the Parable.

WE rose in the morning unusually refreshed, and after
having breakfasted ourselves, and also provided for the
wants of our animals, I summoned my family around me
for the purpose of united worship. The return of the
Sabbath, and its appropriate celebration made us feel
that, notwithstanding our exile, we were still connected
with the community of mankind by the invisible tie of
the same religion, and were numbered among the children
of God in the Catholic Church of his Son. We went
through together the services of the day, selecting from
the Holy Scriptures, the most precious treasure we had
rescued from the wreck, such passages as were most ap-
plicable to our circumstances: after which we sat down,
and I thus began my promised parable :—

“My dear children, there was once a Great King,
whose kingdom was called The Country of Light and
Reality, because the purest and softest light of the sun
always reigned there, and caused the inhabitants to be in
a perpetual state of activity. On the furthest borders of
this kingdom, northward, there was another country
which also belonged to the Great King, and the immense
118 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

extent of which was unknown to all but himself. From
time immemorial, a plan the most exact of this country
had been preserved in the royal archives. The second
kingdom was called The Kingdom of Obscurity, or of
Night, because every thing in it was gloomy and inactive.

“In the most fertile and agreeable part of his empire
of Reality, this Great King had a residence called the
Heavenly City, in which he lived and kept his court,
which was the most brilliant that the imagination can
form an idea of. Millions of guards and servants high
in dignity remained for ever round him, and a still larger
number held themselves in readiness to receive his
commands. The first of these were clothed in robes of
cloth that was lighter than silk, and white as snow; for
white, the image of purity, was the favourite colour of the
Great King. Others of his attendants carried flaming
swords in their hands, and their garments displayed the
most brilliant colours of the rainbow ; each of these stood
in waiting to execute the will of the King, on receiving
from him the slightest sign. All were happy to be
admitted into his presence: their faces shone with the
mildest joy: and no envy or jealousy ever arose among
them, for the common centre of all their thoughts, and all
their sentiments, was devotion to their sovereign. Among
the rest of the inhabitants of the Heavenly City, there were
some less close in their attendance upon the Great King,
but they were all virtuous, all happy, all had been en-
riched by the beneficence of the monarch, and, what is
of still higher price, had received constant marks of his
paternal care; for his subjects were all equal in his eyes,
and he loved them, and treated them as if they had been
his children.

“The Great King had, besides these two kingdoms, an
uninhabited island of considerable extent : it was his wish
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 119

to people and cultivate this island, for all within it was a
kind of chaos: he destined it to be for some years the
abode of such future citizens as he intended to receive
finally into his residence, to which only such of his sub-
jects were admitted, as had rendered themselves worthy
by their conduct. This island was called Earthly Abode:
he who should have passed some time in it, and by his
virtue, his application to labour, and the cultivation of
the land, should have rendered himself worthy of reward,
was afterwards to be received into the Heavenly City, and
made one of its happy inhabitants.

“To effect this end, the Great King caused a fleet to
be equipped, which was to transport the new colonists to
this island. These he chose from the kingdom of Night,
and for his first gift bestowed upon them the enjoyment
of light, and the view of the lovely face of nature, of
which they had been deprived in their gloomy abode. It
will easily be imagined that they arrived joyful and happy,
at least they became so when they had been for a short
time accustomed to the multitude of new objects which
struck their feeble sight. The island was rich and fertile
when cultivated. The beneficent King provided each in-
dividual who was disembarked upon it with all the things
he could want in the time he had fixed for their stay in it,
and all the means for obtaining the certainty of being ad-
mitted as citizens of his magnificent abode, when they
should leave the Earthly Island. All that was required
to entitle them to this benefit was, that they should occupy
themselves unceasingly in useful labour, and strictly obey
the commands of the Great King, which he made known
to them. He sent to them his only Son, who addressed
them from his Father in the following terms :—

“* My dear children, I have called you from the king-
dom of Night and Insensibility, to render you happy by
120 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the gifts of life, of sentiment, and of activity. But your
happiness for the most part will depend upon yourselves.
You will be happy if you wish to be so. If such is your
sincere desire, you must never forget that I am your good
King, your tender Father; and you must faithfully fulfil
my will in the cultivation of the country I have confided
to your care. Each of you shall receive, on his arriving
at the island, the portion of land which is intended for
him; and my further commands respecting your conduct
will be soon communicated to you. I shall send you wise
and learned men, who will explain to you my commands,
and that you may of yourselves seek after the light neces-
sary for your welfare, and constantly remember my laws,
it is my will that each father of a family shall keep an
exact copy of them in his house, and read them daily to
all the persons who belong to him. Further, each first -
day of the week I require to be devoted to my service.
In each colony, all the people shall assemble together as
brothers in one place, where shall be read and explained
to them the laws contained in my archives. The rest o
this day shall be employed in making serious reflections
on the duties and destination of the colonists, and on the
best means to fulfil the same: thus it shall be possible to
all to receive instruction concerning the best manner and
most effectual means of improving the land which has
been confided to your care: thus you will each day learn
to manure, to sow, to plant, to water, and cleanse the
land from tares, and from all evil weeds that may choke
the geod seed. On this same day, each of you may pre-
sent his supplications, may tell me what he stands in need
of, and what he desires to have, to forward the perfection
of his labour: all these requests will appear before me,
and I shall answer, by granting such as I shall think
reasonable, and tending to a salutary end. If your heart
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 121

tells you that the various benefits you enjoy deserve your
gratitude, and if you will testify it by doubling your ac-
tivity, and by consecrating to me the day I have chosen
for myself, I will take care that this day of rest, instead
of being an injury to you, shall become a benefit, through
the salutary repose of your body, and that of the animals
given you to assist your labours, and who, as well as
yourself, should enjoy repose on that day, to recruit their
strength. Even the wild animals of the field, and of the
forests, ought on that day to be protected from the pur-
suit of the hunter.

“¢He who, in his Earthly Abode, shall most strictly
have observed my will, who shall have best fulfilled the
duties of a brother towards his fellow-inhabitants, who
shall have preserved his land in the best order, and shall
show the largest produce from it, shall be recompensed
for his deeds, and shall become an inhabitant of my Hea-
venly City. But the neglectful and the idle man, and the
wicked man, who shall have spent their time in interrupt-
ing the useful labours of others, shall be condemned to
pass their lives in slavery, or, according to the degree of
their wickedness, shall be condemned to live in subterra-
neous mines, in the bowels of the earth.

“*From time to time, I shall send ships to fetch cer-
tain individuals from the Earthly Island, to reward or
punish them, according as they have done well or ill; and
as none will be warned beforehand, of the time of the
coming of my messenger, it will be well for you to keep
watch, that you may be ready to perform the voyage, and
worthy to be received into the Heavenly City. It will
not be permitted for any one to pass by stealth on board
the ship, and leave his abode without my orders ; for such
a one shall be severely punished. I shall have the most
certain knowledge of all that passes in the Earthly Island,
122 TILE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and no one will be able to deceive me. A magical mirror
will at all times show me the actions of each individual in
the island, and you shall be judged according to your
most secret thoughts and actions.’

“ All the colonists were well satisfied with the discourse
of the Great King, and made him the most sacred pro-
mises. After a short time allowed for repose from the
fatigue of the voyage, a portion of land, and the proper
instruments for labour, were distributed to each of the
strangers. They received also seeds, and useful plants,
and young trees, for producing them refreshing fruits.
Each was then left at liberty to act as he pleased, and in-
crease the value of what was confided to his care. But
what happened? After some time, each followed the
suggestions of hisfancy : one planted his land with arbours,
flowery banks, and sweet-smelling shrubs: all pleasing to
the sight, but which brought forth nothing. Another
planted wild apple-trees, instead of the good fruit, as the
Great King had commanded; contenting himself with
giving high-sounding names to the worthless fruit he had
caused to be brought forth. A third had indeed sown
good grain: but not knowing how to distinguish the
tares that grew up along with it, he pulled up the good
plants before they were mature, and left only the tares in
his ground. But the greater part let their land lie fallow,
and bestowed no labour upon it, having spoiled their im-
plements, or lost their seed, either from negligence or
idleness, or liking better to amuse themselves than to
labour ; many of them had wilfully misunderstood the in-
structions of the Great King, and sought by subtle turns
to change their meaning.

“Few, very few worked with diligence and courage,
and sought to improve their land, according to the orders
they had received. All the fathers of families had indeed
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 123

a copy of the laws of the Sovereign, but most of them
omitted to read in the book: some saying that it was
useless to read it, for they knew it by heart, while they
never employed their thoughts upon it. Others pre-
tended that these laws were good for times past, but were
no longer beneficial for the present state of the country.
Some had even the audacity to assert, that it contained
many inexplicable contradictions; that the laws it pre-
scribed were merely supposed or falsified, and that they
had therefore a right to deviate from them. Others among
them maintained that the magical mirror was a mere
fable: that the King was of too merciful a nature to keep
galleys ; that there was no such place as the subterraneous
mines ; and that all would at last enter the Heavenly City.
From habit they continued to celebrate the first day of
the week, but by far the smallest part of it was conse-
crated to the honour of the Great King. Great numbers
of them dispensed with going to the general assembly,
either from idleness, or to employ themselves in occupa-
tions which had been expressly forbidden. By far the
greater part of the people considered this day of repose.
as intended for pleasure, and thought of nothing but
adorning and amusing themselves as soon as daylight
appeared. There were only then a small number of per-
sons who kept the day according to the decree ; and even
of those who frequented the assembly, many had their
thoughts absent, or were sleepy, or engaged in forming
empty projects, instead of listening to the words which
fell from the lips of the minister of the Sovereign. The
Great King, however, observed unalterably the laws he
had laid down and announced respecting them. From
time to time, some frigates appeared on their coasts, each
bearing the name of some disastrous malady: and these
were followed by a large ship of the line, named the
124 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Grave, on board of which, the admiral, whose name was
Death, caused his flag of two colours, green and black, to
be constantly floating in the air. He showed the colonists,
according to the situation in which he found them, either the
smiling colour of Hope, or the gloomy colour of Despair.

“This fleet always arrived without being announced,
and seldom gave any pleasure to the inhabitants. The
admiral sent the captains of his frigates to seize the per-
sons he was ordered to bring back with him. Many who
had not the smallest inclination were suddenly embarked ;
while others who had prepared every thing for the har-
vest, and whose land was in the best condition, were also
seized. But these last took their departure cheerfully,
and without alarm ; well knowing that nothing but happi-
ness awaited them. It was those who were conscious
they had neglected to cultivate their land, who felt the
most regret. It was even necessary to employ force to
bring them under subjection. When the fleet. was ready
for departure, the admiral sailed for the port of the Royal
Residence; and the Great King, who was present on
their arrival, executed with strict justice both the rewards
and punishments which had been promised to them. All
the excuses alleged by those who had been idle were of no
avail, They were sent to the mines and to the galleys ;
while those who had obeyed the Great King, and well
cultivated their land, were admitted into the Heavenly
City, clothed in robes of brilliant colours, one exceeding
the other according to the degree of merit.’”’—Here,
my dear children, ends my parable. May you have
thoroughly understood its meaning, and may you reap
the advantage it is capable of affording you! Make it
the subject of your reflections the whole of this day.
You, Fritz, I see, are thoughtful: tell me what struck
you most in my narration.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 125

Fritz.—The goodness of the Great King, and the in-
gratitude of the colonists, father.

Father —And you, Ernest, what is your thought ?

Ernest —For my part, I think they were great fools to
have made so bad a calculation. What did they get by
conducting themselves as they did? ‘With a little pains
they might have passed a very agreeable sort of life in the
island, and would have been sure of going afterwards to
the Heavenly City.

Jack.—To the mines, gentlemen, away with you! you
have well deserved it.

Francis.—For my part, I should have liked best to
have lived with the men who were dressed in the colours
of the rainbow. How beautifully they must have looked !

Father —This is well, my boys. I perceive that each
of you, according to his age and character, has seized the
meaning of my parable. I have by this image endea-
voured to represent to you the conduct of God towards
man, and that of man towards God: let us see now if
you have completely seized the sense. I then put different
questions to them, and explained what they had not per-
fectly comprehended; and, after a short review of the
principal parts of my discourse, I concluded by a moral
application. ,

“ Human creatures,” said I, “are the colonists of God;
we are required to perform the business of probation for
a certain period, and, sooner or later, are destined to be
taken hence. Our final destination is Heaven, and a
perfect happiness with the spirits of just men made per-
fect, and in the presence of the God and Saviour of us
all. The piece of land entrusted to each is the soul: and
according as he cultivates and ennobles it, or neglects or
depraves it, will be his future reward or punishment.
And now, my dear children, that you know the true sense
126 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of my parable, each of you should make the application
of it according to his own consciousness. You, Fritz,
should think of the subjects who planted the wild apples,
and wished to make them pass for sweet savoury fruit of
a superior kind. These represent persons who make a
parade of the natural virtues belonging to their character,
and which are consequently exercised without any trouble
to themselves; such as courage, strength, &e.: who prefer
them to more essential qualities acquired by others with
sacrifices and labour to themselves; and who, full of pre-
sumption and arrogance, consider themselves as irreproach-
able, because nature has given them personal courage,
and bodily strength, and a certain skill in the use of these
qualities.

“You, Ernest, should think of the subjects of the
Great King, who cultivated their land so as to produce
arbours, flowery banks, and sweet-smelling shrubs, and
such productions in general as would please the eye, but
which produced no fruit. These are they who give their
whole attention to the acquiring unfruitful knowledge,
sciences, &c., and look with a sort of contempt upon the
things more immediately required for the conduct of life;
who exert themselves solely for the understanding, and
neglect the heart; whose principal aim it is to obtain
self-indulgences, and who neglect what is useful in society.

“You, Jack, and you, Francis, should apply to your-
selves the case of those men who let their land lie fallow,
or, in their thoughtlessness, mistook the grain, and sowed
tares instead of wheat. These are the neglectful subjects,
who neither think nor learn, but give to the winds
what is taught them, or entirely forget instruction; who
reject virtuous sentiments, and let the bad ones grow in
their hearts. But for ourselves, one and all, we will
adopt the model of the good and zealous labourers; and
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 127

should our exertions be a little painful, we shall think of
the reward which awaits us, when we shall have adorned
our souls with all that is good, just, and praiseworthy.
Thus, when death, which cannot fail to come at last, shall
summon us, we may follow him with joy to the throne of
the Good and Great King, to hear him pronounce these
sweet and consoling words: ‘O good and faithful servant !
thou hast been tried and found faithful in many things ;
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”—With these
words, and a short prayer of benediction, I concluded
the solemnity of our Sunday; and I had the satisfaction
of seeing, that my four sons had not only listened atten-
tively, but that they were struck with the application I
had made to each of them.

The next morning the boys assembled round me with
a petition that I would show them how to use arrows.
We accordingly sat down on the grass; I took out my
knife, and, with the remains of a bamboo cane, began to
make a bow. I was well satisfied to observe that they all
took a fancy to shooting with an arrow, having been
desirous to accustom them to this exercise, which con-
stituted the principal defence of the warriors of old, and
might possibly become our only means of protection and
subsistence: our provision of powder must at last be
exhausted ; we might even, at any moment, be deprived
of it by accident ; it therefore was of the utmost impor-
tance to us, to acquire some other means of killing animals,
or attacking our enemies. The Caribbees, I recollected,
were taught at a very tender age to strike an object at
the distance of thirty or forty steps; they hit the smallest
birds perched on the top of the tallest trees. Why then
should it not be possible for my boys to learn to do the
same P

While I was silently reflecting on the subject, and
128 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

employed in finishing a bow, Fritz came up to me with
the wetted skin of the tiger-cat in his hand, requesting
some instruction as to the mode of dressing it. I told
him how to get rid of the fat of the skin, by rubbing it
over with sand, and placing it in running water, till it
had no longer any appearance of flesh, or any smell; next
to rub it with soft butter, to make it supple, and then to
stretch the skin in different directions ; and also to make
use of some eggs in the operation, if his mother could
spare them. “ You will not at first produce such excellent
workmanship as I have seen of this kind from England;
but with a little time and patience you will have com-
pleted some decent-looking cases, which will give you the
more pleasure, from being the work of your own hands.
When your skin shall have thus been prepared, cut
certain small cylinders of wood of the size and length
required: scoop these cylinders hollow, so as to form a
convenient case for a knife, a fork, or a spoon; then
stretch your softened skin upon the surface of the cylin-
ders in such a manner that the skin may reach a little
beyond the extremity of the wood, and close at the top;
you have nothing more to do, than to let the skin cling to
and dry upon these moulds.”

At this moment we heard the firing of a gun, which
proceeded from our tent in the tree, and two birds at the
same time fell dead at our feet. We were at once
surprised and alarmed, and all eyes were turned upwards
to the place. There we saw Ernest standing outside the
tent, a gun in his hand, and heard him triumphantly
exclaiming, “Catch them! catch them there! I have hit
them.” He descended the ladder joyfully, and ran with
Francis to take up the two birds; while Fritz and Jack
mounted to our castle, hoping to meet with the same
luck.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 129

One of the birds proved to be a sort of thrush, and the
other was a very small kind of pigeon, very fat, and of a
delicious taste. We now observed for the first time,
that the wild figs began to ripen, and that they attracted
these birds. I foresaw, in consequence, that we were
about to have our table furnished with a dish which even
a nobleman might envy us. I gave the boys leave to kill
as many of them as they liked. I knew that, half roasted,
and put into barrels with melted butter thrown over
them, they would keep a long time, and might prove an
excellent resource. My wife set about stripping off the
feathers of the birds, to dress them for our dinner. I
seated myself by her side, and proceeded in my work of
arrow-making.

Thus finished another day. Supper ended, and prayers
said, we ascended the ladder in procession; and each got
into his hammock to taste the sweets of a tranquil sleep.

CHAPTER XI,
Conversation, a Walk, and Discoveries.

Jack had finished the trial of his arrows: they flew to
admiration; and he practised his new art incessantly.
Little Francis waited with impatience for the moment
when he should try also, and when I had finished my bow,
and prepared some little arrows for him, he ran to try his
skill by the side of his brother. Fritz had also cleaned
and prepared his materials for the cases, when his
mother summoned us to dinner. We cheerfully placed
ourselves under the shade of our tree, round the table I
had manufactured. At the end of the repast, I made
the following proposition to the boys, which I was sure
would give them pleasure.
K
130 THE SWISS FAMILY BOBINSON.

“What think you, my good friends,” said I, “of
giving a name to the place of our abode, and to the dif-
ferent parts of the country which are known to us? I
do not mean a general name to the whole island, but to
the objects we are most concerned with; this will make
us better understand each other, when conversing about
them; and also present to us the soothing illusion of
inhabiting a country already known and peopled.”

They all exclaimed, joyfully, that the idea was excel-
lent.

Jack.—Oh! pray, father, let us invent some very long
names, that are very difficult to be pronounced. I should
be glad that those who shall read about us should be a little
puzzled to remember the names of the places and things
that belonged to us. What pains has it not cost me to
remember their Monomotapa, their Zanguebar, their Cor-
omandel, and many others still more difficult. Ah! now
we shall take our revenge on them.

Father.—This would be well, if it were probable that
our history in this country, and the names we shall
have bestowed, were likely to be objects of public curi-
osity ; but in the meanwhile you forget that our own
organs will be fatigued, by frequently pronouncing such
barbarous words as you propose.

Jack-—How shall we manage, then? What pretty
names can we find ?

Father—We will do as all sorts of nations have done
before us. We will call the places by different words
from our own language, that shall express some particular
circumstance with which we have been concerned.

Jack.— Well, so we will: I shall like this still better.
Where shall we begin ?

Father —We shall naturally begin with the bay by
which we entered this country. What shall we call it ?
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 131

What say you, Fritz? You must speak first, for you
are eldest.

Fritz —Let us call it Oyster Bay: you remember what
quantity of oysters we found in it.

Jack.—Oh, no; let it rather be called Lobster Bay:
for you cannot have forgot what a large one it was that
caught hold of my leg, and which I carried home to you.

Ernest.—Why then we may as well call it the Bay of
Tears, for you must remember that you blubbered loud
enough for all of us to hear you.

My Wife.—My advice would be, that, out of gratitude
to God, who conducted us hither in safety, we ought to
call it Providence Bay, or the Bay of Safety.

Father.—These words are most appropriate, and please
me extremely. But what name shall we give to the spot
where we first set: up our tent ?

Fritz —Let us simply call it Tent House.

Father —That will do very well. And the little islet
at the entrance of Providence Bay, in which we found so
many planks and beams that enabled us to make our
bridge, how shall it be named ?

Ernest.—TIt may be called Sea-Gull Island, or Shark
Island ; for it was here we saw those animals.

Father—I am for the last of these names, Shark Is-
land ; for it was the shark that was the cause of the sea-
gulls being there ; and thus we shall also have a means of
commemorating the courage and the triumph of Fritz,
who killed the monster.

Jack.—For the same reason, we will call the marsh, in
which you cut the canes for our arrows, Flamingo
Marsh.

Futher.—Quite right, I think: and the plain, through
which we passed in our way to this place, Porcupine
Field, in memory of your skilful encounter with the

K 2
132 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

animal. But now comes the great question —What
name shall we give to our present abode ¢

Ernest.—It ought to be called simply, Tree Castle.

Fritz—No, no, that will not do at all; that is the
same as if, when we wanted to name a town, we called it
The Town. Let us invent a more noble name.

Jack.—Yes, so we will. I say Fig Town.

Fritz.—Ha, ha, ha! a noble name, it must be con-
fessed! Let us call it the Hagle’s Nest, which I am sure
has a much better sound. Besides, our habitation in the
tree is really much more like a nest than a town, and the
eagle cannot but ennoble it, since he is the king of birds.

Father.— Will you let me decide the question for you ?
I think our abode should be called The Falcon’s Nest ;
for you are not arrived at the dignity of eagles, but are,
too truly, poor simple birds of prey: and, like the falcon,.
you also are, I trust, obedient, docile, active, and cou-
rageous. Ernest can have no objection to this; for, as
he knows, falcons make their nests in large trees. All
exclaimed, clapping their hands, “ Yes, yes; we will call it
The Falcon’s Nest!” “ Now then,” said I “for the pro-
montory, where Fritz and I in vain wearied our eyes in
search of our companions of the vessel ;—I think it may
properly be called Cape Disappointment.”

All.—Yes, this is excellent. And the river with the
bridge——

Father—If you wish to commemorate one of the
greatest events of our history, it ought to be called The
Jackals River ; for these animals crossed it when they
came and attacked us, and it was there that one of them
was killed. The bridge I should name Family Bridge,
because we were all employed in its construction, and all
crossed it together in our way to this place. Let me ask
you all, if it will not be a great pleasure to converse
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 133

about the country we inhabit, now that we have instituted
names as if every thing belonged to us?

Ernest. —It will be just as if we had farms and country
houses, all dependent upon our castle.

Francis.—lIt is the same as if we were kings.

My Wife—And the queen-mother is not without hope,
that her little slips of majesty will conduct themselves
mercifully towards their subjects, the birds, the agoutis,
the geese, and the flamingoes ; the——- What more shall
I say? for I do not know the family name of all your
vassals, Let me therefore end, by hoping that you will
not depopulate your kingdom.

Fritz—No, mother, we will take care of that. We
will endeavour to extirpate only those among our sub-
iects who are wicked.

In this pleasing kind of chat, the time of dinner passed
agreeably away. We settled the basis of a geography of
this our new country ; and amused ourselves with saying
it must go by the first post to Europe.

As the evening advanced, and the intense heat of the
day began to diminish, I invited all my family to take a
walk. “ Leave your work for this time, my boys,” said J,
“and let us make a short excursion; let us seek, in the
beautiful face of nature, the traces of the wisdom and
goodness of the Creator. Which way shall we direct our
steps P”

Fritz—Let us go to Tent House, father; we are in
want of powder and shot for the little consumers of our
figs ; nor must we forget that we are to secure a supply
for winter.

My Wife—I too vote for Tent House; my butter is
nearly gone, for Fritz took an unreasonable share for
his new trade of tanning; also, I have never failed to ob-
serve, that those who most zealously preach a life of
184 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

frugality and economy, are at least as well satisfied as the
rest, when I present them with a savoury dinner.

Ernest.—If we go to Tent House, let us try to bring
away some of the geese and ducks with us; they will
look very well swimming about in our stream here, by
Falcon’s Nest.

Jack.—I will undertake to catch them, if any one will
help to bring them home.

Franeis.—And I will catch my handkerchief full of
lobsters in the Jackal’s River, and we will put them into
Faleon’s Stream, where, no doubt, they will thrive to
admiration.

Father —You really all of you assign such good reasons,
that I see I must yield to them. To Tent House, then,
we will go; but we will not take our accustomed road
along the sea-shore, but rather vary our pleasure, by try-
ing to explore some other way. We will keep along our
own little stream as far as the wall of rocks; it will be
easy for us to cross it by jumping from stone to stone,
and so to get to Tent House: we will return with our
provisions by the road of Family Bridge, and along the —
seashore. This new route may possibly furnish some
additional discoveries.

My idea was highly applauded, and all was soon
arranged for our setting out. Our road along the stream
was at first extremely agreeable, being sheltered by the
shade of large trees, while the ground under our feet was 5
short and soft kind of grass. To prolong the pleasure of
our walk, we proceeded slowly, the eldest boys making
frequent escapes on before, so that we sometimes lost
sight of them. In this manner we reached the end of
the wood; but the country now appearing to be less open,
we thought it would be prudent to bring our whole com-
pany together.




* Soon after I was fortunate enough to discover among the multitude of

plants which ¢rew either at tke foot or in the clefts of the rock, the karata,
(the boromela karata of Linneus.) many of which were now in blossom.”
Page 438,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 1385

Conversing on different’ subjects, we reached the long
chain of rocks, over which our pretty Falcon’s Stream
made its escape in a cascade, delighting at once the eye
and the ear in its progress. We thus reached Jackal’s
River, and from thence to Tent House, having with diffi-
culty pushed through the high grass. Our fatigue, how-
ever, was relieved by the uncommon beauty of the scenery
around: on the right hand was a boundless sea: on the
left, the island, with the bay by which it was accessible,
and the chain of rocks, forming altogether an assemblage
of the picturesque, equal to what the liveliest fancy could
desire. We distinguished different families of grasses,
many of them of the thornleaved species, and stronger
than those cultivated in the green-houses of Europe.
There was also in abundance the Indian fig, with its
large broad leaf; aloes of different forms and colours ;
the superb prickly candle, or cactus, bearing straight
stalks, taller than a man, and crowned with long straight
branches, forming a sort of star. The broad plantain
spread along the rock its innumerable boughs twisted
with each other, hanging down perpendicularly, and orna-
mented with flowers, which grew in large tufts, and were
of the brightest rose-colour, while that which pleased us
best, and which was found there in great abundance, was
the king of fruits, the crowned pine-apple, of which we all
partook with avidity.

Soon after, I was fortunate enough to discover among
the multitude of plants which grew either at the foot or
in the clefts of the rock, the karata (the Boromelia
Karata of Linneus), many of which were now in blossom.
Travellers have given so perfect a description of this
plant, that it was impossible I should mistake it. I pointed
out to the boys the immense size of its leaves, hollowed in
the middle like a saucer, in which rain is for a long time
136 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

preserved ; also, its beautiful red flowers. As I was ac-
quainted with the properties of this useful plant, the pith
of which is used for tinder by the negroes, who also make
a strong kind of thread from the fibres of its leaves, I
was not less satisfied with this discovery than I had been
with any we had previously made. Wishing to exhibit
some of its uses to my children, I desired Ernest to take
out my flint and steel.

I took a dried stalk of the tree, stripped off the bark,
and there appeared a kind of dry spongy substance,
which I laid upon the flint; and then striking it with a
steel, it instantly caught fire. The boys looked on with
astonishment, and soon began to caper about exclaiming,
“ Long live the tinder-tree!”

“Tf you examine,” said I, “you will find some excellent
thread under the leaves of this extraordinary plant, where
all-provident nature has placed a storehouse of this valu-
able article, though the lengths of thread will be found
not longer than the leaf.” I accordingly drew out of one
of the leaves a strong piece of thread of a red colour,
which I gave to my wife. ‘“ How fortunate it is for us,”
said she, “ that you have had the habit of reading and of
study! None of us would have had a thought about this
plant, or have conceived that it could be of any use :—but
will it not be difficult to draw out the lengths of thread
through the prickles that surround them ?”

Father —Not in the least; we shall put the leaves to
dry, either in the sun, or by a gentle fire. The useless
part of the leaf will then separate by being beaten, and
the mass of thread will remain.

Fritz—I see clearly, father, that we ought not to
trust to appearances ; but one may, I suppose, assert that
there are no good qualities in the prickly plants which
are growing here in all directions, and wounding the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 137

persons who go near them : of what use can they possibly
be?

Father.—The greatest part of these possess medicinal
virtues: great use is made in pharmacy of the aloe, which
produces such abundance of beautiful flowers; in green-
houses in Europe, some have been seen to bear more
than three thousand blossoms. At Carlsbad, upon the
estates of Count de Limbourg, there was an aloe-tree
twenty-six feet in height; it had twenty-eight branches,
which branches bore more than three thousand blossoms
in the space of a month. At Paris, at Leyden, in Den-
mark, there have been also seen some exceedingly curious
specimens of this tree; many of them are full of a resin-
ous sap, of which valuable gums are made. But look,
here too is the Indian fig, or prickly pear, a vegetable of
no common interest ; it grows in the poorest soils, and,
as you see, upon the rocks; the poorer the soil, the more
luxuriant and succulent its leaves. I should be tempted
to believe that it was nourished by the air rather than by
the earth. It is also called the racket-tree, from the re-
semblance of its long, thick, flat leaves to that well-known
instrument. The plant bears a kind of fig, which is said
to be sweet and palatable when ripened in its native sun,
and it is a salutary and refreshing food. This, then, is
another plant of great utility. I next instructed them
how to gather this prickly fruit without injury to their
fingers. I threw up a stone, and brought down a fig,
which I caught upon my hat; I cut off one end, and was
thus enabled to hold it on a knife while I peeled off the
skin. I then resigned it to the curiosity of my young
companions.

The novelty, rather than the taste, of the fruit, made
them think it excellent: they all found means to gather
some of the figs, and each was busied in inventing the
138 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

best method of taking off the skins. In the mean time,
I perceived Ernest holding a Jeaf upon the end of his
knife, turning it about in all directions, and bringing it
close to his eye with a look of curious inquiry.—‘“I
wish I could know,” said at length our young observer,
“what little animals these are on the leaf, which feed s0
eagerly upon it, and are of quite a scarlet colour.”

Father—Ha, ha! this too will perhaps turn out a new
discovery, and an additional source of usefulness. Let
me look at your leaf: I dare say that it is the insect
called the cochineal.

Jack.—The cochineal! what a droll name! What is
the cochineal, father ?

Father —It is an insect of the kind called suckers,
or kermes. He lives by sucking the juice of the leaves of
the Indian fig, which, no doubt, is the cause of his beau-
tiful colour, so much esteemed in dyeing; for nothing
else produces so fine a scarlet. In Central America, they
stretch pieces of linen under the branches, and then shake
the tree ; and when the insects have fallen in great num-
bers, the ends of the linen are folded together to enclose
them; the insects are sprinkled with vinegar or cold
water, and then dried, and sent to Europe, where a high
price is paid for them. But I have not yet mentioned a
still superior usefulness peculiar to the Indian fig-tree :-—
what if I should assert that it can be used as a protection
to man ?

Fritz.—As a protection to man! Why, how can that
be, father ?

Father —It is well adapted for enclosing the dwellings
of man; for you see that, besides the prickles, there is a
large thorn at each of the knots in the stalk, well calcu-
lated for repelling the attacks of animals or men. This
then, you see, is a third usefulness the Indian fig-tree
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 139

can boast, and of which I was not at first aware. You
must perceive of what importance these enclosures are ;
and the rather, as they are made with so litile trouble ;
for if you plant only one of its leaves in the ground, it
immediately takes root, and grows with astonishing rapidity.

Jack, the thoughtless, here cried out, that with the
assistance of a knife, or even a stick, it would be easy to
get over such a hedge; and he began to cut down with
his clasp-knife a pretty large plant, striking to right and
left with all his might, till one of the divided leaves fell
with such violence on his leg, that the thorns struck into
the flesh, and Jack roared out piteously, and quickly sat
down to draw them out. I could not, as I assisted him,
refrain from laughing a little at his adventure. I observed
to him how difficult it must be for savages, who wear no
clothes, to force such a barrier as they formed; and for
this once I had the pleasure of convincing him.

Ernest.—Ah! father, do let us make a hedge of these
plants round our tree; we shall then have no further
occasion for fires to preserve us from wild beasts, or even
from the savages, who may arrive in their canoes, as they
did on Robinson Crusoe’s island.

Fritz.—And we could then easily gather the cochineal,
and try to make the same beautiful scarlet colour.

Father.—We shall have time enough for many things,
my dear children; but for the present, it is sufficient to
prove to you, that God has not made any thing to be
wholly useless ; and that it is the duty of man, on whom
He has bestowed the gifts of wisdom and intelligence, to
employ those faculties in discovering the utility of the
different productions He has allowed to exist.

Jack—For my part, I have done with the Indian
fig-tree, its fruit, its cochineal, and its ugly thorns, and
I will never go near it again.
140 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Father.—If the plant could speak, it would most likely
say, That little boy shall not come near me any more.
Without any reason, or any necessity, but purely out of
contradiction to his father, he attacks and destroys me ;
me, who would have done him service, if he would but
have treated me with kindness, and have been careful
in co.aing near me.—And now, Jack, if your leg is
still painful, apply a leaf of the karata to it, for I
recollect that the plant possesses the property of curing
wounds. He accordingly took my advice, and in a few
minutes was able to join us on our road to Tent
House.

“ Now then,” said Ernest, “I have had an opportunity
of learning the valuable properties of the karata-tree, and
of the Indian fig-tree ; but I wish I could also be informed
what those tall plants are, which look like sticks covered
with thorns, that I perceive every where about us: I
see neither fruit nor insects on them: of what use, then,
father, do you think they can be ?”

Father —It is not in my power to explain to you the
uses of all the plants in the world: I presume that many
exist which have no other than that of contributing to the
sustenance of different kinds of animals; and, as I have
already told you, it is for man, by his superior intelligence,
to discover those that can be applied to his own use.
Many possess medicinal qualities of which I am ignorant,
and which will become better known as the world ad-
vances in age. The plant you speak of is perhaps the
prickly candle, described by Bruce, in his Travels to
Abyssinia, and of which he gives a drawing ; the only dif-
ference that I perceive being the size. “They serve,”
says he, “for food to the elephant and the rhinoceros;
the first with his strong teeth or his trunk, and the latter
with his horn, lays hold ofthis seeming stick, and rips it up
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 141

from one end to the other; they then devour the pith,
and sometimes the rind.”

Ernest.—The palate of these animals must surely be
made of iron, to be able to chew such a thorny substance
without injury.

Fritz.—Why so? Camels and asses are very fond of
thistles, and appear to digest them extremely well. It is
probable, therefore, that the stomach of these animals is
so formed, that these prickly substances occasion in it
only an agreeable excitation, favourable to their appetite
and their digestion.

Father.—Your idea is not a bad one; and if it be not
true, it is at least probable.

At this point of our discourse we reached Jackal’s
River, which we crossed with great care, and shortly
arrived at our old habitation, where we found every thing
as we had left it; and each went in pursuit of what he
intended to take away. Fritz loaded himself with powder
and shot : I and my wife and Francis employed ourselves
in filling our pot with butter, the carrying of which on
our return it was agreed was to fall on me. Ernest and
Jack looked about for the geese and ducks; but as they
were become somewhat savage, the boys could not succeed
in catching one of them. The idea then occurred to
Ernest, of taking a small bit of cheese, and tying it to the
end of a piece of string, and holding it to float in the
water. The voracious animals hastened eagerly to seize
it. In this way Ernest drew them towards him, one by
one, with the cheese in its mouth, till he had caught the
whole: each bird was then tied in a pocket handkerchief,
leaving the head at liberty, and fastened one to each
game-bag, so that all had a share in carrying them.

We now set out loaded on our return. The ducks and
geese, with their heads and necks stretching out at our
142 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

shoulders, cackling with all their might, gave us a truly
singular and ludicrous appearance. Our mutual jokes,
and the general good humour which prevailed, served to
shorten the length of the walk, and none complained of
fatigue, till seated under our tree at Falcon’s Stream.

CHAPTER XII.
The Sledge—Bathing—The Kangaroo.

I wap observed along the shore many pieces of wood, of
which I thought I could make a kind of conveyance for
our cask of butter and other provisions from Tent House
to Falcon’s Stream, and had secretly determined to go
early the next morning, before my family should be awake,
to the spot. I had fixed upon Ernest for my assistant, _
thinking that his indolent temper required to be sti-
mulated to exertion. I made him feel as a great favour
the preference I gave him, and he promised to be ready
at avery early hour. I was also desirous to leave Fritz
with the family, as, being the tallest and strongest, he was
more able to afford protection.

At the first dawn of morning I quietly awoke Ernest.
He got up, and we descended the ladder without being
perceived by the rest, who continued to sleep soundly.
‘We roused the ass, and I made him draw some large
branches of a tree, which I wanted for my undertaking.

We were not long in finding the pieces of wood, and
set to work to cut them the proper length, and we then
laid them cross-ways on the branches, which we thus con-
verted into a kind of vehicle. We added to the load a
little chest, which we found half-buried in the sands, quite
close to the waves, and then we set out on our return to
Falcon’s Stream. When we reached our abode, the chest
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 143

we had brought was soon opened by a strong hatchet ;
for all were eager to see what was within. It contained
only some sailors’ dresses and some linen, and both were
wet with the sea.

We then sat down tranquilly to breakfast; and I next
inspected the booty of the young sportsmen, who had
shot, in all, not less than fifty ortolans and thrushes, and
had used so large a quantity of powder and shot, that
when they were about to resume their sport, my wife and
I stopped them, recommending a more frugal use of those
valuable materials. I taught them how to make some
snares, to be suspended from the branches of the fig-tree,
and advised them to use the thread of the karata, which
is ag strong as horse-hair, for the purpose. What is new
always amuses young persons, and the boys accordingly
took a great fancy to this mode of sporting.

Jack having succeeded in his very first attempt got up
into the tree, and suspended some of the snares to the
branches, to catch the little devourers of our figs : when he
came down again, he brought us the acceptable intelli-
gence that our pigeons had made a sort of nest there of
some dry grass, and that it already contained several
eggs. I therefore forbade the boys from firing any more
in the tree, for fear of alarming or wounding these gentle
creatures. I also directed that the snares should be fre-
quently examined, to see that the pigeons were not caught
in them, as they might be strangled in their efforts to get
loose. My sons had all murmured a little at my prohibi-
tion of the gunpowder; and little Francis, with his inno-
cent face, came running to tell me, that he was going to
ask his brother to help him to sow some gunpowder, that
they might have plenty. We all laughed heartily at the
idea, and Professor Ernest did not overlook the occasion
to display his science.
144 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

During these arrangements, the boys and I had been
busily employed: our work was completed. Two bent
pieces of wood, the segments of a circle, which I fixed in
their places by a straight piece of wood placed across,
and firmly fixed to the bent pieces in the middle and at
the rear, formed the outline of my machine. I then
fastened two ropes in front; and here was a sledge as
perfect as could be desired. As I had not raised my
eyes from my work, I did not know what my wife and
the two youngest boys had been about. On looking up,
I perceived that they had been stripping off the feathers
from a quantity of birds which the boys had killed, and
that they afterwards spitted them on an officer’s sword,
which Fritz had fancied and brought from the ship, and
which my wife had turned into this useful kitchen utensil.
I approved of the idea; but I blamed her profusion, in
dressing more birds at once than we could eat. She re-
minded me, that I had myself advised her to half-roast
the birds before putting them into the butter, to be pre-
served for future use. She was in hopes, she said, that
as I had now a sledge, I should not fail of going to Tent
House after dinner to fetch the cask of butter, and in
the mean while she was endeavouring to be ready with
the birds. I had no objection to this, and determined on
going to Tent House the same day, requesting my wife to
hasten the dinner for that purpose. She replied, that
this was already her intention, as she also had a little pro-
ject in her head, which I should be informed of at my re-
turn. I, for my part, had one too, which was to refresh
myself, after the heat and fatigue of my laborious occupa-
tions, by a plunge into the sea. I wished that Ernest,
who was to accompany me, should bathe also; while Fritz
was to remain at home for the protection of the family.

‘We harnessed the ass and the cow to our sledge: each
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 145

took a piece of bamboo-cane in hand, to serve as a whip,
and, resting our guns upon our shoulders, we began our
journey. Flora was to accompany us, and Turk to re-
main behind. We took the road by the sea-shore, where
the sands afforded better travelling for our vehicle than
the thick wild grass. We reached Family Bridge, on
Jackal’s River, and arrived at Tent House without either
obstacle or adventure, and unharnessed the animals to let
them graze, while we set to work to load the sledge with
the cask of butter, the cask of cheese, a small barrel of
gunpowder, different instruments, small ball, and some
shot. These exertions had so occupied our thoughts,
that it was late when we first observed that our animals,
attracted by the excellent quality of the grass on the
other side of the river, had repassed the bridge, and wan-
dered so far as to be out of sight. I was in hopes they
would be easily found, and directed Ernest to go with
Flora and bring them back, intending in the mean time
to look for a convenient place on the other side of Tent
House to bathe in. Ina short time I found myself at
the extremity of Providence Bay, which ended, as I now
perceived, in a marsh, producing some fine bulrushes: and
further on, a chain of steep rocks, advancing somewhat
into the sea, and forming a kind of creek, as if expressly
contrived for bathing. The juttings of the rock even
seemed like little cabinets, for separate accommodation.
Enchanted with this discovery, I called out to Ernest to
come and join me, and in the mean time amused myself
with cutting some of the rushes, and imagining what use
I could apply them to.

I desired him to fill a small bag with some of the salt
he had formerly observed here, and then to empty it into
the large one for the ass to carry ; and to take care to fill
equally on each side. “During this time I will take the

L
146 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

refreshment of bathing; and then it will be your turn to
bathe, and mine to take care of the animals.”

I returned to the rocks, and was not disappointed in
my expectation of an enjoyment the most delicious; but
I did not stay long, fearing my boy might be impatient
for his share of so new a pleasure. When I had dressed
myself, I returned to the place to see if his work had
advanced: presently I heard his voice calling out, “ Father,
father, a fish! a fish of monstrous size! Run quickly,
father ; I can hardly hold him; he is eating up the string
of my line!” Iran to the place from which the voice
proceeded, and found Ernest lying along the ground on
his face, upon the extremity of a point of land, and pull-
ing in his line, to which a large fish was hanging, and
struggling to get loose. I hastily snatched the rod out
of his hand, for I feared the weight and activity of the
fish might pull him into the water. I gave the line length,
to calm the fish, and then contrived to draw him gently
along, into a shallow, from which he could no longer
escape, and thus he was effectually secured. We examined
him thoroughly, and he appeared to weigh not Jess than
fifteen pounds; so that our capture was magnificent, and
would afford the greatest pleasure to our good steward
of provisions at Falcon’s Stream. ‘“ You have now really
laboured,” said I to Ernest, “not only with your head,
but with your whole body; and I would advise you to
keep a little quiet and get cool before you venture into
the water. You have procured us a dish of great excel-
lence, which will last for several days, and have conducted
yourself like a true cavalier, without fear, and without re-

A?

“It was at least fortunate,” observed he, in a modest
tone, “that I thought of bringing my fishing-rod.”

Father.—Certainly it was. But tell me how you came
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 147

to see this large fish, and what made you think you could
catch it.

Ernest.—I used to remark great quantities of fish in
the water, just hereabout, and this made me determine
to bring my fishing-tackle with me. In my way to the
salt, I perceived a great number of little crabs, upon
which fishes feed, near the water’s brink; I thought I
would try to bait my hook with one of them; so I
hastened my work, and came to this spot, where I caught
only a dozen little fish, which are there in my handker-
chief; but I remarked that they were chased in the water
by fishes of larger size. This gave me the idea of baiting
my hook with one of the small ones; but the hook was
too small, and my rod too weak. I then took one of
the finest of the bulrushes you had just gathered, and
put a larger hook to my line, and in a short time the
large fish you see there seized upon the bait. How-
ever, I must confess, that if you had not come to my
assistance, I must either have let go my line, or have
been dragged into the water; for the fish was stronger
than I.

We now examined the smaller fishes, which were
mostly trout, while I felt certain that the large one was a
salmon. I cut them all open, and rubbed them in the in-
side with salt, that they might not be injured by the heat.
While I was thus employed, Ernest went to the rocks and
bathed, and I had time to fill some more bags with salt
before his return. We then harnessed and loaded our
animals, and resumed the road to Falcon’s Stream.

When we had proceeded about half way, Flora, who
was before us, suddenly sprang off, and by her barking
gave notice that she scented some game. We soon after
saw her pursuing an animal which seemed endeavouring
to escape, and made the most extraordinary jumps ima-

L2
148 THE SWISS FAMILY KOBINSON.

ginable. The dog continued to follow; the creature, in
trying to avoid him, passed within gun-shot of the place
where I stood. I fired, but its flight was so rapid, that I
did not touch him. Ernest, who was at a small distance
behind, hearing the report of my gun, prepared his own,
and fired it off at the instant the singular animal was
passing near him, seeking to hide himself among the tall
herbage just by: he had fired so skilfully, that the animal
fell dead at the same instant. I ran with extreme curi-
osity to ascertain what kind of quadruped it might be. It
was as large as a sheep, with the tail resembling that of
a tiger; but its snout and hair were like those of a mouse,
and its teeth were like a hare’s, but much larger; the
fore-legs resembled those of the squirrel, and were ex-
tremely short ; but to make up for this, its hind-legs were
as long as a pair of stilts, and of a form strikingly sin-
gular. I could not be sure that I had ever seen an en-
graving or description of it in any natural history, or book
of travels. We therefore examined the creature very care-
fully to ascertain to what family of quadrupeds it belonged,
hoping by this medns to throw a light upon its name,
which we were both anxious to discover.

Ernest.—TI think it can hardly be named a quadruped ;
for the little fore-legs look much more like hands, as is
the case with monkeys.

Father.—They are notwithstanding legs, I can assure
you. Let us look for its name among the animals who
give suck: on this point we cannot be mistaken. Now
let us examine its teeth.

Ernest.—Here are the four incisory teeth, like the
squirrel.

Father.—Thus we see that it belongs to the order of
Nibblers. ‘Now let us look for some names of animals of
this kind.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 149

Ernest.—Besides squirrels, I recollect only mice, mar-
mots, hares, beavers, porcupines, and jumpers. .

Father —Jumpers! That short word furnishes the
necessary clue; the animal is completely formed like the
jerboa, or jumping hare, except that it is twice the size of
those of which I have read a description... . . Wait a mo-
ment—an idea strikes me: I think our animal must be one
of the large jumpers, called kangaroo ; it belongs properly
to the genus Didelphie or Philander ; because the female,
who never bears more than one young one at a time,
carries it in a kind of purse placed between her hind-legs.
You may be highly flattered with your adventure of kill-
ing an animal at once so rare and so remarkable. But
now let us see how we shall manage to drag him to the
sledge. Ernest requested that I would rather assist him
to carry it, as he was afraid of spoiling its beautiful
mouse-coloured skin by dragging it on the ground. I
therefore tied the fore-legs of the kangaroo together ; and,
by means of two canes, we, with considerable trouble,
contrived to carry it to the sledge, upon which it was
securely fastened.

Having now nothing more to detain us, we continued
our road towards Falcon’s Stream, conversing on the sub-
ject of natural history, and on the necessity of studying
it in our youth, that we might learn to class plants and
animals according to their characteristic marks; and we
observed, that to such a knowledge as this it was owing
that we had recognized the kangaroo. Ernest entreated
me to tell him all I knew about the animal.—“ It is,”
said I, “a most singular kind of creature. It is some-
times eight feet in length from the extremity of the snout
to the end of the tail: they sometimes weigh as much as
200lbs.': the hair is short and thick, of a reddish gray

1 The kangaroo species were first discovered by Captain Cook, in
150 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

colour, lighter on the flanks and belly; it has a small,
elongated head; large, erect ears, and a nose furnished
with a moustache; its neck and shoulders are small, in-
creasing in size gradually towards the haunches ; the fore-
legs of the kangaroo are about eighteen inches in length ;
they serve the animal merely to scratch the earth, and to
convey victuals to its mouth; but its hind-legs are pro-
digiously strong; it springs often seven or eight feet
high. There are but three claws on each foot, the middle
one of which is considerably longer than the others. The
tail of the kangaroo is long, thick at the butt, but gra-
dually tapering: the animal uses it for defence, and can
strike blows with it strong enough to break the leg of a
man.”

We at length arrived happily, though somewhat late,
at Falcon’s Stream. Our companions all ran to meet us;
but it was now, on seeing the ludicrous style of the dress
of the three boys, our turn for immoderate fits of laughter :
one had on a sailor’s shirt, which trained round him, like
the robe of a spectre; another was buried in a pair of
pantaloons, which were fastened round his neck, and
reached to the ground; and the third had a long waist-
coat, which came down to the instep, and gave him the
exact form of a travelling portmanteau. After some
hearty laughing, I inquired of my wife what could be the
cause of this masquerade, and whether she had assisted

1770, whilst out with a party shooting pigeons on the coast of New
South Wales; he describes its appearance as that of a large greyhound,
for a wild species of which he should have taken it, but for its extraor-
dinary manner of leaping instead of running. The number of species
now known is very considerable; they vary in size from that of a rat
to the great kangaroo, which has been known to measure nearly eight
feet from the nose to the tip of the tail, and to weigh 220lbs.; but in
form and habits they bear a strong resemblance to each other.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 151

them in attempting to act a comedy for our amusement.
She informed me, that her three boys had also been bath-
ing, and that, while thus engaged, she had washed all
their clothes ; but as they had not dried as soon as she
expected, her little rioters had become impatient, and
had fallen on the chest of sailors’ clothes, and each had
taken from it what article he had pleased.

It was now our turn to give an account of our journey :
as we advanced in our narrative, we presented, one after
another, casks, bulrushes, salt, fish, and lastly, with in-
finite triumph, our beautiful kangaroo. In a trice it was
surrounded, examined, and admired by all, and such a
variety of questions asked, that Ernest and I scarcely
knew which to answer first. Fritz was the only one who
was @ little silent. I saw plainly by his countenance
what was passing in his mind. He was jealous of the
good fortune of his brother Ernest ; but I also saw that
he was struggling manfully against the ascendancy of so
mean a passion. In a short time he had succeeded so
completely, that he joined frankly and unaffectedly in our
conversation and merriment. He came near the kan-
garoo, and examined it; then, turning to his brother, he
observed to him, in a kind tone, that he had had good
luck, and that he must be a good shot to have killed the
animal with so little difficulty.—‘ But, father,” said he,
“when you go again to Tent House, or on any other ex-
cursion, will it not be my turn to accompany you? For
here, at Falcon’s Stream, there is nothing new to amuse
us, and I find it very tiresome.”

“T promise you cheerfully what you desire, my dear
boy,” said I, “for you have valiantly combatted the
jealousy and ill humour which assailed you on witnessing
your brother’s success with the kangaroo. I therefore
engage that you shall accompany me in my very next ex-
152 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

cursion, which will probably take place at no greater
distance of time than to-morrow; and it will be another
journey to the vessel. But in the mean time let me ob-
serve to you, that I have shown the highest opinion of
your prudence and judgment in leaving you here in
charge of your mother and your brothers. You have ac-
complished an important duty, in keeping near them all
the time, and not suffering yourself to be allured by
such amusements as presented themselves to your fancy ;
and this conduct has increased my affection and respect
for you.”

‘We concluded the day with our ordinary occupations.
I gave some salt to each of our animals, to whom it was
an acceptable treat. We then hung up our kangaroo,
putting it carefully aside till the next day, when we in-
tended to cut it to pieces, and lay such parts in salt as
we could not immediately consume. We made an ex-
cellent. supper on our little fish, nor were our faithful
companions Turk and Flora neglected. The labours of
the day had more than usually disposed.us all to seek re-
pose; we therefore said our prayers at an early hour,
mounted our ladder, and were soon asleep.

CHAPTER XIII.
More Stores from the Wreck —The Tortoise harnessed.

I nose with the first crowing of the cock, descended the
ladder, and set about skinning the kangaroo, taking care
not to deface its beautiful smooth coat: but I advanced
so slowly in the business, that my family were assembled
about us, and calling out Famine! before I had finished
my work. Having at last completed it, I went to the
river to wash myself thoroughly, and then to the sailor’s
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 153

chest, to change my coat, that I might appear with
decency at breakfast, and give my sons an example of
that cleanliness which their mother was so eager to in-
culcate. Breakfast over, I ordered Fritz to get ready for
Tent House, where we should prepare the boat, and pro-
ceed to the vessel.

After taking an affectionate leave of my wife, we began
our journey. [I left Flora with her, and entreated her not
to be uneasy, and to commit herself to the care of the
kind Providence who had till then so graciously watched
over us, and who would again bring us back to her safe
and sound, enriched with many things conducive to our
welfare. But to bring her to reason on the subject of
these trips to the vessel was impracticable: I left her
bathed in tears, and praying God that this might be the
last.

We took Ernest and Jack a little way with us, and
then I sent them back with a message to their mother,
which I had not the resolution to deliver myself—that
we might be forced to pass the night on board the vessel,
and not return till the evening of the following day. It
was most essential to get out of it, if yet afloat, all that
could be saved, as a moment might complete its de-
struction. I instructed my sons how they should soothe
their mother; I exhorted them to obey and to assist her ;
and that their excursion might not be useless, I directed
them to gather some salt, and enjoined them to be at
Falcon’s Stream before noon. .

We got into the boat, and, gaining the current, quickly
cleared Safety Bay, and reached the vessel, whose open
side offered us an ample space to get on board. When
we had fastened our boat, our first care was to select fit
materials to construct a raft, as suggested by Ernest. Our
boat of staves had neither room nor solidity enough to
154 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

carry a considerable burden: we therefore looked about,
and found a sufficient number of water-casks, which
appeared to me proper for my new enterprise. We
emptied them, replaced the bungs carefully, and threw
the casks overboard, after securing them with ropes and
cramps, 80 as to keep them together at the vessel’s side:
this completed, we placed a sufficient number of planks
upon them to form a firm and commodious platform, or
deck, to which we added » gunwale of a foot in depth all
round to secure the lading. Thus we contrived a hand-
some raft, in which we could stow thrice as much as in
our boat. This laborious task had taken up the whole
day ; we scarcely allowed ourselves a moment’s rest, and
in the evening were both so weary, that it would have
been impossible for us to row back to land; so having
taken all due precautions in case of a storm, we lay down |
in the captain's cabin, on a good elastic mattress, which
induced such sound repose, that our prudent design to
watch in turn, for fear of accident, was forgot, and we
both slept heavily, side by side, till broad daylight
opened our eyes. We rose, and actively set to work to
load our raft.

‘We began with stripping the cabin of its doors and
windows, with their appendages; next we secured the
carpenter’s and gunner’s chests, containing all their tools
and implements : those we could remove with levers and
rollers were put entire upon the raft, and we took out
of the others what rendered them too heavy. One of the
captain’s chests was filled with costly articles, which, no
doubt, he meant to dispose of to the opulent planters of
Port Jackson, or among the savages. But the discovery
that delighted me most was a chest containing some
dozens of young plants of every species of European
fruits, which had been carefully packed in moss for trans-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 155

portation. I perceived pear, plum, almond, peach, apple,
apricot, chestnut trees, and vine shoots. I beheld, witha
feeling I cannot describe, those productions of my dear
country, which once so agreeably embellished my rural
dwelling, and which, I might hope, would thrive in a
foreign soil. We discovered a number of bars of iron,
and large pigs of lead, grinding-stones, cart-wheels ready
for mounting, a complete set of farrier’s instruments,
tongs, shovels, ploughshares, rolls of iron and copper wire,
sacks full of maize, pease, oats, vetches, and even a little
hand-mill. The vessel had been freighted with every
thing likely to be useful in an infant colony. We found
a saw-mill in a separated state, but each piece numbered,
and so accurately fitted, that nothing was easier than to
put it together for use.

I had now to consider what of all these treasures I
should take or leave. It was impossible to carry with us,
in one trip, such a quantity of goods; and to leave them
in the vessel was exposing ourselves to be wholly deprived
of them.

We with difficulty and hard labour finished our load-
ing, having added a large fishing-net, quite new, and the
vessel’s great compass. With the net, Fritz found two
harpoons and a rope-windlass, such as they use in the
whale-fishery. He asked me to let him place the har-
poons, tied to the end of the rope, over the bow of our
tub-boat, and thus be in readiness in case of seeing any
large fish ; and I indulged him in his fancy.

Having completely executed our undertaking, we stepped
into the tub-boat, and with some small difficulty, which a
little reflection and a few experiments soon enabled us to
overcome, we pushed out for the current, drawing our
raft triumphantly after us with a stout rope, which we
had been careful to fasten securely at its head.
156 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

The wind was favourable, and briskly swelled our sail.
The sea was calm, and we advanced at a considerable
rate. Fritz had for some time fixed his eyes on some-
thing of a large size which was floating on the water, and
he now desired me to take the glass, and see what it
could be. I soon perceived that it was a tortoise, which
had fallen asleep in the sun on the surface of the water.
No sooner had Fritz learned this, than he entreated me
to steer softly within view of so extraordinary a creature.
T readily consented ; but as his back was towards me and
the sail between us, I did not observe his motions, till a
violent jerk of the boat, and a sudden turning of the
windlass, and then a second jerk accompanied by a rapid
motion of the boat, gave me the necessary explanation.
“ For Heaven’s sake, what are you about, Fritz?’’ ex-
claimed I, somewhat alarmed.

——“I have caught him!—I touched him!” cried
Fritz, without hearing one word I had been saying—
“The tortoise is ours; it cannot escape, father! What a
valuable prize: it will furnish dinners for us all for many
weeks.”

I soon perceived that the harpoon had caught the ani-
mal, which, feeling itself wounded, thus agitated the vessel
in its endeavours to get away. I quickly pulled down the
sail, and seizing a hatchet, sprung to the boat’s head to
cut the rope, and let the harpoon and the tortoise go;
but Fritz caught hold of my arm, conjuring me to wait a
moment, and not so hastily bring upon him the mortifi-
cation of losing, at one stroke, the harpoon, the rope, and
the tortoise. He proposed watching himself, with the
hatchet in his hand, to cut the rope suddenly, should any
sign of danger appear; and I yielded to his entreaties.

Thus, then, drawn along by the tortoise, we proceeded
with a hazardous rapidity. I soon observed that the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 157

creature was making for the sea; I therefore again hoisted
the sail; and as the wind was to the land, and very brisk,
the tortoise found resistance of no avail; he accordingly
fell into the track of the current, and drew us straight
towards our usual place of landing, and, by good fortune,
without striking upon any of the rocks. We, however,
did not disembark without one difficult adventure. The
state of the tide was such as to throw us upon a sand-
bank; we were at this time within a gun-shot of the
shore; the boat, though driven with violence, remained
upright in the sand. I stepped into the water, which did
not reach far above my knees, for the purpose of con-
ferring upon our conductor his just reward for the alarm he
had caused us, when he suddenly gave a plunge, and then
disappeared. Following the rope, I presently saw the
tortoise stretched at length at the bottom of the.
water, where it was so shallow that I soon found means
to put an end to his pain, by cutting off his head with the
hatchet, and he bled to death. Being now near Tent
House, Fritz gave a halloo, and fired a gun, to apprize
our relatives that we were not only arrived, but arrived
in triumph. This soon produced the desired effect: the
mother and her three young ones soon appeared, running
towards us; upon which Fritz jumped out of the boat,
placed the head of our sea-prize on the muzzle of his gun,
and walked to shore, which I reached at the same moment ;
and all were once more received with the kindest saluta-
tions, and such questions as kindness best knows how to
propose.

After some gentle reproaches from my wife, for leaving
her and the boys for so long a time, the history of the
tortoise was related, and excited much merriment in
our auditors. Our conversation ended, I requested my
wife to go with two of the younger boys to Falcon’s
158 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Stream, and fetch the sledge and the beasts of burden,
that we might see at least a part of our booty from the
ship put safely under shelter the same evening. A tem-
pest, or even the tide, might sweep away the whole during
the night! We took every precaution in our power against
the latter danger, by fixing the boat and the raft, now at
the time of its reflux, as securely as we could without an
anchor. I rolled two prodigious masses of lead, with the
assistance of levers, from the raft upon the shore, and
then tied a rope to each, the other ends of which were
fastened, one to the raft, and the other to the boat, and
thus satisfied myself that they could not easily be forced
away.

While we were thus employed, the sledge arrived, and
we placed the tortoise upon it, and also some articles of
light weight, such as mattresses, pieces of linen, &e., for -
I reckoned that the animal itself weighed at least three
quintals. The strength of our whole party was found
necessary to move it from the raft to the sledge; we there-
fore all set out together to unload it again at Falcon’s
Stream.

Our first concern, on reaching our abode, was the tor-
toise, which we immediately turned on his back, that we
might strip off the shell, and make use of some of
the flesh while it was fresh. Taking my hatchet, I sepa-
rated the upper and under shell all round, which were
joined together by cartilages. The upper shell of the
tortoise is extremely convex ; the under, on the contrary,
is nearly flat. I cut away as much of the flesh of the
animal as was sufficient for a meal, and laid the rest
earefully on the under shell, which served as a dish,
recommending to my wife to cook what [ had cut off, on
the other shell, with no other seasoning than a little salt,
and pledged myself that she would produce a luxurious
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 159

dish. “We will then,” said I, “rub salt on what we
mean to keep, and distribute the head, entrails, and feet
to the dogs; for all must have a share.”

“ Oh, dear papa,” cried Francis, “do give me the shell,
it will be such a pretty plaything !”

“No, no,” cried out another ; and one and all contended
for the preference. I imposed silence, declaring that Fritz
was the only rightful claimant. “To what use, my dear
boy, do you think of applying it P”

Fritz—I thought, father, of cleaning it thoroughly,
and fixing it by the side of our river, and keeping it
always full of pure water for my mother’s use, when she
has to wash the linen, or cook our victuals.

Father —An excellent idea, my boy! This is what I
call thinking for the general good. And we will take care
to carry out your scheme as soon as we can prepare some
clay, as a solid foundation for its bottom.

Jack.—Hah, hah! Now then it is my turn ; for I have
got some clay, which I have put by to keep for use,
behind those old roots yonder.

Father —And where did you get it, boy P

Jack—TI found it on the hill to the right of us. As I
was returning from a walk this morning, I thought I
would take the high path along the river, just to see how
rapidly it runs and forms those nice cascades «by and by
I came to a large slope, watered by the river; it was very
slippery, and, on looking, I saw that the ground was all
of clay, and almost liquid, so I made some of it into balls,
and brought them home.

Ernest.—When the water-tub is complete, I will put
some roots I have found to soak a little in it, for they are
now extremely dry. I donot exactly know what they are:
they look something like the radish, or horse-radish ; but the
plant from which I took them was almost the size of a bush.
160 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Father —If my suspicion is right, you have made a
beneficial discovery, which may. furnish us the means of
existence as long as we may remain in this island! I think
your roots are magioc, of which the natives of the West
Indies make a sort of bread or cake which they call
cassave. But we must first carry the production through
a certain preparation, without which it possesses perni-
cious properties. Try to find the same place, and bring
a sufficient quantity for our first experiment.

We had finished unloading the sledge, and I bade the
three eldest boys accompany me to fetch another load
before it should be dark. Having reached the raft, we
took from it as many effects as the sledge could hold, or
the animals draw along. One object of my attention was
to secure two chests which contained the clothes of my
family, which I well knew would afford the highest grati-
fication to my wife, who had frequently lamented that
they were all compelled to wear clothes that were not
their own; reminding her at every moment, she said, how
much they might be wanted by their proper claimants. I
reckoned also on finding in one of the chests some books
on interesting subjects, and principally a large hand-
somely-printed Bible. I added to these, four cart-wheels
and a hand-mill for grinding; which, now that we had
discovered the manioc, I considered of signal importance.
These and a few other articles completed our present load.

On our return to Falcon’s Nest, we found my wife
looking anxiously for our arrival, and ready with the wel-
come she had promised of an ample and agreeable repast.
Before she had well examined our new stores, she drew
me away and pointed to a large cask half sunk in the
ground, and the rest covered over with branches of trees.
She then applied a small corkscrew to the side, and filling
the shell of a cocoa-nut with the contents, presented it to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 161

me. I found the liquor equal the best canary I had ever
tasted.—“ How then,” said I, “have you performed this
new miracle? I cannot believe the enchanted bag produced
it.”’—“ Not exactly,” replied she; “for this time it was
an obliging white wave which threw it on shore. I
took a little ramble in your absence yesterday, to see what
I could find, and well my trouble was rewarded! The
boys ran for the sledge, and had but little difficulty in
getting the cask to Falcon’s Stream, where we dug this
place in the earth to keep it cool.”

My wife now proposed that all should be regaled with
some of the delicious beverage. My own-share so invigo-
rated me, that I found myself able to complete my day’s
work, by drawing up the mattresses we had brought from
the ship to our chamber in the tree, by means of a pulley.
When I had laid them along to advantage, they looked so
inviting, that I could scarcely resist my desire of at once
committing myself to the kind relief they seemed to offer
to my exhausted strength.

But now the savoury smell of the tortoise laid claim to
my attention. I hastened down, and we all partook
heartily of the luxurious treat. We returned thanks to
God, and speedily retired to taste the blessing of sound
repose upon the said mattresses.

CHAPTER XIV.

Another Trip to the Wreck.—A New Trade.

I nosz before day to go to the sea-side, and inspect our

two vessels. As I approached the shore, I saw with joy

that the boat and raft had resisted the tide, though it had

partially heaved them up. I got quickly on the raft, took

a small loading, and returned to Falcon’s Stream, where I
M
162 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

found my family assembled for breakfast. When our
meal was ended, we returned to the sea-side to complete
the unloading of the raft, that it might be ready for sea
on the ebbing of the tide. "We were not long in taking
two cargoes to Falcon’s Stream. At our last trip the
water was nearly up to our craft. I sent back my wife
and the boys, and remained with Fritz till we were quite
afloat; when observing Jack still loitering near, I guessed
at his wish, and consented to his embarking with us.
Shortly after, the tide was high enough for us to row off.
Instead of steering for Safety Bay, to moor our vessels
there securely, I was tempted by a fresh sea-breeze to go
out again to the wreck ; but it was too late to undertake
much, and I was unwilling to cause my wife uneasiness by
passing another night on board. I therefore determined
to bring away only what could be obtained with ease and
speed: and we searched hastily through the ship for any
trifling articles that might be readily removed. Jack was
at a loss what to select, but at length fixed upon a wheel-
barrow which he assured us would be found very useful.
But Fritz disclosed still better news, which was, that
he had discovered behind the bulk-head, amid-ship, a pin-
nace (i.¢.a small craft, the fore part of which is square),
taken to pieces, with all its appurtenances, and even two
small guns for its defence. This intelligence so delighted
me, that I ran to the bulk-head at once, when I was con-
vinced of the truth of the lad’s assertion; but I instantly
perceived, that to put it together, and launch it, would
be an Herculean task. I collected various utensils, a
copper boiler, some plates of iron, tobacco-graters, two
grinding-stones, a small barrel of gunpowder, and another
full of flints, which I much valued. Jack’s barrow was
not forgotten; two more were afterwards found and
added, with straps belonging to them. All these articles
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 163

were hurried into the boat, and we re-embarked with
speed, to avoid the land-wind that rises in the evening.
As we were drawing near to shore, we were struck with -
the appearance of an assemblage of small figures ranged
in a long line on the strand, that seemed to be viewing
us attentively; they were dressed in black, and all uni-
form, with white waistcoats and full cravats: the arms
of these beings hung down carelessly; now and then,
however, they seemed to extend them tenderly, as if they
wished to embrace or offer us a token of friendship.

“T really think,” said 1 to the boys, who were sted-
fastly gazing at them, “that we are in the country of the
pigmies, and that they wish to form a friendly alliance
with us.”

Jack.—Oh, no, father! they are certainly Lilliputians,
though somewhat bigger than those of whom I read the
description in Gulliver’s Travels.

“You then, child,” said I, “consider those travels as
true; that there is an island of Lilliput, and inhabited by
dwarfs?”

Jack.—Gulliver says so. He met also with men of
an immense stature, besides an island inhabited by
horses——

“ And yet I must tell you, that the only reality in all
his discoveries is the rich imagination of the author, whose
taste and feeling led him to resort to allegory for the
purpose of revealing grand truths. Do you know, Jack,
what an allegory is?”

“Tt somewhat resembles a parable, I presume ?”

“ Right, one is very similar to the other.”

Jack.—And the pigmies you mentioned, are any to be
found ?

“No more than there are Lilliputians ; they exist only
in poetical fiction, or in the erroneous account of some

mM 2
164 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ancient navigators, in which a group of monkeys has been
fallaciously described as diminutive men.”

Fritz.—Such probably are the mannikins that we see
now stretching out their arms towards us. Ah, now I
begin to perceive that they have beaks, and that their
arms are short drooping wings ;—what strange birds!

“You are right, son, they are penguins, or ruffs;
Ernest killed one soon after our arrival. They are ex-
cellent swimmers, but cannot fly; and so confused are
they when on land, that they run in the silliest way into
danger.”

While we were talking I steered gently towards shore,
to enjoy the uncommon sight the longer; but the very
moment we got into shallow water, my giddy Jack leaped
up to his waist into it, and was quickly on land, battering
with his stick among the penguins, before they were
aware of his approach, so that half a dozen of them were
-immediately laid flat; the remainder, seeing they were so
roughly accosted, plunged into the sea, dived, and disap-
peared.

As the sun declined, and we despaired of finishing
before night set in, each of us filled a barrow, in order to
take home something. I requested that the tobacco-
graters and iron plates might be in the first load.

Arrived at Falcon’s Stream, my wife exhibited a good
store of manioc, which she had got in during our absence ;
I much applauded her diligence and foresight, and gave
Ernest and little Francis their share of approbation.

“But now,” said I, “for some supper and repose ; and
if my little workmen should be industriously inclined to-
morrow, I shall reward them with the novelty of a new
trade to be learned.” This did not fail to excite the
curiosity of all; but I made them wait till the following
day for the explanation I had to give.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 165

I called the boys very early, reminding them that I
had promised to teach them a new trade.

“What is it? What is it?” exclaimed they all, spring-
ing out of bed, and hurrying on their clothes.

Father.—It is the art of the baker, my boys. Hand
me those iron plates that we brought yesterday from the
vessel, and the tobacco-graters also, and we will make
our experiment. Ernest, bring hither the roots; but
first, my dear, I must request you to make me a small
bag of a piece of strong wrapper-cloth.

My wife set instantly to work to oblige me; in the
mean while I spread a piece of coarse linen on the ground,
and assembled my young ones round me; I gave each of
the boys a grater, and showed him at the same time how
to rest it on the linen, and then to grate the roots of
manioce: in a short time each had produced a considerable
heap of a substance somewhat resembling pollard.

I now informed them that the manioc was known to
be the principal sustenance of whole nations of the con-
tinent of America, and that the Europeans who inhabit
those countries prefer it even to our wheaten bread. I
added, “There are many kinds of manioc; one of these
shoots rapidly, and its roots become mature in a short
time; a second sort is of more tardy growth; and there
is another, the roots of which require the space of two
years to be fit for use. The first two kinds have perni-
cious or unwholesome qualities when eaten raw, but the
third may be eaten without fear; for all this, the two
first are generally preferred, as being more productive,
and requiring a shorter time for being fit for use.”

By this time my wife had completed the bag. I had
it well filled with what we called our pollard, and she
closed it securely by sewing up the end. I had now to
contrive a kind of press: I cut a long, straight, stout
166 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

branch, from a neighbouring tree, and stripped it of the
bark; I then placed a plank across the table we had
fixed between the arched roots of our tree, and which
was exactly the right height for my purpose, and on this
I laid the bag; I put other planks again upon the bag,
and then covered all with the large branch, the thickest
extremity of which I inserted under an arch, while to
the other, which projected beyond the planks, I suspended
all sorts of heavy substances, such as lead, our largest
hammers, and bars of, iron, which, acting with great
foree as a press on the bag of manioc, caused the sap it
contained to issue in streams, which flowed plentifully on
the ground.

Fritz—This machine of yours, father, though simple,
is as effectual as can be desired.

Father —Certainly. It is the simplest lever that the
art of mechanism can furnish, and may be made extremely
useful.

Ernest.—I thought that levers were never used but for
raising heavy masses, such as blocks of stone, and things
of that degree of weight; I had no notion that they were
ever used for pressing.

Father —But you see that the point at which the lever
rests on the planks must always be the point of rest or
compression; the point at which its extremity touches
the roots of the tree would no doubt be that of the raising
power, if the root was not too strong to yield to the point
of the lever; but then the resistance at the point of com-
pression or rest is still stronger, and presses effectually,
as you see, the contents of the bag. The Negroes, how-
ever, have another manner of proceeding; but it would
have been much too tedious in the process for us to imi-
tate. They make tresses of the bark of a tree, and with
it form a kind of basket of tolerable size; they fill it with
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 167

manioc, and press it so tightly, that the baskets become
shorter, and increase in breadth; they. then hang the
baskets to the strongest branches of trees, and fasten
large stones to them, which draw the baskets again length-
ways; by which action upon the manioc the sap runs out
at the openings left by the tresses.

Mother.— Can one make no use of this sap ?

Father —Certainly we may: the same Negroes use it
as a food, after mixing it with some pepper; and, when
they can procure them, some sea-crabs.

Fritz.—Father, it no longer runs a single drop; may
we not now set about making the dough?

Father.—I have no objection; but as there are some
poisonous kinds of manioc, it will be prudent to make
only a small cake at first, by way of experiment, which
we will give to the monkey and the fowls, and wait to see
the effect, instead of exhausting our whole store at
once.

‘We now opened the bag, and took out a small quantity
of the pollard, which already was dry enough: we stirred
the rest about with a stick, and then replaced it under
the press. The next thing was to fix one of our iron
plates, which was of a round form, and a little hollow, so
as to rest upon two blocks of stone at a distance from
each other; under this we lighted a large fire, and when
the iron plate was completely heated, we placed a portion
of the dough upon it with a wooden spade. As soon as
the cake began to be brown underneath, it was turned,
that the other side might be baked also.

Ernest.—O how nicely it smells! what a pity that we
may not eat some of it immediately !

Father.—I believe you may safely venture, but it is
perhaps better to wait till the evening, and run no greater
risk than the loss of one or two of our fowls or of the
168 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

monkey; and we may say this trial of the cake will be
the first service he has rendered us. ‘

As soon as the cake was cold, we broke some of it into
crumbs, and gave it to two of the fowls, and a larger piece
to the monkey, who nibbled it with great satisfaction.

Fritz—Now tell me, father, how the savages manage
to grate their manioc, for surely they have not, like us,
an instrument fitted for the operation ;—and tell me also,
if they call their composition by the name of cake or bread,
as we do?

Futher—The savages, having no such article as bread
in their bill of fare, have consequently no word in their
language to express it. At the Antilles, the bread from
the manioc is called cassave ; the savages make a kind of
grater with sharp stones or shells; or when they can get
nails, on which they set a high value, they drive them
into the end of a plank, and rub the manioc upon it.
But now, I pray you, good wife, give us quickly our
dinner, and we will afterwards resume the baking trade.

The first thing after dinner was to visit our fowls.
Those which had eaten the manioc were in excellent con-
dition, and no less so the monkey. “Now then to the
bakehouse, young ones,” said I, “as fast as you can
scamper.”’—The grated manivc was soon emptied out of
the bag, a large fire was quickly lighted, and I placed the
boys where a flat surface had been prepared for them,
and gave to each a plate of iron and the quantity of a
cocoa-nut full to make a cake apiece, and they were to
try who could succeed the best. They were ranged in a
half circle round me, that they might observe how I pro-
ceeded, and adopt the same method for themselves. The
result was not discouraging for a first experiment, though
it must be confessed we were now and then so unlucky
as to burn a cake; but there was not a greater number
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 169

of these than served to feed the pigeons and the fowls,
which hovered round us to claim their share of the treat.
My little rogues could not resist the pleasure of frequently
tasting their cake, a little bit at a time, as they went on.
At length the undertaking was complete ; the cakes were
put in a dish, and served, in company with an abundant
supply of milk, to each person; and with this addition
they furnished us with an excellent repast: what re-
mained we distributed among our animals and fowls.

The rest of the day was employed in making different ar-
rangements, and in bringing to Tent House the remaining
articles we had taken from the ship. When all this was
done we retired to rest, with pious thanks to God for the
blessings his goodness thought fit to bestow on us.

CHAPTER XV.

The Cracker and the Pinnace.—A Kiichen-Garden.

From the time of discovering the pinnace, my desire of
returning to the vessel grew every moment more irresist-
ible ; but one thing I saw was absolutely necessary, which
was, to collect all my hands to get her out from the situa-
tion where we had found her. I therefore thought of taking
with me the three boys ; I even wished that my wife should
accompany us; but she had been seized with such a horror
of the sea, that she assured me the very attempt would
make her ill and useless. I had some difficulty to pre- —
vail upon her to let so many as three of the children go:
she made me promise to return the same evening, and on
no account to pass another night on board the wreck ;
and to this I was, though with regret, obliged to consent.

After breakfast, then, we prepared for setting out. The
boys were gay and on the alert, in the expectation of the
170 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

pleasure that awaited them, particularly Ernest, who had
not yet made a single voyage with us to the vessel. We
took with us an ample supply of provisions, and in addi-
tion, arms and weapons of every kind. We reached
Safety Bay without any remarkable event: here we
thought it prudent to put on our cork-jackets: we then
scattered some food for the geese and ducks which had
taken up their abode there, and soon after stepped gaily
into our tub-raft, at the same time fastening the new
boat by a rope to her stern, so that she could be drawn
along. We put out for the current, though not without
considerable fear of finding that the wreck had dis-
appeared. We soon, however, perceived that it still re-
mained firm between the rocks.

Having got on board, all repaired to the bulk-head,
which contained the enviable prize, the pinnace. On
further observation, it appeared to me that the plan we
had formed was subject to at least two alarming diffi-
culties; the one was the situation of the pinnace in the
ship; and the other was the size and weight it would
necessarily acquire when put together. The enclosure
which contained the pinnace was in the interior of the
ship, and timbers of prodigious bulk and weight separated
it from the breach, and in this part of the deck there was
not sufficient space for us to put the pinnace together, or
to give her room when done. The breach also was too
narrow and two irregular to admit of her being launched
from this place, as we had done with our tub-raft. In
short, the separate pieces of the pinnace were too heavy
for the possibility of our removing them even with the
assistance of our united strength. What therefore was
to be done? and how could we meet such formidable
difficulties ? I stood on the spot absorbed in reflection,
while the boys were running from place to place, con-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 171

veying every thing portable they could find on board the
raft.

The cabinet which contained the pinnace was lighted
by several small fissures in the timbers, which, after
standing in the place a few minutes to accustom the eye,
enabled one to see sufficiently to distinguish objects. I
discovered, with pleasure, that all the pieces of which she
was composed were so accurately arranged and numbered,
that without too much presumption, I might flatter my-
self with the hope of being able effectually to collect and
put them together, if I could be allowed the necessary
time, and could procure a convenient place. I therefore,
in spite of every disadvantage, decided on the under-
taking ; and we immediately set about it. We proceeded
at first so slowly as to have produced discouragement, if the
desire of possessing so admirable a little vessel, quite new,
perfectly safe, easy to conduct, and which might at some
future day be the means of our deliverance, had not at
every moment inspired us with new strength and ardour.

Evening, however, was fast approaching, and we had
made but small progress; we were obliged to think of
our promise to my wife; and, though with reluctance, we
left our occupation and re-embarked, On reaching Safety
Bay, we found there our kind steward and little Francis ;
they had been during the day employed in arrangements
for our living at Tent House as long as we should have
occasion to continue the excursions to the vessel; this
she did to shorten the length of the voyage, and that we
might be always in sight of each other. In return for
her kindness, I made the best display I could of two
casks of salted butter, three of flour, some small bags of
millet seed and of rice, and some other articles of utility
and comfort for our establishment; and the whole was
removed to our storehouse at the rocks.

we
172 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

We passed an entire week in this arduous undertaking
of the pinnace. I embarked every morning with my
three sons, and returned every evening, and never with-
out some small addition to our stores. We were now so
accustomed to this manner of proceeding, that my wife
bade us good-bye without concern, and we, on our parts,
left Tent House without anxiety ; she even had the courage
to go several times, with no companion but her little
Francis, to Falcon’s Stream, to feed and take care of the
poultry. As night successively returned, we had a thou-
sand interesting things to tell each other, and the plea-
sure of being together was much increased by these short
separations.

At length the pinnace was completed, and in a con-
dition to be launched: the question now was, how to
manage this remaining difficulty. She was an elegant .
little vessel, perfect in every part: she had a small neat
deck ; and her masts and sails were no less exact and
perfect than those of a little brig. It was probable she
would sail well, from the lightness of her construction,
and in consequence drawing but little water. We had
pitched and towed all the seams, that nothing might be
wanting for her complete appearance: we had even taken
the pains of further embellishing, by mounting her with
two small cannon of about a pound weight; and in imita-
tion of larger vessels, had fastened them to the deck with
chains. But in spite of the delight we felt in contem-
plating a work, as it were, of our own industry, the great
difficulty still remained: the charming little vessel still
stood fast, enclosed within four walls: nor could I con-
ceive a mode of getting her out. To effect a passage
through the outer side of the vessel, by means of our
united industry in the use of all the tools we had secured,
seemed to present a prospect of exertions beyond the
TIE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 173

reach of man, even if not attended with dangers the most
alarming. We examined if it might be practicable to cut
away all intervening timbers, to which, from the nature
of the breach, we had easier access: but should we even
succeed in this attempt, the upper timbers being, in con-
sequence of the inclined position of the ship, on a level
with the water, our labour would be unavailing: besides,
we had neither strength nor time for such a proceeding ;
from one moment to another, a storm might arise and in-
gulf the ship, timbers, pinnace, ourselves, and all. Des-
pairing, then, of being able to find means consistent with
the sober rules of art, my impatient fancy inspired the
thought of a project, which could not however be tried
without hazards and dangers of a tremendous nature.

I had found on board a strong iron mortar, such as is
used in kitchens. I took a thick oak plank, and nailed
to different parts of it some large iron hooks: with a
knife I cut a groove along the middle of the plank. I
sent the boys to fetch some match-wood from the hold,
and I cut a piece sufficiently long to continue burning at
least two hours. I placed this train in the groove of my
plank : I filled the mortar with gunpowder, and then laid
the plank thus furnished upon it, having previously
pitched the mortar all round; and, lastly, I made the
whole fast to the spot with strong chains, crossed by
means of the hooks in every direction. Thus I accom-
plished a sort of cracker, from which I expected to effect
a happy conclusion. I hung this machine of mischief’ to
the side of the bulk-head next to the sea, having taken
previous care to choose a spot in which its action could
not affect the pimnace. When the whole was arranged, I
set fire to the match, the end of which projected far
enough beyond the plank to allow us sufficient time to
-escape. I now hurried on board the raft, into which I
,

174 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

had previously sent the boys before applying a light to
the match ; and who, though they had assisted in form-
ing the cracker, had no suspicion of the use for which it
was intended. I had purposely avoided giving them the
true explanation, from the fear of the entire failure of my
project, or that the vessel, pinnace, and all that it con-
tained, might in consequence be blown up in a moment.

On our arrival at Tent House, I immediately put the
raft in a certain order, that she might be in readiness to
return speedily to the wreck, when the noise produced by
the cracker should have informed me that my scheme had
taken effect. We set busily to work in emptying her;
and during the occupation, our ears were assailed with
the noise of an explosion of such violence, that my wife
and the boys were dreadfully alarmed. “What can it
be ?—what is the matter ?—what can have happened ?”
—cried all at once. “ It must be cannon.”

Mother —* The sound comes in the direction of the
wreck: perhaps she has blown up.” From the bottom
of her heart she made this suggestion, for she desired
nothing more earnestly than that the vessel should be
annihilated, and thus an end be put to our repeated
visits.

Father.—Tf this is the case, we had better return im-
mediately, and convince ourselves of the fact. Who
will be of the party ?

“T, I, I,” cried the boys; and the three young rogues
lost not a moment in jumping into their tubs, whither I
soon followed them, after having whispered a few words
to my wife, somewhat tending to explain, but still more
to tranquillize her mind during the trip we had now to
engage in.

We rowed out of the bay with more rapidity than on
any former occasion ; curiosity gave strength to our arms.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 175

‘When the vessel was in sight, I observed with pleasure
that no change had taken place in the part of her which
faced Tent House, and that no sign of smoke appeared:
we advanced, therefore, in excellent spirits; but instead
of rowing, as usual, straight to the breach, we proceeded
round to the side, on the inside of which we had placed
the cracker. The horrible scene of devastation we had
caused now broke upon our sight. The greater part of
the ship’s side was shattered to pieces; innumerable
splinters covered the surface of the water; the whole
exhibited a scene of terrible destruction, in the midst of
which presented itself our elegant pinnace, entirely free
from injury! I could not refrain from the liveliest ex-
clamations of joy, which excited the surprise of the boys,
who looked at me with the utmost astonishment. “ Now
then she is ours!” cried I“ the elegant little pinnace is
ours! for nothing is now more easy than to launch her.
Come, boys, jump upon her deck, and let us see how
quickly we can get her down upon the water.”

Fritz.—Ah! now I understand you, father; you have
yourself blown up the side of the ship with that machine
you contrived in our last visit, that we might be able to
get out the pinnace ; but how does it happen that so much
of the ship is blown away ?

Father.—I will explain all this to you when I have
convinced myself that the pinnace is not injured, and that
there is no danger of any of the fire remaining on board;
let us well examine. We entered by the new breach,
and had soon reason to be assured that the pinnace had
wholly escaped from injury, and that the fire was entirely
extinguished. The mortar, however, and pieces of the
chain, had been driven forcibly into the opposite side of
the enclosure. Having now every reason to be satisfied
and tranquil, I explained to the boys the nature of a
176 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

cracker, the manner of its operation, and the important
service for which I was indebted to the old mortar.

I then examined the breach we had thus effected, and
next the pinnace. I perceived that it would be easy,
with the help of the crow and the lever, to lower her into
the water. In putting her together, I had used the pre-
caution of placing her keel on rollers, that we might not
experience the same difficulty as we had formerly done in
launching our tub-raft. Before letting her go, however,
I fastened the end of a long thick rope to her head, and
the other end to the most solid part of the wreck, for
fear of her being carried out too far. We put our whole
ingenuity and strength to this undertaking, and soon en-
joyed the pleasure of seeing our pretty pinnace descend
gracefully into the sea; the rope keeping her sufficiently
near, and enabling us to draw her close to the spot where -
I was loading the tub-boat, and where, for that purpose,
I had lodged a pulley on a projecting beam, from which I
was enabled also to advance with the completing of the
necessary masts and sails for our new barge. I endea-
voured to recollect minutely all the information I had
ever possessed on the art of equipping a vessel ; and our
pinnace was shortly in a condition to set sail.

On this occasion a military spirit was awakened in the
minds of my young group, which was never after ex-
tinguished. We were masters of a vessel mounted with
two cannon, and furnished amply with guns and pistols!
This was at once to be invincible, and in a condition for
resisting and destroying the largest fleet the savages
could bring upon us! In the height of exultation, it was
even almost wished they might assail us! For my own
part, I answered their young enthusiasm with pious
prayers that we might ever escape such a calamity as the
being compelled to use our fire-arms. Night surprised
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 177

us before we had finished our work, and we accordingly
prepared for our return to Tent House, after drawing
the pinnace close under the vessel’s side. We arrived in
safety, and took great care, as had been previously agreed
on, not to mention our new and invaluable booty to the
good mother, till we could surprise her with a sight of it
in a state of entire completeness. In answer, therefore, —
to her inquiries as to the noise she heard, we told her
that a barrel of gunpowder had taken fire, and had
shivered to pieces a small part of the ship.

Two whole days more were spent in completely equip-
ping and loading the beautiful little barge we had now
secured. When she was ready for sailing, I found it
impossible to resist the earnest importunity of the boys,
who, as a recompense for the industry and discretion they
had employed, claimed my permission to salute their
mother, on their approach to Tent House, with two dis-
charges of cannon. These accordingly were loaded, and
the two youngest placed themselves, with a lighted match
in hand, close to the touch-holes, to be in readiness.
Fritz stood at the mast, to manage the ropes and cables,
while I took my station at the rudder. These matters
being adjusted, we put off with sensations of lively joy,
and, the wind being favourable, we glided with the rapidity
of a bird along the mirror of the waters.

Our old friend the tub-raft had been deeply loaded,
and fastened to the pinnace, and it now followed as an
accompanying boat to a superior vessel. We took down
our large sail as soon as we found ourselves at the entrance
of Safety Bay, to have the greater command in steering
the pinnace ; and soon the smaller ones were lowered one
by one, that we might the more securely avoid being
thrown with violence upon the rocks so prevalent along
the coast: thus, proceeding at a slower rate,-we had

a
178 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

greater facilities for managing the important affair of the
discharge of the cannon. Arrived within a certain distance
—“ Fire!” cried Commander Fritz. The rocks behind
Tent House returned the sound. “ Fire!” said Fritz
again. Ernest and Jack obeyed, and the echoes again
majestically replied. Fritz at the same moment had dis-
charged his two pistols, and all joined instantly in three
loud huzzas.

“Welcome! welcome! dear ones,’ was the answer
from the anxious mother, almost breathless with astonish-
ment and joy! ‘ Welcome!” cried also little Francis,
with his feeble voice, as he stood clinging to her side, and
not well knowing whether he was to be sad or merry!
‘We now tried to push to shore with our oarsin a particu-
lar direction, that we might have the protection of a
projecting mass of rocks, and my wife and little Francis
hastened to the spot to receive us: “Ah, my dear
husband!” cried she, “ what a fright have you, and your
cannon, and your little ship thrown me into! I saw it
advancing rapidly towards us, and was unable to conceive
from whence it could come, or what it might have on board:
I stole with Francis behind the rocks, and when I heard
the firing, I was near sinking to the ground with terror;
if I had not the moment after heard your voices, God knows
where we should have run to. But tell me where you
got so unhoped-for a prize as this neat, charming little
vessel! In good truth, it would almost tempt me once
more to venture on a sea-voyage, especially if she would
promise to convey us back to our dear country! I foresee
of what use she will be to us, and for her sake I think that
I must try to forgive the many sins of absence which you
have committed against me.”

Fritz now invited his mother to get on board, and gave
her his assistance. When they had all stepped upon the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 179

deck, they entreated the permission to salute, by again
discharging the cannon, and at the same moment to confer
on the pinnace the name of their mother—The Elizabeth.
My wife was particularly gratified by these our late
adventures; she applauded our skill and perseverance:
“but do not,” said she, “imagine that I bestow so much
commendation without the hope of some return in kind:
on the contrary, it is now my turn to claim from you, for
myself and little Francis, the same sort of agreeable
recompense ; for we have not, I assure you, remained idle
while the rest. were so actively employed for the common
benefit. Pray come with me, and see what we have done.”
We did not hesitate to comply, and jumped briskly out
of the pinnace for the purpose. Taking her little coad-
jutor Francis by the hand, she led the way, and we
followed in the gayest mood imaginable. She conducted
us up an ascent of one of our rocks, and stopping at the
spot where the cascade is formed from Jackal’s River, she
displayed to our astonished eyes a handsome kitchen-gar-
den, laid out properly in beds and walks, and, as she told
us, every where sown with the seed of useful plants.
“This,” said she, “is the pretty exploit we have been
engaged in, if you will kindly think so of it. In this spot
the earth is so light, being principally composed of decayed
leaves, that Francis and I had no difficulty in working in
it, and then dividing it into different compartments.
You, dear husband, and Fritz will easily find means to
conduct sufficient water hither from the cascade, by means
of pipes of bamboo, to keep the whole in health and vigour ;
and we shall have a double source of pleasure; for both
the eye and the palate will be gratified. But you have
not yet seen all: there, on the slope of the rock, I have
transplanted some plants of the ananas. Between these I
have sown some melon-seeds, which cannot fail to succeed,
n2
180 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

thus securely sheltered, and in so warm a soil: here is a
plot allotted to peas and beans, and this other for all sorts
of cabbage. Round each bed or plot I have sown seeds of
maize, on account of its tall and bushy form, to serve as
a border, which at the same time will protect my young
plants from the scorching heat of the sun.”

I stood transported at this proof of the kind zeal and
persevering industry of my dear wife! I could only
exclaim, that I should never have believed in the possi-
bility of such a labour in so short a time, and particularly
with so much privacy as to leave me wholly unsuspicious
of the existence of such a project.

Mother —To confess the truth, I scarcely myself.
expected to succeed, so I resolved to be silent, to avoid
being put to the blush for my presumption. But as I
found my little calculations answer better than I ex-
pected, I was encouraged, and the hope of surprising you
80 agreeably gave me new strength and activity.

After many pleasant remarks, with which we closed
this conversation, we moved towards Tent House. This
was one of our happiest days; for we were all satisfied
with ourselves and with each other; we had conferred and
received benefits ; and I led my children to observe the
goodness of Providence, who renders even labour a
source of enjoyment, and makes our own happiness result
from that of the objects of our affection, and our pride to
arise from the commendations of which those objects may
be deserving.

“Thad almost forgot, though,” said my wife, after a
short pause, “one little reproach I had 40 make you:
your trips to the vessel have made you neglect the bundle
of precious fruit-saplings we laid together in mould at
Falcon’s Stream ; I fear they by this time must be dying
for want of planting, though I took care to water and
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 181

cover them with branches. Let us go, my love, and see
about them.”

I readily consented, as many other matters required
our presence at Falcon’s Stream. We had now in pos-
session the greater part of the cargo of the vessel; but
almost the whole of these treasures were at present in
the open air, and liable to injury from both sun and rain.

My wife prepared with alertness for our walk. We
hastened to unload the boat, and to place the cargo safely
under shelter, along with our other stores.

The pinnace was anchored on the shore, and fastened
with a rope, by her head, to a stake. When all our stores
were thus disposed of, we began our journey to Falcon’s
Stream, but not empty-handed; we took with us every
thing that seemed to be absolutely wanted for comfort;
and when brought together, it was really so much, that
both ourselves and our beasts of burden had no easy task
to perform.

CHAPTER XVI.
Gymnastic Exercises ; various Discoveries; singular
Animals, Sc.
I RECOMMENDED to my sons to resume the exercise of
the shooting of arrows; for I had an extreme solicitude
about their preserving and increasing their bodily strength
and agility. I particularly encouraged the exercises of.
running, jumping, getting up trees, both by means of
climbing by the trunk, or by a suspended rope, as sailors
are obliged to do to get to the mast-head. We began at
first by making knots in the rope, at a foot distance from
each other ; then we reduced the number of knots, and
before we left off we contrived to succeed without any.
182 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

I next taught them an exercise of a different nature, which
was to be effected by means of two balls made of lead,
fastened one to each end of a string about a fathom
in length. While I was preparing this machinery, all
eyes were fixed upon me. “I am endeavouring,” said I, “to
imitate the arms used by a valiant nation, remarkable for
their skill in the chase, and whom you all must have heard
of: I mean the Patagonians, inhabitants of the most
southern point of America; but, instead of balls, which
they are not able to procure, they tie two heavy stones,
one at each end of a cord, but considerably longer than
the one I am working with: every Patagonian is armed
with this simple instrument, which they use with singular
dexterity. If they desire to kill or wound an enemy, or
an animal, they fling one of the ends of this cord at him,
and begin instantly to draw it back by the other, which
they keep carefully in their hand, to be ready for another
throw, if necessary ; but if they wish to take an animal
alive, and without hurting it, they possess the singular
art of throwing it in such a way as to make it run several
times round the neck of the prey, occasioning a perplexing
tightness ; they then throw the second stone, and with

“go certain an aim, that they scarcely ever miss their
object: the operation of the second is, the so twisting
itself about the animal as to impede his progress, even
though he were at full gallop. The stones continue turn-
ing, carrying with them the cord: the poor animal is at
length so entangled, that he can neither advance nor
retire, and thus falls a prey to the enemy.”

This description was heard with much interest by the
boys, who now all entreated that I would try the effect of
my own instrument upon a small trunk ofa tree which we
saw at a certain distance. My throws entirely succeeded ;
and the string with the balls at the end so completely
“TE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 1838

surrounded the tree, that the skill of the Patagonian
huntsmen required no further illustration. Each of the
boys must then needs have a similar instrument; and
in a short time Fritz became quite expert in the art, as
indeed he was in every kind of exercise that required
strength or address.

The next morning, as I was dressing, I remarked from
my window in the tree, that the ses was violently agitated,
and the waves swelled with the wind. I rejoiced to find
myself in safety in my home, and that the day had not
been destined for out-of-door occupation. I observed
then to my wife, that I should not leave her the whole
day, and therefore was ready to execute any thing she
found wanting in our domestic arrangements. We now
fell to a more minute examination than I had hitherto
had time for, of all our various possessions at Falcon’s
Stream. She showed me many things she had herself
found means to add to them during my repeated absences
from home: among these was a pair of young pigeons,
which had been lately hatched, and were already beginning
to try their wings. From these we passed to the fruit-
trees we had laid in earth to be planted, and which were
in real need of our assistance. I immediately began
planting them to prevent further injury. I had promised
the boys, the evening before, to go all together to the
wood. of gourds, to provide ourselves with vessels of differ-
ent sizes to keep our provisions in: they were enchanted
with the idea, but I bargained that they must first assist
me to plant all the young trees; which we immediately
set about doing.

‘When we had finished, the evening was too far advanced
for so long a walk. By sunrise the next morning all
were on foot. The ass was harnessed to the sledge, which
was to carry our dinners, a bottle of Canary wine, and
184 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

some powder and shot, and to bring home our service of
empty gourds. The three eldest boys were equipped for
sporting; and I took with me a doubled-barrelled gun,
loaded on the one side with shot for game, and on the
other with ball, in case of meeting with an enemy.

We set out, full of good-humour and in high spirits.
Turning round Flamingo Marsh, we soon reached the
pleasant spot which before had so delighted us. Fritz
took a direction a little further from the sea-shore; and
sending Turk into the tall grass, he followed himself, and
both disappeared. Soon, eager for sport, we heard Turk
barking loud; a large bird sprung up, and almost at the
same moment a shot from Fritz brought it down; but
though wounded it was not killed: it raised itself, and
got off with incredible swiftness, not by flying, but by
running. Turk followed, and, seizing the bird, held it
fast till Fritz came up. Now a different scene succeeded
from that which took place at the capture of the flamingo.
The legs of that bird are long and weak, and it was able
to make but a poor resistance. The present captive was
large in size, and strong; it struck the dogs, or whoever
came near, with its legs, with so much force, that Fritz,
who had received a blow or two, dared not again approach
the enemy. Fortunately I reached the spot in time to
give assistance, and was pleased to see that it was a female
bustard of the largest size. I had long wished to possess
and to tame a bird of this species for our poultry-yard,
though I foresaw that it would be somewhat difficult '.

1 Great Bustard. Of the gallinaceous order. This is the largest
bird of European climates; the male being four feet in length from the
beak to the tail, seven in breadth with the wings extended, and weigh-
ing about thirty-five pounds. The females are commonly a third less
in every respect. Though the wings of the bustard are small in propor-
tion to the body, yet the bird can raise and sustain itself in the air, but
cannot proceed out of a straight direction. It loves open spacious plains,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 185

To secure the bird without injuring it, I threw my
pocket-handkerchief over the head of the bustard; it
could not disengage itself, and its efforts served only to
entangle it the more. As it could not now see me, I got
near enough to pass a string with a running-knot over
its legs, which, for the present, I drew tight, to prevent
further mischief from such powerful weapons. I gently
released its wing from Turk’s mouth, and tied it, with its
fellow, close to the bird’s body. In short, the bustard
was our own! and that in a condition to promise its
preservation when we should once have conveyed it to
Falcon’s Stream, and could administer care and kindness
to compensate for the rough treatment it had experienced
at our hands.

We removed the prisoner to the spot where our com-
panions had been waiting our return. I related the par-
ticulars of our adventure, and explained the value of our
prize. “It is a female bustard,” said I; “ its flesh is ex-
cellent, having somewhat of the flavour of the Turkey, to
which it also in some other respects has a resemblance.
Let us endeavour to tame and preserve it by all means.
We have gained for our poultry-yard a bird of rare value
on account of its size, which will, it may be hoped, attract
its mate, and thus furnish us with a brood of its
species,”

I now fixed the bustard on the sledge, in a posture

and avoids the water. The bustard is timid, and difficult to approach ;
it however defends itself furiously when attempted to be caught, by beat-
ing the enemy with its legs. If taken when young, it is easily tamed,
and brought to feed with other poultry. The most common colour of
this bird is black, slightly tinged with red on the back, and the under
parts white, mixed with fawn-colour: a down of bright pink appears at
the roots of the feathers. There are many kinds of this animal, both
indigenous and exotic: the African, the tufted, the blue, the white
bustard, &c.— New Dictionary of Natural History.
186 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

the most favourable to its ease. As we advanced on our
way, I was frequently obliged to use the hatchet to make
a free passage for the ass in the tall grass. The heat
also increased, and we were all complaining of thirst,
when Ernest, whose discoveries were generally of a kind
to be of use, made one of a most agreeable nature.
He found a kind of hollow stalk, of some height, which
grew at the foot of trees, and entangled our feet in
walking. He cut one of them, and was surprised to see
a drop of pure fresh water issue at the place where the
knife had been applied: he showed it to us, put it to
his lips, and found it pure, and felt much regret that there
was no more. I then examined the stalk myself, and
soon perceived that the want of air prevented a more con-
siderable issue of water. I made some more incisions,
and presently water flowed out as if from a small conduit.
Ernest, and after him the other boys, quenched their
thirst at this new fountain, in the completest manner. I
tried the experiment of dividing the plants longways, and
they soon gave out water enough to suppy even the ass,
the monkey, and the bustard. For my own part, touched
with deep gratitude for the goodness of God towards me
and my beloved family, I raised my eyes to heaven in
thankfulness.

‘We were still compelled to fight our way through thick
bushes, till at length, arrived at the wood of gourds, we
were not long in finding the spot where Fritz and T had
once before enjoyed so agreeable a repose. Our compa-
nions were deeply struck with the magnificence of the
trees they now beheld, and the prodigious size of the fruit
which grew upon their trunks.

Jack and Ernest employed themselves in collecting
dried branches and flints, while their mother was occupied
in attending to the poor bustard. She remarked to me,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 187

that it was cruel to keep her any longer blinded, and her
legs tied together on the sledge. To please her, I took
off the covering and loosened the string on the legs, but
still left it so as to be a guard against its running away,
or inflicting blows on those who might approach. I tied
her by a long string to the trunk of a tree, that she might
relieve herself by walking about.

My wife now gave us notice, that she should want some
vessels to contain milk, a large flat spoon to cut out butter
by pieces, and next, some plates for serving it at table,
made from the gourd-rinds.

Father.—You are perfectly reasonable in your demand,
dear wife; and, on my part, I require some nests for the
pigeons, some baskets for eggs, and some hives for bees.

Jack.—But first, father, tell us how to divide one of
the rinds with a string.

I made them gather or collect, till we were in posses-
sion of a sufficient number. We now began our work:
some had to cut, others to saw, scoop out, and model into
agreeable forms. Jt was a real pleasure to witness the
activity exhibited in this our manufacture of porcelain:
each tried what specimens he could present for the ap-
plause of his companions. For my own part, I made a
‘pretty basket, large enough to carry eggs, with one of the
gourds, leaving an arch at the top to serve as a cover. I
likewise accomplished a number of vessels, also with covers,
fit to hold our milk, and then some spoons to skim the
cream. My next attempt was some bottles large enough
to hold fresh water, and these occasioned me more trouble
than all the rest. It was necessary to empty the gourd
through the small opening of the size of one’s finger, which
I had cut in it; I was obliged, after loosening the contents
with a stick, to get them out by friction with shot and
water well shaken on the inside. Lastly, to please my
188 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

wife, I undertook the labour of a set of plates for her use.
Fritz and Jack engaged to make the hives for the bees,
and nests for the pigeons and hens.

Our work, added to the heat of the day, had made us
ail thirsty ; but we found nothing on this spot like our
Sountain-plants, as we had named them. The boys en-
treated me to go with them in different directions, and
try to find some water, not daring by themselves to ven-
ture further into the wood.

Ernest with great eagerness proposed relieving me of
this trouble, and putting himself in my place. It was not
long before we heard him calling loudly to us, and saw
him returning in great slarm.—*“ Run quick, father,” said
he, “here is an immense wild boar. I heard him grunting
. quite close to me, and then he scampered away to the
wood. I hear him at this very moment.”

I then cried out to the boys to cal] the dogs quickly.
Ernest was our leader, and conducted us to the place where
he saw the boar; but he was gone, and we saw nothing
but a plot of roots which appeared to have been ransacked
by the animal. The ardour for the chase had been some-
what checked in Jack and Ernest, when they considered
that they had so formidable a creature to encounter: they
stopped short, and left Fritz and me to follow the traces
of the dogs. We soon heard the cry of the latter: for
they had overtaken the runaway, and soon after the most
hideous growling assailed our ears from the same quarter.
‘We advanced with caution, holding our guns in readiness
to fire together the instant the animal should be within
the proper distance. Presently we saw the two brave
creatures attacking him on the right and left; each held
one of his ears between his teeth. But it was not a boar,
but our own sow, which had run away and so long been
lost! After the first surprise we could not resist a hearty
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 189

laugh ; and then we hastened to release our old friend from
the teeth of her two adversaries. Her frightful squalling
resounded through the wood, and drew our young com-
panions to the place, when a warfare of banter and accusa-
tion went round among the parties. But here the atten-
tion of all was attracted to a kind of small apple which we
observed lying thick on the grass around us, and which
had fallen from some trees which appeared loaded with
the same production: our sow devoured them greedily,
thus consoling herself for the pain and fright the dogs
had occasioned her.

The fruit was of different colours, and extremely pleas-
ing to the eye. Fritz expressed his apprehension that it
was the poisonous apple called the mancenilla; but the
sow ate them with so much eagerness, and the tree which
bore them having neither the form nor foliage ascribed by
naturalists to the mancenilla, made me doubt of the truth
of his idea. I desired my sons to put some of the fruit
in their pockets, to make an experiment with them upon
the monkey. We now again, from extreme thirst, began
to recollect our want of water, and determined to seek
for some in every direction. Jack sprang off, and sought
among the rocks, hoping that he should discover some
little stream ; but scarcely had he left the wood, than he
cried out that he had found a crocodile.

“ A crocodile!’ exclaimed I, “you have a fine ima-

. gination, my boy! who ever saw a crocodile on such
scorching rocks as these, and with not a drop of water
near? Now, Jack, you are surely dreaming...... ”

“ Not so much of a dream as you may think, father,”
answered Jack, trying to speak in a low voice; “ fortu-
nately he is asleep; he lies here on a stone at his full
length ; do, father, come and look at it; it does not stir
in the least.”
190 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

We stole softly to the place where the animal lay; but
instead of a crocodile, I saw before me a large sort of lizard,
named by naturalists Leguana, or Yguana', an animal
by nature of a mild character, and excellent as food.
Instantly all were for seizing him, and presenting so rare
a prize to their mother. Fritz was already taking aim
with his gun; but I prevented him, observing, that the
animal being protected by a coat of scales, it might be
difficult to destroy him, and that he is known to be dan-
gerous, if approached when angry. “Let us try,” said
I, “ another sort of experiment ; as he is asleep, we need
not be in a hurry: only a little contrivance is necessary
to have him safe in our power alive, and the process will
afford us an amusing spectacle.”

I cut a stout stick from a bush, to the extremity of
which J tied a string with a running knot. I guarded
my other hand simply with a little switch, and thus with
cautious steps approached the creature. When I was very
near to him, I began to whistle a lively air, taking care to
make the sounds low at first, and to increase in loudness
till the lizard awoke. The creature appeared entranced

1 Yguana. A reptile of the family of lizards; it is found in South
America and its islands, The animal is from four to six feet in length,
of which the tail makes at least half. The head is small, flattened at
the sides, covered with scales, and provided with large jawa and sharp-
pointed teeth. A protuberance like a wen appears in the front
of the neck. The body is every where clothed with hard scales.
The colour of this creature is variable; its common hue is green
tinged with yellow; sometimes it exhibits gray or blue tints, and at
others a mixture of all these colours together, like the chameleon, which
the yguana greatly resembles.—The whole family are found to love
music passionately; a sure means of attracting them is by musical
sounds or whistling; in this manner the yguana is subdued. When
the musician is sufficiently near, he plunges the end of a switch into
the nostril of the animal, which dies instantly without pain.— Dictionary
of Natural History.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 191

with pleasure as the sounds fell upon his ear; he raised
his head to receive them still more distinctly, and looked
round on all sides to discover from whence they came. I
now advanced by a step at a time, without a moment’s
interval in the music, which fixed him like a statue to the
place. At length I was near enough to reach him with
my switch, with which I tickled him gently, still con-
tinuing to whistle. The lizard was bewildered by the
charms of the music; the attitudes he threw himself into
were expressive of a delirious voluptuousness ; he
stretched himself at full length, made undulating motions
with his long tail, threw his head about, raised it up, and
disclosed the formidable range of his sharp-pointed teeth,
which were capable of tearing us to pieces if we had ex-
cited his hostility. I dexterously seized the moment of
his raising his head to throw my noose over him. When
this was accomplished, the boys drew near also, and
wanted instantly to draw it tight and strangle him at
once ; but this I positively forbade. I had used the noose
only to make sure of him in case it should happen that a
milder mode of killing him, which I intended to try, failed
of success, in which case I should have looked to the noose
for protection ; but this was rendered unnecessary. Con-
tinuing to whistle my most affecting melodies, I seized
favourable moment to plunge my switch into one of his
nostrils. The blood flowed in abundance, and soon
deprived him of life, without his exhibiting the least
appearance of pain; on the contrary, to the last moment,
he seemed to be still listening to the music.

As soon as he was dead, I allowed the boys to come
quite near, and to tighten the noose, which we now found
useful to draw him to the ground from the large stone
on which he lay. My sons were delighted with the means
Thad used for killing him without pain. We had now
192 THE-SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

to consider the best way of transporting him to Falcon’s
Stream. After a moment of reflection, I perceived that I
had better come at once to the determination of carrying
him across my shoulders ; and the figure I made with so
singular an animal on my back, with his tail dragging on
the ground, was not the least amusing circumstance of
the adventure. Fritz and Jack presented themselves as
pages, contending which should support my train, as they
called the tail, which, independently of the good humour
inspired amongst us, considerably eased me of the weight,
and gave me the air of an old Chinese emperor, habited
in a superb royal mantle of many colours; for those of
the lizard shone like precious stones in the rays of the
sun.
Our long absence had alarmed my wife and little
Francis, who began to fear that some disaster had befallen
us. Our meeting, therefore, when we rejoined them, was &
very joyful one, and we had so many things to tell, that,
till reminded by my wife, we forgot to mention that we
had failed in procuring any water. My sons had taken
out some of the unknown apples from their pockets, and
they lay on the ground by our side. I threw one or
two to the bustard, who ate them without hesitation.
The monkey also, who had accompanied us, and to
whom the boys had given the name of Knips, coming
slily up, stole several, and began chewing them: with great
eagerness. Being now convinced that the apples were
not of a poisonous nature, I announced to the boys, who
had looked cn with envy all the time, that they also might
begin to eat them, and I myself set the example. We
found them excellent in quality, and I-suspected that they
might be the sort of fruit called the guava, which is. much
esteemed in such countries. The tree which bears them
is sometimes twenty feet in height, and of so fertile a
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 193

nature, that in inhabited countries they are sometimes
thinned and cut down, on account of the quantity of land
they would occupy. The spples had in some measure
relieved our thirst; but on the other hand, they had
increased our hunger; and as we had not time for pre-
paring a portion of the lizard, we were obliged to con-
tent ourselves with the cold provisions we had brought *
with us.

We had scarcely finished, before my wife entreated we
would begin our journey home, and it appeared to me, as
the evening was so far advanced, that it would be prudent
to return without the sledgc, which was heavy laden, and
the ass could have drawn it but slowly. I therefore
determined to leave it on the spot till the following day,
when I could return and fetch it, contenting myself with
loading the ass, for the present, with the bags which con-
tained our new sets of porcelain; the lizard, which I
feared might not keep fresh so long ; and our little Francis,
who began to complain of being tired.

When these preparations were complete, our little
caravan was put in motion, taking the direction of a
straight line to Falcon’s Stream. The course of our route
now lay along a wood of majestic oaks, and the ground
was covered with acorns. My young travellers could
not refrain from tasting them, and finding them both
sweet and mild to the palate, I had the pleasure of reckon-
ing them as a new means of support. On considering
I recognized that they were a kind of oak which remains
always green, and are a common production of the woods
in Florida, and that the Indians of North America extract
from its fruit an excellent kind of sweet oil, which they
use in cooking their rice. Numerous kinds of birds
subsist upon these acorns.—This we were led to remark,
by the wild and discordant cries of several sorts of jays

0
194 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

and parrots which were skipping merrily among the
foliage and branches.

We arrived shortly at Falcon’s Stream, and had time
to employ ourselves in some trifling arrangements before it
was completely dark. "We concluded the exertions of the
day with a plain repast, and in contriving a comfortable bed
for the bustard by the side of the flamingo, and then
stretched our weary limbs upon the homely couch, rendered
by fatigue luxurious, in the giant tree.

CHAPTER XVII.

Excursion into Unknown Tracts.

Mx first thought, the next morning, was to fetch the sledge
from the wood. I hada double motive for leaving it there,
which I had refrained from explaining to my wife, to avoid
giving her uneasiness. I had formed a wish to penetrate a
little further into the land, and ascertain whether any
thing useful would present itself beyond the wall of rocks.
I was, besides, desirous to be better acquainted with the
extent, the form, and general productions of our island: I
wished Fritz only, who was stronger and more courageous
than his brothers, and Turk, to accompany me. We set
out very early in the morning, and drove the ass before
us for the purpose of drawing home the sledge.

As we were picking up some acorns, different birds of
exquisite plumage flitted about us; I could not refuse
Fritz the pleasure of firing upon them, that we might
learn their species. He brought down three. I recognized
one to be the great blue Virginia jay, and the other two
were parrots. One of the two was a superb red parrot;
the other was green and yellow.

While Fritz was reloading his gun, we heard a singular
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 195

sort of noise, which came from a distance. At one
moment it resembled a muffled drum, at another, the
noise made in sharpening a saw. My first idea was of
music played by savages, and we retreated quickly to hide
ourselves among the bushes to listen. By degrees we
advanced towards the place from whence the sound ap-
peared to come; but perceiving nothing to alarm us, we
separated some of the branches with our hands, and then
discovered a handsome bird, about the size of the English
cock ; and, like it too, adorned with elegantly-formed
smooth feathers round the neck, and a comb upon his
head. The animal stood erect on a decayed trunk of a
tree, which was lying on the ground, and at this moment
exhibited some singular gestures. His tail’ was spread in
the form of a fan, similar to that of the turkey-cock, but
shorter; the feathers round his neck and head were erect
and bristling. He sometimes agitated them with so
quick a motion, as to make them appear like a vapour
which suddenly enclosed him ; sometimes he whirled him-
self round and round on the trunk of the tree 3 at others
he moved his head and eyes in such a manner as to ex-
press a state of distraction, making at the same time the
singular kind of noise with his voice which had alarmed
us, and which was preceded and followed by ® sort of ex-
plosion. This last was caused by the motion of his wing
striking in a quick measure on the trunk, which was
hollow and dry, and made the noise resemble a muffled
drum. There were assembled around him a great number
of birds of the same species, but much smaller, and of a
less beautiful form. They all fixed their eyes upon him,
and seemed delighted with the pantomime. I contem-
plated this extraordinary spectacle, of which I had for-
merly read an account, with astonishment. The number
of the spectators of the feathered actor increased every
02
196 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

moment, and the performance increased in spirit also in
proportion, presenting the idea of a perfect intoxication
or delirium. At this moment Fritz, who stood a little
behind me, put an end to the scene by firing off his gun.
The actor fell from the stage, and stretching himself on the
sand, breathed his last, and the spectators betook them-
selves suddenly to flight. J must confess the interest I
took in the exhibition was of so lively a nature, that I
could not refrain from reproaching Fritz in an angry
tone. He looked down ashamed and sorry for his
thoughtlessness and cruelty. I observed to him, the thing
being done, there was now no remedy ; that this species of
bird was much esteemed as game’; and that he had better
take it from the ground, and carry it to his mother.

We now laid the dead cock upon the ass’s back, and
proceeded on our journey. We soon arrived at the
guava-trees, and a little after at the spot where we had
left the sledge, when we found our treasures in the best
possible condition ; but as the morning was not far ad-

1 This bird is not identical with the Aeath-cock, although it much
resembles that bird. The Bonasa, or Canadian heath-cock, is found
also in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and adjacent parts. Its modes of life
are similar to the heath-cock of Europe, and it is called by some
authors simply the crested heath-cock. The head and neck are of a
deep glossy black, which in all other parts is tinctured with green.
The bill is covered with a yellow skin, except at the extremity, where
it is bare and black; the eyes are also encircled with a skin of the same
colour. On the top of its head there is a crest formed of several hand-
some feathers, two inches and a half in length. The feathers on the
neck, which are also of a beautiful fibre-form, fall gracefully down ; but
when the creature is agitated, they, as well as those on the head, be-
come erect. When he wishes to call his females round him, the
feathers assume this state; he trains his wings on the ground, and
spreads his tail into the form of a wheel, and in the velocity of his
motions makes a singular kind of noise, like distant thunder or a
muffled drum.— New Dictionary of Natural History.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 197

vanced, we entered upon our intended project of pene-
trating beyond the wall of rocks.

We pursued our way in a straight line at the foot of
these massy, solid productions of nature, every moment
expecting to reach their extremity, or to find some turn or
breach or passage through them, that should conduct us
into the interior of the island, if, as I presumed, it was
not terminated by these rocks. We walked on, con-
tinually looking about, that nothing might escape us
worthy of notice, and to anticipate and avoid such dangers
as should threaten. Turk, with his usual bravery, took
the lead, the ass followed with lazy steps, shaking his
long ears, and Fritz and I brought up the rear.

We next entered a pretty little grove, the trees of
which were unknown to us. Their branches were loaded
with large quantities of berries of an extraordinary
quality, being entirely covered with a minute meal or
farina. I knew of a sort of bush, the berries of which,
when boiled, yielda viscous scum resembling wax : it grows
in America, and is named by botanists Afyrica cerifera’,
or candleberry-tree ; this plant resembled it much, and the
discovery gave me great pleasure. “ Let us stop here,” said
I to Fritz; “ for we cannot do better than collect a quan-
tity of these berries as a useful present to your mother.”

Presently another object presented itself with equal

1 Myrica cerifera, or Wax-tree. It grows in Louisiana, aud a smaller
kind in Carolina, North America. It is a pretty aquatic shrub, and
bears whitish-coloured flowers, the fruit of which hangs in small
clusters. It is about the height of a very small cherry-tree, and in the
form and smell of the leaves resembles the myrtle. The berries are of
a grey colour, and contain kernels, which are covered with a kind of
farina, from which the natives obtain wax for making good candles.
Naturalists are of opinion that it might be easily made to flourish in

other climates.—See Valmont de Bromare, and Dictionary of Natural
History,
198 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

claims to our attention; it was the singular modes of
behaviour of a kind of bird scarcely larger than a chaffinch,
and clothed in feathers of a common brown colour. These
birds appeared to exist as a republic, there being among
them one common nest, inhabited at pleasure by all their
tribes. We saw one of these nests in a tree, in a some-
what retired situation ; it was formed of plaited straws
and bulrushes intermixed ; it enclosed great: numbers of
inhabitanta, and was built round the trunk of the tree ;
it had a kind of roof formed of roots and bulrushes, care-
fully knit together. We observed in the sides small
apertures, seemingly intended as doors and windows to
each particular cell of this general receptacle ; from a few
of these apertures issued some small branches, which
served the birds as points of rest for entering and return-
ing: the external appearance of the whole excited the
image of an immensely large open sponge. The inhabit-
ants were very numerous; they passed in and out con-
tinually, and I estimated that it might contain at least
a million. The males were somewhat larger than the
females, and there was a trifling difference in their plum-
age: the number of the males was very small in pro-
portion to the females: I do not know whether this had
been the cause of their thus assembling together.

While we were attentively examining this interesting
little colony, we perceived a very small kind of parrot
hovering about the nest. Their gilded green wings, and
the variety of their colours, produced a beautiful effect ;
they seemed to be perpetually disputing with the colonists,
and not unfrequently endeavoured to prevent their en-
trance into the building; they attacked them fiercely,
and even tried to peck at us, if we but advanced our hand
to the structure. Fritz, who was well trained in the art
of climbing trees, was earnestly desirous to take a nearer

a |
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 199

view of them, and to secure, if possible, a few individuals.
He threw his burden down, and climbed to the nest: he
then tried to introduce his hand into one of the aper-
tures ; what he most desired, was to find a female brood-
ing, and to carry both her and the eggs away. Several of
the cells were empty, but by perseverance he found one in
the situation he wished ; but he received so violent a peck
from an invisible bird, that his only care was now to with-
draw his hand; presently, however, he ventured a second
time to pass his hand into the nest, and succeeded in seizing
his prey, which he laid hold of, and in spite of the bird’s
resistance, he drew it through the aperture, and squeezed
it into the pocket of his waistcoat; and buttoning it se-
curely, he slided down the tree, and reached the ground
in safety. The signals of distress sent forth by the pri-
soner collected a multitude of birds from their cells, who
all surrounded him, uttering loud cries, and attacking him
with their beaks, till he had made good his retreat. He
now released the prisoner, and we discovered him to be
a beautiful little green parrot’, which Fritz entreated he
might be allowed to preserve, and make a present of to
his brothers, who would make a cage to keep him in, and
would then tame him and teach him to speak.

On the road home, we observed to each other, that
from the circumstance of this young bird’s nestling within
the structure, it appeared probable that the true right of
property was in this species, and that the brown-coloured
birds we at first observed were intruders endeavouring to
deprive them of it. “Thus we find,” said I to Fritz,
“the existence of social dispositions.in almost every class
of the animal kingdom, which leads to the combining to-
gether for the common cause or benefit.”

' Tuiete. This is the smallest kind of Brazilian parrot. There is
an infinite variety in their plumage.
200 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Fritz.—I do not, however, recollect any kind of ani-
mals who live thus together in society, except the bees.

Father —What say you, then, to wasps, drones, and
different kinds of ants ?

Fritz.—I did not indeed recollect the ants, though I
have so often amused myself with looking at them:
nothing can be more interesting than the ingenious little
houses they construct; observing them attentively, we
perceive their industry, their economy, their care of their
young, in a word, all their undertakings conducted on a
plan of society and numbers '.

Father—Have you also observed with what a pro-
vident kind of instinct they bring out their eggs to be
warmed by the sun, and for this end remove them from
place to place till the time of their maturity ?

Fritz.—lIs it. not probable, father, that what we take
for eggs are chrysales of ants, which, like many other in-
sects, are thus shut up while the process of their taking
wings is in operation ?

Father —You may be right. Writers on natural
history have considered the industry and frugality of
these insects as a subject not unworthy of their con-
sideration ; but if the common ant of our own country
excited so much of your admiration, what will be your
astonishment at the labours performed by the ants of
other regions! There is a kind which builds nests of
four, six, and eight feet in height, and large in proportion :
the external walls of these structures are so thick and
solid, ‘that neither sun nor rain can penetrate them.
They are houses which contain within, little streets,

1 Ants. Among other authors, see M. Huber of Geneva: he has
published a volume of his observations upon ants, no less agreeable
than instructive in their perusal. See also History of the Insects of
America, by Mademoiselle Merian.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 201

arched roofs, piazzas, colonnades, and particular apart-
ments for the offices of housewifery. The ant is an ani-
mal of pilfering propensities, on the profits of which it
principally lives; it is also remarkable for constancy in
its design, and remaining ever in one place: a species of
them exists, however, in America, which is known by the
name of the cephalate, or visiting ant; they make their
appearance in numerous troops every two or three years,
and disperse themselves in every house: as soon as their
visit is observed, it is customary to open all the apart-
ments and receptacles for stores; they enter every where,
and in a short time it is found that they have exterminated
as effectually the rats, mice, bugs, kakerles (a sort: of in-
sect that gives great annoyance in hot countries)—in a
word, ail the different animals offensive or injurious to
man, as if sent on a special mission to remedy the evils
these occasion. They do no injury to man, unless they
find in him an enemy, who pursues and disturbs their
quiet ; in which case they attack his shoes so violently,
that they are destroyed with incredible rapidity. This
curious species does not build its house above ground,
but digs holes, sometimes not less than eight feet in
depth, and plasters the walls according to the rules of the
art of masonry. “

Fritz.— You mentioned, just now, that in each class of
the animal creation there were some individuals which
formed themselves into societies ; pray tell me which they
are.

Father.—I know of no instance among birds, but ‘that
we have just been witnessing; but among quadrupeds
there is at least one strikiig example of the social prin-
ciple: try to recollect it yourself.

Fritz.—It is perhaps the elephant, or the sea-otter ?

Father.—Neither is the one I thought of: the animals
202 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

you have named discover also a strong disposition to live
in society with their species, but they build nothing like a
common house of reception: try again.

Fritz—Ah! is it not the beaver, father? Is it not
true that these animals possess an intelligence that ens-
bles them to contrive and place dams to such streams, or
rivers, as obstruct their design of building entire villages,
and that by this operation they are furnished with a sort
of ditch, which they use for their purposes ?

Father—You are quite right; and, strictly speaking,
the marmot also may be included in the number of sociable
quadrupeds ; for they dig themselves a common place of
abode, a sort of cavern in the mountains, and in these
whole families of them pass the winter comfortably in a
continual sleep.

We reached a wood, the trees of which, in a small
degree, resembled the wild fig-tree ; at least the fruit they
bore, like the fig, was round in form, and contained a soft
juicy substance full of small grains. Their height was
from forty to sixty feet; the bark of the trunk was scaly,
like the pine-apple, and wholly bare of branches, except
at the very top. The leaves of these trees are very thick ;
in substance tough, like leather; and their upper and
under surfaces are different in colour. But what surprised
us the most was a kind of gum, which issued in a liquid
state from the trunk of the tree, and became immediately
hardened by the air’. This discovery awakened Fritz’s
attention: in Europe he had often made use of the gum
produced by cherry-trees, either as a cement or varnish,
in his youthful occupations ; and the thought struck him,
that he could do the same with what he now saw.

As he walked, he frequently looked at his gum, which he

1 Caoutchouc. The tree which furnishes elastic gum: it is called
by the natives of Brazil, where it is produced, Hhevé.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 203

tried to soften with his breath, but without success: he
now discovered a still more singular property in the sub-
stance; that of stretching on being pulled at the extre-
mities; and, on letting go, of reducing itself instantly, by
the power of an elastic principle. He was struck with
surprise, and sprang towards me, repeating the experiment
before my eyes, and exclaiming, “ Look, father! if this is
not the very thing we formerly used, to rub out bad strokes
in our drawings.”

“ Ah! what do you tell me?” cried I with joy: “such a
discovery would be valuable indeed. The best thanks of
all will be due to you, if it is the true caoutchouc-tree
which yields the Indian rubber. Quick, hand it here, that
I may examine it.”"—Having satisfied myself of our good
fortune, I had now to explain, that caoutchouc is a kind of
milky sap, which runs from its tree, in consequence of
incisions made in the bark. “This liquor is received in
vessels placed expressly for the purpose: it is afterwards
made to take the form of dark-coloured bottles, of different
sizes, such as we have seen them, in the following mau-
ner :—Before the liquor has time to coagulate, some small
earthen bottles are dipped into it a sufficient number of
times to form the thickness required. These vessels are
then hung over smoke, which completely dries them, and
gives them a dark colour. Before they are entirely dry,
a knife is drawn across them, which produces the lines or
figures with which you have seen them marked. The con-
cluding part of the operation is to break the mould, and
to get out the pieces by the passage of the neck, when
there remains the complete form of a bottle.”

Fritz.—This process seems simple enough, and we will
make some bottles of it for carrying liquids, when we go
far in pursuit of game. But still I do not perceive how
the discovery is of so much value to us.
204 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

* Father —Not by this use of it alone, certainly: but its
quality is excellent for being made into shoes and boots

without seams, if we can add the assistance of earthen
moulds of the size of the leg or foot to be fitted. We
must consider of some means of restoring masses of the
caoutchouc to its liquid form, for spreading upon the
moulds; and if we should not succeed, we must endeavour
to draw it in sufficient quantities, in its liquid state, from
the trees themselves.

We continued our way till we reached another wood,
the skirts of which we had already seen, it being the same
which stretches from the sea-shore to the top oi the rocks,
In this spot alone, and mixed with a quantity of cocoa-
trees, I discovered a sort of tree of smaller growth, which
I presumed must be the sago palm: one of these had been
thrown down by the wind, so that I was able to examine
it thoroughly. I perceived that the trunk of it contained
a large quantity of a mealy substance : I therefore, with
my hatchet, laid it open longways, and cleared it of the
whole contents: and I found, on tasting it, it was exactly
like the sago I had often eaten in Europe. We now
began to consider how much further we would go; the
thick bushes of bamboo, through which it was impossible
to pass, seemed to furnish a natural conclusion to our
journey. We were, therefore, unable to ascertain whether
or not we should have found a passage beyond the wall of
rocks; we perceived then no better resource than to turn
to the left towards Cape Disappointment, where the luxu-
rious plantations of sugar-canes now again drew our
attention. That we might not return empty-handed to
Falcon’s Stream, and might deserve forgiveness for so long
an absence, we each took the pains to cut a large bundle
of the canes, which we threw across the ase’s back, reserv-
ing one apiece to refresh ourselves with along the road.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 205

‘We soon reached the wood of gourds, where we found
our sledge loaded as we had left it the night before; we
took the sugar-canes from the ass, and fastened them to
the sledge, and then we harnessed the ass, and the patient
animal began to draw towards home.

We arrived at Falcon’s Stream without any further ad-
venture. We received at first some kind reproofs; we
were next questioned; and, lastly, thanked, as we dis-
played our various treasures. Nothing could be more
amusing than to hear Fritz relate, with unaffected interest,
our new discoveries, and to see him imitate the gestures
of the heath-cock, as he held it up for examination. He
showed them the handsome red parrot, dead, also the
great blue jay, but when he took out of his pocket the
little green parrot all alive, there were no bounds to their
ecstasy. Francis nearly devoured the little animal with
kisses, repeating a thousand times, “ Pretty little parrot!”
At length the bird was fastened by the leg to one of the
roots of the trees, till a cage could be made for him; and
was fed with acorns, which he appeared exceedingly to
relish. We next gave an account of the prospect I now
had of furnishing not only candles, but boots and shoes.
Fritz took a bit of the rubber from his pocket and drew
it to its full length, and then let it go suddenly, to the
great amusement of little Francis.

Soon after nightfall, we partook of a hearty meal: being
much fatigued, we went earlier than usual to rest, and
having carefully drawn up the ladder, we fell exhausted
into sound and peaceful slumbers.
206 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

CHAPTER XVIII.
Useful Occupations and Labours.— Embellishments.

On the following day, my wife and the boys importuned
me to begin my manufactory of candles: I therefore set
myself to recollect all I had read on the subject. I soon
perceived that I should be at a loss for a little fat to mix
with the wax I had procured from the berries, for making
the light burn clearer; but I was compelled to proceed
without. I put as many berries into a vessel as it would
contain, and set it on a moderate fire; my wife in the
mean time employed herself in making some wicks with
the threads of sail-cloth. When we saw an oily matter,
of a pleasing smell and light-green colour, rise to the top
of the liquid the berries had yielded, we carefully skimmed
it off and put it into a separate vessel, taking care to keep
it warm. We continued this process till the berries were
exhausted, and had produced a considerable quantity of
wax ; we next dipped the wicks one by one into it, while
it remained liquid, and then hung them on the bushes to
harden: in a short time we dipped them again, and re-
peated the operation till the candles were increased to
the proper size, and they were then put aside and kept
till sufficiently hardened for use. We, however, were all
eager to judge of our success that very evening, by burn-
ing one of the candles, with which we were well satisfied.
In consequence of this new treasure, we should now be
able to sit up later, and consequently spend less of our
time in sleep; but independently of this advantage, the
mere sight of a candle, of which for so long a time we had
been deprived, caused ecstasies of joy to all.

Our success in this last enterprise encouraged us to
think of another, the idea of which had long been
cherished by our kind steward of provisions; it was to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 207

make fresh butter of the cream we every day skimmed
from the milk, and which was frequently, to her great
vexation, spoiled and given to the animals. The utensil
we stood in need of was a churn, to turn the cream in.
Having earnestly applied my thoughts as to the best
manner of conquering the difficulty, I suddenly recollected
what I had read in a book of travels, of the method
used by the Hottentots for making butter; but instead
of a sheep-skin sewed together at its extremities, I emptied
a large gourd, washed it clean, filled it again with cream,
and stopped it close with the piece I had cut from the top.
I placed my vase of cream on a piece of sail-cloth with
four corners, and tied to each corner a stake: I placed
one boy midway between each stake, and directed them
to shake the cloth briskly, but with a steady measure, for
acertaintime. This exercise, which seemed like children’s
play, pleased them mightily, and they called it rocking
the cradle. They performed their office, singing and
laughing all the time, and in an hour, on taking off the
cover, we had the satisfaction of seeing some excellent
butter. I had now to propose to my sons a work of a
more difficult nature than we had hitherto accomplished :
it was the constructing a cart, for the better conveyance
of our effects from place to place, instead of the sledge,
which caused us so much fatigue to load and draw. Many
reasons induced me to confine my attempt in the first in-
stance to a two-wheel cart, and to observe the result
before I ventured on one with four wheels. I tried ear-
nestly and long to accomplish such a machine: but it did
not entirely succeed to my wishes, and I wasted in the
attempt both time and timber: I however produced what
from courtesy we called a cart, and it answered the pur-
pose for which it was designed.

When I had no occasion for the boys, they with their
208 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

mother engaged in other useful matters. They undertook
to transplant the European fruit-trees, to place them
where they would be in a better situation for growth,
according to the properties of each. They planted vine-
shoots round the roots of the magnificent tree we inha-
bited, and round the trunks of some other trees which
grew near ; and we watched them, in the fond anticipation
that they would in time ascend to a height capable of
being formed into a sort of trellis, and help to cool us by
their shade. Lastly, we planted two parallel lines of
saplings, consisting of chestnut, cherry, and the common
nut-tree, to form an avenue from Family Bridge to
Falcon’s Stream, which would hereafter afford us a shaded
walk to Tent House. This last undertaking was not to be
effected without a degree of labour and fatigue the most
discouraging :—the ground was to be cleared of every thing
it had produced, and a certain breadth covered with sand,
left higher in the middle than on the sides, for the sake
of-being always dry. The boys fetched the sand from the
seaside in their wheelbarrows.

Our next concern was to introduce, if possible, some
shade and other improvements on the barren site of Tent
House, and to render our occasional abode or visits there
more secure. We began by planting in a quincunx all
those sorts of trees that thrive best in the sun, such as
lemon, pistachio, almond, mulberry, and lime trees ; lastly,
some of akind of orange-tree which attains to a prodigious
size, and bears a fruit as large as the head of a child.
The commoner sorts of nut-trees we placed along the
shore. The better to conceal and fortify our tent, which
enclosed ajl our stores, we formed on the accessible side
a hedge of wild orange and lemon trees, which produce an
abundant prickly foliage; and to add to the agreeableness
of their appearance, we here and there interspersed the

|

I
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 209

pomegranate: nor did I omit to make a little arbour of
the guava shrub, which is easily raised from slips. We
also took care to introduce at proper places a num-
ber of the largest sorts of trees, which in time would
serve the purpose of shading our annual plants. For
greater security, should any accident or alarm compel
us to retire to the fortress of Tent House, I formed a
plantation of the thorny fig-tree, of sufficient breadth to
occupy the space between our fortress and the river, thus
rendering it difficult for an enemy to approach.

The curving form of the river having left some partial
elevations of the soil within the enclosure, I found means
to work them into slopes and angles, so as to serve as
bastions to our two cannon from the pinnace and our
other fire-arms, should we ever be attacked by savages.
When this was all complete, we perceived that one
thing more was wanting, which was to make such al-
terations in Family Bridge as would enable us to use it
as a drawbridge, or to take it away entirely, this being
the only point at which the passage of the river could be
easily effected. But as we could not do all at once, wo
contented ourselves, for present safety, with taking away
the first planks of the bridge at each end every time we
passed it. My concluding labour was to plant some
cedars along the usual landing-places, to which we might
fasten our vessels.

We employed six whole weeks in effecting these labo-
rious arrangements ; but the exercise of body and mind
they imposed contributed to the physical and moral health
of the boys, and to the support of cheerfulness and
serenity in ourselves. The more we embellished our abode

‘ by the work of our own hands, the more it became dear

to our hearts. The constant and strict observance of

the Sabbath-day afforded such an interval of rest, as
P
210 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

could not fail to restore our strength, and inspire us with
the desire of new exertions.

By this time we had nearly exhausted our stock of
clothes, and we were compelled once more to have
recourse to the vessel, which we knew still contained some
chests fit for our use. To this motive we added an earnest
desire to take another look at her, and, if practicable, to
bring away a few pieces of cannon, which might be fixed
on the new bastions at Tent House, and thus we should
be prepared for the worst.

The first fine day I assembled my three eldest sons, and
put my design into execution. We reached the wreck
without any striking adventure, and found her still fixed
between the rocks, but somewhat more shattered than
when we had last seen her. We secured the chests of
clothes, and whatever remained of ammunition-stores :.
powder, shot, and even such pieces of cannon as we could
remove, while those that were too heavy we stript of their
wheels, which might be extremely useful.

But to effect our purpose, it was necessary to spend
several days in visits to the vessel, returning constantly
in the evening, enriched with every thing of a portable
nature which the wreck contained ; doors, windows, locks,
bolts,—nothing escaped our grasp: so that the ship was.
now entirely emptied, with the exception of the large
cannon, and three or four immense copper caldrons. We
by degrees contrived to tie the heaviest articles to two or
three empty casks well pitched, which would thus be
sustained above water. I supposed that the wind and
tide would convey the beams and timbers ashore, and thus
with little pains we should be possessed of a sufficient
quantity of materials for erecting a building at some
future time. When these measures were taken, I came
to the resolution of blowing up the wreck, by a process
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 211

similar to that which had so well succeeded with the pin-
nace. We accordingly prepared a cask of gunpowder,
which we left on board for the purpose; we rolled it to
the place most favourable for our views ; we made a small
opening in its side, and, at the moment of quitting the
vessel, we inserted a piece of matchwood, which we lighted
at the last moment, as before. We then sailed with all
possible expedition for Safety Bay, where we arrived in a
short time. We could not, however, withdraw our thoughts
from the wreck, and from the expected explosion. I had
cut the match a sufficient length for us to hope that she
would not go to pieces before dark. I proposed to my
wife to have our supper carried to a little point of land
from whence we had a view of her, and here we waited
for the moment of her destruction.

About the time of nightfall, a majestic rolling sound,
like thunder, accompanied by a column of fire and smoke,
announced that the ship which had brought us to our
present abode in a desert, and furnished us there with
such vast supplies for general comfort, was that instant
annihilated, and withdrawn for ever from the face of man!
We had made a sort of jubilee of witnessing the spectacle:
the boys had clapped their hands and skipped about in
joyful expectation ; but the noise was heard—the smoke
and sparks were seen !—while the sudden change which
took place in our minds could be compared only to the
rapidity of these effects of our concerted scheme against
the vessel. We all observed a mournful silence, and all
rose, as it were by an impulse of mutual condemnation,
and with our heads sinking on our bosoms, and our eyes
cast upon the ground, we took the road to Tent House.

A night’s repose had in some measure relieved the
melancholy of the preceding evening, and I went rather
early in the morning, with the boys, to make further

P2
212 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSUN.

observations as to the effects of our experiment. We
perceived in the water, and along the shore, abundant
vestiges of the departed wreck; and amongst the rest,
the empty casks, caldrons, and cannon, all tied together
and floating in a large mass upon the water. We jumped
instantly into the pinnace, with the tub-boat fastened to
it, and in a little time reached the object of our search,
which from its great weight moved slowly upon the waves.
Fritz, with his accustomed readiness, flung some rope
round two four-pounders, and contrived to fasten them to
our barge; after which he secured also a quantity of
poles, laths, and other useful articles.

We performed three more trips for the purpose of
bringing away more cannon, caldrons, fragments of masts,
&c., all of which we deposited for present convenience in
Safety Bay; and now began our most fatiguing operations,
the removing such numerous and heavy stores from
the boats to Tent House. We separated the cannon and
the caldrons from the tub-raft, and from each other, and
left them in a place which was accessible for the sledge
and the beasts of burden. With the help of the crow we
succeeded in getting the caldrons upon the sledge, and in
replacing the four wheels we had before taken from the
cannon ; and now found it easy to make the cow and the
ass draw them.

The largest of the boilers or copper caldrons we found
of the most essential use. We brought out all our barrels
of gunpowder, and placed them on their ends in three
separate groups, at a short distance from our tent; we
dug a little ditch round the whole, to draw off the moisture
from the ground, and then put one of the caldrons turned
upside down upon each, which completely answered the
purpose of an outhouse. The cannon were covered with
sail-cloth, and upon this we laid heavy branches of trees ;
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 213

the larger casks of gunpowder we prudently removed
under a projecting piece of rock, and covered them with
planks till we should have leisure for executing the plan
of an ammunition store-house, about which we had all
become extremely earnest.

My wife, in taking a survey of these our labours, made
the agreeable discovery, that two of our ducks and one
of the geese had been brooding under a large bush, and
at the time were conducting their little families to the
water. The news produced general rejoicings; and the
sight of the little creatures so forcibly carried our thoughts
to Falcon’s Stream, that we all conceived the ardent
desire of returning to the society of the numerous old
friends we had left there. We therefore fixed the next
day for our departure, and set about the necessary pre-
parations.

CHAPTER XIX.

A new Domain.—The Troop of Buffaloes.—The
vanquished Hero.

Ow entering our plantation of fruit-trees, forming the
avenue to Falcon’s Stream, we observed that they had
not a vigorous appearance, and that they inclined to curve
a little in the stalk: we therefore resolved to support
them with sticks, and I proposed to walk to the vicinity
of Cape Disappointment, for the purpose of cutting some
bamboos. I had no sooner pronounced the words, than
the three eldest boys and their mother exclaimed, at once,
that they would accompany me. Their curiosity had
been excited by our accounts of the amusing objects we
had met with in our visit to the spot: each found a
sound and special reason why he must not fail to be of
214 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the party. Our provision of candles was nearly exhausted,
and a new stock of berries must therefore be procured :
for my wife now repaired our clothes by candlelight, while
TI employed myself in composing a journal of the events
of every day: then the sow had again deserted us, and
nothing could be so probable as that we should find her
in the acorn-wood: Jack would fain gather some guavas
for himself; and Francis must needs see the plantation
of sugar-canes. In short, all would visit this land of
Canaan.

We accordingly fixed the following morning, and set
out in full procession. I had a great desire to explore
more thoroughly this part of our island, and therefore
made some preparations for sleeping, should we find the
day too short for all we might have to accomplish. I
took the cart instead of the sledge, having fixed some.
planks across it for Francis and his mother to sit upon
when they should be tired: I was careful to be provided
with the different implements we might want; some rope
machinery I had contrived for rendering the climbing of
trees more easy ; and lastly, some provisions, some water
in a gourd-flask, and one bottle of wine from the captain’s
store. When all was placed in the cart, I harnessed to it
both the ass and the cow, as I expected the load would be
increased on our return. Our first halt was at the tree of
the colony of birds, which I now examined with more
attention, and recollected to what species they belonged,
by naturalists named Loxia Gregaria (Sociable Gross-
beak).

It was not without much difficulty that we conducted
the cart through the thick entangled bushes, the most in-
tricate of which I every where cut down, and we helped
to push it along with all our strength. We succeeded
tolerably well at last, and, that the poor animals might
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 215

have time to rest, we determined to pass several hours in
this place, which furnished such a variety of agreeable
and useful objects. We began by gathering a bag full of
the guavas; and after regaling ourselves plentifully, we
put the remainder into the cart. -

We continued our way, and soon arrived at the caout-
chouc, or gum-elastic trees. I thought we could not do
better than halt here, and endeavour to collect a sufficient
quantity of the sap to make the different utensils, and
the impenetrable boots and shoes, as I had before pro-
posed. It was with this design that I had taken care to
bring with me several of the most capacious of the gourd
rinds. I made deep incisions in the trunks, and fixed
some large leaves of trees, partly doubled together length-
ways, to the place, to serve as a sort of channel to con-
duct the sap to the vessels I had kept in readiness to re-
ceive it. "We soon perceived the sap begin to run out as
white as milk, and in large drops, so that we were not
without hopes, by the time of our return, to find the
vessels full, and thus to have obtained a sufficient quan-
tity of the ingredient for a first experiment.

We left the sap running, and pursued our way, which
led us to the wood of cocoa-trees: from thence we passed
to the left, and stopped half-way between the bamboos
and the sugar-canes, intending to furnish ourselves with
a provision of each. We aimed our course so judiciously,
that on clearing the skirts of the wood, we found our-
selves in an open plain with the sugar-cane plantations
on our left, and on our right those of bamboo, interspersed
with various kinds of palm-trees, and in front, the magni-
ficent bay formed by Cape Disappointment, which stretched
far out into the sea. -

The prospect that now presented itself to our view was
of such exquisite beauty, that we determined to choose it
216 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

for our resting-place, and to make it the central point of
every excursion we should in future make. We disen-
gaged the animals, that they might graze and refresh
themselves under the shade of the palm-trees, and sat
down to enjoy our own repast, and to converse on the
beauty of the scene.

It was now evening; and as we had determined to pass
the night in this enchanting spot, we began to think of
forming some large branches of trees into a sort of hut,
as is practised by the hunters in America, to shelter us
from the dew and the coolness of the air. While we were
thus engaged, we were suddenly roused by the loud bray-
ing of the ass, which we had left to graze at a distance
but a short time before. On going to the place, we saw
him throwing his head in the air, and kicking and pranc-
ing about; and while we were thinking what could be
the matter, he set off at full gallop. We began to fear
the approach of some wild beast might have frightened
the creature, and to think of assembling our fire-arms. I
made a turn round the hut to see that all was well, and
then aallied forth with Fritz and the two dogs, in the
direction the ass had taken, hoping the latter might be
enabled to trace him by the scent; our search however
was fruitless. Fatigued, and vexed with the loss of the
useful creature, I returned to the hut, which I found
complete, the boys having covered it with sail-cloth, and
strewed branches on the ground for sleeping, and collected
some reeds for making a fire, which the freshness of the
evening air rendered agreeable to all: it served us also
for cooking our supper.

The following morning during breakfast we formed our
plan of business for the day. It was decided that one of
the boys and myself, attended by the two dogs, should
seek the ass through the bamboo plantation. 1 took with
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 217

me the agile Jack, who was almost beside himself with
joy at this determination.

We soon reached the bamboo plantation, and, after
great fatigue, and when we were on the point of relin-
quishing all further hope, we discovered the print of the
ass’s hoofs on the soil, which inspired us with new ardour
in the pursuit. After spending a whole hour in further
endeavours, we at length, on reaching the skirts of the
plantation, perceived the sea in the distance, and soon
after found ourselves in an open space, which bounded
the great bay. A considerable river flowed into the bay
at this place, and we perceived that the ridge of rocks,
which we had constantly seen, extended to the shore, and
terminated in a perpendicular precipice, leaving only a
narrow passage between the rocks and the river, which,
during every flux of the tide, must necessarily be under
water, but which at that moment was dry and passable.
The probability that the ass would prefer passing by this
narrow way, to the hazard of the water, determined us to
follow in the same path: we continued to advance, and
at length reached a stream which issued foaming from a
large mass of rock, and fell in a cascade into the river.
The bed of this stream was so deep, and its course so
rapid, that we were a long time finding a part where it
might be most practicable for us to cross. When we had
got to the other side, we found the soil again sandy, and
mixed with a fertile kind of earth: in this place we no
longer saw naked rock; but the print of the ass’s hoofs
Were again visible on the ground.

By observing closely, we saw with astonishment the
prints of the feet of other animals, much larger, and differ-
ent in many respects from those of the ass. Our curio-
sity was 80 strongly excited, that we resolved to follow the
traces; and they conducted us to a plain at a great dis-
218 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

tance, which presented to our wondering eyes a terrestrial
paradise. We ascended a hill, which partly concealed
from our view this delicious scene, and then, with the as-
sistance of a glass, we beheld an extensive range of coun-
try, exhibiting every kind of rural beauty, and in which
a profound tranquillity had seemed to take up its abode.
I could with difficulty turn my eyes from this enchanting
spectacle, and I seated myself on the ground to contem-
plate and enjoy it at my leisure. Neither on the plain,
nor on the hills, was there the smallest trace of the abode
of man, nor of any kind of cultivation ; it was every where
a virgin soil, in all its original purity; nothing endowed
with life appeared to view, excepting a few birds, which
flew fearlessly around us, and a quantity of brilliantly-
coloured butterflies, which the eye frequently confounded
with different sorts of unknown flowers, which here and
there diversified the surface of the soil.

By straining our eyes, however, as far as we could see,
we thought we perceived at a great distance some specks
upon the land, that seemed to be in motion. We hastened
towards the spot: and as we drew nearer, to our inex-
pressible surprise, beheld a pretty numerous group of ani-
mals, which in the assemblage presented something like
the outline of a troop of horses or of cows. Though we
had not lately met with further traces of the ass, I was
not entirely without the hope of finding him among these
animals. On a nearer approach, we: perceived they were
wild buffaloes'. This animal is formed at first sight to

1 Ruffalo. A ruminating quadruped of the ox species, which it
nearly resembles in form and stature; the head is larger, the snout
longer, and its horns, which almost touch at the root, spread to a dis-
tance of five feet at their extremities; its ears are also larger and
pointed. The whole form of the buffalo, and no less its motions, an-
nounce amazing vigour and strength; but the enormous size of the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 219

inspire the beholder with terror: it is endowed with an
extraordinany degree of strength, and two or three of them
would have been capable of destroying us in a moment,
should they attack us. My alarm was so great, that I re-
mained for a few moments fixed to the spot. By good
luck the dogs were far behind us, and the buffaloes gave
no sign of fear or of displeasure at our approach: they
stood perfectly still, with their large round eyes fixed upon
us in vacant surprise: those which were lying down got
up slowly, but not one among them seemed to have any
hostile disposition towards us. The circumstance of the
dogs’ absence was most likely, on this occasion, the means

head, the singular curvatures of its long horns, under which appears a.
large tuft of bristly hair, of a yellowish white colour, give a terrific fero-
city and wildness to its physiognomy. The animal inhabits hot coun-
tries. It is used in Italy as a domestic beast for tillage and drawing.
The method adopted for taming the buffalo is by fixing a ring in the
nostril when about three years old. The operator contrives to entangle
the leg with a string, and the animal falls to the ground; several men
fall upon it and confine the legs, while others make the wound and pass
the ring: it is then left; it runs furiously from place to place, and en-
deavours to get rid of the ring: in a short time it begins to be accus-
tomed to its fate, and by degrees to learn obedience. A cord is fastened.
to the ring to lead the buffalo : if it resists, it suffers pain: it therefore
prefers to yield, and thus is brought to follow a conductor willingly.
After a certain time, the ring falls off; but the creature has, ere this,
become attached, and will follow its master: nothing is more common
than to see a buffalo return from a distance of forty miles to seek him.
Their young keepers give them a name, which they never fail to answer
to; and, on hearing it pronounced, they stop short in the midst of a
company of their species. Troops of buffaloes are found together in the
plains of America and Asia that are washed by rivers; they do not
attack men unless provoked; but the report of a gun renders them fu-
rious and extremely dangerous; they run straight to the enemy, throw
him down with their horns, and do not desist till he is crushed to death
in the struggle. A red colour irritates thom, and they are hunted with
infinite care and precaution.—Dictionary of Natural Llistory.
220 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of our safety: as it was, we had time to draw back quietly,
and prepare our fire-arms. It was not, however, my in-
tention to make use of them in any way but for defence,
being sensible that we were unequal to the encounter,
and recollecting also to have read that the sound of a gun
drives the buffalo to a state of desperation. I therefore
thought only of retreating; and with my poor Jack, for
whom I was more alarmed than for myself, was proceed-
ing in this way, when unfortunately Turk and Flora ran
up to us, and we could see were noticed by the buffaloes.
The animals instantly, and all together, set up such a roar
as to make our nerves tremble; they struck their horns
and their hoofs upon the ground, which they tore up by
pieces and scattered in the air. Our brave Turk and
Flora, fearless of danger, ran, in spite of all our efforts,
into the midst of them, and, according to their manner of
attacking, laid hold of the ears of a young buffalo, which
happened to be standing a few paces nearer to us than the
rest; and though the creature began a tremendous roar
and motion with his hoofs, they held him fast, and were
dragging him towards us. Thus hostilities had commenced ;
and unless we could resolve to abandon the cause of our
valiant defenders, we were now forced upon the measure of
open war, which, considering the strength and number of the
enemy, wore a face of the most pressing and inevitable dan-
ger. Our every hope seemed now to be in the chance of the
terror the buffalues would feel at the noise of our musketry,
which, perhaps for the first time, would assail their organs,
and most likely excite them to flight. “With, 1 must con-
fess, a palpitating heart and trembling hands, we fired both
at the same moment: the buffaloes, terrified by the sound
and by the smoke, remained for an instant motionless, as if
struck by a thunder-bolt, and then one and all betook them-
selves to flight with such incredible rapidity, that they were
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 221

soon beyond the reach of our sight. We heard their loud
roaring from a considerable distance, which by degrees
subsided into silence, and we were left with only one of
their terrific species near us; this one, a female, was no
doubt the mother of the young buffalo which the dogs had
seized and still kept a prisoner ; she had drawn near on
hearing its cries, and had been wounded by our guns, but
not killed; the creature was in a furious state: after a
moment’s pause, she took aim at the dogs, and with her
head on the ground, as if to guide her by the scent, was
advancing in her rage, and would have torn them in
pieces, if I had not prevented her by firing upon her with
my double-barrelled gun.

It was only now that we began to breathe. A few
moments before, death in the most horrible and inevitable
form seemed to stare us in the face! But now we might
hope that the danger was over: I was enchanted with the
behaviour of my boy, who had stood all the time in a
firm posture by my side, and had fired with a steady aim
in silence. I bestowed freely on him the commendation
he had so well deserved, and made him sensible how
necessary it is in times of danger to preserve a presence
of mind, which in many cases is of itself sufficient to effect
the sought-for deliverance. The young buffalo still re-
mained a prisoner, with his ears in the mouth of the dogs,
and the pain occasioned him to be so furious, that I was
fearful he might do them some injury ; I therefore deter-
mined to advance and give them what assistance I might
find practicable. To say the truth, I scarcely knew in what
way to effect this. The buffalo, though young, was strong
enough to revenge himself if I were to give the dogs a
sign to let go his ears. I had the power of killing him
with a pistol at a stroke; but I had a great desire to pre-
serye him alive, and to tame him, that he might be a sub-
222 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

stitute for the ass, which we had but little hope of re-
covering. I found myself in a perplexing state of in-
decision, when Jack suddenly interposed an effective
means for accomplishing my wishes. He had his string
with balls in his pocket; he drew it out hastily, and
making a few steps backward, he threw it so skilfully as
to entangle the buffalo completely and throw him down.
As I could then approach him safely, I tied his legs ‘two
and two together with a very strong cord; the dogs re-
leased his ears, and from this moment we considered the
buffalo as our own. Jack was almost wild with joy.
“What a magnificent creature! How much better than
the ass he will look, harnessed to the cart!”

The question was now, how we were to get the buffalo
home: having reflected, I conceived that the best way
would be to tie his two fore-legs together so tight that he
could not run, yet loose enough for him to walk; “ and,”
pursued I, “we will next adopt the method practised in
Italy ; you will think it somewhat cruel, but the.success
will be certain ; and it shall afterwards be our study to
make him amends by the kindest care and treatment.
Hold you the cord which confines his legs with all your
strength, that he may not be able to move.” I then
called Turk and Flora, and made each again take hold of
the ears of the animal; I took from my pocket a sharp-
pointed knife, and taking hold of the snout, I made a
hole in the nostril, into which I quickly inserted the
string, which I immediately tied so closely to a tree, that
the animal was prevented from the least. motion of the
head, which might have inflamed the wound and increased
his pain. I drew off the dogs the moment the operation
was performed. The creature, thus rendered furious,
would have run away, but the stricture of the legs and
the pain in the nostril prevented it. The first attempt
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 223

I made to pull the cord found him docile and ready to
accommodate his motions to our designs, and I perceived
that we might now begin our march. I left him for a short
time to make some other preparations.

T was unwilling to leave so fine a prey as the dead
buffalo behind us: I therefore, after considering what
was to be done, began by cutting out the tongue, which
T sprinkled with some of the salt we had in our provision-
bag: I next took off the skin from the four feet, taking
care not to tear it in the operation. I remembered that
the Americans use these skins, which are of a soft and
flexible quality, as boots and shoes, and I considered them
as precious articles. I lastly cut some of the flesh off the
animal with the skin on, and salted it, and abandoned
the rest to the dogs, as a recompense for their behaviour.
I then repaired to the river to wash myself, after which
we sat down under the shade of a large tree, and ate the
rest of our provisions.

As we were not disposed to leave the spot immediately,
I desired Jack to take the saw and cut down a small
quantity of the reeds, which from their enormous size
wight be of use to us. We set to work, but I observed
that he took pains to choose the smallest. ‘“ What shall
we do,” said I, “with these small-sized reeds? You are
thinking, I presume, of a bag-pipe, to announce a triumphal
arrival to our companions! ”—“ You are mistaken, father,”
answered Jack; “I am thinking of some candlesticks for
my mother, who will set a high value on them !””

“This is a good thought,” saidI; “I am pleased both
with the kindness and the readiness of your invention,
and I will assist you to empty the reeds without breaking
them ; if we should not succeed, at least we know where
to provide ourselves with more.’

We had so many and such heavy articles to remove,
224 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

that I dismased for that day all thoughts of looking
further for the ass. I began now to think of untying
the young buffalo: and on approaching him perceived
with pleasure that he was asleep, which afforded me a
proof that his wound was not extremely painful. As I
began to pull him gently with the string he gave a start;
but he afterwards followed me without resistance. I
fastened another string to his horns, and led him on by
drawing both together; and he performed the journey
with so unexpected a docility, that to ease ourselves of
a part of our heavy burdens, we even ventured on the
measure of fastening the bundles of reeds upon his back,
and upon these we laid the salted pieces of the buffalo.
The creature did not seem aware that he was carrying a
load ; he followed in our path, as before, and thus on the
first day of our acquaintance he rendered us an essential
service.

In a short time we found ourselves once more at the
narrow passage between the torrent and the precipice of
the rocks, which I have already mentioned. I had tied the
young buffalo to a tree near the cascade, without remark-
ing of what species it might be; when I went to release
him, I saw that it was a kind of small palm-tree, and on
looking about me, I also observed some other palm-trees,
which I had not before met with. One of the kinds, I
now remarked, was from ten to twelve feet in height, its
leaves were armed with thorns, and it bore a fruit re-
sembling a small cucumber in form, but which at this time
was immature, so that we could not taste it. The second,
which was smaller, was also thorny ; it was now in blos-
som, and had no fruit. I suspected that the first of these
was the Little Royal Palm, sometimes called Awiva, or
Adam's Needle ; and the other, the Dwarf Palm}. I re-

' Prickly Palm, or Adam's Needle. The leaves of this tree are
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 225

solved to avail myself of both, for further fortifying my en-
closure at Tent House, and also to protect the outer side
of the narrow pass immediately over the torrent of the
cascade. I determined to return and plant a line of them
there, as close to each other as the consideration of their
growth would allow; for my intention, of course, was to
effect this by means of the young shoots which presented
themselves in great’ abundance: we also hoped by that
time to find their fruit ripe, and to ascertain their kind,

We repassed the river in safety, and regained the
narrow pass at the turn of the rocks. We proceeded with
caution, and when safe on the other side, we thought of
quickening our pace to arrive the sooner at the hut.

The first solicitudes about health and safety being
answered, we entered upon the narrative of our adven-
tures; when question after question was so rapidly pro-
posed to us, that we were obliged to ask for the necessary
time for our replies. Allagreed that our success with the
buffalo was the most extraordinary of our achievements ;
all longed for the morning, when they might more mi-
nutely examine the spirited creature we had brought with
us. The day concluded with supper and sound repose. —

CHAPTER XX.

The Malabar Eagle.—Sago Manufactory.—-Bees.

I younp that the boys had been good and diligent,
during my absence; they had ascended Cape Disappoint-

sometimes ten feet in length ; they are winged in form, and the petals
are furnished with long sharp thorns, which stay on the trunk even
when the leaves are decayed, and form, from their numbeis and strength,
a sure defence against being approached. The fruit of this tree is
larger than a pigeon’s egg, of an oblong shape, of a yellow colour, and
like velvet to the touch.

Q
226 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ment with their mother, and had gathered wood, and made
some torches for the night ; and what seemed almost in-
credible, had ventured to fell and bring down an immense
palm-tree. It lay prostrate on the ground, and covered a
space of at least seventy feet in length. To effect their
purpose, Fritz had got up the tree with a long rope,
which he fastened tight to the top of it. As soon as he
had come down again, he and Ernest worked with the
axe and saw to cut it through. When it was nearly
divided, they carefully managed its fall with the rope, and
in this manner they succeeded. Fritz was in high spirits
too on another account: he brought me on his wrist a
young bird of prey, of the most beauteous plumage ; he
had taken it from the nest in one of the rocks near Cape
Disappointment. Very young as the bird was, it had
already all its feathers, though they had not yet received
their full colouring: it answered to the description I had ~
read of the beautiful eagle of Malabar, and I viewed it
with the admiration it was entitled to’: meeting with
one of these birds is thought a lucky omen; and it being
neither large, nor expensive in its food, I was desirous to
keep it and train it like a falcon to pursue smaller birds.

1 The Malabar or Indian Eagle is small, not above the size of a
large pigeon ; but in the smallness of its volume, elegance of symmetry
and beauty of plumage are united: the animation of its eyes, its lively
movements, the boldness of its look and attitudes, give to its whole
physiognomy the appearance of pride and courage. The Malayese have
made it one of their idols, and offer it a kind of worship. A tuft of
large feathers of a dazzling white, the lower part of which is of a deep
shining black, covers the head, the neck, and all the breast of this hand-
some bird ; the rest of the plumage is of a very bright chestnut colour,
with the exception of the tip of the six first feathers of each wing, which
is black. The beak is ash-coloured, and of a yellowish green at the
point ; its membrane is blue, feet yellow, talons black. This species is
found in Malabar, Visapour, the Mogul empire, &c. In voracity it
does not fall short of any other.—Dictionary of Natural History.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 227

Fritz had already covered its eyes, and tied a string to
its foot: and I advised him to hold it often, and for a
length of time, on his hand, and to tame it with hunger,
as falconers do.

When all the narratives were concluded, I ordered a
fire to be lighted, and a quantity of green wood to be put
on it, for the purpose of raising a thick smoke, over which
I hung the buffalo meat I had salted, to dry and preserve
it for our future use. We fed the young buffalo with
some of the cow’s milk; and he was also beginning to
browse, which led us to conclude that the pains from the
wound in his nose had subsided, and that he would soon
become tame.

The next morning neither my sons nor their mother
seemed disposed to obey my summons for setting out
homewards. “As we had so much difficulty in felling the
palm-tree,” said my wife, “would it not be a pity to lose our
labour, by leaving it in this place ? Ernest assures me it
is a sago-tree ; if so, the pith would be an excellent ingre-
dient for our soups'. Do, my dear, examine it, and let us
see if in any way we can turn it to account.”

I found she was right; but in that case it was neces-
sary to employ a day in the business; since to lay open
from one end to the other a tree of such a length and

* Sago-palmist. Of all the palm-trees which are natives of Asia,
the sago-palmist is one of the most useful and interesting : a liquor
rans from incisions made in its trunk, which readily ferments, and is
both salutary and agreeable for drinking. The marrow, or pith of the
trea, after undergoing a slight preparation, isthe substance known by
the name of sago in Europe, and 20 eminently useful in the list of nutri-
tious food for the sick. The trunk and large leaves of the palmist-sago are
a powerful resource in the construction of buildings ; the first furnishes
planks for the carpenter, and the second a covering for the roof. From
the last are also made cord, matting, and other articles of domestic
use.——See Forrest's Voyage to New Guinea, ’

Q 2
228 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

substance, was no trivial task. I however consented; as,
independent of the use of the farinaceous pith, I could, by
emptying it, obtain two handsome and large troughs for
the conveyance of water from Jackal’s River to my wife's
kitchen-garden at Tent House, and thence to my new
plantations of trees. (See p. 213.)

Fritz—One of the halves, father, will answer that
purpose, and the other will serve as a conduit for our
little stream from Falcon’s Nest into my pretty basin
lined with tortoiseshell.

I now desired them to bring me the graters they had
used for the manioc, and observed that they had to assist
me in raising the palm-tree from the ground, which must
be done, continued I, by fixing at each end two small
cross pieces or props to support it : to split it open as it lies
would be a work of too much labour: this done, I shall .
want several wooden wedges to keep the cleft open while
Tam sawing it, and afterwards a sufficient quantity of
water. “There is the difficulty,” said my wife; “our
Falcon’s Stream is too far off, and we have not yet dis-
covered any spring in the neighbourhood of this place.”

Ernest.—That is of no consequence, mother; I have
seen hereabouts so great an abundance of plants which
contain water, that we need not be at a loss; for they will
fully supply us, if I could only contrive to get vessels
enough to hold it.

‘We now produced the enormous reeds we had brought
home, which, being hollow, would answer the purpose of
vessels. Ernest and Francis cut a number of the plants,
which they placed slantingly over the brim of a vessel,
and whilst that was filling, they were preparing another.
The rest of us got round the tree, and with our united
strength we soon succeeded in raising the heavy trunk,
and the top of it was then sawed off. We next began to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 229

split it through the whole length, and this the softness of
the wood enabled us to effect: with little trouble. We
soon reached the pith or marrow that fills up the middle
of the trunk the whole of its length. When divided, we
laid one half on the ground, and we pressed the pith to-
gether with our hands, so as to make temporary room
for the pith of the other half of the trunk, which rested
still on the props. "We wished to empty it entirely, that
we might employ it as a kneading-trough, leaving merely
enough of the pith at both ends to prevent a running-out ;
and then we proceeded to form our paste.

My young manufacturers fell joyfully to work: they
brought water, and poured it gradually into the trough,
whilst we mixed it with the flour. In a short time the
paste appeared sufficiently fermented; I then made an
aperture at the bottom of the grater on its outside, and
pressed the paste strongly with my hand: the farinaceous
parts passed with ease through the small holes of the
grater, and the ligneous parts which did not pass were
thrown aside in a heap, in the hope that mushrooms, &c.,
might spring from them. My boys were in readiness to
receive in the reed vessels what fell from the grater, and
conveyed it directly to their mother, whose business was
to spread out the small grains in the sun upon sail-cloth,
for the purpose of drying them. Thus we procured a
good supply of a wholesome and pleasant food ; and should
have had a larger stock of it, had we not been restricted
as to time.

‘We next employed ourselves in loading the cart with
our tools and the two halves of the tree. Night coming
on, we retired to our hut, where we enjoyed our usual
repose, and early next morning were ready to return to
Falcon’s Stream. Our buffalo now commenced his ser-
vice, yoked with the cow; he supplied the want of the
_230 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ass, and was very tractable: it is true, I led him by the
cord in his nose, and thus restrained him whenever he
was disposed to deviate from his duty.

We returned the same way as we came, in order to
load the cart with a provision of berries, wax, and elastic
gum. I sent forward Fritz and Jack as a vanguard, with
one of the dogs: they were to cut an ample road through
the bushes for our cart. The two water-conductors,
which were very long, produced numerous difficulties,
and somewhat impeded our progress. We reached the
wax and gum-trees with tolerable speed, and without any
accident, and halted to place our sacks of berries in the
cart. The elastic gum had not yielded as much as I ex-
pected, from the too rapid thickening caused by an
ardent sun. We obtained, however, about a quart, which
sufficed for the experiment of the impenetrable boots I .
had so long desired.

We set out again, still preceded by our pioneers, who
cleared the way for us through the little wood of guavas.
Suddenly we heard a dreadful noise, which came from
our vanguard, and beheld: Fritz and Jack hastening to-
wards us. I began now to fear a tiger or panther was
near at hand, or had perhaps attacked them. Turk began
to bark so frightfully, and Flora joined in so hideous a
yell, that I prepared myself for a bloody conflict. I ad-
vanced at the head of my troop to the assistance of my
high-mettled dogs, who ran furiously up to a thicket,
where they stopped, and with their noses to the ground,
and almost breathless, strove to enter it. I had no doubt
some terrible animal was lurking there; and Fritz, who
had seen it through the leaves, confirmed my suspicion ;
he said it was about the size of the young buffalo, and
that his hair was black and shaggy. I was going to fire
at it, when Jack, who had thrown himself on his face on
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 231

the ground to have a better view of the animal, got up ina
fit of laughter—“ It is only,” exclaimed he, “ our old sow,
who is never tired of playing off her tricks upon us.” Half
vexed, half laughing, we broke into the midst of the thicket,
where we found our old companion stretched supinely
on the earth, but by no means in a state of dreary soli-
tude; she had round her seven little creatures, which had
been littered a few days, and were sprawling about near
their mother. This discovery gave us considerable satis-
faction, and we all greeted the good matron, who seemed
to recollect and welcome us with » sociable kind of grunt-
ing, while she licked her young without any ceremony or
show of fear. And now a general consultation took
place,—should this new family be left where we found it,
or conveyed to Falcon’s Stream. Opinions being at
variance, it was decided that for the present they should
keep quiet possession of their retreat.

We then, so many adventures ended, pursued our road,
and arrived at Falcon’s Stream in safety. All was in due
order, and our animals welcomed our return in their own
jargon and manner, which did not fail to be expressive of
their satisfaction in seeing us again. It was necessary to
tie up the buffalo to inure it by degrees to confinement ;
and the handsome Malabar eagle shared the same fate:
Fritz chose to place it near the parrot, on the root of a
tree ; he fastened it with a piece of packthread, of suffi-
cient length to allow it free motion, and uncovered its
eyes: till then the bird had been tolerably quiet: but the
instant it was restored to light it fell into a species of
rage that surprised us; it proudly raised its head, its
feathers became ruffied, and its eyeballs seemed to whirl.
in their orbits, and dart out vivid lightnings. All the
poultry were terrified and fled; but the poor luckless
‘parrot was too near the sanguinary creature to escape.
232 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Before we were aware of the danger, it was seized and
mangled by the formidable hooked beak of the eagle.
Fritz vented his anger in loud and passionate reproaches ;
he would have killed the murderer on the spot, had not
Ernest ran up and entreated him to spare its life: “ Par-
rots,” said he, “we shall find in plenty, but never perhaps
80 beauteous, so magnificent a bird as this eagle, which, as
father observes, we may train for hawking. You may too
blame only yourself for the parrot’s death ;—why did you
uncover his eyes? I could have told you that falconers
keep them covered six weeks, till they are completely
tamed. But now, brother, let me have the care of him;
let me manage the unruly fellow; he shall soon, under
my treatment, be as tractable and submissive as a new-
born puppy.”

Fritz refused to part with his eagle, and Ernest did.
not refuse to give him the information he wanted :—*I
have read,” said he, “somewhere, that the Caribs puff
tobacco smoke into the nostrils of the birds of prey and
of the parrots they catch, until they are giddy and almost
senseless ;—this stupefaction over, they are no longer
wild and untractable.”

Fritz resolved on the experiment; he took some
tobacco and a pipe, of which we had plenty in the sailors’
chests, and began to smoke, at the same time gradually
approaching the unruly bird. As soon as it was some-
what composed, he replaced the fillet over the eyes, and
smoked close to its beak and nostrils so effectually, that
it became motionless on the spot, and had the exact air
of a stuffed bird. Fritz thought it dead, and was inclined
to be angry with his brother; but I told him it would
not hold on the perch if it were lifeless, and that its head
alone was affected ;—and so it proved. The favourite
came to itself by degrees, and made no noise when its eyes
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 283

were unbound; it looked at us with an air of surprise,
but void of fury, and grew tamer and calmer every day.
The care of the monkey was now by all adjudged to
Ernest as a reward, and he took formal possession of it,
and made it lie down near him.

During the course of the day, a subject was introduced,
which I and my wife had been thinking of for some time:
she found it difficult, and even dangerous, to ascend and
descend our tree with a rope ladder, and had repeatedly
applied to me to remedy the evil. A staircase on the
outside was not to be thought of; the considerable height
of the tree rendered that impracticable, as I had nothing
to rest it on, and should be at a loss to find beams to
sustain it; but I had for some time formed the idea of
constructing winding stairs within the immense trunk of
the tree, if it should happen to be hollow, or I could
contrive to make it so; I had heard the boys talking of a
hollow in our tree, and of a swarm of bees issuing from it,
and I now, therefore, went to examine whether the cavity
extended to the roots, or what its circumference might
be. The boys seized the idea with ardour ; they sprang
up, and climbed to the tops of the roots like squirrels, to
strike at the trunk with axes, and to judge from the.
sound how far it was hollow; but they soon paid dearly
for their attempt; the whole swarm of bees, alarmed at
the noise made against their dwelling, issued forth,
buzzing with fury, attacked the little disturbers, began to
sting them, stuck to their hair and clothes, and soon put
them to flight, uttering lamentable cries. My wife and I
had some trouble to stop the course of their uproar, and
cover their wounds with fresh earth to allay the smart.
‘When they grew a little better, they entreated me to
hasten the measures for getting every thing in readiness
for obtaining possession of the honey. The bees in the
234 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

mean time were still buzzing furiously round the tree. I
prepared tobacco, a pipe, some clay, chisels, hammers, &c.
I took the large gourd long intended for a hive, and I
fitted a place for it, by nailing a piece of board on a
branch of the tree ; I made a straw roof for the top, to
screen it from the sun and rain; and as all this took up
more time than I was aware of, we deferred the attack of
the fortress to the following day, and got ready for a
sound sleep, which completed the cure of my wounded
patients.

CHAPTER XXI.

Treatment of Bees.—Staircase.—Training of the
Buffalo.— Manufactures, gc.
Next morning, almost before dawn, all were up and in
motion; the bees had returned to their cells, and I
stopped the passages with clay, leaving only a sufficient
aperture for the tube of my pipe. I then smoked as
much as was requisite to stupify, without killing, the
little warlike creatures. Not having a cap with a mask,
such as bee-catchers usually wear, nor even gloves, this
precaution was necessary. At first a humming was heard
in the hollow of the tree, and a noise like the gathering
tempest, which died away by degrees. All was become
calm, and I withdrew my tube without the appearance of
a single bee. Fritz had got up by me: we then began
with a chisel and a small axe to cut out of the tree, under
the bees’ hole of entrance, a piece three feet square.
Before it was entirely separated, I repeated the fumigation,
lest the stupefaction produced by the first smoking
should have ceased, or the noise we had been just making
revived the bees. As soon as I supposed them lulled
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 235

again, I separated from the trunk the piece I had cut out,
through which the inside of the tree was laid open to
view ; and we were filled at once with joy and astonish-
ment on beholding the immense and wonderful work of
this colony of insects. There was such a stock of wax
and honey, that we feared our vessels would be insufficient
to contain it. The whole interior of the tree was lined
with fine honey-combs: I cut them off with care, and put
them in the gourds the boys supplied me with. When I
had somewhat cleared the cavity, I put the upper combs,
in which the bees had assembled in clusters and swarms,
into the gourd which was to serve as a hive, and placed it
on the plank I had purposely raised. I came down,
bringing with me the rest of the honey-combs, with which
I filled a small cask, previously well washed in the stream.
Some I kept out for a treat at dinner; and had the
barrel carefully covered with cloths and planks, that the
bees, when attracted by the smell, might be unable to get
at it. We assembled round the table, and regaled
ourselves plentifully with the delicious treat. My wife
then put by the remainder ; and I proposed to my sons
to go back to the tree, to prevent the bees from swarming
again there on being roused from their stupor, as they
would not have failed to do but for the precaution I took
of placing a board at the aperture, and burning a few
handfuls of tobacco on it, the smell and smoke of which
drove them back whenever they attempted to return.
At length they desisted, and became gradually reconciled
to their new residence, where their queen no doubt had
settled herself. 1 took this opportunity to relate to my
children all I had read in the interesting work by Mr.
Huber, of Geneva, of the queen bee, this beloved and
respected mother of her subjects, who take care of and
guard her, work for her, nourish the rising swarms,
236 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

make the cells in which they are to lodge, prepare others
of a different structure, as well as nutriment for the
young queens destined to lead forth the fresh colonies.
These accounts highly entertained my youthful auditory,
who almost regretted having molested the repose of a fine
peaceable kingdom that had flourished so long without
interruption in the huge trunk. I advised that all should
watch during the night over the whole provision of honey
obtained while the bees were torpid, who, when recovered,
would not fail to be troublesome, and come in legions to
get back their property; and to this end we threw
ourselves on our beds in our clothes, to take an early
doze: on awaking about nightfall, we found the bees
quiet in the gourd, or settled in clusters upon near
branches, so we went expeditiously to business. The cask
of honey was emptied into a kettle, except a few combs,
which we kept for daily consumption; the remainder,
mixed with a little water, was set over a gentle fire, and
reduced to a liquid consistence, strained and squeezed
through a bag, and afterwards poured back into the cask,
which was left: upright and uncovered all night to cool.
In the morning the wax was entirely separated, and had
risen to the surface in a compact and solid cake, that
was easily removed: beneath was the purest and most
beautiful honey that could be seen; the cask was then
carefully headed again, and put into cool ground near
our wine-vessels. This task accomplished, I mounted to
revisit the hive, and found every thing in order ; the bees
going forth in swarms and returning loaded with wax,
from which I judged they were forming fresh edifices in
their new dwelling-place. I had been surprised that the
numbers occupying the trunk of the tree should find
room in the gourd, till I perceived the clusters upon the
branches, and I thence concluded a young queen was
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 237

among each of them. In consequence, I procured another
gourd, into which I shook them, and placed it by the
former ; thus I had the satisfaction of obtaining at an
easy rate two fine hives of bees in activity.

We soon after these operations proceeded to examine
the inside of the tree. I sounded it with a pole from the
opening I had made; and a stone fastened to a string
served us to sound the bottom, and thus to ascertain the
height and depth of the cavity. To my great surprise,
the pole penetrated, without any resistance, to the
branches on which our dwelling rested, and the stone
descended to the roots. The trunk, it appeared, had
wholly lost its pith, and most of its wood internally. It
seems that this species of tree, like the willow in our cli-
mate, receives nourishment through the bark; for it did
not look decayed, and its far-extended branches were
luxuriant and beautiful in the extreme. I determined to
begin our construction in its capacious hollow that very
day. The undertaking appeared at first beyond our
powers; but intelligence, patience, time, and a firm reso-
lution vanquished all obstacles. We were not disposed
to relax in any of these requisites. I was pleased to find
opportunity to keep my sons in continual action, and their
minds and bodies were all the better for exertion. They
grew tall and strong, and were too much engaged to re-
gret any of their past enjoyments in Europe.

We began to cut into the side of the tree, towards the
sea, a door-way equal in dimensions to the door of the
captain’s cabin, which we had removed with all its frame-
work and windows. We next cleared away from the
cavity all the rotten wood, and rendered the interior even
and smooth, leaving sufficient thickness for cutting out
resting-places for tho winding stairs, without injuring the
bark, I then fixed in the centre the trunk of a tree
238 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

about twenty feet in length, and a foot thick, completely
stripped of its branches, in order to carry my winding
staircase round it: on the outside of this trunk, and the
inside of the cavity of our own tree, we formed grooves,
so calculated as to correspond with the distances at which
the boards were to be placed to form the stairs. These
were continued till I had got to the height of the trunk
round which they turned. I made two more apertures
at suitable distances, and thus completely lighted the
whole ascent. I also effected an opening near our room,
that I might more conveniently finish the upper part of
the staircase. A second trunk was fixed upon the first,
and firmly sustained with screws and transverse beams.
It was surrounded, like the other, with stairs cut slopingly ;
and thus we happily effected the stupendous undertaking
of conducting it to the level of our bed-chamber. Here I
made another door directly into it. To render it more
solid and agreeable, I closed the spaces between the stairs
with plank. I then fastened two strong ropes, the one
descending the length of the central trunk, the other along
the inside of our large tree, to assist in case of slipping.
I fixed the sash-windows taken from the captain’s cabin
in the apertures we had made to give light to the stairs ;
and I then found I could add nothing further to my design.
Our success was owing to the firm resolution adopted by
all, to persevere in patient industry and constant efforts
to the end; and it employed us many weeks.

Having completed the winding stairs, my next occupation
was the management of the young buffalo, whose wound
in the nose was quite healed, so that I could lead it at will
with a cord or stick passed through the orifice, as the
Caffrarians do. I preferred the stick, which answered
the purpose of a bit, and I resolved to break in this
spirited beast for riding as well as drawing. It was al-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 239

ready used to the shafts, and very tractable in them; but
I had more trouble in inuring him to the rider, and to
wear a girth, having made one out of the old buffalo’s hide.
I formed a sort of saddle with sail-cloth, and tacked it to
the girth. I also passed the stick through the buffalo’s
nose, and tied strong packthread at each end, bringing
a piece of it over the neck of the animal to serve
asa bridle. The monkey was his first rider, who stuck
so closely to the saddle, that, in spite of the plunging and
kicking of the buffalo, it was not thrown; when at length
we ventured to mount him ourselves, his trotting shook
us to the very centre, the rapidity of his gallop turned us
giddy, and it was many days before he was sufficiently
tamed to be ridden with either safety or pleasure. No
serious accident occurred however, and I felt real satisfac-
tion in being thus enabled to make my sons expert riders,
so that if they should ever have horses they might get on
the most restive without fear.

We now began to think of manufacturing our impene-
trable boots without seams, of the caoutchouc, or elastic
gum. I began with a pair for myself; and I encouraged
my children to afford a specimen of their industry, by try-
ing to form some flasks and cups that could not break.
They began by making some clay moulds, which they
covered with layers of gum, agreeably to the instructions |
T had given them. In the mean while I filled a pair of
stockings with sand, and covered them with a layer of
clay, which I first dried in the shade, and afterwards in
the sun. I then tooka sole of buffalo leather, well beaten,
and studded round with tacks, which served me to fix it
under the foot of the stocking; after this I poured the
liquid gum into all the interstices, which, on drying, pro-
duced a close adhesion between the leather and stocking
sole. I next proceeded to smear the whole with a coat of
240 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

resin of a tolerable thickness; and as soon as this layer
was dried on, I put on another, and so on till I had ap-
plied a sufficiency with my brush. After this I emptied
the sand, drew out the stocking, removed the hardened
clay, shook off the dust, and thus obtained a pair of seam-
less boots, as finished as if made by the best English
workman; being pliant, warm, soft, smooth, and com-
pletely water-proof. I hung them up directly, that they
might dry without shrinking. They fitted uncommonly
well: and my four lads were so highly pleased with their
appearance, that they at once asked me to make each of
them a pair. I refrained from any promise, because I
wished to ascertain their strength previously, and to com-
pare them with boots made out of mere buffalo leather.
Of these I at once began a pair for Fritz, with a piece of
the slaughtered buffalo’s skin. They gave far more trou-
ble than those manufactured with the caoutchouc, which
I used to cover the seams, and render them less pervious
to water. The work turned out very imperfect, and so
inferior to my incomparable boots, that Fritz wore them
reluctantly ; and the more so, as his brothers shouted with
laughter at the difficulty he had to run in them.

We had also been engaged in the construction of our
fountain, which afforded a perpetual source of pleasure to
my wife, and indeed to all of us. In the upper part of
the stream we built with stakes and stones a kind of dam,
that raised the water sufficiently to convey it into the
palm-tree troughs; and afterwards, by means of a gentle
slope, to glide on contiguous to our habitation, where it
fell into the tortoise-shell basin, which we had elevated on
stones to a certain height for our convenience ; and it was
so contrived that the redundant water passed off through
a cane pipe fitted to it. I placed two sticks athwart each
other for the gourds, that served as pales, to rest on; and
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 241

we thus produced, close to our abode, an agreeable foun-
tain, delighting with its rill, and supplying us with a pure
crystal fluid, such as we frequently could not get when
we drew our water from the bed of the river, which was
often encumbered with the leaves and earth fallen into it,
or rendered turbid by our water-fowls. The only incon-
venience was, that the water flowing in this open state
through the narrow channels in a slender stream was
heated, and not refreshing when it reached us. I re-
solved to obviate this inconvenience at my future leisure,
by employing, instead of the uncovered conduits, large
bamboo-canes fixed deep enough in the ground to keep
the water cool. In waiting the execution of this design,
we felt pleasure in the new acquisition; and Fritz, who
had suggested the notion, received his tribute of praise
from all.

CHAPTER XXII.

The Wild Ass.—Difficulty in breaking it—The Heath
Fowl’s Nest.
‘We were scarcely up one morning when we heard at a
distance two strange kinds of voices, that resembled the
howlings of wild beasts mixed with hissings and sounds
of some creature at its last gasp; and I was not without
uneasiness: our dogs too pricked up their ears, and from
their looks we judged it prudent to put ourselves in a
state of defence. We loaded our guns and pistols, placed
them together within our castle in the tree, and prepared
to repel vigorously any hostile attack. The howlings
having ceased an instant, I descended from our citadel,
well armed, and put on our two faithful guardians their
spiked collars and side-guards: I assembled our cattle
B
242 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

about the tree to have them in sight, and I re-ascended
to look around for the enemy’s approach.

At this instant the howlings were renewed, and almost
close to us. Fritz got as near the spot as he could,
listened attentively, and with eager looks, then threw
down his gun, and burst into a loud laugh, exclaiming,
“Father, it is our ass! the deserter comes back to us,
chanting the hymn of return: listen! do you not hear
his melodious brayings in all the varieties of the gamut ?””
I listened, and a fresh roar, in sounds unquestionable,
raised loud peals of laughter amongst us; and then
followed the usual train of jests and mutual banter of
the alarm we had all betrayed. Shortly after, we had the
satisfaction of seeing among the trees our old friend
Grizzle, moving towards us leisurely, and stopping now
and then to browse; but to our great joy, he was ac-
companied by one of his own species, of very superior
beauty ; and when it was nearer, I knew it to be a fine
onager, or wild ass, which I conceived a strong desire to
possess, though at the same time aware of the extreme
difficulty there would be in taming and rendering him sub-
ject to the use of man. Some writers, who have described
it under the name of the igitai, (or long-eared horse ',)

1 Onager, Cigitai, and Koulan. Apparently different names for the
game animal, varying according to the countries where it is found, and
authors who have spoken of it. In shape and structure it holds the
midway betwixt the horse and ass; its head is strong, and erect in the
state of rest; it proudly snuffs the air in its course, which is more fleet
than the swiftest horse. Its neck finely turned, chest full and open,
back long, spine concave and rough, haunches taper, hoofs like the ass,
mane short and thick, the jaw containing thirty-four teeth, tail two feet
long, and exactly like a cow’s, shoulders narrow and bare of flesh; it
has great suppleness in all its members and motions. The hair is
mostly of a yellowish brown ; a reddish yellow covers the forepart of
the head and between the legs; the mane and tail are black. Along
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 243

given it by the Tartars, affirm that the taming it has
been ever. found impracticable; but my mind furnished
an idea on the subject, which I was resolved to act on if
I got possession of the handsome creature. Without
delay I descended the ladder with Fritz, desiring his
brothers to keep still; and I consulted my privy-counsellor
on the means of surprising and taking the stranger
captive.

I got ready, as soon as possible, a long cord with a
running-knot, one end of which I tied fast to the root of
a tree; the noose was kept open with a little stick slightly
fixed in the opening, so as to fall of itself on the cord
being thrown round the neck of the animal, whose efforts
to escape would draw the knot closer. I also prepared a
piece of bamboo about two feet long, which I split at the

the back is a dark-brown stripe, that grows broader from the loins up-
wards, and becomes narrower towards the tail. In winter its hair is
long, curling, waving; in summer, short and glossy. These animals
stray in numbers over the vast deserts-and open plains abounding with
saline herbage: they never approach the woods or mountains. They
have the senses of hearing and smelling in perfection. Their neighing,
somewhat peculiar, is much louder than that of the horse. They are
timid and wild, and their chief defence is in their speed ; yet they are of
a peaceful, social nature. They commonly troop together from twenty
to thirty, sometimes a hundred : each troop has its leader, that watches
over its safety, conducts it, and gives the signal of flight when danger
is near. The token of alarm is bounding thrice round the object of
their fear. If their leader is killed (and he frequently is, by approach-
ing closer to the hunter than the rest), the troop disperses, and it is easy
to killand take them. The Mongol Tartars highly prize the flesh, which
they find delicious ; but the ceigitai has not yet been tamed, even when
taken young. Could it be domesticated, it would doubtless be a prime
beast for the saddle, but it is of an untameable disposition ; often, when
attempts have been made to subdue them, they have died in breaking,
rather than submit to the restraint. This animal not being a native of
New Guines, or the islands of the Indian Archipelago, must be sup.
posed to have been brought hither by some former immigrants.
R2
244 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

bottom, and tied fast at top, to serve as nippers. I de-
signed to catch the beautiful creature with the noose,
which I gave to Fritz to manage, as being nimbler and
more expert than myself. The two asses drew nearer and
nearer to us. Fritz, holding in his hand the open noose,
moved softly on from behind the tree where we were
concealed, and advanced as far as the length of the rope
allowed him: the onager started on perceiving a human
figure, and sprang some paces backward; but as Fritz
now remained quite still, the animal resumed its compo-
sure, and continued to browse. Soon after he approached
the old ass, hoping that the confidence that would be
shown by it would raise a similar feeling in the stranger ;
he held out a handful of oats mixed with salt; our ass
instantly ran up to take its favourite food, and greedily
devoured it: this was quickly perceived by the other. It
drew near, raised its head, breathed strongly, and came
up so close, that Fritz, seizing the opportunity, succeeded
in throwing the rope round its neck; but the motion and
stroke so affrighted the beast, that it instantly sprang off.
It was soon checked by the cord, which, in compressing
the neck, almost stopped its breath: it could go no
further, and, after many exhausting efforts, it sunk pant-
ing for breath upon the ground. I hastened to loosen
the cord, and prevent its being strangled. I then quickly
threw our ass’s halter over its head ; I fixed the nose in
my split cane, which I secured at the bottom with pack-
thread. Thus I succeeded in subduing the first alarm of
this wild animal, as farriers shoe a horse for the first time.
I wholly removed the noose that seemed to bring the
creature into a dangerous situation; I fastened the
halter with two long ropes to two roots near us, and let
the animal recover itself, noticing its actions, and devising
the best way to tame it in the completest manner.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 245

The rest of my family had by this time come down
from the tree, and beheld the fine creature with admira-
tion, its graceful shape, and well-turned limbs, which
placed it so much above the ass, and nearly raised it to
the noble structure of the horse. In a few moments the
onager got up again, struck furiously with its foot, and
seemed resolved to free itself from all bonds; but the
pain of its nose, which was grasped and violently squeezed
in the bamboo, forced it to lie down again. Fritz and I
now gently undid the cords, and half led, half dragged it,
between two roots closely connected, to which we fastened
it afresh, so as to give the least scope for motion, and
thus render its escape impracticable, whilst it enabled us
to approach securely, and examine the valuable capture
we had made. We also guarded against master Grizzle
playing truant again, and tied him fast with a new halter,
confining its fore-legs with a rope. I then fastened it
and the wild ass side by side, and put before both plenty
of good provender to solace their impatience of captivity.

‘We had now the additional occupation of training the
onager. I foresaw that we should have many difficulties
to encounter in taming it, though it seemed very young,
and not even to have reached its full growth; but I
determined to resort to all possible measures. I let the
nippers remain on its nose, which appeared to distress
him greatly, though we could plainly perceive their good
effect in subduing the creature. I took them off, how-
ever, at times when I gave it food, to render eating
easier; and I began by placing a bundle of sail-cloth on
its back, to inure it to carry. When accustomed to the
load, I strove to render the beast by degrees still more
docile, by hunger and thirst ; and I observed with plea-
sure that when it had fasted a little and I supplied it with
food, its look and actions were less wild. I also com-
246 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

pelled the animal to keep erect on its fore-legs, by draw-
ing the cords closer that fastened it to the roots, in order
to subdue gradually by fatigue its’natural ferocity. The
children came by turns to play with it, and scratch its
ears gently, which were remarkably tender; and it was
on these I resolved to make my ‘last ‘trial, if all other
endeavours failed. For a long time we despaired of
success ; the onager made furious starts and leaps when
any of us went near it, kicked with its hind-feet, and
even attempted to bite those who touched it. This
obliged me to have recourse to a muzzle, which I managed
with rushes, and put on when it was not feeding. To
avoid being struck by its hind-feet, I partially confined
them, by fastening them to the fore-feet with cords,
which, however, I left moderately loose, that we might not
encroach too much upon the motion necessary for its health.
It was at length familiarized to this discipline, and was
no longer in a rage when we approached, but grew less im-
patient daily, and bore to be handled and stroked.

At last we ventured to free it by degrees from its
restraints, and to ride it as we had done with the buffalo,
still keeping the fore-feet tied; but notwithstanding this
precaution and every preceding means, it proved as fierce
and unruly as ever for the moment. The monkey, who
was first put on its back, held on pretty well by clinging to
its mane, from which it was suspended as often as the
onager furiously reared and plunged ; it was therefore for
the present impracticable for either of my sons to get
upon it. The perverse beast baffled all our efforts, and
the perilous task of breaking it was still to be persevered
in with terror and apprehension. In the stable it seemed
tolerably quiet and gentle; but the moment it was in any ©
degree unshackled, it became wholly ferocious and un-
manageable.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 247

T was at length reduced to my last expedient, but not
without much regret, as I resolved, if it did not answer,
to restore the animal to full liberty. I tried to mount
the onager, and just as in the act of rearing up violently
to prevent me, I seized with my teeth one of the long ears
of the enraged creature, and bit it till it bled; instantly
it stood almost erect on its hind-feet, motionless and
stiff; it soon lowered itself by degrees, while I still held
its ear between my teeth. Fritz seized the moment and
sprang on its back; Jack, with the help of his mother,
did the same, holding by his brother, who clung to the
girth. When both assured me they were firmly seated,
I let go the ear: the onager made a few springs less vio-
lent than the former, and, checked by the cords on its
feet, it gradually submitted, began to trot up and down
more quietly, and ultimately grew so tractable, that riding
it became one of our chief pleasures. My lads were soon
expert horsemen; and their horse, theugh rather long-
eared, was very handsome and well broken in. Thus
patience on our parts conquered a serious difficulty, and
gained for us a proud advantage.

I now explained to my companions that I learned this
extraordinary mode of taming from a horse-breaker I met
with by chance. He had lived long in America, and
carried on the skin-trade with the savages, to whom he
took, in exchange, various European goods. He employed
in these journeys half-tamed horses of the southern pro-
vinces of that country, which are caught in snares or with
nooses. They are at first unruly and resist burdens; but
as soon as the hunter bites one of their ears, they become
mild and submissive, and at last so docile, that any thing
may be done with them.

In a few weeks the onager was so effectually tamed,
that we sll could mount it without fear: I still, however,
248 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

kept his two fore-legs confined together with the cord, to
moderate the extreme swiftness of its running. In the
room of a bit, I contrived a curb; and with this and a
good bite applied, as wanted, to the ear, it went to right
or left at the will of the rider.

During the training of our horse, which we named
Lightfoot, a triple brood of our hens had given us a crowd.
of little feathered beings; forty of these at least were
chirping and hopping about us, to the great satisfaction of
my wife, whose zealous care of them sometimes made me
smile. Some of these we kept near us, while others were
sent in small colonies to feed and breed in the desert,
where we could find them as they were wanted for our use.

This increase of our poultry reminded us of an under-
taking we had long thought of, and was not in prudence
to be deferred any longer ; this was the building between
the roots of our great: tree, covered sheds for all our bipeds
and quadrupeds. The rainy season, which is the winter of
these countries, was drawing near; and to avoid losing
most of our stock, it was requisite to shelter it.

We began by forming a kind of roof above the arched
roots of our tree, and employed bamboo-canes for the pur-
pose: the longest and strongest supported the roofing
in the place of columns, the smaller more closely united
and composed the roof itself. I filled up the interstices
with moss and clay, and I spread over the whole a thick
coat of tar. By these means I formed a compact and
solid covering, capable of bearing pressure. I then made
a railing round it, which gave the appearance of a pretty
balcony, under which, between the roots, were various
stalls, sheltered from rain and sun, that could be easily
shut and separated from each other by means of planks
nailed upon the roots; part of them were calculated to
serve as a stable and yard, part as an eating-room, a store-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 249

room, &c., and as a hay-loft, to keep our hay and provi-
sions dry in. This work was soon completed; but after-
wards it was necessary to fill these places with stores of
every kind for our supply throughout the wet season. In
this task we engaged diligently, and went daily with our
cart to collect every thing useful, and that might give us
employment when the weather prevented our going far.

One evening, on our return from an excursion, as our
cart, loaded with bags, drawn by the buffalo, ass, and cow,
was gently rolling along, seeing still a vacant place in
the vehicle, I advised my wife to go home with the two
youngest boys, whilst I went round by the wood of oaks
with Ernest and Fritz, to gather as many sweet acorns a8
we could find room for. We had still some empty sacks.
Ernest was accompanied by his monkey, who seldom left
him; and Fritz was on his dear onager, which he had ap-
propriated to himself, inasmuch as he had helped to take
and tame it, and indeed because he knew how to manage
it better than his brothers.

When we reached the oaks, Lightfoot was tied to a
bush, and we set actively to work to gather the acorns
that had dropped from the trees. While all were busily
employed, the monkey quitted its master’s shoulder, and
skipped unperceived into an adjoining bush. Presently
we heard loud cries of birds and flapping of wings, and
this assured us a sharp conflict was going on betwixt
master Knips and the inhabitants of the bushes. I dis-
patched Emest to reconnoitre. He went stoutly towards
the place, and in an instant we heard him exclaim, “Come
quickly, father! A fine heath-fowl’s nest, full of eggs;
Mr. Knips, as usual, wishes to make a meal of them ; the
hen and he are fighting for it; come quick, Fritz, and
take her; I am holding Mr. Greedy as well as I can.”

Fritz ran up directly, and in a few moments brought
250 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. —

out alive the male and female heath-fowl, both very beau-
tiful; the cock finely collared, similar to one he had
killed on a former occasion. I was rejoiced at this disco-
very, and helped my son to prevent their escape, by tying
their wings and feet, and holding them while he returned
to the bush for the eggs. And now Ernest came forward,
driving the monkey before him, and carrying his hat with
the utmost care: he had stuck his girdle full of narrow
sharp-pointed leaves, in shape like a knife-blade, which
reminded me of the production named sword-grass.
“ Here, father,” cried he, uncovering his hat, “are some
heath-fowl’s eggs. I found them in a nest so well con-
cealed under these long leaves, that I should not have
observed them had not the hen, in defending herself
against the monkey, scattered them about. I am going
to take them home, they will please my mother; and
these leaves will amuse Francis, for they are like swords,
and he will like them for a plaything.” I applauded
Ernest’s kind thought, and I encouraged him and Fritz
to be thus ever considerate for the absent. It was now
time to think of moving homeward: my two sons filled
the bags with acorns, and put them on Lightfoot. Fritz
mounted, Ernest carried the eggs, I took charge of the
hen, and we proceeded to Falcon’s Stream, followed by ‘
our train-waggon. When arrived, our first care was to
examine the eggs: the female bird was too frightened
and wild to sit upon them; fortunately we had a hen that
was hatching: her eggs were immediately removed, and
the new ones put in their place; the female heath-fowl
was put into the parrot’s cage, and hung up in the room,
to accustom it to our society. In less than three days
all the chickens were hatched; they kept close to their
foster-mother, and ate greedily a mixture of sweet acorns
bruised in milk, such as we gave our tame poultry ; as
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 251

they grew up I plucked out the large feathers of their
wings, lest they should naturally take flight; but they
and their real parent gradually became so domesticated,
that they daily accompanied our feathered stock in search
of food, and regularly came back at night to the roost I
had prepared for them, and in which this little new colony
of feathered beings seemed to delight.

CHAPTER XXII.

Flax ;—and the Rainy Season.

Francis for a short time was highiy amused with his
sword-leaves, and then, like all children, who are soon
tired of their toys, he grew weary of them, and they were
thrown aside. Fritz picked up some of them that were
quite soft and withered; holding up one which was
pliable as a riband—“ Francis,” said he, “you can make
whips of your sword-grass, and they will be of use in
driving your goats and sheep.” It had been lately
decided that it should be the business of Francis to lead
these to pasture. Fritz accordingly sat down to help him
to divide the leaves, and afterwards plait them into whip-
cords. As they were working, I saw with pleasure the
flexibility and strength of the bands: I examined them
more closely, and found they were composed of long fibres,
or filaments ; and this discovery led me to surmise that
this supposed sword-grass might be a very different thing,
and not improbably the flax-plant of New Zealand, called
by naturalists, Chlomidia, and by others Phormion. This
was a valuable discovery. I knew how much my wife
wished for the production, and that it was the article she
most felt the want of: I therefore hastened to communi-
cate the intelligence to her, and she expressed the liveliest
252 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

joy: “This,” said she, “is the most useful thing you have
found. If it indeed prove to be flax, I can make with it
stockings, shirts, clothes, thread, ropes ;—in short, I can
employ it in a great variety of ways.” Fritz and Jack
anxious to oblige their mother, immediately set off to
search for more of the leaves, and while waiting for their
return I conversed with my wife, who pointed out to me,
with all the animation and spirit of useful enterprise, the
various machinery I must contrive for spinning and weav-
ing her flax for the manufacture of cloths, with which she
said she should be able to equip us from head to foot. In
a quarter of an hour the boys came back; like true hus-
sars, they had foraged the woods, and heavily loaded their
eattle with the precious plant, which they threw at their
mother’s feet with joyful shouts. It was next proposed
that all should assist her in preparations for the work she
was to engage in, and previously in steeping the flax.

Fritz —How is flax prepared, father? and what is
meant by steeping it?

Father.—Steeping flax, or hemp, is exposing it in the
open air, by spreading it on the ground to receive the
rain, the wind, and the dew, in order in a certain degree
to liquefy the plant ; by this means the ligneous parts of
the flax are separated with more ease from the fibrous;
a kind of vegetable glue that binds them is dissolved, and
it can then be perfectly cleaned with great ease, and the
parts selected which are fit for spinning.

Fritz. —But may not the natural texture of this part
be destroyed by exposing it so long to wet P

Father —That certainly may happen when the process
is managed injudiciously, and the flax not duly turned;
the risk, however, is not great; the fibrous part has a
peculiar tenacity, which enables it to resist longer the
action of humidity: flax may be even steeped altogether
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 253

in water without injury. Many think this the best and
quickest method, and I am of their opinion.

My wife coincided with me, especially in the sultry
climate we inhabited: she therefore proposed to soak the
flax in Flamingo Marsh, and to begin by making up the
leaves in bundles, as they do hemp in Europe. We
agreed to her proposal, and joined in this previous and
necessary preparation of the flax during the rest of the day.

Next morning the ass was put to the small light car,
loaded with bundles of leaves ; Francis and the monkey
sat on them, and the remainder of the family gaily
followed with shovels and pickaxes. We stopped at the
marsh, divided our large bundles into smaller, which we
placed in the water, pressing them down with stones, and
leaving them in this state till it was time to remove and
set them in the sun to dry, and thus render the stem soft
and easy to peel. In the course of this work we noticed
with admiration the instinct of the flamingoes, in building
their cone-shaped nests above the level of the marsh, each
nest having a recess in the upper part, in which the eggs
are securely deposited, while the contrivance enables the
female to sit with her legs in the water: the nest is of
clay, closely cemented, so as to resist all danger from the
element till the young can swim.

In a fortnight we took the flax out of: the water, and
spread it on the grass in the sun, where it dried so rapidly,
that we were able to load it on our cart the same evening,
and carry it to Falcon’s Stream, where it was put by till
we had time to make the beetles, wheels, reels, carding-
combs, &c., required by our chief for the manufacture.
It was thought best to reserve this task for the rainy
season, and to employ our present time in collecting a
competent stock of provisions for ourselves and for all the
animals. Occasional slight showers, the harbingers of
254 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

winter, had already come on: the temperature, which
hitherto had been warm and serene, became gloomy and
variable ; the sky was often darkened with clouds, the
stormy winds were heard, and warned us to avail ourselves
of the favourable moment to get all that might be wanted
ready.

Our first care was to dig up a full supply of yams and
other roots for bread, with plenty of cocoa-nuts and some
bags of sweet acorns. It occurred to us, while digging,
that the ground being thus opened and manured with
the leaves of plants, we might sow in it to advantage the
‘remainder of our European corn. Notwithstanding all the
delicacies this stranger land afforded us, the force of habit
still caused us to long for the bread we had been fed
with from childhood ; we had not yet laid ourselves out
for regular tillage, and I was inclined to attempt the
construction of a plough of some sort as soon as we had
a sufficient stock of corn for sowing. For this time,
therefore, we committed it to the earth with little pre-
paration: the season, however, was proper for sowing
and planting, as the ensuing rain would moisten and
swell the embryo grain, which otherwise would perish in
an arid burning soil. We accordingly expedited the
planting of the various palm-trees we had discovered in
our excursions at Tent House, carefully selecting the
smallest and the youngest. In the environs we formed
a large handsome plantation of sugar-canes, so as to have
hereafter every thing useful and agreeable around us, and
thus be relieved from the usual toil and loss of time in
procuring them.

These different occupations kept us several weeks in
unremitted activity of mind and body; our cart was
incessantly in motion, conveying home our winter stock;
time was so precious, that we did not even make regular
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 255

meals, and limited ourselves to bread, cheese, and fruits,
in order to shorten them, to return quickly to our work,
and dispatch it before the bad season should set in.

Unfortunately, the weather changed sooner than we
had expected, and than, with all our care, we could be
prepared for: before we had completed our winter esta-
blishment, the rain fell in such heavy torrents, that I
could not refrain from painful apprehension in surmising
how we should resist such a body of water, that seemed -
to change the whole face of the country into a lake.

The first thing to be done was to remove our aerial
abode, and to fix our residence at the bottom of the tree,
between the roots and under the tarred roof I had erected ;
for it was no longer possible to remain above, on account
of the furious winds that threatened to bear us away, and
deluged our beds with rain through the large opening in
front, our only protection here being a piece of sail-cloth,
which was soon dripping wet and rent to pieces. In this
condition we were forced to take down our hammocks,
mattresses, and every article that could be injured by
the rain; and most fortunate did we deem ourselves in
having made the winding stairs, which sheltered us
during the operation of the removal. The stairs served
afterwards for a kind of lumber-room; we kept all in
it we could dispense with, and most of our culinary
vessels, which my wife fetched as she happened to want
them. Our little sheds between the roots, constructed
for the poultry and the cattle, could scarcely contain us
all; and the first days we passed in this manner were
painfully embarrassing, crowded all together, and hardly
able to move in these almost dark recesses, which the
fetid smell from the close adjoining animals rendered
almost insupportable: in addition, we were half stifled
with smoke whenever we kindled a fire, and drenched
256 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

with rain when we opened the doors. For the first time
since our disaster, we sighed for the comfortable houses
of our dear country :—but what was to be done? we
were not there, and losing our courage and our temper
would only increase the evil. I strove to raise the spirits
of my companions, and obviate some of the inconveniences.
The now doubly-precious winding stair was, as I have
said, every way useful to us; the upper part of it was
filled with numerous articles that gave us room below;
and as it was lighted and sheltered by windows, my
wife often worked there, seated on a stair, with her little
Francis at her feet. We confined our live stock to a
smaller number, and gave them a freer current of air,
dismissing from the stalls those animals that, from their
properties, and being natives of the country, would be at
no loss in providing for themselves. That we might not,
lose them altogether, we tied bells round their necks ;
Fritz and I sought and drove them in every evening that
they did not spontaneously return. We generally got
wet to the skin and chilled with cold during the employ-
ment, which induced my wife to contrive for us a kind of
clothing more suitable to the occasion: she took two
seamen’s shirts from the chest, and with some pieces of
old coats she made us a kind of cloth hood, joined together
at the back, and well formed for covering the head
entirely : we dissolved some elastic gum, which we spread
over the shirts and hoods ; and the articles thus prepared
answered every purpose of water-proof overalls, that were
of essential use and comfort to us.

As to the smoke, our only remedy was to open the
door when we made a fire; and we did without fire as
much as we could. Our dry wood was also nearly
expended, and we thanked Heaven the weather was not
very cold; for had this been the case, our other trials
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 257

would have much increased. The gloom of the at-
mosphere and our low windowless habitation sensibly
abridged our daylight ; fortunately we had laid in a huge
store of candles, and felt no want of that article: when
darkness obliged us to light up, we got round the table,
where a large taper fixed on a gourd gave us an excellent
light, which enabled my wife to pursue her occupation
with the needle, while I on my part was forming a journal,
and recording what the reader has perused of the narrative
of our shipwreck and residence in this island, assisted
from time to time by my sons and their admirable mother,
who did not cease to remind me of various incidents
belonging to the story.

The choice of a fresh abode now engrossed our atten-
tion, for it was unanimously resolved on, that we would
not pass another rainy season exposed to so many evils
and discomforts; even my gentle-tempered wife was
little ruffled now and then with the inconvenience of our
situation, and insisted more than any of us on the plan of
building elsewhere a more spacious winter residence;
she wished, however, to return, to our castle in the tree
every summer, and we all joined with her in that desire.
In the midst of consultation Fritz came forward triumph-
antly with a book he had found in the bottom of our
clothes-chest. “Here,” said he, “is our best counsellor
and model, Robinson Crusoe; since Heaven has destined
us toa similar fate, whom better can we consult ? As far
as I remember, he cut himself a habitation out of the solid
rock : let us see how he proceeded ; we will do the same, and
with greater ease, for he was alone; we are six in number,
and four of usable to work.” This idea of Fritz was hailed
by all. We assembled, and read the famous history with an
ardent interest ; it seemed, though so familiar, quite new to
us; we entered earnestly into every detail, and derived con-

8
258 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

siderable information from it, and never failed to feel lively
gratitude towards God, who had rescued us all together,
and not permitted one only of us to be cast, a solitary
being, on the island. The final result of our deliberations
wag, that as soon as the fine weather came on we should
survey the rocks round Tent House, and examine whether
any of them could be excavated for our purpose.

Our last work for the winter, undertaken at my wife’s
solicitation, was a beetle for her flax, and some carding
combs. I filed large nails till they were even, round, and
pointed : I fixed them at equal distances in a sheet of tin,
and raised the sides of it like a box; I then poured
melted lead between the nails and the sides, to give firm-
ness to their points, which came out four inches. I
nailed this tin on a board, and the machine was fit for
work. My wife was impatient to use it; and the drying, -
peeling, and spinning her flax became from this time a
source of inexhaustible delight.

CHAPTER XXIV.

Spring —Spinning—Salt Mine.

T caw hardly describe our joy, when, after many tedious
and gloomy weeks of rain the sky began to brighten, the
sun to dart its benign rays on the humid earth, the winds
to be lulled, and the state of the air became mild and
serene. We issued from our dreary hovels with joyful
shouts, and walked round our habitation breathing the
enlivening balmy ether, while our eyes were regaled with
the beauteous verdure beginning to shoot forth on every
side. We rapidly forgot in new sensations the em-
barrassments and weary hours of the wet season, and
with hopeful hearts, looked forward to the toils of summer
as enviable amusements.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 259

The vegetation of our plantation of trees was rapidly
advancing ; the seed we had thrown into the ground was
sprouting in slender blades that waved luxuriantly; a
pleasing tender foliage adorned the trees; the earth was
enamelled with an infinite variety of flowers, whose
agreeable tints diversified the verdure of the meadows.
Odorous exhalations were diffused through the atmo-
sphere ; the song of birds was heard around ; their various
forms and brilliant plumage heightened this delightful
picture of spring, and we were at once struck with wonder
and penetrated with gratitude towards the Creator of so
many beauties. Under these impressions we celebrated
the ensuing Sunday in the open air, and, if possible, with
stronger emotions of piety than heretofore. The blessings
which surrounded us were ample compensation for some
uneasy moments which had occasionally intervened ; and
our hearts, filled with fresh zeal, were resolved to be
resigned, if it should be the will of God to pass the
residue of our days in this solitude with serenity of
soul.

Our summer occupations commenced by arranging and
thoroughly cleaning Falcon’s Nest, the order and neat-
ness of which the rain and dead leaves blown by the
wind had disturbed; in other respects, however, it was
not injured, and in a few days we rendered it fit for our
reception; the stairs were cleared, the rooms between
the roots reoccupied, and we were left with leisure to
proceed to other employments. My wife lost not a
moment in resuming the process of her flax. Our sons
hastened to lead the cattle to the fresh pastures; whilst
it was my task to carry the bundles of flax into the open
air, where, by heaping stones together, I contrived an
oven sufficiently commodious to dry it well. The same
evening, we all set to work to peel, and afterwards to

8 2
260 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

beat it and strip off the bark ; and lastly to comb it with
my carding machine, which fully answered the purpose.
I took this laborious task on myself, and drew out such
distaffs full of long soft flax ready for spinning, that my
enraptured wife was at a loss how to express her thank-
fulness, and requested me to make her a wheel without
delay, that she might enter upon her favourite work. At
an early period of my life I had practised turnery for my
amusement ; now however, I was unfortunately destitute
of the requisite tools; but as I had not forgotten the
arrangement and component parts of a spinning-wheel
and reel, I by repeated endeavours found means to accom-
plish those two machines to her satisfaction.

Our first journey was to Tent House, and here we
found the ravages of winter more considerable than even
at Falcon’s Stream; the tempest and rain had beaten
down the tent, carried away a part of the sail-cloth, and
made such havoc among our provisions, that by far the
largest portion was spotted with mildew, and the remainder
could be only saved by drying them instantly. Luckily
our handsome pinnace had been for the most part spared ;
it was still at anchor, ready to serve us in case of need ;
but our tub-boat was in too shattered a state to be of any
further service.

In looking over the stores, we were grieved to find the
gunpowder, of which I had left three barrels in the tent,
the most damaged. The contents of two were rendered
wholly useless. I thought myself fortunate in finding
the remaining one in tolerable condition, and derived
from this great and irreparable loss a cogent motive to fix
upon winter quarters, where our stores would not be ex-
posed to such cruel dilapidations.

Fritz and Jack were constantly urging me to under-
take the excavation of the rock, but I had no hopes of
“THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 261

success. Robinson Crusoe found a spacious cavern that
merely required arrangement: no such cavity was ap-
parent in our rock, which bore the aspect of extreme
solidity and impenetrableness ; so that with our limited
powers, three or four summers would scarcely suffice to
execute the design. Still the earnest desire of a more
substantial habitation, to defend us from the elements,
perplexed me incessantly, and I resolved to make at least
the attempt of cutting out a recess that should protect
the gunpowder, the most valuable of all our treasures. I
accordingly set off one day, accompanied by my two boys,
leaving their mother at her spinning, with Ernest and
Francis. We took with us pick-axes, chisels, hammers,
and iron levers, to try what impression we could make on
the rock. I chose a part nearly perpendicular, and much
better situated than our tent: the view from it was en-
chanting ; for it embraced the whole range of Safety Bay,
the banks of Jackal’s Stream, and Family Bridge, and
many of the picturesque projections of the rocks. I
marked out with charcoal the opening we wished to make,
and we began the heavy toil of piercing the quarry. We
made so little progress the first day, that, in spite of our
courage, we were tempted to relinquish the undertaking ;
we persevered, however, and my hope was somewhat re-
vived as I perceived the stone was of a softer texture as we
penetrated deeper: I concluded from this, that the ardent
rays of the sun striking upon the rock had hardened the
external layer, and that the stone within would increase in
softness as we advanced; and it occurred to me, that the
substance might be a species of calcareous stone. When
T had cut about a foot in depth, we could loosen it with
a spade like dried mud; this determined me to proceed
with double ardour, and my boys assisted me with spirit
and zeal.
262 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

After a few days of assiduous labour, we measured the
opening, and found we had already advanced seven feet
into the rock. Fritz removed the fragments in a barrow,
and discharged them in a line before the place, to form a
sort of terrace; I applied my own labour to the upper
part, to enlarge the aperture; Jack, the smallest of the
three, was able to get in and cut away below. He had
with him a long iron bar sharpened at the end, which he
drove in with a hammer, to loosen a piece at a time; sud-
denly he cried out, “ It is pierced through, father! Fritz, I
have pierced it through!”

“Hah, bah, master Jack at his jokes again !—But
let us hear, what have you pierced? Is it the moun-
tain? Not peradventure your hand or foot, Jack ?”
cried I.

Jack.—No, no, it is the mountain; huzza, huzza! I.
have pierced the mountain!

Fritz now ran to him. “Come, let us see then: it is
no doubt the globe at least you have pierced,” said he, in
a bantering tone: “ you should have pushed on your tool
boldly, till you reached Europe, which they say is under
our feet; I should have been glad to peep into that
hole.”

Jack.—Well, then, peep you may, but I hardly know
what you will see; come and look how far the iron is
gone in, and tell me if it is all my boasting.

“ Come hither, father,” said Fritz, “ this is really extra-
ordinary: his iron bar seems to have got into a hollow
place ; see, it can be moved in every direction.” TI ap-
proached, thinking the incident worth attention. I took
hold of the bar, which was still in the rock, and working
it about, I made a sufficient aperture for one of my sons
to pass, and I observed that in reality the rubbish fell
within the cavity, which I judged from the falling of the
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 263

stones, was not much deeper than the part we stood on.
My two lads offered to go in together and examine it:
this, however, I forbade. I even made them remove from
the opening, as I smelled the mephitic air that issued
abundantly from it, and began myself to feel giddiness in
consequence of having gone too near; so that I was
compelled to withdraw quickly, and inhale a purer air.
“ Beware, my dear children,” said I, in terror, “ of entering
such places, for the Joss of life might be the conse-
quence.”

Jack.—How can that be, father P

Father —Because the air is mephitic, that is, foul, and
therefore unfit for breathing in.

Jack.—How does air become mephitic ?

Father —In different ways: for example, when it is re-
plete with noxious vapours, or when it contains too many
igneous, or inflammable particles, or when it is too heavy
or dense, as fixed air is; but in general, when it merely
loses its elasticity, it no longer passes freely into the lungs ;
respiration is then stopped, and suffocation speedily en-
sues, because air is indispensable to life and the circula-
tion of the blood.

Jack.—Then all to be done is, to be off quickly when
one feels the stoppage of breath.

Father.—This is certainly the natural course, when it
can be taken; but the attack usually begins by a vertigo
or dizziness of the head, so violent as to intercept motion,
which is followed by an insurmountable oppression;
efforts are made to breathe, fainting follows, and, without
speedy help, a sudden death takes place.

Fritz —What assistance can be administered ?

Father.—The first thing to be done is to remove the
person so affected to pure fresh air, and to throw cold
water over his body ; he must then be well dried, and after-
264 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

wards rubbed with warm cloths ; vital air must be infused,
or tobacco-smoke thrown up ;—in short, he must be treated
like a drowned person till signs of re-animation appear,
which is not always the result.

Fritz—But why do you think, father, the air in this
cayern is mephitic, as you term it, or dangerous to breathe
in?

Father.—All air confined and wholly separated from
that of the atmosphere, gradually loses its elasticity, and
ean no longer pass through the lungs; in this state it.
generates injurious qualities that interrupt the process of
respiration. It is in this act that the atmospheric air
diffused around us unites intimately with the blood, to
which it communicates one of its most essential parts,
called vital’ air, for without it life cannot be supported.
This air failing, respiration ceases, and death succeeds ina .
few minutes: the consequence is similar when this air is
impregnated too abundantly with injurious parts.

Fritz—And by what is good air known? How judge
that one may respire freely at a few paces from this
mephitic cave ?

Father.—This becomes evident when inspiration and
expiration are performed with ease; besides, there is an
infallible test; fire does not burn in foul air, yet it is
made the means of correcting it. We must light a fire
of sufficient strength in this hole to purify the air within,
and render it friendly to respiration: at first the bad air
will extinguish the fire, but by degrees the fire in its
turn will expel the bad air and burn freely.

The boys now hastened to gather some dry moss, which
they made into bundles: they then struck a light and set
fire to them, and threw the moss blazing into the opening;
but, as I had described, the fire was extinguished at the
very entrance, thus proving that the air within was highly
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 265

mephitic. I now saw that it was to be rarefied by ano-
ther and more effectual method; I recoliected that we
had brought from the vessel a chest that was full of gre-
nades, rockets, and other fireworks, which had been shipped
for the purpose of making signals, as well as for amuse-
ment. I sought it hastily, and took some of these, toge-
ther with an iron mortar for throwing ; out of it I laid a
train of gunpowder, and set fire to the end which reached
to where we stood: a general explosion took place, and
an awful report reverberated through the dark recess ; the
lighted grenades flew about on all sides like brilliant me-
teors, rebounding and bursting with a terrific sound.
- We then sent in the rockets, which had also a full effect.
They hissed in the cavity like flying dragons, disclosing to
our astonished view its vast extent. We beheld too, as
we thought, numerous dazzling bodies that sparkled sud-
denly, as if by magic, and disappeared with the rapidity
of lightning, leaving the place in total darkness. A squib
bursting in the form of a star, presented a spectacle we
wished to be prolonged. On this separating, a crowd of
little winged genii came forth, each holding a small lighted
lamp, and the whole fiuttering in every direction with a
thousand varied reverberations: every thing in the cavern
shone brilliantly, and offered instantly a truly enchanting
sight; but they dropped in succession, fell to the ground
without noise, and vanished like wthereal spirits.

After having played off our fireworks, I tried lighted
straw; to our great satisfaction, the bundles thrown in
were entirely consumed; we could then reasonably hope
nothing was to be feared from the air; but there still re-
mained the danger of plunging into some abyss, or of
meeting with a body of water. From these considerations,
I deemed it more prudent to defer our entrance into this
unknown recess till we had lights to guide us through it.
266 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

I dispatched Jack on the buffalo to Falcon’s Stream, to
tell his mother and brothers of our discovery, directing
him to return with them, and bring all the tapers that
were left: my intention was to tie them together to the
end of a stick, and proceed with it lighted to examine the
cavity. I had not sent Jack on this embassy without a
meaning; the boy possessed from nature a lively imagina-
tion; I knew he would tell his mother such wonders of
the enchanted grotto, of the fireworks, and all they had
brought to our view, that he would induce her to accom-
pany him without delay, and bring us lights to penetrate
the obscure sanctuary.

In three or four hours he returned to us accompanied
by his mother and two youngest brothers. I immediately
lighted some of the tapers; but not together, as I had in-
tended: I preferred each taking one in his right hand,
an implement in his left, another taper in his pocket, flint
and steel; and thus we entered the rock in solemn pro-
cession. The interest and curiosity we felt were not un-
alloyed with apprehensions; and we felt that sort of fear
which an unknown object is apt to excite; even our dogs,
that accompanied us, betrayed some timidity, and did not
run before, as usual; but we had scarcely advanced four
paces within the grotto, when all was changed to more
than admiration and surprise. The most beautiful and
magnificent spectacle presented itself. The sides of the
cavern sparkled like diamonds, the light from our six
tapers was reflected from all parts, and had the effect of a
grand illumination. Innumerable crystals of every length
and shape hung from the top of the vault; which, uniting
with those of the sides, formed pillars, altars, entablatures,
and a variety of other figures, composing the most splendid
masses. In some places, all the colours of the prism were
emitted from the angles of the crystals, and gave them
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 267

the appearance of the finest precious stones. The waving
of the lights, their bright coruscations, dark points here
and there intervening, the dazzling lustre of others—the
whole, in short, delighted and enchanted the sight and
the fancy.

The astonishment of my family was so great as to be
almost ludicrous; they were all in a kind of dumb stupor,
half imagining it was a dream. For my own part, I had
seen stalactites, and read the description of ‘the famous
grotto of Antiparos; my sensations, therefore, were not
the same. The bottom was level, covered with a white
and very find sand, as if purposely strewed, and so dry,
that I could not see the least mark of humidity any where.
All this led me to hope the spot would be healthy, conve-
nient, and eligible for our proposed residence. I now
formed a particular conjecture as to the nature of the
crystallizations shooting out on all sides, and especially
from the arch-roof. They could scarcely be of that spe-
cies of rock-crystals produced by the slow filtering of
water falling in drops, and coagulating in succession, and
seldom found in excavations exhibiting so dry a nature,
nor even with so many of the crystals perpendicular and
perfectly smooth. I was impatient to evince the truth or
falsehood of this idea by an experiment, and discovered
with great joy, on breaking a portion of one of them,
that I was in a grotto of sal-gem’, that is, fossil, or rock

1 Sal-gem. A name given toa kind of salt, harder than common
salt, and which sometimes has the transparency and colour of precious
stones. It is found invariably in the same soil as gypsum, in the
neighbourhood of which, constant observation has proved it to be never
wanting ; and even the strata of salt and gypsum frequently alternate.
The sal-gem forms itself sometimes into large undivided beds, sometimes
it runs in large detached cubes, behind beds of clay and rock. The
tmaines (I may say the quarries) of sal-gem are found et every height,
and now and then on a level with the plains. In all parts of the known
268 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

salt, found in the earth in solid crystallized masses, gene-
rally above a bed of spar or gypsum', and surrounded by
layers of fossils or rock. The discovery of this fact, which
no longer admitted a doubt, pleased us all exceedingly.
The shape of the crystals, their little solidity, and finally
their saline taste, were decisive evidences.

How highly advantageous to us and our cattle was this
superabundance of salt, pure and ready to be shovelled
out for use, and preferable in all respects to what’ we
collected on the shore, which required to be refined! As
we advanced in the grotto, remarkable figures, formed by
the saline matter, every where presented themselves;
columns reaching from the bottom to the top of the vault
appeared to sustain it, and some even had cornices and
capitals: here and there undulating masses, which at cer-
tain distances resembled the sea.

We viewed with unwearied curiosity this repository of

world, no production of nature is more abundant than salt. Most of
the sal-gem mines in Spain and England are of several hundred feet ex-
tent. The town of Cardona, in Spain, is situated at the foot of a rock
of solid salt, rising almost perpendicular to the height of four or five
hundred feet, without interstice, fissure, or separate layer. This im-
mense mass of salt is about a league in circuit; its depth, and conse-
quently the bed on which it rests, is unknown. From top to bottom
the salt is of the purest white, or of a high transparent blue. This pro-
digious mountain of salt, quite free from gypsum, and other extraneous
matter, is the only one of the kind in Europe. In the county of
Chester, in England, near the Irish Sea, is a very extensive mine of sal-
gem behind a ledge of rock ; and, after having worked through twenty-
five feet of salt, in several places of a fine deep red, from twelve to
fifteen feet of rock again appeared, and salt under that; a fact which
destroys the hypothesis of sal-gem being produced from saline lakes
’ dried up.— Dictionary of Natural History.

! Gypsum. A mineral substance composed of chalk and sulphureous
acid: in strictness, it may be considered as a neutral salt; but being
soluble only in a small degree, and having the external character of
stone, mineralogists class it as a stony substance.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 269

wonders, and we all had lighted our second taper, when I
observed on the ground in some places a number of crystal
fragments that seemed to have fallen off from the upper
part. Such a separation might recur, and expose us to
danger: a piece falling on any of our heads might prove
instantly fatal. But, on closer inspection, I was con-
vinced they had not dropped of themselves spontaneously ;
the whole mass was too solid for fragments of that size to
have been so detached from it; and, had dampness
loosened them, they would have dissolved gradually ; I
concluded they were broken off by the concussion caused.
by the explosion of our artillery and fireworks, and I
thought it prudent to retire, as other loosened pieces
might unexpectedly fall on us. I directed my wife and
three of the children to place themselves in the entrance,
while Fritz and I carefully examined every part that
threatened danger. We loaded our guns with ball, and
fired them into the centre of the cavern, to be more fully
assured of what produced the separation of the former
pieces; one or two more fell; the rest remained immov-
able, though we went round with long poles, and struck
all we could reach. We at length felt confident that in
point of solidity there was nothing to fear, and that we
might proceed without dread of accident. Loud acclama-
tions, projects, consultations, now succeeded to our mute
astonishment! Many schemes were formed for converting
this magnificent grotto into ® convenient and agreeable
mansion for our abode. We had possession of the most
eligible premises: the sole business was to turn them to
the best account ; and how to e ect this was our unceas-
ing theme: some voted for our immediate establishment
there, but they were opposed by more sagacious counsel,
and it was resolved that Falcon’s Stream should still be
our head-quarters till the end of the year.
270 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

CHAPTER XXV.
House in the Salé Rock——New Discoveries.

Tue lucky discovery of a previously existing cavern in
the rock had, as must be supposed, considerably lessened
our labour; excavation was no longer requisite: I had
more room than was wanted for the construction of our
dwelling: to render it habitable was the present object,
and to do this did not seem a difficult task. The upper
bed of the rock, in front of the cavern, through which my
little Jack had dug so easily, was of a soft nature, and to
be worked with moderate effort. I hoped also, that
being now exposed to the air, and heat of the sun, it would
become by degrees as hard and compact as the first layer
that had given me so much trouble. From this consider-_
ation I began, while it retained its soft state, to make
openings for the doors and windows of the front. This I
regulated by the measurement of those I had fixed in my
winding staircase, which I had removed for the purpose
of placing them in our winter tenement. Intending
Falcon’s Nest in future as a rural retreat for the hottest
days in summer, the windows of the staircase became
unnecessary: and as to the door, I preferred making one
of bark similar to that of the tree itself, as it would the
better conceal our abode, should we at any time experience
invasion from savages or other enemies; the door and
windows were therefore taken to Tent House, to be here-
after fixed in the rock. I took care not to break the stone
taken from the apertures, or at least to preserve it in
large pieces, and these I cut with the saw and chisel into
oblongs an inch and a half in thickness, to serve as tiles.
I laid them in the sun, and was gratified in seeing they
hardened quickly; I then removed them, and my sons
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 271

placed them in order against the side of the rock, till they
were wanted for our internal arrangements.

When I could enter the cavern freely with a good door-
way, and it was sufficiently lighted by the windows, I
erected a partition, for the distribution of our apartments
and other conveniences. The extent of the place afforded
ample room for my design, and even allowed me to leave
several spaces in which salt and other articles could be
stored. At the request of my children, I was cautious to
injure as little as possible the natural embellishments of
this new family mansion: but with all my care I could
not avoid demolishing them in the division allotted to the
stables: cattle are fond of salt, and would not have failed
to eat away these ornaments, and perhaps in a prejudicial
quantity ; however, to gratify and reward my obedient
children, I preserved the finest of the pillars, and the
most beautiful pieces to decorate our saloon. [I laid out
the interior in the following manner :—A very consider-
able space was first partitioned off in two divisions: the
one on the right was appropriated to our residence; that
on the left was to contain the kitchen, stables, and work-
room. At the end of the second division, where windows
could not be placed, the cellar and store-room were to be
formed; the whole separated by partition-boards, with
doors of communication, so as to give us a pleasant and
comfortable abode.

The side we designed to lodge in was divided into three
apartments ; the first, next the door, was the bed-room
for my wife and me, the second s dining-parlour, and the
last a bed-room for the boys: as we had only three win-
dows, we put one in each sleeping-room: the third was
fixed in the kitchen, where my wife would often be. A
grating for the present fell to the lot of our dining-room,
which when too cold was to be exchanged for one of the
272 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

other apartments. I contrived a good fire-place in the
kitchen near the window ; I pierced the rock a little above,
and four planks nailed together, and passing through this
opening, answered the purpose of a chimney. We made
the work-room near the kitchen, of sufficient dimensions
for the performance of undertakings of some magnitude ;
it served also to keep our cart and sledge in: lastly, the
stables, which were formed into four compartments, to
separate the different species of animals, occupied all the
bottom of the cavern on this side; on the other were the -
cellar and magazine. ,

It is readily imagined, that a plan of this extent was
not to be executed as if by enchantment, and that we
satisfied ourselves in the first instance with doing what
was most urgent, reserving the residue for winter; yet
every day forwarded the business more than we had been -
aware of. On every excursion, we brought something
from Falcon’s Stream, that found its place in the new
house, where we deposited likewise, in safety, the remain-
ing provisions from the tent. The long stay we made at
Tent House, during these employments, furnished us an
opportunity of perceiving several advantages we had not
reckoned upon. Immense turtles were often seen on the
shore, where they deposited their eggs in the sand, and
they regaled us with a rich treat; but extending our
wishes, we thought of getting possession of the turtles
themselves for live stock, and of feasting on them when-
ever we pleased. As soon as we saw one on the sands,
one of my boys was dispatched to cut off his retreat ;
meanwhile we approached the animal, and quietly, without
doing it any injury, turned it on its back, then passed a
long cord through the shell, and tied the end of it to a
stake, which we fixed close to the edge of the water.
This done, we set the prisoner on his legs again; it
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 273

hastened into the sea, but could not go beyond the end of
the cord; apparently it was all the happier, finding food
with more facility along shore than out at sea; and
we enjoyed the idea of being able to take it when wanted.

A number of sea-dogs too came into Safety Bay, and
ascended the river in search of prey. This fish presents
no attraction to the palate, but its skin, tanned and
dressed, makes excellent leather. I was in great need of
it for straps and harness, to make saddles for Fritz and
Jack to ride the onager and buffalo, and in short for our
own use to cut up into soles, belts, and pantaloons, of
which articles we much wanted a fresh supply: besides,
I knew the fat yielded good lamp-oil, that might be sub-
stituted for tapers in the long evenings of winter; and
that it would be further useful in tanning and rendering
the leather pliant.

We had the good fortune to be again successful, and
in a short time we secured a sufficient number of them,
and carefully preserved the fat, of which we collected a
large quantity ; it was first put into a copper, melted and
cleansed properly, then poured into casks, and kept for
the tan-house and lamp. When time should allow, I pro-
posed making soap with it, and this design excited my
wife’s zeal in the unpleasant though ultimately useful
task we were engaged in. We also took care of the
bladders, which are very large, for the purpose of holding
liquids; the remaining parts, that could not be turned to
account were thrown into the river.

At this time I likewise made some improvements in
our sledge, to facilitate the carrying of stores from Falcon’s
Stream to our dwelling in the rock at Tent House. I
raised it on two beams, on axle-trees, at the extremities
of which I put on the four gun-carriage wheels I had
taken off the cannon from the vessel: by this alteration I

v
274 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

obtained a light and convenient vehicle, of moderate height,
on which boxes and casks could be placed. Pleased with
the operations of the week, we set out all together with
cheerful hearts for Falcon’s Stream, to pass our Sunday
there, and once more offer our pious thanks to the
Almighty, for all the benefits he had bestowed upon us.

The enterprise of our dwelling went on, sometimes as
- @ principal, sometimes as an intermediate occupation,
according to the greater or less importance of other con-
cerns; but though we advanced thus with moderate
rapidity, the progress was such as to afford the hope of
our being settled within it by the time of the rainy season.

From the moment I discovered gypsum to be the basis
of the crystal salt in our grotto, I foresaw some great _
advantages I should derive from it ; but to avoid enlarging
the dimensions of our house by digging further, I tried .
to find a place in the continuation of the rock, which I
might be able to blow up; I had soon the good fortune
to meet with a narrow slip between the projections of the
rock, which I could easily, by the means I proposed, con-
vert into a passage that should terminate in our work-room.
I found also on the ground a quantity of fragments of
gypsum, and removed a great number of them. to the
kitchen, where we did not fail to bake a few of the pieces
at a time when we made a fire for cooking, which, thus
calcined, rubbed into a powder when cold ; we obtained a
considerable quantity of it, which I put carefully into
casks for use, when the time should come for finishing
the interior of our dwelling. My notion was to form the
walls, for separating the apartments, of the squares of
stone I had already provided, and to unite them together
with a cement of this new ingredient, which would be the
means, both of sparing the timber, and increasing the
beauty and solidity of the work.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 275

About a month after the visit of the sea-dogs, we
received another, and not a less profitable one, from a fish
of a different species: we observed Safety Bay to be filled
with large fishes, which seemed eager to push to the shore,
for the purpose of depositing their eggs among the stones
in fresh water. I distinguished the largest to resemble
sturgeons, a fish found in higher latitudes, while the
smallest I pronounced to be salmon. We were all more
or less successful, and captured a considerable quantity of
the fish, although, from their size and strength, we had
great difficulty in securing them.

On this occasion we had to lament the loss of our tub-
boat, with which we could have pursued the creatures in
the water, and have been spared much pains and difficulty ;
but, on the other hand, such numbers of fishes presented
themselves at the mouth of the river, that we had only to
choose among them. Fritz with his harpoon struck a
sturgeon at least eight feet in length, and the skill and
strength of our whole company were found necessary to
conduct him safe to shore. ;

Our first concern was to clean our fish thoroughly
inside, to preserve them fresh the longer. I separated the
eggs I found in them, and which could not be less than
thirty pounds, and put them aside to make a dish called
caviare, greatly relished by the Russians and the Dutch.
I took care also of the bladders, thinking it might be
possible to make a glue of them, which would be useful
for many purposes. I advised my wife to boil some of
the salmon in oil, similar to the manner of preparing the
tunny fish in the Mediterranean: and while she was
engaged in this process, I was at work upon the caviare
and the glue. For the first, I washed the berries in
several waters, and then pressed them closely in gourd-
rinds, in which a number of holes had been bored. When

r2
276 TILE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the water had run off, the berries were taken out in a
substance like cheese, which was then conveyed to the hut
to be dried and smoked. For the second, we cut the
bladders into strips, which we fastened firmly by one end
to a stake, and taking hold of the other with a pair of
pincers, we turned them round and round till the strip
was reduced to a kind of knot, and these were then placed
in the sun to harden; this being the simple and only
preparation necessary for obtaining glue from the ingre-
dient. When thoroughly dry, a small quantity is put on
a slow fire to melt. We succeeded so well, and our glue
was of so,transparent a quality, that I could not help
feeling the desire to manufacture some pieces large enough
for panes to a window-frame.

‘When these various concerns were complete, we began
to meditate a plan for constructing a small boat as a sub-.
stitute for the tub-raft, to come close in to shore. I
had a great desire to make it, as the savages do, of the
rind of a tree; but the difficulty was to fix on one of
sufficient bulk for my purpose ; for though many were to
be found in our vicinity, yet each was on some accqunt or
other of too much value to be spared. We therefore
resolved to make a little excursion in search of a tree of
capacious dimensions, and in a situation where it was not
likely to yield us fruit, to refresh us with its shade, or to
adorn the landscape round our dwelling.

In this expedition we as usual aimed at more than one
object: eager as we were for new discoveries, we yet
allowed ourselves time to visit our different plantations
and stores at Falcon’s Stream. We were also desirous to
secure a new supply of the wax berry, of gourds, and of
elastic gum. Our kitchen garden at Tent House was in
a flourishing condition ; nothing could exceed the luxu-
riance of the vegetation, and, almost without the trouble
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 277

of cultivation, we had excellent roots and plants in
abundance, which came in succession, and promised a rich
supply of peas, beans of all sorts, lettuces, &c. We had,
besides, melons and cucumbers in great plenty, which,
during the hottest weather, we valued more than all the
rest. We reaped a considerable quantity of Turkey wheat
from the seed we had sown, and some of the ears were a
foot in length. Our sugar-canes were also in the most
prosperous condition, and one plantation of pine-apples
on the high ground was also in progress to reward our
labour with abundance of that delicious fruit.

This state of general prosperity at Tent House gave us
the most flattering expectations from our nurseries at
Falcon’s Stream. Full of these hopes, we all set out
together one day for our somewhat neglected former
abode.

We arrived at Falcon’s Stream, where we intended to
pass the night. We visited the ground my wife had so
plentifully sowed with grain, which had sprung up with
an almost incredible rapidity and luxuriance, and was now
nearly ready for reaping. We cut down what was fairly
ripe, bound it together in bundles, and conveyed it to a
place where it would be secure from the attacks of more
expert grain consumers than ourselves, of which thou-
sands hovered round the booty. We reaped barley,
wheat, rye, oats, pease, millet, lentils,—only a small quan-
tity of each, it is true, but sufficient to enable us to sow
again plentifully at the proper season. The plant that
had yielded the most was maize, a proof that it best loved
the soil. It had already shown itself in abundance in
our garden at Tent House: but here there was a surface
of land, the size of an ordinary field, entirely covered
with its splendid golden ears, which still more than the
other plants attracted the voracity of the feathered race,
278 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

The moment we drew near, at least a dozen large bust-
ards sprang up with a loud rustling noise, which awakened
the attention of the dogs: they plunged into the thickest
parts, and routed numerous flocks of birds of all kinds
and sizes, who took hastily to flight: among the fugitives
were some quails, who escaped by running; and lastly,
some kangaroos, whose prodigious leaps enabled them to
elude the pursuit of the dogs.

The day was employed in picking the grains of the
different sorts of corn from the stalks; we put what we
wished to keep for sowing into some gourd-shells, and
the Turkey wheat was laid carefully aside in sheaves till
we should have time to beat and separate it. Fritz ob-
served that we should also want to grind it; and I re-
minded him of the hand-mill we had secured from our
departed ally the wrecked vessel.

Fritz.— But, father, the hand-mill is so small, and so
subject to be put out of order:—why should we not con-
trive a water-mill, as they do in Europe? We have
surely rapid streams of water in abundance.

Father.—This is true; but such a mechanism is more
difficult than you imagine. The wheel alone, I conceive,
would be an undertaking far beyond our strength or our
capacity. I am, however, well pleased with the activity
and zeal which prompted your idea; and we will hereafter
consider whether it may be worth while to bestow upon
it further attention. We have abundance of time before
us, for we shall not want a water-mill till our harvests
are such as to produce plentiful crops of corn. In the
mean time, let us be thinking of our proposed excursion
for to-morrow; for we should set out at least by sunrise.

We began our preparations accordingly. My wife
chose some hens and two fine cocks, with the intention of
taking them with us, and leaving them at large to pro-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 279

duce a colony of their species ata considerable distance
from our dwelling-places: I, with the same view, visited
our beasts, and selected four young pigs, four sheep, two
kids, and one male of each species ; our numbers having
so much increased that we could well afford to spare these
individuals for the experiment. If we succeeded in
thus accustoming them to the natural temperature and
productions of our island, we should haye eased ourselves
of the burden of their support, and should always be able
to find them at pleasure.

The next morning, after loading the cart with all things
necessary, not forgetting the rope ladder and portable
tent, we quitted Falcon’s Stream. The animals, with
their legs tied, were all stationed in the vehicle. We
left abundance of food for those that remained behind :
the cow, the ass, and the buffalo were harnessed to the
cart; and Fritz, mounted on the onager, pranced along
before us, to ascertain the best and smoothest path for
the cavalcade.

We took this time a new direction, which was straight
forward between the rocks and the shore, that we might
make ourselves acquainted with every thing contained in
the island we seemed destined for ever to inhabit. In
effect, the line proceeding from Falcon’s Stream to Safety
Bay might be said to be the extent of our dominions: for
as to the adjacent exquisite country of the buffaloes, Fritz
and I had discovered that the passage to it by the end of
the rocks was so dangerous, and at so great a distance, that
we could not hope to domiciliate ourselves upon its soil,
as we had done on our side of the rocks. We found, as
usual, much difficulty in pushing through the tall tough
grass, and alternately through the thick prickly bushes
which every where obtruded themselves. We were often
obliged to turn aside, while I cut a passage with my
280 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

hatchet: but these accidents seldom failed to reward my
toil by the discovery of different small additions to our
general comfort; among others, some roots of trees
curved by nature, to serve both for saddles and yokes for
our beasts of burden. I took care to secure several, and
put them in the cart.

In about an hour we found ourselves at the extremity
of the wood, and a most singular phenomenon presented
itself to our view: a small plain, or rather a grove of low
bushes, to appearance almost covered with flakes of snow,
lay extended before us. Little Francis was the first to
call our attention to it, he being seated in the cart.
“ Look, father,” cried he, “here is a place full of snow ;
let me get down and make some snow-balls.” I could
not resist a hearty laugh, though myself completely at a
loss to explain the nature of what in colour and appear-
ance bore sonear a resemblance to it. Suddenly, however,
@ suspicion crossed my mind, and was soon confirmed by
Fritz, who had gone forward on his onager, and now re-
turned with one hand filled with tufts of a most excellent
species of cotton, so that the whole surface of low bushes
was in reality a plantation of that valuable article. This
most useful of almost the whole range of vegetable pro-
ductions bestowed by Providence on man, which, with
the cost of only a little labour, supplies him with apparel,
and commodious beds for the repose of his limbs, is found
in such abundance in these parts, that I had been sur-
prised at not meeting with any before. The pods had
burst from ripeness, and the winds had. scattered around
their flaky contents; the ground was strewed with them,
they had gathered in tufts on the bushes, and they
floated gently in the air. ,

This was a most useful discovery, and occasioned much
Joy to all, especially to the good mother, who spoke with
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 281

delight of all the comfortable things she should make for
us, could I but construct a spinning-wheel, and then a
loom for weaving. We collected as much cotton as our
bags would hold, and my wife filled her pockets with the
seed, to raise it in our garden at Tent House.

It was now time to proceed; and we took a direction
towards a point of land which skirted the wood of gourds,
and being high commanded a view of the adjacent
country. I conceived a wish to remove our establish-
ment to the vicinity of the cotton plantation and the
gourd wood, which furnished so many of the utensils for
daily use throughout the family. I even thought it might
be practicable to erect a sort of farm-house on the soil,
which we might visit occasionally, and be welcomed by
the agreeable sounds of the cackling of our feathered
subjects, which would so forcibly remind us of the cus-
toms of our forsaken but ever-cherished country.

We accordingly soon reached the high ground, which I
found in all respects favourable to my design; behind, a
thick forest gradually rose above us, which sheltered us
from the north wind, and insensibly declined towards the
south, ending in a plain, clothed luxuriantly with grass,
shrubs, and plants, and watered by a refreshing rivulet,
which was an incalculable advantage for our animals of
every kind, as well as for ourselves.

My plan for a building was approved by ail, and we
lost no time in pitching our tent, and forming temporary
accommodations for the night. When we had refreshed
ourselves with a meal, I resolved to look about in all
directions, that I might completely understand what we
should have to depend upon in this place, in point of
safety, salubrity, and general accommodation. I had
also to find a tree that would suit for the proposed con-
struction of a boat; and lastly, to meet, if possible, with
282 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

a group of trees, at such fit distances from each other as
would assist me in my plan of erecting a farm-house. I
was fortunate enough in no long time to find in this last
respect exactly what I wanted, and quite near to the
spot we on many accounts had felt to be so enviable. I
returned to my companions, whom I found busily em-
ployed in preparing excellent beds of the cotton, upon
which, at an earlier hour than usual, we all retired to
rest.

CHAPTER XXVI.

Completion of two Farm-Houses.—A Lake—The Beast
with @ Bill—A Boat.

Tue trees that I had chosen for the construction of my -
farm-house embellishments were for the most part one
foot in diameter in the trunk; they presented the form
of a tolerably regular parallelogram, with its longest side
to the sea, the length twenty-four feet, and the breadth
sixteen. I cut little hollow places or mortises in the
trunks, at the distance of ten feet, one above the other,
to form two stories. The upper one I made a few inches
shorter before than behind, that the roof might be in
some degree shelving ; I then inserted beams five inches
in diameter respectively in the mortises, and thus formed
the skeleton of my building. We next nailed some laths
from tree to tree, at equal distances from each other, to
form the roof, and placed on them, in mathematical order,
a covering composed of pieces of the bark of trees, cut
into the shape of tiles, and in a sloping position, for the
rain to ruo off in the wet season. As we had no
great provision of iron nails, we used for the purpose the
strong pointed thorn of the acacia, which we had dis-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 283

covered the day before. We cut down a quantity of
them, and laid them in the sun to dry, when they
became as hard as iron, and were of essential service
to our undertaking. We found great difficulty in peel-
ing off a sufficient quantity of bark from trees to cover
our roof. I began with cutting the bark entirely round
at distances of about two feet all the length of the trunk ;
I next divided the intervals perpendicularly into two
parts, which I separated from the tree by sliding a wedge
under the corners, to raise the bark by degrees ; I next
placed the pieces on the ground, with stones laid on them
to prevent their curving, to dry in the sun ; and lastly, I
nailed them on the roof, where they had the appearance
of fishes’ scales—an effect that was not only pleasing to
the eye, but reminded us of the roofs in our native land.
On this occasion we made another agreeable discovery :
my wife took up the remaining chips of the bark for
lighting a fire, supposing they would burn easily; we
were surprised by a delicious aromatic odour, which per-
fumed the air. On examining the half-consumed sub-
stance, we found some of the pieces to contain turpentine,
and others gum-mastich, so that we might rely on a sup-
ply of these ingredients from the trees which had fur-
nished the bark. It was less with a view to the gratify-
ing our sense of smelling, than with the hope of being
able to secure these valuable drugs for making a sort of
pitch to complete our meditated boat, that we indulged
our earnestness in the pursuit. The instinct of our
goats, or the acuteness of their smell, discovered for us
another pleasing acquisition: we observed, with surprise,
that they ran from a distance to roll themselves on some
chips of a particular bark which lay on the ground, and
which they began to chew and eat greedily. Jack seized
& piece also, to find out what could be the reason of so
284 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. -

marked a preference as the goats had shown. My wife and
I then followed his example, and we were all convinced
that the chips were cinnamon, though not so fine a sort
as that from the isle of Ceylon.

After our next meal we resumed with ardour our un-
dertaking of the farm-house, which we continued without
interruption for several days. We formed the walls with
matted reeds interwoven with pliant laths to the height
of six feet: the remaining space to the roof was enclosed
with only a simple grating, that the air and light might
be admitted. A door was placed in the middle of the
front. We next arranged the interior with as much con-
venience as the shortness of the time and our reluctance
to use all our timber would allow; we divided it half-way
up by a partition-wall into two unequal parts; the largest
was intended for the sheep and goats, and the smallest .
for ourselves, when we should wish to pass a few days
here. At the further end of the stable we fixed a house
for the fowls, and above it a sort of hay-loft for the forage.
Before the door of entrance we placed two benches, con-
trived as well as we could of laths and odd pieces of wood,
that we might rest ourselves under the shade of the trees,
and enjoy the exquisite prospect which presented itself on
all sides. Our own apartment was provided with a couple
of the best bedsteads we could make of twigs of trees,
raised upon four legs, two feet from the ground, and
these were destined to receive our cotton mattresses.
Our aim was to content ourselves for the present with
these slight hints of a dwelling, and to consider hereafter
what additions either of convenience or ornament could
be made. All we were now anxious about was to provide
a shelter for our animal colonists, which should encourage
and fix them in the habit of assembling every evening in
one place. For several days, at first, we took care to fill
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 285

their troughs with their favourite food mixed with salt,
and we agreed that we would return frequently to repeat
this indirect mode of invitation for their society, till they
should be entirely fixed in their expectation of finding it.

I had imagined we should accomplish what we wished
at the farm in three or four days; but we found in the
experiment that a whole week was necessary, and our
provisions fell short before our work was done. I there-
fore despatched Fritz and Jack to Falcon’s Stream and
to Tent House, to fetch new supplies of cheese, ham,
dried fish, manioe bread, for our subsistence, and also to
distribute fresh food to the numerous animals we had left
there. I directed one to mount the onager, and the other
the buffalo.

During the absence of our purveyors I rambled with
Ernest about the neighbourhood, to make what new dis-
coveries I could, and to procure, if possible, additions to
our store of provisions. We followed the winding of a
river towards the middle of the wall of rocks: our course
was interrupted by a marsh which bordered a small lake,
the aspect of which was enchantingly picturesque. I
perceived, with joyful surprise, that the whole surface of
the swampy soil was covered with a kind of wild rice, ripe
on the stalk, which attracted the voracity of large flocks
of birds. As we approached, a loud rustling was heard,
and we distinguished on the wing, bustards, Canada heath-
fowl, and great numbers of smaller birds. We succeeded
in bringing down five or six of them; and I was pleased
to remark in Ernest a justness of aim that promised well
for the future. The habits of his mind discovered them-
selves on this as on many previous occasions ; he betrayed
no ardour, he did every thing with a slowness that seemed
to imply dislike; yet the cool deliberation and constancy
he applied to every attempt, so effectually assisted his
286 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

judgment, that he was sure to arrive at a more perfect
execution than the other boys.

Presently we saw Master Knips jump from Flora’s back,
and smell along the ground among some thick growing
plants, then pluck off something with his two paws, and
eat of it voraciously. We ran to the spot to see what it .
could be, when, to the relief of our parched palates, we
found he had discovered there the largest and finest kind
of strawberry, which is called in Europe the Chil or pine
strawberry. Many of these were of an enormous size,
and Ernest, after devouring an immense quantity, re-
collected his absent friend, and filled a small gourd-shell
with the finest fruit, then covered them with leaves, and
tied them down with a tendril from a neighbouring plant,
to present them in perfection to his mother. I, on my
part, gathered a specimen of the rice to offer, that she
might inform us if it was fit for culinary purposes.

Pursuing our way a little further along the marsh we
reached the lake which we had descried with so much
pleasure from a distance. A quantity of swans were
gliding over the surface of the lake; but their colour, in-
stead of white, like those of our country, was a jetty
black’, and their plumage had so high a gloss as to pro-
duce, reflected on the water, the most astonishing effect.
The six large feathers of the wings of this bird are white,
exhibiting a singular contrast to the rest of the body: in
other respects these birds were remarkable, like those of
Europe, for the haughty gracefulness of their motions,
and the voluptuous ease of their nature. We remained a
long time in silent admiration of them : and I promised Er-
nest that we would endeavour to obtain a pair of the inter-
esting creatures for our establishment at Falcon’s Stream.

1 Black swan. Discovered by M. de la Billardiére on a lake of New
Zealand, and also in New Holland.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 287

Flora at this moment dragged out of the water a crea-
ture she had killed. It was somewhat in shape like an
otter, and like the tribe of water birds, web-footed: its
tail was long and erect, and covered with a soft kind of
hair: the head was very small, and the ears and eyes were
_ almost invisible; to these more ordinary characters was
added, a long flat bill, like that of a duck, which protruded
from ita snout, and produced so ludicrous an effect that
we could not resist a hearty laugh. All the science of
the learned Ernest, joined with my own, was insufficient
to ascertain the name and nature of this animal. We
had no resource but to remain ignorant; in the mean
time we christened it by the name of Beast with a Bill,
and decided that it should be carefully stuffed and pre-
served '.

‘We now began to look for the shortest path for return-
ing to the farm, which we reached at the same time with
Fritz and Jack, who had well performed the object of
their journey. We produced our offering of strawberries
and our specimen of rice, which were welcomed with plea-
sure and surprise.

The beast with a bill was next examined with eager
curiosity, and then laid aside for the plan I had formed.
My wife proceeded to pluck and salt the birds we had
killed, reserving one fresh for our supper, which we par-
took of together upon the benches before the door of our
new habitation. We filled the stable with forage, laid
a large provision of grain for the fowls within their house,
and began arrangements for our departure.

The following day we took a silent leave of our animals,
and directed our course towards the eminence in the vici-
nity of Cape Disappointment; we ascended it, and found

1 Beast with a Bill. This singular creature was, like the last, dis-
covered in a lake of New Zealand.—Blumenbach’s Natural History.
288 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

it in every respect adapted to our wishes. From this
eminence we had a view over the country which sur-
rounded Falcon’s Stream in one direction, and in others
of a richly-diversified extent of landscape, comprehending
sea, land, and rocks. When we had paused for a short
time upon the exhaustless beauties of the scene, we agreed
with one voice, that it should be on this spot we would
build our second cottage. A spring of the clearest water
issued from the soil near the summit, and flowed over its
sloping side, forming agreeable cascades in its rapid course;
in short, every feature of the picture contributed to form
a landscape worthy the homage of a taste the most deli-
cate and refined—*“ Let us build here,” exclaimed I,
“and call the spot—Arecadia ;”” to which my wife and all
agreed.

We lost no time in again setting to work ; our expe-
rience at the farm enabled us to proceed with incredible
rapidity, and our success was in every respect more com-
plete. The building contained a dining-room, two bed-
chambers, two stables, and a store-room for preserving all
kinds of provisions for man and beast. We formed the
roof square, with four sloped sides, and the whole had
really the appearance of an European cottage, and was
finished in the short space of six days. What now re-
mained to be done, was to fix on a tree fit for my project
ofa boat. After much search, I at length found one of
prodigious size, and in most respects suitable to my
views.

It was, however, no very encouraging prospect I had
before me, being nothing less than the stripping off a
piece of the bark that should be eighteen feet in length,
and five in diameter: and now I found my rope ladder of
signal service; we fastened it by one end to the nearest
branches, and it enabled us to work with the saw as might
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 289

be necessary at any height fromthe ground. Accordingly,
we cut quite round the trunk in two places, and then took
a perpendicular slip from the whole length between the
circles: by this means we could introduce the proper
tools for raising the rest by degrees, till it was entirely
separated. We toiled with increasing anxiety, at every
moment dreading that we should not be able to preserve
it from breaking, or uninjured by our tools. When we
had loosened about half, we supported it by means of
cords and pulleys; and when all was at length detached,
we let it down gently, and with joy beheld it lying safe
on the grass. Our business was next to mould it to
our purpose, while the substance continued moist and
flexible.

The boys observed that we had now nothing more to do
than to nail a plank at each end, and our boat would be
as complete as those used by the savages; but for my own
part, I could not be contented with a mere roll of bark for a
boat ; and when I reminded them of the paltry figure it
would make following the pinnace, I heard not another
word about the further pains and trouble, and they asked
eagerly for my instructions. I made them assist me to
saw the bark in the middle of the two ends, the length of
several feet ; these two parts I folded over till they ended
in a point ; I kept them in this form by the help of the
strong glue I had before made from fish bladders, and
pieces of wood nailed fast over the whole: this operation
tended to widen the boat in the middle, and thus render
it of too flat a form; but this we counteracted by straining
a cord all round, which again reduced it to the due pro-
portion, and in this state we put it in the sun, to harden
and fix. Many things were still wanting to the completion
of my undertaking, but I had not with me proper materials:
I therefore despatched the boys to Tent House, to fetch

U
290 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the sledge, and convey it there for our better convenience
in finishing.

Before our departure for Tent House, we collected
several new plants for our kitchen-garden: and lastly,
we made another trip to the narrow strait at the end of
the wall of rocks, resolved, as I before mentioned, to
plant there a sort of fortification of trees, which should
produce the double effect of discouraging the invasion of
savages, and allowing us to keep our pigs on the other
side, and thus secure our different plantations from
the chance of injury. We accomplished all these intentions
to our entire satisfaction, and, in addition, we placed a
slight drawbridge across the river beyond the narrow
pass, which we could let down or take up at pleasure on
our side. "We now hastened our return to Arcadia, and
after a night’s repose we loaded the sledge with the boat
and other matters, and returned to Tent House.

As soon as we had despatched some necessary affairs,
we resumed the completion of the boat: in two days she
had received the addition of a keel, a neat lining of wood,
& small flat floor, benches, a small mast and triangular
sail, a rudder, and a thick coat of pitch on the outside,
so that the first time we saw her in the water, we were
all in ecstasies at the charming appearance she made.

We had still two months in prospect before the rainy
season, and we employed them for completing our abode
in the grotto, with the exception of such ornaments as we
might have time to think of during the long days of
winter. We made the internal divisions of planks, and
that which separated us from the stables, of stone, to
protect us from the offensive smell occasioned by the
animals. Our task was difficult, but from habit it became
easier every day. We took care to collect or manufacture
@ sufficient quantity of all sorts of materials, such as
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 291

beams and planks, reeds and twigs for matting, pieces of
gypsum for plaster, &c. &c. At length the time of the
rainy season was near at hand, and we thought of it with
pleasure, as it would put us in possession of the enjoy-
ments we had procured by such unremitting industry and
fatigue.

We plastered over the walls of the principal apartments
on each side with the greatest care, finishing them by
pressure with a flat smooth board, and lastly a wash of
size, in the manner of the plasterers in Europe. This
ornamental portion of our work amused us all so much
that we began to think we might venture a step farther
in European luxury, and agreed that we would attempt to
make some carpets with the hair of our goats. To this
effect we smoothed the ground in the rooms we intended
to distinguish with great care ; then spread over it some
sail-cloth, which my wife had joined in breadths, and
fitted exactly; we next strewed the goats’ hair, mixed
with wool obtained from the sheep, over the whole; on
this surface we threw some hot water, in which a strong
cement had been dissolved : the whole was then rolled up,
and was beaten for a considerable time with hard sticks ;
the sail-cloth was now unrolled, and the inside again
sprinkled, rolled, and beaten as before; and this process
was continued till the substance became a sort of felt,
which could be separated from the sail-cloth, and was
lastly put in the sun to harden. We thus produced a very
tolerable substitute for that enviable article of European
comfort, a carpet: of these we completed two; one for
our parlour, and the other for our drawing-room, as we
jocosely named them: both of which were completely fit
for our reception by the time the rains had set in.

All we had suffered during this season in the pre-
ceding year doubled the value of the comforts and

v2
292 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

conveniences with which we were now surrounded. We
were never tired of admiring our warm and well-arranged
apartments, lighted with windows, and well secured with
doors from wind and rain, and our granary filled with
more than a sufficient winter supply of food for ourselves
and for our cattle. In the morning, our first care was
to feed and give them drink; and both these were now
constantly at hand, without the pains of fetching or pre-
paring: after this we assembled in the parlour, where
prayers were read, and breakfast immediately served :
we then adjourned to the common room, where all sorts
of industry went forward, and which contained the
spinning-wheel and loom I had, though with indifferent
success, constructed to gratify my wife. Here all united
in the business of producing different kinds of substances,
which she afterwards made into apparel. I had also con-
trived to construct a turning-machine, having used for the
purpose one of the small cannon wheels, with the help of
which the boys and I managed to produce some neat
utensils for general use. After dinner our work was
resumed till night, when we lighted candles ; and as they
cost us no more than our own trouble in collecting and
manufacturing the materials, we did not refuse ourselves
the pleasure of using many at a time, to admire their
lights splendidly reflected by the crystals every where
pendent. We had formed a convenient portion of our
dwelling into a small chapel, in which we left the crystals
as produced by nature; and they exhibited a wondrous
assemblage of colonnades, porticoes, altars, which, when
the place was lighted to supply the want of a window,
presented a truly enchanting spectacle. Divine service
was performed in it regularly every Sunday. I had raised
a sort of pulpit, from which I pronounced such discourses
as I had framed for the instruction of my affectionate
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 293

group of auditors. Jack and Frances had a natural
inclination for music. I did the most I could in making
a flageolet apiece for them of two reeds, on which they so
frequently practised as to attain a tolerable proficiency :
they accompanied their mother, who had a sweet-toned
voice, the volume of which was doubled by the echoes of
the grottoes, and they produced together a very pleasing
little concert.

. Thus, as will be perceived, we had made the first steps
towards a condition of civilization; separated from society,
condemned, perhaps, to pass the remainder of life in this
desert island, we yet possessed the means of happiness ;
we had abundance of all the necessaries, and many of the
comforts desired by human beings! We had fixed habits
of activity and industry ; we were in ourselves serene and
contented ; our bodily health and strength increased from
day to day; the sentiment of tender attachment was
perfect in every heart: we every day acquired some new
and still improving channel for the exertion of our physical
and moral faculties; we évery where beheld, and at all
times acknowledged, marks of divine wisdom and goodness;
our minds were penetrated with love, gratitude, and
veneration for the Providence who had so miraculously
rescued and preserved us, and still continued, even in
our desert island, mercifully to bestow upon us so large a
share of daily blessings !

CHAPTER XXVII.
Anniversary of our Deliverance— Holiday Rejoicings.
Onz morning, having arisen earlier than the rest of my

family, 1 occupied myself by counting up the time that
had passed since our shipwreck. I calculated the dates
294 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

with the utmost exactness, and I found that the next day
would be the anniversary of that event. It was just two
years since the providence of God had saved us from a
watery grave. My mind was filled with thanksgiving, and
I resolved to celebrate the day with all the pomp our
situation would permit.

As I had not yet fixed upon the arrangements for our
holiday, I said nothing about it to my family during the
day: and it was not until we were seated at supper, that
I announced my intentions for the morrow.

“Be ready,” said I to my sons, “to celebrate the anni-
versary of the morrow ; let each one prepare himself as is
proper for so great a day.”

These last words, joined to the announcement of a holi-
day, surprised and overjoyed my children. Their mother
was not less astonished than they were to find that they
had been on the island two years.

“Tt is the property of labour,” said I, “to shorten the
time; the days have leaden wings for the indolent, and
they fly with the rapidity of an eagle for the industrious.”

We talked, during some time, of different affairs, until
I gave the signal for retiring. My good little men lay
extended on their mattresses a long time, wondering and
talking over the coming holiday.

The wished-for morrow at length arrived, and the day
had scarcely dawned before I heard the report of a cannon
resounding through the rocks. I was frightened, and in-
stantly rose up to discover the cause. I found my sons
stretched on their beds, apparently fast asleep, and Jack
was snoring with all his might; but it was impossible for
him to play the part of “sleeper” long, and he no sooner
perceived me than he cried out, “Oh, how well she went
off!”

I understood him; but, far from partaking in the en-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 295

thusiasm of the thoughtless boys, I put on a frown and
reprimanded them severely for wasting a thing so precious
as powder. They begged my forgiveness; and, as I did
not wish any cloud to dim the brightness of our holiday,
I let the matter drop.

‘We rose and dressed as decently as our means afforded,
and proceeded to breakfast. After our daily prayer, I
turned to my children, and said, “Two years have elapsed
since we arrived here, and now is the moment to cast a
glance upon the past.” I then took the journal which I
had always kept, and read it aloud, dwelling on and ex-
plaining the principal circumstances of our life. When I
had finished, we all again thanked our Almighty Father
for the many blessings He had granted us. Our devo-
tions over, I announced to my family the amusements I
had planned for the day.

“You have practised for some time,” said I, “in
wrestling, running, slinging, and horsemanship; the time
has come when you shall receive the reward for your
labours. You shall this day contend, before your mother
and me, and the crown shall be given to the victor.
Come, champions,” I added, elevating my voice, “the
barrier is open, enter the lists; and you, trumpets, sound
the horn of combat.” As I said these last words, I
turned to the little inlet where our geese and ducks were
feeding, and the whole troop, frightened by my gestures,
and the tone of my voice, commenced a most deafening
clamour.

I then organized the different contests which were to
take place. First came firing at a mark; the materials
for this were soon arranged by fixing in the ground a
rudely-shaped piece of wood, with two bits of leather at
each side of the top, which we called a kangaroo. Jack
did wonders, either by chance or skill; he shot away one
296 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of the ears. Fritz just grazed the head, and Ernest
lodged his ball in the middle of the body. The three
shots were all worthy of praise. Another trial of skill
was then made; it consisted in firing with pistols ata
ball of cork which I threw up in the air; Ernest had the
advantage here: he cut the ball all to pieces. Fritz also
shot well, but Jack could not hit it.

Slinging succeeded to the pistol exercise: Fritz carried
off the prize. After that came archery: and here all—
even little Francis—distinguished themselves. Next
came the races; and I gave them for a course the dis-
tance between “ Family Bridge” and “ Falcon’s Nest.”

“ The one that arrives first,”’ said I to the runners, who
were gathered about me, “will bring me, as proof of his
victory my knife, which I left on the table, under the
tree.” I then gave the signal, by clapping my hands
three times. My three sons set out, Jack and Fritz with
all the impetuosity that marked their character; while
Ernest, who never did any thing without reflecting, set
off slowly at first, but gradually augmented his pace. I
perceived that he had his elbows pressed firmly against his
body, and I augured well from this little mark of pru-
dence.

The runners were absent about three-quarters of an
hour. Jack returned first; but he was mounted on his
buffalo, the onager and the ass following him.

“ How now,” said I, “is this what you call racing ?
It was your legs, and not those of the buffalo, that I
wished to exercise.”

“ Ah!” cried he, jumping from the back of his courser;
“T knew I should never get there, so I left the course;
and, as the trial of horsemanship comes next, I thought
that, as I was near Falcon’s Nest, I would bring our
coursers back with me.”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 297

Fritz came next, but he had not the knife, and it was
Ernest who brought it me.

“How came you to have the knife,” said I, “when
Fritz got here before you ?”

“The thing is simple,” answered Ernest: “in going,
he could not long keep up the pace he started with, and
soon stopped to breathe, while I ran on and got the knife.
But in coming back, Fritz had learned a lesson: he
pressed his arms against his sides, and held his mouth
shut, as he had seen me do, and then the victory depended
upon our relative strength: Fritz is 16, while I am but
14, and of course he arrived first.”’

I praised the two boys for their skill, and declared
Ernest conqueror. .

But now Jack, mounted on his buffalo, demanded that
the equestrian exercises should commence, and he be
allowed to repair the injury his reputation had sustained.

“To the saddle, to the saddle, my lads,” he cried with
all his force, “and we shall see who can best manage a
courser ; we shall then know whether you can sit your
horse as well as you can exercise your legs.”

Fritz mounted his onager, and Ernest took the ass;
but although they tried all their skill, Jack distanced them
both. I was frightened myself to see with what boldness
the boy abandoned himself to the powerful animal that
bore him, and it was a relief to me when the contest was
over, and I proclaimed Jack the victor.

After the horsemanship, the swimming occupied some
time; they also climbed the trees; and, after we had
finished our gymnastics, I announced that the rewards
would now be distributed.

Every one hastened to the grotto, which had been
lighted up with all the torches we possessed: my wife,
as queen of the day, was installed in an elevated seat,
298 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

decorated with flowers, and I called up the successful
champions to receive their rewards, which their mother
distributed to each one as she impressed a tender kiss
upon his forehead.

Fritz—conqueror at shooting and swimming—received
a superb English rifle, and a hunting-knife, which he had
long wished for. Ernest had, for the reward of the race,
a splendid gold watch. Jack—the cavalier—obtained a
magnificent pair of steel spurs, and a whip of whalebone.
Little Francis received a box of colours, as a reward for
the skill he had shown in archery.

The day was finished as it had begun—with songs and
expressions of joy: we were all happy, all contented; we
all enjoyed that pure felicity which a life free from re-
proach had given us: and we all thanked in our hearts
the Lord who had been so merciful toward us.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Bird-taking.—Molucea Pigeons.—The Dove-cot.

We all remembered the bountiful provision we had de-
rived from the blackbirds and ortolans that had settled
upon our giant tree at Falcon’s Nest the preceding year.
The time had now arrived for their re-appearance, and we
resolved to leave the grotto, which had become our es-
tablished residence, and remove nearer to the spot, where
I intended to secure as many of the birds as possible for
the coming winter.

I had read, in a book of voyages, that the inhabitants
of the Pelew Islands capture birds a great deal larger
and stronger than ortolans by means of limed twigs; and
I intended to make, with gum-elastic and oil, a sort of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 299

glue that would save us a great dea. of powder, which we
found it necessary to economize.

The provision of India-rubber which we had collected
on our last excursion was exhausted; we had made water-
proof boots of it, and, before I set out, I wished to give
them a new coat of it. I sent Fritz and Jack to the
wood of India-rubber trees, where I thought they would
find, ready drawn, a sufficient quantity of the gum, as
we had made large incisions in the trees, and placed
gourds under them to receive the gum; and as experience
had taught us that the sun hardens it immediately, we
had protected our gourds from its rays, by surrounding
them with green branches.

Our messengers were longer absent than we expected,
and I was feeling anxious for their return, as the sun had
already begun to decline, when Ernest perceived them
rapidly approaching, the one mounted on the onager, and
the other on the buffalo.

“Well,” said I, “ how have you succeeded ?”

“Oh, very well,” said Fritz, as they leaped from
their coursers, and showed us what they had brought,
which consisted of a root of anise, that Jack had
brought in his buffalo-pouch; a root wrapped up in
leaves, which they called “monkey-root ;” two gourds
of India-rubber, and another half full of turpentine; a
sack full of wax berries; and a crane, which Fritz’s eagle
had killed.

“I do not know of what importance this monkey-root
may be to us,” said Fritz; “but I can assure you that it
far surpasses manioc, both in smell and flavour. We dis-
covered it close by the farm-house, where a company of
monkeys were regaling themselves on it. You would
have laughed to see the manner in which they pulled out
the roots. They made use of a process which the la-
300 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

bourers of Europe have no idea of—they pulled them up
by turning somersets.”

“By turning somersets!” cried we; “why, how
wonderful!”

“ Yes,” replied Fritz. “Every monkey, after having
buried his teeth as far as possible in the root, turns him-
self violently over backwards, and repeats the exercise
until his reiterated efforts have drawn the precious root
from the ground. We looked on for a considerable time
at the animals ; but, curious to judge for ourselves of the
merit of an article they seemed so very fond of, we re-
solved to disperse them. The report of a gun would have
scattered the whole flock; but I remembered your in-
structions not to waste powder, and we contented our-
selves by driving at full gallop among the affrighted
troop, who fled in all directions. We soon tasted the root,
and finding it very delicious, I wrapped some pieces up in
leaves, and brought them to you to see whether you know
any other name than ‘monkey-root’ for it.”

I took up the root; and after having tasted it, I told
my sons that their discovery was really a treasure, for I
believed that it was the “ginseng,” the sacred root of
China, which popular superstition had made a sort of
universal panacea, and which the emperor alone could
gather. Sentinels are placed in the spots where the
“ ginseng” grows; but notwithstanding their vigilance,
immense quantities are smuggled by the Americans '.”

“ We are greatly indebted to the monkeys, then,” said
Ernest, “that they have made known to us the existence
of so precious an article.”’

1 Found likewise in the northern parts of America. It has a jointed
fleshy taper root about the size of a finger—taste rather sweet, with 4
slight bitterness. The Chinese have but little faith in any medicine
that has not this combined with it. .
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 801

I informed him that its aromatic nature made it more
of a medicine than an article of food, and I therefore for-
bade its frequent use, while I enjoined my wife to plant
a few roots in our garden.

The next morning, after we had finished our every-day
occupations, we set about the manufacture of the bird-
snares. All were impatient to see the snares in opera-
tion, and all prophesied marvels from this new invention.

I took some of the liquid India-rubber, which I mixed
with the turpentine, and placed the mixture over the fire;
and, while the glue was thickening, I sent the boys into
the copse to gather a quantity of little twigs which I
needed. They soon brought me a large supply, which I
made them dip in the glue and fasten to the branches of
the fig-trees. I observed that the number of birds was
considerably greater than the preceding year, and this
abundance of game suggested another idea to my mind;
T thought that, if the ortolans were so numerous during
the day, they would not be less so at night; and I re-
solved to try, in imitation of the Americans in Virginia,
the experiment of a hunt with torches, persuaded that it
would be more expeditious and successful than taking the
birds by snares.

But my little boys, while employed at making the
snares had been taken in their own trap. Hands, faces,
and clothes were all covered with glue, and one could
not touch them without getting besmeared. They were
all in great consternation, and their good mother also, but
I calmed their fears by assuring them that some ashes
and water would remedy all the disorder, and wash out
all the stains.

T rallied them a little on their awkwardness, “I knew
very well,” said I, “that my glue would trap the birds;
but I had no idea it would catch little boys.”
802 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

I then taught them how to avoid the inconvenience of
glueing their fingers, by plunging a packet of five or six
twigs, by the aid of a pair of pincers, into the glue, in-
stead of dipping them in singly. They adopted the plan,
which succeeded perfectly, When I had made a sufi-
cient quantity, Jack and Fritz climbed into the tree, and
placed the branches of fig-trees, covered with the snares,
among the limbs of the tree; and it was not long before
we saw the unfortunate ortolans falling to the ground in
numbers, their legs and wings stuck fast in the glue.
They fell so fast, that Francis, Ernest, and my wife were
scarcely sufficient to gather up the game and kill them,
while the two other boys again fixed in the branches the
snares that had fallen with the birds, and which served
three or four times. But, although the fowling was 20
abundant, the labour was very fatiguing, for the branches _
to which Fritz and Jack had to climb were as much as 60
or 70 feet from the ground. I placed a great deal of con-
fidence in my torches; and I arranged the materials for
making them, in which turpentine was a powerful
a .
While I was thus occupied, Jack brought me a beau-
tiful bird, much larger than an ortolan, which had been
taken in the snares. “I am very certain,” said Ernest,
“that it is one of our European pigeons, one of the young
ones from those who built their nests last year in the
branches of the tree.” I took the bird from Jack’s hands,
and found with pleasure that Ernest’s conjecture was
true. I rubbed the ends of his wings and his feet with
ashes to clean them from the glue; and T put him in a
cage, with the intention of adding a dove-cot to our
domestic property. We captured others, and at night we
had in our possession two fine pairs of wood-pigeons.
Fritz thought that our grotto would be the best place to fix
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 803

their habitation. I approved of the plan, and promised to
commence the work as soon as we had finished our pre-
sent occupation.

But, notwithstanding our hard labour during the day,
we were not able to fill more than one barrel. I enjoined
my sons to take notice of the trees on which the ortolans
roosted during the night; and, after supper, and a few
minutes of rest, I commenced my preparations. These
were few in number, and consisted of two or three long
bamboo canes, two bags, torches of resin, and some sugar-
canes. Fritz, my grand huntsman, regarded me with a
look of incredulity. He could not understand how, with
these strange instruments, I could realize the prodigies
I prophesied.

Arrived at the foot of the trees that we had chosen, I
lighted up my torches, and scarcely had the flame begun
to burn, than a cloud of ortolans fell down around us,
and began to fly wildly round the flickering flames.

“Well, gentlemen,” said I to my sons, “ you see that
my stratagem has proved not to be a bad idea. Now is
your time: I have placed the game within your reach ;
you have but to extend your hand, and you are masters.”

I then armed each with a bamboo cane, and bade them
strike right and left among the mass of ortolans. They
fell as thick and fast as rain, and we soon filled two large
bags. Our flambeaux, however, would only last long
enough to light us back to Falcon’s Nest; and, as the
sacks were too heavy for me alone to carry, we placed
them crosswise on the bamboo poles, and thus carried
them very easily. We arrived safely at Falcon’s Nest, and,
before we retired to rest, looked over our game, and ter-
minated the sufferings of those poor birds that had not
been killed by the blows.

In one of our excursions to the farm, we made a new
804 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

conquest : it was that of two beautiful birds, larger than
the ordinary pigeon, whom I recognized as pigeons of
Molucca: their plumage was an agreeable mixture of blue,
green, yellow, purple, and violet. This capture was the
work of Fritz, who had placed a little cup of rice, covered
with glue, on a palm-tree, and the two birds had been
taken by it. We carried them home with us, intending
to admit them members of our future dove-cot at Tent-
House. My wife was delighted with our acquisition, and
urged us at once to set about our pigeon-house; conse-
quently the waggon was immediately loaded with pro-
visions, and all that was necessary for an excursion of
some days, and we set out for the grotto. As soon as we
arrived, I chose that part of the rock next our grotto as
the situation for our dove-cot ; and as the rock, after the
outside layer was pierced became softer, we soon made an
excavation ten feet high, and large enough to contain
twenty pairs of pigeons; two perches ran through the
whole length, and projecting out in front, with a board
nailed across, formed a platform, which we protected by s
slight roof; a door with a hole to admit light closed the
front; and a rope ladder suspended from one of the
perches enabled us to mount up and look after the
inhabitants. It cost us several weeks of constant labour
to finish the construction, fix the boards strongly in their
places, cover the inside with a coat of plaster to prevent
humidity, and arrange the perches, the nests, &c.: on the
whole it was a new trial of patience and courage. My
little workmen had learnt the efficacy of these qualities,
and they applied themselves to their work with a perse-
verance and zeal far above their years.

“ There is the edifice,” said I to Fritz ; ‘ but where are
the inhabitants ? We must find a way to force our wild
stranger pigeons to dwell in the new habitation we have
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 305
provided for them; and, besides, they must not only
remain themselves, but must bring their companions with
them.”

“It appears to me, father, that nothing short of
sorcery will do it.”

“ Difficult as it appears, I am going to try it; and I have
strong hopes of succeeding, with the assistance you can
afford me. It is to a pigeon-merchant that I owe the
secret which I am about to put in practice. I will not
warrant its success, for I have never tried it; but it con-
sists in perfuming a new dove-cot with anise. The
pigeons, it is said, are so fond of the odour of this plant,
that they will return of their own accord every night to
enjoy its perfume ; and it is in this manner that they in-
sensibly change their country life for that of the pigeon-
house.”

“ Nothing can be easier,” replied Fritz. “The plant
of anise that Jack brought will do the business. We
can break the seeds on a stone; and, if the oil is not as
pure as that of the chemists, it will not be less useful or
less aromatic.”

“T think as you do,” I answered ; “and I am very glad
that I permitted Jack to plant a root that appeared to
me to be so valueless.”

We then proceeded to make the oil of anise. I rubbed
the door of the dove-cot, the perches, and every place
where the pigeons could touch either feet or wings, with
it. I then mixed a sort of dough with anise, salt, and
clay, and, after having placed it in the middle of the dove-
cot, we put in the pigeons, which we had kept in willow-
baskets while their habitation was building. We shut
them up, with provision for two days, and left them to
enjoy at their leisure the odour of the anise.

At the end of that time we ventured to peep through

x
306 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

the two windows of isinglass, which I had placed in the
door; and I saw with pleasure that, instead of being
frightened at the new objects that surrounded them, our
prisoners appeared to have become quite tame; and when
I entered, they took no more notice of me than a domestic
pigeon would have done.

Two days more passed away, and I became curious
myself to know the result of my sorcery.

On the morning of the third day I announced to my
family that the day of liberty for our prisoners had ar-
rived, and now they were to be free. As soon as the
door was opened, the pigeons poked their heads cautiously
out of the hole, then advanced on the platform, and
suddenly soared up to such a height that they were lost
to our sight. But in a few moments they again flew
down, and settled tranquilly upon the platform they had
just quitted.

This incident, which I did not expect, gave new proofs
of my dealings in magic, and I cried cut, in the most
serious manner, “I knew very well, when they flew up in
the clouds, that they were not lost.”

“ How could you possibly know that ?”’ said Ernest.

“ Because my charms have attached them to the dove-
cot,” was my answer.

At that moment the pigeons, who had been quietly
picking on the ground, attracted our attention. The two
Molucea pigeons suddenly quitted their European bro-
thers, and flew off in the direction of Falcon’s Nest, with
such rapidity that soon they were lost to our view.

“ Adieu, gentlemen,” cried Jack, as they darted away,
“a pleasant trip to you.”

My wife and Francis commenced ta deplore the loss of
our two handsome pigeons, while I, preserving as serious
a look as possible, stretched out my hands, and turning to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 307

the direction in which the pigeons flew, murmured, half
aloud, the following words:

“ Fly, little ones, fly far, far away ; till to-morrow you
may stay; but then, return with your companions.”

As for the other pigeons, they did not seem disposed to
follow, but appeared completely tamed: they had found
the dove-cot of Europe with its shelter, and there they
gladly remained.

“These two, at least,” cried Jack, “are not so foolish ;
they prefer a good house and good food to the wind and
the storm that the others must encounter.”

“ Wait a little while,” answered Fritz: “ have you not
heard father speak of his familiar spirit that is going to
bring them back ?”

“Familiar spirit!” cried Prnest, shrugging his shoulders.
“ Do not talk such nonsense here.”

“ Not so fast, Mr. Ernest,” said I; “it is by the fruits
of my work that you must judge whether magic has been
employed, and I feel very sure that my efforts will be
crowned with success.”

‘We passed the rest of the day in the neighbourhood of
the dove-cot, conversing on sorcery and the question of the
pigeons: we often strained our eyes in the direction of
Falcon’s Nest, but nothing appeared. The evening came,
and the European pigeons slept alone in their palace.
We supped gaily, and retired to rest in anxious expecta-
tion of the morrow, which must establish either my defeat
or triumph.

We renewed the next day our habitual occupations ;
and though I felt a little doubtful about the return of the
birds, I said nothing, but anxiously awaited the result of
my experiment; when, about noon, we saw Jack running
towards us, clapping his hands, and screaming out,

“He has-returned! he has returned!”

x2
308 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“Who ? who ?” was eagerly asked.

“The blue pigeon!” he answered, “the blue pigeon!
Quick ! quick! come and see him!”

We ran to the dove-cot, and, besides the blue pigeon,
we found with him, on one of the exterior perches of the
house, his mate, whom he was endeavouring to persuade
to venture into the interior. He would put in his head,
and then return to her, until at last he prevailed, and we
had the satisfaction of seeing her enter the pigeon-house.

My sons would have immediately closed the door, but
I prevented them, saying that some time or other it must
be opened: “and besides,” I added, “how are the other
pigeons to enter if we close the door?”

“T begin to think,” said my wife, at last, “that there
is something extraordinary in this; and, unless you have
used some enchantment, I cannot comprehend it.”’

“It is chance—pure chance,” interrupted Ernest.

“Chance!” replied I, laughing; “that will do very
well for one time, but when the other pigeon returns this’
evening, with his mate, will you think that chance ?”’

“Impossible!” answered he: “the same phenomenon
could not happen twice a day.”

While we were thus speaking, Fritz suddenly inter-
rupted us: his eagle eye had perceived the birds we were
expecting.

“Behold them—behold them!” he cried; and really
we soon saw the other pigeon and his mate alight down
at our feet.

The joy which greeted their return was so loudly ex-
pressed, that I was obliged to impose silence; for the
noise would have frightened the pigeons so that all the
anise in the world would not have retained them. My
little boys kept still; and, ere long, the new-comers en-
tered their habitation.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 309

“What do you say now, my little doctor?” said I to
Emest : “ both pairs of pigeons have now returned.”

“T do not know what to say,” he answered, seriously ;
“it certainly appears very extraordinary. Pray, father,
explain it to us.’

I did not wish to prolong his embarrassment, and I ex-
plained to him in detail all that we had done. Jack
laughed heartily on hearing that his plant of anise had
been the charm which had so puzzled them; and I tried
to persuade him to follow the example of Ernest, and not
believe every thing so readily.

The following days were devoted to bringing our dove-
cot as near as possible to perfection; and we saw, with
joy, that the new inhabitants were permanently settled,
and already began to construct their nests. I observed,
among the articles they gathered for that purpose, a sort
of long, grey moss, which I had seen hanging from the
branches of old trees. I recognized it as being the same
thing which is exported from India as a substitute for
horse-hair, in the manufacture of mattresses. The Spa-
niards make cords also of it, which are so light, that a
piece twenty feet in length, if suspended from a pole, will
float, like a flag, in the air.

I made this discovery known to my good wife, and one
can easily imagine my news was well received; for it
added another treasure to our domestic riches, and afforded
promise of some fine mattresses.

We found, from time to time, in the soil of the dove-
cot, nutmegs, which, doubtless, the pigeons of Molucca
had brought over. We washed them, and, although they
were deprived of their silky covering ', we committed them
to the earth, without much hope of their ever germinating.

1 The nutmeg is the kernel of the mace; they are generally sepa-
rated when imported, except when in a preserved state as a sweetmeat.
310 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

We were occupied fifteen days in working at our dove-cot
and other objects which called for our attention; and I
may as well say, in this place, that the native pigeons
toultiplied so fast and increased so abundantly, that I was
obliged to reduce the number, as, in time, they would
have driven out our beautiful pigeons of Molucca; and,
as the great multiplication was increased by swarms of
emigrants from Falcon’s Nest, I determined to reduce
the number of European pigeons to five pairs; and, to
prevent any new-comers, snares of glue were placed
around the dove-cot every morning before it was opened,
and they furnished us many a good fat pigeon, and re-
lieved the eagle of Fritz from much hard duty.

CHAPTER XXIX.
Return of the Rainy Season Winter Occupations.

Jack had brought home from one of his excursions a
‘bundle of Spanish rushes to make nests for the pigeons.
I determined to use some of these in constructing a
weaving-machine my wife had long ago expected of me.

Two rushes, split lengthwise, and wound round with
pack-thread, so that they would dry without bending,
formed four bars to make that part of the machine called
the “combs.” Imade my sons cut me a quantity of
little pieces of wood, to make the teeth for the combs;
and, when I had procured these first materials for my
construction, I put them aside, saying nothing to any
body concerning their destination, as I wished the ma-
chine to be a surprise to my wife, and I proved insensible
to all the ridicule showered upon my little sticks, which
Ernest facetiously called tooth-picks.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. $11

“What are you going to make with all those sticks ?”
asked my wife, with womanish curiosity.

“ Oh, nothing but a whim of mine,” I answered, laugh-
ing. “I intend to make you a superb instrument of
music, such as the Hottentots have, called a gom-gom.
Let me alone, and I promise you you shall be the first to
dance to its melodious sounds.”

“Dance! I assure you that I have other things to do ;
dancing never will occupy much of my time, I am
afraid.”

“Tf you are really going to make a gom-gom,” said
Ernest, “ your little sticks are useless ; for gom-goms are
made by simply stretching some cords over a piece of
gourd, and the music is produced by drawing a quill
across the cords.”

“A fine instrument, I declare,” cried Jack: “why it
would frighten a jackal.”

“No matter what it will do, I have given you a correct
description ; for I have seen one, and the tone it emitted
sounded exactly like gom-gom.”

Every one was now anxious to know what I was going
to do; but I waived all questions, telling my wife that she
would be the first one to rejoice at its completion.

About this time, our onager gave birth to a beautiful
little ass of its species. It was received with pleasure,
for it not only added to our number of useful animals,
but also afforded us a courser, that in future time would
make quite a figure in our cavalcades. I gave it the
name of “ Rapid,’’ as I designed him particularly for the
saddle ; and we saw with pleasure that his limbs were all
beautifully proportioned.

The approach of the rainy season, and the remembrance
of the trouble we had had in collecting our animals last
year, induced us to invent a method to render the service
312 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

less painful ; it was to accustom them to return to their
homes at the sound of a conch’, in which I had placed a
bit of wood, like a flute. The pigs were the only ones
that we could not manage. They were unruly, and loved
their liberty too much to be confined: we willingly
abandoned them, as the dogs could easily bring them to-
gether if desired.

Among the embellishments and comforts with which
we had surrounded our winter habitation, we yet wanted
a reservoir of pure water, which we were obliged to bring
from the Jackal’s River. The distance was too great in
winter, and I wished to remedy the inconvenience before
the rains came on. I conceived the idea of bringing a
stream of water from the river to the grotto, and to es-
tablish a fountain, as we had done at Falcon’s Nest.
Bamboo canes, fitted into one another, served us for
canals ; we rested them on crotches of wood, and a barrel
sunk m the ground performed the office of a basin.

We used all possible expedition to get in every thing
necessary for our winter stock. The grain, the fruits of
all sorts which surrounded our habitation, rice, guavas,
sweet acorns, pine-apples, anise, manioc, bananas, nothing
in short was forgotten. We sowed our seeds as we had
done the year before, hoping that the European sorts
would sprout quicker, and more easily, on account of the
moisture of the atmosphere.

My wife made us sacks of canvas which we filled, and
by the aid of our patient beasts carried to the magazines,
where they were emptied into large hogsheads prepared
for them. But these labours were not accomplished
without much trouble ; for, as we had planted our corn
and wheat at different times, we were obliged to choose
out the ripe stalks from a whole field—a work of no small

2 A shell.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 313

difficulty. I resolved to devise some plan for a more
regular cultivation the next year. We had a pair of
buffaloes for all the labour that would have to be done;
and all that was required, in addition to our present stock
of harness, was a double yoke, which I intended to make
during our winter seclusion.

But the rains had already commenced ; several times
we had been visited by heavy showers, which hastened
our remaining occupations. By degrees the horizon be-
came covered with thick clouds, the winds swept fear-
fully along the coast, the billows rose, and for the space
of fifteen days we were witnesses of a scene, whose
majesty and terrific grandeur can hardly be imagined.
Nature seemed overturned, the trees bent to the terrible
blasts, the lightning and the thunder were mingled with
the wind and the storm ; in one word, it was a concert of
nature’s many voices, where the deep tones of the
thunder served for the bass, and harmoniously blended
with the sharp whistlings of the storm. It seemed to us
that the storm of last year had been nothing in com-
parison to it. Nevertheless, the winds began to calm,
and the rain, instead of beating down upon us in torrents,
began to fall with that despair-inspiring uniformity which
we felt would last for twelve long weeks. The first
moments of our seclusion were sad enough ; but necessity
reconciled us to our situation, and we began as cheerfully
as possible to arrange the interior of our subterranean
habitation.

We had only taken a few of our animals in with us:
the cow, on account of her milk, the onager to take care
of the little foal, and the ass, because we should need
him in the excursions which might become necessary.

The small compartment that we had allotted for the
stable prevented us from accommodating more, and the
314 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

sheep and goats were sent to Falcon’s Nest, as we were
sure they would find abundant pasture and good shelter
there: and one of my cavaliers rode over every day to
carry them a handful of salt, and see that nothing was
wanting. Our dogs, Master Knips, and the eagle all
found a home with us; and their attention and playful-
ness enlivened many of the long hours we were obliged to
spend under the roof of our grotto.

We devoted our attention first to a crowd of minor
wants, which we only discovered by occupation, but yet
were of primary necessity. I have said that our apart-
ments were all on one floor; but the ground had not
been carefully levelled, and we set to work to fill up the
cavities and cut away the projections, so as to prevent
any accident. The fountain I had made did not answer
the purpose, and the one great necessity of a good supply
of water was as yet unprovided for. We also made tables
and chairs, prepared for all the exigences of our position,
and endeavoured to render our long confinement as sup-
portable as possible. But there was yet an incon-
venience. We had not imagined we wanted light. There
were but three openings in the grotto, besides the door :
one in the kitchen, one in the work-room, and a third in
my sleeping-chamber. The boys’ room, and all the rest
of our habitation, was plunged in the most complete
darkness. The light never penetrated into the recesses
of the grotto. I discovered that three or four more
windows were necessary ; but they could not be made
before the return of fine weather, and I devised the
following remedy for the defect.

Among the bamboos that I had procured as leaders for
the water, was one of great size, which I had preserved.
This bamboo I found by chance was just the height of
our grotto. I trimmed it, and planted it in the ground
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. $15

abont a foot deep, surrounding it with props to make it
steady. I then gave Jack s hammer, a pulley, and a
rope, and, appealing to his agility, I asked him to climb
the pole. In a moment he was at the top, and, after
having driven the pulley into the roof of the grotto, and
thrown the cord over it, he descended safely to the
ground. I then suspended to one end of the cord a
large lantern which we found in the ship. Francis and
my wife were officially charged with its supervision, and,
thanks to the thousand reflectors which lined the sides of
the rock, our grotto was as light as if it had been broad
day. The light was an immense benefit to us, and en-
abled us to carry on our different occupations with zeal
and comfort.

Ernest and Francis charged themselves with the task
of arranging our library, and disposing, in its different
shelves, the works we had saved from the wreck. Jack
aided his mother in the kitchen; and Fritz, being
stronger than his brothers, assisted me in the work-
room.

We arranged there, by the window, a superb English
turning-lathe, with all its equipments. I had often
amused myself by turning in my younger days, and I now
could put my knowledge of the art to some use. We
also constructed a forge ; anvils were fixed in large blocks
of wood, and all the tools of the wheelwright and the cooper
were laid out in long array on the racks 1 had put up
next the wall. Our shop began to assume a business-
like appearance, of which I was proud; and often did I
congratulate myself that I had sufficiently acquainted
myself, in youth, with mechanics to prevent their being
entirely new to me.

The grotto every day grew more agreeable, and we
were enabled to wait without ennui for the welcome light
316 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of the sun. We had our work-room, our dining-room,
and our library, where we could refresh our minds, after the
fatigues of the body ; for the cases we had saved from the
ship contained a quantity of books which had belonged to
the captain and officers. Besides Bibles and books of
devotion, we found works on history, botany, philosophy,
voyages, and travels, some enriched with engravings,
which were a real treasure to us. We had also maps,
several mathematical and astronomical instruments, a
portable globe, an English invention, which expanded like
a balloon; but the sort of works which prevailed were
grammars and dictionaries of different nations: they gene-
rally form the chief stock of ship libraries.

We all knew a little of French, for this is as much in
use as German throughout Switzerland. Fritz and
Ernest had begun to learn English at Zurich, and I had
myself paid some attention to the language, in order to
superintend their education. I now urged them to con-
tinue their studies, as English was the language of the
sea, and there were very few ships that did not contain
some one who understood it. Jack, who knew nothing at
all, began to pay some attention to Spanish and Italian,
the pomp and melody of these two languages according
with his character. As for myself, I laboured hard to
master the Malay tongue: for the inspection of charts
and maps convinced me that we were in the neighbour- -
hood of these people.

It was agreed that we should cultivate the French in
common, while I taught English to my wife and Francis,
and that the others should learn it for themselves. Our
study was not a bad resemblance of Babel, on a small
scale, especially when we recited aloud, in order to break
the learned silence that reigned there, passages from our
favourite authors. This exercise, strange as it may
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 817

appear, was productive of great advantage ; it brought on
questions and answers, and taught the little family many
a foreign phrase that otherwise they would not havo
understood. Ernest reigned chief of literature among us.
Memory, intelligence, and perseverance were all united in
him; not content with studying English, he continued
Latin, which his passion for natural history rendered
almost necessary to him; and so constant was his appli-
cation that I was often obliged to tear him from his book,
and force him to take some exercise necessary to his health.

I have as yet said nothing of the thousand little com-
forts we found in the boxes we had saved from the vessel,
and which we now looked over. We found all sorts of
furniture ; mirrors, several very handsome toilet-cases and
bureau-tables, in which we found every thing necessary
for writing. We even found a splendid clock, with an
automaton figure, which, if I could have put in order,
would have sounded the hours; as it was, it made a
very handsome show on the marble table in our saloon.
Our grotto grew every day so comfortable that the chil-
dren could not think of any name suitable to call it by:
some wanted it called The Fairy Palace, others the Re-
splendent Grotto: but, after a long discussion, we came to
the conclusion that it should be called simply “ Felsen-
heim,” or the dwelling in the rock. Time rolled away so
rapidly in all these occupations, that two months of the
rainy season had elapsed, and I had not yet found time to
make my double yokes, or the new pair of carding-combs,
that my wife had so long wished for.

CHAPTER XXX.
The Whale.—Its Dissection.— Uses of the different parts.
Tux end of the month of August was marked by a renewal
318 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of the bad weather. The rain, the winds, the thunder
redoubled with new fury. How happy we were in the
habitation we had made! What would have become of
us in our aérial palace at Falcon’s Nest? and our tent,
how could that have withstood the storm? But at last
the weather became more settled; the clouds dispersed ;
the rain ceased; and we were able to venture from
our grotto, to see whether the world yet remained
firm.
‘We promenaded upon the belt of rocks that extended
all along the coast; and as we had need of liberty and
exercise, we took pleasure in scaling the highest peaks,
and looking over the plain which was spread out beneath
us. Fritz, always daring, and whose eye almost rivalled
that of his eagle, was standing upon the peak of rocks,
when he perceived, upon the little island in Flamingo
Bay, a black spot, the nature and form of which he could
not determine; but he thought it was a shipwrecked
vessel, Ernest, who mounted after him, took it for a sea-
lion, such as Admiral Anson speaks of in his voyages. I
determined to go and inspect it myself. We walked
down to the sea-shore, emptied the rain-water from the
canoe, and all set off, with the exception of Francis and
my wife, who hardly liked our excursion.

The nearer we approached, the more rapidly one con-
jecture followed another. At last, when we were near
enough to distinguish it, what was our surprise to see an
enormous whale lying on his side upon the strand!

Being ignorant whether he was dead or sleeping, I did
not think it prudent to approach without precaution;
consequently we turned round and steered for the other
side of the island, which consisted of nothing more than
a sandbank elevated above the waves; but a rank growth
of herbs and plants covered it, and it was the resort of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 319

numbers of sea-birds, whose nests and eggs we found in
abundance.

There were two roads to choose, by which to reach the
whale: one by climbing over the rocks, which rendered it
laborious: the other longer, but far less fatiguing. I
took the first path, and commanded the boys to take the
other, as I wished to examine fully this little island,
which wanted but trees to render it charming. From
this elevation I could see the whole coast, from Tent-
House to Falcon’s Nest, which spectacle made me almost
forget the whale: and when I reached the side where my
children were, they came running toward me, carrying
their hats full of shells and coral, which they had picked
up on the beach.

On examining the whale we found that it was quite
dead, and determined to return after dinner, with the
necessary articles for attacking the enormous prey that
the ocean had thrown for us upon the sand.

As we were rowing homewards, the conversation turned
upon coral, and Jack asked me what use they made of
this production of nature.

“ Formerly,” said I, “ coral was in great vogue through-
out Europe, as it was used in the head-dresses of ladies ;
but the coral has now gone out of fashion, and it is only
gathered as specimens for museums, which is all we can
do with this, among our other curiosities.”

Fritz wished to know to what region coral belonged :
“for,” said be, “I have read that it was the work ofa
little worm.”

“It is true,” said I; “all sorts of shells are formed by
the viscous deposit of the individual who dwells in them.
Coral is formed by a very minute insect, which lives in
the water, but is of so frail a nature that it cannot subsist
but in numberless quantities.”
320 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

I then related to my sons the phenomena of the exist-
ence of the polypi'. I told them also about the coral
fisheries?; and, while talking, we arrived at our destina-
tion, where my wife and son were ready to receive us.
She admired the beauty of our coral, but observed that it
was of no use in the household affairs; and when I had
told her my resolution to return to the whale that after-
noon, she cheerfully declared that she would accompany
me. I was enchanted at this resolution, and we hastened
to prepare the necessary provisions and articles for a
stay of two days; for, perhaps, we might be detained on
the island, and I thought it best to make preparations
accordingly.

After a hasty dinner, I selected four empty tubs in
which to put the blubber of the whale, and fastened them
to the stern of the canoe; and, after having armed my
sons with knives, and hatchets, and saws, and all the
cutting-instruments I could find, we weighed anchor, and
directed our course toward the island where the whale
lay. The sea was calm, and we arrived without much
trouble, excepting the weight of our cargo, which neces-
sarily delayed our progress.

1 This very remarkable class possesses so low an organization in the
scale of being, as often to be classed with mosses and sea-weeds, as in-
deed at one time was the case with zoophytes generally, but although
in masses, they may be distinctly animalized.— Vide Mr. Broderip on
Polypi.

? For this kind of fishing, eight men who are excellent divers equip
& felucca, or small boat, commonly called a “ coralline,” carrying with
them a large wooden cross, with strong, equal, and long arms, each
bearing a stout bag-net. They attach a strong rope to the middle of the
cross, and let it down horizontally into the sea, having loaded its centre
with a weight sufficient to sink it. The diver follows the cross, pushes
one arm of it after another into the hollows of the rocks, so ag to en-
tangle the coral in the nets, when his companions in the boat pull up
the cross aud its accompaniments,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 321

Our whale looked like those of Greenland: the back
was greenish black, the stomach yellowish, the fins and
tail black. I measured it, and found that it was between
sixty and seventy feet long, and about forty in diameter,
which is about the ordinary size of these monsters of the
deep. My children were astonished at the proportions of
the head, which formed a third of the whole creature ; its
mouth was immense; and its jaws, which were full twelve
feet in length, were furnished with flexible appendages
called “ dewlaps',”” and which in Europe form an article
of commerce. One thing which struck Fritz was the
smallness of the monster’s eye, which was not larger than
that of an ox: and the opening by which his immense
mouth communicated with his throat was scarcely the
diameter of my arm.

“If the animal is voracious,” said my son, laughing,
“he cannot swallow a very large mouthful at a time.”

“You speak truly,” I answered; “and the whale owes
its enormous corpulence to a little fish, of which it is very
fond, and which it finds in the Polar Seas. It swallows
a prodigious quantity at every meal. It also absorbs, at
the same time, a large quantity of sea-water, which it
throws out by the two holes placed below its nostrils; it
is to this faculty it owes the name of ‘ blowing fish,’ which
it shares with several other marine monsters, as voracious,
and nearly as immense as itself?.”

1 Laminz, called whalebone. The common whale is furnished with
no teeth; but its upper jaw, which is extremely narrow, is supplied with
horny lamine, descending perpendicularly from the palate, and varying
in length and breadth in proportion to the species; they comprise two
series generally, with about 300 in each.

3 This appears by the description given, to have been a common
sperm whale ; we could imagine that animals of such enormous strength
and magnitude, would spread consternation and dismay around, and
prove the destruction of the inferior tribes ; no creature is found, how-

XY
322 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

Ernest, in considering the narrow throat of the whale,
wondered how Jonah could have found entrance. I then
took occasion to say that it was not right to take the
Sacred Books in their literal sense, and that, under the
general name of whale, are comprehended other marine
monsters of the same form, but whose interior organiza-
tion is quite in accordance with this miracle of the
Sacred Writings.

“But,” added I, “let us adjourn to another time all
learned dissertations. To work, gentlemen—to work,
and let us hasten, if we wish to get any thing done before
night comes on.”

Fritz and Jack then entered the head of the whale, and,
working with the hatchet and the saw, cut out the “ dew-
laps,” which Francis and his mother carried to the boat ;
we cut out more than two hundred pieces of different
sizes. While this was going on, Ernest and I cut several
feet deep into the fat which covered the sides of the ani-
mal. But we were not long the only claimants for the
whale. A multitude of winged robbers surrounded us,
eager to associate in our work. They flew round and
round our heads, then, gradually approaching, they were
so bold as to snatch pieces of fat from our hands. The
birds were very troublesome; but my wife having made
the remark that their down would be of use to her, I
knocked down some with a club, and threw them into
the boat. I cut from the back of the animal a long and
large band of skin, out of which I wanted to make a har-

ever, to be less voracious than the “common whale ;” little animal
substance is ever discovered in its stomach, and it is inoffensive in pro-
portion to its ability todo mischief. There is a strong analogy, in many
respects, between the manners of the whale and the elephant: both are
the largest and strongest in their respective elements; neither offers
injury, but eath is most terrible when provoked to resentment.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 823

ness for the ass and the two buffaloes. It was a difficult
task, the skin was so thick, and so hard to cut. I should
have liked to have carried away some of the intestines,
and the sinews of the tail; but the night was advancing,
and it was time to return. The tubs were placed in the
canoe, and we set out for the coast with the new cargo
we had acquired. It was for us a precious treasure, but
far from agreeably obtained. Arrived at the shore, we un-
loaded our cargo, which the ass, the cow, and the buffalo
immediately transported home.

The next morning we again embarked in the canoe;
but this time Francis and his mother were left behind;
as they could have been of no use in the work I intended,
which was to penetrate into the interior of the whale, and,
if possible, to procure some parts of its immense intes-
tines. A fresh wind was blowing, and we soon arrived at
the island, which we found covered with gulls and other
marine birds, who in spite of the canvas with which the
pieces that had been cut from the whale were covered,
had made a plentiful meal. It was necessary to have re-
course to fire-arms to drive away this horde of pillagers.

We took care, before commencing our work, to strip off
every article of clothing, excepting our pantaloons; then
like true butchers, we opened the animal, selected from
the mass of entrails those which would best suit our pur-
pose; I cut them in pieces of from six to twelve feet
long, and, after having turned them inside out, washed
them, and well rubbed them with sand, we placed them in
the boat.

We abandoned the rest of our prey to the voracious
birds ; and, after having loaded our boat with a new cargo
of whale blubber, we set sail for Felsenheim.

The reason that I had taken so much trouble to obtain
the whale’s intestines was, because I wished to use them

x2
$24 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

as vessels to contain the oil; my sons thought that the
idea was wonderful, and wanted to know how I had
thought of it.

“ The author of this idea,” said I, “ was necessity, that
great impulse of human industry; it was that which
taught those wretched beings who live where no wood or
green thing ever grows, how to supply their wants. It
was necessity that taught the Esquimaux to use the en-
trails of the whale in place of vessels they had not the
means of constructing, and discovered to them in this
single animal, treasures which the inhabitants of more
favoured climes cannot appreciate.”

The conversation then turned upon the many uses of
animal entrails, from cords for violins up to the aérostatic
globe which elevates man above the earth—the covering
of balloons being generally made of the skin of the in-
testines of animals.

Ernest then tried to explain to his brothers the phe-
nomena of aérostatic ascension. ,

“ Balloons,”’ said he, “are only kept up in the air be-
cause they are lighter than the atmosphere that surrounds
them, the same way as bladders filled with air float on
the water, the air they contain being lighter than water.
This light air is obtained by heat, which expands the
particles of air, and causes them to occupy more room ;
but as that process is long and tedious, balloons are gene-
rally filled with hydrogen gas, which is lighter than
common air.”

‘When we arrived at home, we found my wife anxiously
expecting us. The sight of our greasy condition almost
frightened her, but I consoled her by promising miracles
from the rich treasures of whale oil, and the entrails
we had brought home.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 325

CHAPTER XXXI.

Excursion to Prospect Hill—A Turtle Drive—Weav-
ing Machine.—Basket-making.

THE day had scarcely dawned when we were all up and
ready for work. The four tubs of fat were raised from
the ground, and a strong pressure being applied, we
squeezed out as much of the oil as possible; and as this
was the finest and purest, we filled one or two of the en-
trails with it.

The rest was emptied into a large iron kettle, and a
slow fire being applied, it was soon reduced to a liquid
state. A large iron spoon, which we had saved from the
wreck, and which had been originally intended for the
sugar-factory, served us to empty the oil into the entrails
from the kettle. All these works were carried on at a
distance from Felsenheim, as we did not wish to perfume
the air around our habitation with the fetid odour of
whale oil.

‘When we had procured a sufficient quantity of oil, we
threw the lumps of fat into the Jackal’s River, where our
geese and ducks found a delicious repast. We also threw
our birds away, after my wife had plucked the feathers ;
their meat was too coarse for us. The lobsters, however,
were not so particular, and we profited by the avidity
with which they rushed to the bait to renew our stock.

While we were occupied in our manufacture of oil, my
wife made a proposition which met my hearty approba-
tion: it was to establish a new colony on the island of
the whale. “We will put some fowls there,” said she;
“they will be safe from their two great plagues the mon-
keys and the jackals.”

T liked the project very much; and the children were
326 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

so enchanted that they wanted to start immediately, and
put it into execution. But it was now too late, and I
calmed their ardour by informing them that I was about
to construct a machine, which would render the work of
rowing less laborious. All my materials consisted of the
wheel of a smoke-jack and an iron-toothed axle upon which
it turned. The machine that I constructed was not a
master-piece of execution; but it answered the purpose
very well. A handle attached to the wheel put the
machine in motion, and two large flat pieces o whale-
bone, nailed together in the form of a cross, and fixed at
each end of the axle, resembled the wheels of a steam-
boat. When the handle was turned, the wings of whale-
bone beat against the surface of the water, and drove the
canoe forward. Its velocity was in proportion to the
power imparted to the wheel.

I will not attempt to describe the transports of joy
that my children evinced when they saw the canoe glid-
ing over the surface of the water: they clapped their
hands, and jumped with joy as they watched Fritz and
myself making a trial of our invention. I was astonished
myself at the rapidity of our course. We had scarcely
touched the land, when every one was in ‘the boat, and
begging me to make an excursion to the island of the
whale. But the day was too far advanced to admit of such
a thing, and I promised them that we would make on the
morrow an excursion by sea to the farm-house at Prospect
Hill, for the purpose of inspecting our colony there.

My proposition was well received : and we immediately
began to prepare our arms and provisions, so that we
could start early on the morrow.

At the first dawning of the day every body was ready.
‘We did not forget provisions; and my wife put up, in a
double envelope of fresh leaves, a piece of the whale’s
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 827

tongue, which, by the recommendation of Ernest, she had
cooked and spiced as a delicate viand.

We gaily quitted the shore, and the strong current of
the Jackal’s River soon brought us into the sea: tho
breeze was good, and every thing promised a favourable
sail.

I had kept at some distance from the coast, as I was
afraid that there might be some hidden rocks inshore,
which might destroy our frail bark. The distance was
great enough to permit us to take in at one glance the
splendid panorama which was unfolded before us. On
one side was Falcon’s Nest, with its giant trees ; in the
distance, a range of rocks which seemed to touch the
heavens ; while if your eyes sought a nearer object, they
fell upon Whale Island, its green verdure contrast-
ing beautifully with the sublime expanse of ocean. Our
hearts were overflowing with admiration, and we inwardly
thanked the Lord for his goodness.

When we had arrived opposite the “ Wood of Mon-
keys,” I ran the boat into a little creek, and landed, to
replenish our stock of cocoa-nuts. It was with feelings
of the keenest pleasure that we heard the crowing of the
cocks through the woods, announcing the neighbourhood
of the farm-house. The sound recalled our dear country
to our minds, where often this same noise has made
known to the wearied traveller the neighbourhood of some
friendly cottage. We re-embarked, and rapidly neared
Prospect Hill, and could plainly distinguish the bleating
of our little herd. We landed and directed our course
toward the farm-house.

Every thing was in order; but what greatly astonished
us was the wildness of the sheep and goats, who fled on
all sides at our approach. My sons began to run after
them; but as the long-bearded animals were far more
328 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

agile than they were, they soon grew tired of the chase,
and drawing from their pockets the strings with balls at-
tached, they soon captured three or four of the fugitives.
We distributed some handfuls of salt among them, in
return for which they yielded us several bowls of most
delicious milk.

My wife wanted to take away with her some of the fine
pullets that were so numerous. A handful of rice and oats
brought the whole feathered tribe about us: and select-
ing those that she wanted, we tied their feet securely,
and carried them to the boat.

We dined at Prospect Hill, The cold meats we had
brought had composed our repast ; but the whale’s tongue
was unanimously pronounced most detestable, and only fit
for asailor. I left my wife to make the preparations for
our departure, and started out with Fritz to gather some
sugar-cane. I also dug up some roots of this precious
article to plant on Whale Island.

We weighed anchor, or at least we pulled up the
stone that secured us, and coasted along in the direction
of Cape Disappointment, which I wished to double ; but
the cape still justified its name, and a long bank of sand
stretching out prevented our progress, and we were
obliged to turn back. I hoisted the sail, we redoubled
our labours at the wheel, and, thanks to a little breeze
that sprung up, were soon in sight of Whale Island.

On landing, my first care was to plant the roots I had
brought from Prospect Hill: but my boys, on whose
assistance I had counted, did not think the plantation of
sufficient consequence for them, and ran off to the beach
to gather shells. My good wife supplied their places,
but we had scarcely commenced our labours when we
heard Fritz calling to us from some distance.

“Run, run—this way,” cried he, waving his hand to
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 329

hasten my arrival. “Quick—a monstrous turtle, that
we are not strong enough to turn.” I caught up two
handspikes, and ran as fast as possible to the spot, where
I found Ernest struggling with a monstrous turtle, which
he held by one leg; but which, despite all his efforts, had
reached the border of the sea. I arrived just in time;
and, throwing one of the spikes to Fritz, we were able
to turn the enormous animal on its back.

It really was of prodigious size, about eight feet and a
half in length, and could not possibly weigh less than five
hundred pounds. I did not know how we should be able
to carry him away; however, the position in which we
had placed him gave us time for reflection.

As we were returning to our plantation, Jack called
our attention to the carcase of the whale, whose bones
had bleached in the sun. He observed that they did not
look like fish bones, but rather resembled those of some
monstrous animal. ,

“The whale,” said I, “like all the fish of its genus, has real
bones. Birds, men, all living beings have them; only the
structure and composition is different, according to their
different destinations. The bones of fishes are formed of
an oily matter, lighter than water, which aids them to
preserve their equilibrium. Birds also have their bones,
as it were, blown up with air, and appropriate to their
course through the superior regions; as for terrestrial
animals, their bones are more solid, as they are designed
to support more of the weight of the body.”

“ Can we not,” said Fritz, “draw from this mountain
of bones some utility ?”’

“I do not know,” said I, “what use we can make of
them; the Hollanders make palings of them, and also
rustic chairs, which produce a fine effect ; and we will one
day, when we have leisure, make a philosophical chair for
330 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

our museum.” It was now too late to finish our work of
planting that night. We buried the roots in the ground,
and deferred till another day this important occupation.
The giant turtle was now our grand object; I brought
the boat round to where he lay extended on his back, and
forming a circle around him, we debated as to the means
of transporting him.

“Well, gentlemen,” said I, at length, “we need not
embarrass ourselves much ; instead of carrying this mon-
ster, let him conduct we back to Felsenheim. A turtle
makes an excellent equipage on the sea: Fritz and I have
tried the experiment.”

My idea was a happy one, and every one was glad. ‘I
commenced by emptying out the barrel of water we had
brought; then, turning the turtle over on his feet, we
fastened the barrel to his back, so that it was impossible
for him to sink and draw us with him; a cord passed
through a hole which we broke in the upper shell served
me for reins; and without losing time we all embarked
for home. I placed myself in the prow of the canoe, with
a hatchet to cut the cord in case of need.

Our course was accomplished rapidly and safely: a
handspike that I held in my hand served me for a whip,
and a blow well applied would rectify any deviation from
the track. Master Ernest, the professor, compared us to
Neptune gliding over the waves, drawn by dolphins’.

1 Mr. Darwin, in describing Keeling Island, gives an interesting ac-
count of catching turtle, and particularly refers to the progress they
make in the water. He says :—‘‘ Two boats were employed in catching
them. The method is rather curious: the water is so clear and shallow,
that although, at first, a turtle dives out of sight, yet in a boat under
sail, the pursuers after a very long chase come up to it. A man stand-
ing at the bows ready, at this moment dashes through the water upon
the turtle’s back; then, clinging with both hands by the shell of the
neck, he is carried away till the animal becomes exhausted and is 5
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 331

We arrived safely at Felsenheim, and our first care
was to secure our turtle, and to replace the empty barrel
by strong ropes. But as we could not keep him long in
this way, we killed him the next morning, and his enor-
mous shell was destined to serve as a basin to our fountain
in the grotto. The work cost some trouble and time, as
it was very difficult to detach the flesh from the shell.
Tt was a superb piece of meat, full six feet by three,
and afforded us material for many a delicious meal. We
consulted all our works on natural history, and we came
to the conclusion (the professor and J) that our turtle
was the giant green turtle, the largest of all.

We had had so much trouble in harvesting our crops
the last season, that we had resolved, instead of trusting
them to the ground without any order or regularity, to
prepare a field which could receive them all at the same
time, and where they could ripen together. But as our
animals were not yet sufficiently accustomed to the yoke
to warrant our undertaking the task, I was obliged to
defer it till some future period.

In the mean-time, I employed myself in constructing
a weaving-machine for my wife: our garments had
become so tattered and torn, that the machine was of in-
calculable benefit to us. It was neither perfect nor hand-
some, but it answered our purpose. As we had none of
the wheat flour that the weavers use to make paste,
which they employ in hardening the warp, and preventing
the threads from tangling, I substituted the glue of fish ;
and I may confess, without self-praise, that my composi-
tion was better than that of the weavers, for the fish-glue
preserves a humidity that the ordinary glue does not, and
by employing it one can weave in a dry situation instead

cured. It was quite an interesting chase to see the two boats doubling
about, and the men dashing into the water to seize their prey.
332 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of descending into cellars, where the weavers, from time
immemorial, have been obliged to confine themselves,
From this fish-glue I also made window-panes, not well
calculated, it is true, for windows exposed to the rain;
but they answered for ours, which, on account of their
deep embrasures, were protected from storm.

Encouraged by these successes, I next undertook to
make yokes and harness for our beasts; kangaroos and
sea-dogs furnished me with the necessary leather, and I
used for wadding the moss that the Molucca pigeons had
discovered to us. But as this moss would have matted
together, and grown hard under the rider, I employed my
sons in twisting it into cords, in which state it was left
some time, and then untwisted; by that means we ob-
tained frizzed hair, as elastic as that of horses. In a
short time we had saddles and stirrups, bits and bridles,
yokes and collars, each adapted to the strength of the
animal for which it was intended.

But this sedentary course of life did not suit the rest-
less minds of my young people, and they earnestly begged
me to take them hunting in the country. I put the
matter off, and took in hand another sort of work, the
want of which we felt sensibly. I speak of the making of
baskets, a number of which articles we needed to carry
our rice, roots, grain, &c. Our first attempts were clumsy
enough, but we gradually improved, and when I thought
we were skilful enough, I ventured to use some of Jack’s
Spanish rushes, and we made a number of fine baskets;
they were not as finished workmanship as more skilful
hands would have effected, but they were light and strong,
and that was all we cared for.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 833

CHAPTER XXXTI.

The Alarm——The Boa-Oonstrictor and its Victim.—
Serpents and the Serpent-eater.

WE were still busily engaged in these occupations, when
Fritz, who was always making discoveries, suddenly
started up, as if frightened at a cloud of dust which
had arisen on the other side of the river, in the direction
of Falcon’s Nest.

“There is some large animal there,” said he, “to judge
from the dust it has raised; besides, it is plainly coming
in this direction.”

“TJ cannot imagine what it is,” I answered ; “ our large
animals are in the stable; it may be two or three sheep,
or, perhaps, our sow, frolicking in the sand.”

“No, no,” replied Fritz, quickly ; “it is some singular
animal; J can perceive its movements: it rolls and unrolls
itself alternately ; I can see the rings of which it is formed.
See, it is raising itself up, and looks like a huge mast in
the dust ; it advances—stops—marches on; but I cannot
distinguish either feet or legs.”

T ran for the spy-glass we had saved from the wreck,
and directed it toward the dust.

“T can see it plainly,” said Fritz; “it has a greenish-
coloured body. What do you think of it, father?”

“That we must fly as fast as possible, and intrench
ourselves in the grotto.”

“ What do you think it is P”

“A serpent—a huge serpent, advancing directly for
us.”

“Shall I run for the guns, to be ready to receive
him ?”

“Not here. The serpent is too powerful to permit of
334 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

our attacking him, unless we are ourselves in a place of
safety.”

We hastened to gain the interior of the grotto, and
prepared to receive ourenemy. It was a boa-constrictor';
and he advanced so quickly that it was too late to take
up the boards on Family Bridge.

‘We watched all his movements, and saw him stretch-
ing out his enormous length along the bank of the river.
From time to time the reptile would raise up the forepart
of his body twenty feet from the ground, and turn his
head gently from right to left, as if seeking for his prey,
while he darted a triple-barbed tongue from his half-
opened jaws. He crossed the bridge, and directed his
course straight for the grotto: we had barricaded the
door and-the windows as well as we were able, and ascended
into the dove-cot, to which we had made an interior en-
trance ; we passed our muskets through the holes in the
door, and waited silently for the enemy—it was the
silence of terror.

But the boa, in advancing, had perceived tle traces of
man’s handiwork, and he came on hesitatingly, until at
last he stopped, about thirty paces directly in front of our
position. He had scarcely advanced thus far when Er- .
nest, more through fear than through any warlike ardour,
discharged his gun, and thus gave a false signal. Jack
and Francis followed his example, and my wife, whom
the danger had rendered bold, also discharged her gun.

The monster raised his head ; but either because none

1 Of all the reptiles that exist, none equal in size and power the
boa, some of them being occasionally met with from thirty to forty feet
in length, and of a strength so prodigious as to destroy as large and
powerful an animal as a rbinoceros, by enveloping its victim in its.
capacious folds, and then contracting itself to such an extent that it
quickly succeeds in crushing it to death.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 335

of the shots had touched him, or because the scales of his
skin were impenetrable to balls, he appeared to have re-
ceived no wound. Fritz and I then fired, but without
any effect, and the serpent glided away with inconceivable
rapidity toward the marsh which our ducks and geese in-
habited, and disappeared in the rushes.

A general exclamation accompanied his disappearance.
‘We were inexpressibly relieved. We ventured again to
speak. Every one was sure that they had hit him; but
all agreed that he was as yet unwounded. We all con-
curred as to his immense proportions: but as for the
colour of his skin, every one embroidered it according to
his own taste.

The neighbourhood of the boa threw me into the most
unenviable state of mind; for I could think of no way to
rid ourselves of him, and our united forces were as no-
thing against such an enemy. I expressly commanded
my whole family to remain in the grotto, and forbade
them opening the door without my permission.

The fear of our terrible neighbour kept us shut up
three days in our retreat—three long days of anguish and
alarm—during which time I suffered no one to break the
rule I had established ; the interior service of the grotto
was the only consideration that could induce me to break
it, and even then I allowed no one to go beyond the re-
servoir of the fountain.

The monster had given us no signs of his presence, and
we might have supposed him departed, either by tra-
versing the marsh, or by some unknown passage in the
rock, if the agitation which reigned among our aquatic
animals had not assured us of his presence. Every even-
ing the whole colony of ducks and geese would direct their _
course to the bay, making a terrible noise, and sail away for
Whale Island, where they found a safe asylum.
336 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

My embarrassment daily increased; and the immov-
ability of the enemy rendered our position very painful.
I was afraid that a direct attack might cost us the lives
of one or more of our little family. Our dogs could do
nothing against such a foe; and to have exposed any
one of our beasts of burden, would have been certain
destruction to it. On the other hand, our provisions
daily diminished, as the season was not yet far enough ad-
vanced to have laid in any winter stores. In a word we
were in a most deplorable situation, when Heaven came
to our aid. The instrument that effected our deliverance
was our poor old jackass, the companion of our wander-
ings, and faithful servant.

The fodder that we happened to have in the grotto had
diminished frightfully ; it was necessary to nourish the cow,
as she contributed in great part to our subsistence, and some
must be taken from the other animals. In this dilemma
I resolved to set them at liberty, and let them provide for
their own nourishment. Inconvenient as this measure
was, it was better than to see us all dying of hunger shut
up in the grotto. I thought that if we could get them
on the other side of the river they would find a plentiful
supply of food, and be in safety as long as the boa re-
mained buried in the rushes. I was afraid to cross
Family Bridge; lest I should arouse the monster, and I
decided to ford at the spot where our first crossing was
made. My plan was, to attach the animals together.
Fritz, mounted on his onager, was to direct the front
of the procession, while I took care that the march was
effected in good order. I recommended to my son, at
the first sign of the serpent’s presence, to fly as fast as
his beast would carry him to Falcon’s Nest. As to our
animals, I left to Providence the care of watching over
and saving them. For my part, I proposed to post my-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 337

self on 8 rock that overlooked the marsh, and in case of
an attack on the part of the serpent, retreat to the
grotto, where a well-directed discharge of fire-arms would
rid us of him.

I then loaded all our arms; my sons were placed as
videttes in the dove-cot, with orders to observe the move-
ments of the enemy, while Fritz and I arranged our
beasts as aforesaid. But a little misunderstanding put
an end to all my plans. My wife, who had charge of the
door, did not wait for the signal, and opened it before the
animals were attached together. The ass, who had grown
very lively, considering his age, by his three days’ rest
and good feed, no sooner saw a ray of light than he
rushed out of the door, and was away in the open plain
before we could stop him. It was a comical sight to see
him kicking his heels in the air; and Fritz would have
mounted his onager, and pursued him, but I restrained
him, and contented myself by trying every manner of
persuasion to induce the poor animal to come back. We
called him by his name; we made use of our cow-horn ;
but all was useless—the unruly fellow exulted in his
liberty, and, as if urged on by some fatality, he advanced
direct to the marsh. But what horror froze our veins,
when, suddenly, we saw the horrid serpent emerging from
the rushes! he elevated his head above ten feet from the
ground, darted out his forked tongue, and crawled swiftly on
toward the ass. The poor fellow soon saw his danger, and
began to run, braying with all his might; but neither his
cries nor his legs could save him from his terrible enemy,
and in a moment he was seized, enveloped, and crushed
in the monstrous rings that the serpent threw round
him.

My wife and sons uttered a cry of terror, and we fled
in haste to the grotto, from whence we could view the

Zz
338 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

horrible combat between the bos and the ass. My
children wanted to fire, and deliver, said they, the poor
jackass ; but I forbade them to do it.

“What can you do,” said I, “with fire-arms? The boa
is too much occupied with his prey to abandon it; and,
besides, if you wound him, perhaps we may become the
victims of his fury. The loss of our ass was great, it was
true, but I hoped that it would save us from a greater.
Let us remain here, and the enemy will fall an easy prey
to us; only wait until he has swallowed the victim he is
now strangling.”

“But,” said Jack, “we shall have to wait a long time ;
for it will be a great while before the snake can tear in
pieces, and swallow our poor ass.”

“No; the serpent never tears his prey in pieces, and
the teeth with which he is armed serve but to seize it;
and when he has prepared it, he makes but one mouthful
of it.” ,

“What!” asked Francis, in a tone stifled with terror;
“a single mouthful! Is it venomous ?”

“No,” replied I; “the boa is not venomous, but it is
not the less terrible: he is endowed with extraordinary
strength ; and when he has become master of an animal,
he crushes it, and mixing the bones and flesh together,
buries the whole in his body.”

“Impossible!” answered Jack; “the boa can never
break the bones of our ass; and as for swallowing him
whole—why, the ass is larger than the serpent.”

“ Impossible!” interrupted Fritz. “ Look, the monster
is already at his work ; do you not see how he is tortur-
ing our poor animal ?—look how he fashions it to the
dimensions of his throat!”

In fact, the boa proceeded with horrible avidity to his
repast. My wife would not behold the mournful spec-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 339

tacle, and she retired to the interior of the grotto, taking
little Francis with her. I was glad of this, as the sight
became so horrible I could scarcely bear it myself. The
ass was dead; we had heard his last bray, half stifled by
the pressure of the boa, and we could now distinctly hear
the cracking of his bones. The monster, to give himself
more power, had wound his tail about a piece of rock,
which gave it the force of a lever, and we saw him knead-
ing like dough the deformed mass of flesh, among which
we could distinguish nothing but the head, dripping with
blood and covered with wounds. When the monster
judged his preparation sufficient, he commenced to swallow
the prey he had secured. He placed before him the mass
of flesh, and extending his immense length along the
ground, by a sudden effort distended his body frightfully ;
then squirting a stream of saliva over the carcase, he
began. Seizing the ass by the hind feet, by little and
little we saw the whole body buried in the insatiate maw
of the monster. Every few moments he would eject a
flood of saliva over his prey, as if to render the opera-
tion of swallowing it more easy. We observed that as
he advanced, the animal lost his strength; and when all
had been swallowed he remained perfectly torpid and in-
sensible.

The operation had been long; at seven o’clock it had
commenced, and at noon had just finished.

I saw that the time had now arrived, and I exclaimed,
“ Now my children, now the serpent is in our power!”

I then set out from the grotto, carrying my loaded gun
in my hand; Fritz followed close by my side, Jack came
next, but the more timid Ernest lingered behind. I
thought it best to pay no attention to him until all was
over. Francis and his mother remained at home.

On approaching the reptile, I found that my supposi-

z2
340 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

tions were right, and that it was the giant boa of the na-
turalists. The serpent raised his head, and, darting on
me a look of powerless anger, again let it fall.

Fritz and I fired together, and both our shots entered
the skull of the animal ; but they did not produce death,
and the eyes of the serpent sparkled with rage. We ad-
vanced nearer, and firing our pistols directly through the
eye, we saw his rings contract, a slight quiver ran through
his body, and he lay dead upon the sand before us,
stretched out like the mast of a ship.

We set up a shout of victory, and we huzzaed so long
and loud, that my wife and Francis came running down
toward us, having rightly conjectured the cause of our
rejoicings.

“Let us be thankful,” said I, “after such a victory.
Once more we owe our lives to the providence of God.”

“For my part,” said Fritz, “I must say that I felt
strange sensations of fear while the serpent was devour-
ing his prey. Poor jackass! he devoted himself for our
deliverance, as Curtius did, a long time ago, for the
Roman people.”

“ And,” replied Ernest, “ how often the things we prize
least become the most useful.”

* Poor dear ass,” added little Francis, “we shall never
ride him again !”

“Tis true, my child,” answered his mother; “we
should regret the loss of our good and faithful servant; .
but it was necessary that one of our animals should die
for us. Let us thank God that our poor ass was chosen ;
for we could spare him the best, and he was so old that
he soon must have died a natural death. The serpent has
but anticipated it by a few months.”

My wife asked me if the flesh of serpents ever was
eaten.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 841

“The Indians,”’ said I, “eat the flesh of the rattlesnake,
the most venomous of the whole tribe, and they also never
receive any injury from the flesh of those animals that
they shoot with poisoned arrows.”

This was an appropriate occasion to give my sons a
lesson in the natural history of the serpent, and I an-
swered their numberless questions with pleasure. I re-
counted to them how some pigs’ that had been left on an
island in America, so infested by rattlesnakes that it was
impossible to land there, completely cleared it of every
serpent.

Ernest wished to know whether the rattlesnake really
possessed the power of charming birds, and killing them
by his breath.

“Very learned men,” I replied, “ have thought so; but
it is probable that the charm consists in the terror of the
birds, which renders them unable to fly. Besides,” said
I, “there is a bird found in Africa called the secretary
bird’, on account of a feather projecting from the ear,

' In the Western States of North America, where rattlemakes are
plentiful, the hogs kill and eat them; nor is their bite formidable to
their swinish antagonists, on whom their venomous fangs seem to pro-
duce no effect. ‘It is owing to this well-known fact that it has ob-
tained popular credence in these districts, that ‘hog’s lard’ must be a
kind of antidote to their poison.” —-Murray.

2 Serpent Eater, or Secretary Falcon. This singular bird wages
continual war against all reptiles, especially serpents, which it pursues
on foot. ‘When it attacks a serpent, it covers its breast with one wing
(the wings being armed with spurs on the elbow joints) to protect iteelf
from the bite, and with the other strikes violent blows until it has
stunned its prey—it then breaks the cranium with its beak, and finally
tears the reptile in pieces. Le Vaillant mentions the almost incredible
fact, that having killed one of these birds which he had seen vanquish a
serpent, he found in its crop eleven lizards, three serpents of an arm’s
length, and several small tortoises nearly entire, al? of which had re-
ceived the stroke on the head.
842 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

whose sole food is serpents.” I then explained to my
children how the poison of the serpent is infused into any
object.

“ There are two little bags fixed in the upper jaw, cor-
responding to two of the lower teeth, which are very long
and pointed, and which the serpent has the power of draw-
ing down in the gum. When the animal only wishes
to take hold of any thing, he does not use them; but
when he wishes to inflict a death-wound, then he strikes
their sharp, hollow points into the two little bags of
poison; the venom runs down into the teeth, and from
thence into the wounds inflicted by them.”

I then spoke of the “ Hooded Snake,” that the Indian
jugglers teach to dance for the amusement of an ignorant
populace’. In short, all my knowledge of serpents was
unfolded to the boys, and the presence of the boa added
much to the interest of the lesson.

CHAPTER XXXII.

The Burial of the Ass, and Stuffing the Skin of the Boa.
—Boa-nesting.— Excursion to the Furm-House, and
Fresh Discoveries.

Arter the three days of anguish that we had spent in the
grotto, we felt the extreme pleasure of regained liberty ;
it was a second deliverance, almost as great as that from
our shipwreck. Men never feel the magnitude of the
gift of life, until after some danger has threatened its ex-
tinction.

As I thought it best to finish immediately with the boa,

1 It is generally believed that the snakes handled by the Indian jug-

giers are drugged with opium to render them harmless. The effects of
the drug will not wear off for a fortnight or three weeks.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 343

I sent Fritz and Jack to the grotto, with injunctions to
bring back the buffaloes. I remained with Ernest and
Francis, to keep off the birds of prey, which already
hovered around it; for I wished to preserve the brilliant-
coloured skin with which it was covered.

‘When we were alone, I gently reproached Ernest with
the timidity he had shown in attacking the serpent: and,
as 8 punishment, I laughingly condemned him to compose
an epitaph on our poor departed jackass. The punish-
ment was as good as a reward to the doctor, for it was
he who composed all the odes for our holidays.

He set about the work. Resting his head on his hand
for about ten minutes, he arose and recited, with a sort of
half-timid, half-satisfied air, the following stanzas :—

“ Here rests a faithful ass,
Who his master once disobey’d,
And was devour’d by a snake at last,
Who of him a breakfast made.

A family, shipwreck’d on the isle,
Mother, father, and children four,
Tried to save him, but in vain;
And now our faithful slave’s no more.”

“Wonderful! wonderful!” cried I. “Here are eight
lines, of which some have as many feet as the centipede ;
but as they are the best verses ever composed on the
island, they will figure admirably on this monument to
our jackass.”

So saying, I drew a piece of red lead from my pocket
and scrawled the verses, after his dictation, on the surface
of the rock. ;

I had scarcely finished when Fritz and his brother re-
turned with the buffaloes. The new epitaph was the sub-
ject of conversation ; but my young critics were so severe
844 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

upon the poetry, and showered so many sarcasms upon
the author, that he was obliged to give up the defence,
and join in the general laugh.

We commenced our work by attaching the two buffa-
loes to the head of the ass, which yet projected from the
mouth of the boa. While we held the serpent by the
tail, they pulled from its stomach the disfigured remains
of our unfortunate jackass. We buried them in the
earth near by, and piled some pieces of rock over them
for a monument.

The buffalo and his companion were then attached to
the tail of the monster, and we set out for the grotto,
supporting the head to prevent it from trailing on the
ground.

“ How shall we go to work to get the skin off?” asked
‘ my sons, as we deposited our heavy burden before the
grotto.

“See if you cannot find a way yourselves,” said I,
good-humouredly.

“T remember,” said Fritz, “to have read, in the travels
of Captain Stedman, that a negro having killed a boa, the
skin of which the captain was very desirous to preserve,
took a very ingenious method to deprive the serpent of
it. He passed a rope round its neck, the end of which
he threw over a strong branch, and then, having hoisted
the serpent, he climbed the tree, and, throwing one arm
around the animal, with the other he made a deep incision
in the throat; then, holding his knife steady, he slid
gently down the body of the animal, cutting the skin all
the way down, and thereby rendering it much more easy
for removal.”

“ Admirable!” cried all the boys, simultaneously ; “ but
: there is one difficulty: we are none of us as heavy as the
negro; we could not make an incision.”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 845

“T have thought of a simpler method than that,” cried
Ernest; “one I have often seen employed to skin eels,
and which will serve admirably for our present purpose.
It is this: to cut the skin around the neck, and, loosening
the first part, attach strong cords to it, fasten the cord to
the buffaloes, and, taking care to secure the head of the
serpent strongly, drive the animals in the opposite direc-
tion, and by that means draw off the whole skin.”

“ Oh,” said Jack, “ that will not be half as amusing as
the negro’s method: I should like to take a slide down
the body of the snake.”

“Amusement must give place to utility ; and I think
that the idea of Ernest is more simple and easier than the
other. Come, boys,” continued I, “to the work. I leave
the whole Jabour and the honour of the invention to you
alone. As for the preparation of the skin, nothing can be
easier: after you have cleaned the head as well as possi-
ble, you can wash the skin with salt water, sand, and
ashes ; then you must expose it to the sun’s rays to dry,
and, finally, fill it with hay, cotton, and all sorts of light
materials.”

Fritz assured me that he understood all that I wished
done, but that he was afraid it would not succeed. I en-
couraged him by saying that it would never do for men in
our situation to give way to difficulties—we should never
accomplish any thing.

They at last undertook the work. The skin was washed,
dried, and prepared as I had directed, and afterwards stuffed,
When this work, which had occupied a whole day, was
finished, we mended the holes that our balls had made in the
skin ; and, with a piece of cochineal, gave to the tongue that
blood-red colour of which death had deprived it ; then we
elevated it on a wooden stand, arranging its body as
gracefully as possible around the pole, and fixing the jaws
346 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

half open. Our dogs began to bark as soon as they saw
it: and our animals recoiled from it as if it were a living
boa. So arranged, it was solemnly installed in our library,
where it took the first rank among our curiosities.

We had nothing more to fear from the neighbourhood
of the boa; but I was afraid it might have either left its
mate (it was a female) behind it, or else a nest of little
ones, which in time would spread terror through the land.
I resolved, in consequence, to undertake two expeditions
—the one through the marsh, the other toward Falcon’s
Nest, through the passage in the rock, where I supposed
the boa had got through. We commenced by the marsh ;
but, at the moment of starting, Ernest and Jack begged
me to allow them to remain at home.

“T shudder with fear,” said Jack, “to think of meeting
one of those horrible serpents in the rushes.”

“ When we have triumphed over a real danger,” said I,
“we ought not to recoil from one that exists but in our
imagination. It would have been of very little advantage
to us to have killed a snake, if we should be surprised to-
morrow by one of the same size, or, in a few weeks, should
behold a whole army of small ones issuing from the rushes.
He does nothing,” I continued, “ who stops in the middle
of his work.”

We then set out loaded with our hunting equipage.
We carried, besides our arms, some boards, and the
bladders of sea-dogs, to sustain us on the water, if neces-
sary. The boards we wanted to assist us in our march,
for, by placing one before the other, and taking them up,
we made a solid walk of wood. This was a great con-
venience, and enabled us to search the marsh thoroughly.
We easily recognized the traces of the boa; the rushes
were bent down where it had passed through, and there
were deep spiral impressions in the wet ground where it
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 847

had rested its enormous rings. But we discovered
nothing that induced us to believe that the boa had a
companion: we found neither eggs, nor little ones—
nothing but a nest of dried rushes, and I did not think
that the boa had constructed even that. Arrived at the
end of the marsh, we made an interesting discovery ; it was
that of a new grotto, which opened out of the rock, and
out of which flowed a little stream that passed on among
the rushes of the marsh.

The grotto was hung with stalactites, which rose in
immense columns on each side, as if to sustain the vault,
and formed themselves into singular and beaitiful designs.
‘We remained some time in admiration of this miracle of
nature, and as we walked on, I remarked that the ground
upon which we trod was composed of an extremely fine
and white sort of earth, which, after examining it, I re-
cognized as being “fullers’ clay.” I immediately gathered
some handfuls, and carefully placed them in my pocket-
handkerchief.

“Here,” said I, to my sons, who were regarding me
with astonishment, “here is a discovery that will be very
welcome to your mother; and henceforth, if we bring her
dirty clothes, we will bring her something to wash them,
for here is soap.”

“I thought,” said Ernest, “that soap was the re-
sult of human industry, and not a production of the
earth.”

“You thought rightly ; the soap that is ordinarily used
is composed of a certain salt, the acidity of which is
corrected by the addition of grease and so forth, which
weakens its power greatly. But this fabrication is
tedious and costly, and men have been so fortunate as to
find a sort of earth in which is united certain qualities
of the soap; it is this we have found, and it is called
348 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

‘fullers’ clay,’ because it is used to clean woollen
goods '.”

We had approached the source of the spring while
conversing ; and Fritz, who was a little in advance, cried
out that the rock had a large opening on one side. We
ran forward, and soon found ourselves in a new cavern.
We fired off a pistol, and we were able to judge by the
echo that the grotto extended toa great distance. We
then lighted two candles, with which our knapsacks were
provided; they burned without obstacle, and the pure
light assured us of the salubrity of the air. Having left
the others Behind, Fritz and I continued to advance,
when suddenly we saw our torches reflected from every
side of the rock.

“See, father,” cried Fritz, in a transport of joy, “a
salt grotto! look at the enormous blocks of salt lying at
our feet.”

“You are very much mistaken, indeed,” I answered ;
“these masses are not salt; if they were, the water which
drips from the rock would have melted them long ago;
instead of salt it is crystal: we are really in a palace of
rock-crystal.”

“ Better yet—a palace of crystal! what an immense
treasure for us!’

“Yes: such a treasure as the gold mine was to Robin-
son Crusoe.”

“ Look, father, here is a piece I have broken off; it is
not salt as you said; but it is not transparent like
crystal.”

“That is your fault; you troubled it by breaking it
off. ”

1 To prepare it for the fullers’ use it is first baked, then thrown into

cold water, when it falls into powder, and the separation of the coarse
from the fine effected by the process termed “ washing over.”
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 349

The expression appeared new to my son, he could not
comprehend how you could trouble a piece of crystal.
I then explained the whole theory of the formation of
crystals.

“The masses which we see before us,” said I, “ all
form columns and pyramids of exactly six sides; the
greatest care is necessary in transporting them, as rough
usage loosens long needle-like particles in the interior,
which cross each other and produce obscurity. The
crystal then is called ‘troubled.’ Considerable blocks are
to be seen in many museums of Europe.”

“T begin to think,” said my son, with an air of chagrin,
“that our discovery will not be of much use to us, except
to add to the curiosities in our museum.”

The curiosity of my son had been excited by what I
had said upon the subject of crystals, and I proceeded to
inform him, that the crystals were formed from the sedi-
ment deposited by the emanations of water, which attaches
itself to the rock, coagulates, and in time becomes as hard
as any of the metals. The ancients thought it was petri-
fied ice, but modern science has investigated the matter
more fully. The art of fashioning and moulding rock-
crystal has been discovered, and many medical and
chemical instruments are made from it. But the light of
our candles commenced to grow dim, and J thought it
prudent to retreat.

When we re-appeared at the entrance of the grotto, we
found Jack awaiting our arrival. Ernest was amusing
himself on the border of the swamp in making a rush
basket such as fishermen use, consisting of a frame of
long stalks, terminated at the end by a funnel, through
which the fish passed, but could not return.

“ Quick, quick!” he cried, when he saw us approach-
ing, “I have killed a young boa.”
850 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

‘We had been talking so much of serpents, &c., that
the poor boy had mistaken a superb eel, four feet in
length, for a snake ; he had walked straight up to it, hit
it two or three blows on the head with his gun, with as
much courage as would have sufficed to kill a dozen boas.

The examination that I made of the snake humbled the
pride of the victor ; but the eel was a great treat for us,
and we returned home to Felsenheim, where my wife and
little Francis were eagerly expecting us. I presented to
my wife the “ fullers’ clay,” and we commenced to relate,
in their minutest details, the adventures and discoveries
of the day.

I had as yet however only half accomplished my de-
sign, and there remained all the country about the farm-
house yet unexplored ; and, besides, I wished, if it were
possible, by fortifying the passages in the rock, to keep
out all such visitors as the one we had lately received. I
made sure, before we set out, against any accident that
might happen: we took plenty of provisions, arms, vessels
of all sorts, torches to scare away all intruders on our
night encampments, in short, every thing that would
render our excursion safer and less disagreeable; and any
one that could have seen our departure from Falcon’s
Nest, would have thought that we were moving into the
country, so loaded was the waggon with all sorts of
articles.

We advanced in good order along the avenue of Fal-
con’s Nest, and discovered the marks of the boa’s
progress half effaced by the wind. We found every thing
in good order at the Nest; the harvest and the fruit-trees
gave promise of an abundant crop. The goats and sheep
received us joyfully, and came up of their own accord to
receive some salt we threw them in passing. We did not
stop, as the Lake farm-house was the object of our ex-
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 851

pedition ; and we wished to arrive as soon as possible, in
order to gather, before night, cotton enough to make
some pillows and mattresses that might render our
slumbers more agreeable. .

The farther we advanced, the fewer traces we found of
the serpent. We could not see a single monkey in the
cocoa-wood: and the crowing of our cocks, mingled with
the bleating of our herds, gave promise of good order at
the farm-house ; and we were not disappointed. As soon
as we arrived, our good housekeeper set about procuring
us some dinner, while we.went to gather the cotton.

After dinner I announced that we would immediately
commence our search, and we divided into three parties,
each one charged to explore a part of the country. Er-
nest and his mother had, for their division, the guard of
the provisions and the collection of all the ripe blades in
the rice-field; to defend them we left our brave dog Billy.
Fritz and Jack, accompanied by Turk, took the right bank
of the lake, while I followed the left, with Francis and
his two young dogs. It was the first time that the little
fellow had shared in any of our expeditions, or had had
a gun entrusted-to him; he marched along with his head
up, and as proud as a new-made officer; and he burned
with ardour to make trial of his new weapon. But the
noise of our steps among the dried rushes frightened only
some herons, and they flew so suddenly and quickly, that
it was impossible to shoot them. Francis began to grow
despairing at his ill success, when suddenly we found our-
selves in presence of an innumerable quantity of wild
geese and black swans, which covered the waters in all
directions. Francis was just about to fire into the mass,
when suddenly a sort of deep, prolonged cry, like a bellow,
issued from the middle of the rushes. We stopped,
astonished, and a second after the cry was repeated.
852 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“T am sure,” said Francis, “ that it is the little onager.”

“Impossible,” said 1; “ he would not leave his mother ;
and, besides, we must have heard him as he passed along.
It is more likely to be a swamp-bird, called a ‘bittern'.’””

“ How could a bird make such a noise as that? = Why,
it sounds like the bellowing of a bull; it must be of pro-
digious size.”

“ Not at all; it is not so large nor so strong as other
herons of the same family. But your supposition proves
that you are ignorant that the voice of an animal has
nothing to do with its size, but only with the conformation
of its throat and the muscles of the breast. Thus, the
canary and the nightingale, two very small birds, fill the
air with their song, and modulate their voice to such pro-
longed notes as we should not think so feeble an animal
capable of. As to the bittern, it is related that, when he
sings he buries the extremity of his beak in the mud of
the swamp; and this gives it that deep, sonorous tone
which resembles more the voice of a bull than a bird.”

“Oh, how I should like to Kill it!” said my little
hunter. ‘How proud I should feel to bring down such
a prey with my first shot!”

“ Attention, then, and in a few moments you can have
that pleasure.”

1 The ‘ bittern’ flies in the same heavy manner as the heron, and
might be mistaken for that bird, were it not for the singularly resound-
ing cry which it utters from time to time while on the wing; but this
cry ia feeble compared with the hollow booming noise which it makes in
its swampy retreats. The bittern never betrays any fear when at-
tacked, and even when wounded by the sportsman, will often turn upon
him with vigour, wounding his legs or aiming at his eyes with its sharp
and piercing bill - © 6 2 6 ee ee wee te ee ws

“ They reside permanently in England and in most of the temperate
parts of the Continent, but in colder climates they are migratory.”—
Maunder.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 358

I called the dogs to my side, and, setting them in the
rushes, presently heard the report of Francis’s gun. But,
instead of firing in the air, he had discharged his gun
right into the thickest part of the rushes, and I saw the
birds that the dogs had disturbed flying away safe and
sound.

“You awkward fellow!” said 1; “you have let your
game escape you.”

“On the contrary, papa, I have him! I have him!”
repeated he, with eagerness. “ Look!”

So saying, he pulled out of the rushes an animal re-
sembling an agouti, and which the little hunter had
already christened by that name.

I examined it with attention, and discovered that there
was much difference between it and the agouti.

This one was about two feet in length, had incisor teeth
like the rabbit, webbed feet, long snout, but no tail at
all.

“You have killed a rare and curious beast,” said I to
my little boy. “It is an inhabitant of South America, of
the same family as the agouti and peccaries, but much
rarer. It is a cabiai, and what is more, a cabiai of the
largest size.”

“And what sort of an animal is this cabiai? I never
heard of him before.”

“Tt was his cry that I attributed to the bittern. This
animal profits by the darkness of night to provide his
food: he runs fast; can swim well, and has the power of
remaining a long time under water ; he eats seated on his
hind legs: and, as to his cry, it sounds exactly like the
braying of an ass.”

But it was now time to return home, and Francis re-
Joiced at the prospect of showing his prize to his brothers.
He took up the cabiai, threw it over his shoulder, and al-

Aa
354 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

though I saw that it was much too heavy for him, I thought
I would let him have the merit of the whole affair.

We arrived at the pine wood, and set to work to gather
a quantity of canes, which we had discovered to be eat-
able. We perceived some monkeys in the distance, who
disappeared as we approached, but as to the boa, nothing
indicated that it had passed through, or that it had left
apy young ones.

On returning we found Ernest tranquilly seated on the
bank of the river, surrounded by a prodigious number of
enormous rats, which he had killed. The phlegmatic
philosopher then recounted to us the history of this mas-
sacre.

“We were occupied,” said he, “my mother and I, in
collecting the ripe rice blades, when I discovered, at a
little distance, a sort of high, solid causeway, which looked
like a road constructed in the middle of the swamp. I
immediately set off to discover what it was, and Master
Knips with me. But we had scarcely advanced one step
when he darted from my side, in pursuit of an animal that
quickly disappeared in a sort of hole bored in the cause-
way. I remarked, on advancing, that the two sides of the
bank were pierced all along with these holes, all of the
same form and size. I was curious to know what they
contained, and I introduced into the opening a long bam-
boo cane that I had in my hand. I had scarcely drawn
’ it out when there issued forth a legion of animals similar
to the first. Knips ran after them; but the rice grew so
thick that he could not get along. An idea then occurred
* to me to place my rice-sack over the hole. I did so; and
beating the top of the causeway with a stick, a great num-
ber ran into the sack. I then began to beat the bag with
my stick, so as to kill the prisoners. But imagine my
surprise when I found myself assailed by a whole army of
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. ‘855

rata, who emerged from every side, and began to run up
my pantaloons. Knips made most desperate attacks. I
could do nothing with my stick, and I cannot tell what
might have happened if Billy had not heard my voice, and
come to my assistance. He rushed bravely upon the army
of rata, and made so terrible a slaughter that the enemy
fled in terror. Those that you behold fell victims to my
stick, and the formidable teeth of Billy: the rest of the
army took refuge in their holes.”

The narration of Ernest excited my curiosity, and I
wished to see for myself the causeway with its inhabitants,
and I recognized a series of works similar to those of the
beaver, except that they were not so extensive. I made
my sons observe the similarity that existed between these
animals and the beaver of the north: both had the same
membrane at the feet to facilitate swimming; both had
the flat tail, and both were provided with two little bags
of musk. ;

Fritz and Jack returned during these conversations ;
they brought back a ruffled moor-hen and a nest of eggs:
we placed them under one of our hens that happened to
be sitting at the time. We then all united around a
savoury mess of rice that my good wife had prepared.
She had cooked a small piece of the cabiai; but it was
detestable, and we abandoned it to our dogs, who would
not taste the flesh of the rats on account of the smell o
musk. in

The repast was a merry one. We were all delighted to
have found no traces of the boa; and my mischievous
little boys showered a flood of epigrams upon the “Con-’-
queror of Rats,” as they called poor Ernest.

The two little bags of musk with which these animals
were provided, excitgg.the attention of the children, and
question followed fion in quick succession, as to the

aa2
356 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

manner in which the Europeans gather this precious sub-
stance.

I informed them that many animals were provided with
musk: the gazelle, the beaver, the ondatra (which was
the true name of the rats which Ernest had killed), the
pole-cat, the civet, andthe musk-rat. I explained to them,
at the same time, the different processes in use to procure
their musk, and how the Dutch, who understand taming
these animals, shut up, at certain periods, civets and musk-
rats, and after they have deposited the contents of their
bags they are let loose until they are replenished.

But this dissertation on the civet and ondatra had not
made us forget the detestable taste of the cabiai.

“Ah,” said Ernest, “if we only had a little dessert
now, to take away the fishy taste of that abominable
beast!”

At this exclamation, Jack and Francis ran to their
knapsacks.

“Look here, sir!” said the youngest, as he threw some
pine-canes before the philosopher.

“Look here, sir!” said Jack, placing on the table some
little shining apples, of a pale green, which exhaled a
strong odour of cinnamon.

A general cry of admiration greeted them.

“Stop!” cried I. “Before tasting this fruit, Master
Knips must undergo the customary trial, for I am afraid
these are the fruit of the manchineel-tree; and the man-
chineel apples produce most terrible colies.”

I then opened one of the apples, and discovered that I
had been deceived by the appearance. The manchineel
apple has a nut, and these had very small seeds, like the
common apple. While I was showing this difference to
my children, Master Knips snatched one of the apples
from the table and commenced eating it, smacking his lips
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 357

as if it were something excellent. This determined the
matter. I distributed the fruit, and on tasting them we
declared them most excellent. Fritz wished to know
their name.

“They are,” said I, “cinnamon apples; I think you
gathered them from a low shrub'; did you not, Jack?”

But Jack was too sleepy to answer my question, so I
gave the signal for retiring. We took all necessary pre-
cautions for safety during the night, and we sought, on our
mattresses of cotton, the repose that the fatigues of the
day had rendered necessary.

CHAPTER XXXTV.

The Pig-Hunt.—The Otaheitan Roast.—Excursion into
the Savanna.— The Ostrich-Hunt.—The Land Turtles.

Tax next morning, at break of day, we renewed our
search, We directed our course to the sugar-cane plan-
tation, where I had built a hut of branches; but we found
it all blown down ; and setting up our tent, we resolved to
pass the forenoon there.

We carefully explored the sugar-canes, as I thought
that here would be a natural retreat for the serpents, if
there yet remained any in this part of the country.
Happily, our investigation was without any result; and
we were turning to quit the sugar-canes, when suddenly
our dogs began to bark, as if they had taken some dan-
gerous animal. We could perceive nothing; but as it
was not prudent to venture among the canes, I ordered
my sons to direct their course toward the plain, and we
soon found ourselves clear of the plantation. At the

* The bark of which forms the fragrant spice of that name,—the

fruit or apple resembles the acorn or olive, but possessing little of either
the smell or the taste of the bark.
*

358 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

same time there emerged from it a troop of pigs of quite
respectable size and strength. I at first thought it was
the young family of our old sow; but their number, the
grey colour of their skin, and the singular manner in
which they walked, soon banished that idea. They
trotted one after the other with a precision and regularity
that would have done honour to a troop on parade. J
took good aim, fired both barrels of my gun, and two of
the animals fell. My sons also brought down several
more, but the loss did not seem to make much impression
on the rest of the troop, who trotted on as before. It
was a singular spectacle to see the whole family marching
along the borders of the sugar-cane, with an imperturb-
able tranquillity ; every one followed exactly in his place,
without any pushing for precedence: and, on examining
them more closely, we found that there was but one foot-
step in the sand, so regularly did they march.

Fritz thought that they were the Otaheitan pigs of
which Captain Cook speaks. Ernest was of another
opinion, and maintained that they were peccaries ', an ani-
mal which is very common in Guiana and South America.
We loaded the waggon with our game, and my boys were
so proud of our chase that they determined to convert
our convoy into a triumphal march: they cut some green
boughs and decorated our equipage ; they adorned their
caps and guns with flowers, and we made our entrée
chanting a song of victory.

“You have kept me waiting long enough, gentlemen,”
said my wife; “your dinner is all spoiled; but, what a
quantity of meat! Why should you abuse the provision

1 Exnest was undoubtedly right according to the description given.
M. Schomberg gives an interesting account of meeting just such a herd
whilst in a state of infuriation, the leader of which he shot in the act
of rushing at him.
‘THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 359

nature has so liberally provided, by killing more than we
require P””

We justified ourselves as well as we were able, and my
children offered their mother the sugar-canes they had
brought home.

Fritz proposed to regale the family with an Otaheitan
roast. We received his proposition, but it was put off
till the morrow, as the preparation of our pigs precluded
all thoughts of any thing else.

I sent the two smaller boys to gather a quantity of
green branches and leaves, with which to smoke our pork,
and we then set to work. Ernest skinned the pigs.
Fritz and I cut them up, and my wife salted the pieces.
I piled the hams all together, so that the salt should
penetrate every part, and we also poured salted water
over them, and allowed them to remain until the hut for
smoking was constructed.

The next morning, Fritz reminded me of the pro-
mise I had made to allow him to serve us for dinner an
Otaheitan roast. He began by digging a deep trench;
he then took the pig he had reserved for the purpose,
washed it with care, rubbed the interior with salt, and
filled it. with a sort of stuffing made of meat, potatoes, and
different roots.

When the trench was full of combustibles, Fritz set. it
on fire; and from time to time the boys threw in by the
direction of their elder brother, a quantity of pebbles,
which soon became red hot.

Our cook-in-chief then enveloped his “roast” in leaves
and pieces of bark; a hole was made in the burning
cinders large enough to receive it, and it was then covered
with red-hot stones, and the hole filled up with earth to
prevent the air from penetrating.

My wife had observed all these particulars with a look
360 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

of incredulity, and at the sight of this last ceremony ex-
claimed in a tone of discouragement, “Oh, what a mess!
It may be very good for savages, but you cannot think
that we are going to touch such a dish of burned meat as
will come out of that hole.”

But Fritz did not despair, and he made a learned
appeal to the testimony of navigators in favour of the de-
licious taste of the Otaheitan roasts. I interrupted his
erudition by pointing to the hut ready to receive our meat.
We had about twenty superb hams—a nice treasure for
us during the rainy season. We filled the hut we had
constructed with green wet leaves and branches, set them
on fire, and made preparations to remain until the meat
was all smoked.

Fritz let his “roast”? cook for about two hours; and it
was not without astonishment that, after having taken off
the triple layer of earth, cinders, and stones, we found the
meat cooked to a nicety, combined with a spicy perfume
that would have done honour to a Parisian cook. Fritz
triumphed ; his good mother avowed that she was con-
quered, and every one proceeded without delay to prove
the pig. Some ashes which had fallen on it were care-
fully removed, and the meat was pronounced delicious.
That which astonished me most was the spicy odour with
which it was impregnated, and I attributed it to the
leaves with which it had been cooked. I made an ex-
amination, and came to the conclusion that it was the
ravensara of Madagascar, the root called by naturalists
“agathophyllum,” signifying “good leaf.” I threw a
certain quantity into the smoking-hut, in hopes that they
might impart an aromatic odour to the hams.

During the three days of fumigation, I had every day,
with my sons, explored the country. These excursions
discovered to us no traces of the boa; but they very
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 861

seldom ended without our bringing home some little ¢
addition to our comforts and luxuries.

We arranged every thing so that we might be ready to
set off on the morning of the fourth day, and commence
our investigation beyond the defile that had been the
barrier between the district we had inhabited for nearly
three years, and an unknown land, which we had but
once entered, and then were nearly destroyed by a troop
of buffaloes.

We began our march at daylight, and after having
journeyed on for about two hours, I gave the signal for a
halt, as about gunshot from the defile which separated
the two countries appeared to me to be a favourable spot
for our encampment. It was situated on an elevated
point that commanded a far-extended prospect, and was
defended on one side by a thick pine forest.

“Here,” said Fritz, “is a spot where we can defend
ourselves against all enemies ; and if you take my advice,
father, you will establish a post here.”

Jack, in accordance with his praiseworthy custom of
never attending in the least to the conversation of those
around him, caught at the last words his brother had
spoken, and confounding a military post with a letter
post, cried out,

“ A post-office! why, where can we send the letters
to?”

“Sydney, Port Jackson, and New Holland,” replied I,
as gravely as possible.

This answer attracted the attention of Ernest, who
asked me why I had named these places—whether by
chance, or because I really thought we were near them.

“The more I consult the charts of the captain,” said I,
“the more I think we are in the latitude of New Holland.
The circumstances of our shipwreck, the route which the
862 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

- vessel had@’followed, the tropical rains, the productions of
the coast, the sugar-canes, the spices, the palm-trees, all
confirm me in this opinion. But in whatever land we
may be, we belong to the great family of God, and we
ought to thank Him for the treasures which have been so
lavishly bestowed upon us.”

The rest of the morning was devoted to the fortification
of our encampment. We then dined; but the heat was
so powerful that we were obliged to postpone our ex-
cursion into the savanna until the morrow.

Nothing troubled the repose of the night. We were
up at daylight, and in a few moments our preparations
were complete. I took with me my three eldest sons, as
I wished to be in force on entering into a country as yet
unknown. My readers may laugh at this expression,
applied to an army of four persons, and three of those
boys; but, such as it was, this army comprised all our
resources. Francis remained with his mother to take
care of the baggage ; and, after breakfast, we packed some
provisions, and took leave of our good mother, who saw
us depart without uneasiness.

‘We passed through the defile, at the extremity of which
we had erected a palisade of bamboo and thorny palm;
but it had all been torn down, and we could easily trace
on the sand the spiral imprints of the boa, clearly demon-
strating that he had come from the savanna through this
passage. I intended to erect a solid rampart here, that
should be proof against the attack of any animal: but I
was obliged to defer the execution of the plan until some
other time.

We had now ventured into a country we had entered
but once before. Jack recognized the place where we
had taken the buffalo; the river which divided the plain
was bordered by a rich line of vegetation. We followed
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 363

its course for some time, but as we advanced farther,
vegetation disappeared, and we soon found ourselves in
the middle of an immense plain, only bounded by the
horizon. The sun beat right down on our heads, the
sand burned our feet—it was a desert—a desert without
a single tree—a desert of sand, the only green things
being a few withered geraniums and some sort of grass
that contrasted strangely with the aridity of the soil.
On crossing the river, we had filled our gourds with fresh
water, but the sun had heated it so that we could not
drink it, and we were obliged to throw it away.

“What a difference between the country we have just
left and this !’’ said Jack, sighing.

“Tt is Arabia Petrea,” replied Ernest—“a volcano.
My feet burn as if I were walking on hot irons.”

I endeavoured to sustain the sinking courage of my
poor children. “ Patience,” said I, “patience; nothing is
obtained without work: remember the Latin proverb, ‘Ad
angusta, per angusta’.’ Look! the farther we march, the
less uniform the ground appears; I can distinguish a hill
in front of us. Who knows, perhaps there is another
Eden behind it.”

After two hours of painful journeying we arrived at
the foot of the hill that we had perceived afar eff: it was
a rock in the middle of the desert, and afforded us a refuge
against the rays of the sun. We were too fatigued to
climb the rock and reconnoitre the country: we could
scarcely stand against the overpowering rays of the sun,
and our dogs were as tired as ourselves. I[ brought out
some morsels of sugar-cane, and distributed them among
the boys, for our thirst was terrible. This refreshment
restored our appetites, and some rounds of roast peccary
furnished us with an excellent repast.

1 To difficulties, through difficulties.
364 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

“Confess,” said Fritz, laughingly, “that a piece of
ham, roasted 4 l’Otaheitan, does not taste bad in a desert
like this.”

“Tt is a little better,’ said Ernest, “ than the mortified
flesh of the Tartars, who, it is said, put the meat which
they eat under the saddles of the horses they ride, and
thus carry their provisions with them.”

This trait of erudition on the part of Ernest brought on
a discussion; and I was endeavouring to explain my
reasons for discrediting this story, when suddenly Fritz
cried out,

“<«What doI see! There are two horsemen gallop-
ing up towards us. There, a third has joined them—
doubtless they are Arabs of the desert.”

“ Arabs ;”” said Ernest; “ Bedouins, you mean.”

“ Bedouins are but one division of the great family of
Arabs, and your brother was right,’ said I; “but take
my spy-glass, Fritz: your news astonishes me.”

“ Oh, I see now a number of waggons loaded with hay;
but they are so distant I can scarcely distinguish any
thing; something extraordinary is certainly going on.”

“Let me have the glass,” cried Jack, impatiently ; and
he declared he saw a crowd of cavaliers who carried little
lances, with banners at the point.

“Come, give me the glass now,” said 1; “your imagi-
nations are too poetic to be relied on.”

I applied the glass to my eye, and, after having looked
some time attentively,

“Well,” said I to Jack, “your Arabs, your cavaliers
with lances, your hay-carts, what do you think they have
been transformed into ?”

“ Cameleopards, perhaps.”

“No, although not a bad idea; they are ostriches,
and chance has thrown a splendid chase into our hands ;
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 865

and if you will take my advice, we shall not let these
beautiful inhabitants of the desert pass us by without
measuring our strength with theirs.”

“Ostriches!” cried Jack and Fritz: “how grand !
We will capture one: his feathers will figure beautifully
in our caps.”

“Yes,” replied Ernest; “they would look very nice;
but the thing is, to catch the bird.”

But the ostriches were rapidly approaching, and it was
time to think of some mode of capturing them. It seemed
to me that the best way would be to wait until they came
up, and then attack them by surprise. We threw our-
selves down behind some large tufts of a plant that grew
among the rocks, which I recognized as the euphorbia,
commonly called wolf’s milk, the juice of which is one of
the most active poisons in the world.

The ostriches were now within eye-sight, and I could
distinguish that the family was composed of three females
and a male, who was easily recognized by the long white
feathers of his tail. “We crouched closer to the ground,
and held our dogs close to our sides, for fear their impa-
tience should defeat our stratagem.

“ Make ready your eagle,” said I to Fritz; “for if our
legs are not sufficient, we will have recourse to his wings.”

“ Do ostriches run so very fast ?” asked Jack ; “if they
do, however, neither I nor Fritz are quite snails, and
Master Ernest was long ago crowned victor in our races.”

“Qh,” answered I, “ Ernest’s legs, good as they may
be, will not make much difference to the ostrich; he does
not even fear a horseman at full speed.”

“How are we going to capture them, then? we have
no horses.”

“That is true; butit is more by the sagacity than by
the mere swiftness of the horse that they are caught. The
366 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

ostrich is never attacked in front, or behind, only at the
side. It is known that, when this bird is pursued, he
describes a circle, more or less in extent, but yet always
returning to the point from whence he set out. The
whole science of the chase consists in constraining the
bird, if possible, to narrow this circle. The hunter keeps
at his side, follows him, presses him, and torments him,
until, wearied out, the poor ostrich falls into the hands of
his enemies. But as the circle it describes is sometimes
very extensive, and as one horse gets exhausted before
the bird is captured, hunters always take care to have a
relay of horses all along the course, and sometimes one
ostrich will tire out four or five horses.”

“Ig it true,” said Ernest, “tbat on the approach of
danger it is usual for the ostrich to hide its head behind
a atone, in order, as it thinks, to render itself invisible ?”

“Tn order to answer you,” said I, “one ought to have
the key to an ostrich’s thoughts; but I have no doubt
it is some exaggerated traveller's tale. It is much more
probable that if it really does conceal its head, it is in
obedience to the great law of instinct, which teaches all
animals to take the greatest care of the most vulnerable
parts of their body; or, perhaps, the ostrich buries his
head, to give the blows he makes with his feet more force.
For my part, I think that the ostrich has always been s
much calumniated bird.”

I now perceived that the ostriches were aware of our
presence—they appeared to hesitate in their march ; but,
as we remained immovable, they at last seemed reassured,
and were advancing directly to us, when our dogs, whom
we could not keep quiet, suddenly sprang out upon
them.

Away went the timid birds, with a rapidity that can be
compared to nothing else but the wind driving before it 4
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 867

bundle of feathers'. Their feet did not appear to touch
the ground, their half-extended wings had the appearance
of sails, and the wind greatly accelerated their velocity.
I then ordered Fritz to unhood his eagle; he did so, and
the noble bird soon lit upon the head of the male ostrich,
and, attacking his eyes, soon brought him to the ground.
The dogs ran up, and when we arrived the gigantic bird
was just expiring under the numerous wounds that the
ferocious animals had inflicted.

We were greatly disappointed at this issue of our
chase ; but as the evil was without remedy, we contented
ourselves with preserving the lifeless corpse.

“What a pity,” said Fritz, “to have put such a magni-
ficent bird to death !—how beautiful it would have looked
stalking among our domestic animals!”

“ How can such an immense bird find sufficient nourish-
ment in the desert ?’’ demanded Ernest.

“You are reasoning,” said I, “under an European
prejudice. That which is called a desert by us, is nota
desert to all the animals of the creation; and the most
arid plains always produce some scattered herbs, or grass,
that suffice for the subsistence of those animals that in-
habit them. Besides, the ostrich resembles all the ani-
mals of unproductive countries: it is extremely frugal,
and capable of supporting great degrees of hunger. Re-
member one thing ever, my child, that the Divine Author
of all things will not take more care of those beings He
has placed in the midst of plenty, than of those who dwell
in a dry and sandy desert.”

The conversation concerning the ostrich was continued
for some length of time. We remarked the sharp points
on the ends of their wings, like spurs, and which serve to

1 The ostrich is quite incapable by the most energetic action of flying
off the ground altogether.
368 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

accelerate their speed when pursued. I also showed my
sons the falsity of the idea that ostriches throw stones at
the hunters with their feet.

“The same can be said of the horse,” said I, “for that
also in galloping throws up stones and mud as it passes
along.”

Fritz wished to know whether the ostrich had a pecu-
liar cry. I informed him, that during the night it sends
forth a sort of plaintive groan, and at other times, a loud
growling sound like that of the lion.

While. we were thus talking, Jack and Ernest had dis-
covered a large ostrich-nest—if we can dignify a hole dug
in the ground by the name of nest—in which were
symmetrically arranged from twenty-five to thirty eggs’,
each as large as a child’s head.

“ Take care,” said I to my young companions, who were
going to meddle with the nest; “ you will disarrange the
order, and then the female will desert her nest.’

My sons wanted to carry away the eggs; they would
hatch them, they said, by exposing them in the daytime
to the rays of the sun, and wrapping them up as warm
as possible at night.

I observed to Fritz, wk~ made the proposal, that each
of these eggs weighed about three pounds, and the whole
number about one hundred pounds, and that having
neither equipage nor beast, it would be impossible to
transport them across the desert, through which we could
hardly drag our arms and knapsacks ; besides, I doubted
whether artificial heat could replace the natural influence.
; But the chiiuren had got the idea into their heads, and
they agreed that each should take one egg, which he
should carry in his pocket-handkerchief.

1 The female bird lays from 10 to 12 eggs, and two or more will de-
posit in the same nest,
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 369

We then arrived at the borders of a swamp that
seemed to be formed by the confluence of several springs
that flowed from the rocks. We could perceive, in the
distance, troops of buffaloes, monkeys, and antelopes, but
so far from us that we took no further notice of them;
nothing, however, indicated to us the presence of a boa,
or that such animals resided here. We halted at this
marsh, and refreshed ourselves with some provisions; and
then, filling our empty gourds with water, prepared to
depart, when we perceived the monkey had made a dis-
covery. Jt was a round object which he had dug out of
the sand with his paws; it resembled a mass of moist
earth, and I threw it into the water to clean it, when,
what was my astonishment to see it move! I took it
out, and, on examining it, discovered it to be a turtle of
the smallest kind, scarcely as large as an apple '.

“ How is this?” said Fritz. “I thought that turtles
inhabited the sea only.”

“Who knows?” said Ernest: “perhaps there has
been a shower of turtles here, as the Romans formerly
had a shower of frogs.” .

“Stop there,” said I to the philosopher; “ your irony
does not show your learning. Perhaps you do not know
that there are land as well as sea-turtles. They are not
only found in swamps, but even in gardens, where they
subsist on snails, caterpillars, and all sorts of insects.”

“ Well then,” replied Ernest, “let us carry some home
to my mother. She would like them to put in her
garden *?; we will also put one in our cabinet of natural
history.”

The monkey still continued his investigations in the

} Common, or Greek tortoise, or turtle.
2 At the Bishop’s gardens, Peterborough, a tortoise of this species
died in 1821, that had existed there two hundred and twenty years.
Bb
870 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

sand, and we soon had a dozen of the little turtles crawl-
ing around us, some of whom I picked up, and put in my
knapsack. Fritz reiterated his question concerning the
different kinds of turtle.

“This species,” said I, “is ordinarily found in plains
alternately dry and moist. At the Cape of Good Hope,
during the summer, when the sun parches up the plains,
giving them the appearance of vast arenas of burning
sand, the turtles bury themselves in it to the depth of
several feet; and when the rainy weather returns, they
come from their holes and enjoy the freshness of the air.
The turtle is one of those animals which pass a portion of
the year dormant in the ground. The frogs bury them-
selves in the mud of the swamp, and remain there during
the winter months. In our mountains, the marmots!
never leave their holes during the whole of our long cold
winters.”

We quitted the borders of the swamp: but instead of
directing our steps through the desert, we followed a
little stream of water that led us to the rock where we
had reposed on our first excursion into the savanna. It
was a delicious route in comparison with our painful
journey of the morning. We found trees, which afforded
us shade, and grass which was soft and pleasant to our
feet—in short, it was a little oasis in the desert, and we
named it “ Green Valley.” We soon, however, left its
verdure far behind us, and again we were in the desert ;
but the heat was not so violent, and our rest had re-
cruited our weary strength, so that we found the route
less painful, and journeyed tranquilly on carrying our
only conquest, the ostrich eggs. But it was not our
fault: it was because we had seen no game.

1 The Alpine.marmot, a little animal, somewhat similar to a rabbit,
often exhibited in the streets by the Savoyard boys.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. 371.

The sun was set when we rejoined my dear wife and
our little Francis, who received us with demonstrations
of the most lively joy. A good fire and a well-cooked
supper refreshed our weary bodies, and my little heroes
commenced a long narration of the exploits of the day.

CHAPTER XXXyV.

Discovery of Porcelain-Earth, and Pepper—Excursion of
the Boys on the Savanna—Their return and adventures.

My wife and Francis had not been idle during our
absence; they had discovered on the banks of a stream a
sort of greasy, white earth, which appeared to me to be fine
pipe-clay. They had also collected water enough for the
use of our domestic animals, and, by the force of industry
and perseverance, had amassed, at the entrance of the
defile, a quantity of materials necessary for my projected
fortification.

I thanked my good wife for the pains she had taken.
I suspected that the earth she had found was porce-
lain; and wishing to make a trial of it, I formed two
roughly-shaped bowls, and threw them into a furnace of
hot cinders before we retired for the night. In the

‘morning I found my two bowls hardened by the heat:
they were, as I supposed, porcelain, rather coarse-grained,
but well enough for our purposes.

My wife had also discovered a sort of vine, which, upon
examination, I found to be pepper. I received this new
gift with joy, for it would enable us to preserve many
things that the heat of the climate had before rendered it
impossible to do. While we were employed in searching
among the bushes for a further supply of this valuable
article we suddenly heard a flapping of wings above us,

Bb2
372 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON,

and a black shadow passed along the ground ; we raised
our eyes, and beheld a strange bird of prodigious size,
whose wings extended full sixteen feet; he came gradu-
ally sweeping down toward us, when Fritz fired his gun,
and the formidable creature fell dead at our feet ; it had
been shot in the heart, and the life-blood oozed out from
the wound. We found it was a condor’, of the largest
size, and we determined to prepare him for our museum
at Felsenheim. But my sons became impatient for fresh
adventures. They were altogether disinclined for quiet
occupations, so to diversify our work with some amuse-
ment, I proposed to them to make an excursion alone
into the desert; my proposition, as one may suppose, was
joyfully received. Ernest refused to be of the party,
preferring to remain at home with us. On the other
hand, Francis was so eager to accompany his brothers,
that I at last permitted him to go.

Fritz, Jack, and Francis were soon in the saddle, and,
after having gaily saluted us, galloped off through the de-
file. It was not without a painful sentiment that I saw
them set off alone, abandoned to their own resources ;
but I felt that it was necessary to familiarize the children
to provide for themselves, as some accident might deprive

1 A Condor,—a large bird of the vulture species ; it chiefly feeds on *
dead carcasses. Its general length is about four feet, and from wing
to wing outspread about nine feet. There are many strange stories
respecting its bulk darkening the air, and the rushing of its mighty
wings, &c., which may be considered as fabulous, as also the tales of
its carrying away children, Mr. Darwin relates as one peculiarity of
this bird, “I have watched them for half an hour at a time, without
taking my eyes