Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Biographical sketch of Daniel...
 Section I: Robinson's family, etc....
 Section II: First adventures at...
 Section III: Robinson's captivity...
 Section IV: He settle in the Brazils...
 Section V: Robinson finds himself...
 Section VI: Carries all his riches,...
 Section VII: Robinson's mode of...
 Section VIII: Robinson's journal...
 Section IX: Robinson obtains more...
 Section X: His recovery - His comfort...
 Section XI: Robinson makes a tour...
 Section XII: He returns to his...
 Section XIII: His manufacture of...
 Section XIV: Meditates his escape...
 Section XV: He makes a smaller...
 Section XVI: He rears a flock of...
 Section XVII: Unexpected alarm...
 Section XVIII: Precautions against...
 Section XIX: Robinson discovers...
 Section XX: Another visit of the...
 Section XXI: He visits the wreck...
 Section XXII: Robinson rescues...
 Section XXIII: Robinson instructs...
 Section XXIV: Robinson and Friday...
 Section XXV: Robinson releases...
 Section XXVI: Robinson discovers...
 Section XXVII: Atkins entreats...
 Section XXVIII: Robinson goes to...
 Section XXIX: Friday's encounter...
 Section XXX: He is seized with...
 Section XXXI: Robinson's ship relieves...
 Section XXXII: Relieves the crew...
 Section XXXIII: Robinson and Friday...
 Section XXXIV: The account continued...
 Section XXXV: The mutinous Englishmen...
 Section XXXVI: Several savages...
 Section XXXVII: Robinson learns...
 Section XXXVIII: Robinson's discourse...
 Section XXXIX: Atkins relates his...
 Section XL: Encounter with savages...
 Section XLI: The vessel touches...
 Section XLII: Meets with an English...
 Section XLIII: Journey to Peking...
 Section XLIV: Route through Muscovy...

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072766/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner with a biographical account of Defoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xxiv, 442 p. : illus. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Whittingham, Charles, 1767-1840 ( Printer )
Harvey, George, ca. 1800-1876
Baldwin & Cradock ( Publisher )
Publisher: Printed for Baldwin and Cradock
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1831
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1831   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1831   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: Illustrated with forty-six characteristic wood engravings, finely executed from drawings by Harvey.
General Note: "A new and correct edition, complete in one volume."
General Note: Title vignette.
General Note: Head and tail pieces.
General Note: "Biographical sketch of Daniel Defoe": p. xi-xxiv.
General Note: Printed by C. Whittingham.
General Note: Includes publisher's advertisements 2 p. at end.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072766
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 14236069

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Biographical sketch of Daniel Defoe
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
    Section I: Robinson's family, etc. - His elopement from his parents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Section II: First adventures at sea, and experience of a maritime life - Voyage to Guinea
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Section III: Robinson's captivity at Sallee - Escape with Xury - Arrival at Brazils
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Section IV: He settle in the Brazils as a planter - Makes another voyage, and is shipwrecked
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Section V: Robinson finds himself in a desolate island - Procures a stock of articles from the wreck - Constructs his habitation
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Section VI: Carries all his riches, provisions, etc. into his habitation - Dreariness of solitude - Consolatory reflections
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Section VII: Robinson's mode of reckoning time - Difficulties arising from want of tools - He arranges his habitation
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Section VIII: Robinson's journal - Details of his domestic economy and contrivances - Shock of an earthquake
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Section IX: Robinson obtains more articles from the wreck - His illness and affliction
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Section X: His recovery - His comfort in reading the scriptures - Makes an excursion into the interior of the island - Forms his "Bower"
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Section XI: Robinson makes a tour to explore his island - Employed in basket making
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Section XII: He returns to his cave - His agricultural labours and success
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    Section XIII: His manufacture of pottery, and contrivance for baking bread
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Section XIV: Meditates his escape from the island - Builds a canoe - Failure of his scheme - Resignation to his condition - Makes himself a new dress
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Section XV: He makes a smaller Canoe, in which he attempts to cruise around the island - His perilous situation at sea - He returns home
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Section XVI: He rears a flock of goats - His diary - His domestic habits and style of living - Increasing prosperity
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Section XVII: Unexpected alarm and cause for apprehension - He fortifies his abode
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Section XVIII: Precautions against surprise - Robinson discovers that his island has been visited by cannibals
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    Section XIX: Robinson discovers a cave, which serves him as a retreat against the savages
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Section XX: Another visit of the savages - Robinson sees them dancing - Perceives the wreck of a vessel
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Section XXI: He visits the wreck and obtains many stories from it - Again thinks of quitting the island - Has a remarkable dream
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    Section XXII: Robinson rescues one of their captives from the savages, whom he names Friday, and makes his servant
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Section XXIII: Robinson instructs and civilizes his man Friday - Endeavours to give him an idea of Christianity
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    Section XXIV: Robinson and Friday build a canoe to carry them to Friday's country - Their scheme prevented by the arrival of a party of savages
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    Section XXV: Robinson releases a Spaniard - Friday discovers his father - Accommodation provided for these new guests - who are afterwards sent to liberate the other Spaniards - Arrival of an English vessel
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
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        Page 191
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        Page 193
        Page 194
    Section XXVI: Robinson discovers himself to the English captain - Assists him in reducing his mutinous crew - who submit to him
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
    Section XXVII: Atkins entreats the captain to spare his life - The latter recovers his vessel from the mutineers - And Robinson leaves the island
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    Section XXVIII: Robinson goes to Lisbon, where he finds the Portuguese captin who renders him an account of his property in the Brazils - Sets out on his return to England, by land
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Section XXIX: Friday's encounter with a bear - Robinson and his fellow travellers attacked by a flock of wolves - His arrangement of his affairs, and marriage after his return to England
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
    Section XXX: He is seized with a desire to revisit his island - Loses his wife - Is tempted to go to sea again - Takes out a cargo for his colony
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
    Section XXXI: Robinson's ship relieves the crew of a French vessel that had caught fire
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
    Section XXXII: Relieves the crew of a Bristol ship, who are starving - Arrives at his island
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Section XXXIII: Robinson and Friday go ashore - The latter meets with his father - Account of what passed on the island after Robinson's quitting it
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Section XXXIV: The account continued - Quarrels between the Englishmen - A battle between the two parties of savages who visit the island - Fresh mutiny among the settlers
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
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        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
    Section XXXV: The mutinous Englishmen are dismissed from the island - Return with several captive savages - Take the females as wives - Arrival of savages
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
    Section XXXVI: Several savages killed; the remainder leave the island - A fleet of them afterwards arrive - A general battle - The savages are overcome, and tranquillity restored
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
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        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
    Section XXXVII: Robinson learns from the Spaniards the difficulties they had to encounter - He furnishes the people with tools, etc. - The French ecclesiastic
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
    Section XXXVIII: Robinson's discourse with the ecclesiastic as to introducing marriages among the people - Marriages performed - Atkins converts his wife
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
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        Page 321
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        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
    Section XXXIX: Atkins relates his conversation with his wife - The latter baptized by the Priest - Account of the starving state of those on board the rescued vessel - Robinson's departure from the island
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
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        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
    Section XL: Encounter with savages at sea - Friday's death - Robinson finds his former partner in the Brazils - Sails for the East Indies
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
    Section XLI: The vessel touches at Madagascar - Affray with the natives - Who are massacred by the crew - The sailors afterwards refuse to sail with Robinson, who is left by his nephew, the captain, in Bengal
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
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        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
    Section XLII: Meets with an English merchant with whom he makes some trading voyages - They are mistaken for pirates - Vanquish their pursuers - Voyage to China - Rencontre with the Cochin-Chinese - Island of Formosa - Gulf of Nanquin - Apprehensions of falling into the hands of the Dutch
        Page 373
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    Section XLIII: Journey to Peking - Robinson joins a caravan proceeding to Moscow - Rencontres with the Tartars
        Page 402
        Page 403
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        Page 405
        Page 406
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        Page 411
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        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
    Section XLIV: Route through Muscovy - Robinson and a Scots merchant destroy an idol - The whole caravan in great peril from the pursuit of the Pagans - Tobolski - Muscovite exiles - Departure from Tobolski - Encounter with a troop of robbers in the desert - Robinson reaches Archangel, and finally arrives in England
        Page 417
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Full Text













j Zx 'L t



BIOGRAPHICAL Sketch of DANIEL DEFOE .................................. i

Robinson's Family, &c.-His Elopement from his Parents........ 1

First Adventures at Sea, and Experience of a Maritime Life.-
Voyage to Guinea ................................... ....... ............. 5

Robinson's Captivity at Sallee-Escape with Xury-Arrival at
the Brazils .............................................................. 13

He settles in the Brazils as a Planter-Makes another Voyage,
and is shipwrecked ...................................................... 25

Robinson finds himself in a desolate Island-Procures a Stock of
Articles from the Wreck-Constructs his Habitation ........... 36

Carries all his Riches, Provisions, &c. into his Habitation.-
Dreariness of Solitude.-Consolatory Reflections................. 45

Robinson's Mode of reckoning Time.-Difficulties arising from
want of Tools.-He arranges his Habitation ....................... 49

Robinson's Journal.-Details of his domestic Economy and Con-
trivances.-Shock of an Earthquake ................................ 54

Robinson obtains more Articles from the Wreck.-His Illness and
Affliction ............................................................ 64

His Recovery.-His Comfort in reading the Scriptures.-Makes
an Excursion into the Interior of the Island.-Forms his
"Bower"......................................................... ... 71


Robinson makes a Tour to explore his Island.-Employed in
Basket making ........................................................... 82

He returns to his Cave.-His agricultural Labours and Success ... 86
His Manufacture of Pottery, and Contrivance for baking Bread ... 92

Meditates his Escape from the Island.- Builds a Canoe.-Failure
of his Scheme.-Resignation to his Condition.-Makes himself
a new Dress........................................ ................... 96

He makes a smaller Canoe, in which he attempts to cruise round
the Island.-His perilous Situation at Sea.-He returns Home... 105

He rears a Flock of Goats.-His Diaty.-His domestic Habits and
Style of Living.-Increasing Prosperity ............................ 112

Unexpected Alarm and Cause for Apprehension.-He fortifies his
Abode ................................................................... 119

Precautions against Surprise.-Robinson discovers that his Island
has been visited by Cannibals......................................... 126

Robinson discovers a Cave, which serves him as a Retreat against
the Savages......................... ............... ............. 134

Another Visit of the Savages.-Robinson sees them dancing.-
Perceives the Wreck of a Vessel ................................. 140

He visits the Wreck and obtains many Stores from it.-Again thinks
of quitting the Island.-Has a remarkable Dream ............... 145

Robinson rescues one of their Captives from the Savages, whom
he names Friday, and makes his Servant ..................... ..... 155

Robinson instructs and civilizes his Man Friday.-Endeavours to
give him an Idea of Christianity...................................... 163

Robinson and Friday build a Canoe to carry them to Friday's
Country.-Their Schemenprevented by the Arrival of a Party of
Savages.................................... 172

Robinson releases a Spaniard.-Friday discovers his Father.-
Accommodation provided for these new Guests-who are after-
wards sent to liberate the other Spaniards.-Arrival of an
English Vessel ....................................................... .. 181

Robinson discovers himself to the English Captain.-Assists him
in reducing his mutinous Crew,-who submit to him............. 195

Atkins entreats the Captain to spare his Life.-The latter recovers
his Vessel from the Mutineers,-and Robinson leaves the Island 206

Robinson goes to Lisbon, where he finds the Portuguese Captain,
who renders him an Account of his Property in the Brazils.-
Sets out on his Return to England, by Land ...................... 214

Friday's Encounter with a Bear.-Robinson and his fellow Tra-
vellers attacked by a Flock of Wolves.-His Arrangement of his
Affairs, and Marriage after his Return to England .............. 224

He is seized with a Desire to revisit his Island.-Loses his Wife.-
Is tempted to go to Sea again.-Takes out a Cargo for his Colony 234

Robinson's Ship relieves the Crew of a French Vessel that had
caught Fire ............................................................... 242

Relieves the Crew of a Bristol Ship, who are starving.-Arrives
at his Island ............................................................. 249

Robinson.and Friday go ashore.-The latter meets with his Father.
-Account of what passed on the Island after Robinson's
quitting it ................................................ ........... 256

The Account continued.-Quarrels between the Englishmen.-A
Battle between two Parties of Savages who visit the Island.-
Fresh Mutiny among the Settlers.................................... 263

The mutinous Englishmen are dismissed from the Island.-Return
with several captive Savages-Take the Females as Wives...... 280
Several Savages killed ; the Remainder leave the Island.-A Fleet
of them afterwards arrive.-A general Battle.-The Savages are
overcome, and Tranquillity restored ............................... 291
Robinson learns from the Spaniards the Difficulties they had to
encounter.-He furnishes the People with Tools, &c.-The
French Ecclesiastic ..................................................... 306
Robinson's Discourse with the Ecclesiastic as to introducing
Marriages among the People.-Marriages performed.-Atkins
converts his Wife................. ................................... 316
Atkins relates his Conversation with his Wife.-The latter bap-
tized by the Priest.-Account of the starving State of those on
board the rescued Vessel.-Robinson's Departure from the
Island ..................................................... 332
Encounter with Savages at Sea.-Friday's Death.-Robinson finds
his former Partner in theBrazils.-Sails for the East Indies ... 350
The Vessel touches at Madagascar.-Affray with the Natives,-
Who are massacred by the Crew.-The Sailors afterwards refuse
to sail with Robinson, who is left by his Nephew, the Captain,
in Bengal ............................................................ 358
Meets with an English Merchant with whom he makes some
trading Voyages.-They are mistaken for Pirates-Vanquish
their Pursuers.-Voyage to China.-Rencontrewith the Cochin-
Chinese.-Island of Formosa.-Gulf of Nanquin.-Apprehen-
sions of falling into the Hands of the Dutch ....................... 373

Journey to Peking.-Robinson joins a Caravan proceeding to
Moscow.-Rencontres with the Tartars............................ 402

Route through Muscovy.-Robinson and a Scots Merchant destroy
an Idol.-The whole Caravan in great Peril from the Pursuit of
the Pagans.-Tobolski,-Muscovite Exiles.-Departure from
Tobolski.-Encounter with a Troop of Robbers in the Desert.-
Robinson reaches Archangel, and finally arrives in England .... 417




THE author of Robinson Crusoe would be entitled to a promi-
nent place in the history of our literature, even had he never
given to the world that truly admirable production; and yet
we may reasonably question whether the name of Defoe would
not long ago have sunk into oblivion, or at least have been
known, like those of most of his contemporaries, only to the
curious student, were it not attached to a work whose popu-
larity has been rarely equalled-never, perhaps, excelled.
Even as it is, the reputation due to the writer has been nearly
altogether absorbed in that of his hero, and in the all-engrossing
interest of his adventures: thousands who have read Robinson
Crusoe with delight, and derived from it a satisfaction in no wise
diminished by repeated perusal, have never bestowed a thought
on its author, or, indeed, regarded it in the light of a literary
performance. While its fascination has been universally felt,
the genius that conceived it, the talent that perfected it, have
been generally overlooked, merely because it is so full of
nature and reality as to exhibit no invention or exertion on
the part of the author, inasmuch as he appears simply to have
recorded what actually happened, and consequently only to
have committed to paper plain matter of fact, without study or
embellishment. We wonder at and are struck with admiration
by the powers of Shakspeare or Cervantes; with regard to
Defoe we experience no similar feelings: it is not the skill of
the artist that enchants us, but the perfect naturalness of the

picture, which is such that we mistake it for a mirror; so that
every reader persuades himself that he could write as well,
perhaps better, were he but furnished with the materials for
an equally interesting narrative.
There are many circumstances in Defoe's own history that
would recommend it to the notice of the biographer, inde-
pendently of his claims as the author of Robinson; among
which are the variety and extraordinary number of his literary
performances, amounting to no fewer than two hundred and
nine different publications; and the no less singular fact that
the masterpiece of his genius was not only his first essay in
that species of composition, but was not produced till he was
far advanced in years, he having then arrived at a period of
life when the generality of authors close their literary career;
and when the powers of imagination either lose much of
their vigour, or become altogether torpid. Nor will our
surprise at Defoe's industry, and the almost unprecedented
fertility of his pen, be at all diminished by considering that he
was not a recluse student or professed scholar, but was engaged
in trade and various other speculations. In one respect,
however, his mercantile occupations contributed to lay the
foundation of his excellence as a novel writer, since there can
be little doubt that it is to his actual experience of the sea,
and his acquaintance with other countries, we are indebted for
that truth and spirit which animate the more interesting parts
of Robinson Crusoe; while his manly good sense, unaffected
earnestness, and fund of native intelligence have placed him
very far above those who presumed to undervalue his literary
According to the latest and most copious of all his biogra-
phers, Daniel Defoe was born in 1661, two years earlier than
the generally assigned date of his birth. His father was a
butcher in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate; and appears
to have been a citizen in easy circumstances, although his
trade was one that confers no particular lustre on a pedigree.
It is usual to affect some degree of astonishment when we read
of men whose after fame presents a striking contrast to the
humility of their origin; yet we must recollect that it is not
ancestry and splendid descent, but education and circumstances
which form the man; and in this respect the middling classes
possess a decided advantage over those either below or above
them; for if the former are precluded from cultivating their

talents and abilities, the latter generally consider themselves
exempt from the necessity of doing so, and accordingly content
themselves with cultivating mere external accomplishments, in
preference to exercising their mental energies. Those on the
contrary who are placed in a middle station, while they are
not debarred from the means of application, feel that stimulus
to exertion which arises from the desire of acquiring fortune
or fame. The history of such men as Ximenes, Wolsey,
Alberoni, and Napoleon, may, indeed, justly excite our won-
der;-when, too, we behold unlettered genius emerging, in
spite of every obstacle, from the obscurity to which it seemed
condemned, as in a Fergusson, a Duval, a Burns, and an Opie,
we may be permitted to express our astonishment; but as
regards his origin, the history of Defoe is that of thousands who
have afterwards raised themselves into comparative elevation,
by the display of their powers. The solicitude, therefore, so
generally displayed by biographers, on similar occasions, to
trace some consanguinity with a more dignified branch of their
families, for those whose native obscurity seems to demand
some apology, betrays a rather mistaken policy. However
this may be, it is certain that it is quite as honourable for
Defoe to have ascended from a butcher as it would have been
to have descended from the Conqueror himself.
One undoubted and very great advantage, for which Defoe
was indebted to his parents, who were nonconformists, was an
education superior to what it was then usual for persons in
their station to bestow upon their children; and they were
careful also to implant in his youthful mind that regard for
religion, and that strict moral integrity which afterwards
displayed themselves not only in his writings, but his conduct
through life. And this rectitude of principle he most unequi-
vocally evinced when his misfortunes put it so severely to the
proof. At about the age of fourteen he was placed under the
tuition of the Rev. Charles Morton, of Newington Green,
who was afterwards vice-president of Harvard College, New
England; and from various incidental remarks in his own
works, it appears that young Defoe now entered upon an
extensive course of studies, and made considerable proficiency
in languages, mathematics, philosophy, history, and theology ;
although the natural liveliness of his disposition unfitted him
for that severe application which is necessary to form a profound
scholar in any one of those pursuits.
It was the intention of his parents that he should embrace

the clerical profession, which their religious feelings, and
probably a very pardonable ambition, induced them to select
for him; yet, notwithstanding his regard for the sacred office,
he was unwilling to embrace it himself; or events, at least,
diverted his talents into another channel. The political and
religious excitements of that period were contagious for one of
Defoe's temper: he assumed the character of the patriot as
soon as he cast off that of the boy, and espoused the side of
the popular party with all the ardour of youth; nor was it
long before he had opportunities of distinguishing himself.
He was a warm advocate for the Bill of Exclusion, passed by
the Commons to prevent the succession of the Duke of York
to the throne; and regarded with abhorrence that spirit of
despotism which sentenced Sydney and so many others to
the scaffold. At the age of twenty-one he commenced author,
which employment he continued for nearly half a century,
and that, too, almost uninterruptedly, notwithstanding his
various speculations of a different nature. It cannot be ex-
pected that in a sketch of this nature we should attempt to
give any thing like a connected account of Defoe's various
literary performances, they being too numerous and multi-
farious for us to advert to them separately, even if we conceived
that by so doing we should greatly interest the readers of this
-the most distinguished of them all. But the truth is, the
majority of them are of that class which it is rather the
province of the bibliographer than the critic to describe. We
may, however, here mention the first production of his pen,
which, under the singular title of Speculum Crape-gown-
orum," was a reply to a publication of Roger L'Estrange's, a
noted party writer of that day. In this work Defoe indulged
in rather intemperate language, and while vindicating the
dissenters, reflected in too hostile and indiscriminate a manner
upon the established clergy. This was succeeded by a" Trea-
tise against the Turks," occasioned by the war between them
and the Imperialists ; and was penned by Defoe for the purpose
of showing his countrymen that if it was the interest of pro-
testantism not to increase the influence of a Catholic power, it
was infinitely more so to oppose a Mahommedan one; which,
however debateable it might appear to politicians, was almost
too obvious a truism to be entitled to any merit for its sagacity.
It is the fate of political publications quickly to fall into
oblivion after the events which call them forth have passed
away: the reputation derived from them is as transitory as

the events themselves, or if the fame of the writer occasionally
descends to posterity, it is more than can be affirmed of his
Shortly after this, Defoe proved that he was as ready to
support the doctrines he advocated by the sword, as by the
pen: he accordingly joined the standard of the Duke of
Monmouth, when the latter landed in England with the view
of expelling a Catholic prince from the throne, and seating
himself upon it as the defender of protestantism. The issue
of that adventure, and the subsequent fate of the unfortunate,
if not perfectly innocent, Monmouth are well known. Happier
than the leader of the enterprise, it was Defoe's better luck to
escape; he returned to thelnetropolis in safety; and, aban-
doning politics and warfare, was content for a while to turn
his attention to the more humble but less stormy pursuits of
He now became a hosier, or rather a hose-factor, that is a
kind of agent between the manufacturer and retailer; and,
according to Mr. Chalmers, he continued to carry on this
concern from 1685 to 1695. It was about two years after he
had thus established himself, that he was admitted a liveryman
of London, on the 26th of January, 1687-8. Business, how-
ever, did not so entirely absorb his attention but that he found
time to engage in the various controversies that agitated the
public mind, and which were occasioned by the arbitrary
measures of James, who, feeling himself secure after the
removal of so dangerous an enemy as Monmouth, began more
openly to favour the Catholics, and to dispense with the tests
intended to prevent their accepting commissions in the army.
This of course excited both the alarm and indignation of the
Protestants, which were by no means allayed by the tempo-
rizing servility of their own clergy, who exerted their eloquence
in favour of the king's prerogative. Among those who attacked
the doctrine of the dispensing power was Defoe; nor, as may
well be imagined, was he afterwards an unconcerned spectator
of the Revolution, whose progress he had minutely watched,
and whose anniversary he continued yearly to celebrate as a
day marked by the deliverance of his country from political
and religious tyranny. His attachment to the new sovereign
was confirmed by the personal notice shown him both by that
prince and his consort; for the butcher's son" had had the
honour of an early introduction to the royal presence.
At this period Defoe resided at Tooting in Surrey, and he

had now launched out into more extensive commercial specula-
tions, having embarked in the Spanish and Portuguese trade,
so that he might fairly claim the title of merchant. The precise
time of his going to Spain, whether before or after the revo-
lution, cannot be ascertained; but he not only made a voyage
thither, but stayed some time in the country, and acquired a
knowledge of the language. Sincere as was his attachment
to the purer tenets of protestantism, it did not degenerate into
blind prejudice, nor prevent him from doing justice to catholics;
he has accordingly, in his Robinson Crusoe, represented the
Spanish character under its most amiable traits, and in a tone
that may almost pass for panegyric. This voyage, as we have
already remarked, doubtlessly contributed to store his ob-
servant mind with many materials for those descriptions of the
perils and adventures common to a seafaring life, that so
strongly excite the sympathy of those who follow his hero
across the trackless deep. Nor was he without some expe-
rience of shipwreck, if not actually in his own person, by the
loss of a vessel in which he was a shareholder, and which was
wrecked in a violent storm off the coast of Biscay. It was
about this period also that he traded with Holland; probably
for civet, as one of his enemies has sneeringly styled him a
" civet-cat merchant." Besides this he visited some other
parts of the continent, particularly Germany; he did not, how-
ever, relinquish his hose-agency business in consequence of
his other engagements. But commercial enterprise did not
prove for him the road to wealth: on the contrary, his specu-
lations involved him in such embarrassments that, in 1692, he
was obliged to abscond from his creditors. A commission of
bankruptcy was taken out against him, yet it was afterwards
superseded, those to whom he was most in debt agreeing to
accept a composition on his own bond; and he not only
punctually discharged these claims, but, after he had some-
what retrieved his circumstances, voluntarily repaid the re-
mainder. This is so much the more to his honour, since so
far from having met with many precedents of similar probity
in others, his misfortunes had been in some degree occasioned
by the knavery of unprincipled men, who, availing themselves
of the impunity held out to them by the supineness or the
impotency of the law, were then accustomed to set their cre-
ditors at defiance in the most barefaced manner.
It was Defoe himself who first called the attention of the
legislature to the intolerable abuses which arose from those

sanctuaries, as they were termed, for criminals and debtors,
which then existed in the metropolis; and to him, consequently,
may we be said to be indebted for the abatement of a nuisance
as disgraceful to the national character, as it was injurious to
the industrious and honest portion of the community.
With the view of assisting him in his distress some of his
friends now came forward and offered to settle him as a factor
at Cadiz; yet, advantageous as the proposal was, he declined
it, preferring to endeavour to retrieve his finances by his pen.
The country being then engaged in an expensive war with
France, Defoe proposed a scheme to assist the government in
raising the ways and means;" and some time afterwards he
received the appointment of accountant to the commissioners
of the glass duty; but it proved only a temporary one, as the
duty was repealed in August, 1699. Probably it was also
about the same period that he became secretary to the tile-
works at Tilbury, in which concern he embarked some money,
and was again a sufferer. His Essay on Projects," pub-
lished in January, 1696-7, shows him to have been, if not a
very successful speculator himself, at least a very ingenious
and fertile deviser of theoretical plans; most of which must
be allowed to have the welfare of society in view; nor have
they been without influence in leading to many improvements
of later times: among those which have been practically
adopted we may mention his scheme for Friendly Societies
and Savings' Banks. Were any testimony required in favour
of this work, it would be sufficient to quote that of the cele-
brated Franklin, who confesses that the impressions he received
from it gave a strong bias to his own pursuits.
If not invariably employed in the active defence of public
morals, Defoe's pen was too honest to betray their interests on
any occasion: it was not always that his topics called for, or
even admitted, any direct inculcation of virtue, but whenever
they did, he displayed his earnestness in its behalf. His pub-
lication entitled The Poor Man's Plea," is a very keen piece
of satire, with a considerable touch of humour, levelled against
the vices of the upper classes of society, in which he urges them
to discountenance by their own conduct the immorality they
deem so reprehensible in the vulgar. The stage too did not
escape his castigation: and really its transgressions were at
that period so barefaced and audacious, so offensive even to
common decency, that, whatever infamy there may have been
in either tolerating or in attempting to defend such a system

of lewdness, there could be no great triumph in exposing that
which did not even attempt to conceal itself.
We have now to notice our author in a somewhat different
character-namely, as a candidate for poetical fame. His
satire, entitled the Trueborn Englishman," which was.
written for the purpose of averting from the king the abusive
reflections cast upon him as a foreigner, had indeed a very
great run at the time; more, however, on account of the matter
than of the manner; since both that and all Defoe's other
attempts of the kind convince us, that, like the great Roman
orator, he was an intolerably bad poet, and not even a decent
versifier. Yet could gratitude and enthusiastic devotion to
his prince have supplied that inspiration which the muses
denied him, Defoe's poetry would have been of first-rate excel-
lence, so sincere was his admiration of, so zealous was his
devotion to, William III. The various effusions in rhyme,
and the numerous political pamphlets and tracts which he
published at this interval, we must pass by, and come directly
to an event that obtained for our author a rather unenviable
species of distinction. The reign of Anne commenced with
much violence and with cabals between the respective church
parties, leading to controversies that rather fanned than allayed
the public ferment. On such an occasion, it was not to be ex-
pected that Defoe would remain passive; assuming the furious
tone of the high-churchmen of the day, against the dissenters,
he published a small pamphlet which was in reality a satire
upon the writings which that party had issued from the press;
but the irony was so fine, and the imitation so exact, that while
it was supposed by them to utter the real sentiments of the
writer, it was also interpreted by those whom it was intended
to serve, as coming from a violent enemy. The Shortest
Way with the Dissenters"-such was its title, created an
amazing sensation; and on its real object being exposed, the
high-church party became as fierce in their indignation, as
they had before been warm in their applause. The author
was detected, a reward offered for his apprehension, and he
himself sentenced to be imprisoned in Newgate, and to stand
in the pillory; but the attendance of his friends and the en-
thusiasm of the populace in favour of the champion of religious
liberty, converted an ignominious punishment into a triumph,
so that his enemies had as little reason to exult in their victory,
as to be proud of the sagacity they had displayed. If, however,
this event rather increased than diminished Defoe's reputation,

it had a different effect upon his pecuniary affairs; his confine-
ment in Newgate prevented his attending any longer to his
concern at Tilbury, the consequence of which was that it was
obliged to be given up; and thus Defoe saw himself deprived
at once of what had been the source of a handsome income, for
before this affair he was in such thriving circumstances as to
be able to keep his coach. According to his own statement,
he lost three thousand five hundred pounds, a far more con-
siderable sum at that period than it would be now. There
was indeed one way of both speedily and safely repairing his
finances, namely by accepting the overtures made him by the
ministry, who would gladly have enlisted in their own cause
that pen which had proved so powerful against them: but
Defoe was too independent of soul and too high-principled to
purchase his release upon terms that would inflict upon him
the disgrace the pillory had failed to effect.
Although a prison is not the most congenial place for lite-
rary pursuits, our author availed himself of the time which the
loss of his liberty afforded him, of occupying his unwelcome
leisure from all other business in writing both in verse and
prose. It was here that he published his poem on the Re-
formation of Manners," a sufficiently copious theme in every
age, and afterwards continued the subject in another, entitled
" More Reformation;" in which he alludes to his own situa-
tion in the following nervous lines, describing himself as

A modern tool,
To wit, to parties, and himself a fool;
Embroil'd with states to do himself no good,
And by his friends themselves misunderstood;
Misconstrued first in every word he said,-
By these unpitied, and by those unpaid."

Here we may truly sayfacit indignatio versos, for the caustic
tone and antithesis are not unworthy of Pope himself. The
political controversial pieces which he sent forth to the world
from his place of durance vile," were too numerous for us
to specify them, we therefore prefer speaking of a work of
more permanent interest, one in which he may be regarded as
the immediate predecessor of two of the most popular and
admired of our classic writers in the days of Anne-namely,
Steele and Addison. Defoe's Review," which commenced
Feb. 19, 1704, deserves to be considered as the prototype of
our Tatlers and Spectators; and may earn for its author the

appellation of the Father of English Essayists; since not-
withstanding that political intelligence and discussion consti-
tuted a great portion of its contents, it touched upon a variety
of other topics bearing upon literature, manners, and morals;
while it was itself hardly in any degree indebted for this part
of its plan to preceding or contemporary publications. Uni-
formly assailing vice, or exposing to just ridicule the follies
and foibles of society, Defoe varied his mode of attack, at one
time employing grave reasoning and serious remonstrance;
at another, substituting sarcasm, humour, wit, and pleasantry
for monitory reproof. To a modern reader, indeed, many of
the topics might seem to lack invention, and to be rather
commonplace, merely because they have been so repeatedly
handled by later writers, that both the wit and argument dis-
played in them have lost their freshness. This circumstance,
however, does not detract from Defoe's intrinsic merit, or from
the praise due to him as an originator: on the contrary, he,
in this respect, only shares the fate common to all those who
open a new path in literature or art, inviting imitators whose
numbers oppress, if they do not overwhelm them: that Defoe
has not since been surpassed in this species of writing is far
more than we can venture to assert; yet it should be recol-
lected that it is the first navigator of the Atlantic, not those
who cross it in a modern steam-boat, who claims the homage
of our admiration.
Those who are unacquainted with Defoe the essayist as well
as Defoe the novelist, will not be able to appreciate the extent
of our author's powers, and the variety of his information.
But we have already dwelt upon the Review" at greater
length than is consistent with the brevity we must perforce
observe; it is time therefore to proceed with our narrative.
Mr. Harley, afterwards earl of Oxford, happened by a change
in the ministry to come into power, after Defoe had been about
two years in confinement, and being able to appreciate his
abilities-perhaps anxious to secure them in his own support,
he represented his case to the queen, who generously sent a
sum of money to his wife and family, and another to discharge
his fine and prison expenses. Immediately upon his liberation
Defoe retired to Bury St. Edmund's. It was there that he
wrote his masterly treatise, entitled Giving Alms no Charity,"
in which he displays great practical knowledge, with enlarged
and sound views on the causes of poverty, and on the employ-
ment of the poor. In the intervals of these and other occupa-

tions, for it should be observed that he had been sent in 1705
by Harley on a secret mission to the continent, the express
object of which has not transpired,-he found leisure to employ
his pen on other subjects, and anticipating his future character
of a romance writer, he invented the true narrative" of Mrs.
Veal's apparition, which was prefixed to a translation of Drelin-
court on Death. The supposed stranger from the other world
is made to recommend that performance; and, as such super-
natural testimony was irresistible, the whole impression, which
had before lain on the bookseller's shelves, was quickly sold,
and was succeeded by many others, the work having since
passed through forty different editions. This stratagem cer-
tainly does honour to Defoe's ingenuity and penetration; yet
whether it be entirely justifiable, considering the tendency of
the deception, may be doubted.
Leaving for awhile the account of his literary career, we
must now briefly notice a very important national subject,
namely, the Union with Scotland, in which, besides warmly
advocating the measure with his pen, Defoe was personally
employed. At the recommendation of Harley and Lord Go-
dolphin, by whom he had been recommended to the queen, he
was sent on a mission to Edinburgh, in which city he arrived
in October, 1706. Here, it should seem, he was chiefly em-
ployed in making calculations relating to trade and taxes, for
the information of the committees of parliament; he also occu-
pied himself in collecting those documents relative to the
Union, which he afterwards published. Besides this, he pro-
posed several plans for encouraging the manufactures, and for
promoting the trade, wealth, and maritime resources of Scot-
land. After an absence of about sixteen months, he returned
to England in 1708, when his services obtained for him, from
the ministry, an appointment with a fixed salary; and as it
does not appear what was the nature of the office be held, we
may conclude it to have been merely a sinecure. Almost
immediately afterwards, his patron Harley was dismissed from
office, through the persevering intrigues of the duchess of
Marlborough, whom he had supplanted in the queen's favour ;
an event that suddenly overclouded Defoe's political prospects.
Without compromising his principles, however, he espoused
the interests of the succeeding ministry; but although Godol-
phin treated him with consideration, he suffered his pension
to fall into arrears, perhaps in consequence of Defoe's long
absence in Scotland, whither he was again dispatched a few

months afterwards, upon some secret business. In the follow-
ing year, 1709, Defoe published a work which, to use the
words of an eminent living critic, places him amongst the
soundest historians of the day;" and which, according to the
testimony of another, would have handed down his name to
posterity, even had he not immortalized himself by Robinson
Crusoe. This was his History of the Union," which is as
interesting for the minute descriptions it gives of the actors
and incidents in that important event, as for the documents it
Still engaged in politics, Defoe's continued and severe
attacks against the Tories and high-church party so exaspe-
rated them that they attempted to suppress his writings, and
even threatened him with prosecutions: their animosity, how-
ever, did not procure for him, from those whose cause he
defended, a degree of favour and support at all commensurate
with his long and able services. He had also to contend with
fresh pecuniary losses in some concern in which he was engaged
(1712) with Mr. Wood, a mercer of Coleshill in Warwickshire;
and with the personal abuse with which his character was
assailed by writers who reflected upon him as being a knavish
bankrupt. But his political career was now drawing to its
close: having carried on his "Review" for more than nine
years, he finally relinquished it in May, 1713, when he was
again a prisoner in Newgate upon an indictment preferred
against him by his friends the Whigs, as the author of three
treasonable Jacobitical pamphlets; whereas the publications
in question were of a directly opposite tendency. The queen
once more bestowed a free pardon on him, and the malice of
his numerous enemies was defeated. From this time he em-
ployed his pen only occasionally on political subjects. By the
accession of George I. to the throne, Defoe gained nothing,
although his writings had strenuously pleaded the cause of the
House of Hanover during the late reign; and although he had
superior claims upon public gratitude for the zeal with which,
during nearly thirty years, he had not only advocated religious
and political independence, but endeavoured to call attention
to subjects of paramount importance to the national prosperity.
That this neglect should, in spite of all his philosophy, have
occasioned him considerable mortification, is not much to be
wondered at: and to the effect it had upon his health was
attributed an apoplectic attack in the year 1715, from which
he continued to suffer for six months.

After so serious a blow to his constitution, and at his
advanced period of life, it might have been expected that he
would now lay aside his pen,-at least remit in his exertions.
Yet it was subsequently to this apparently cloudy epoch of
his career that the brightest and most durable of his literary
wreaths was won. Great versatility of talent is not often
accompanied by an equal degree of vigour and raciness of
intellect; when, however, such does happen to be the case,
it should seem that the former is rather beneficial than other-
wise to its possessor, and that change of subject serves to
recruit the mental energies. Defoe at least may be quoted as
an extraordinary instance of rejuveneseeny of mind in the
decline of years. We do not here allude to his Family
Instructor," although that performance is one of the most
valuable and useful systems of practical morality in our lan-
guage, and has, doubtless, been far more beneficial to society,
than many works of even splendid celebrity. It is the series
of novels which now appeared in quick succession from his
pen, that have won for him an imperishable reputation among
the worthies of English literature; nor will his claims upon
our admiration be diminished by considering the extravagant,
unnatural system of romance-writing which had till then pre-
vailed, where every thing was either so artificial or so shadowy,
that not a glimpse of real life was to be discerned. In Defoe's
narratives, on the contrary, there is such an air of downright
matter-of-fact and unadorned truth, as to amount to actual
deception; thereby preventing us from crediting the author
with any merit on the score of imagination, contrivance, or
invention. Of this the reader will be amply convinced by the
perusal of the present work, on which it is not necessary that we
should expatiate, and we shall therefore merely advert to the
circumstances connected with its origin and publication. The
History of Robinson Crusoe was first published in the year
1719, and its popularity may be said to have been established
immediately, since four editions were called for in about as
many months, a circumstance at that time almost unprece-
dented in the annals of literature. It rarely happens that an
author's expectations are surpassed by the success of his work,
however astonishing it may seem to others; yet perhaps even
Defoe himself did not venture to look forward to such a wel-
come on the part of the public, after the repulses he had expe-
rienced on that of the booksellers; for, incredible as it now
appears, the manuscript of the work had been offered to, and

rejected by, every one in the trade, in which respect its destiny
was not only similar to that of Paradise Lost, but of two of
the most celebrated literary productions of the present day,
namely, Waverley and Childe Harold; the former of which
remained in manuscript ten years, without any probability of
ever seeing the light, although its fame has since extended
itself wherever the English language is known-nay more, has
even penetrated the wilds of Siberia.
Astonishing as was the success of Defoe's romance, it did
not deter the envious from attempting to disparage it. The
materials, it was said, were either furnished by, or surrepti-
tiously obtained from, Alexander Selkirk, a mariner who had
resided for four years in the desert island of Juan Fernandez,
and returned to England in 1711. Very probably, his story,
which then excited considerable interest and attention, did
suggest to Defoe the idea of writing his romance; but all the
details and incidents are entirely his own. Most certainly
Defoe had obtained no papers or written documents from Sel-
kirk, as the latter had none to communicate. So far, however,
have others been from taxing our author with plagiarism, that
they have, on the contrary, charged him with putting on paper
a heap of chimaeras, to impose upon public credulity. Thus
these two contradictory charges reciprocally destroy each other.
An attempt has also been made to rob him entirely of the
brightest jewel in his literary crown, by denying him to have
been the author of Robinson Crusoe, which has been ascribed,
by some, to Arbuthnot; by others, to Defoe's patron, the first
earl of Oxford. Those who have wished to gain credit for the
latter opinion, assert that it was composed by that nobleman
during his imprisonment in the Tower, in 1715, on a charge of
high treason: and they have argued that the whole tone of the
work, especially of that part towards the conclusion where an
account is given of the exiled nobles of Muscovy, is what would
naturally be suggested by the solitude of a prison. Yet as far
as internal evidence is concerned, that is, indisputably, much
stronger in favour of Defoe ; for he had not only been familiar
with imprisonment, but was also by his acquaintance with
foreign countries, and his experience in business and traffic,
much better qualified to produce a work which displays so
much practical knowledge of things, as well as of man. In-
deed, nothing short of the most conclusive and undeniable
testimony of facts to the contrary, can at all invalidate his
claims to be considered as the real author. Had Robinson

Crusoe been the only production of the kind that proceeded'
from his pen, there might be better reason for doubting whether
he wrote it; but the various other novels, or rather pieces of
fictitious biography, which he produced, form an additional
reason for attributing it to him.
Of these latter we must here speak far more briefly than
they deserve: the "History of Moll Flanders," which was
published in 1721, is an admirably drawn picture of life, and
contains an excellent moral lesson, although many of the scenes
it necessarily discloses are coarse and revolting. The Life of
Colonel Jaque" contains also much able delineation of real
life ; and in that part of the narrative which gives an account of
the hero's residence in Virginia, Defoe has humanely advocated
the cause of the negro slaves. His Memoirs of a Cavalier,"
which work is supposed to have been written about the same
time, is rather history attired in the form of an imaginary piece
of biography, than a romance. Indeed, all the details are so
circumstantial and accurate, that it has been mistaken for a
genuine narrative of the events of the civil wars in England
and Germany; and it was actually recommended as the very
best account of them, by the great Lord Chatham, with whom
it was a favourite book. In like manner our author's His-
tory of the Plague" imposed upon Dr. Mead, and since upon
others, who have referred to it as an authentic document, and
a true recital of that great national calamity. Here he is the
rival of Thucydides and Boccaccio; and depicts the horrors of
pestilence as vividly and as masterly as Poussin. It may
however be imagined by some that this is rather suspicious
praise, and that the work of fiction which can pass as true
history must be cold, matter-of-fact, and tame; repulsive and
dry. It is not, however, in the formal gravity of style that
these works resemble history; but they imitate and reflect the
features of the past in their most interesting, if not their most
engaging aspect.
Besides the preceding, and one or two other productions of
a similar cast, Defoe produced that very excellent and popular
work entitled Religious Courtship," which was first pub-
lished in 1722, and afterwards went through numerous editions.
This and his Family Instructor" are replete with lessons of
the soundest practical wisdom, and place their author among
the most extensively useful of our English moralists.
Here, however, we must terminate our sketch, having barely
left ourselves room to mention a few particulars relative to

the close of his life. Although the profits accruing from his
publications had of late been considerable, and he had been
able to give a portion to his daughter Sophia, who married
Mr. Baker, the celebrated natural philosopher, in 1729; yet
he was still doomed to contend with misfortune. In addition
to the affliction of bodily infirmity and severe pain, he again
fell into great pecuniary difficulties, and was even arrested.
He appears, however, to have recovered his liberty within a
short time; but the unnatural conduct of his son who refused
to give up the property that had been intrusted to him, with
the view of securing a provision to his mother and two un-
married sisters, was a heavier blow than any he had before
experienced; and the mental anguish it occasioned, doubtless
accelerated his death, which occurred on the 24th of April,
1731. Since that period just a century has now elapsed; and
in that interval many names of considerable eminence in their
day have sunk into irretrievable oblivion; Defoe, also, has lost
some portion of the celebrity he enjoyed with his contempo-
raries; yet after every deduction, enough remains to entitle
him to a place among the Worthies of English literature, for
should all his other productions be forgotten, his Robinson
Crusoe must remain imperishable.


I wAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good
family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner
of Bremen, named Kreutznaer, who settled first at Hull. He
got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade,
lived afterwards at York; from whence he had married my
mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good
family in that country, and after whom I was so called, that is
to say, Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of
words in England, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves,
and write our name, Crusoe; and so my companions always
called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-
colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly
commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed
at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What
became of my second brother, I never knew, any more than
my father and mother did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade,
my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts.
My father, who was very aged, had given me a competent
share of learning, as far as house education and a country free
school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would

be satisfied with nothing but going to sea: and my inclination
to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands of
my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my
mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something
fatal in that propension of nature, tending directly to the life
of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and
excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He
called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined
by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this
subject: he asked me what reasons, more than a mere wander-
ing inclination, I had for leaving his house, and my native
country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect
of raising my fortune, by application and industry, with a life
of ease and pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate
fortunes, on one hand, or of superior fortunes, on the other,
who went abroad upon adventures, aspiring to rise by enter-
prise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature
out of the common road; that these things were all either too
far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle
state, or what might be called the upper station of low life,
which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in
the world, the most suited to human happiness; not exposed
to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the
mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride,
luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind: he
told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state by one
thing, viz. that this was the state of life which all other people
envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable
consequences of being born to great things, and wished they
had been placed in the middle of two extremes, between the
mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to
this, as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to
have neither poverty nor riches."
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part
of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disas-
ters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher
or lower part of mankind: nay, they were not subjected to so
many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as
those were, who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagancies,
on one hand, or, by hard labour, want of necessaries, and
mean and insufficient diet, on the other hand, bring distempers
upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of
living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all
kind of virtues, and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and
plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that tem-
perance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable
diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings

attending the middle station of life; that this way men went
silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out
of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the
head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed
with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and
the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or
secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy
circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly
tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that
they are happy, and learning, by every day's experience, to
know it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affec-
tionate manner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate
myself into miseries which nature, and the station of life I was
born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was under
no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well for
me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life
which he had been just recommending to me; and that if I
was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere
fate, or fault, that must hinder it; and that he should have
nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in
warning me against measures which he knew would be to my
hurt: in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me
if I would stay and settle at home as he directed; so he would
not have so much hand in my misfortunes as to give me any
encouragement to go away: and, to close all, he told me I had
my elder brother for an example, to whom he had used the
same earnest persuasions to keep him from going into the Low
Country wars; but could not prevail, his young desires prompt-
ing him to run into the army, where he was killed; and though,
he said, he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would
venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me; and I would have leisure, hereafter, to
reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might be
none to assist in my recovery.
I observed, in this last part of his discourse, which was truly
prophetic, though, I suppose, my father did not know it to be
so himself; I say, I observed the tears run down his face very
plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who was
killed; and that, when he spoke of my having leisure to
repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he broke
off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full, he could
say no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse; as, indeed,
who could be otherwise ? and I resolved not to think of going
abroad any more, but to settle at home, according to my
father's desire. But alas! a few days wore it all off: and, in
short, to prevent any of my father's further importunities, in
a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him.

However, I did not act so hastily, neither, as my first heat of
resolution prompted; but I took my mother, at a time when I
thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her that
my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that
I should never settle to any thing with resolution enough to
go through with it, and my father had better give me his con-
sent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen
years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or
clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never
serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my
master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she
would speak to my father to let me make but one voyage
abroad, if I came home again, and did not like it, 1 would go
no more; and I would promise, by a double diligence, to
recover the time I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion: she told me she
knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon
any such a subject; that he knew too well what was my inte-
rest to give his consent to any thing so much for my hurt; and
that she wondered how I could think of any such thing, after
such a discourse as I had from my father, and such kind and
tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me: and
that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for
me; but I might depend I should never have their consent to
it: that for her part, she would not have so much hand in my
destruction; and I should never have it to say, that my mother
was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as
I have heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him;
and that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to
her with a sigh, That boy might be happy, if he would stay at
home; but, if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable
wretch that ever was born: I can give no consent to it.
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose;
though in the mean time I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating
with my father and mother about their being so positively de-
termined against what they knew my inclinations prompted me
to. But, being one day at Hull, whither I went casually, and
without any purpose of making an elopement at that time, and
one of my companions then going to London by sea in his
father's ship, and prompting me to go with them by the com-
mon allurement of seafaring men, viz. that it should cost me
nothing for my passage, I consulted neither father nor mother
any more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but left them
to hear of it as they might, without asking God's blessing, or
my father's, without any consideration of circumstances or
consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows.


ON the 1st of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound
for London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I
believe, began younger, or continued longer, than mine. The
ship had no sooner got out of the Humber, than the wind
began to blow, and the waves to rise, in a most frightful man-
ner; and as I had never been at sea before, I was most inex-
pressibly sick in body and terrified in mind: I began now
seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I
was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven, for wickedly leav-
ing my father's house. All the good counsels of my parents,
my father's tears, and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh
into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet come to
the pitch of hardness to which it has been since, reproached
me with the contempt of advice, and the abandonment of my
All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had
never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like
what I have seen many times since; no, nor what I saw a few
days after; but, such as it was, enough to affect me then, who
was but a young sailor, and had never known any thing of the
matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up,
and that every time the ship'fell down, as I thought, in the
trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and
in this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that
if it would please God to spare my life this voyage, if ever I
got my foot once on dry land, I would go directly home to my
father, and never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I
would take his advice, and never run myself into such miseries

as these any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his
observations about the middle station of life; how easy, how
comfortable, he had lived all his days, and never had been ex-
posed to tempests at sea or troubles on shore; and I resolved
that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home to my
These wise and sober thoughts continued during the storm,
and indeed some time after; but the next day, as the wind was
abated, and the sea calmer, I began to be a little inured to it.
However, I was very grave that day, being also a little sea-
sick still: but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind
was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun
went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and
having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining
upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that I
ever saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick,
but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was
so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and
pleasant in a little time after.
And now, lest my good resolutions should continue, my
companion, who had indeed enticed me away, came to me, and
said, Well, Bob, clapping me on the shoulder, how do you
do after it? I warrant you were frightened, wa'n't you, last
night, when it blew but a cap-full of wind ?-A cap-full, do
you call it? said I; 'twas a terrible storm.-A storm, you
fool! replies he, do you call that a storm? Why, it was
nothing at all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we
think nothing of such a squall of wind as that: you are but a
fresh-water sailor, Bob; come, let us make a bowl of punch,
and we'll forget all that. D'ye see what charming weather 'tis
now? To make short this sad part of my story, we went the
way of all sailors; the punch was made, and I was made
drunk with it; and in that one night's wickedness I drowned
all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct,
and all my resolutions for the future. In a word, as the sea
was returned to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness
by the abatement of the storm, so the hurry of my thoughts
being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up
by the sea forgotten, and the current of my former desires
returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises I had made
in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection;
and serious thoughts did, as it were, endeavour to return again
sometimes; but I shook them off and roused myself from them,
as it were from a distemper, and, applying myself to drink
and company, soon mastered the return of those fits,-for so I
called them; and I had in five or six days got as complete a
victory over conscience as any young sinner, that resolved not
to be troubled with it, could desire. But I was to have ano-

other trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases gene-
rally it does, resolved to leave me entirely without excuse:
for if I would not take this for a deliverance, the next was to
be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch among
us would confess both the danger and the mercy of. The sixth
day of our being at sea, we came into Yarmouth Roads; the
wind having been contrary, and the weather calm, we had
made but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to
come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing con-
trary, viz. at south-west, for seven or eight days, during which
time a great many ships from Newcastle came into the same
roads, as the common harbour where the ships might wait for
a wind for the river Thames. We had not, however, rid here
so long, but we should have tided up the river, but that the
wind blew too fresh; and, after we had lain four or five days,
blew very hard. However, the roads being reckoned as good
as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our ground tackle very
strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least appre-
hensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and mirth, after
the manner of the sea. But the eighth day, in the morning,
the wind increased, and we had all hands at work to strike our
topmasts, and make every thing snug and close, that the ship
might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very
high indeed, and our ship rode forecastle in, shipped several
seas, and we thought, once or twice, our anchor had come
home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor;
so that we rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered
out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I
began to see terror and amazement in the faces of even the
seamen themselves. The master was vigilant in the business
of preserving the ship; but, as he went in and out of his cabin
by me, I could hear him softly say to himself several times,
Lord, be merciful to us! we shall be all lost; we shall be all
undone! and the like. During these first hurries I was stupid,
lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot
describe my temper. I could ill reassume the first penitence,
which I had so apparently trampled upon, and hardened my-
self against; I thought that the bitterness of death had been
past, and that this would be nothing too, like the first: but
when the master himself came by me, as I said just now, and
said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frightened. I got
up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight
I never saw; the sea went mountains high, and broke upon us
every three or four minutes. When I could look about, I
could see nothing but distress around us; two ships, that rid
near us, we found had cut their masts by the board, being
deeply laden; and our men cried out that a ship, which rid
about a mile ahead of us, was foundered. Two more ships,

being driven from their anchors, were run out of the roads to
sea, at all adventures, and that with not a mast standing. The
light ships fared the best, as not so much labouring in the sea;
but two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running
away, with only their spritsails out, before the wind. Toward
evening, the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship
to let them cut away the foremast, which he was very loath to
do; but the boatswain protesting to him, that if he did not, the
ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut
away the foremast, the mainmast stood so loose, and shook the
ship so much, they were obliged to cut it away also, and make
a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this,
who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright
before at but a little. But if I can express, at this distance,
the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold
more horror of mind upon account of my former convictions,
and the having returned from them to the resolutions I had
wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these,
added to the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition,
that I can by no words describe it, but the worst was not come
yet; the storm continued with such fury, that the seamen
themselves acknowledged they had never known a worse. We
had a good ship, but she was deep laden, and so wallowed in
the sea, that the seamen every now and then cried out, she
would founder. It was my advantage, in one respect, that I
did not know what they meant by founder, till I inquired.
However, the storm was so violent, that I saw, what is not
often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others, more
sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every
moment the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the
night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men,
that had been down on purpose to see, cried out, we had sprung
a leak; another said, there was four feet water in the hold.
Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very word,
my heart, as I thought, died within me; and I fell backwards
upon the side of my bed, where I sat in the cabin. However,
the men roused me, and told me, that I, who was able to do
nothing before, was as well able to pump as another: at which
I stirred up and went to the pump, and worked very heartily.
While this was doing, the master seeing some light colliers
who, not able to ride out the storm, were obliged to slip and
run away to sea, and would not come near us, ordered us to
fire a gun, as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what
that meant, was so surprised, that I thought the ship had broke,
or some dreadful thing had happened. In a word, I was so
surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time
when every body had his own life to think of, no one minded
me, or what was become of me: but another man stepped up

to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie,
thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I
came to myself.
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was
apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm
began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could
swim till we might run into a port, so the master continued
firing guns for help; and a light ship, who had rid it out just
ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the
utmost hazard the boat came near us, but it was impossible for
us to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side;
till at last the men rowing very heartily, and venturing their
lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern
with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which
they, after great labour and hazard, took hold of, and we
hauled them close under our stern, and got all into their boat.
It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat,
to think of reaching their own ship; so all agreed te let her
drive, and only to pull her in towards shore as much as we
could; and our master promised them, that if the boat was
staved upon shore, he would make it good to their master; so
partly rowing, and partly driving, our boat went away to the
northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as Winter-
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of
our ship when we saw her sink; and then I understood, for
the first time, what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea.
I must acknowledge, I had hardly eyes to look up when the
seamen told me, she was sinking; for, from that moment, they
rather put me into the boat, than that I might be said to go in.
My heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright,
partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet
before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at
the oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see (when,
our boat mounting the waves, we were able to see the shore)
a great many people running along the strand, to assist us
when we should come near; but we made slow way towards
the shore; nor were we able to reach it, till, being past the
light-house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward,
towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence
of the wind. Here we got in, and, though not without much
difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot
to Yarmouth; where, as unfortunate men, we were used with
great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who
assigned us good quarters, as by the particular merchants and
owners of ships; and had money given us sufficient to carry
us either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and

have gone home, I had been happy; and my father, an em-
blem of our blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the
fatted calf for me; for, hearing the ship I went in was cast
away in Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had
any assurance that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on with an obstinacy that nothing
could resist; and though I had several times loud calls from
my reason, and my more composed judgment, to go home, yet
I had no power to do it.-I know not what to call this, nor will
I urge that it is a secret, overruling decree, that hurries us on
to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it
be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.
Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery
attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could
have pushed me forward against the calm reasoning and per-
suasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such
visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I: the first
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was
not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town
to several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it ap-
peared his tone was altered, and, looking very melancholy,
and shaking his head, he asked me how I did: telling his father
who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial,
in order to go farther abroad. His father, turning to me, with
a grave and concerned tone, Young man, says he, you ought
never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a
plain and visible token, that you are not to be a seafaring
man.-Why, sir? said I; will you go to sea no more?-That
is another case, said he; it is my calling, and therefore my
duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial,tyou see what a
taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you
persist. Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account, like
Jonah in the ship of Tarshish.-Pray, continues he, what are
you, and on what account did you go to sea? Upon that I told
him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with
a strange kind of passion. What had I done, said he, that
such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship! I would
not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
pounds. This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his
spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and
was farther than he could have authority to go.-However, he
afterwards talked very gravely to me; exhorted me to go back
to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin; told me,
I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me; and, young
man, said he, depend upon it, if you do not go back, wherever
you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disap-
pointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you.

We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I
saw him no more; which way he went, I know not: as for me,
having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London by
land; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles
with myself what course of life I should take, and whether I
should go home or go to sea. As to going home, shame
opposed the best motions that offered to my thoughts; and it
immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among
the neighbours, and should be ashamed to see not my father
and mother only, but even every body else. From whence I
have often since observed, how incongruous and irrational the
common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that
reason which ought to guide them in such cases, viz. that they
are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not
ashamed of the action, for which they ought justly to be
esteemed fools; but are ashamed of the returning, which only
can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, un-
certain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead.
An irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I
stayed awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been in
wore off; and, as that abated, the little motion I had in my
desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside
the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage. That evil
influence which carried me first away from my father's house,
that hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising
my fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon
me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entrea-
ties, and even the commands of my father; I say, the same
influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of
all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound
to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a
voyage to Guinea.
It was my great misfortune, that in all these adventures I did
not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, though I might indeed
have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet, at the same
time, I had learned the duty and office of a foremast-man, and
in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if
not a master: but as it was always my fate to choose for the
worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and
good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the
habit of a gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the
ship, nor learned to do any. It was my lot, first of all, to fall
into pretty good company in London; which does not always
happen to such loose and misguided young fellows as I then
was; the devil, generally, not omitting to lay some snare for
them very early. But it was not so with me: I first fell
acquainted with the master of a ship, who had been on the
coast of Guinea, and who, having had very good success there,

was resolved to go again. He, taking a fancy to my conversa-
tion, which was not at all disagreeable at that time, and hear-
ing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me, that if I
would go the voyage with him, I should be at no expense; I
should be his messmate and his companion; and if I could
carry any thing with me, I should have all the advantage of it
that the trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with
some encouragement. I embraced the offer, and, entering into
a strict friendship with this captain, who was an honest and
plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a
small adventure with me; which, by the disinterested honesty
of my friend the captain, 1 increased very considerably; for I
carried about forty pounds in such toys and trifles as the cap-
tain directed me to buy. This forty pounds I had mustered
together by the assistance of some of my relations whom I
corresponded with; and who, I believe, got my father, or, at
least, my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first
adventure. This was the only voyage which I may say was
successful in all my adventures, and which I owe to the inte-
grity and honesty of my friend the captain; under whom also
I got a competent knowledge of the mathematics and the rules
of navigation, learned how to keep an account of the ship's
course, take an observation, and, in short, to understand some
things that were needful to be understood by a sailor: for, as
he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in
a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant:
for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold dust for
my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return,
almost three hundred pounds, and this filled me with those
aspiring thoughts which have since so completed my ruin. Yet
even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particularly,
that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent calen-
ture by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal trading
being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees north,
even to the line itself.


I WAS now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my
great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go
the same voyage again; and I embarked in the same vessel
with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now
got the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage
that ever man made; for though I did not carry quite a hun-
dred pounds of my new-gained wealth, so that I had two
hundred pounds left, and which I lodged with my friend's
widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible mis-
fortunes in this voyage: and the first was this, viz.-our ship,
making her course towards the Canary Islands, or rather
between those islands and the African shore, was surprised, in
the gray of the morning, by a Turkish rover, of Sallee, who
gave chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded
also as much canvass as our yards would spread, or our masts
carry, to get clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and
would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared
to fight, our ship having twelve guns, and the rover eighteen.
About three in the afternoon he came up with us; and bring-
ing to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart
our stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear
on that side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made
him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in
also his small shot from near two hundred men which he had
on board. However, we had not a man touched, all our men

keeping close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to
defend ourselves; but laying us on board the next time upon
our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks, who
immediately fell to cutting and hacking the sails and rigging.
We plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests,
and suchlike, and cleared our deck of them twice. However,
to cut short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being
disabled, and three of our men killed and eight wounded, we
were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into
Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I ap-
prehended; nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's
court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain
of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being
young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising
change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable
slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now looked back
upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be
miserable, and have none to relieve me; which I thought was
now so effectually brought to pass, that it could not be worse;
that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was
undone, without redemption. But, alas! this was but a taste
of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel
of this story.
As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his
house, so I was in hopes he would take me with him when he
went to sea again, believing that it would, some time or other,
be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese man of
war, and that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope
of mine was soon taken away; for when he went to sea, he
left me on shore, to look after his little garden, and do the
common drudgery of slaves about his house; and when he
came home again from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the
cabin, to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method
I might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least
probability in it. Nothing presented to make the supposition
of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that
would embark with me; no fellow-slave, no Englishman,
Irishman, or Scotchman there but myself; so that for two
years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination,
yet I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it
in practice.
After about two years, an odd circumstance presented itself,
which put the old thought of making some attempt for my
liberty again in my head. My patron lying at home longer
than usual, without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was
for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week,
sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's

pinnace, and go out into the road a fishing; and as he always
took me and a young Moresco with him to row the boat, we
made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catching
fish, insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a Moor,
one of his kinsmen, and the youth, the Moresco, as they called
him, to catch a dish offish for him.
It happened one time, that going a fishing in a stark calm
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a
league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing, we
knew not whither, or which way, we laboured all day and all
the next night, and when the morning came, we found we had
pulled off to sea, instead of pulling in for the shore, and that
we were at least two leagues from the shore: however, we got
well in again, though with a great deal of labour, and some
danger, for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morn-
ing; but particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take
more care of himself for the future; and having lying by him
the longboat of our English ship he had taken, he resolved
he would not go a fishing any more without a compass and
some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of the ship, who
was an English slave, to build a little state-room or cabin in
the middle of the longboat, like that of a barge, with a place
to stand behind it, to steer and haul home the main sheet, and
room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails.
She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton sail, and
the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug
and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two,
and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some
bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink, and particu-
larly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I
was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went without
me. It happened, that he had appointed to go out in this boat,
either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of
some distinction in that place, and for whom he had provided
extraordinarily, and had therefore sent on board the boat,
overnight, a larger store of provision than ordinary, and had
ordered me to get ready three fusees, with powder and shot,
which were on board his ship, for that they designed some
sport of fowling as well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he directed, and waited the next
morning with the boat washed clean, her ensign and pendants
out, and every thing to accommodate his guests: when, by and
by, my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests
had put off going, upon some business that fell out, and ordered
me, with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the boat,
and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup at
his house; and commanded, that as soon as I had got some

fish, I should bring it home to his house: all which I prepared
to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into
my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship
at my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to
furnish myself, not for a fishing business, but for a voyage;
though I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither
I should steer; for any where, to get out of that place, was
my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this
Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I
told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread: he
said, that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or
biscuit, of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the
boat. I knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, which
it was evident, by the make, were taken out of some English
prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was
on shore, as if they had been there before for our master. I
conveyed also a great lump of bees-wax into the boat, which
weighed above half a hundred-weight, with a parcel of twine
or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of
great use to us afterwards, especially the wax, to make candles.
Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into
also: his name was Ismael, whom they call Muley, or Moley:
so I called to him, Moley, said I, our patron's guns are on board
the boat, can you not get a little powder and shot ? it may be we
may kill some alcamies (fowls like our curlews) for ourselves,
for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship.-Yes, says
he, I will bring some; and accordingly he brought a great
leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half of powder,
or rather more, and another with shot, that had five or six
pounds, with some bullets, and put all into the boat: at the
same time I found some powder of my master's in the great
cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case,
which was almost empty, pouring what was in it into another;
and thus furnished with every thing needful, we sailed out of
the port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the
port, knew who we were, and took no notice of us; and we
were not above a mile out of the port, before we hauled in our
sail, and set us down to fish. The wind blew from N. N. E.
which was contrary to my desire; for, had it blown southerly,
I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at last
reached to the bay of Cadiz: but my resolutions were, blow
which way it would, I would be gone from the horrid place
where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for
when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that
he might not see them, I said to the Moor, This will not do;
our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off.

He, thinking no harm, agreed; and being at the head of the
boat, set the sails; and as I had the helm, I run the boat near
a league farther, and then brought to, as if I would fish.
Then giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the
Moor was, and I took him by surprise, with my arm under
his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He
rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me,
begged to be taken in, and told me he would go all the world
over with me. He swam so strong after the boat, that he
would have reached me very quickly, there being but little
wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one
of the fowling pieces, I presented it at him, and told him, I
had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet, I would do
him none: But, said I, you swim well enough to reach the
shore, and the sea is calm; make the best of your way to
shore, and I will do you no harm: but if you come near the
boat, I will shoot you through the head; for I am resolved
to have my liberty. So he turned himself about, and swam
for the shore; and I make no doubt but he reached it with
ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me
and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust
him. When he was gone, I turned to the boy, whom they
called Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be faithful to
me I will make you a great man; but if you will not stroke
your face to be true to me (that is, swear by Mahomet and
his father's beard), I must throw you into the sea too. The
boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could
not mistrust him; and swore to be faithful to me, and go all
over the world with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I
stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to
windward, that they might think me gone towards the Strait's
mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must
have been supposed to do); for who would have supposed we
were sailing on to the southward, to the truly Barbarian coast,
where whole nations of Negroes were sure to surround us
with their canoes, and destroy us; where we could never once
go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or
more merciless savages of human kind ?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my
course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the
shore; and having a fair fresh gale of wind, and a smooth
quiet sea, I made such sail, that I believe by the next day, at
three o'clock in the afternoon, when I made the land, I could
not be less than one hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee,
quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed
of any other king thereabout: for we saw no people.

Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that
I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor, the
wind continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five days;
and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also
that if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would
now give over: so I ventured to make to the coast, and came
to an anchor in the mouth of a little river; I knew not what
or where, neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or
what river. I neither saw, nor desired to see, any people;
the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into
this creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon
as it was dark, and discover the country: but as soon as it was
quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking,
roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what
kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged
of me not to go on shore till day. Well, Xury, said I, then
I will not; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be
as bad to us as those lions.-Then we may give them the
shoot-gun, says Xury, laughing; make them run away,
Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves.
However, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave
him a dram out of our patron's case of bottles to cheer him up.
After all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it. We dropped
our little anchor, and lay still all night: I say, still, for we
slept none; for in two or three hours we saw vast creatures
(we knew not what to call them), of many sorts, come down
to the seashore, and run into the water, wallowing and washing
themselves, for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they
made such hideous howlings and yelling, that I never indeed
heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so was I too;
but we were both more frightened when we heard one of these
mighty creatures swimming towards our boat: we could not
see him, but we might hear him, by his blowing, to be a mon-
strous, huge, and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and
it might be so, for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me
to weigh the anchor, and row away. No, says I, Xury; we
can slip our cable with a buoy to it, and go off to sea: they
cannot follow us far. I had no sooner said so, but I perceived
the creature (whatever it was) within two oars length, which
something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to
the cabin door, and, taking up my gun, fired at him; upon
which he immediately turned about, and swam to the shore
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and
hideous cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon the
edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise
or report of the gun; a thing, I believe, those creatures had

never heard before. This convinced me there was no going
on shore for us in the night upon that coast: and how to ven-
ture on shore in the day, was another question too; for to
have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been as
bad as to have fallen into the paws of lions and tigers; at
least, we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some-
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the
boat: when and where to get it was the point. Xury said, if
I would let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would
find if there was any water, and bring some to me. I asked
him why he would go; why I should not go, and he stay in
the boat. The boy answered with so much affection, that he
made me love him ever after. Says he, If wild mans come,
they eat me, you go way.-Well, Xury, said I, we will both
go; and if the wild mans come, we will kill them; they shall
eat neither of us. So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to
eat, and a dram out of our patron's case of bottles, which I
mentioned before; and we hauled in the boat as near the
shore as we thought was proper, and so waded to shore, car-
rying nothing but our arms, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy,
seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to
it; and, by and by, I saw him come running towards me. I
thought he was pursued by some. savage, or frightened by
some wild beast, and I therefore ran forwards to help him;
but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over
his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a
hare, but different in colour, and longer legs: however, we
were very glad of it, and it was very good meat: but the
great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had
found good water, and seen no wild mans.
But we found afterwards, that we need not take such pains
for water; for a little higher up the creek where we were, we
found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed
but a little way up; so we filled our jars, and, having a fire,
feasted on the hare we had killed; and prepared to go on our
way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature in that
part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd
islands also, lay not far from the coast. But as I had no in-
struments to take an observation, to find what latitude we
were in; and did not exactly know, or at least remember,
what latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for
them, or when to stand off to sea towards them, otherwise I
might now have easily found some of these islands. But my
hope was, that if I stood along this coast till I came to the.

part where the English traded, I should find some of their
vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve
and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, the place where I now was,
must be that country which, lying between the Emperor of
Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and unin-
habited, except by wild beasts; the Negroes having aban-
doned it, and gone farther south, for fear of the Moors, and
the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its
barrenness: and, indeed, both forsaking it because of the
prodigious numbers of tigers, lionsfteopards, and other furious
creatures which harbour there : so that the Moors use it for
their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three
thousand men at a time; and, indeed, for near a hundred
miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste,
uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but howling
and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice, in the day time, I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the top of the mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries, and had a great mind to venture out, in hopes of
reaching thither ; but having tried twice, I was forced in again
by contrary winds; the sea also going too high for my little
vessel; so I resolved to pursue my first design, and keep
along the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after
we had left this place; and once, in particular, being early in
the morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of
land which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow,
we lay still, to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more
about him than, it seems, mine were, calls softly to me, and
tells me, that we had best go farther off the shore; for, says
he, Look, yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that
hillock, fast asleep. I looked where he pointed, and saw a
dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible great lion, that
lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the
hill, that hung, as it were, over him. Xury, says I, you shall
go on shore and kill him. Xury looked frightened, and said,
Me kill! he eat me at one mouth: one mouthful he meant.
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him be still;
and I took our biggest gun, which was almost musket bore,
and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with two
slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with two
bullets; and a third, for we had three pieces, I loaded with
five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first
piece, to have shot him in the head; but he lay so, with his
leg raised a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg
about the knee, and broke the bone: he started up, growling
at first, but finding his leg broke, fell down again, and then got
up upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever

I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on
the head; however, I took up the second piece immediately,
and though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him in
the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but
little noise, but lie struggling for life. Then Xury took heart,
and would have me let him go on shore. Well, go, said I:
so the boy jumped into the water, and taking a little gun in
one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming
close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his
ear, and shot him in the head again, which dispatched him
This was game, indeed, to us, but it was no food; and I was
very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a
creature that was good for nothing tous. However, Xury said
he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked
me to give him the hatchet: For what, Xury! said I. Me
cut off his head, said he. However, Xury could not cut off
his head; but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him, and
it was a monstrous great one. I bethought myself, however,
that perhaps the skin of him might, one way or other, be of
some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin, if I
could. So Xury and I went to work with him: but Xury
was much the better workman at it, for I knew very ill how
to do it. Indeed, it took us both up the whole day; but at
last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the top of
our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days' time, and it
afterwards served me to lie upon.
After this stop we made on to the southward continually,
for ten or twelve days, living very sparingly on our pro-
visions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener
into the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My
design in this, was to make the river Gambia, or Senegal;
that is to say, any where about the Cape de Verd, where I
was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did
not, I knew not what course I had to take, but to seek for the
islands, or perish among the Negroes. I knew that all the
ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea,
or to Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those
islands: and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon
this single point, either that I must meet with some ship, or
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer,
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited;
and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people
stand upon'the shore to look at us: we could also perceive,
they were quite black, and stark naked. I was once inclined
to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my better
counsellor, and said to me, No go, no go. However, I hauled
in nearer the shore, that I might talk to them; and I found

they ran along the shore by me a good way. I observed they
had no weapons in their hands, except one, who had a long,
slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they
would throw them a great way with good aim; so I kept at a
distance, but talked to them by signs, as well as I could, and
particularly made signs for something to eat. They beckoned
to me to stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat:
upon this, I lowered the top of my sail, and lay by, and two
of them ran up into the country; and in less than half an hour
came back, and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and
some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we
neither knew what the one or the other was; however, we
were willing to accept it. But how to come at it was our next
dispute, for I was not for venturing on shore to them, and they
were as much afraid of us: but they took a safe way for us
all, for they brought it to the shore, and laid it down, and went
and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then
came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to
make them amends: but an opportunity offered that very
instant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying
by the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the
other (as we took it) with great fury, from the mountains to-
wards the sea; whether it was the male pursuing the female,
or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell,
any more than we could tell whether it was usual or strange;
but I believe it was the latter, because, in the first place, those
ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the night; and, in
the second place, we found the people terribly frightened,
especially the women. The man that had the lance, or dart,
did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two
creatures ran directly into the water, they did not seem to
offer to fall upon any of the Negroes, but plunged themselves
into the sea, and swam about, as if they had come for their
diversion: at last, one of them began to come nearer our boat
than I at first expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had
loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade Xury
load both the others. As soon as he came fairly within my
reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head: immediately
he sunk down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged
up and down, as if he was struggling for life, and so indeed he
was: he immediately made to the shore; but between the
wound, which was his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the
water, he died just before he reached the shore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor
creatures, at the noise and fire of my gun; some of them were
even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the very
terror; but when they saw the creature dead, and sunk in the
water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore,

they took heart and came to the shore, and began to search for
the creature. I found him by his blood staining the water;
and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave
the Negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found
that it was a most curious leopard, spotted, and fine to an
admirable degree; and the Negroes held up their hands with
admiration, to think what it was I had killed him with.
The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire and the
noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the
mountains from whence they came; nor could I, at that dis-
tance, know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes were
for eating the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have
them take it as a favour from me; which, when I made signs
to them that they might take him, they were very thankful for.
Immediately they fell to work with him; and though they had
no knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of wood, they took off
his skin as readily, and much more readily, than we could
have done with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh,
which I declined, making as if I would give it them, but made
signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought
me a great deal more of their provisions, which, though I did
not understand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them
for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning
it bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I
wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of
their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great
vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this
they set down to me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with
my jars, and filled them all three. The women were as stark
naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and
water; and leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward for
about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore,
till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about
the distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea
being very calm, I kept a large offing, to make this point. At
length, doubling the point, at about two leagues from the land,
I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward: then I con-
cluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape
de Verd, and those the islands, called, from thence, Cape de
Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I
could not well tell what I had best to do; for if I should be
taken with a gale of wind, I might neither reach one nor the
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the
cabin, and sat me down, Xury having the helm; when, on a
sudden, the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a sail!
and the foolish boy was frightened out of his wits, thinking it
must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us,

when I knew we were gotten far enough out of their reach. I
jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only the
ship, but what she was, viz. that it was a Portuguese ship,
and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea for Ne-
groes. But, when I observed the course she steered, I was
soon convinced they were bound some other way, and did not
design to come any nearer to the shore : upon which, I stretched
out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them, if
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able
to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I
could make any signal to them; but after I had crowded to
the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me, by
the help of their perspective glasses, and that it was some Eu-
ropean boat, which, they supposed, must belong to some ship
that was lost; so they shortened sail, to let me come up. I was
encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ensign on
board, I made a waft of it to them, for a signal of distress, and
fired a gun, both which they saw; for they told me they saw
the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these
signals, they very kindly brought to, and lay by for me; and
in about three hours' time I came up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish
and in French, but I understood none of them; but, at last, a
Scotch sailor, who was on board, called to me, and I answered
him, and told him I was an Englishman, that I had made my
escape out of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee: they then
bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all
my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will
believe, that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such
a miserable, and almost hopeless, condition as I was in; and
I immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a
return for my deliverance; but he generously told me, he
would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be de-
livered safe to me, when I came to the Brazils. For, says he,
I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be glad
to be saved myself; and it may, one time or other, be my lot
to be taken up in the same condition. Besides, said he, when
I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your own
country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be
starved there, and then I only take away that life I have given.
No, no, Senhor Ingles (Mr. Englishman), says he; I will carry
you thither in charity, and these things will help to buy your
subsistence there, and your passage home again.


As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the
performance, to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen, that none
should offer to touch any thing I had: then he took every
thing into his own possession, and gave me back an exact in-
ventory of them, that I might have them, even so much as my
three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw,
and told me he would buy it of me for the ship's use; and
asked me what I would have for it? I told him, he had been
so generous to me in every thing, that I could not offer to
make any price of the boat, but left it entirely to him: upon
which, he told me he would give me a note of hand to pay me
eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there,
if any one offered to give more, he would make it up. He
offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury,
which I was loath to take ; not that I was not willing to let the
captain have him, but I was very loath to sell the poor boy's
liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own.
However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be
just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy
an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Chris-
tian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him,
I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and arrived in
the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about
twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered
from the most miserable of all conditions of life ; and what to
do next with myself, I was now to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never

enough remember: he would take nothing of me for my pas-
sage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty
for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused every
thing I had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me; and
what I was willing to sell, he bought of me; such as the case
of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-
wax,-for I had made candles of the rest: in a word, I made
about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo;
and with this stock, I went on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, before I was recommended to the
house of a good honest man, like himself, who had an ingenio
as they call it (that is, a plantation and a sugar-house). I lived
with him some time, and acquainted myself, by that means,
with the manner of planting and of making sugar: and seeing
how well the planters lived, and how they got rich suddenly,
I resolved, if I could get a licence to settle there, I would turn
planter among them: endeavouring, in the mean time, to find
out some way to get my money, which I had left in London,
remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a letter of
naturalization, I purchased as much land that was uncured as
my money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation
and settlement; such a one as might be suitable to the stock
which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of
English parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such
circumstances as I was. I call him my neighbour, because his
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably
together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather
planted for food than any thing else, for about two years.
However, we began to increase, and our land began to come
into order; so that the third year we planted some tobacco,
and made each of us a large piece of ground ready for planting
canes in the year to come: but we both wanted help; and now
I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with
my boy Xury.
But, alas! for me to do wrong, that never did right, was no
great wonder. I had no remedy, but to go on: I had got into
an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly con-
trary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my
father's house, and broke through all his good advice: nay, I
was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of
low life, which my father advised me to before; and which, if
I resolved to go on with, I might as well have staid at home,
and never have fatigued myself in the world, as I had done:
and I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as
well in England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand
miles off to do it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness,
and at such a distance as never to hear from any part of the
world that had the least knowledge of me.

In this manner, I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and
then this neighbour; no work to be done, but by the labour of
my hands: and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away
upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself.
But how just has it been! and how should all men reflect, that
when they compare their present conditions with others that
are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange,
and be convinced of their former felicity by their experience:
I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected
on, in an island of mere desolation, should be my lot, who had
so often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in
which, had 1 continued, I had, in all probability, been exceed-
ing prosperous and rich.
I was, in some degree, settled in my measures for carrying
on the plantation, before my kind friend, the captain of the
ship that took me up at sea, went back; for the ship remained
there, in providing his lading, and preparing for his voyage,
near three months; when, telling him what little stock I had
left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere
advice: Senhor Inglez, says he (for so he always called me),
if you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to
me, with orders to the person who has your money in London,
to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct,
and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring
you the produce of them, God willing, at my return: but,
since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I
would have you give orders for but one hundred pounds ster-
ling, which, you say, is half your stock, and let the hazard be
run for the first, so that if it come safe, you may order the rest
the same way; and, if it miscarry, you may have the other half
to have recourse to for your supply. This was so wholesome
advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be con-
vinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly
prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I left my
money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he
desired me.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my
adventures; my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the
Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and
what condition I was now in, with all other necessary direc-
tions for my supply; and when this honest captain came to
Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants
there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of
my story to a merchant at London, who represented it effec-
tually to her: whereupon she not only delivered the money,
but, out of her own pocket, sent the Portuguese captain a very
handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in

English goods, such as the captain had wrote for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me
at the Brazils: among which, without my direction (for I was
too young in my business to think of them), he had taken care
to have all sorts of tools, iron work, and utensils, necessary for
my plantation, and which were of great use to me. When this
cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised
with the joy of it; and my good steward, the captain, had laid
out the five pounds, which my friend had sent him as a present
for himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant, under
bond for six years' service, and would not accept of any con-
sideration, except a little tobacco, which I would have him
accept, being of my own produce. Neither was this all: but
my goods being all English manufactures, such as cloths, stuffs,
baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the
country, I found means to sell them to a very great advantage;
so that I might say, I had more than four times the value of
my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor neigh-
bour, I mean in the advancement of my plantation: for the
first thing I did, I bought me a Negro slave, and a European
servant also; I mean another besides that which the captain
brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means
of our adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next year
with great success in my plantation; I raised fifty great rolls
of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed of for
necessaries among my neighbours: and these fifty rolls, being
each of above one hundred pounds weight, were well cured,
and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon: and
now, increasing in business and in wealth, my head began to
be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as
are, indeed, often the ruin of the best heads in business. Had
I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all the
happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so
earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and which he had
so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of:
but other things attended me, and I was still to be the wilful
agent of all my own miseries; and, particularly, to increase
my fault, and double the reflections upon myself, which in my
future sorrows I should have leisure to make, all these mis-
carriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering
to my foolish inclination, of wandering about, and pursuing
that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing
myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects, and
those measures of life, which nature and providence concurred
to present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in breaking away from my parents,
so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the
happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new

plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of
rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I
cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of human misery
that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with
life, and a state of health in the world.
To come, then, by just degrees, to the particulars of this
part of my story .-You may suppose, that having now lived
almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and
prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned
the language, but had contracted an acquaintance and friend-
ship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the merchants
at St. Salvador, which was our port; and that, in my dis-
courses among them, I had frequently given them an account
of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner of trad-
ing with the Negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase
on the coast for trifles-such as beads, toys, knives, scissars,
hatchets, bits of glass, and the like-not only gold dust, Guinea
grains, elephants' teeth, &c. but Negroes, for the service of the
Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the
buying Negroes; which was a trade, at that time, not only not
far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by
the assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal,
and engrossed from the public; so that few Negroes were
bought, and those excessive dear.
It happened, being in company with some merchants and
planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very
earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning, and told
me they had been musing very much upon what I had dis-
coursed with them of the last night, and they came to make a
secret proposal to me: and, after enjoining me to secrecy, they
told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea;
that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened
for nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade that
could not be carried on, because they could not publicly sell
the Negroes when they came home, so they desired to make
but one voyage, to bring the Negroes on shore privately, and
divide them among their own plantations: and, in a word, the
question was, whether I would go their supercargo in the ship,
to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they
offered me that I should have an equal share of the Negroes,
without providing any part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been
made to any one that had not a settlement and plantation of
his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be
very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me,
that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do
but go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to

have sent for the other hundred pounds from England; and
who, in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce
have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds
sterling, and that increasing too; for me to think of such a
voyage, was the most preposterous thing that ever man, in
such circumstances, could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no
more resist the offer, than I could restrain my first rambling
designs, when my father's good counsel was lost upon me.
In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they
would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence,
and would dispose of it to such as I should direct, if I miscar-
ried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings
or covenants to do so: and I made a formal will, disposing of
my plantation and effects, in case of my death; making the
captain of the ship that had saved my life, as before, my uni-
versal heir; but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had
directed in my will; one half of the produce being to himself,
and the other to be shipped to England. In short, I took all
possible caution to preserve my effects, and to keep up my
plantation: had I used half as much prudence to have looked
into my own interest, and have made a judgment of what I
ought to have done and not to have done, I had certainly
never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving
all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone a
voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards, to say
nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes
to myself,
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of
my fancy, rather than my reason: and accordingly, the ship
being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done
as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on
board in an evil hour again, the first of September, 1659,
being the same day eight years that I went from my parents
at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the
fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden,
carried six guns, and fourteen men, besides the master, his
boy, and myself; we had on board no large cargo of goods,
except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the Negroes,
such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially
little looking-glasses, knives, scissars, hatchets, and the like.
The very same day I went on board we set sail, standing
away to the northward upon our own coast, with design to
stretch over for the African coast. When they came about
ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems,
was the manner of their course in those days, we had very
good weather, only excessive hot all the way upon our own
coast, till we came to the height of cape St. Augustino; from

whence, keeping farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and
steered as if we were bound for the isle Fernando de Noronha,
holding our course N. E. by N. and leaving those isles on the
east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve days'
time, and were, by our last observation, in seven degrees
twenty-two minutes northern latitude, when a violent tornado,
or hurricane, took us quite out of our knowledge: it began
from the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then
settled in the north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible
manner, that for twelve days together we could do nothing
but drive, and, scudding away before it, let it carry us whither
ever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and, during
these twelve days, I need not say that I expected every day
to be swallowed up; nor, indeed, did any in the ship expect
to save their lives.
In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one
of our men died of the calenture, and one man and a boy
washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating
a little, the master made an observation as well as he could,
and found that he was in about eleven degrees north latitude,
but that he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference,
west from cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was got
upon the coast of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, be-
yond the river Amazons, toward that of the river Oronoco,
commonly called the Great River; and began to consult with
me what course he should take, for the ship was leaky and
very much disabled, and he was for going directly back to
the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts
of the sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was
no inhabited country for us to have recourse to, till we came
within the circle of the Caribbee islands, and therefore resolved
to stand away for Barbadoes; which by keeping off to sea, to
avoid the indraft of the bay or gulf of Mexico, we might easily
perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we
could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa
without some assistance, both to our ship and ourselves.
With this design, we changed our course, and steered away
N. W. by W. in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief: but our voyage was otherwise de-
termined; for being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen
minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried us away
with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of
the very way of all human commerce, that had all our lives
been saved, as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being
devoured by savages than ever returning to our own country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our
men early in the morning, cried out, Land! and we had no
sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing

whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon
a sand, and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea
broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we should
all have perished immediately; and we were immediately
driven into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very
foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like con-
dition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in
such circumstances: we knew nothing where we were, or
upon what land it was we were driven, whether an island
or the main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the
rage of the wind was still great, though rather less than at
first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold
many minutes without breaking in pieces, unless the wind, by
a kind of miracle, should immediately turn about. In a word,
we sat looking upon one another, and expecting death every
moment, and every man acting accordingly, as preparing for
another world; for there was little or nothing more for us to
do in this: that which was our present comfort, and all the
comfort we had, was, that, contrary to our expectation, the
ship did not break yet, and that the master said the wind began
to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate,
vet the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking
ioo fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful
condition indeed, and had nothing to do, but to think of saving
our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern
just before the storm, but she was first staved by dashing
against the ship's rudder, and, in the next place, she broke
away, and either sunk, or was driven off to sea; so there was
no hope from her: we had another boat on board, but how to
get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing; however, there
was no room to debate, for we fancied the ship would break
in pieces every minute, and some told us she was actually
broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat,
and with the help of the rest of the men, they got her flung
over the ship's side; and getting all into her, let her go, and
committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy,
and the wild sea: for though the storm was abated consider-
ably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and
might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in
a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw
plainly, that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live,
and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail,
we had none; nor, if we had, could we have done any thing
with it; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though
with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all

knew that when the boat came nearer to the shore, she would
be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea.
However, we committed our souls to God in the most earnest
manner; and the wind driving us towards the shore, we
hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as well
as we could towards land.
What the shore was-whether rock or sand, whether steep
or shoal-we knew not; the only hope that could rationally
give us the least shadow of expectation, was, if we might
happen into some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river,
where by great chance we might have run our boat in, or got
under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water.
But there was nothing of this appeared; and as we made
nearer and nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful
than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountainlike, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup de
grace. In a word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset
the boat at once; and separating us, as well from the boat as
from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, O God!"
for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt,
when I sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw my
breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me,
a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went
back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead
with the water I took.in. I had so much presence of mind.
as well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the main land
than I expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make
on towards the land as fast as I could, before another wave
should return and take me up again; but I soon found it was
impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as
high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy which I had
no means or strength to contend with: my business was to
hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could;
and so, by swimming, to preserve my breathing, and pilot
myself towards the shore, if possible; my greatest concern
now being, that the wave, as it would carry me a great way
towards the shore when it came on, might not carry me back
again with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once
twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body; and I could feel
myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the
shore, a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted
myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready
to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising
up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands

shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was
not two seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it
relieved me greatly, gave me breath, and new courage. I was
covered again with water a good while, but not so long but I
held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to
return, I struck forward against the return of the waves, and
felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments,
to recover breath, and till the water went from me, and then
took to my heels, and ran with what strength I had farther
towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from
the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again;
and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried for-
wards as before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well nigh been fatal to me;
for the sea having hurried me along, as before, landed me, or
rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock, and that with such
force, that it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my
own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast,
beat the breath, as it were, quite out of my body; and had it
returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in the
water: but I recovered a little before the return of the waves,
and seeing I should again be covered with the water, I re-
solved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my
breath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now as the
waves were not so high as the first, being nearer land, I held
my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run,
which brought me so near the shore, that the next wave,
though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to
carry me away; and the next run I took, I got to the main
land ; where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the cliffs of
the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger,
and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore; and began to look up
and thank God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there
were, some minutes before, scarce any room to hope. I be-
lieve it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstasies
and transports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may
say, out of the grave: and I did not wonder now at the cus-
tom, viz. that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his
neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a
reprieve brought to him; I say, I do not wonder that they
bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment
they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal
spirits from the heart, and overwhelm him.

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my
whole being, as I may say, wrapped up in the contemplation

of my deliverance; making a thousand gestures and motions,
which I cannot describe; reflecting upon my comrades that
were drowied, and that there should not be one soul saved
but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or
any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two
shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel-when the breach and
froth of the sea being so big I could hardly see it, it lay so far
off-and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on
shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of
my condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of
a place I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon
found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dread-
ful deliverance: for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me,
nor any thing either to eat or drink, to comfort me; neither
did I see any prospect before me, but that of perishing with
hunger, or being devoured by wild beasts: and that which
was particularly afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon,
either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or to
defend myself against any other creature that might desire to
kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a
knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. This was
all my provision; and this threw me into such terrible agonies
of mind, that, for a while, I ran about like a madman. Night
coming upon me, I began, with a heavy heart, to consider
what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in
that country, seeing at night they always come abroad for
their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that time,
was, to get up into a thick bushy tree, like a fir, but thorny-
which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all night-
and consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet
I saw no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the
shore, to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which
I did, to my great joy; and having drank, and put a little
tobacco into my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree,
and getting up into it, endeavoured to place myself so, as that
if I should fall asleep, I might not fall; and having cut me a
short stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my
lodging; and having been excessively fatigued, I fell fast
asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have
done in my condition; and found myself the most refreshed
with it that I think I ever was on such an occasion.



WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the
storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before;
but that which surprised me most was, that the ship was lifted
off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling
of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which
I at first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the wave
dashing me against it. This being within about a mile from
the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright
still, I wished myself on board, that at least I might save
some necessary things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked
about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat;
which lay, as the wind and the sea had tossed her up, upon the
land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I
could upon the shore to have got to her; but found a neck,
or inlet, of water, between me and the boat, which was about
half a mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more
intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find some-
thing for my present subsistence.
A little after noon, I found the sea very calm, and the tide
ebbed so far out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile
of the ship: and here I found a fresh renewing of my grief;
for I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had
been all safe ; that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and
I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of
all comfort and company, as I now was. This forced tears
from my eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I
resolved, if possible, to get to the ship; so I pulled off my

clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity, and took the
water: but when I came to the ship, my difficulty was still
greater tLknow how to get on board; for as she lay aground,
and highout of the water, there was nothing within my reach
to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the second time
I spied a small piece of a rope, which I wondered I did not
see at first, hang down by the fore-chains so low, as that with
great difficulty, I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope
got into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold; but
that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather
earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head
low, almost to the water. By this means all her quarter was
free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you may be
sure my first work was to search and to see what was spoiled
and what was free: and, first, I found that all the ship's pro-
visions were dry and untouched by the water; and, being very
well disposed to eat, I went to the bread-room, and filled my
pockets with biscuit, and eat it as I went about other things,
for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in the great
cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had indeed
need enough of, to spirit me for what was before me. Now I
wanted nothing but a boat, to furnish myself with many things
which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be
had, and this extremity roused my application: we had several
spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare
topmast or two in the ship ; I resolved to fall to work with
these, and flung as many overboard as I could manage for
their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might not
drive away. When this was done, I went down the ship's
side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast together
at both ends, as well as I could, in the form of a raft, and
laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them, cross-
ways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was
not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light:
so I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare
topmast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a
great deal of labour and pains. But the hope of furnishing
myself with necessaries, encouraged me to go beyond what I
should have been able to have done upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable
weight. My next care was what to load it with, and how to
preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I
was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or
boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well
what I most wanted, I got three of the seamen's chests, which
I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon
my raft; these I filled with provisions, viz. bread, rice, three

Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goats' flesh (which we lived
much upon), and a little remainder of European corn, which
had been laid by for some fowls which we had brought to sea
with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some
barley and wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I
found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As
for liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging to our
skipper, in which were some cordial waters; and, in all, about
five or six gallons of rack. These I stowed by themselves,
there being no need to put them into the chests, nor any room
for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide began to
flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my
coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore, upon the
sand, swim away; as for my breeches, which were only linen,
and open-kneed, I swam on board in them, and my stockings.
However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which
I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present
use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as,
first, tools to work with on shore: and it was after long
searching that I found the carpenter's chest, which was indeed
a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a
ship-lading of gold would have been at that time. I got it
down to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time to
look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns and a
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there
were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where
our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found
them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.
Those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I
thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how
I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor
rudder; and the least capfull of wind would have overset all
my navigation.
I had three encouragements: 1st, A smooth, calm sea:
2dly, The tide rising, and setting in to the shore: 3dly, What
little wind there was, blew me towards the land. And thus,
having found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat,
and besides the tools which were in the chest, I found two
saws, an axe, and a hammer; and with this cargo I put to sea.
For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that
I found it drive a little distant from the place where I had
landed before; by which I perceived that there was some in-
draft of the water, and consequently I hoped to find some
creek or river there, which I might make use of as a port to
get to land with my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was: there appeared before me a little

opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide
set into it; so I guided my raft, as well as I could, to get into
the middle of the stream. But here I had like to have suf-
fered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily would
have broken my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast, my
raft ran aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being
aground at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my
cargo had slipped off towards that end that was afloat, and so
fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back
against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not
thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir
from the posture I was in, but holding up the chests with all
my might, I stood in that manner near half an hour, in which
time the rising of the water brought me a little more upon a
level; and a little after, the water still rising, my raft floated
again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel,
and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in the
mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong
current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for a
proper place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be driven
too high up the river; hoping, in time, to see some ship at
sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the coast
as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the
creek, to which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my
raft, and at last got so near, as that reaching ground with my
oar, I could thrust her directly in; but here I had like to have
dipped all my cargo into the sea again; for that shore lying
pretty steep, that is to say, sloping, there was no place to land,
but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so
high, and the other sink lower, as before, that it would en-
danger my cargo again. All that I could do, was to wait till
the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar like
an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat
piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow over;
and so it did. As soon as I found water enough, for my raft
drew about a foot of water, I thrust her upon that flat piece of
ground, and there fastened or moored her, by sticking my two
broken oars into the ground, one on one side, near one end,
and one on the other side, near the other end: and thus I lay
till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo
safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper
place for my habitation, and where to stow .my goods, to se-
cure them from whatever might happen. Where I was, I yet
knew not; whether on the continent, or on an island; whether
inhabited, or not inhabited; whether in danger of wild beasts,
or not. There was a hill, not above a mile from me, which
rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop

some other hills, which lay as in a ridge from it, northward.
I took out one of the fowling-pieces, and one of the pistols,
and a horn of powder; and thus armed, I travelled for dis-
covery up to the top of that hill; where, after I had, with
great labour and difficulty, got up to the top, I saw my fate,
to my great affliction, viz. that I was in an island, environed
every way with the sea, no land to be seen, except some rocks,
which lay a great way off, and two small islands, less than
this, which lay about three leagues to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I
saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts,
of whom, however, I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls,
but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed them, could
I tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming
back, I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting upon a tree,
on the side of a great wood. I believe it was the first gun
that had been fired there since the creation of the world: I
had no sooner fired, but from all the parts of the wood there
arose an innumerable number of fowls, of many sorts, making
a confused screaming, and crying, every one according to his
usual note; but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As
for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk,
its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no talons or
claws more than common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for
Contented with this discovery, I came.back to my raft, and
fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up
the rest of that day: what to do with myself at night I knew
not, nor indeed where to rest: for I was afraid to lie down on
the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour
me; though, as I afterwards found, there was really no need
for those fears. However, as well as I could, I barricadoed
myself round with the chests and boards that I had brought
on shore, and made a kind of a hut for that night's lodging.
As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except
that I had seen two or three creatures, like hares, run out of
the wood where I shot the fowl.
I now began to consider, that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and par-
ticularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things
as might come to land; and I resolved to make another
voyage on board the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that
the first storm that blew must necessarily break her all in
pieces, I resolved to set all other things apart, till I got every
thing out of the ship that I could get. Then I called a council,
that is to say, in my thoughts, whether I should take back
the raft; but this appeared impracticable: so I resolved to go
as before, when the tide was down; and I did so, only that I
stripped before I went from my hut; having nothing on but a

chequered shirt, a pair of linen drawers, and a pair of pumps
on my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second
raft; and having had experience of the first, I neither made
this so unwieldly, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought
away several things very useful to me: as, first, in the car-
penter's stores, I found two or three bags of nails and spikes,
a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets; and, above all,
that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured
together, with several things belonging to the gunner; parti-
cularly, two or three iron crows, and two barrels of musket
bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling-piece, with some
small quantity of powder more; a large bag full of small shot,
and a great roll of sheet lead; but this last was so heavy, I
could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side. Besides
these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and
a spare fore-topsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with
this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on
shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehensions lest, during my absence
from the land,.my provisions might be devoured on shore: but
when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor; only there
sat a creature like a wild cat, upon one of the chests, which,
when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then
stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned, and
looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted
with me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not under-
stand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer
to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though,
by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not
great: however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it,
smelled of it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased) for more; but
I thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore-though I was fain to
open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels, for they
were too heavy, being large casks-I went to work to make
me a little tent, with the sail, and some poles, which I cut for
that purpose; and into this tent I brought every thing that I
knew would spoil either with rain or sun; and I piled all the
empty chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify
it from any sudden attempt either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with
some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without;
and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two
pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was
very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slept little,
and had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch all those
things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was

laid up, I believe, for one man: but I was not satisfied still :
for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought
to get every thing out of her that I could: so every day, at low
water, I went on board, and brought away something or other:
but particularly, the third time I went, I brought away as much
of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-
twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvass, which was to
mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder.
In a word, I brought away all the sails first and last; only that
I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as
I could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere
canvass only.
But that which comforted me still more was, that, last of all,
after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought
I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my
meddling with; I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead
of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box
of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to me,
because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except
what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead
of that bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of
the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on
shore also.
The next day I made another voyage, and now having plun-
dered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began
with the cables, and cutting the great cable into pieces, such as
I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all
the iron work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-
yard, and the mizen-yard, and every thing I could, to make a
large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods; and came
away: but my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft
was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I was entered the
little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being
able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and
threw me and all my cargo into the water; as for myself, it was
no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my cargo,
it was a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I ex-
pected would have been of great use to me: however, when
the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and
some of the iron, though with infinite labour; for I was fain to
dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much.
After this I went every day on board, and brought away what
I could get.
I had been now thirteen days ashore, and had been eleven
times on board the ship; in which time I had brought away all
that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring;
though I believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should
have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece; but pre-
paring, the twelfth time, to go on board, I found the wind
began to rise: however, at low water, I went on board; and

though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually, as
that nothing could be found, yet I discovered a locker with
drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and
one pair of large scissars, with some ten or a dozen of good
knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six pounds
value in money, some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces
of eight, some gold, and some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: O drug! I
exclaimed, what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me,
no, not the taking off the ground; one of those knives is worth
all this heap: I have no manner of use for thee; e'en remain
where thou art, and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life
is not worth saving. However, upon second thoughts, I took
it away; and wrapping all this in a piece of canvass, I began
to think of making another raft; but while I was preparing
this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and
in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It
presently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to
make a raft with the wind off shore; and that it was my busi-
ness to be gone before the tide of flood began, or otherwise I
might not be able to reach the shore at all. Accordingly I let
myself down into the water, and swam across the channel which
lay between the ship and the sands, and even .hat with diffi-
culty enough, partly with the weight of the things I had about
me, and partly the roughness of the water; for the wind rose
very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all
my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that
night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold, no more
ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised, but recovered
myself with this satisfactory reflection, viz. that I had lost no
time, nor abated no diligence, to get every thing out of her that
could be useful to me, and that, indeed, there was little left in
her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any
thing out of her, except what might drive on shore, from her
wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did; but
those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing
myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild
beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of
the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make,
whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon
the earth: and, in short, I resolved upon both; the manner
and description of which, it may not be improper to give an
account of.
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement,
particularly because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near
the sea, and I believed it would not be wholesome; and more
particularly because there was no fresh water near it: so I

resolved to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of
I consulted several things in my situation, which I found
would be proper for me: first, air and fresh water, I just now
mentioned : secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun: thirdly,
security from ravenous creatures, whether men or beasts:
fourthly, a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight,
I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I
was not willing to banish all my expectation yet.
In search for a place proper for this, I found a little plain
on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain
was steep as a house side, so that nothing could come down
upon me from the top. On the side of this rock there was a
hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of
a cave; but there was not really any cave, or way into the
rock, at all.
On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I
resolved to pitch my tent. This plain was not above a hundred
yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green
before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly
every way down into the low ground by the seaside. It was
on the N. N. W. side of the hill; so that it was sheltered from
the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or there-
abouts, which, in those countries, is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hol-
low-place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter
from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its begin-
ning and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving
them into the ground till they stood very firm like piles, the
biggest end being out of the ground about five feet and a half,
and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above
six inches from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I cut in the ship, and
laid them in rows, one upon another, within the circle, between
these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in
the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither
man nor beast could get into it or over it. This cost me a great
deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods,
bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door, but
by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was
in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in and
fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept
secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done;
though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this
caution against the enemies that I apprehended danger from.


*.t, .


INTO this fence, or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all
my riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which
you have the account above; and I made a large tent, which,
to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year are
very violent there, I made double, viz. one smaller tent within,
and one larger tent above it, and covered the uppermost with a
large tarpaulin, which I had saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had
brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very
good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and every thing
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my
goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open,
and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock,
and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out
through my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the nature
of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about a foot and
a half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind my tent, which
served me like a cellar to my house. It cost me much labour
and many days, before all these things were brought to perfec-
tion; and therefore I must go back to some other things which
took up some of my thoughts. At the same time it happened,
after I had laid my scheme for the setting up my tent, and

making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick, dark
cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that, a
great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not
so much surprised with the lightning, as 1 was with a thought,
which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning itself: 0
my powder! My very heart sunk within me when I thought,
that at one blast, all my powder might be destroyed ; on which,
not my defence only, but the providing me food, as I thought,
entirely depended. I was nothing near so anxious about my
own danger, though, had the powder took fire, I had never
known who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm
was over, I laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying,
and applied myself to make bags and boxes, to separate the
powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope
that whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once;
and to keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make
one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight;
and I think my powder, which in all was about two hundred
and forty pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hun-
dred parcels. As to the barrel that had been wet, I did not
apprehend any danger from that; so I placed it in my new
cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen, and the rest I
hid up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might
come to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least
once every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to
see if I could kill any thing fit for food; and, as near as I
could, to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The
first time I went out, I presently discovered that there were
goats upon the island, which was a great satisfaction to me;
but then it was attended with this misfortune to me, viz. that
they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the
most difficult thing in the world to come at them: but I was
not discouraged at this, not doubting but I might now and then
shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had found their
haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed,
if they saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks,
they would run away as in a terrible fright; but if they were
feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no
notice of me; from whence I concluded, that by the position
of their optics, their sight was so directed downward, that they
did not readily see objects that were above them: so, after-
wards, I took this method-I always climbed the rocks first,
to get above them, and then liad frequently a fair mark. The
first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat,
which had a little kid by her, which she gave suck to, which
grieved me heartily; but when the old one fell, the kid stood

stock still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only
so, but when I carried the old one with me, upon my shoulders,
the kid followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which, I laid
down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over
my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame; but it would not
eat; so I was forced to kill it, and eat it myself. These two
supplied me with flesh a great while, for I ate sparingly, and
preserved my provisions (my bread especially) as much as
possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely neces-
sary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and
what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave, and what
conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of it in its pro-
per place: but I must first give some little account of myself,
and of my thoughts about living, which, it may well be sup-
posed, were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not
cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by
a violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage;
and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues, out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to
consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate
place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The
tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these
reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself
why Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures, and
render them so absolutely miserable; so abandoned without
help, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to
be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these
thoughts, and to reprove me: and particularly, one day, walk-
ing with my gun in my hand, by the seaside, I was very pensive
upon the subject of my present condition, when reason, as it
were, expostulated with me the other way, thus: Well, you
are in a desolate condition, it is true; but, pray remember,
where are the rest of you? Did not you come eleven of you
into the boat? Where are the ten ? Why were not they saved,
and you lost ? Why were you singled out? Is it better to be
here or there ? And then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to
be considered with the good that is in them, and with what
worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for
my subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had
not happened (which was a hundred thousand to one) that the
ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was
driven so near to the shore, that I had time to get all these
things out of her: what would have been my case, if I had been
to have lived in the condition in which I at first came on shore,

without necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and pro-
cure them? Particularly, said I aloud (though to myself),
what should I have done without a gun, without ammunition,
without any tools to make any thing, or to work with, without
clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of covering? and that
now I had all these to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair
way to provide myself in such a manner as to live without my
gun, when my ammunition was spent: so that I had a tolerable
view of subsisting, without any want, as long as 1 lived; for I
considered, from the beginning, how I would provide for the
accidents that might happen, and for the time that was to come,
not only after my ammunition should be spent, but even after
my health or strength should decay.
I confess, I had not entertained any notion of my ammuni-
tion being destroyed at one blast, I mean my powder being
blown up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so
surprisingto me, when it lightened and thundered, as I observed
just now.
And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene
of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world
before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it in its
order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September, when,
in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid
island; when the sun being to us in its autumnal equinox, was
almost just over my head: for I reckoned myself, by observa-
tion, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes
north of the line.


AFTER I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into
my thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for want
of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the sabbath
days from the working days: but, to prevent this, I cut it with
my knife upon a large post, in capital letters; and making it
into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed,
viz. I came on shore here on the 30th of September, 1659."
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with
my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the
rest, and every first day of the month as long again as that long
one: and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and
yearly reckoning of time.
But it happened, that among the many things which I brought
out of the ship, in the several voyages which, as above men-
tioned, I made to it, I got several things of less value, but not
at all less useful to me, which I found, some time after, in rum-
maging the chests; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper;
several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpen-
ter's keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical
instruments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of naviga-
tion : all which I huddled together, whether I might want them
or no: also I found three very good Bibles, which came to me

in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among
my things; some Portuguese books also, and, among them,
two or three popish prayer books, and several other books, all
which I carefully secured. And I must not forget, that we had
in the ship a dog, and two cats, of whose eminent history I may
have occasion to say something, in its place: for I carried both
the cats with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship
himself, and swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore
with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me for many
years: I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any com-
pany that he could make up to me, I only wanted to have him
talk to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I
found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the
utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept
things very exact, but after that was gone, I could not; for I
could not make any ink, by any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, not-
withstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these,
this of ink was one; as also a spade, pickaxe, and shovel, to
dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread; as for
linen, I soon learned to want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily;
and it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my
little pale, or surrounded my habitation. The piles or stakes,
which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in
cutting and preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in bring-
ing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and
bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving
it into the ground; for which purpose, I got a heavy piece of
wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron
crows; which, however, though I found it answer, made driving
these posts or piles very laborious and tedious work. But what
need I have been concerned at the tediousness of any thing I
had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in ? nor had I any
other employment, if that had been over, at least that I could
foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food; which
I did, more or less, every day.
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the
circumstance I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of
my affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that
were to come after me (for I was like to have but few heirs),
as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and
afflicting my mind: and as my reason began now to master my
despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and
to set the good against the evil, that I might have something
to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated very impar-
tially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against
the miseries I suffered, thus:


I am cast upon a horrible, deso-
late island, void of all hope of reco-
I am singled out and separated, as
it were, from all the world, to be

But I am alive; and not drowned,
as all my ship's company were.

But I am singled out too from all
the ship's crew, to be spared from
death; and he that miraculously
saved me from death, can deliver
me from this condition.

I am divided from mankind, a But I am not starved, and perish-
solitaire; one banished from human ing in a barren place, affording no
society, sustenance.

I have no clothes to cover me.

I am without any defence, or
means to resist any violence of man
or beast.

I have no soul to speak to, or
relieve me.

But I am in a hot climate, where,
if I had clothes, I could hardly wear
But I am cast on an island where
I see no wild beast to hurt me, as I
saw on the coast of Africa: and what
if I had been shipwrecked there?
But God wonderfully sent the
ship in near enough to the shore,
that I have got out so many neces-
sary things as we'll either supply my
wants, or enable me to supply my-
self, even as long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that
there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but
there was something negative, or something positive, to be
thankful for in it: and let this stand as a direction, from the
experience of the most miserable of all conditions in this world,
that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves
from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the
credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition,
and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship;
I say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself to
accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to
me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent
under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts
and cables; but I might now rather call it a wall, for I raised
a kind of wall against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the
outside: and after some time (I think it was a year and a half)
I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and thatched or
covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get,
to keep out the rain; which I found, at some times of the year,
very violent.

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into
this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me. But
I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of
goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my
place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to en-
large my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a
loose, sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed
on it: and when I found I was pretty safe as to the beasts of
prey, I worked sideways, to the right hand, into the rock, and
then turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made me
a door to come out in the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were, a back
way to my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to
stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary
things as I found I most wanted, particularly a chair and a
table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few com-
forts I had in the world; I could not write, or eat, or do
several things with so much pleasure, without a table: so I
went to work. And here I must needs observe, that as reason
is the substance and original of the mathematics, so by stating
and squaring every thing by reason, and by making the most
rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time, mas-
ter of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my
life; and yet, in time, by labour, application, and contrivance,
I found, at last, that I wanted nothing but I could have made,
especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance of
things, even without tools; and some with no more tools than
an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that
way before, and that with infinite labour. For example, if I
wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree,
set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with
my axe, till I had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then
dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I
could make but one board of a whole tree; but this I had no
remedy for but patience, any more than I had for a prodigious
deal of time and labour which it took me up to make a plank
or board: but my time or labour was little worth, and so it
was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed
above, in the first place; and this I did out of the short pieces
of boards that I brought on my raft from the ship. But when
I wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves, of
the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another, all along
one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron work
on; and, in a word, to separate every thing at large in their
places, that I might easily come at them. I knocked pieces
into the wall of the rock, to hang my guns, and all things that

would hang up: so that had my cave been seen, it looked like
a general magazine of all necessary things; and I had every
thing so ready at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me
to see all my goods in such order, and especially to find my
stock of all necessaries so great.
And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day's
employment; for, indeed, at first, I was in too much hurry,
and not only as to labour, but in much discomposure of mind;
and my journal would, too, have been full of many dull things:
for example, I must have said thus-" Sept. 30th. After I had
got to shore, and had escaped drowning, instead of being thank-
ful to God for my deliverance, having first vomited, with the
great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach,
and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore, wringing
my hands, and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my
misery, and crying out, I was undone, undone! till, tired and
faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose; but
durst not sleep, for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship
and got all that I could out of her, I could not forbear getting
up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea, in
hopes of seeing a ship: then fancy that, at a vast distance, I
spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and, after look-
ing steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down
and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my
But, having gotten over these things in some measure, and
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a
table and a chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I
began to keep my journal: of which I shall here give you the
copy (though in it will be told all these particulars over again)
as long as it lasted; for, having no more ink, I was forced to
leave it off.


SEPTEMBER 30th, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe,
being shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm, in the offing,
came on shore on this dismal unfortunate island, which I called
the ISLAND OF DESPAIR; all the rest of the ship's company
being drowned, and myself almost dead.
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the
dismal circumstances I was brought to, viz. I had neither food,
house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to: and, in despair of
any relief, saw nothing but death before me; that I should
either be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or
starved to death for want of food. At the approach of night
I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures; but slept soundly,
though it rained all night.
OCTOBER 1. In the morning I saw, to my great surprise,
the ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on
shore again much nearer the island; which, as it was some
comfort on one hand (for seeing her sit upright, and not broken
in pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board,
and get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief), so,
on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my com-
rades, who, I imagined, if we had all staid on board, might have
saved the ship, or, at least, that they would not have been all
drowned, as they were; and that, had the men been saved, we
might perhaps have built us a boat, out of the ruins of the ship,
to have carried us to some other part of the world. I spent
great part of this day in perplexing myself on these things;
but, at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went upon the

sand as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day
also it continued raining, though with no wind at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th. All these days entirely
spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of the
ship; which I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts.
Much rain also in these days, though with some intervals of
fair weather: but, it seems, this was the rainy season.
OCT. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got
upon it; but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly
heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out.
OCT. 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts
of wind; during which time the ship broke in pieces (the wind
blowing a little harder than before) and was no more to be seen,
except the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent
this day in covering and securing the goods which I had saved,
that the rain might not spoil them.
OCT. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, to find
out a place to fix my habitation; greatly concerned to secure
myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or
men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place, under a
rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encampment; which
I resolve to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification, made
of double piles, lined within with cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 30th, I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceedingly hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my
gun, to see for some food, and discover the country; when I
killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I after-
wards killed also, because it would not feed.
NOVEMBER 1. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there
for the first night; making it as large as I could, with stakes
driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces
of timber which made my rafts; and with them formed a fence
round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon I went
to work to make me a table.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work,
of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion;
viz. every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three
hours, if it did not rain; then employed myself to work till
about eleven o'clock; then ate what I had to live on; and
from twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being
excessive hot; and then, in the evening, to work again. The
working part of this day and the next was wholly employed in
making my table, for I was yet but a very sorry workman:

though time nd necessity made me a complete natural mechanic
Soon after, as I believe they would any one else.
Nov. 5. This day, went abroad with my gun and dog, and
2I killed a wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for
nothing: of every creature that I killed I took off the skins,
and preserved them. Coming back by the seashore, I saw
many sorts of seafowl which I did not understand: but was
J surprised, and almost frightened, with two or three seals;
S which, while I was gazing at them (not well knowing what
S' / they were), got into the sea, and escaped me for that time.
I '/- / Nov. 6. After my morning walk, I went to work with my
Stable again, and finished it, though not to my liking: nor was
it long before I learned to mend it.
Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th,
-( 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the llth was Sunday,
according to my reckoning), I took wholly up to make me a
/ chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but
S never to please me; and, even in the making, I pulled it in
jii pieces several times.
NOTE. I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for, omit-
ting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13. This day it rained; which refreshed me exceed-
ingly, and cooled the earth: but it was accompanied with ter-
Srible thunder and lightning, which frightened me dreadfully,
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to
S separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as
possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little
square chests or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or
two pounds at most, of powder: and so, putting the powder
in, I stowed it in places as secure and as remote from one
another as possible. On one of these three days I killed a large
bird that was good to eat; but I knew not what to call it.
Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent, into the
rock, to make room for my farther convenience.
NOTE. Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work,
viz. a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, or basket; so I
desisted from my work, and began to consider how to supply
these wants, and make me some tools. As for a pickaxe, I
made use of the iron crows, which were proper enough, though
heavy: but the next thing was a shovel or spade; this was so
absolutely necessary, that, indeed, I could do nothing effec-
tually without it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.
Nov. 18. The next day, in searching the woods, I found a
tree of that wood, or like it, which, in the Brazils, they call the
iron tree, from its exceeding hardness: of this, with great
labour, and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece; and brought
it home, too, with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy.
The excessive hardness of the wood, and my having no other

way, made me a long while upon this machine: for I worked
it effectually, by little and little, into the form of a shovel or
spade; the handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only
that the broad part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it
would not last me so long: however, it served well enough
for the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was
a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long a
I was still deficient: for I wanted a basket, or a wheelbar-
row. A basket I could not make by any means, having no such
things as twigs that would bend to make wicker ware; at least,
none yet found out: and as to the wheelbarrow, I fancied I
could make all but the wheel, but that I had no notion of;
neither did I know how to go about it: besides, I had no pos-
sible way to make iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the
wheel to run in; so I gave it over: and, for carrying away the
earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like a
hod, which the labourers carry mortar in for the bricklayers.
This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel: and
yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain
to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days; I
mean, always excepting my morning walk with my gun, which
I seldom omitted, and very seldom failed also bringing home
something fit to eat.
Nov. 23. My other work having now stood still, because
of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on;
and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I
spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my
cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously.
NOTE. During all this time, I worked to make this room,
or cave, spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse
or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. As for a
lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet
season of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep my-
self dry; which caused me afterwards to cover all my place
within my pale with long poles, and in the form of rafters,
leaning against the rock, and load them with flags and large
leaves of trees, like a thatch.
DECEMBER 10. I began now to think my cave or vault
finished; when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large)
a great quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side:
so much, that, in short, it frightened me, and not without rea-
son too; for if I had been under it, I should never have wanted
a grave-digger. Upon this disaster, I had a great deal of work
to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out; and,
which was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so
that I might be sure no more would come down.
DEC. 11. This day I wentto workwithit accordingly; and got
two shoars or posts pitched upright to the top, with two pieces

of board across over each post: this I finished the next day:
and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more
I had the roof secured; and the posts, standing in rows, served
me for partitions to part off my house.
DEC. 17. From this day to the 30th, I placed shelves, and
knocked up nails on the posts, to hang every thing up that
could be hung up: and now I began to be in some order within
DEC. 20. I carried every thing into the cave, and began to
furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards, like a
dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to be
very scarce with me: also I made me another table.
DEC. 24. Much rain all night and all day: no stirring out.
DEC. 25. Rain all day.
DEC. 26. No rain; and the earth much cooler than before,
and pleasanter.
DEC. 27. Killed a young goat; and lamed another, so that
I catched it, and led it home in a string: when I had it home,
I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke.
N. B. I took such care of it that it lived; and the leg grew
well, and as strong as ever: but, by nursing it so long, it grew
tame, and fed upon the little green at my door, and would not
go away. This was the first time that I entertained a thought
of breeding up some tame creatures, that I might have food
when my powder and shot was all spent.
DEC. 28, 29, 30, 31. Great heats, and no breeze; so that
there was no stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food:
this time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.
JANUARY 1. Very hot still; but I went abroad early and
late with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This
evening, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the
centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though
exceeding shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to
try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down. Accord-
ingly, the next day, I went out with my dog, and set him upon
the goats: but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon
the dog: and he knew his danger too well, for he would not
come near them.
JAN. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous
of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very
thick and strong.
N. B. This wall being described before, I purposely omit
what was said in the journal: it is sufficient to observe, that I
was no less time than from the 3d of January to the 14th of
April, working, finishing, and perfecting this wall; though it
was no more than about twenty-five yards in length, being a
half circle, from one place in the rock to another place, about
twelve yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre,
behind it.

All this time I worked very hard; the rains hindering me
many days, nay, sometimes weeks together: but I thought I
should never be perfectly secure till this wall was finished;
and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour every thing
was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods,
and driving them into the ground; for I made them much
bigger than I needed to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced,
with a turf wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that
if any people were to come on shore there they would not per-
ceive any thing like a habitation: and it was very well I did
so, as may be observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable
During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game
every day, when the rain permitted me, and made frequent
discoveries, in these walks, of something or other to my advan-
tage; particularly, I found a kind of wild pigeons, who build,
not as wood-pigeons, in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons,
in the holes of the rocks: and, taking some young ones, I
endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when
they grew older, they flew all away; which, perhaps, was at
first for want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them:
however, I frequently found their nests, rnd got their young
ones, which were very good meat. And now, in the managing
my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many things,
which I thought at first it was impossible for me to make; as
indeed, as to some of them, it was : for instance, I could never
make a cask to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I
observed before; but I could never arrive to the capacity of
making one by them, though I spent many weeks about it: I
could neither put in the heads, nor join the staves so true to
one another as to make them hold water; so I gave that also
over. In the next place, I was at a great loss for candle; so
that as soon as it was dark, which was generally by seven
o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remember the lump of
bees-wax with which I made candles in my AfdWan adventure;
but I had none of that now: the only remedy I had was, that
when I had killed a goat, I saved the tallow; and with a little
dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added
a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me
light, though not a clear steady light like a candle. In the
middle of all my labours it happened, that in rummaging my
things, I found a little bag; which, as I hinted before, had
been filled with corn, for the feeding of poultry; not for this
voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came from
Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been in the bag
was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag
but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for
some other use (I think, it was to put powder in, when I

divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook
the husks of corn out of it, on one side of my fortification,
under the rock.
It was a little before the great rain just now mentioned, that
I threw this stuff away; taking no notice of any thing, and not
so much as remembering that I had thrown any thing there:
when about a month after, I saw some few stalks of something
green, shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be
some plant I had not seen; but I was surprised, and perfectly
astonished, when, after a little longer time, I saw about ten or
twelve ears come out, which were perfect green barley of the
same kind as our European, nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion
of my thoughts on this occasion: I had hitherto acted upon no
religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of
religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of any
thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as chance, or, as we
lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as inquiring
into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley grow
there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and
especially as I knew not how it came there, it startled me
strangely; and I began to suggest, that God had miraculously
caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and
that it was so directed purely for my sustenance, on that wild
miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my
eyes; and I began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature
should happen upon my account: and this was the more strange
to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the
rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks-
of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa,
when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence
for my supportbut, not doubting that there was more in the
place, I went o1 all that part of the island where I had been
before, searchinT in evercorner, and under every rock, for
more of it; but I could ndind any. At last it occurred to my
thoughts, that I ha4l k out a bag of chicken's-meat in that
place, and theqlhef er began to cease: and I must con-
fess, my religious tiulness to God's providence began to
abate too, upon tht discovering that all this was nothing but
what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful
for so strange and unforeseen a providence, as if it had been
miraculous: for it was really the work of Providence, as to
me, that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains of
corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all
the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven; as also, that I
should throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in

the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas,
if I had thrown it any where else, at that time, it would have
been burned up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in
their season, which was about the end of June; and, laying up
every corn, I resolved to sow them all again; hoping, in time,
to have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread. But
it was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself the
least grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as
I shall show afterwards, in its order; for I lost all that I sowed
the first season, by not observing the proper time; as I sowed
just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at
least not as it would have done; of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty
stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care; and
whose use was of the same kind, or to the same purpose, viz.
to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it
up without baking, though I did that also after some time.-
But to return to my Journal.
I worked excessively hard these three or four months, to get
my wall done; and the 14th of April I closed it up; contriving
to get into it, not by a door, but over the wall, by a ladder,
that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
APRIL 16. I finished the ladder; so I went up with the
ladder to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it
down in the inside: this was a complete enclosure to me; for
within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from
without, unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost
all my labour overthrown at once, and myself killed; the case
was thus:-As I was busy in the inside of it, behind my tent,
just at the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened
with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed; for, all on a
sudden, I found the earth come crumbling down from the roof
of my cave, and from the edge of the hill mer my head, and
two of the posts I had set up in the cave called in a frightful
manner. I was heartily scared; but thougWtothing of what
really was the cause, only thinking that ttp of my cave was
falling in, as some of it had done be for fear I should
be buried in it, I ran forward to m dJi l d not thinking
myself safe there neither, I got ov ww all for fear of the
pieces of the hill which I expected night roll down upon me.
I had no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, than I
plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake : for the ground I stood
on shook three times at about eight minutes distance, with three
such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building
that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great
piece of the top of a rock, which stood about half a mile from
me, next the sea, fell down, with such a terrible noise as I

never heard in all my life. I perceived also that the very sea
was put into a violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks
were stronger under the water than on the island.
I was so much amazed with the thing itself (having never felt
the like, nor discoursed with any one that had) that I was like
one dead or stupified; and the motion of the earth made my
stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea: but the noise of
the falling of the rock awaked me, as it were; and rousing me
from the stupified condition I was in, filled me with horror,
and I thought of nothing but the hill falling upon my tent and
my household goods, and burying all at once; this sunk my
very soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some
time, I began to take courage; yet I had not heart enough to
go over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat
still upon the ground greatly cast down, and disconsolate, not
knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least seri-
ous religious thought; nothing but the common Lord, have
mercy upon me! and when it was over, that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy,
as if it would rain; and soon after the wind rose by little and
little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful
hurricane: the sea was, all on a sudden, covered with foam
and froth; the shore was covered with a breach of the water;
the trees were torn up by the roots; and a terrible storm it
was. This held about three hours, and then began to abate;
and in two hours more it was quite calm, and began to rain
very hard. All this while I sat upon the ground, very much
terrified and dejected; when, on a sudden, it came into my
thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequence of
the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and
I might venture into my cave again. With this thought my
spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to persuade
me, I went in, and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so
violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and
I was forced to get into my cave, though very much afraid and
uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head. This violent rain
forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole through my new
fortification, like a sink, to let the water go out, which would
else have drowned my cave. After I had been in my cave for
some time, and found no more shocks of the earthquake follow,
I began to be more composed. And now to support my spirits,
which indeed wanted it very much, I went to my little store,
and took a small sup of rum; which, however, I did then, and
always, very sparingly, knowing I could have no more when
that was gone. It continued raining all that night, and great
part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad: but my
mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best
do; concluding, that if the island was subject to these earth-

quakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must
consider of building me some little hut in an open place, which
I might surround with a wall, as I had done here, and so make
myself secure from wild beasts or men: for if I staid where I
was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the
place where it now stood, being just under the hanging preci-
pice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would
certainly fall upon my tent. I spent the two next days, being
the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to
remove my habitation. The fear of being swallowed alive
affected me so, that I never slept in quiet; and yet the appre-
hension of lying abroad, without any fence, was almost equal
to it: but still, when I looked about, and saw how every thing
was put in order, how pleasantly I was concealed, and how
safe from danger, it made me very loath to remove. In the
mean time, it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal
of time for me to do this; and that I must be contented to run
the risk where I was, till I had formed a convenient camp, and
secured it so as to remove to it. With this conclusion I com-
posed myself for a time; and resolved that I would go to work
with all speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, &c. in
a circle as before, and set up my tent in it when it was finished;
but that I would venture to stay where i was till it was ready,
and fit to remove to. This was the 21st.
APRIL 22. The next morning I began to consider of means
to put this measure into execution; but I was at a great loss
about the tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of
hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the In-
dians); but with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood,
they were all full of notches, and dull: and though I had a
grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This
caused me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed
upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and
death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string,
to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at
NOTE. I had never seen any such thing in England, or at
least not to take notice how it was done, though since I have
observed it is very common there: besides that, my grindstone
was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's
work to bring it to perfection.
APRIL 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding
my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone performing
very well.
APRIL 30. Having perceived that my bread had been low
a great while, I now took a survey of it, and reduced myself
to one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.


MAY 1. In the morning, looking toward the seaside, the tide
being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordi-
nary, and it looked like a cask: when I came to it, I found a
small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship,
which were driven on shore by the late hurricane ; and looking
towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie higher out
of the water than it used to do. I examined the barrel that
was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gun-
powder; but it had taken water, and the powder was caked as
hard as a stone: however, I rolled it farther on the shore for
the present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could to
the wreck of the ship, to look for more.
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely removed.
The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was heaved
up at least six feet: and the stern (which was broke to pieces,
and parted from the rest, by the force of the sea, soon after I
had left rummaging of her) was tossed, as it were, up, and cast
on one side: and the sand was thrown so high on that side
next her stern, that I could now walk quite up to her when the
tide was out; whereas there was a great piece of water before,
so that I could not come within a quarter of a mile of the wreck
without swimming. I was surprised with this at first, but soon
concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and as by this
violence the ship was more broke open than formerly, so many
things came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened, and
which the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of remov-

ing my habitation; and I busied myself mightily, that day
especially, in searching whether I could make any way into the
ship: but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for
all the inside of the ship was choked up with sand. However,
as I had learned not to despair of any thing, I resolved to pull
every thing to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that
every thing I could get from her would be of some use or
other to me.
MAY 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam
through, which I thought held some of the upper part or quar-
ter-deck together; and when I had cut it through, I cleared
away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay
highest; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for
that time.
MAY 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I
durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when, just going to
leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long
line of some rope-yarn, but I had no hooks; yet I frequently
caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried
in the sun, and ate them dry.
MAY 5. Worked on the wreck: cut another beam asunder,
and brought three great fir planks off from the decks; which I
tied together, and made swim on shore when the tide of flood
came on.
MAY 6. Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out
of her, and other pieces of iron work; worked very hard, and
came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving it
MAY 7. Went to the wreck again, but not with an intent
to work: but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself
down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the ship
seemed to lie loose; and the inside of the hold lay so open that
I could see into it; but almost full of water and sand.
MAY 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to
wrench up the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water
and sand. I wrenched up two planks, and brought them on
shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for
next day.
MAY 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way
into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened
them with the crow, but could not break them up. I felt also
a roll of English lead, and could stir it; but it was too heavy
to remove.
MAY 10 to 14. Went every day to the wreck; and got a
great many pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or
three hundred weight of iron.
MAY 15. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a
piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet,
and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a

half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the
MAY 16. It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck
appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I stayed
so long in the woods, to get pigeons for food, that the tide
prevented my going to the wreck that day.
MAY 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore,
at a great distance, two miles off me, but resolved to see what
they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too heavy
for me to bring away.
MAY 24. Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck;
and with hard labour I loosened some things so much with the
crow, that the first blowing tide several casks floated out, and
two of the seamen's chests: but the wind blowing from the
shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber, and
a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it; but the salt
water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this work every
day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food ;
which I always appointed, during this part of my employment,
to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready when it was
ebbed out: and by this time I had gotten timber, and plank,
and iron work, enough to have built a good boat, if I had known
how: and I also got, at several times, and in several pieces,
near one hundred weight of the sheet-lead.
JUNE 16. Going down to the seaside, I found a large tor-
toise, or turtle. This was the first I had seen: which, it seems,
was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scarcity:
for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might
have had hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards;
but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
JUNE 17, I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her
threescore eggs: and her flesh was to me, at that time, the
most savoury and pleasant that I ever tasted in my life; having
had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this
horrid place.
JUNE 18. Rained all that day, and I stayed within. I thought,
at this time, the rain felt cold, and I was somewhat chilly;
which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
JUNE 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had
been cold.
JUNE 20. No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and
JUNE 21. Very ill; frightened almost to death with the
apprehensions of my sad condition, to be sick, and no help:
prayed to God, for the first time since the storm off Hull; but
scarce knew what I said, or why, my thoughts being all con-
JUNE 22. A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions
of sickness.

JUNE 23. Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a
violent headache.
JUNE 24. Much better.
JUNE 25. An ague very violent: the fit held me seven
hours; cold fit, and hot, with faint sweats after it.
JUNE 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my
gun, but found myself very weak: however, I killed a she-
goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and broiled some
of it, and ate. I would fain have stewed it, and made some
broth, but had no pot.
JUNE 27. The ague again so violent that I lay abed all day,
and neither ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for thirst;
but so weak, I had not strength to stand up, or to get myself
any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was light-
headed: and when I was not, I was so ignorant that I knew
not what to say; only lay and cried, Lord, look upon me!
Lord, pity me! Lord, have mercy upon me! I suppose I did
nothing else for two or three hours; till the fit wearing off, I
fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night. When I
awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and exceed-
ing thirsty: however, as I had no water in my whole habita-
tion, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again.
In this second sleep I had this terrible dream: I thought that
I was sitting on the ground, on the outside of my wall, where
I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw
a man descend from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of
fire, and light upon the ground: he was all over as bright as a
flame, so that I could but just bear to lock towards him: his
countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for
words to describe: when he stepped upon the ground with his
feet, I thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before
in the earthquake; and all the air looked, to my apprehension,
as if it had been filled with flashes of fire. He had no sooner
landed upon the earth, but he moved forward towards me,
with a long spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and when
he came to a rising ground, at some distance, he spoke to me,
or I heard a voice so terrible that it is impossible to express
the terror of it: all that I can say I understood, was this:
Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance,
now thou shalt die; at which words, I thought he lifted up the
spear that was in his hand, to kill me.
No one that shall ever read this account, will expect that I
should be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terri-
ble vision; I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even
dreamed of those horrors; nor is it any more possible to
describe the impression that remained upon my mind when I
awaked, and found it was but a dream.
I had, alas! no divine knowledge: what I had received by

the good instruction of my father was then worn out, by an
uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring wickedness,
and a constant conversation with none but such as were, like
myself, wicked and profane to the last degree. I do not remem-
ber that I had, in all that time, one thought that so much as
tended either to looking upward towards God, or inward to-
wards a reflection upon my own ways: but a certain stupidity
of soul, without desire of good, or consciousness of evil, had
entirely overwhelmed me; and I was all that the most hard-
ened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors,
can be supposed to be; not having the least sense, either of the
fear of God, in danger, or of thankfulness to him, in deliver-
In tie relating what is already past of my story, this will be
the more easily believed, when I shall add, that through all the
variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never
had so much as one thought of its being the hand of God, or
that it was a just punishment for my sin; either my rebellious
behaviour against my father, or my present sins, which were
great; or even as a punishment for the general course of my
wicked life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the
desert shores of Africa, I never had so much as one thought of
what would become of me; or one wish to God to direct me
whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which
apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as
cruel savages: but I was quite thoughtless of a God or a Pro-
vidence ; acted like a mere brute, from the principles of nature,
and by the dictates of common sense only; and indeed hardly
that. When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the Por-
tuguese captain, well used, and dealt with justly and honour-
ably, as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness in
my thoughts. When, again, I was shipwrecked, ruined, and
in danger of drowning, on this island, I was as far from re-
morse, or looking on it as a judgment: I only said to myself
often, that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always
It is true, when I first got on shore here, and found all my
ship's crew drowned, and myself spared, I was surprised with
a kind of ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the
grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankful-
ness: but it ended where it began, in a mere common flight of
joy; or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least
reflection upon the distinguished goodness of the hand which
had preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved
when all the rest were destroyed, or an inquiry why Provi-
dence had been thus merciful to me: just the same common
sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they are got safe
ashore from a shipwreck; which they drown all in the next

bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over: and all
the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was, afterwards,
on due consideration, made sensible of my condition,-how I
was cast on this dreadful place, out of the reach of human
kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption,-as
soon as I saw but a prospect of living, and that I should not
starve and perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore
off, and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the works
proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough
from being afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Hea-
ven, or as the hand of God against me: these were thoughts
which very seldom entered into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had,
at first, some little influence upon me, and began to affect me
with seriousness, as long as I thought it had something mira-
culous in it; but as soon as that part of the thought was
removed, all the impression which was raised from it wore off
also, as I have noted already. Even the earthquake, though
nothing could be more terrible in its nature, or more immedi-
ately directing to the invisible Power which alone directs such
things, yet no sooner was the fright over, but the impression it
had made went off also. I had no more sense of God, or his
judgments, much less of the present affliction of my circum-
stances being from his hand, than if I had been in the most
prosperous condition of life. But now, when I began to be
sick, and a leisure view of the miseries of death came to place
itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under the bur-
den of a strong distemper, and nature was exhausted with the
violence of the fever; conscience, that had slept so long, began
to awake; and I reproached myself with my past life, in which
I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness, provoked the
justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and to deal
with me in so vindictive a manner. These reflections oppressed
me for the second or third day of my distemper; and in the
violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of
my conscience, extorted from me some words like praying to
God: though I cannot say it was a prayer attended either with
desires or with hopes; it was rather the voice of mere fright
and distress. My thoughts were confused; the convictions
great upon my mind; and the horror of dying in such a mise-
rable condition, raised vapours in my head with the mere
apprehension: and, in these hurries of my soul, I knew not
what my tongue might express: but it was rather exclamation,
such as, Lord, what a miserable creature am I! If I should
be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help; and what will
become of me? Then the tears burst out of my eyes, and I
could say no more for a good while. In this interval, the good
advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his pre-

diction, which I mentioned at the beginning of this story, viz.
that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me;
and I should have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having
neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in
my recovery. Now, said I, aloud, my dear father's words are
come t9 pass; God's justice has overtaken me, and I have
none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence,
which had mercifully put me in a station of life wherein I
might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it
myself, nor learn from my parents to know the blessing of it.
I left them to mourn over my folly; and now I am left to
mourn under the consequences of it: I refused their help and
assistance, who would have pushed me in the world, and would
have made every thing easy to me; and now I have difficulties
to struggle with, too great for even nature itself to support;
and no assistance, no comfort, no advice. Then I cried out,
Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress. This was the
first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made for many
years. But I return to my Journal.


JUNE 28. Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I
had had, and the fit being entirely off, I got up; and though
the fright and terror of my dream was very great, yet I con-
sidered that the fit of the ague would return again the next day,
and now was my time to get something to refresh and support
myself when I should be ill. The first thing I did was to fill a
large square case-bottle with water; and set it upon my table,
in reach of my bed : and to take off the chill or aguish disposi-
tion of the water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into
it, and mixed them together. Then I got me a piece of the
goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very
little. I walked about; but was very weak, and withal very
sad and heavy-hearted in the sense of my miserable condition,
dreading the return of my distemper the next day. At night,
I made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs; which I roasted
in the ashes, and ate, as we call it, in the shell: and this was
the first bit of meat I had ever asked God's blessing to, as I
could remember, in my whole life. After I had eaten, I tried
to walk; but found myself so weak, that I could hardly carry
the gun (for I never went out without that); so I went but a
little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out upon
the sea, which was just before me, and very calm and smooth.
As I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me:
What is this earth and sea, of which I have seen so much?

Whence is it produced? And what am I, and all the other
creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal? Whence are we ?
Surely, we are all made by some secret power, who formed the
earth and sea, the air and sky. And who is that? Then it fol-
lowed most naturally, It is God that has made all. Well, but
then, it came on, if God has made all these things, he guides
and governs them all, and all things that concern them ; for the
power that could make all things, must certainly have power
to guide and direct them: if so, nothing can happen in the
great circuit of his works, either without his knowledge or
And if nothing happens without his knowledge, he knows
that I am here, and am in this dreadful condition: and if
nothing happens without his appointment, he has appointed all
this to befall me. Nothing occurred to my thought, to contra-
dict any of these conclusions: and therefore it rested upon me
with the greatest force, that it must needs be that God had
appointed all this to befall me; that I was brought to this
miserable circumstance by his direction, he having the sole
power, not of me only, but of every thing that happens in the
world. Immediately it followed, Why has God done this to
me ? What have I done to be thus used ? My conscience pre-
sently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed;
and methought it spoke to me like a voice, Wretch! dost thou
ask what thou bast done? Look back upon a dreadful mispent
life, and ask thyself, what thou hast not done? Ask, why is it
that thou wert not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not
drowned in Yarmouth Roads; killed in the fight when the ship
was taken by the Sallee man of war; devoured by the wild
beasts on the coast of Africa; or drowned here, when all the
crew perished but thyself? Dost thou ask what thou hast done ?
I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonished,
and had not a word to say; no, not to answer to myself; and,
rising up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went
over my wall, as if I had been going to bed : but my thoughts
were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to sleep; so I
sat down in the chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be
dark. Now, as the apprehension of the return of my distemper
terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought, that the
Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for almost all dis-
tempers; and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the
chests, which was quite cured; and some also that was green,
and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven no doubt: for in this chest I
found a cure both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and
found what I looked for, viz. the tobacco; and as the few books
I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I
mentioned before, and which to this time I had not found lei-
sure, or so much as inclination, to look into. I say, I took it

out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the
table. What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my
distemper, nor whether it was good for it or not; but I tried
several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should hit
one way or other. I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it
in my mouth; which, indeed, at first, almost stupified my
brain; the tobacco being green and strong, and such as I had
not been much used to. Then I took some and steeped it an
hour or two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it
when I lay down: and, lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of
coals, and held my nose close over the smoke of it as long as
I could bear it; as well for the heat, as almost for suffocation.
In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and
began to read ; but my head was too much disturbed with the
tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only, having
opened the book casually, the first words that occurred to me
were these: Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will
deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." These words were
very apt to my case; and made some impression upon my
thoughts at the time of reading them, though niot so much as
they did afterwards; for, as for being delivered, the word had
no sound, as I may say, to me; the thing was so remote, so
impossible in my apprehension of things, that, as the children
of Israel said when they were promised flesh to eat, Can God
spread a table in the wilderness ?" so I began to say, Can even
God himself deliver me from this place ? And as it was not for
many years that any hopes appeared, this prevailed very often
upon my thoughts: but, however, the words made a great
impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It
now grew late; and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head
so much, that I inclined to sleep: so I left my lamp burning in
the cave, lest I should want any thing in the night, and went to
bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in
all my life; I kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfil the
promise to me, that if I called upon him in the day of trouble,
he would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer
was over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco;
which was so strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I
could scarce get it down: immediately upon this I went to bed.
I found presently the rum flew up into my head violently; but
I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more till, by the sun,
it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the afternoon the
next day: nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion, that I slept
all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after;
for otherwise, I know not how I should lose a day out of my
reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared some years
after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and recrossing
the line, I should have lost more than one day; but certainly
I lost a day in my account, and never knew which way. Be

that, however, one way or the other, when I awaked I found
myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheer-
ful : when I got up, I was stronger than I was the day before,
and my stomach better, for I was hungry ; and, in short, I
had no fit the next today, but continued much altered for the
better. This was the 29th.
The 30th was my well day, of course; and I went abroad
with my gun, but did not care to travel too far. I killed a
seafowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought
them home; but was not very forward to eat them ; so I ate
some more of the turtle's eggs, which were very good. This
evening I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed did
me good the day before, viz. the tobacco steeped in rum ; only
I did not take so much as before, nor did 1 chew any of the
leaf, or hold myi head over the smoke : however, I was not so
well the next day, .which was the 1st of July, as I hoped 1
should have been ; for 1 had a little of the cold fit, but it was
not much.
JULY 2. I renewed the medicine all the three ways ; and
dosed myself w ith it as at first, and doubled the quantity \ ihich
I drank.
JULY 3. I inissed the fit for good al all, though I did not
recover my full strength for some weeks after. While 1 was
thus gathering strength, lly thoughts ran exceedingly upon
this scripture, I will deliver thee ;" and the impossibility of
my deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever
expecting it: but as I was discouraging myself w ith such
thoughts, it occurred to my mind that 1 pored so much upon
my deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the
deliverance I had received; and I was, as it were, made to
ask myself such questions as these, viz. Have I not been de-
livered, and wonderfully too, from sickness; from the most
distressed condition that could be, and that was so frightful to
me ? and what notice have 1 taken of it ? Have I done my
part ? God has delivered me, but I have not glorified him;
that is to say, I have not owned and been thankful for that as
a deliverance: and how can 1 expect a greater deliverance?
This touched my heart very much ; and immediately I knelt
down, and gave God thanks aloud for my recovery from my
JULY 4. In the morning I took the Bible; and beginning
at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it; and im-
posed upon myself to read awhile every morning and every
night; not binding myself to the number of chapters, but as
long as my thoughts should engage me. It was not long after
I set seriously to this work, that I found my heart more deeply
and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.
The impression of my dream revived; and the words, All these
things have not brought thee to repentance, ran seriously in

my thoughts. I was earnestly begging of God to give me re-
pentance, when it happened providentially, the very same day,
that, reading the scripture, I came to these words, He is
exalted a Prince and a Saviour; to give repentance, and to
give remission." I threw down the book ; and with my heart
as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy
of joy, I cried out aloud, .esus, thou son of David! J.esus,
thou exalted Prince and Saviour! give me repentance! This
was the first time in all my life I could say, in the true sense
of the words, that I prayed ; for now I prayed with a sense
of my condition, and with a true scripture view of hope,
founded on the encouragement of lite word of God : and from
this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God would
hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned alove, Call
on me, and I will deliver thee," in a different sense from what
I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of any thing
being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the cap-
tivitv I wias in : for though I was indeed at large in the place.
yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in the
worst sense in the world. But now I learned to take it in
another sense : now I looked hack upon my past life with such
horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought
nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore
down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing;
I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of
it; it was all of no consideration, in comparison with this.
And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that
whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find
deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance
from affliction.
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as
to my way of living, yet much easier to my mind : and my
thoughts being directed, by constantly reading the scripture
and praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great
deal of comfort within, which, till now, I knew nothing of;
also, as my health and strength returned, I bestirred me to
furnish myself with every thing that I wanted, and make my
way of living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in
walking about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little at
a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit
of sickness: for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was,
and to what weakness I was reduced. The application which
I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps what had never
cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to any one
to practise, by this experiment: and though it did carry off
the fit, yet it rather contributed to weakening me; for 1 had
frequent convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time: I

learned from it also this, in particular; that being abroad in
the rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my health
that could be, especially in those rains which came attended
with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which
came in the dry season was almost always accompanied with
such storms, so I found that this rain was much more dangerous
than the rain which fell in September and October.
I had now been in this unhappy island above ten months:
all possibility of deliverance from this condition seemed to be
entirely taken from me; and I firmly believed that no human
shape had ever set foot upon that place. Having secured my
habitation, as I thought, filly to my mind, I had a great desire
to make a more perfect discovery of the island, and to see
what other productions I might find, which I yet knew no-
thing of.
It was on the 15th of July that I began to take a more par-
ticular survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first,
where, as 1 hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found, after
I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any
higher; and that it was no more than a little brook of running
water, very fresh and good: but this being the dry season,
there was hardly any water in some parts of it; at least, not
any stream. On the banks of this brook I found many plea-
sant savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with
grass: and on the rising parts of them, next to the higher
grounds (where the water, as it might be supposed, never over-
flowed), I found a great deal of tobacco, green, and growing
to a very great and strong stalk: and there were divers other
plants, which I had no knowledge of, or understanding about,
and that might, perhaps, have virtues of their own, which I
could not find out. I searched for the cassava root, which the
Indians, in all that climate, make their bread of; but I could
find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but did not understand
them. I saw several sugar-canes, but wild ; and, for want of
cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these disco-
veries for this time; and came back, musing with myself what
course I might take to know the virtue and goodness of any
of the fruits or plants which I should discover; but could bring
it to no conclusion; for, in short, I had made so little observa-
tion while I was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants
in the field; at least, very little that might serve me to any
purpose now in my distress.
The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and
after going something farther than I had gone the day before,
I found the brook and the savannahs begin to cease, and the
country become more woody than before. In this part I found
different fruits; and particularly I found melons upon the
ground, in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees: the
vines, indeed, had spread over the trees, and the clusters of

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