Title Page
 Life and adventures of Robinson...
 The farther adventures of Robinson...

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072784/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner with an account of his travels round three parts of the globe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: 620 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Stothard, Thomas, 1755-1834 ( Illustrator )
Cundall, Joseph, 1818-1895 ( Publisher )
Edlin, Thomas ( Publisher )
Whittingham, Charles, 1795-1876 ( Printer )
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Publisher: Joseph Cundall
Thomas Edlin
Place of Publication: London (12 Old Bond St.)
London (37 New Bond St.)
Manufacturer: C. Whittingham
Publication Date: 1845
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1845   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
England -- Chiswick
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-1956
General Note: Spine title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Caption title, p. 321: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe divided into chapters. Part II originally published under title: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Ill. by T. Stothard.
General Note: Same as Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe, 367, but lacks publisher's advertisements.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072784
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 27085557

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
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    The farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe
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Full Text









F ever the story of any private man's
adventures in the world were worth
making public, and were acceptable
when published, the Editor of this account thinks
this will be so.

The wonders of this man's life exceed all that
(he thinks) is to be found extant; the life of one
man being scarce capable of a greater variety.

The story is told with modesty, with seriousness,
and with a religious application of events to the
uses to which wise men always apply them; viz.
to the instruction of others, by this example, and


to justify and honour the wisdom of Providence in
all the variety of our circumstances, let them hap-
pen how they will.

The Editor believes the thing to be a just history
of facts; neither is there any appearance of fiction
in it : and however thinks, because all such things
are disputed, that the improvement of it, as well
to the diversion, as to the instruction of the Reader,
will be the same ; and as such, he thinks, without
further compliment to the world, he does them a
great service in the publication.


Robinson Crusoe.

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 Bre-
men, who settled firft at Hull: he got a good
estate by merchandise, and leaving off his
trade, lived afterward at York; from whence
he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robin-
son, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was
called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual corruption of
words in England, we are now called, nay we call ourselves, and
write our name Crusoe; and to my companions always called
I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant-colonel
to an English regiment of Foot in Flanders, formerly commanded
by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle
near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second
brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother did
know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade,
my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts:


my father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent
share of learning, as far as house education, and a country free-
school generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I would
be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination
to this led me so strongly against the will, nay the commands of
my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my
mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something
fatal in that propension of nature tending directly to the life of
misery which was to befal me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and ex-
cellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He
called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined
by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this
subject: he asked me what reasons more than a mere wandering
inclination I had for leaving my father's house and my native
country, where I might be well introduced, and had a pros-
pect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with
a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was for men of des-
perate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior fortunes on
the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise,
and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of
the common road; that these things were all either too far above
me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or
what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found by long experience was the best state in the world, the
most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and
hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of man-
kind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and
envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me, I might judge
of the happiness of this state, by this one thing, viz. That this
was the state of life which all other people envied; that Kings
have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born
to great things, and wish they had been placed in the middle of

the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the
wise man gave his testimony to this, as the just standard of true
felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty or riches.
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the cala-
mities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of
mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters,
and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or
lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many
distempers and 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 or insufficient
diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the
natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle sta-
tion 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 temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society,
all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the bless-
ings 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 circum-
stances sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the
sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling that they are happy,
and learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate
manner, not to play the young man, not 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 di-
rected, 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 de-
sires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed;
and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he
would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step,
GOD would not bless me, and I 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 plen-
tifully, and 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 or-

dinary, 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 bet-
ter give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I
was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice
to a trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I
should never serve out my time, 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 go but one voyage abroad,
if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more,
and I would promise by a double diligence to recover that 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 subject; that he knew too well what was my interest 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 dis-
course as I had had with my father, and such kind and tender
expressions as she knew my father had used to me; and that in
short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I
might depend I should never have their consent to it; that for
her part she would not have so much hand in my destruction;
and I should never have it to say, that my mother was willing
when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as
I have heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, and
that my father, after shewing 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 was ever 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 determined against
what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one
day at Hull, where I went casually, and without any purpose of
making an elopement that time; but I say, being there, and one
of my companions being going by sea to London, in his father's
ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the common
allurement of seafaring men, viz. That it should cost me nothing
for my passage, I consulted neither father or mother any more,
not so much as sent them word of it: but leaving them to hear
of it as they might, without asking GoD's blessing, or my father's,
without any consideration of circumstances or consequences, and
in an ill hour, GOD knows, on the first of September x65i, I
went on board a ship bound for London: never any young ad-
venturer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued
longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out of the
Hamber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise in a
most frightful manner; and as I had never been at sea before, I
was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in mind: I
began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how
justly I was overtaken by the judgement of Heaven for my wicked
leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty; all the
good counsel 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
breach of my duty to GOD and my father.
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 like what I saw a
few days after: but it was enough to affect me then, who was but
a young sailor, and had never known 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
here to spare my life this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot
upon dry land again I would go directly home to my father, and
never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would take
his advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these any
more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about
the middle station of life, how easy, how comfortably he had
lived all his days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea,
or troubles on shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true
repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the
storm continued, and indeed some time after; but the next day
the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little
inured to it: however I was very grave for all that day, being
also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared
up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening fol-
lowed; 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 de-
lightful that ever I 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 so
pleasant in so little time after. And now, lest my good resolu-
tions should continue, my companion who had indeed inticed me
away, comes to me, Well, Bob, says he, (clapping me upon the
shoulder,) how do you do after it ? I warrant you were frighted,
wan't you, last night, when it blew but a cap full of wind? A cap
full do you call it ? said I. It was a terrible storm. A storm,
you fool you, replies he, do you call that a storm? why it was -no-
thing at all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think
nothing of such a squall of wind as .that ; but you're but a fresh-


water sailor, Bob: come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll
forget all that: do you see what charming weather it is now?
To make short this sad part of my story, we went the old 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 repen-
tance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my reso-
lutions for my future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its
smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of
that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears
and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being for-
gotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely
forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I
found indeed some intervals of reflection, and the serious thoughts
did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes, but I shook
them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a dis-
temper, and applying myself to drink and company, soon mas-
tered 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 fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could de-
sire. But I was to have another trial for it still; and Provi-
dence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me
entirely without excuse. For if I would not take this for a deli-
verance, the next was to be such a one as the worst and most
hardened wretch among us would confess both the danger and
the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into rarmouth
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 con-
tinuing contrary, viz. at south-west, for seven or eight days, dur-
ing which time a great many ships from Newcastle came into
the same roads, as the common harbour where the ships might
wait for a wind for the river.

We had not however rid here so long, but should have tided
it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh; and after we
had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However the roads
being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and
our ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and
not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest
and mirth, after the manner of the sea; but the eighth day in
the morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands at work
to strike our top-masts, and make 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 rid 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 a-head, and the cables veered out
to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I be-
gan to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the seamen
themselves. The master, though vigilant in the business of pre-
serving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me,
I could hear him softly to himself say several times, Lord, be
merciful to us, we shall be all lost, we shall be all undone; and
the like. During these first hurries, I was stupid, lying still in
my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my
temper: I could ill re-assume the first penitence which I had so
apparently trampled upon, and hardened myself against: I thought
the bitterness of death had been past, and that this would be
nothing, like the first. But when the master himself came by
me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was
dreadfully frighted; I got up out of my cabin, and looked out;
but such a dismal sight I never saw: the sea went mountains
high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes: when I
could look about, I could see nothing but distress round us: two
ships that rid near us, we found, had cut their masts by the

board, being deep loaden; and our men cried out, that a ship
which rid about a mile a-head 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 spritsail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master
of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was
very unwilling to do: but the boatswain protesting to him, that
if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when
they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose,
and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut her 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 loaden, and 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 enquired. However, the storm was so
violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master, the boat-
swain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their
prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to
the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest

of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on purpose
to see, cried out, we had sprung a leak; another said there was
four foot 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,
into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me,
that I that was able to do nothing before, was as well able to
pump as another: at which I stirred up, and went to the pump
and worked very heartily. While this was doing, the master
seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm,
were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would not come
near us, ordered 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 happened. In a
word, I was so surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this
was a time when every body had his own life to think of, nobody
minded me, or what was become of me; but another man stepped
up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie,
thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came
to myself.
We worked on, but the water increasing in the hold, it was
apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm
began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could swim
till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing guns
for help; and a light ship who had rid it out just a-head 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 the 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 to their own ship,
so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in towards
shore as much as we could, and our master promised them, that
if the boat was staved upon shore he would make it good to their
master: so partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went away
to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our
ship before 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 shore to assist us when we should
come near, but we made but slow way towards the shore, nor
were we able to reach the shore, till being past the 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 particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money
given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hull, as
we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have
gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our
blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me;

for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth
Road, it was a great while before he had any assurance that I was
not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that
nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls
from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home,
yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor
will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree that hurries us on
to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be
before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open. Cer-
tainly nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery attend-
ing, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have
pushed me forward against the calm reasoning and persuasions
of my most retired thoughts, and against two such visible instruc-
tions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I; the first time
he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till
two or three days, for we were separated in the town to several
quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone
was altered; and looking very melancholy, and shaking his head,
asked me how I did, and telling his father who I was, and how
I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go farther
abroad; his father turning to me with a very grave and concerned
tone, Young man, says he, you ought never to go to sea any more;
you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not
to be a seafaring man. Why, Sir, said I, will you go to sea no
more ? That is another case, said he, it is my calling, and therefore
my duty ; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a
taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect ifyou persist;
perhaps this is all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the
ship of Tarshish. Pray, continued 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, says he, that such an unhappy
wretch should come into my ship! I would not set my foot in
the same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds. This in-
deed 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 disappointments, 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 my-
self, 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 since often observed, how incon-
gruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially
of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such
cases, viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed
to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly
to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which
only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life however I remained some time, uncertain
what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An
irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I stayed


a while, 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 imprest those conceits so
forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to
the entreaties and even the command 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 fore-mast man; and in time
might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a
master. But as it was always my fate to choose for the 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, or
learned to do any.
It was my lot firft of all to fall into pretty good company in Lon-
don, which does not always happen to such loose and unguided
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; and who taking a fancy to my
conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time,
hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I
would go the voyage with him I should be at no expense; I


should be his messmate and his companion, and if I could carry
any thing with me, I should have all the advantage of it that
the trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some
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, I
increased very considerably; for I carried about 40/. in such toys
and trifles as the Captain directed me to buy. This 40/. I had
mustered together by the assistance of some of my relations
whom I corresponded with, and who, I believe, got my father,
or at least, my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in
all my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and honesty
of my friend the Captain, under whom also I got a competent
knowledge of the mathematics, and the rules of navigation,
learned how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an ob-
servation, 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 5
pounds 9 ounces of gold dust for my adventure, which yielded
me in London at my return, almost 300oo,. 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; particu-
larly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent
calenture by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal
trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of 15 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 ihip. This was the unhappiest voyage that
ever man made; for though I did not carry quite Iool. of my
new gained wealth, so that I had 2o00. left, and which I lodged
with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into
terrible misfortunes 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 grey 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 have got clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us,
and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we pre-
pared to fight; our ship having 12 guns, and the rogue 18.
About three in the afternoon he came up with us, and bringing
to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our
stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on
that side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him
sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in also his
small shot from near 200 men which he had on board. How-
ever, 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 60 men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting
and hacking the decks and rigging. We plied them with small
shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and cleared our
deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melancholy
part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men
killed, and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were
carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I appre-
hended, 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 per-
fectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's
prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable, and have
none to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought
to pass, that I could not be worse; 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 the story.
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his house,
so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went
to sea again, believing that it would some time or other be his
fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal 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 li-
berty 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, some-

times 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 Maresco with him to row the boat, we made him
very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catching fish; inso-
much that sometimes he would send me with a Moor, one of his
kinsmen, and the youth, the Maresco as they called him, to catch
a dish of fish 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 morning; 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 long
boat 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 his ship, who also was an English
slave, to build a little state-room or cabin in the middle of the
long-boat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to
steer and hale 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 gibed 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 ; particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I was
most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went without me.


It happened that he had appointed to go out in this boat, either
for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinc-
tion in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily;
and had therefore sent on board the boat over night a larger store
of provisions than 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
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next
morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient 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 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 evi-
dent 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 beeswax 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,
who they call Muly, 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 (a
fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the
gunner's stores in the ship? Yes, says he, I'll bring some; 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 had found some powder of my
master's in the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large
bottles in the case, which was almost empty; pouring what was
in it into another: and thus furnished with 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
the N. N. E. which was contrary to my desire; for had it blown
southerly I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and
at least reached to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were,
blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid
place where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and 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 in the head of the boat set the sails;
and as I had the helm I run the boat out near a league farther,
and then brought her to as if I would fish, when giving the boy
the helm, I stept forward to where the Moor was, and making

as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by sur-
prise with my arm under his twist, and tossed him dear over-
board into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a
cork, and calling to me, begged to be taken in, told me he would
go all over the world with me; he swam so strong after the boat
that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but
little wind; upon which I stept 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 to the shore,
and the sea is calm, make the best of your way to shore, and I
will do you no harm, but if you come near the boat I'll shoot
you through the head; for I am resolved to have my liberty:
so he turned himself about and swam for the shore, and I make
no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent
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, who they called
Xurv, and said to him, Xurt, if you will be faithful to me I'll
make you a great man, but if you will not stroke your face to
be true to me, that is, 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 Straits mouth (as
indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been sup-
posed to do), for who would have supposed we were sailed on to
the southward to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations
of negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes, and de-
stroy 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 first made the land, I could not be less than
150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the emperor of Morocco's
dominions, or indeed of any other king thereabouts, for we saw
no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I
would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor. The
wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days,
and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also
that if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would
now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and came to
an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or
where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what
river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people, the principal
thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the
evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and
discover the country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard
such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild
creatures of we knew not what kinds, that the poor boy was
ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go on shore till
day. Well, Xury, said I, then I won't, but it may be we may
see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions. Then
we give them the shoot gun, says Xury, laughing; make them run
wey. Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves.
However I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him
a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up:

after all Xury's advice was good, and I took it; we dropped our
little anchor and lay still all night; I say still, for we slept none;
for in two or three hours we saw vast great creatures (we knew
not what to call them) of many sorts, come down to the sea-
shore and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves
for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made such
hideous howlings and yelling, that I never indeed heard the
Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but
we were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty
creatures come swimming towards our boat: we could not see
him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous
huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might
be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh
the anchor and row away. No, says I, Xury, we can slip our
cable with 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 (what-
ever it was) within two oars length, which something surprised
me; however I immediately stept to the cabin-door, and taking
up my gun fired at him, upon which he immediately turned
about, and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hide-
ous 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 have some reason to believe those
creatures had never heard before: this convinced me that there
was no going on shore for us in the night upon that coast, and
how to venture on shore in the day was another question too;
for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been
as bad as to have fallen into the hands 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 or where to get to it was the point. Xury said, if I would
let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there
was any water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he
would go ? why I should not go, and he stay in the boat ? The
boy answered with so much affection that made me love him ever
after. Says he, If wild mans come, they eat me, you go wey.
Well, Xury, said I, we will both go, and if the wild mans come,
we will kill them, they shall eat neither of us; so I gave Xury
a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram out of our patron's case
of bottles which I mentioned before ; and we hauled the boat in
as near the shore as we thought was proper, and waded on shore;
carrying nothing but our arms, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river: but the boy
seeing a low place about a mile up the country rambled to it;
and by and by I saw him come running towards me. I thought
he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild
beast, and I ran forward towards him to help him, but when I
came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders,
which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in
colour, and longer legs; however we were very glad of it, and it
was very good meat; but the great joy that poor Xury came
with, was to tell me he had found good water, and seen no wild
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 feasted on the hare we had
killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no foot-steps
of any human creature in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd
-islands also, lay not far off from the coast, But as I had

no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we
were in, and did not exactly know, or at least remember, what
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or
when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now
easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was, that
if I stood along this coast till I came to that part where the
English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon their
usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was,
must be that country, which lying between the emperor of
Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and uninhabited,
except by wild beasts, the Negroes having abandoned it, and
gone farther south for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not
thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness; and
indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious number of
tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbour
there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where
they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a time; and
indeed for near an hundred miles together upon this coast, we
saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day; and heard
nothing but howlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes of
reaching thither; but having 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 a little over him.
Xury, says I, you shall go on shore and kill him: Xury looked
frighted, and said, Me kill! he eat me at one mouth; one
mouthful he meant. However, I said no more to the boy, but
bade him lie still; and took our biggest gun, which was almost
musquet-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and
with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with
two bullets; and the third, for we had three pieces, I loaded
with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the
first piece, to have shot him into 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 into the
head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but little
noise, but lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and
would have me let him go on shore. Well, go, said I. So the
boy jumped into the water, and taking 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
into the head again, which dispatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food: and I was
very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a crea-
ture that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury said he
would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me
to give him the hatchet. For what, Xury ? said I. Me cut of

his head, said he. However, Xury could not cut off his head,
but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him, and it was a
monstrous great one.
I bethought myself however, that perhaps the skin of him
might one way or other be of some value to us; and I resolved
to take off his skin, if I could. So Xury and I went to work
with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I
knew very ill how to do it. Indeed it took us up both the whole
day; but at last we got off the 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 sparing on our provisions, which
began to abate very much, and going no oftener into the shore
than we were obliged to for fresh water: my design in this was,
to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to say, 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 there among the
Negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed
either to the coast of Guinea or to Brasil, or to the East Indies,
made this Cape, or those Islands; and, in a word, I put the
whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must
meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as
I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in
two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon
the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite
black, and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone on
shore to them; but Xury was my better counsellor, and said to
me, No go, no go: however I hauled in nearer the shore that I
might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by me
a good way.. I observed they had no weapons in their hands,

except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xary said was
a lance, and that they would throw them a great way with good
aim. So I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as
well as I could; and particularly made signs for something to
eat: they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and they would fetch
me some meat; upon this I lowered the top of my sail, and lay
by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than
half an hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of
dry flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country;
but we neither knew what the one nor 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 towards the sea: whe-
ther 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 lat-
ter; because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom
appear but in the night; and in the second place, we found the
people terribly frighted, especially the women. The man that
had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did;
however, as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they
did not 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 oar
boat than at first I expected, but I lay ready for him, for I had

loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade Xury load
both the others. As soon as he came fairly within my reach, I
fired, and shot him directly into 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 the 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 Almiration to
think what it was I had killed him with.
The other creature, frighted 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 distance
know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes were for eating
the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them take it
as a favour from me, which when I made signs to them that they
might take 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

or ROBINsoN CRUsoE.' 35
provision, which though I did not understand, yet I accepted;
then I made signs to them for some water, and held out one of
my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to shew that it was
empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They called imme-
diately to some of their friends, and there came two women, and
brought a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I suppose, in
the sun; this they set down for me, as before, and I sent Xury
on shore with my jars, and filled them all three. The women
were as stark naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and
water: and, leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward for
about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore,
till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about
the distance of four or five leagues before me; and, the sea being
very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point: at length,
doubling the point at about two leagues from the land, I saw
plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I concluded, as
it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and
those the islands, called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. How-
ever, 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 fresh of wind I
might neither reach one nor the other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stept into the cabin
and set 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 frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs
be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we
were gotten far enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the
cabin, and immediately saw not only the ship, but what she was,
(viz.) that it was a Portuguese ship, and, as I thought, was bound
to the coast of Guinea for Negroes. But when I observed the
course she steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some
other way, and did not design to come any nearer to the shore;

upon which I stretched out to sea as much as I could, resolving
to speak with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able
to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I
could make any signal to them. But after I had crowded to the
utmost, and began to despair; they, it seems, saw me by the
help of their perspective-glasses, and that it was some European
boat, which, as they supposed, must belong to some ship that
was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I was en-
couraged with this, and as I had my patron's ancient on board,
I made a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and fired a
gun, both 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
Scots 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. Then they bade
me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my
It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one would believe,
that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a misera-
ble and almost hopeless condition as I was in, and 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 delivered safe to me when
I came to the Brasils; 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 Brasils, 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, Seignior Inglese, says he, Mr. Englishman,
I will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help you to
buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again.
As he was charitable in his 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 inventory 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 his hand to pay me 80 pieces of eight
for it at Brasil; and when it came there, if any one offered to
give more, he would make it up; he offered me also 60 pieces
of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not
that I was not willing to let the captain have him, but I was very
loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faith-
fully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know
my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium,
that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten
years, if he turned Christian. Upon this, and Xury saying he
was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brasils, 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 my-
self 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 passage,

gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty for the
lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused every thing I
had in the ship to be punctually delivered me; and what I was
willing to sell he bought, such as the case of bottles, two of my
guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-wax, for I had made can-
dles of the rest; in a word, I made about 220 pieces of eight of
all my cargo, and with this stock I went on shore in the Brasils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house
of a good honest man like himself, who had an Ingenio as they
call it; that is, a plantation and a sugar house, I lived with him
some time, and acquainted myself by that means with the man-
ner of their planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well
the planters lived, and how they grew rich suddenly, I resolved,
if I could get license to settle there, I would turn planter among
them, resolving 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 pur-
chased as much land that was uncured as my money would reach,
and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement, and such a
one as might be suitable to the stock which I proposed to my-
self to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of Eng-
lish parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such circum-
stances as I was. I call him neighbour, because his plantation
lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My
stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather planted for
food, than 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 was gotten into
an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly contrary
to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father's
house, and broke through all his good advice; nay, I was com-
ing 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 dis-
tance 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 I continued, I had in all probability been exceeding prospe-
rous 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 loading, 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: Seignor Inglese,

says he, (for so he always called me) if you will give me letters,
and a procuration here in form to me, with orders to the person
who has your money in London, to send your effects to Lisbon,
to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper
for this country, I will bring you the produce of them, God
willing, at my return; but since human affairs are all subject to
changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but for one
hundred pounds sterling, which you say is half your stock, and
let the hazard be run for the first; so that if it come safe, you
may order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry, you may
have the other half to have recourse to for your supply.
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I
could not but be convinced it was the best course I could take;
so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom
I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese cap-
tain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my
adventures, my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the
Portugal captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and what
condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions for
my supply; and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he
found means, by some of the English merchants there, to send
over, not the order only, but a full account of my story, to a
merchant at London, who represented it effectually to her; where-
upon, she not only delivered the money, but out of her own
pocket sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present for
his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in
English goods, such as the captain had written for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to
the Brasils; 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 joy of it; and my good steward the captain
had laid out the five pounds which my friend had sent him for a
present for himself, to purchase, and bring me over a servant
under bond for six years service, and would not accept of any
consideration, except a little tobacco, which I would have him
accept, being of my own produce.
Neither was this all; but my goods being all English manu-
factures, such as cloth, 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 may say I had more than
four times the value of my first cargo, and was now infinitely
beyond my poor neighbour, I mean in the advancement of my
plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro slave,
and an European servant also; I mean another besides that which
the captain brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means
of our greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next
year with great success in my plantation; I raised fifty great rolls
of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed of for
necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being
each of above an hundred 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 of
which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to
be full; 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 abroad, and pursuing that
inclination in contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself
good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and those
measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to pre-
sent me with, and to make my duty.
As I had 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 planta-
tion, 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 gulph 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 the just degrees to the particulars of this
part of my story ; you may suppose, that having now lived
almost four years in the Brasils, and beginning to thrive and
prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned
the language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship
among my fellow planters, as well as among the merchants at St.
Salvadore, which was our port; and that in my discourses among
them, I had frequently given them an account of my two
voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner of trading with the
Negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upon the coast,
for trifles, such as beads, toys, knives, scissars, hatchets, bits of
glass, and the like, not only gold dust, Guinea grains, elephants
teeth, &c. but Negroes for the service of the Brasils, in great
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the buy-
ing 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

in the public, so that few Negroes were bought, and those exces-
sive 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 discoursed
with them of the last night, and they came to make a secret pro-
posal to me; and after enjoining me 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 my
equal share of the Negroes, without providing any part of the
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been
made to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation of
his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be
very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me,
that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but
go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to have
sent for the other hundred pounds from England, and who in that
time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of
being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that in-
creasing 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 miscarried. 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 universal heir, but obliging him to
dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will, one half of
the produce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects,
and 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 cer-
tainly never gone away so from prosperous an undertaking,
leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and
gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards;
to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfor-
tunes 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, the Ist of September, being the same day eight years
that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act
the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about 120 ton burthen, carried 6 guns, and 14
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 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 to or 12 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 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 Fer-
*and 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 7
degrees 22 min. 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
into the north-east, from whence it blew in such a terrible man-
ner, 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 the 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 1 degrees north latitude, but that he
was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St. Augus-
tino; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast of Guinea, or
the north part of Brasil, beyond the river Amazones, toward that
of the river Oronoque, 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 going directly
back to the coast of Brasil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of

the sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was'no
inhabited country for us to have recourse to, till we came within
the circle of the Caribbee-islands, and therefore resolved to stand
away for Barbadoes, which by keeping off at sea, to avoid the
indraught of the bay or gulph of Mexico, we might easily per-
form, as we hoped, in about fifteen days sail; whereas we could
not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa without some
assistance, both to our ship and to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away
N. W. by IV. in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was otherwise deter-
mined; for being in the latitude of 12 deg. 18. min. a second
storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same im-
petuosity 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 im-
mediately; and we were immediately driven into our close quar-
ters, 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 winds by a kind of miracle should

turn immediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon
another, and expecting death every moment, and every man
acting accordingly as preparing for another world, for there was
little or nothing more for us to do in this: that which was our
present comfort, and all the comfort we had, was, that contrary to
our expectation the ship did not break yet, and that the master
said the wind began to abate.
Now though we found that the wind did a little abate, yet the
ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for
us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition in-
deed, 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 rud-
der, and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk or
was driven off to sea, so there was no hope from her; we had
another boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea was
a doubtful thing: however, there was no room to debate, for
we fancied the ship would break in pieces every minute, and
some told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat,
and with the help of the rest of the men, they got her slung over
the ship's side, and getting all into her, let go, and committed
ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy, and the wild
sea; for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea
went dreadful high upon the shore, and might well be 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 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 gulph, 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 no-
thing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the
shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling a-ster 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 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 con-
tend 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 sea, 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 20 or
30 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 forwards as before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me';
for the sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or
rather dashed me against a piece of a rock, and that with such
force, as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own
deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the
breath as it were quite put of my body; and had it not returned
again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water; but
I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and seeing I
should be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold fast

by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if possible, till
the wave went back. Now as the waves were not so high as at
first, being near 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 swal-
low 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 clifts of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from
danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up
and thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there
was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it
is impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and trans-
ports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of
the very grave; and I do not wonder now at that custom, viz.
that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is
tied up, andjust going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought
to him: I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with
it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him of it, that
the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart, and
overwhelm him:
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.
I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my
whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of my
deliverance, making a thousand gestures and motions which I
cannot describe, reflecting upon all my comrades that were
drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but myself;
for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of
them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that
were not follows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far

off, and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on
shore !
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my
condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of place
I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon found my
comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful deliverance:
for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor 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 terrible
agonies of mind, that for a while I ran about like a mad-man;
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
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 pros-
pect 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 in my mouth to
prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, en-
deavoured to place myself so, as that if I should sleep I might
not fall; and having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon,
for my defence, I took up my lodging, and having been ex-
cessively 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 first
mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the 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 something 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 com-
pany, 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 to know how to get on board, for as
she lay a-ground, and high out of the water, there was nothing

within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and
the second time I 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 up into the forecastle of the ship: here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold, but that
she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth,
that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low
almost to the water; by this means all her quarter was free, and
all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first
work was to search and to see what was spoiled and what was
free; and first I found that all the ship's provisions were dry,
and untouched by the water; and being very well disposed to
eat, I went to the bread-room and filled my pockets with biscuit,
and 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
top-mast or two in the ship; I resolved to fall to work with
these, and flung as many of them overboard as I could manage
for their weight, tying every one with a rope that they might not
drive away; when this was done I went down the ship's side, and
pulling them to me, I tied four of them 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 top-mast into three

lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labour
and pains: but hope of furnishing myself with necessaries, en-
couraged 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 con-
sidering this; I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that I
could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I first
got three of the seamen's chests, which I had broken open and
emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft; the first of these
I filled with provisions, viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses,
five pieces of dried goat's flesh, which we lived much upon, and
a little remainder of European corn which had been laid by for
some fowls which we brought 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
chest, nor no room for them. While I was doing this, I found
the tide began to flow, though very calm; and I had the morti-
fication to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on
shore upon the sand, swim away; as for my breeches, which
were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and
my stockings: however, this put me upon rummaging for clothes,
of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for
present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon;
as, first, tools to work with on shore; and it was after long
searching that I found out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed
a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-
loading of gold would have been at that time: I got it down to

OF RoBINsoN CRusoa. 55
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, or rudder, and the least cap-full
of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: i. A smooth, calm sea: 2. The
tide rising and setting into the shore: 3. 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 ham-
mer, and with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or there-
abouts, 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 indraft of the water, and conse-
quently 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 keep in the
middle of the stream: but here I had like to have suffered a
second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily would have
broke my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast, my raft run
a-ground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being a-ground
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, 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 in 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 the float, if it run on shore, would lie so high, and the
other sink lower as before, that it would endanger my cargo
again: all that I could do, was to wait till the tide was at the
highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor to hold the
side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I
expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as
I found water enough (for my raft drew about a foot of water),
I thrust her on 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 secure
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 over-top some other hills which
lay as in a ridge from it northward; I took out one of the fowl-
ing pieces, and one of the pistols, and an horn of powder, and
thus armed I travelled for discovery up to the top of that hill,
where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to the top,
I saw my fate to my great affliction, viz. that I was in an island
environed every way with the sea, no land to be seen, except
some rocks which lay a great way off, and two small islands less
than this, which lay about three leagues to 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 num-
ber of fowls of many sorts, making a confused screaming, and
crying every one according to his usual note; but not one of
them of any kind that I knew: as for the creature I killed, I
took it to be a kind of hawk, its colour and beak resembling it,
but had no talons or claws more than common; its flesh was
carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and
fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the
rest of that day; and 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
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
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, and a pair of linen
trowsers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second raft;
and having had experience of the first, I neither made this so
unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard; but yet I brought away several
things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenter's stores, I
found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-
jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and above all, that most useful
thing called a grindstone: all these I secured, together with
several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three
iron crows, and two barrels of musquet-bullets, seven musquets,
and another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder
more; a large bag full of small shot, and a great roll of sheet

lead; but this last was so heavy I could not hoist it up to get it
over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could
find, and a spare fore-top-sail, 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 during my absence from the
land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore;
but when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor, only
there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which,
when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then
stood still: she sat very composed, and unconcerned, and looked
full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me;
I presented my gun at her, but as she did not understand it, she
was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away:
upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though by the way I
was not very free of it, for my store was not great: however, I
spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled it, 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 an-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

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 had entered the little
cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able
to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw
me and all my cargo into the water. As for myself it was no
great harm, for I was near the shore ; but as to my cargo, it was
great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would
have been of great use to me: however, when the tide was out,
I got most of the pieces of cable ashore; and some of the iron,
though with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the
water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I went
every day on board, and brought away What I could get.
I had been now 13 days on shore, and had been I 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 preparing the I2th
time to go on board, I found the wind begin to rise; however
at low water I went on board, and though I thought I had rum-
maged the cabin so effectually, as that nothing more could be
found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of
which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large 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 Brasil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. O Drug! said
I, aloud, what art thou good for? thou art not worth to me, no
not the taking off of the ground: one of those knives is worth
all this heap: I have no manner of use for thee, even 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, r
found the sky over-cast, and the wind began to rise, and in a
quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It pre-
sently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a
raft with the wind off shore, and that it was my business to be
gone before the tide of flood began, otherwise I might not be
able to reach the shore at all : accordingly I let myself down into
the water, and swam across the channel, which lay between the
ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly
with the weight of things I had about me, and partly the rough-
ness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it
was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with all
my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that
night; and in the morning when I looked out, behold no more
ship was to be seen: I was a little surprised, but recovered my-
self with this satisfactory reflection, viz. That I had lost no time,
nor abated any 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 my-
self 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, of the manner and
description of which it may not be improper to give an account.
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 would not be wholesome, and more particu-
larly because there was no fresh water near it; so I resolved to
find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation which I found would
be proper for me: ist, Health, and fresh water, I just now
mentioned. 2dly, Shelter from the heat of the sun. 3dly, Secu-
rity from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast. 4thly, 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 wil-
ling to banish all my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on
the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain was
steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come down upon me
from the top; on the side of 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 an 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 grounds by the sea-side. It was on the
N. N. W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the heat
every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabouts,
which in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half circle before the hollow
place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from
the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its beginning
and ending.
In this half circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving
them into the ground till they stood very firm, like piles, the
biggest end being out of the ground about five foot and a half,
and sharpened on the top; the two rows did not stand above six
inches from one another.

Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship,
and laid them in rows 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 foot and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither
man or 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 afterward, there was no need of all this
caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.
Into this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all
my riches, all my provisions, ammunition and stores, of which
you have the account above; and I made me a large tent, 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, that so it raised the ground, within about a foot and

a half: and thus I made me a cave just behind my tent, which
served me like a cellar to my house.
It cost me much labour, and many days, before all these
things were brought to perfection, and therefore I must go back
to some other things which took up some of my thoughts. At
the same time it 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 hap-
pened, and after that a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the
effect of it: I was not so much surprised with the lightning, as
I was with a thought which darted into my mind as swift as the
lightning itself: O 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 pow-
der, 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 240 pounds weight,
was divided in not less than a hundred parcels: as to the barrel
that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that,
so I placed it in my new cave, which in my fancy I called my
kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down in holes among the
rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully
where I laid it.
- In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once
at least 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 in
the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it was
attended with this misfortune to me, viz. that they were so shy,
so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult thing
in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged at this,
not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon
happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid wait
in this manner for them: I observed, if they saw me in the val-
leys, 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 afterward I took this method: I always
climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had
frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made among these
creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by her,
which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; 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
eat sparingly, and saved 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 in its place:

but I must first give some little account of myself, and of my
thoughts about living, which it may well be supposed were not
a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast
away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a
violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage,
and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues out of the ordi-
nary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to con-
sider 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 reflec-
tions, and sometimes I would expostulate with myself, why Pro-
vidence should thus completely ruin his creatures, and render
them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, so
entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful
for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these
thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly one day, walking
with my gun in my hand by the sea-side, 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 they not 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 an hundred thousand to one, that the ship
floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so
near 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 procure them ? Particularly,
said I aloud, (though to myself) what should I have done.with-
out 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 man-
ner, 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 I lived; for I considered from the beginning how I
should provide for the accidents that might happen and for the
time that was to come, even not only after my ammunition
should be spent, but even after my health or strength should
I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition
being destroyed at one blast, I mean my powder being blown
up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so surprising
to me when it lightened and thundered, as I observed just now.
And now being about 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 3oth 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 obser-
vation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees and 22 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 3oth of Sept. 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.
In the next place we are to observe, that among the many
things which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages,
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of
less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and paper; several
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping;
three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials,
perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I hud-
dled together, whether I might want them or no: also, I found
three very good bibles which came to me in my cargo from Eng-
land, and which I had packed up among my things; some Por-
tuguese 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 some-
thing in its place; for I carried both the cats with me; and as
for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on
shore to me the day after I went on shore with my first cargo,
and was a trusty servant to me many years; I wanted nothing
that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up
to me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that he could
not do. As I observed before, I found pen, ink, and paper, and I
husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall shew, 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 spade, pick-axe, and shovel, to dig or
remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread; as for linen, I soon
learned to want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily, and
it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little
pale or surrounded habitation: the piles or stakes, which were
as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and
preparing in the woods, and more by far in bringing home; so
that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing home
one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground;
for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at
last bethought myself of one of the iron crows, which however,
though I found it, yet it made driving those 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 cir-
cumstance I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my affairs
in writing; not so much to leave them to any that were to come
after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to deliver my
thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind;
and as my reason began now to master my despondency, I began
to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against
the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case
from worse; and I stated it very impartially, like debtor and
creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered,
I am cast upon a horrible de- But I am alive, and not
isolate island, void of all hope of drowned, as all my ship's con-
recovery. pany was.


I am singled out and sepa-
rated, as it were, from all the
world, to be miserable.

I am divided from mankind,
a solitaire, one banished from
human society.

I have not clothes to cover me.

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

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

But I am singled out too from
all the ship's crew to be spared
from death; and He that mira-
culously saved me from death,
can deliver me from this condi-

But I am not starved and
perishing on a barren place, af-
fording no sustenance.

But I am in a hot climate
where if I had clothes I could
hardly wear them.

But I am cast on an island,
where I see no wild beasts to
hurt me, as I saw on the coast
of Africa; and what if I had
been shipwrecked there ?

But God wonderfully sent the
ship in near enough to the shore,
that I have gotten out so many
necessary things as will either
supply my wants, or enable me
to supply myself even as long as
I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that there
was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but there was
something negative or something positive to be thankful for in

it; and let this stand as a direction from the experience of the
most miserable of all conditions in this world, that we may
always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, and to
set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of the
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 ac-
commodate 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 up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the outside,
and after some time, I think it was a year and a half, I raised
rafters from it, 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 enlarge my cave
and works farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock,
which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so when
I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked sideways
to the right hand into the rock; and then turning to the right
again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come out, on
the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a back-
way to my tent and to my store-house, 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, as particularly a chair and a table;
for without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had
in the world; I could not write or eat, or do several things with
so much pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that as
reason is the substance 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
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my
life, and yet in time by labour, application, and contrivance, I
found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made it,
especially if I had had tools, however I made abundance of
things, even without tools, and some with no more tools than
an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way
before, and that with infinite labour; for example, if I wanted a
board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an
edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till.I
had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth
with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one
board out of a whole tree, but this I had no remedy for but
patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time
and labour which it took me up to make a plank or board: but
my time or labour was little worth, and so it was as well em-
ployed 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
which I brought on my raft from the ship: but when I had
wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves, of the
breadth of a foot and a half one over another, all along one side
of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work, and in a
word, to separate every thing at large in their places, that I
might come easily 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 to be 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 hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of
mind, and my journal would have been full of many dull things.
For example, I must have said thus: Sept. the 3oth, after I got
to shore, and had escaped drowning, instead of being thankful
to GOD for my deliverance, having first vomited with the great
quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and
recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore, wringing my
hands, and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery,
and crying out, I was undone, undone; till, tired and faint, I
was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not
sleep for fear of being devoured.
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship,
and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear get-
ting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea
in hopes of seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied
a sail; please myself with the hopes of it; and then, after 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.



Sept. 30, 1659.
I POOR miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during a
dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this dismal un-
fortunate island, which I called the Island of Despair, all the
rest of the ship's company being drowned, and myself almost
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself, at the dis-
mal circumstances I was brought to, viz. I had neither food,
house, clothes, weapon, or place to fly to, and in despair of any
relief, saw nothing but death before me, either that I should be
devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to
death for want of food. At the approach of night I slept in a
tree, for fear of wild creatures, but slept soundly though it rained
all night.
October I. In the morning I saw to my great surprise, the ship
had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again
much nearer the island, which as it was some comfort on one hand,
for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if
the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food or
necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on the other hand, it
renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who I imagined if
we had all 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 per-
plexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing the ship
almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, and then

swam on board; this day also it continued raining, though with
no wind at all.
From the Ist of October to the 24th. All these days entirely
spent in making 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 semi-circle for my encampment, which I resolved
to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification made of double
piles, lined within with cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 3oth, I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceeding hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with
my gun, to see for some food, and discover the country; where
I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home; which I
afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.
November i. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for
the first night, making it as large as I could with stakes driven in
to swing my hammock upon.

Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of
timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence round
me, a little within the place I had marked out for my fortification.
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to
work to make me a table.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work,
of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion;
viz. every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three
hours, if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till about
eleven o'clock, then eat 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 of the next, were wholly employed in making my table,
for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and ne-
cessity made me a complete natural mechanic soon after, as I
believe it would do any one else.
Nov. 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog,
and killed a wild cat, her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for
nothing: every creature I killed I took off the skins and pre-
served them. Coming back by the sea-shore I saw many sorts
of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was surprised
and almost frighted with two or three seals, which, while I was
gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got into the sea,
and escaped me for that time.
Nov. 6. After my morning walk I went to work with my
table again, and finished it, though not to my liking: nor was
it long before I learned to mend it.
SNov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th,
8th, 9th, ioth, and part of the 12th (for the I Ith was Sunday)
I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado
brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me; and
even in the making I pulled it in pieces several times. Note, I

soon neglected my keeping Sundays, for omitting my mark for
them on my post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly,
and cooled the earth, but it was accompanied with terrible thun-
der and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully for fear of my
powder: as soon as it was over I resolved to separate my stock
of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might
not be 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 remote from one another as pos-
sible. On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was
good to eat, but I know 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 pick-axe, a
shovel, and a wheel-barrow or basket, so I desisted from my
work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make
me some tools: as for a pick-axe, 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 effectually 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 Brasils they call the Iron Tree,
for 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 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 making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheel-barrow:
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 a wheel-barrow, 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 possible way to make the
iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in, so
I gave it over; and so for carrying away the earth which I dug
out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod which the la-
bourers carry mortar in, when they serve 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 wheel-barrow, took me up no less than four days, I
mean always excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I
seldom failed; and very seldom failed also bringing home some-
thing 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 ma-
gazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar; as for my lodg-
ing, I kept to the tent, except that sometimes in the wet season
of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry,
which caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my
pale with long poles in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock,
and load them with flags and large leaves of trees like a thatch.

December Io. I began now to think my cave or vault finished,
when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great
quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side, so much
that in short it frighted me, and not without reason too; for if
I had been under it I had never wanted a grave-digger: upon
this disaster I had a great deal of work to do over again; for I
had the loose earth to carry out, and, which was of more impor-
tance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no
more would come down.
Dec. 11. This day I went to work with it accordingly, and
got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two
pieces of boards 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 twentieth 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. Now 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
caught 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. Great heats and no breeze; so that there
was no stirring abroad, except in the evening for food: this time
I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.
January i. Very hot still, but I went abroad early and late
with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This even-
ing, 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.
Jan. 2. Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my dog,
and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken, for they all
faced about upon the dog; and he knew his danger too well, for
he would not come near them.
Jan. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous
of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very
thick and strong.
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 4th of April, working, finishing, and perfecting this
wall, though it was no more than about 24 yards in
length, being a half circle from one place in the rock to
another place about eight yards from it, the door of the
cave being in the centre 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 until 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 need to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced
with a turf-wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that if
any people were to come on shore there, they would not perceive
any thing like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as
may be observed hereafter upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game
every day, when the rain admitted me, and made frequent dis-
coveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage;
particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, who built 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 away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding them,
for I had nothing to give them; however I frequently found
their nests, and got their young ones, which were very good
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found my-
self 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 i;lstance, I could never make a cask to be hooped: I
had a small runlet or two, as I observed b'efre, 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, or joint
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 ever it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock,
I was obliged to go to bed: I remembered the lump of bees-wax
with which I made candles in my African adventure, but I had
none of that now; the only remedy I had, was, that when I had
killed a goat I saved the tallow, and with a little dish made of

clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some
oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though not
a clear steady light like a candle. In the middle of all my labours
it happened, that rummaging my things, I found a little bag,
which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the feed-
ing 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 fortifica-
tion under the rock.
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned, tha:
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, or thereabout, 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, or had entertained any sense of any thing
that had befallen me, otherwise than as a chance, or, as we
lightly say, what pleases GOD; without so much as inquiring
into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in
governing events in the world; but after I saw barley grow
there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and
especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me
strangely; and I began to suggest, 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 support, but not doubting but that there was more in the
place, I went all over that part of the island, where I had been
before, peeping in every corner and under every rock to see for
more of it, but I could not find any; at last it occurred to my
thought, that I had shook a bag of chickens meat out in that
place, and then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess,
my religious thankfulness to GoD's providence began to abate
too, upon 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 ten or twelve grains of corn to 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 par-
ticular 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 had been burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in their
season, which was about the end of June, and laying up every
corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to have
some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread; but it was not
till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least grain of

this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall say after-
wards in its order; for I lost all that I sowed the first season, by
not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just before the
dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it
would have done: of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty
stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care, and whose
use was of the same kind or to the same purpose, viz. To make
me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up with-
out baking, though I did that also after some time. But to
return to my journal.
I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get my
wall done; and the i4th of April I closed it up, contriving to
go into it, not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder, that
there might be no sign in 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 on
the inside: this was a complete enclosure to me; for within I
had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without,
unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost
had all my labour overthrown at once, and myself killed; the
case was thus: As I was busy in the inside of it, behind my tent,
just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frighted with a
most dreadful surprising thing indeed; for on a sudden I found
the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and
from the edge of the hill, over my head, and two of the posts I
had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner: I was
heartily scared, but thought nothing of what was really the cause,
only thinking that the top of my cave was falling in, as some of
it had done before; and for fear I should be buried in it, I ran
forward to my ladder; and not thinking myself safe there neither,
I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the hill which I ex-

pected might roll down upon me: I was no sooner stepped down
upon the firm ground, but I plainly saw it was a terrible earth-
quake, 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 the very sea was put into violent motion by it; and I
believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the
I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the
like, or 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 then but the hill falling upon my tent, and all my
household goods, and burying all at once; and this sunk my
venr soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some
time, I began to take courage, and vet I had not heart enough
to get over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat
still upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not
knowing v.hat to do : all this while I had not the least serious
religious thought, nothing but the common, Lord, have mercy
upon me ; and when it was over, that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy,
as if it would rain; soon after that 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 over with foam
and froth, the shore was covered with the breach of the water,
the trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible storm it was;

and this held about three hours, and then began to abate, and in
two hours more it was stark 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 consequences of the earthquake, the
earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into
my cave again: with this thought my spirits began to revive,
and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down
in my tent, but the rain was so violent, that my tent was ready
to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to go into my cave,
though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on
my head.
This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole
through my new fortification like a sink to let water go out,
which would else have drowned my cave. After I had been in
my cave some time, and found still no more shocks of the earth-
quake follow, I began to be more composed; and now, to sup-
port 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 earthquakes, there would
be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building
me some little hut in an open place, which I might surround
with a wall as I had done here, and so make myself secure from
wild beasts or men: but concluded 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 stood, which was just under the hanging precipice
of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would cer-

tainly fall upon my tent: and I spent the next two days, being
the I9th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to
remove mv habitation.
The fear of being swallowed up alive, made me that I never
slept in quiet: and yet the apprehension of lying abroad, without
any fence, was almost equal to it; but still, when I looked about
and saw how ever- thing was put in order, how pleasantly con-
cealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me very loth to
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 venture where I was, till I had formed a camp for
myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it; so with this
resolution I composed myself for a time, and resolved that I
would go to work with all speed to build me a wall with piles
and cables, &c. in a circle as before; and set my tent up in it
when it was finished, but that I would venture to stay where I
was till it was finished and fit to remove to. This was the z ist.
April 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to
put this resolve in execution, but I was at a great loss about my
tools; I had three large axes and abundance of hatchets (for we
carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians), but with much
chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of
notches and dull, and though I had a grind-stone, I could not
turn it and grind my tools too: this cost me as much thought as
a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point of politics,
or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I con-
trived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might
have both my hands at liberty. 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 grind-stone 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 grind-stone performing
very well.
April 30. Having perceived my bread had been low a great
while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one bis-
cuit cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May i. In the morning, looking towards the sea-side, the tide
being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary;
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 which was driven
on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder, but it
had taken water, and the powder was caked as hard as a stone;
however I rolled it farther on shore for the 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 fore-castle, which lay before buried in sand, was heaved up
at least six foot; 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 her, was tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side,
and the sand was thrown so high on that side next her stem, that
whereas there was a great place of water before, so that I could
not come within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swim-
ming, I could now walk quite up to her when the tide was out.
I was surprised with this at first, but soon concluded it must be
done by the earthquake: and as by this violence the ship was
more broken open than formerly, so many things came daily on
shore, which the sea had loosened, and which the winds and
water rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing

my habitation; and I busied myself mightily that day especially,
in searching whether I could make any way into the ship; but
I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for that all the
inside of the ship was choked up with sand: however, as I had
learnt 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 quarter
deck together; and when I had cut it through, I cleared away
the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but
the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for that time.
May 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst
eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when just going to leave
off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long line of
some rope yarn, but I had no hooks, yet I frequently caught fish
enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun,
and eat 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 over.
May 7. Went to the wreck again, but with an intent not 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 or
sand; I wrenched open two planks, and brought them on shore

also with the tide: I left the iron crow in the wreck for next
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
the roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy
to remove.
May Io, Ii, 12, 13, 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 I5. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a
piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and
driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a half
in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16. It had blowed hard in the night, and the wreck
appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I staid so
long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented
me going to the wreck that day.
May 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at
a great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see what
they were, and found 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 hogs-
head, which had some Brazil pork in it, but the salt water and
sand had spoiled it.
I continued this work every day to the 5th of 7une, except
the time necessary to get food, which I always appointed, during
this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that I
might be ready when it was ebbed out; and by this time I had

gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work enough to have built
a good boat, if I had known how; and also, I got at several
times, and in several pieces, near Ioo weight of the sheet-lead.
June 16. Going down to the sea side, I found a large tortoise
or turtle; this was the first I had seen, which it seems was only
my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or 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 per-
haps had paid dear enough for them.
June 17 I spent in cooking the turtle; I found in her three-
score eggs; and her flesh was to me at that time- the most
savoury and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had
no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horid
June 18. Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought at
this time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly, which I
knew was not usual in that latitude.
Junre I9. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been
June 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head, and
June 21. Very ill, frighted almost to death with the appre-
hensions of my sad condition, to be sick and no help: Prayed to
GOD for the first time since the storm off Hull, but scarce knew
what I said, or why; my thoughts being all confused.
June 22. A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions of
June 23. Very bad again, cold and shivering, and then a
violent head-ach.
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 eat; I would fain have stewed it, and made some broth, but
had no pot.
June 27. The ague again so violent, that I lay a-bed all day,
and neither eat or 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 I lay and cried, Lord, look upon me; Lord, pity me;
Lord, have mercy upon me : I suppose I did nothing else for two
or three hours, till the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not
wake till far in the night; when I waked I found myself much
refreshed, but weak and exceeding thirsty: however, as I had
no water in my whole habitation, I was forced to lie till morning,
and went to sleep again. In this second sleep I had this terrible
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 alight upon the ground. He was all
over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just bear to look
towards him; his countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful,
impossible for words to describe; when he stepped upon the
ground with his feet I thought the earth trembled just as it had
done before in the earthquake, and all the air looked to my appre-
hension as if it had been filled with flashes of fire.
He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved for-
ward 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 impos-
sible to express the terror of it; all that I can say I understood
was this, c Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repent-

ance, now thou shalt die;' at which words I thought he lifted up
the spear that was in his hand to kill me.
No one, that shall ever read this account, will expect that I
should be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible
vision; I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even dreamed
of those horrors; nor is it any more possible to describe the
impression that remained upon my mind, when I awaked, and
found it was but 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 un-
interrupted series, for eight years, of sea-faring wickedness, and
a constant conversation with nothing but such as were like my-
self, wicked and profane to the last degree: I do not remember
that I had in all that time one thought that so much as tended
either to looking upwards towards GOD, or inwards towards a
reflection upon my own ways: but a certain stupidity of soul,
without desire of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely over-
whelmed me, and I was all that the most hardened, unthinking,
wicked creature among our common sailors can be supposed to
be, not having the least sense, either of the fear of GOD in danger,
or of thankfulness to GOD in deliverances.
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be
the more easily believed, when I shall add, that through all the
variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never had
so much as one thought of it being the hand of GOD, or that it
was a just punishment for my sin, my rebellious behaviour
against my father, or my present sins, which were great; or so
much as a punishment for the general course of my wicked life.
When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert shores of
Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what would
become of me; or one wish to GOD to direct me whither I
should go, or to keep me from the danger which apparently sur-
rounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel savages:
but I was merely thoughtless of a GOD, or a Providence; acted

like a mere brute from the principles of Nature, and by the
dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly that.
When I was delivered, and taken up at sea by the Portugal
captain, well used, and dealt justly and honourably with, as well
as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness on my thoughts :
when again I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drown-
ing on this island, I was as far from remorse, or looking on it
as a judgment; I only said to myself often, that I was an unfor-
tunate dog, and born to be always miserable.
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my
ship's crew drowned, and myself spared, I was surprised with a
kind of ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the
grace of GoD assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness;
but it ended where it begun, in a mere common flight ofjoy, or,
as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least reflection
upon the distinguishing goodness of the hand which had pre-
served me, and had singled me out to be preserved, when all
the rest were destroyed; or an inquiry why providence had been
thus merciful to me; even just the same common sort of joy
which seamen generally have, after they have got safe on shore
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 sen-
sible 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
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 judg-
ment from heaven, or as the hand of GOD against me: these
were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my journal, had

at first some little influence upon me, and began to affect me
with seriousness, as long as I thought it had something miraculous
in it; but as soon as ever that part of thought was removed, all
the impression which was raised from it wore off also, as I have
noted already.
Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible
in its nature, or more immediately directing to the invisible
power, which alone directs such things; yet no sooner was the
first fright over, but the impression it had made went off also;
I had no more sense of GOD, or his judgments, much less of the
present affliction of my circumstances being from his hand, than
if I had been in the most prosperous condition of life.
But now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the
miseries of death came to place itself before me; when my spirits
began to sink under the burden of a strong distemper, and nature
was exhausted with the violence of the fever; conscience, that
had slept so long, began to awake, and I began to reproach my-
self with my past life, in which I had so evidently, by uncommon
wickedness, provoked the justice of GOD to lay me under un-
common strokes, and to deal with me in so vindictive a manner.
These reflections oppressed me from the second or third day
of my distemper, and in the violence, as well of the fever as of
the dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some words
from me, like praying to God, though I cannot say they were
either a prayer attended with desires, or with hopes; it was
rather the voice of mere fright and distress: my thoughts were
confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror
of dying in such a miserable condition, raised vapours into my
head with the mere apprehensions; and, in these hurries of my
soul, I know not what my tongue might express. But it was
rather exclamation; such as, Lord! what a miserable creature
am I! If I should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help,
and what will become of me ? Then the tears burst out of my
eyes, and I could say no more for a good while.

In this interval the good advice of my father came to my mind,
and presently his prediction, which I mentioned in.the beginning
of this story; viz. That if I did take this foolish step, God would
not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon
having neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in
my recovery. Now, said I aloud, my dear father's words are
come to pass: GOD's justice has overtaken me, and I have none
to help or hear me; I rejected the voice of Providence, which
had mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I
might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it
myself, nor learn to know the blessing of it from my parents; I
left them to mourn over my folly, and now I am left to mourn
under the consequences of it; I refused their help and assistance,
who would have lifted me into the world, and would have made
every thing easy to me; and now I have difficulties to struggle
with, too great for even nature itself to support, and no assist-
ance, no help, no comfort, no advice. Then I cried out, Lord,
be my help, for I am in great distress !
This was the first prayer, if I 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
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; and the first thing I did, I filled a
large square case bottle with water, and set it upon my table, in
reach of my bed; and to take off the chill or aguish disposition
of the water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into it, and
mixed them together: then I got me a piece of the goat's flesh,
and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very little. I walked
about, but was very weak, and, withal, very sad and heavy-
hearted under a sense of my miserable condition, dreading the

return of my distemper the next day: at night I made my sup-
per of three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes,
and eat, as we call it, in the shell; and this was the first bit of
meat I had ever asked GOD'S blessing to, even, as I could re-
member, 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 the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much ?
Whence is it produced ? And what am I, and all the other crea-
tures, wild and tame, human and brutal; whence are we?
Sure we are all made by some secret power, who formed the
earth and sea, the air and sky; and who is that?
Then it followed, most naturally: it is GOD that has made it
all. Well, but then it came on strangely; if GOD has made all
these things, he guides and governs them all, and all things that
concern them; for the Being that could make all things, must
certainly have power to guide and direct them.
If so, nothing can happen in the great circuit of his works,
either without his knowledge or appointment.
And if nothing happens without his knowledge, he knows
that I am here, and am in this dreadful condition; and if nothing
happens without his appointment, he has appointed all this to
befal me.
Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of these
conclusions; and therefore it rested upon me with the greater
torce, that it must needs be, that GOD had appointed all this to
befal 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 happened in the world. Immediately it followed.

Why has God done this to me? What have I done to be thus
My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I
had blasphemed; and methought it spoke to me, like a voice;
Wretch dost thou ask what thou hast done ? Look back upon a
dreadful 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 have I
done ?
I was struck with these reflections as one astonished, and had
not a word to say, no, not to answer to myself; but rose up
pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went up over
my wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my thoughts were
sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to sleep; so I sat down
in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now,
as the apprehension of the return of my distemper terrified me
very much, it occurred to my thought, that the Brasilians take
no physic but their tobacco, for almost all distempers; and I
had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, which was
quite cured, and some also that was green, and not quite 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
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my dis-
temper, or whether it was good for it or no; but I tried several

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