Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: My birth and parent...
 Chapter II: Make a trading voyage...
 Chapter III: Make for the southward,...
 Chapter IV: Appearance of the wreck...
 Chapter V: I begin to keep...
 Chapter VI: Observe the ship driven...
 Chapter VII: I begin to take a...
 Chapter VIII: Make a second tour...
 Chapter IX: I attempt to mould...
 Chapter X: I succeed in getting...
 Chapter XI: Description of...
 Chapter XII: I observe a canoe...
 Chapter XIII: Description of my...
 Chapter XIV: Reflections
 Chapter XV: I am at great pains...
 Chapter XVI: I determine to go...
 Chapter XVII: I learn from the...
 Chapter XVIII: The ship makes signals...
 Memoir of the author

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The Life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073546/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: viii, 338 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Doyle, Charles Altamont ( Illustrator )
Ballantyne, John Alexander, d. 1863
Adam and Charles Black (Firm) ( Publisher )
R. & R. Clark (Firm) ( Printer )
Publisher: Adam and Charles Black
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Manufacturer: R. and R. Clark
Publication Date: 1861
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1861   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-1956,
General Note: Decorative gilt relief spine and cover vignette with title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Variant of Lovett, R.W., Robinson Crusoe, 479, which describes the 1861 volume as a reissue of an unexamined original 1859 edition. Lovett copy: half-title (1 lacking this copy); contents, p. v-x (this copy, p. iii-viii); and 4 plates (lacking? this copy).
General Note: "Memoir of the author," p. 325-338, attributed to John Ballantyne in the NUC citation below.
General Note: Part I of Robinson Crusoe.
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel Defoe ; illustrated by C.A. Doyle.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073546
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 27943277

Table of Contents
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter I: My birth and parentage
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Chapter II: Make a trading voyage to Guinea very successfully
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Chapter III: Make for the southward, in hopes of meeting with some European vessel
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
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        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 52a
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Chapter IV: Appearance of the wreck and country next day
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
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        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    Chapter V: I begin to keep a journal
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Chapter VI: Observe the ship driven further aground by the late storm
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
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        Page 112
        Page 113
    Chapter VII: I begin to take a survey of my island
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Chapter VIII: Make a second tour through the island
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Chapter IX: I attempt to mould earthen-ware, and succeed
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
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        Page 153
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        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    Chapter X: I succeed in getting a canoe afloat, and set out on a voyage in the sixth year of my reign, or captivity
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
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    Chapter XI: Description of my figure
        Page 173
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        Page 176
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        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Chapter XII: I observe a canoe out at sea
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
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        Page 208
    Chapter XIII: Description of my situation in the twenty-third year of my residence
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
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    Chapter XIV: Reflections
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
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        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
    Chapter XV: I am at great pains to instruct Friday respecting my abhorrence of the cannibal practices of the savages
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
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        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Chapter XVI: I determine to go over to the continent
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 274a
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
    Chapter XVII: I learn from the Spaniard that there were sixteen more of his countrymen among the savages
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
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        Page 296
        Page 297
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        Page 300
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    Chapter XVIII: The ship makes signals for her boat
        Page 302
        Page 303
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    Memoir of the author
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
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        Page 331
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Full Text

"Immediately I marched in the figure above, my man Friday at a good distance behind me, as
ormidable for his arms as I, but not making quite so staring a spectre-like figure as I did."-Page 295










" "-~



My birth and parentage-At nineteen years of age I determine
to go to sea-Dissuaded by my parents-Elope with a
schoolfellow, and go on board ship-A storm arises, during
which I am dreadfully frightened-Ship founders-Myself
and crew saved by a boat from another vessel, and landed
near Yarmouth-Meet my companion's father there, who
advises me never to go to sea more, but all in vain .


Make a trading voyage to Guinea very successfully-Death of
my Captain-Sail another trip with hismate-The vengeance
of Providence for disobedience to parents now overtakes me
-Taken by a Sallee rover and all sold as slaves-My
master frequently sends me a-fishing, which suggests an
idea of escape-Make my escape in an open boat, with a
Moresco boy 18


Make for the southward, in hopes of meeting with some European
vessel-See savages along shore-Shoot a large leopard-
Am taken up by a merchantman-Arrive at the Brazils, and
buy a settlement there-Cannot be quiet, but sail on a
voyage of adventure to Guinea-Ship strikes on a sand-bank
in unknown land-All lost but myself, who am driven
ashore, half-dead 33

Appearance of the wreck and country next day-Swim on board
of the ship, and, by means of a contrivance, get a quantity
of stores on shore-Shoot a bird, but it turns out perfect car-
rion-Moralize upon my situation-The ship blown off land,
and totally lost-Set out in search of a proper place for a
habitation-See numbers of goats-Melancholy reflections 55

I begin to keep a journal-Christen my desert island the Island
of Despair-Fall upon various schemes to make tools,
baskets, etc., and begin to build my house-At a great loss
of an evening for candle, but fall upon an expedient to
supply the want-Strange discovery of corn-A terrible
earthquake and storm 80

Observe the ship driven farther aground by the late storm-
Procure a vast quantity of necessaries from the wreck-
Catch a large turtle-I fall ill of a fever and ague-Terrible
dream, and serious reflections thereupon-Find a bible in one
of the seamen's chests thrown ashore, the reading whereof
gives me great comfort 96


I begin to take a survey of my island-Discover plenty of
tobacco, grapes, lemons and sugar-canes, wild, but no human
inhabitants-Resolve to lay up a store of these articles, to
furnish me against the wet season-My cat, which I sup-
posed lost, returns with kittens-I regulate my diet, and
shut myself up for the wet season-Sow my grain, which
comes to nothing; but I discover and remedy my error-
Take account of the course of the weather 114


Make a second tour through the island-Catch a young parrot,
which I afterwards teach to speak-My mode of sleeping at
night-Find the other side of the island much more pleasant
than mine, and covered with turtle and sea-fowl-Catch a
young kid which I tame-Return to my old habitation-
Great plague with my harvest 126


I attempt to mould earthen-ware, and succeed-Description of
my mode of baking-Begin to make a boat-After it is
finished, am unable to get it down to the water-Serious
reflections-My ink and biscuit exhausted, and clothes in a
bad state-Contrive to make a dress of skins 140


I succeed in getting a canoe afloat, and set out on a voyage in
the sixth year of my reign, or captivity-Blown out to sea
-Reach the shore with great difficulty-Fall asleep, and
am awakened by a voice calling my name-Devise various
schemes to tame goats, and at last succeed 159


Description of my figure-Also of my dwelling and enclosures
Dreadful alarm on seeing the print of a man's foot on the
shore-Reflections-Take every possible measure of pre-
caution 173


I observe a canoe out at sea-Find on the shore the remnant of
a feast of cannibals-Horror of mind thereon-Double arm
myself-Terribly alarmed by a goat-Discover a singular
cave or grotto, of which I form my magazine-My fears on
account of the savages begin to subside 190


Description of my situation in the twenty-third year of my resi-
dence-Discover nine naked savages round a fire on my side
of the island-My horror on beholding the dismal work
they were about-I determine on the destruction of the next
party, at all risks-- ship lost off the island-Go on board
the wreck, which I discern to be Spanish-Procure a great
variety of articles from the vessel 209


Reflections- An extraordinary dream-Discover five canoes of
savages on shore-Observe from my station two miserable
wretches dragged out of their boats to be devoured-One of
them makes his escape, and runs directly towards me, pursued
by two others-I take measures so as to destroy his pursuers,
and save his life-Christen him by the name of Friday, and
he becomes a faithful and excellent servant 226


I am at great pains to instruct Friday respecting my abhorrence
of the cannibal practices of the savages-He is amazed at the
effects of the gun, and considers it an intelligent being-
Begins to talk English tolerably-A dialogue-I instruct
him in the knowledge of religion, and find him very apt-
He describes to me some white men who had come to his
country, and still lived there .. 245


I determine to go over to the continent-Friday and I construct
a boat equal to carry twenty men-His dexterity in managing
her-Friday brings intelligence of three canoes of savages
on shore-Resolve to go down upon them-Friday and I
fire upon the wretches, and save the life of a poor Spaniard
-List of the killed and wounded-Discover a poor Indian
bound in one of the canoes, who turns out to be Friday's
father 263


I learn from the Spaniard that there were sixteen more of his
countrymen among the savages-The Spaniard and Friday's
father, well-armed, sail on a mission to the Continent-I
discover an English ship lying at anchor off the island-Her
boat comes on shore with three prisoners-The crew straggle
into the woods, their boat being aground-Discover myself
to the prisoners, who prove to be the captain and mate of the
vessel, and a passenger-Secure the mutineers 283


The ship makes signals for her boat-On receiving no answer,
she sends another boat on shore-Methods by which we
secure this boat's crew, and recover the ship 302







My Birth and Parentage-At nineteen years of age I determine to go to Sea-
Dissuaded by my Parents-Elope with a Schoolfellow, and go on board
Ship-A Storm arises, during which I am dreadfully frightened-Ship
founders-Myself and Crew saved by a Boat from another Vessel, and
landed near Yarmouth-Meet my Companion's Father there, who advises
me never to go to Sea more, but all in vain.

IWAS born, in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good
family, though not of that country, my father being a
foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good
estate by merchandise, and, leaving off his trade, lived after-
wards at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose
relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that
country, and from whom I was called Robinson KreutzAaer;
but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we aie now
called-nay, we call ourselves, and write our name-Crusoe;
and so my companions always called me.

_I~lr~__~l __l_____~__r_ ~_


I had two elder brothers, one of which was a 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 go, and designed me for the law; but I would
be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination
to this led me so strongly against the will-nay, the commands
-of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions
of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be some-
thing fatal in that propension of nature, tending directly to the
life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and
excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He
called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined
by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this
subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere
wandering inclination, I had for leaving my father's house and
my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had
a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry,
with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was only men
of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior
fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise
by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a
nature out of the common road; that these things were all
either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the


middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low
life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state
in the world-the most suited to human happiness, not exposed
to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings, of the
mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride,
luxury, ambition, and envy, of the upper part of mankind. He
told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state, by this one
thing, namely, that this was the state of life which all other
people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable
consequences of being born to great things, and wished they had
been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the
mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to
this, as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to
have neither poverty nor riches.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of
mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters,
and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or
lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so
many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as
those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances,
on one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean
or insufficient diet, on the other hand, bring distempers upon
themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living;
that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of
virtues, and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were
the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation,
quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all
desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle
station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly
through the world, and comfortably out of it; not embarrassed


with the labours of the hands or of the head; not sold to a
life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed
circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of
rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or the 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 affec-
tionate manner, not to play the young man, or to precipitate
myself into miseries, which nature, and the station of life I was
born in, seemed to have provided against-that I was under
no necessity of seeking my bread-that he would do well for
me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life
which he had been just recommending to me; and that, if I
was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere
fate, or fault, that must hinder it; and that he should have
nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty, in
warning me against measures which he knew would be to my
hurt. In a word, that as he would do very kind things for me,
if I would stay and settle at home as he directed, so he would
not have so much hand in my misfortunes as to give me any
encouragement to go away-and, to close all, he told me, I had
my elder brother for my example, to whom he had used the
same earnest persuasions to keep him from going into the Low
Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting
him to run into the army, where he was killed-and though he
said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture
to say to me, that if J did take this foolish step, God would not
bless me-and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon


having neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist
in my recovery.
I observed, in this last part of his discourse, which was
truly prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to
be so himself-I say, I observed the tears run down his face
very plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who
was killed; and that when he spoke of my having leisure to
repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he broke
off the discourse, and told me, his heart was so full he could
say no more to me.
I was sincerely afflicted 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 the first heat of my resolution prompted,
but I took my mother at a time when I thought her a little
pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my thoughts were
so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I should never
settle to any thing with resolution enough to go through
with it, and my father had better give me his consent, than
force me to go without it-that I was now eighteen years
old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk
to an attorney-that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve
out my time, but I should certainly run away from my master
before my time was out, and go to sea-and if she would speak
to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came
home again, and did not like it, I would go no more, and I
would promise, by a double diligence, to recover the time 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 such thing so much for my hurt-and
that she wondered how I could think of any such thing, after
the discourse I had had with my father, and such kind and
tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me-and
that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me;
but I might depend I should never have their consent to it-
that, for her part, she would not have so much hand in my
destruction-and I should never have it to say, that my mother
was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I
heard afterwards, that she reported all the discourse to him; and
that my father, after 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 ever was born-I can give no consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though in the meantime I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently 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, whither 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 him, with the common allurement of a sea-faring man, that
it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither
father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them word
of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without


asking God's blessing or my father's, without any consideration
of circumstances or consequences, and, in an ill hour, God
knows, on the 1st of September 1651, I went on board a ship
bound for London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes,
I believe, began sooner, or continued longer, than mine. The
ship was no sooner got out of the Humber, but the wind began
to blow, and the sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and as
I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in
body, and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect
upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the
judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house,
and abandoning my duty ; all the good 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 went very
high, though nothing like what I have seen many times since
-no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it was enough to
affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never
known 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 it did, in the trough or hollow of the sea, we
should never rise more. In this agony of mind, I made many
vows and resolutions, that if it would please God to spare my
life in this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot upon dry
land again, I would go directly home to my father, and never
set it into a ship again while I lived; but I would take his
advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these any more.
Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about the


middle station of life, how easy, how comfortable, he had lived
all his days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea, nor
trouble on shore; and, in short, I resolved that I would, like a
true repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the
storm 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 even-
ing followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so
the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth
sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the
most delightful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick,
but very cheerful-looking with wonder upon the sea, that was
so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and
so pleasant in so little a time after; and now, lest my good
resolutions should continue, my companion, who had indeed
enticed me away, comes to me. Well, Bob," says he, clapping
me upon the shoulder, "how do you do after it? I warrant
you were frightened, weren't you, last night, when it blew but
a capful of wind ? "A capful d'ye call it?" said I, 'twas a
terrible storm." "A storm, you fool you!" replies he, "do
you call that a storm ? why it was nothing at all; give us but
a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a squall
of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob;
come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that:
d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now?" To make short
this sad part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the
punch was made, and I was made half drunk with it, and in


that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my
reflections upon my past conduct, all my resolutions for the
future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness
of surface, and settled calmness, by the abatement of that storm,
so, the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and appre-
hensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and
the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the
vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found,
indeed, some intervals of reflection; and the serious thoughts
did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes; but I
shook them off, and roused myself from them, as it were from a
distemper; and, applying myself to drinking and company, soon
mastered the return of those fits (for so I called them); and I
had, in five or six days, got a complete victory over my
conscience, as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled
with it could desire. But I was to have another trial for it
still; and Providence, as in such cases generally it does,
resolved to leave me entirely without excuse; for if I would
not take this for a deliverance, the next was to be such an one,
as the worst and most hardened wretch among us would confess
both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea, we came into Yarmouth
roads; the wind having been contrary and the weather calm, we
had made but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged
to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing
contrary, namely, at south-west, for seven or eight days; during
which time, a great many ships from Newcastle came into the
same roads, as the common harbour where the ships might wait
for a wind for the river.
We had not however, rid here so long, but we should have
tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh; and


after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However,
the roads being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage
good, and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were uncon-
cerned, 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 topmasts, and make every thing snug
and close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon,
the sea went very high indeed, and our ship 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
began to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the sea-
men themselves. The master, though vigilant in the business
of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by
me, I could hear him, softly to himself, say several times, Lord
be merciful to us! we shall be all lost-we shall be all undone !"
and the like. During these first hurries, I was stupid, lying
still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe
my temper. I could ill resume the first penitence which I had
so apparently trampled upon, and hardened myself against: I
thought the bitterness of death had been past; and that this
would be nothing, too, like the first. But when the master
himself came by me, as I said just now, and said we should be
all lost, I was dreadfully frighted: I got up out of my cabin
and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw : the sea
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 laden; 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 sprit-
sail out, before the wind.
Towards the evening, the mate and boatswain begged the
master of our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he
was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protesting to him,
that if he did not the ship would founder, he consented; and
when they had cut away the foremast, the mainmast stood so
loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut it
away also, and make a clear deck.
Any one must judge what a condition I must be in at all
this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a
fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this dis-
tance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in ten-
fold 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 them-
selves acknowledged they had never seen a worse. We had a
good ship, but she was deep laden, 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 inquired. However,
the storm was so violent, that I saw, what is not often seen, the


master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the
rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the
ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and
under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been
down on purpose to see, cried out we had sprung a leak; another
said, there was four feet water in the hold. Then all hands
were called to the pump. At that very word, my heart, as I
thought, died within me; and I fell backwards upon the side of
my bed where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused
me, and told me that I, that was able to do nothing before, was
as well able to pump as another; at which I stirred up, and
went to the pump and worked very heartily. While this was
doing, the master seeing some light colliers, who, not able to
ride out the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to the
sea, and would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal
of distress. I, who knew nothing what 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 everybody 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 side, till at


last the men rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to
save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy
to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after
much labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close
under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no
purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of
reaching to their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and
only to pull her in towards shore as much as we could; and our
master promised them, that if the boat was staved upon shore,
he would make it good to their master; so, partly rowing, and
partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping
towards the shore almost as far as Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of
our ship, but 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 in was cast away in
Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any
assurance that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on 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 push upon it with our eyes open.
Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery
attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could
have pushed me forward against the calm reasoning and
persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such
visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not
till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to
several quarters-I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared
his tone was altered; and, looking very melancholy, and shaking
his head, asked me how I did; and telling his father who 1
was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order


to go farther abroad, his father, turning to me with a very
grave and concerned tone, Young man," says he, "you ought
never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a plain
and visible token, that you are not to be a seafaring man."
" Why, sir," said I, will you go to sea no more ?" That is
another case," said he; it is my calling, and therefore my duty;
but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste
Heaven has given you of what you are to expect, if you persist:
perhaps all this has befallen us on your account, like Jonah in
the ship of Tarshish. Pray," continues he, what are you ?
and on what account did you go to sea?" Upon that I told
him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a
strange kind of passion: "What had I done," says he, "that
such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship? I would
not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of the
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
We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I
saw him no more: which way he went I know not. As for
me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London
by land; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles
with myself, what course of life I should take, and whether
I should go home or go to sea.


As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered
to my thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me how I should
be laughed at among the neighbours, and should be ashamed
to see, not my father and mother only, but even every body
else; from whence I have since often observed, how incongruous
and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of
youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases,
namely, that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed
to repent; nor 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 staid 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 impressed 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 un-
fortunate 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 foremastman,


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, nor learned to do any.



Make a trading voyage to Guinea very successfully-Death of my Captain-
Sail another trip with his Mate-The vengeance of Providence for
disobedience to parents now overtakes me-Taken by a Sallee rover,
and all sold as slaves-My master frequently sends me a-fishing, which
suggests an idea of escape-Make my escape in an open boat, with a
Moresco boy.

IT was my lot, first of all, to fall into pretty good company in
London, 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 disa-
greeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the
world, told me, if I would go the voyage with him I should be
at no expense-I should be his messmate and his companion;
and, if I could carry anything with me, I should have all the
advantage of it that the trade would admit; and, perhaps, I
might meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer; and, entering into a strict friendship
with this captain, who was an honest 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


forty pounds in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me
to buy. This forty pounds I had mustered together by the
assistance of some of my relations, whom I corresponded with,
and who, I believe, got my father, or at least my mother, to
contribute so much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful
in all my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and
honesty of my friend the captain; under whom also I got a
competent knowledge of the mathematics, and the rules of
navigation-learned how to keep an account of the ship's course,
take an observation, and, in short, to understand some things
that were needful to be understood by a sailor: for, as he took
delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word,
this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant; for I
brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold dust for my
adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return, almost
three hundred pounds; and this filled me with those aspiring
thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.
Yet, even in this voyage, I had my misfortunes too; parti-
cularly 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 fifteen degrees
north, even to the Line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to
my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to
go the same voyage again; and I embarked in the same vessel
with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now
got the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage
that ever man made; for though I did not carry quite 100 of
my new gained wealth, so that I had 200 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-namely, 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 Moorish rover
of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the sail she could make.
We crowded also as much canvas as our yards would spread,
or our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate
gained upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few
hours, we prepared to fight; our ship having twelve guns, and
the rover eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came up
with us, and bringing to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter,
instead of athwart our stern, as he intended, we brought eight
of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a broadside upon
him, which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire,
and pouring in also his small shot, from near two hundred men
which he had on board. However, we had not a man touched,
all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again,
and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on board the next
time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our
decks, who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the 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
apprehended: nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's
court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain
of the rover, as his proper prize, and made his slave, being
young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising


change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable
slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back
upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be
miserable, and have none to relieve me; which I thought was
now so effectually brought to pass, that I could not be worse-
that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was
undone without redemption. But, alas! this was but a taste
of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel
of this story.
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his
house, so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when
he went to sea again, believing that it would be some time or
other 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, Irish-
man, or Scotsman there, but myself; so that for two years,
though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I
never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years, an odd circumstance presented itself,
which put the old thought of making some attempt for my
liberty again in my head: my patron lying at home longer
than usual, without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was


for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week,
sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's
pinnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and as he always
took me and a young Moresco with him to row the boat, we
made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catching
fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a Moor,
one of his kinsmen, and the youth, the Moresco, as they called
him, to catch a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time that going a-fishing with him in a
calm morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not
half a league from the shore, we lost sight of 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 land: however, we
got well in again, though with a great deal of labour, and some
danger, for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning;
but, particularly, we were all 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 which he had taken, he
resolved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass
and some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship,
who also was an English slave, to build a little state-room, or
cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like that of a barge, with
a place to stand behind it to steer, and haul home the main-
sheet; and room before for a hand or two to stand and work
the sails. She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton
sail; and the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin, which lay
very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a
slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to


put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink,
particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We were 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 one day, that he had appointed to go out in
this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three
Moors of some distinction, and for whom he had provided
extraordinary ; and had therefore sent on board the boat over
night a larger store of provisions than usual, and had ordered
me to get ready three fusils with powder and shot, which were
on board his ship; for that they designed some sport of fowling,
as well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the
next morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient 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; he commanded me, too, that as soon as I
had got some fish, I should bring it home to his house: all
which I prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into
my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship
at my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to
furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage, though
I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I would
steer; for any where to get out of that place was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to
this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for
I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread.


He said, that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk,
or biscuit of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the
boat. I knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, which
it was evident by the make were taken out of some English
prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was
on shore, as if they had been there before for our master: I
conveyed also a great lump of bees'-wax into the boat, which
weighed above half a hundred weight, with a parcel of twine or
thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of
great use to us afterwards, especially the wax to make candles.
Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into
also. His name was Ismael, whom they called 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 everything needful,
we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is at the
entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took no notice of
us; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we
hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish. The wind blew
from the north-north-east, 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 ran the boat out
near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I would
fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to
where the Moor was, and making as if I stooped for something
behind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his
twist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea: he rose
immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged
to be taken in, 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 stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-
pieces, I presented it at him, and told him, I had done him no
hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none-" But,"
said I, "you swim well enough to reach 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, whom


they called Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be
faithful to me, I'll make you a great man; but if you will not
stroke your face to be true to me (that is, 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 supposed 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 destroy us; where we could never once go on
shore, but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more
merciless savages of human kind ?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my course
a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the shore;
and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea,
I made such sail, that I believe by the next day at three o'clock
in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not be less
than one hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee, quite beyond
the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or, indeed, of any other
king thereabouts, for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions 1 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 come to an
anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what or where
-neither what latitude, what country, what nation, nor what
river: I neither saw, nor desired to see, any people-the
principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this
creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it
was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite
dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and
howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the
poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to
go on shore till day. Well, Xury," said I, "then I wont;
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-1 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 them-
selves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made
such hideous howlings and yelling, that I never indeed heard
the like.
Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but
we were both more frighted when we heard one 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. 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 to sea; they cannot follow us far."
I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever
it was) within two oars' length, which something surprised me;
however, I immediately stepped to the cabin door, and taking
up my gun fired at him; upon which he immediately turned
about, and swam to the shore again.
But it was not possible to describe the horrible noises and
hideous cries and howling, that were raised, as well upon the
edge of the shore, as higher within the country, upon the noise
or report of a gun; a thing I have some reason to believe
those creatures had never heard before. This convinced me
that there was no going on shore for us in the night upon that
coast; and how to venture on shore in the day, was another
question too ; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the
savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the paws of
lions and tigers; at least, we were equally apprehensive of the
danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some-
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat;
when or where to get it was the point. Xury said if I would
let him go on shore with one of the jars he would find if there
was any water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he
would go, why I should not go, and he stay in the boat?
The boy answered with so much affection, that made me love
him ever after. Says he, If wild mans come, they eat me,
you go away." Well, Xury," said I, we will both go, and
if the wild mans come, we will kill them; they shall eat neither
of us." So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a
dram out of our patron's case of bottles, which I mentioned


before; and we hauled the boat in as near the shore as we
thought was proper, and waded on shore, carrying nothing but
our arms, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river: but the boy,
seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to it;
and by and by I saw him come running towards me. I thought
he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild
beast, and I ran forward towards him to help him; but when I
came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders,
which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different
in colour, and longer legs : however, we were very glad of it,
and it was very good meat; but the great joy that poor Xury
came with, was to tell me he had found good water, and seen
no wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains
for water, for a little higher up the creek where we were, we
found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flows but
a little way up; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare
we had killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no
footsteps of any human creature in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to the coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd
islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no
instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we
were in, and did not exactly know, or at least not remember,
what latitude they were in, and knew not where to look for
them, or when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I
might now easily have found some of these islands. But my
hope was, that if,I stood along this coast till I came to that
part where the English traded, I should find some of their


vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and
take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was
must be that country, which, lying between the Emperor of
Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste and uninhabited,
except by wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned it, and
gone farther south for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not
thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness-and,
indeed, both forsaking it because of the prodigious numbers of
tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures, which harbour
there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where
they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a time-and,
indeed, for near an hundred miles together upon this coast, we
saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day, and heard
nothing but howling and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the 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 I took
our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded
it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid
it down; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and 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 lie struggling for life. Then Xury took heart,
and would have me let him go on shore. Well, go," said I;
so the boy jumped into the water, and, taking a little gun in
one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming
close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and
shot him into the head again, which despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I
was very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon
a creature that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury
said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and
asked me to give him the hatchet. "For what, Xury?" said


I. Me cut off his head," said he. However, Xury could not
cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him,
and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him
might, one way or other, be of some value to us; and I resolved
to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work
with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I
knew very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us both up the
whole day, but at last we got off the hide of him, and, spreading
it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two
days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.



Make for the southward, in hopes of meeting with some European vessel-
See savages along shore-Shoot a large leopard-Am taken up by a
merchantman-Arrive at the Brazils, and buy a settlement there-Cannot
be quiet, but siil on a voyage of adventure to Guinea-Ship strikes on a
sand-bank in unknown land-All lost but myself, who am driven ashore,

AFTER this stop, we made on to the southward continually
for ten or twelve days, living very sparingly on our
provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no
oftener into the shore than we were obliged to do 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 Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this Cape,
or those islands; and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune
upon this single point, either that I must meet with some ship,
or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer,
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and
in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand
upon the shore to look at us: we could also perceive they were
quite black, and stark naked. I was once inclined to go on


shore to them; but Xury was my better counsellor, and said to
me, "No go, no go." However, I hauled in nearer the shore
that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore
by me a good way: I observed they had no weapons in their
hands, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury
said was a lance, and that they would throw them a great way
with good aim; so I kept at a distance, but talked 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: whether it was the male pursuing the female, or whether
they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than
we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it
was the latter; because, in the first place, those ravenous
creatures seldom appear but in the night; and, in the second
place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the


women. The man that had the lance, or dart, did not fly from
them, but the rest did: however, as the two creatures ran
directly into the water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon
any of the negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and
swam about as if they had come for their diversion. At last
one of them* began to come nearer our boat than 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 sank down into the
water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down as if he
was struggling for life, and so indeed he was: he immediately
made to the shore; but between the wound, which was his
mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before
he reached the shore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor
creatures at the noise and 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
admiration 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 wne 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 provision, which, though I did not under-
stand, 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 show that it was empty, and that I wanted to have
it filled. They called immediately to some of their friends,
and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of
earth, and burned, 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 sea-ward; then I
concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape
de Verd, and those the islands, called from thence Cape de Verd
Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could
not well tell what I had best 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 stepped into the
cabin and sat me down, Xury having the helm, when, on a
sudden, the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a sail!"
and the foolish boy was 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, namely, 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 con-
vinced they were bound some other way, and did not design to
come any nearer to the shore; upon which I stretched out
to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able
to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I
could make any signal to them; but after I had crowded to the
utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the
help of their perspective glasses, and that it was some 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
encouraged with this; and as I had my patron's ancient on
board, I made a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and
fired a gun, both 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. They bade me
come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, as any one would believe,
that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable
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 Brazils. "For," says he, "I have saved your
life on no other terms than I would be glad to be saved myself;
and it may one time or other be my lot to be taken up in the
same condition: besides," said he, "when I carry you to the
Brazils, so great a way from your own country, if I should take
from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then I
only take away that life I have given. No, no, Seignor 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 earthen
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 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 eighty
pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if any


one offered to give more, he would make it up: he offered me
also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was
loath to take; not that I was not willing to let the captain have
him, but I was very loath to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had
assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when
I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered
me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set
him free in ten years, if he turned Christian. Upon this, and
Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and arrived in
the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about
twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered
from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do
next with myself I was now to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never
enough remember. He would take nothing of me for my
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 candles of the rest-in a word, I made about two
hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo; and with
this stock I went on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the
house of a good honest man like himself, who had an ingenio,
as they call it-that is, a plantation and a sugar-house-I lived
with him some time, and acquainted myself by that means with
the manner of their planting and making of sugar; and seeing
how well the planters lived, and how they grew rich suddenly,


I resolved, if I could get license to settle there, I would turn
planter among them; resolving, in the meantime, to find out
some way to get my money, which I had left in London, remitted
to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a letter of naturaliza-
tion, I purchased 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 pro-
posed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of
English parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such
circumstances as I was. I call him neighbour, because his
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably
together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather
planted for food, than 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 coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of
low life, which my father advised me to before; and which, if
I resolved to go on with, I might as well have staid at home,
and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done; and
I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as well in
England among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off


to do it among strangers and savages in a wilderness, and at
such distance, as never to hear from any part of the world that
had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and
then this neighbour-no work to be done but by the labour of
my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away
upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself.
But how just has it been, and how should all men reflect, that,
when they compare their present conditions with others that are
worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be
convinced of their former felicity by their experience-I say,
how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on in
an island of mere desolation should be my lot, who had so often
unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which,
had I continued, I had, in all probability, been exceeding pros-
perous 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
captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my
adventures, my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the
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;
whereupon, she not only delivered the money, but, out of her
own pocket, sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present
for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in
English goods, such as the captain had writ for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me
to the Brazils; among which, without my direction (for I was
too young in my business to think of them), he had taken care
to have all sort 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 means of
our greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next
year with great success in my plantation: I raised fifty great
rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed
of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls
being each of above a 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 T-as 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
present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had done thus in my breaking away from my parents,
so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the
happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new
plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising
faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast
myself down again into the deepest gulf of human misery that
ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with life and a
state of health in the world.
To come, then, by just degrees, to the particulars of this
part of my story: you may suppose, that, having now lived
almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and
prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learnt the
language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among
my fellow planters, as well as among the merchants at St. Salva-
dore, which was our port; and that in my discourse among them,
had frequently given them an account of my two voyages to the
coast of Guinea, the manner of trading with the negroes there,
and how easy it was to purchase upon the coast, for trifles-
such as beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and
the like-not only gold dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, etc.,
but negroes for the service of the Brazils in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to buying
negroes, which was a trade at that time not only not far
entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the
assientos, or permission, of the kings of Spain and Portugal, and


engrossed in the public, so that few negroes were bought, and
those excessively 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
proposal 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 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 stock.
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 increasing too-for me to think of such a voyage, was
the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances
could be guilty of.


But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more
resist the offer than I could restrain my first rambling designs,
when my father's good counsel was lost upon me. In a word,
I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would under-
take 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 England.
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
certainly never gone away from so 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 again, the 1st of September 1659, being the same day
eight years that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in
order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden,


carried six guns, and fourteen men, besides the master, his boy,
and myself; we had on board no large cargo of goods, except
of such toys as were fit for our trade with the negroes, such as
beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little
looking-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away
to the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch
over for the African coast, when they came about ten or twelve
degrees of northern latitude, which it seems, was the manner of
their course in those days. We had very good weather, only
excessively hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came
to the height of Cape St. Augustino, from whence, keeping
farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we
were bound for the isle Fernand de Noronha, holding our course
north-east by north, and leaving those isles on the east. In this
course we passed the Line in about twelve days' time, and were,
by our last observation, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes
northern latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us
quite out of our knowledge: it began from the south-east, came
about to the north-west, and then settled into the north-east;
from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve
days together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding
away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and the fury of
the winds directed; and during those 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 dead 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 eleven degrees north latitude, but


that he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference west from
Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon the
coast of Guinea, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river
Amazons, toward that of the river Oroonoque, 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 Brazil.
I was positively against that, and, looking over the charts of
the sea-coasts 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 indraft of the bay or gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform,
as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail: whereas we could not
possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa, without some
assistance, both to our ship and ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away
north-west by west, in order to reach some of our English
islands, where I hoped for relief: but our voyage was otherwise
determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees,
eighteen minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried
us away with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so
out of the 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
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our
men, early in the morning, cried out, "Land !" and we had no
sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing
whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a
sand, and, in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea


broke over her in such a manner that we expected we should
all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven
into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and
spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like
condition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in
such circumstances: we knew nothing where we were, or upon
what land it was we were driven-whether an island or the
main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; 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 thought that the wind did a little abate,
yet, the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too
fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful
condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving
our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just
before the storm; but she was first staved by dashing against
the ship's rudder, and, in the next place, she broke away, and
either sunk or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from
her. We had another boat on board, but how to get her off into
the sea was a doubtful thing; however, there was no room to
debate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every
minute, and some told us she was actually broken already.


In this distress the mate of our vessel lays hold of the hoat,
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 com-
mitted ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and
the wild sea; for though the storm was abated considerably, yet
the sea went dreadfully high upon the shore, and might 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 com-
mitted our souls to God in the most earnest manner; and the
wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our destruction
with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep
or shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give
us the least shadow of expectation was if we might happen into
some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where, by great
chance, we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of
the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was
nothing of this appeared; but, as we made nearer and nearer
the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect a watery grave.
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 Oh God !" for we were
all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt
when I sank into the water; for though I swam very well, yet
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath,
till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way
on towards the shore, and, having spent itself, went back, and
left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the water
I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as breath
left, that, seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I
got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land
as fast as I could, before another wave should return and take
me up again. But I soon found it was impossible to avoid it;
for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as
furious as an enemy, which I had no means or strength to 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
twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body; and I could feel
myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the
shore a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted
myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to
burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up,
so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot
out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two
seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me
greatly, gave me breath, and new courage. I was covered again


with water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and,
finding the water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck
forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground again
with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath,
and till the water went from me, and then took to my heels, and
ran with what strength I had farther towards the shore. But
neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which
came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was lifted
up by the waves, and carried forwards as before, the shore being
very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me;
ftr the sea, having hurried me along as before, landed me, or
rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock, and that with such
tbrce as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own
deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the
breath, as it were, quite out of my body, and, had it returned
again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water;
but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and,
seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to
hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if
possible, till the wave went back. Now, as the waves were not
so high as at first, being 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 swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next rnm
I took I got to the mainland, 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

"I clambered up the lifts of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water."--Page 52.


it is impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and
transports of the soul are when it is so saved, as I may say, out
of the very grave; and I do not wonder, now, at that custom,
namely, that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his
neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a
reprieve brought to him-I say, I do not wonder that they bring
a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell
him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from
the heart, and overwhelm him:

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my
whole being, as I may say, 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 fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far
off, and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on
shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of
my condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of
place I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon
found my comforts abate, and that in a word, I had a dreadful
deliverance: for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor 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 madman. Night coming upon me, I began, with a
heavy heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were any
ravenous beasts in that country, seeing at night they always come
abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was,
to get up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew
near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the
next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect
of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore to see if I
could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to my great
joy; and having drunk, and put a little tobacco in my mouth to
prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it,
endeavoured to place myself so 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 excessively
fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe,
few could have done in my condition, and found myself the most
refreshed with it that I think I ever was on such an occasion.



Appearance of the wreck and country next day-Swim on board of the ship,
and, by means of a contrivance, get a quantity of stores on shore-Shoot
a bird, but it turns out perfect carrion-Moralize upon my situation-The
ship blown off land, and totally lost-Set out in search of a proper place
for a habitation-See numbers of goats-Melancholy reflections.

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 com-
fort and company, as I now was. This forced tears from my
eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if
possible, to get to the ship-so I pulled off my clothes, for the
weather was hot to extremity, and took the water. But when
I came to the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know how
to get on board; for, as she lay aground and high out of the
water, there was nothing within my reach to lay hold of. I
swam round her twice, and the second time I 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, and her
stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low almost to
the water: by this means all her quarter was free, and all that
was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work
was to search and to see what was spoiled, and what was free:
and first I found that all the ship's provisions were dry and
untouched by the water; and being very well disposed to eat, I
went to the bread-room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and
ate it as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose.
I also found some rum in the great cabin, of which I took a
large dram, and which I had indeed need enough of to spirit me
for what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat, to


furnish myself with many things which I foresaw would be very
necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be
had; and this extremity roused my application. We had several
spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare
topmast or two in the ship; I resolved to fall to work with
these, and flung as many of them overboard as I could manage
of their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might
not drive away. When this was done, I went down to 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 crossways,
I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not able
to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light; so I went
to work, and, with the carpenter's saw, I cut a spare topmast into
three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great deal of
labour and pains: but hope of furnishing myself with necessaries
encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to
have done upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable
weight: my next care was what to load it with, and how to
preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I
was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or
boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what
I most wanted, I 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, namely, 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 above 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 fund the tide began to flow, though very
calm, and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and
waistcoat, which I had left on shore upon the sand, swim away;
as for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I
swam on board in them and my stockings: however, this put
me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but
took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had other
things which my eye was more upon: as, first, tools to work
with on shore; and it was after long searching that I found out
the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to
me, and much more valuable than a ship-load of gold would have
been at that time. I got it down to my raft, even whole as it
was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew in general
what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there
were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where
our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found
them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water;
those two I got to my raft with the arms. And now I thought
myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should
get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder, and
the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.


I had three encouragements: 1. A smooth, calm sea; 2.
The tide rising, and setting in to the shore; 3. What little wind
there was blew me toward the land: and thus, having found
two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and, besides the
tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a
hammer; and with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or
thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive
a little distant from the place where I had landed before; by
which I perceived that there was some indraft of the water, and,
consequently, I hoped to find some creek or river there, which
I might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was: there appeared before me a little
opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide
set into it, so I guided my raft as well as I could to 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 ran
aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and, not being aground
at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had
slipped off towards that end that was afloat, and so fallen into
the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the
chests, to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the
raft with all my strength ; neither durst I stir from the posture
I was in, but, holding up the chests with all my might, 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: and 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 ran on shore, would lie so high, and the
other sink lower as before, that it would endanger my cargo
again: all that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the
highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor, to hold the
side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I
expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as
I found water enough-for my raft drew about a foot of water-
I thrust her 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 in-
habited or not inhabited-whether in danger of wild beasts or
not. There was a hill not above a mile from me, which rose
up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some other
hills which lay as in a ridge from it northward. I took out one
of the fowling-pieces, and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder;
and thus armed, I travelled for discovery up to the top of that


hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to the
top, I saw my fate to my great affliction, namely, 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 which, however, I saw none ; yet I saw abundance of fowls,
but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed them, could I
tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back,
I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting upon a tree on the
side of a great wood: I believe it was the first gun that had
been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no
sooner fired, but, from all parts of the wood, there arose an in-
numerable number of fowls of many sorts, making a confused
screaming, and crying every one according to his usual note;
but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the
creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its colour and
beak resembling it, but 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 fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricadoed myself round with
the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, and made a
kind of a hut for that night's lodging. As for food, I yet saw not
which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three
creatures like hares run out of the wood where I shot the fowL


I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and parti-
cularly 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 checked shirt and a pair of linen
trousers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second
raft; and having had experience of the first, I neither made this
so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away
several things very useful to me; as. first, in the carpenter's
stores, I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great
screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most
useful thing called a grindstone: all these I secured, together
with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or
three iron crows, and two barrels of musket-balls, seven muskets,
and another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder
more; a large bag full of small shot, and a great roll of sheet
lead; but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get
it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I
could find, and a spare foretop-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 under-
stand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer
to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though,
by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not
great: however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it,
smelled of it, and ate it, and looked, as pleased, for more; but I
thanked her, and could spare no more-so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to
open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels-for they
were too heavy, being large casks-I went to work to make me
a little tent, with the sail and some poles which I cut for that
purpose; and into this tent I brought every thing that I knew
would spoil, either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty
chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from
any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent
with some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end with-
out, and, spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my
two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went
to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was
very weary and heavy; as the night before I had slept little, and
had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch all those things
from the ship as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was
laid up, I believe, for one man, but I was not satisfied still; for,
while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought to


get every thing out of her that I could: so every day, at low
water, I went on board, and brought away something or other;
but particularly the third time I went, I brought away as much
of the ri-'n.- as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine
I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to mend
the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder; in a
word, I brought away all the sails first and last, only that I was
fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I
could ; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere
canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was, that last of all,
after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought
I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my
meddling with-I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead
of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box of
sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to me,
because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except
what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead
of that bread, and wrapt it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the
sails, which I cut out: and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore
The next day I made another voyage; and now, having
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I
began with the cables; and cutting the great cable into pieces,
such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore,
with all the iron work I could get; and having cut down the
spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and every thing I could, to
make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and
came away: but my good luck began now to leave me; for this
raft was so unwieldy and 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 others, 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 thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven
times on board the ship; in which time I had brought away all
that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring,
though I believe verily, had the calm held, I should have brought
away the whole ship, piece by piece: but preparing the twelfth
time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise; however,
at low water, I went on board, and though I thought I had 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 scissors, with some ten
or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found about
thirty-six pounds value in money, some European coin, some
Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. 0 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 canvas, I began to
think of making another raft: but, while I was preparing this, I


found the sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter
of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It presently
occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a raft
with the wind off shore, and that it was my business to be gone
before the tide of flood began, otherwise I might not be able to
reach the shore at all: accordingly, I let myself down into the
water, and swam across the channel which lay between the ship
and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with
the weight of things I had about me, and partly the roughness
of the water, for the wind rose very hastily, and, before it was
quite high water, it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with
all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that
night, and in the morning when I looked out, behold, no more
ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised,'but recovered
myself with this satisfactory reflection, namely, that I had lost
no time, nor abated no diligence, to get every thing out of her
that could be useful to me, and that indeed there was little left
in her that I was able to bring away if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any
thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her
wreck, as indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those
things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing 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, 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 parti-
cularly 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:-1st, Health and fresh water I just
now mentioned; 2dly, Shelter from the heat of the sun; 3dly,
Security 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
willing 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 north-
north-west side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the
heat every day, till it came to a west-and-by-south sun, or there-
abouts, which in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half circle before the hollow
place, which took in about ten yards in its semidiameter 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 feet and a half,
and sharpened on the top: the two rows did not stand above six
inches from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship,
and laid them in rows, one upon another, within the circle be-
tween these two rows of stakes up to the top, placing other
stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a
half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong,
that neither man nor beast could get into it or over it: this
cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut the
piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into
the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door,
but by a short ladder, to go over the top; which ladder, when
I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced
in, and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and con-
sequently 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
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, namely, 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 happened,
and after that a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect
of it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning as I was
with a thought which darted into my mind, as swift as the light-
ning itself: Oh, my powder! my very heart sank within me,
when I thought that, at one blast, all my powder might be
destroyed, on which, not my defence only, but the providing me
food, as I thought, entirely depended: I was nothing near so
anxious about my own danger, though, had the powder took fire,
I had never known who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm
was over, I laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying,
and applied myself to make bags and boxes, to separate the
powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope
that, whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once, and
to keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make one


part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight; and
I think my powder, which, in all, was about two hundred and
forty pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hundred
parcels. As to the barrel that had been wet, I did not appre-
hend 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, namely, that they were so
shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult
thing in the world to come at them. But I was not discouraged
at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it
soon happened; for, after I had found their haunts a little, I
laid wait in this manner for them. I observed, if they saw me
in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would run
away as in a terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the
valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice of me;
from whence I concluded, that, by the position of their optics,
their sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily
see objects that were above them: so afterwards I took this
method; I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them,
and then had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made
among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid
by her which she gave stick to, which grieved me heartily; but
when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her till I came


and took her up; and not only so, but, when I carried the old
one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to
my enclosure; upon which I laid down the dam, and took the
kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have
bred it up tame; but it would not eat, so I was forced to kill it,
and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great
while, for I ate sparingly, and 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 con-
veniences 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, namely, some hundreds of leagues, out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason
to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that, in this desolate
place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The
tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these
reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why
Providence should thus completely ruin 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 attended
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 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 neces-
saries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure them?
" Particularly," said I, loud, though to myself, "what should I
have done without a gun, without ammunition, without any tools
to make any thing or to work with-without clothes, bedding, a
tent, or any manner of covering ?" and that now I had all these to
a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in
such a manner as to live without my gun when my ammunition
was spent; so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting without any
want, as long as 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 decay.
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 con-
tinue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of Sep-
tember, when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon
this horrid island, when the sun being, to us, in its autumnal
equinox, was almost just over my head; for I reckoned myself,
by observation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two
minutes north of the Line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came
into my thoughts, that I should lose my reckoning of time for
want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the
Sabbath 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, namely, I came on shore here on the 30th of September
1659. Upon the sides of this square post, I cut every day a
notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again
as the rest, and every first day of the month as long again as
that long one ; and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly,
and yearly, reckoning of time.
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 at all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping,
three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials,
perspectives, charts, and books of navigation, all which I huddled
together, whether I might want them or no. Also I found three
very good Bibles, which came to me in my cargo from England,


and which I had packed up among my things; some Portuguese
books also, and among them two or three Popish prayer-books,
and several other books: all which I carefully secured. And
I must not forget, that we had in the ship a dog and two cats,
of whose eminent history I may have occasion to say something
in its place; for I carried both the cats with me; and as for the
dog, he jumped out of the ship 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 show, that while my ink lasted,
I kept things very exact; but after that was gone, I could not,
for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things,
notwithstanding all that I had amassed together and of these,
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 learnt 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 1 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
circumstances I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my
affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were
to come after me (for I was like to have but few heirs), as to
deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting
my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despon-
dency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set
the good against the evil, that I might have something to dis-
tinguish my case from worse; and I stated it very impartially,
like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the
miseries I suffered, thus:-

I am cast upon a horrible desolate
island, void of all hope of recovery.
I am singled out and separated, as
it were, from all the world, to be

I am divided from mankind, a
solitaire, one banished from human
I have no clothes to cover me.

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

1 have no soul to speak to, or relieve

But I am alive, and not drowned,
as all my ship's company was.
But I am singled out, too, from all
the ship's crew to be spared from
death; and He that miraculously saved
me from death, can deliver me from
this condition.
But I am not starved and perishing
on a barren place, affording no susten-
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 account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition,
and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship-
I say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself to
accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to
me as 1 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 further 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 storehouse, but gave me room to
stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary
things as I found I most wanted, particularly a chair and a table;
for without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I
had in the world-I could not write or eat, or do several things,
with so much pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that
as reason is the substance 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 contriv-
ance, 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 and labour were little worth, and so they
were as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed


above, in the first place-and this I did out of the short pieces
of boards that I brought on my raft from the ship; but, when I
had wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves of
the breadth of a foot and 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 a
hurry and not only hurry as to labour, but in too much discom-
posure of mind, and my journal would have been full of many
dull things. For example, I must have said thus:-September
the 30th, after I got to shore, and had escaped drowning, in-
stead 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 getting
up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea, in hopes
of seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail-
please myself with the hopes of it-and then, after looking steadily


till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep
like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me
a table and a chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I
began 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



I begin to keep a journal-Christen my desert island the Island of Despair-
Fall upon various schemes to make tools, baskets, etc., and begin to build
my house-At a great loss of an evening for candle, but fall upon an expedi-
ent to supply the want-Strange discovery of corn-A terrible earthquake
and storm.
September 30, 1659.
I POOR miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during
a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on this dismal
unfortunate island, which I called the Island of Despair; all the
rest of the ship's company being drowned, and myself almost
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the
dismal circumstances I was brought to, namely, I had neither
food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to, and in despair
of any relief, saw nothing but death before me, either that I
should be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or
starved to death for want of food. At the approach of night I
slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures, but slept soundly,
though it rained all night.
October 1.-In the morning I saw, to my great surprise,
the ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore
again much nearer the island; which, as it was some comfort
on one hand, for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces,
I hoped if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some
food and necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on the other


hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who, I
imagined, if we had all staid on board, might have saved the
ship, or at least that they would not have been all drowned as
they were; and that had the men been saved, we might perhaps
have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship, to have carried
us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this
day in perplexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing
the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could,
and then swam on board. This day also it continued raining,
though with no wind at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th.-All these days en-
tirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of
the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon
rafts. Much rain also in these days, though with some inter-
vals 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 rain might not spoil them.
Oct. 26.-I walked about the shore almost all day, to find
out a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure
myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or
men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place under a rock,
and marked out a semicircle for my encampment, which I
resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification, made
of double piles, lined within with cable, and without with turf.


From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceedingly hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with
my gun, to seek for some food, and discover the country; when
I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I after-
wards killed also, because it would not feed.
November 1.-I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there
for the first night, making it as large as I could, with stakes
driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2.-I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces
of timber, which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence
round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my
Nov. 3.-I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls
like ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon 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 diver-
sion: namely, every morning I walked out with my gun for two or
three hours, if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till
about eleven o'clock, then ate what I had to live on, and from
twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessively
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 necessity 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


preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many
sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was sur-
prised, 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.
Nov. 7.-Now it began to be settled fair weather. The
7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the 11th 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 exceed-
ingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with
terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to
separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as
possible, that it might not be 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
pound at most, of powder; and so putting the powder in, I
stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as
possible. On one of these three days I killed a large bird that
was good to eat, but I knew not what to call it.
Nov. 17.-This day I began to dig behind my tent into the
rock, to make room for my further conveniency.-Note. Three
things I wanted exceedingly for this work, namely, 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 Brazils 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 exceedingly 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 wheelbarrow:
a basket I could not make by any means, having no such things
as twigs, that would bend to make wicker-ware, at least not 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
labourers 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 wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days
-I mean always excepting my morning walk with my gun,
which I seldom failed: and seldom failed also bringing home
something to eat.
Nov. 23.-My other work having now stood still, because of
my making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and
working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I spent
eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that
it might hold my goods commodiously.
Note. During all this time I worked to make this room, or
cave, spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse, or
magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar: as for my
lodging, I kept to the tent, except that sometimes, in the wet
season of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself
dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my
pale with long poles in the form of rafters, leaning against the
rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees like a
December 10.-I began now to think my cave, or vault,
finished, when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a
great quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side, so
much that, in short, it frighted me, and not without reason too;
for if I had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-digger.
Upon this disaster I had a great deal of work to do over again;
for I had the loose earth to carry out, and, which was of more
importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be
sure no more would come down.
Dec. 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 20th 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 doors.
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 1.-Very hot still; but I went abroad early and late
with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This
evening, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the
centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though
exceedingly shy and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try
if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.


Jan. 2.-Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog,
and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken, for they all faced
about upon the dog; and he knew his danger too well, for he
would not come near them.
Jan. 3.-I began my fence, or wall, which, being still jealous
of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very
thick and strong.
N.B. This wall being described before, I purposely omit
what was said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe, that I
was no less time than from the 3d of January to the 14th of
April, working, finishing and perfecting this wall, though it was
no more than about twenty-four yards in length, being a half
circle from one place in the rock to another place about eight
yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre 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
During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game,
every day, when the rain permitted 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 meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found
myself wanting in many things, which I thought at first it was
impossible for me to make, as indeed, as to some of them, it was
-for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I had
a small runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could never
arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though I spent
many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, nor
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 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 a light, though not a
clear steady light like a candle. In the middle of all my labours,
it happened that, rummaging my things, I found a little bag,
which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the feeding
of poultry, not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the
shin came from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been
in the bag was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in
the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag
for some other use-I think it was to put powder in, when I


divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use-I shook
the husks of corn out of it, on one side of my fortification, under
the rock.
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned,
that I threw this stuff away, taking no notice of any thing, and
not so much as remembering that I had thrown any thing there;
when about a month after, 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 perfectly green
barley, of the same kind as our European-nay, as our English
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 so was
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 chicken's 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
particular place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it
sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it any where
else at that time, it had been burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of 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
afterwards 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, namely, to
make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up
without baking, though I did that also after some time. But
to return to my journal.
I worked excessively hard these three or four months to
get my wall done; and the 14th of April I closed it up, contriving
to 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.-1 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.
1 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 expected might roll down upon me. I was no
sooner stept down upon the firm ground, but I plainly saw it
was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three
times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks,

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