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

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073552/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner with a biographical account of Defoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Alternate Title: Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xix, 417 p., 7 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Blanchard, George S ( Publisher )
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Cocheu & Co ( Engraver )
Publisher: George S. Blanchard
Place of Publication: Cincinnati
Publication Date: 1864
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1864   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Ohio -- Cincinnati
Statement of Responsibility: illustrated with characteristic engravings.
General Note: Added, engraved t.p.: Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Gilt, illustrated spine with title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Plates engraved by Cocheu & Co.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe, divided into numbered sections. Part II originally published under title: The farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Biographical sketch of Daniel Defoe: p. vii-xix.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073552
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 27943272

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Biographical sketch of Daniel DeFoe
        Page vii
        Page viii
        page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page 20
    Section I: Robinson's family, etc.
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Section II: First adventures at sea, and experience of a maritime life, etc.
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Section III: Robinson's captivity at Sallee, etc.
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Section IV: He settles in the Brazils as a planter, etc.
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Section V: Robinson finds himself in a desolate island, etc.
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Section VI: Carries all his riches, provisions, etc., into his habitation, etc.
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Section VII: Robinson's mode of reckoning time, etc.
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    Section VIII: Robinson's journal, etc.
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Section IX: Robinson obtains more articles from the wreck, etc.
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Section X: His recovery and his comfort in reading the scriptures, etc.
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Section XI: Robinson makes a tour to explore his island, etc.
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Section XII: He returns to his cave, and his agricultural labors and success
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    Section XIII: His manufacture of pottery, and contrivance for baking bread
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Section XIV: Meditates his escape from the island, etc.
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Section XV: He makes a smaller canoe, in which he attempts to cruise round the island, etc.
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 118a
        Page 119
    Section XVI: He rears a flock of goats, and his diary, etc.
        Page 120
        Page 120a
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 122a
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Section XVII: Unexpected alarm and cause for apprehension, and he fortifies his abode
        Page 126
        Page 126a
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Section XVIII: Precautions against surprise, and Robinson discovers that his island has been visited by cannibals
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Section XIX: Robinson discovers a cave, which serves him as a retreat against the savages
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Section XX: Another visit of the savages, and Robinson sees them dancing, etc.
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
    Section XXI: He visits the wreck and obtains many stores from it, etc.
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Section XXII: Robinson rescues one of their captives from the savages, whom he names Friday, and makes his servant
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    Section XXIII: Robinson instructs and civilizes his man Friday
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
    Section XXIV: Robinson and Friday build a canoe to carry them to Friday's country, etc.
        Page 168
        Page 168a
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
    Section XXV: Robinson releases a spaniard, and Friday discovers his father, etc.
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Section XXVI: Robinson discovers himself to the English captain, etc.
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
    Section XXVII: Atkins entreats the captain to spare his life, etc.
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Section XXVIII: Robinson goes to Lisbon, where he finds the Portuguese captain, who renders him an account of his property in the Brazils, etc.
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    Section XXIX: Friday's encounter with a bear, etc.
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
    Section XXX: He is seized with a desire to revisit his island, etc.
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Section XXXI: Robinson's ship relieves the crew of a French vessel that had caught fire
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    Section XXXII: Relieves the crew of a Bristol ship, who are starving, and arrives at his island
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
    Section XXXIII: Robinson and Friday go on shore, the latter meets with his father, etc.
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    Section XXXIV: The account continued, and quarrels between the Englishmen, etc.
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
    Section XXXV: The mutinous Englishmen are dismissed from the island, etc.
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
    Section XXXVI: Several savages killed; the remainder leave the island, etc.
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
    Section XXXVII: Robinson learns from the Spaniards the difficulties they had to encounter, etc.
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
    Section XXXVIII: Robinson's discourse with the ecclesiastic as to introducing marriages among the people, etc.
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    Section XXXIX: Atkins relates his conversation with his wife, etc.
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
    Section XL: Encounter with savages at sea, etc.
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
    Section XLI: The vessel touches at Madagascar, etc.
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
    Section XLII: Meets with an English merchant with whom he makes some trading voyages, etc.
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
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        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
    Section XLIII: Journey to Pekin, Robinson joins a caravan proceeding to Moscow, and rencounter with the Tartars
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
    Section XLIV: Route throught Muscovy, and Robinson and a scots merchant destroy an idol, etc.
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
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        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
Full Text


I fixed my umbrella also in a step in the stern like a mast. to stand over
my head and keep the heat of the sun off me like an awning, and-thus I
every now and then took a little voyage on the sea.-Page 114.


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 had laid upon it.
from the surf of the sea.-Page 54.














Biographical Sketch of Daniel Defoe ........................ 7
Robinson's Family, etc.-His Elopement from his parents,...... 21
First Adventures at Sea, and Experience of a Maritime Life-
Voyage to Guinea .....................................
Robinson's Captivity at Sallee-Escape with Xury-Arrival at
the Brazils................................. .......... 31
He settles in the Brazils as a Planter-Makes another Voyage,
and is Shipwrecked,................................ 42
Robinson finds himself in a desolate Island-Procures a stock of
Articles from the wreck-Constructs his habitation,....... 52
Carries all his Riches, Provisions, ect., into his Habitation-
Dreariness of Solitude-Consolatory Reflections,.......... 61
Robinson's mode of reckoning Time-Difficulties arising from
want of Tools-He arranges his Habitation,.............. 64
Robinson's Journal-Details of his Domestic Economy and Con-
trivances-Shock of an Earthquake..................... 68
Robinson obtains more Articles from the Wreck-His Illness and
Affliction,........................................... 77
His Recovery-His comfort in reading the Scriptures-Makes an
Excursion into the Interior of the Island-Forms his
"Bower" .............................................. 83


Robinson makes a Tour to explore his Island-Employed in
Basket-making...................................... 93
He returns to his Cave-His Agricultural Labors and Success,.. 96
His manufacture of Pottery, and contrivance for baking Bread,.. 102
Meditates his Escape from the Island-Builds a Canoe-Failure
of his Scheme-Resignation to his Condition-Makes him-
self a new Dress....................... ............. .... 105
He makes a smaller Canoe, in which he attempts to cruise round
the Island-His perilous situation at Sea-He returns Home, 113
He rears a flock of Goats-His Diary-His Domestic Habits and
style of Living-Increasing Prosperity ................. 120
Unexpected Alarm and cause for Apprehension-He fortifies his
abode............................................... 126
Precautions against Surprise-Robinson discovers that his Island
has been visited by Cannibals,................... ...... 132
Robinson discovers a Cave, which serves him as a Retreat against
the Savages......................................... 140
Another visit of the Savages-Robinson sees them Dancing-
Perceives the wreck of a vessel,....................... 145
He visits the Wreck and obtains many Stores from it-Again
thinks of quitting the Island-Has a remarkable Dream,... 150
Robinson rescues one of their Captives from the Savages, whom
he names Friday, and makes his Servant................ 158
Robinson instructs and civilizes his man Friday-Endeavors to
give him an idea of Christianty ......................... 165


Robinson and Friday build a Canoe to carry them to Friday's
country-Their Scheme prevented by the Arrival of a party
of Savages....... ..................................... 168
Robinson releases a Spaniard-Friday discovers his Father-Ac-
commodation provided for these new Guests, who were after-
ward sent to liberate the other Spaniards-Arrival of an
English Vessel,........................................ 177
Robinson discovers himself to the English captain-Assists him
in reducing his mutinous Crew, who submitto him,........ 190
Atkins entreats the Captain to spare his Life-The latter recovers
his Vessel from the Mutineers, and Robinson leaves the
Island ............................................... 200
Robinson goes to Lisbon, where he finds the Portuguese Captain,
who renders him an account of his property in the Brazils-
Sets out on his return to England, by land, .............. 207
Friday's encounter with a Bear-Robinson and his fellow-travel-
ers attacked by a flock of Wolves-His arrangement of his
Affairs, and Marriage after his return to England,........ 216
He is seized with a Desire to revisit his Island-Loses his Wife-
Is tempted to go to Sea again-Takes out a Cargo for his
Colony............................................... 226
Robinson's Ship relieves the Crew of a French vessel that had
caught fire,.......................................... 233
Relives the Crew of a Bristol ship, who are starving-Arrives at
his Island........................................... 239
Robinson and Friday go ashore-The latter meets with his
father-Account of what passed on the Island after Robin-
son's quitting it,................................... 245
The Account continued-Quarrels between the Englishmen-A
battle between two parties of Savages who visit the Island-
Fresh Mutiny among the Settlers ........................ 252


The mutinous English are dismissed from the Island-Return
with several captive Savages-Take the Females as Wives, 267
Several Savages killed; the remainder leave the Island-A fleet
of them afterward arrive-A general Battle-The Savages
are overcome, and Tranquillity restored,.................. 277
SRobinson learns from the Spaniards the Difficulties they had to
encounter-He furnishes the People with Tools, etc.-The
French Ecclesiastic.................................... 291
Robinson's Discourse with the Ecclesiastic as to introducing
Marriages among the People-Marriages performed-Atkins
converts his Wife ..................................... 300
Atkins relates his Conversation with his Wife-The latter bap-
tizd by the Priest-Account of the starving state of those
on board the rescued Vessel-Robinson's Departure from
the Island.......................................... 315
Encounter with Savages at Sea-Friday's Death-Robinson finds
his former Partner in the Brazils-Sails for the East Indies, 332
The Vessel touches at Madagascar-Affray with the Natives, who
are Massacred by the Crew-The Sailors afterward refuse to
sail with Robinson, who is left by his Nephew, the Captain,
in Bengal, ....................................... 339
Meets with an English Merchant, with whom he makes some
Trading Voyages-They are mistaken for Pirates-Van-
quish their Pursuers-Voyage to China-Rencounter with
the Cochin-Chinese-Island of Formosa-Gulf of Nanquin-
Apprehensions of falling into the hands of the Dutch,..... 353
Journey to Pekin-Robinson joins a Caravan proceeding to Mos-
cow-Rencounter with the Tartars,....................... 380
Route through Muscovy-Robinson and a Scots Merchant destroy
an Idol-The whole Caravan in great peril from the Persuit
of the Pagans-Tobolski-Muscovite Exiles-Departure from
Tobolski-Encounter with a troop of Robbers in the Desert-
Robinson reaches Archangel, and finally arrives in England, 394




THE author of Robinson Crusoe would be entitled to a prominent
place in the history of our literature, even had he never given to the
world that truly admirable production; and yet we may reasonably
question whether the name of Defoe would not long ago have sunk into
oblivion, or at least have been known, like those of most of his cotem-
poraries, only to the curious student, were it not attached to a work
whose popularity has been rarely equaled-never, perhaps, excelled.
Even as it is, the reputation due to the writer has been nearly altogether
absorbed in that of his hero, and in the all-engrossing interest of his ad-
ventures; thousands who have read Robinson Crusoe with delight, and
derived from it a satisfaction in nowise diminished by repeated perusal,
have never bestowed a thought on its author, or, indeed, regarded it in the
light of a literary performance. While its fascination has been univer-
sally felt, the genius that conceived it, the talent that perfected it, have
been generally overlooked, merely because it is so full of nature and
reality as to exhibit no invention or exertion on the part of the author,
inasmuch as he appears simply to have recorded what actually happened,
and consequently only to have committed to paper plain matter of fact,
without study or embellishment. We wonder at and are struck with
admiration by the powers of Shakspeare or Cervantes; with regard to
Defoe we experience no similar feelings: it is not the skill of the artist
that enchants us, but the perfect naturalness of the picture, which is
such that we mistake it for a mirror; so that every reader persuades him-
self that he could write as well, perhaps better, were he but furnished
with the materials for an equally interesting narrative.
There are many circumstances in Defoe's own history that would
recommend it to the notice of the biographer, independently of his
claims as the author of Robinson; among which are the variety and
extraordinary number of his literary performances, amounting to no
fewer than two hundred and nine different publications; and the no less


singular fact, that the masterpiece of his genius was not only his first
essay in that species of composition, but was not produced till he was far
advanced in years, he having then arrived at a period of life when the gen-
erality of authors close their literary career; and when the powers of
imagination either lose much of their vigor, or become altogether torpid.
Nor will our surprise at Defoe's industry, and the almost unprecedented
fertility of his pen, be at all diminished by considering that he was not a
recluse student or professed scholar, but was engaged in trade and various
other speculations. In one respect, however, his mercantile occupations
contributed to lay the foundation of his excellence as a novel-writer,
since there can be little doubt that it is to his actual experience of the
sea, and his acquaintance with other countries, we are indebted for that
truth and spirit which animate the more interesting parts of Robinson
Crusoe; while his manly good sense, unaffected earnestness, and fund of
native intelligence, have placed him very far above those who presumed
to undervalue his literary acquirements.
According to the latest and most copious of all his biographers, Daniel
Defoe was born in 1661, two years earlier than the generally assigned date
of his birth. His father was a butcher in the parish of St. Giles, Cripple-
gate; and appears to have been a citizen in easy circumstances, although
his trade was one that confers no particular luster on a pedigree. It is
usual to affect some degree of astonishment when we read of men whose
after fame presents a striking contrast to the humility of their origin;
yet we must recollect that it is not ancestry and splendid descent, but
education and circumstances, which form the man; and in this respect
the middling classes possess a decided advantage over those either below
or above them; for if the former are precluded from cultivating their
talents and abilities, the latter generally consider themselves exempt
from the necessity of doing so, and accordingly content themselves with
cultivating mere external accomplishments, in preference to exercising
their mental energies. Those on the contrary who are placed in a middle
station, while they are not debarred from the means of application, feel
that stimulus to exertion which arises from the desire of acquiring for-
tune or fame. The history of such men as Ximenes, Wolsey, Alberoni,
and Napoleon, may indeed justly excite our wonder;-when, too, we
behold unlettered genius emerging, in spite of every obstacle, from the
obscurity to which it seemed condemned as in a Ferguson, a Duval, a
Burns, and an Opie, we may be permitted to express our astonishment;
but as regards his origin, the history of Defoe is that of thousands who
have afterward raised themselves into comparative elevation by the
display of their powers. The solicitude, therefore, so generally displayed
by biographers, on similar occasions, to trace some consanguinity with a
more dignified branch of their families, for those whose native obscurity
seems to demand some apology, betrays a rather mistaken policy. How-


ever this may be, it is certain that it is quite as honorable for Defoe to
have ascended from a butcher, as it would have been to have descended
from the Conqueror himself.
One undoubted and very great advantage, for which Defoe was indebted
to his parents, who were nonconformists, was an education superior to
what it was then usual for persons in their station to bestow upon their
children; and they were careful also to implant in his youthful mind that
regard for religion, and that strict moral integrity, which afterward dis-
played themselves not only in his writings, but in his conduct through
life. And this rectitude of principle he most unequivocally evinced when
his misfortunes put it so severely to the proof. At about the age of four-
teen he was placed under the tuition of the Rev. Charles Morton of
Newington Green, who was afterward vice-president of Harvard College,
New-England; and from various incidental remarks in his own works, it
appears that young Defoe now entered upon an extensive course of
studies, and made considerable proficiency in languages, mathematics,
philosophy, history, and theology; although the natural liveliness of his
disposition unfitted him for that severe application which is necessary to
form a profound scholar in any one of those pursuits.
It was the intention of his parents that he should embrace the clerical
profession, which their religious feelings, and probably a very pardonable
ambition, induced them to select for him; yet, notwithstanding his regard
for the sacred office, he was unwilling to embrace it himself; or events at
least, diverted his talents into another channel. The political and
religious excitements of that period were contagious for one of Defoe's
temper: he assumed the character of the patriot as soon as he cast off
that of the boy, and espoused the side of the popular party with all the
ardor of youth; nor was it long before he had opportunities of dis-
tinguishing himself. He was a warm advocate for the Bill of Exclusion,
passed by the Commons to prevent the succession of the Duke of York to
the throne; and regarded with abhorrence that spirit of despotism which
sentenced Sydney and so many others to the scaffold. At the age of
twenty-one he commenced author, which employment he continued for
nearly half a century, and that, too, almost uninterruptedly, notwith-
standing his various speculations of a different nature. It can not be
expected that in a sketch of this nature we should attempt to give any
thing like a connected account of Defoe's various literary performances,
they being too numerous and multifarious for us to advert to them sepa-
rately, even if we conceived that by so doing we should greatly interest
the readers of this-the most distinguished of them all. But the truth is,
the majority of them are of that class which it is rather the province of
the bibliographer than the critic to describe. We may, however, here
mention the first production of his pen, which, under the singular title
of Speculum Crape-gownorum," was a reply to a publication of Roger


L'Estrange's, a noted party-writer of that day. In this work Defoe in-
dulged in rather intemperate language, and while vindicating the dis-
senters, reflected in too hostile and indiscriminate a manner upon the
established clergy. This was succeeded by a "Treatise against the
Turks," occasioned by the war between them and the Imperialists; and
was penned by Defoe for the purpose of showing his countrymen that, if
it was the interest of Protestantism not to increase the influence of a
Catholic power, it was infinitely more so to oppose a Mohammedan one;
which, however debatable it might appear to politicians, was almost too
obvious a truism to be entitled to any merit for its sagacity. It is the fate
of political publications quickly to fall into oblivion after the events which
call them forth have passed away: the reputation derived from them is as
transitory as the events themselves, or it the fame of the writer occa-
sionally descends to posterity, it is more than can be affirmed of his
Shortly after this, Defoe proved that he was ready to support the
doctrines he advocated by the sword as by the pen: he accordingly joined
the standard of the Duke of Monmouth, when the latter landed in Eng-
land with the view of expelling a Catholic prince from the throne, and
seating himself upon it as the defender of Protestantism. The issue of
that adventure, and the subsequent fate of the unfortunate, if not perfectly
innocent Monmouth, are well known. Happier than the leader of the
enterprise, it was Defoe's better luck to escape; he returned to the metro-
polis, in safety; and, abandoning politics and warfare, was content for a
while to turn his attention to the more humble but less stormy pursuits
of trade.
He now began a hosier, or rather a hose-factor, that is, a kind of agent
between the manufacturer and retailer; and according to Mr. Chalmers,
he continued to carry on this concern from 1685 to 1695. It was about
two years after he had thus established himself that he was admitted a
liveryman of London, on the 26th of January, 1687-8. Business, however,
did not so entirely absorb his attention but that he found time to engage
in the various controversies that agitated the public mind, and which
were occasioned by the arbitrary measures of James, who, feeling himself
secure after the removal of so dangerous an enemy as Monmouth, began
more openly to favor the Catholics, and to dispense with the tests intended
to prevent their accepting commissions in the army. This, of course,
excited both the alarm and indignation of the Protestants, which were by
no means allayed by the temporizing servility of their own clergy, who
exerted their eloquence in favor of the king's prerogative. Among those
who attacked the doctrineof the dispensing power was Defoe; nor, as
may well be imagined, was he afterward an unconcerned spectator of the
Revolution, whose progress he had minutely watched, and whose anni-
versary he continued yearly to celebrate as a day marked by the deliver-


ance of his country from political and religious tyranny. His attachment
to the new sovereign was confirmed by the personal notice shown him
both by that prince and his consort; for the butcher's son" had had the
honor of an early introduction to the royal presence.
At this period Defoe resided at Tooting in Surrey, and he had now
launched out into more extensive commercial speculations, having em-
barked in the Spanish and Portuguese trade, so that he might fairly claim
the title of merchant. The precise time of his going to Spain, whether
before or after the Revolution, can not be ascertained: but he not only
made a voyage thither, but stayed some time in the country, and acquired
a knowledge of the language. Sincere as was his attachment to the purer
tenets of Protestantism, it did not degenerate into blind prejudice, nor
prevent him from doing justice to Catholics; he has accordingly, in his
Robinson Crusoe, represented the Spanish character under its most ami-
able traits, and in a tone tharmay almost pass for panegyric. This voyage,
as we have already remarked, doubtlessly contributed to store his observant
mind with many materials for those descriptions of the perils and adven-
tures common to a seafaring life, thatso strongly excite the sympathy of
those who follow this hero across the trackless deep. Nor was he without
some experience of shipwreck, if not actually in his own person, by
the loss of a vessel in which he was a shareholder, and which was
wrecked in a violent storm off the coast of Biscay. It was about this
period also that he traded with Holland; probably for civet, as one of his
enemies has sneeringly styled him a "civet-cat merchant" Beside this,
he visited some other parts of the continent, particularly Germany; he
did not, however, relinquish his hose-agency business in consequence
of his other engagements. But commercial enterprise did not prove for
him the road to wealth: on the contrary, his speculations involved him
in such embarrassments, that, in 1692, he was obliged to abscond from his
creditors. A commission of bankruptcy was taken out against him, yet
it was afterward superseded, those to whom he was most in debt agreeing
to accept a composition on his own bond; and he not only punctually dis-
charged these claims, but after he had somewhat retrieved his circum-
stances, voluntarily repaid the remainder. This is so much the more to
his honor, since, so far from having met with many precedents of similar
probity in others, his misfortunes had been in some degree occasioned by
the knavery of unprincipled men, who, availing themselves of the impu-
nity held out to them by the supineness or the impotence of the law,
were then accustomed to set their creditors at defiance in the most bare-'
faced manner.
It was Defoe himself who first called the attention of the legislature to
the intolerable abuses which arose from those sanctuaries, as they were
termed, for criminals and debtors, which then existed in the metrop-
olis; and to him, consequently, may we be said to be indebted for the


abatement of a nuisance as disgraceful to the national character as it
was injurious to the industrious and honest portion of the community.
With the view of assisting him in his distress, some of his friends now
came forward and offered to settle him as a factor at Cadiz; yet advan-
tageous as the proposal was, he declined it, preferring to endeavor to re-
trive his finances by his pen. The country then being engaged in an
expensive war with France, Defoe proposed a scheme to assist the govern-
ment in raising the ways and means;" and some time afterward he re-
ceived the appointment of accountant to the commissioners of the glass
duty; but it proved only a temporary one, as the duty was repealed in
August, 1699. Probably it was also about the same period that he became
secretary to the tile works at Tilbury, in which concern he embarked
some money, and was again a sufferer. His "Essay on Projects,"
published in January, 1696-7, shows him to have been, if not a very suc-
cessful speculator himself, at least a very ingenious and fertile deviser of
theoretical plans; most of which must be allowed to have the welfare of
society in view; nor have they been without influence in leading to many
improvements of later times: among those which have been practically
adopted we may mention his scheme for Friendly Societies and Savings'
Banks. Were any testimony required in favor of this work, it would be
sufficient to quote that of the celebrated Franklin, who confesses that the
impressions he received from it gave a strong bias to his own pursuits.
If not invariably employed in the active defense of public morals,
Defoe's pen was too honest to betray their interests on any occasion; it
was not always that his topics called for, or even admitted, any direct
inculcation of virtue, but whenever they did, he displayed his earnestness
in its behalf. His publication entitled "The Poor Man's Plea," is a very
keen piece of satire, with a considerable touch of humor, leveled against
the vices of the upper classes of society, in which he urges them to dis-
countenance by their own conduct the immorality they deem so repre-
hensible in the vulgar. The stage, too, did not escape his castigation:
and really its transgressions were at that time so barefaced and audacious,
so offensive even to common decency, that whatever infamy there may
have been in either tolerating or in attempting to defend such a system of
lewdness, there could be no great triumph in exposing that which did no*
even attempt to conceal itself.
We have now to notice our author in a somewhat dilferent character-
namely, as a candidate for poetical fame. His satire, entitled the "True
born Englishman," which was written for the purpose of averting fron
the king the abusive reflections cast upon him as a foreigner, had indeed
a very great run at the time; more, however, on account of the matter
than of the manner; since both that and all Defoe's other attempts of the
kind convince us, that, like the great Roman orator, he was an intolerably
bad poet, and not even a decent versifier. Yet, could gratitude and


enthusiastic devotion to his prince have supplied that inspiration which
the muses denied him. Defoe's poetry would have been of first-rate
excellence, so sincere was his admiration of, so zealous was his devotion
to, William III. The various etfusions in rhyme, and numerous political
pamphlets and tracts which he published at this interval, we must pass
by, and come directly to an event that obtained for our author a rather
unenviable species of distinction. The reign of Anne commenced with
much violence, and with cabals between the respective church parties,
leading to controversies that rather fanned than allayed the public
ferment. On such an occasion, it was not to be expected that Defoe
would remain passive; assuming the furious tone of the high-churchmen
of the day against the dissenters, he published a small pamphlet, which
was in reality a satire upon the writings which that party had issued from
the press; but the irony was so fine, and the imitation so exact, that
while it was supposed by them to utter the real sentiments of the writer,
it was also interpreted by those whom it was intended to serve, as coming
from a violent enemy. The Shortest Way with the Dissenters"-such
was its title, created an amazing sensation; and on its real object being
exposed, the high-church party became as fierce in their indignation as
they had before been warm in their applause. The author was detected,
a reward offered for his apprehension, and he himself sentenced to be
imprisoned in Newgate, and to stand in the pillory; but the attendance
of his friends, and the enthusiasm of the populace in favor of the cham-
pion of religious liberty, converted an ignominious punishment into a
triumph, so that his enemies had as little reason to exult in their victory,
as to be proud of the sagacity they had displayed. If, however, this
event rather increased than diminished Defoe's reputation, it had a
different effect upon his pecuniary affairs; his confinement in Newgate
prevented his attending any longer to his concern at Tilbury, the conse-
quence of which was that it was obliged to be given up; and thus Defoe
saw himself deprived at once of what had been the source of a handsome
income, for before this affair he was in such thriving circumstances as to
be able to keep his coach. According to his own statement, he lost three
thousand five hundred pounds, a far more considerable sum at that
period than it would be now. There was indeed one way of both
speedily and safely repairing his finances, namely, by accepting the over-
tures made him by the ministry, who would gladly have enlisted in their
own cause that pen which had proved so powerful against them; but
Defoe was too independent of soul and too high-principled to purchase
his release upon terms that would inflict upon him the disgrace the
pillory had failed to effect.
Although a prison is not the most congenial place for literary pursuits,
our author availed himself of the time which the loss of his liberty
afforded him, of occupying his unwelcome leisure from all other business


in writing both in verse and prose. It was here that he published his
poem on the Reformation of Manners," a sufficiently copious theme in
every age, and afterward continued the subject in another, entitled
"More Reformation;" in which he alludes to his own situation in the
following nervous lines, describing himself as
A modern tool,
To wit, to parties, and himself, a fool;
Embroil'd with states to do himself no good,
And by his friends themselves misunderstood;
Misconstrued first in every word he said-
By these unpitied, and by those unpaid."
Here we may truly sayfacit inrlignatio versos, for the caustic tone and
antithesis are not unworthy of Pope himself. The political controver-
sial pieces which he sent forth to the world from his "place of durance
vile" were too numerous for us to specify them; we therefore prefer
speaking of a work of more permanent interest, one in which he may be
regarded as the immediate predecessor of two of the most popular and
admired of our classic writers in the days of Anne,-namely, Steele and
Addison. Defoe's "Review," which commenced Feb. 19, 1704, deserves
to be considered as the prototype of our Tatlers and Spectators; and
may earn for its author the appellation of the Father of English Essay-
ists; since notwithstanding that political intelligence and discussion
constituted a great portion of its contents, it touched upon a variety of
other topics bearing upon literature, manners, and morals; while it was
itself hardly in any degree indebted for this part of its plan to preceding
or contemporary publications. Uniformly assailing vice, or exposing to
just ridicule the follies and foibles of society, Defoe varied his mode of
attack, at one time employing grave reasoning and serious remonstrance;
at another, substituting sarcasm, humor, wit, and pleasantry for monitory
reproof. To a modern reader, indeed, many of the topics might seem to
lack invention, and to be rather commonplace, merely because they have
been so repeatedly handled by later writers, that both the wit and argu-
ment displayed in them have lost their freshness. This circumstance,
however, does not detract from Defoe's intrinsic merit, or from the praise
due to him as an originator: on the contrary, he in this respect, only
shares the fate common to all those who open a new path in literature or
art, inviting imitators whose numbers oppress, if they do not overwhelm
them: that Defoe has not since been surpassed in this species of writing
is lfr more than we can venture to assert; yet it should be recollected
that it is the first navigator of the Atlantic, not those who cross it in a
modern steamboat, who claims the homage of our admiration.
Those who are unacquainted with Defoe the essayist as well as Defoe the
novelist, will not be able to appreciate the extent of our author's powers,
and the variety of his information. But we have already dwelt upon the


' Review" at greater length than is consistent with the brevity we must
serforce observe; it is time therefore to proceed with our narrative. Mr.
iarley, afterward Earl of Oxford, happened by a change in the ministry
to come into power, after Defoe had been about two years in confinement:
and being able to appreciate his abilities-perhaps anxious to secure them
in his own support, he represented his case to the queen, who generously
sent a sum of money to his wife and family, and another to discharge his
fine and prison expenses. Immediately upon his liberation Defoe retired
to Bury St. Edmund's. It was there that he wrote his masterly treatise,
entitled "Giving Alms no Charity," in which he displays great practical
knowledge, with enlarged and sound views on the causes of poverty and
on the employment of the poor. In the intervals of these and theirr
occupations, for it should be observed that he had been sent in 17)5 by
Harley on a secret mission to the continent, the express object of r rhich
has not transpired,--he found leisure to employ his pen on other sub jects,
and anticipating his future character of a romance writer, he invented the
" true narrative" of Mrs. Veal's apparition, which was prefixed to a trans-
lation of Drelincourt on Death. The supposed stranger from the other
world is made to recommend that performance; and, as such supernatural
testimony was irresistible, the whole impression, which had before lain on
the booksellers' shelves, was quickly sold, and was succeeded by many
others, the work having since passed through forty different editions.
This stratagem certainly does honor to Defoe's ingenuity and penetration;
yet whether it be entirely justifiable, considering the tendency of the
deception, may be doubted.
Leaving for a while the account of his literary career, we must now
briefly notice a very important national subject, namely, the Union with
Scotland, in which, beside warmly advocating the measure with his pen,
Defoe was personally employed. At the recommendation of Harley and
Lord Godolphin, by whom he had been recommended to the queen, he was
sent on a mission to Edinburgh, in which city he arrived in October, 1706.
Here, it should seem, he was chiefly employed in making calculations re-
lating to trade and taxes, for the information of the committees of parlia-
ment; he also occupied himself in collecting those documents relative
to the Union which he afterward published. Beside this, he proposed
several plans for encouraging the manufactures, and for promoting the
trade, wealth, and maritime resources of Scotland. After an absence of
about sixteen months, he returned to England in 1708, when his services
obtained for him, from the ministry, an appointment with a fixed salary;
and as it does not appear what was the nature of the office he held, we
may conclude it to have been merely a sinecure. Almost immediately
afterward his patron Harley was dismissed from office, through the
persevering intrigues of tie Duchess ol Marlborough, whom he had sup.
planted in the queen's favor; an event that suddenly overclouded Defoe's


political prospects. Without compromising his principles, however, he
espoused the interests of the succeeding ministry; but although Godol-
phin treated him with consideration, he suffered his pension to fall into
arrears, perhaps in consequence of Defoe's long absence in Scotland,
whither he was again dispatched, a few months afterward, upon some
secret business. In the following year, 1709, Defoe published a work which,
to use the words of an eminent living critic, places him among the sound-
est historians of the day;" and which, according to the testimony of
another, would have handed down his name to posterity, even had he not
immortalized himself by Robinson Crusoe. This was his "History of the
Union," which is as interesting for the minute description it gives of the
actors and incidents in that important event, as for the documents it
Still engaged in politics, Defoe's continued and severe attacks against
the Tories and the high-church party so exasperated them that they
attempted to suppress his writings, and even threatened him with prose-
cutions: their animosity, however, did not procure for him, from those
whose cause he defended, a degree of favor and support at all commen-
surate with his long and able service. He had also to contend with fresh
pecuniary losses in some concern in which he was engaged (1712) with Mr.
Wood, a mercer of Coleslill in Warwickshire; and with the personal
abuse with which his character was assailed by writers who reflected
upon him as being a knavish bankrupt. But his political career was now
drawing to its close: having carried on his "Review" tor more than nine
years, he finally relinquished it in May, 1713, Vtln he was again a
prisoner in Newgate upon an indictment preferred against him by his
friends the whigs, as the author of three treasonable Jacobitical pam-
phlets; whereas the publications in question were of a directly opposite
tendency. The queen once more bestowed a free pardon on him, and the
malice of his numerous enemies was defeated. From this time he em-
ployed his pen only occasionally on political subjects. By the accession
of George I, to the throne, Defoe gained nothing, although his writings
had strenuously pleaded the cause of the House of Hanover during the
late reign; and although he had superior claims upon public gratitude
for the zeal with which, during nearly thirty years, he had not only advo-
cated religious and political independence, but endeavored to call atten-
tion to subjects of paramount importance to the national prosperity.
That this neglect should, in spite of all his philosophy, have occasioned
him considerable mortification, is not much to be wondered at: and to
the effect it had upon his health was attributed an apoplectic attack in
the year 1715, from which he continued to suffer for six months.
After so serious a blow to his constitution, and at his advanced period
of life, it might have been expected that he would now lay aside his
pen,-at least remit in his exertions. Yet it was subsequently to this


apparently cloudy epoch of his career that the brightest and most durable
of his literary wreaths was won. Great versatility of talent is not often
accompanied by an equal degree of vigor and raciness of intellect; when,
however, such does happen to be the case, it should seem that the former
is rather beneficial than otherwise to its possessor, and that change of
subject serves to recruit the mental energies. Defoe at least may be
quoted as an extraordinary instance of ruejuenescency of mind in the
decline of years. We do not here allude to his "Family Instructor,"
although that performance is one of the most valuable and useful sys-
tems of practical morality in our language, and has, doubtless, been far
more beneficial to society than many works of even splendid celebrity.
It is the series of novels which now appeared in quick succession from
his pen, that have won for him an imperishable reputation among the
worthies of English literature; nor will his claims upon our admiration be
diminished by considering the extravagant, unnatural system of romance
writing .which had till then prevailed, where every thing was either so
artificial or so shadowy, that not a glimpse of real life was to be discerned.
In Delbe's narratives, on the contrary, there is such an air of downright
matter-of-fact and unadorned truth, as to amount to actual deception;
thereby preventing us from crediting the author with any merit on the
score of imagination, contrivance, or invention. Of this the reader will
be amply convinced by the perusal of the present work, on which it is
not necessary that we should expatiate, and we shall therefore merely
advert to the circumstances connected with its origin and publication.
The History of Robinson Grusoe was first published in the year 1719, and
its popularity may be said to have been established immediately, since
four editions were :Cdled for in about as many months, a circumstance at
that time almost unprecedented in the annals of literature. It rarely
happens that an author's expectations are surpassed by the success of his
work, however astonishing it may seem to others; yet perhaps even Defoe
himself did not venture to look forward to such a welcome on the part of
the public, after the repulses he had experienced on that of the book-
sellers; for, incredible as it now appears, the manuscript of the work had
been offered to, and rejected by, every one in the trade; in which respect
its destiny was not only similar to that of Paradise Lost, but of two of
the most celebrated literary productions of the present day, namely,
Waverly and Childe Harold; the former of which remained in manu-
script ten years, without any probability of ever seeing the light, although
its fame has since extended itself wherever the English language is
known-nay, more, has even penetrated the wilds of Siberia.
Astonishing as was the success of Defoe's romance, it did not deter the
envious from attempting to disparage it. The materials, it was said,
were either furnished by or surreptitiously obtained from Alexander
Selkirk, a mariner who had resided for four years in the desert island


of Juan Fernandez, and returned to England in 1711. Very probably, his
story, which then excited considerable interest and attention, did suggest
to Defoe the idea of writing his romance; but all the details and incidents
are entirely his own. Most certainly Defoe had obtained no papers or
written documents from Selkirk, as the latter had none to communicate.
So far, however, have others been from taxing our author with plagiarism,
that they have, on the contrary, charged him with putting on paper a
heap of chimeras, to impose upon public credulity. Thus these two
contradictory charges reciprocally destroy each other. An attempt has
also been made to rob him entirely of the brightest jewel in his literary
crown, by denying him to have been the author of Robinson Crusoe,
which has been ascribed, by some, to Arbuthnot; by others, to Defoe's
patron, the first Earl of Oxford. Those who have wished to gain credit
for the latter opinion, assert that it was composed by that nobleman
during his imprisonment in the Tower, in 1715, on a charge of high
treason: and they have argued that the whole tone of the work, especially
of that part toward the conclusion, where an account is given of the
exiled nobles of Muscovy, is what would naturally be suggested by the
solitude of a prison. Yet, as far as internal evidence is concerned, that
is, indisputably, much stronger in favor of Defoe; for he had not only
been familiar with imprisonment, but was also, by his acquaintance with
foreign countries, and his experience in business and traffic, much better
qualified to produce a work which displays so much practical knowledge
of things, as well as of man. Indeed, nothing short of the most conclu-
sive and undeniable testimony of facts to the contrary, can at all invali-
date his claims to be considered as the real author. Had Robinson
Crusoe been the only production of the kind that proceeded from his
pen, there might be better reason for doubting whether he wrote it; but
the various other novels, or rather pieces of fictitious biography, which
he produced, form an additional reason for attributing it to him.
Of these latter we must here speak far more briefly than they deserve:
the "History of Moll Flanders," which was published in 1721, is an
admirably drawn picture of life, and contains an excellent moral lesson,
although many of the scenes it necessarily discloses are coarse and
revolting. The Life of Colonel Jaque" contains also much able deline-
ation of real life; and in that part of the narrative which gives an
account of the hero's residence in Virginia, Defoe has humanely advocated
the cause of the negro slaves, His "Memoirs ofa Cavalier," which work
is supposed to have been written about the same time, is rather history,
attired in the form of an imaginary piece of biography, than a romance.
Indeed, all the details are so circumstantial and accurate, that it has been
mistaken for a genuine narrative of the events of the civil wars in Eng-
land and Germany; and it was actually recommended as the very best
account of them by the great Lord Chatham, with whom it was a favorite


book. In like manner our author's "History of the Plague" imposed
upon Dr. Mead, and since upon others, who have referred to it as an
authentic document, and a true recital of that great national calamity.
Here he is the rival of Thucydides and Boccacio; and depicts the horrors
of pestilence as vividly and as masterly as Poussin. It may however be
imagined by some, that this is rather suspicious praise, and that the work
of fiction which can pass as true history must be cold, matter-of-fact, and
tame, repulsive and dry. It is not, however, in the formal gravity of
syle that these works resemble history; but they imitate and reflect the
features of the past in their most interesting, if not their most engaging
Beside the preceding, and one or two other productions of a similar
cast, Defoe produced that very excellent and popular work entitled
"Religious Courtship," which was first published in 1722, and afterward
went through numerous editions. This and his "Family Instructor" are
replete with lessons of the soundest practical wisdom, and .place their
author among the most extensively useful of our English moralists.
Here, however, we must terminate our sketch, having barely left our-
selves room to mention a few particulars relative to the close of his life.
Although the profits accruing from his publications had of late been
considerable, and he had been able to give a portion to his daughter
Sophia, who married Mr. Baker, the celebrated natural philosopher, in
1729, yet he was still doomed to contend with misfortune. In addition
to the affliction of bodily infirmity and severe pain, he again fell into
great pecuniary difficulties, and was even arrested. He appears, how-
ever, to have recovered his liberty within a short time; but the unnatural
conduct of his son, who refused to give up the property that had been
intrusted to him, with the view of securing a provision to his mother and
two unmarried sisters, was a heavier blow than any he had before ex-
perienced; and the mental anguish it occasioned doubtless accelerated
his death, which occurred on the 24th of April, 1731. Since that period
more than a century has now elapsed; and in that interval many names
of considerable eminence in their day have sunk into irretrievable ob-
livion; Defoe, also, has lost some portion of the celebrity he enjoyed with
his cotemporaries; yet, after every deduction, enough remains to entitle
him to a place among the Worthies of English literature, for should all
his other productions be forgotten, his Robinson Crusoe must remain






I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though
not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, named
Kreutznaer, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchan-
dise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterward at York; from whence he
had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very
good family in that country, and after whom I was so called, that is to
say, Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in
England, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves, and write our name,
Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an
English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly cominanded by the famous
Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the
Spaniards. What became of my second brother, I never knew, any more
than my father and mother did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my head
began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who
was very aged, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as
house education and a country free-school generally go, and designed me
for the law: but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and
my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the cor
mands of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my
mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that
propension of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to
befall me. ( )


My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel
against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into
his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very
warmly with me upon this subject: he asked me what reasons more than
a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving his house, and my native
country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising
my fortune, by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure.
He told me it was men of desperate fortunes, on the one hand, or of
superior fortunes, on the other, who went abroad upon adventures,
aspiring to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in under-
takings 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
labor and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embar-
rassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of
mankind: he told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state by one
thing, viz: that this was the state of life which all other people envied;
that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being
born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of
two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave
his testimony to this, as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed
to have "neither poverty nor riches."
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities
of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but
that the middle station had the fewest 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 extrava-
gances, on the one hand, or, by hard labor, want of necessaries, and mean
and insufficient diet. on the other, 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 enjoy-
ments; 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
labors of the hands or of the head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily
bread, or harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of
peace, and the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or
secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy circum-
stances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets


of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning,
by every day's experience, to know it more sensibly.
Atter this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate man-
ner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries
which nature and the station of life I was born in, seemed to have pro-
vided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking my bread; that
he would do well for me, and endeavor 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, hav-
ing 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 encourage-
ment to go away: and, to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for
an example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep
him from going into the Low Country wars; but could not prevail, his
young desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed;
and though, he said, he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would
venture to say to me, that if I did take this'foolish step, God would not
bless me; and I would have leisure, hereafter, to reflect upon having
neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my recovery.
I observed, in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic,
though, I suppose, my father did not know it to be 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 otf the discourse, and told me his heart was so full, he could say no
more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse; as, indeed, who could be
otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to
settle at home, according to my father's desire. But, alas! a few days
wore it all off: and; in short, to prevent any of my father's further impor-
tunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him.
However I did not act so hastily, neither, as my first heat of resolution
prompted; but I took my mother, at a time when I thought her a little
pleasanter than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely
bent upon seeing the world, that I should never settle to any thing with
resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give
me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen
years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an
attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve out my time, and
I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and
go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me make but one


voyage abroad, if I came home again, and did not like it, I would go no
more; and I would promise, by a double diligence, to recover the time
I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion: she told me she knew it
would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any such a subject;
that he knew too well what was my interest to give his consent to any
thing so much to my hurt; and that she wondered how I could think of
any thing, after such a discourse as I had from my father, and such kind
and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me: and that,
in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but 1 might
depend I should never have their consent to it: that for her part, she
would not have so much hand in my destruction; and I should never have
it to say, that my mother was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet as I have heard
afterward, she reported all the discourse to him; and that my father, after
showing a great concern at it, said to her with a sigh. That boy might be
happy, if he would stay at home; but, if he goes abroad, he will be the
most miserable wretch that ever was born: I can give no consent to it.
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose; though in the
meantime I continued obstthately 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 incli-
nations prompted me to. But, being one day at Hull, whither I wbntcasu-
ally, and without any purpose of making an elopement at that time, and
one of my companions then going to London by sea in his father's ship,
and prompting me to go with them by the common allurements of sea-
thring men, viz: that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I con-
sulted neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them
word of it; but left them to hear of it as they might, without asking God's
blessing or my father's, without any consideration of circumstances or
consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows.



ON the 1st of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for
London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began
younger, or continued longer, than mine. The ship had no sooner got
out of the Humber, than the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise,
in a most frightful 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 wickedly leaving my father's house.
All the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears, and my mother's
entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which
was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has been since,
reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the abandonment of
my duty.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had never been
upon before, went very high, though nothing like what I have seen many
times since; no, nor what I saw a few days after; but, such as it was,
enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor,and had never known
any thing of the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed
us up, and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough
or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and in this agony of
mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if it would please God to
spare my life this voyage, if ever I got my foot once on dry land, I would
go directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again while I
lived; that I would take his advice, and never run myself into such mise-
ries as these any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observa-
tions 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 or
troubles on shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true repenting pro-
digal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued during the storm, and indeed
some time after; but the next day,as the wind was abated, and the sea
calmer, I began to be inured to it. However, I was very grave that day,
being also a little sea-sick still: but toward night the weather cleared up,
the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun
went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and having
little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the pun shining upon it, the sight was,
as I thought, the most delightful that I ever saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very
cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough and terrible
the day before, and could be so calm and pleasant in a little time after.
And now, lest my good resolutions should continue, my companion,
who had indeed enticed me away, came to me and said, Well, Bob, clap-
ping me on the shoulder, how do you do after it! I warrant you were
frightened, want you, last night, when it blew but a cap-full of wind ?-
A cap-full, do you call it? said I; 'twas a terrible storm.-A storm, you
fool! replies he, do you call that a storm ? Why, it was nothing at all
give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a
squall of wind as that: you are but a fresh-water sailor, Bob; come, let
us make a bowl of punch, and we 'll forget all that. D'ye see what


charming weather 'tis now? To make short this sad part of my story,
we went the way of all sailors; the punch was made, and I was made
drunk with it; and in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my
repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolu-
tions for the future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smooth-
ness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of the storm, so
the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of
being swallowed up by the sea forgotten, and the current of my former
desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises I had made in
my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection; and serious
thoughts did, as it were, endeavor to return again sometimes; but I
shook them off and roused myself from them, as it were from a distem-
per, and applying myself to drinit and comp~iy, soon mastered the
return of those fits,-for so I called them: and I had in five or six days
got as complete a victory over conscience as any young sinner, that
resolved not to be troubled with it, could desire, But I was to have
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 a one as the worst and
most hardened wretch among us would confess both the danger and the
mercy of. The sixth day of our being at sea, we came into Yarmouth
Roads: the wind having been contrary, and the weather calm, we haa
made but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to come to
an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary, viz: at south-
west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great many ships from
Newcastle came into the same roads, as the common harbor where the
ships might wait for a wind for the river Thames. We had not, however,
ridden here so long, but we should have tided up the river, but that the
wind blew too fresh; and, after we had lain Ibur or five days, blew very
hard. However, the roads being reckoned as good as a harbor, the anchor-
age good, and our ground tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned,
and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and
mirth, after the manner of the sea. But the eighth day, in the morning,
the wind increased, and we had all hands at work to strike our topmasts,
and make every thing snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as
possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rode fore-
castle in, shipped several seas, and we thought, once or twice, our anchor
had come home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor;
so that we rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the
better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I began to see
terror and amazement in the faces of even the seamen themselves. The
master was vigilant in the business of preserving the ship; but, as he
went in and out of his cabin by me, I could hear him softly say to him


self 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 tie cabin, which was in the steerage, and can not describe
my temper. I could ill reassume the first penitence, which I had so
apparently trampled upon, and hardened myself against; I thought that
the bitterness of death had been past, and that this would be nothing too,
like the first: but when the master himself came by me, as I said just
now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frightened. I got
up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw;
the sea went mountains high, and broke upon us every three or four
minutes. When I could look about, I could see nothing but distress
around us: two ships that rid near us, we found had cut their masts by
the board, being deeply laden; and our men cried out that a ship, which
rid about a mile ahead of us, was foundered. Two more ships, being
driven from their anchors, were run out of the roads to sea, at all ad-
ventures, and that with not a mast standing. The light ships fared the
best, as not so much laboring in the sea; but two or three of them drove,
and came close by us, running away, with only their spritsails out,
before the wind. Toward evening, the mate and boatswain begged the
master of our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he was very
loth 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 Wainmast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they
were obliged to cut it away also, and make a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was
but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little.
But if I can express, at this distance, the thoughts I had about me at that
time, I was in tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former
convictions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions I had
wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to the
terror of the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can by no words
describe it, but the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with
such fury, that the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never
known a worse. We had a good ship, but she was deep laden, and so
wallowed in the sea, that the seamen every now and then cried out, she
would founder. It was my advantage, in one respect, that I did not
know what they meant by founder, till I inquired. However, the storm
was so violent, that I saw, what is not often seen, the master, the boat-
swain, and some others, mqoe sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and
expecting every moment the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle
of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men, that
had been down on purpose to see, cried out'we had sprung a leak;
another said, there was four feet water in the hold. Then all hands were
called to the pump. At that very word, my heart, as I thought, died


within me; and I fell backward upon the side of my bed, where I sat in
the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me, that I, who was
able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as another: at which
I stirred up and went to the pump, and worked very heartily. While this
was doing, the master seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out
the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would not come
near us, ordered us to fire a gun, as a signal of distress. I, who knew no-
thing what that meant, was so surprised, that I thought the ship had
broke, or some dreadful thing had happened. In a word, I was so sur-
prised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when everybody
had his own life to think of, no one minded me, or what was become of
me: but another man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside
with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great
while before I came to myself.
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent
that the ship would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little,
yet as it was not possible she could swim till we might run into a port, so
the master continued firing guns for help; and a light ship, which had rid.
it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the
utmost hazard the boat came near us, but it was impossible for us to get
on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side; till at last the men
rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast
them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and therveered it out a
great length, which they, after great labor 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 reach-
ing their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in
toward 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 north-
ward, sloping toward the shore almost as far as Winterton-Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship
when we saw her sink; and then I understood, for the first time, what was
meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I must acknowledge, I had hardly
eyes to look up when the seamen told me she was sinking; for, from that
moment, they rather put me into the boat, than that I might be said to
go in. My heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright,
partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the meQ yet laboring at the oar to
bring the boat near the shore, we could see (when,our boat mounting the
waves, we were able to see the shore) a great many people running along
the strand, to assist us when we should come near; but we made slow way
toward the shore; nor were we able to reach it, till being past the light-
house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward, toward 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 afterward on foot to Yarmouth; where, as unfortunate men, we
were used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town,
who assigned us good quarters, as by the merchants and owners ofships;
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 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 with an obstinacy that nothing could re-
sist: and though I had several times loud calls from my reason, and my
more composed judgment, to go home, yet I had no power to do it.-I know
not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret, overruling decree,
that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even
though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.
Certainly, nothing but some such decreed, unavoidable misery attending,
and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me for-
ward 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, he asked me how I did: telling his father who
I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go thr-
ther abroad. His father, turning to me, with a grave and concerned tone,
Young man, says he, you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought
to take this for a plain and visible token, that you are not to be a seafaring
man.-Why, sir? said I, will you go to sea no more?--That is another
case, said he; it is my calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made
this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste Heaven has given you of what
you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps this has all befallen us on your
account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish.-Pray, continues he, what
are you, and on what account did you go to sea Upon that I told him
some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a strange kind
of passion. What had I done, said he, that such an unhappy wretch
should come into my ship! I would not set my foot in the same ship with
thee again for a thousand pounds. This indeed was, as I said, an excur-
sion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and


was farther than he could have authority to go.-However, he afterward
talked very gravely to me; exhorted me to go back to my father, and not
tempt Providence to my ruin; told me, I might see a visible hand of
Heaven against me; and, young man. said he, depend upon it, if you do
not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters
and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you.
We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I saw him no
more; which way he went, I know not: as for me, having some money
in my pocket, I traveled 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 neighbors, and
should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even every
body else. From whence I have often since observed, that men are not
ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the
action, for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools; but are ashamed
of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time uncertain what
measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An irresistible reluc-
tance continued to going home; and as I stayed awhile, the remembrance
of the distress I had been in wore off; and, as that abated, the little
motion I had in my desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I quite
laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage. That evil
influence which carried me first away from my father's house, that hur-
ried 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 commands of my
father; I say the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most
unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel
bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a voyage to
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, 1 had learned the duty and
office of a foremast-man, and in time might have qualified myself for a
mate or lieutenant, if not a master: but as it was always my fate to
choose for the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and
good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit of
a gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship, nor learned
to do any. It was my lot, first of all, to fall into pretty good company in
London; which does not always happen to such loose and misguided
young fellows as I then was; the devil,'generally, not omitting to lay
some snare for them very early. But it was not so with me: I first fell


acquainted with the master of a ship, who had been on the coast of
Guinea, and who, having had very good success there, was resolved to go
ag n. He, taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all dis-
agreeable at that time, and hearing me say I had a mind to see the world,
told me, that if I would go the voyage with him, I should be at no
expense: I should be his messmate and his companion; and if I could
carry any thing with me, I should have all the advantage of it that the trade
would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement. I
embraced the offer, and, entering into a strict friendship with this captain,
who was an honest and plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him,
and carried a small adventure with me; which, by the disinterested
honesty of my friend the captain, 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.



I WAS now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great
misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage
again; and I embarked in the same vessel with one who was his mate in
the former voyage, and had now got the command of the ship. This was
the unhappiest voyage that ever man made; for though I did not carry
quite a hundred pounds of my new-gained wealth, so that I had two
hundred pounds left, and which I lodged with my friend's widow, who
was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfortunes in this voyage;
and the first was this, viz:--our ship, making her course toward the


Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the African shore,
was surprised, in the gray of the morning, by a Turkish rover, of Sallee,
who gave chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also
as much canvas as our yards would spread, or our masts carry, to get
clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly come
up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight, our ship having twelve
guns, and the rover eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came up
with us; and 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 tell to cutting and hacking the sails 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 nt 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 looked back upon
my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable, and
have none to relieve me; which I thought was now so effectually brought
to pass, that it could not be worse- that now the hand of Heaven had
overtaken me, and I was undone, without redemption. But, alas! this
was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the
sequel of this story.
As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I
was in hopes he would take me with him when he went to sea again,
believing that it would, some time or olher, be his fate to be taken by a
Spanish or Portuguese man of war, and that then I should be set at
liberty. But this hope of mine was soon taken away; for when he went
to sea, he left me on shore, to look after his little garden, and do the com-
mon drudgery of slaves about his house; and when he came home again
from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the cabin, to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might
take to effect it, but found no way that had the least probability in it.
Nothing presented to make the supposition of it rational; for I had


nobody to communicate it to that would embark with me; no fellow-slave,
no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotchman there but Inysell; so that for
two years, though I often pleased myself with tlhe 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 dextrous 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 in a stark calm morning, the
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, w*
labored all day and all the next night, and when morning came, we found
we had pulled off to sea, instead of pulling in for the shore, and that we
were at least two leagues from the shore: however, we got well in again,
though with a great deal of labor, and some danger, for the wind began to
blow pretty fresh in the morning; but particularly we were all very
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of
himself for the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of our
English ship he had taken, he resolved he would not go a fishing any
more without a compass and some provision; so he ordered the carpenter
of the ship, who was an English slave, to build a little stateroom 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 a room for him to lie, with a
slave or two and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some
bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink, and particularly his
bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I was most dex-
trous to catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened,
that he had appointed to go out in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish,
with two or three Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom
he had provided extraordinarily,and had therefore sent on board the boat,
overnight, a larger store of provisions than ordinary, and had ordered me
to get ready three fusees, with powder and shot, which were on board his
ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.


I got all things ready as he directed, and waited the next morning with
the boat washed clean, her ensign and pendants out, and every thing to
accommodate his guests: when by-and-by, my patron came on board
alone, and told me his guest had put off going, upon some business that
fell out, and ordered me, with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with
the boat, and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup at his
house; and commanded, that as soon as I had got some fish, I should
bring it home to his house: all which I prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my
thoughts, for now I found Iwas like to have a little ship at my command;
and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish myself, not for a fishing
business, but for a voyage; though I knew not, neither did I so much as
consider, whither I should steer; for anywhere, to get out of that place,
was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretense 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 in 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 of which
were of great use to us afterward, especially the wax to make candles.
Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also: his
name was Ishmael, whom they call Muley, or Moley: so I called to him,
Moley, said I, our patron's guns are on board the boat, can you not get a
little powder and shot? it may be we may kill some alcamies (fowls like
our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the
ship.-Yes, says he, I will bring some; and accordingly he brought a
great leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half of powder, or
rather more, and another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with
some bullets, and put all into the boat: at the same time I found some
powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which 1 filled one of the
large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what was in
it into another; and thus furnished with every thing needful, we sailed
out of 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 N. N. E., which was contrary to my desire; for had it blown southerly,
I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at last reached to
the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I
would be gone from the horrid place where I was,and leave the rest to fate.


After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for when I had fish
on my hook I would not pull them up, that he might not see them, I said
to the Moor, This will not do; our master will not be thus served; we
must stand farther off. He, thinking no harm, agreed; and being at the
head of the boat, she set sails; and as I had the helm, I ran the boat near
a league farther, and then brought to, as if I would fish. Then giving the
boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor was, and I took him
by surprise, with my arm under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard
into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to
me, begged to be taken in, and told me he would go all the world over
with me. He swam so strong after the boat, that he would have reached
me very quickly, there being but little wind: upon which I stepped into
the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him.
and told him, I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet, I would
do him none: but, said I, you swim well enough Lo reach the shore, and
the sea is calm; make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you
no harm: but if you come near the boat, I will shoot you through the
head; for I am resolved to have my liberty. So he turned himselfabout,
and swam for the shore; and I make no doubt but he reached it with
ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me and have
drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was
gone, I turned to the boy, whom they called Xury, and said to him,
Xury, if you will be faithful to me I will make you a great man; but
if you will not stroke your face to be true to me (that is, swear by
Mahomet and his father's beard), I must throw you into the sea too.
The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could not
mistrust him; and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world
with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out
directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they
might think me gone toward the Strait's mouth (as indeed any one that
had been in their wits must have been supposed to do); for who would
have supposed we were sailing on to the southward, to the truly Bar-
barian 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
cast, that I might keep in with the shore; and having a fair fresh gale of
wind and a smooth, quiet sea, I made such sail, that I believe by the next
day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I made the land, I could not be
less than one hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee, quite beyond the


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


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; tbr 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 appre-
hensive of the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere or other
for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat: when and where to get it
was the point: Xury said, if I would let him go on shore with one of the
jars, he would find if there was any water, and bring some to me. I asked
him why he would go; why I should not go, and he stay in the boat.
The boy answered with so much affection, that he made me love him ever
after. Says he, If wild mans come, they eat me, you go 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 in the boat as near the shore as we thought was
proper, and so waded to 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
toward me. I thought he was pursued by some savage, or frightened by
some wild beast, and I therefore ran forward to help him; but when I
came near to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders, which
was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in color, 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 afterward, that we need not take such pains for water;
for a little higher up the creek where we were, we found the water fresh
when the tide was out, which flowed but a little way up; so we filled our
jars, and, having a fire, feasted on the hare we had killed; and prepared
to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature in that
part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the
islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd islands also, lay not far
from the coast. But as I had no instruments to take an observation, to
find what latitude we were in; and did not exactly know, or at least re-
member, what latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them,
or when to stand off to sea toward them, otherwise I might now have
easily found some of these islands. But my hope was, that if I stood
along this coast till I came to the part where the English traded. I should
find some of their vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would
relieve and take us in.


By the best of my calculation, the place where I now was, must be that
country which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and
the Negroes, lies waste, and 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 num-
bers of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbor
there: so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where they go like
an army, two or three thousand men at a time; and, indeed, for near a
hundred miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste unin-
habited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roaring of
wild beasts by night.
Once or twice, in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe,
being the 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 frst design, and keep along
the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had left
this place; and once, in particular, being early in the morning, we came
to an anchor under a little point of land which was pretty high; and the
tide beginning to flow, we lay still, to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes
were more about him than, it seems, mine were, calls softly to me, and
tells me, that we had best go farther off the shore; for, says he, Look,
yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock, fast asleep.
I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for
it was a terrible great lion, that lay on the side of the shore, under the
shade of a piece of the hill, that hung, as it were, over him. Xury, says I,
you shall go on shore and kill him. Xury looked frightened, and said, Me
kill! he eat me at one mouth: one mouthful he meant. However, I said
no more to the boy, but bade him be still; and I took our biggest gun,
which was almost musket bore, and loaded it with a good charge of pow-
der, and with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with.
two bullets; and a third, for we had three pieces, I loaded with five smaller
bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece, to have shot
him in the head; but he lay so, with his leg raised a little above his nose,
that the slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone: he started
up, growling at first, but finding his leg broke, fell down again, and then
got up upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever I heard.
I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the head; however, I
took up the second piece immediately; and though he began to move
off, fired again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure to see him
drop, and make but little noise, but lie struggling for life. Then Xury
took heart, and would have me let him go on shore. Well, p, 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 ofthe'piece to his ear, and shot him in the head again,which dis-
patched him quite.
This was game, indeed, to us, but it was no food; and I was very sorry
to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good
for nothing 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
etfectually dried it in two days' time and it afterward served me to lie
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 for
fresh water. My design in this was to make the river Gambia, or Senegal;
that is to say, anywhere about the Cape de Verd, where I was in hopes to
meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what
course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish among the
Negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to
the coast of Guinea, or to Brazil,or to the East Indies, made this cape, or
those islands: and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this
single point, either that I must meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have
said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three
places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look at us:
we could also perceive they were quite black, and stark naked. I was once
inclined to have gone on shore to them: but Xury was my better coun-
selor, and said to me, No go, no go. However, I hauled in nearer the
shore, that I might talk to them; and I found they ran along the shore by
me a good way. I observed they had no weapons in their hands, except
one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that
they would throw them a great way with good aim; so I kept at a distance,
but talked to them by signs, as well as I could, and particularly made
signs for something to eat. They beckoned to me to stop my boat, and
they would fetch me some meat: upon this, I lowered the top of my
sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country; and in less
than half an hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dry


flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we
neither knew what the one or the other was; however, we were willing
to accept it. But how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not
for venturing on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us: but
they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore, and. laid
it down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board,
and then came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them
amends: but an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them
wonderfully; for while we were lying by the shore, came two mighty
creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it) with great fury, from the
mountains toward the sea; whetherit was the male pursuing the female,
or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell any more than
we could tell whether it was usual or strange; but I believe it was the
latter, because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear
but in the night; and, in the second place, we found the people terribly
frightened, especially the women. The man that had the lance, or dart,
did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures
ran directly into the water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon any of
the Negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if
they had come for their diversion: at last, one of them began to come
nearer our boat than I at first expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had
loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the
others. As soon as he came fairly within my reach, I fired and shot him
directly in the head: immediately he 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 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
The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire and the noise of
the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from
whence they came; nor could I, at that distance, know wjiat it wal. I
found quickly the Negroes were for eating the flesh of this creature so I


was willing to have them take it as a favor from me; which, when I made
signs to them that they might take him, they were very thankful for.
Immediately they fell to work with him; and though they had no knife,
yet with a sharpened piece of wood, they took off his skin as readily, and
much more readily, than we could have done with a knife. They offered
me some of the flesh, which I declined, making as if I would give it them,
but made signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought
me a great deal more of their provisions, which, though I did not under-
stand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them for some water, and
held ou: 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 imme-
diately to some of their friends, and there came two women, and brought
a great vessel made of earth, and burnt as I suppose in the sun; this they
set down to me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and
filled them all three. The women were as stark naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water;
and leaving my friendlY Negroes, I made forward for about eleven days
more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw 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 gale of wind, I might neither reach one nor the
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin, and
sat me down, Xury having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy cried
out, Master, master, a ship with a sail! and the foolish boy was frightened
out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some of his master's ships sent
to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten far enough out of their reach.
I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only the ship, but
what she was, viz: that it was a Portuguese ship, and, as I thought, was
bound to the coast of Guinea for Negroes. But, when I observed the
course she steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some other
way, and did not design to come any nearer to the shore: upon which, I
stretched out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if
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, they supposed, must belong to some


ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I was
encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ensign on board, I made
a waft of it to them, for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both of which
they saw; for they told me they saw the smoke, though they did not hear
the gun. Upon these signals they very kindly brought to, and lay by for
me; and in about three hours' time I came up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in
French, but I understood none of them; but, at last, a Scotch sailor who
was on board called to me, and I answered him, and told him I was an
Englishman, that I had made my escape out of slavery from the Moors, at
Sallee: they then bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in,
and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will believe, that I
was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable, and almost
hopeless, condition as I was in; and I immediately offered all I had to the
captain of the ship, as a return for my deliverance; but he generously
told me he would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be
delivered safe to me, when I came to Brazil. 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 con-
dition. Beside, said he, when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way
from your own country, if I should take from you what you have, you
will be starved there, and then I only take away that life I have given.
No, no, Senhor Inglez (Mr. Englishman), says he, I will carry you thither
in charity, and these things will help to buy your subsistence there, and
your passage home again.



As he was charitable in this proposal,so he was just in his performance,
to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen, that none should offer to touch any
thing I had: then he took every thing into his own possession and gave
me back an exact inventory of them, that I might have them, even so
much as my three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me
he would buy it of me for the ship's use; and asked me what I would
have for it. I told him, he had been so generous to me in every thing,
that I could not offer to make any price of the boat, but left it entirely to
him: upon which, he told me he would give me a note of 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 loth to take; not that
I was not willing to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell
the poor boy's liberty who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my
own. However, when I let him know my reasons, he owned it to be just,
and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to
set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury
saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the 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 con-
ditions 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 re-
member; 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 to me; and what I was willing to sell, he bought of me; such as
the case oof bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-
wax,--fr 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 there, before I was recommended to the house of a
good honest man, like himself, who had an ingenio as they call it (that is,
a plantation and a sugar-house). I lived with him some time, and'
acquainted myself, by that means, with the manner of planting and of
making sugar: and seeing how well the planters lived, and how they got
rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a license to settle there, I would
turn planter among them; endeavoring, 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 naturalization, I purchased as
much land that was uncured as my money would reach, and formed a
plan for my plantation and settlement; such a one as might be suitable
to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbor, a Pbrtuguese of Lisbon but born of English parents,
whose name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call
him my neighbor, 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. How-
ever, 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 won-
der. I had no remedy but to go on: I hadgot 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 a distance as never to hear from any part of
the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost
regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and then this neighbor;
no work to be done, but by the labor 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 probabil-
ity, been exceedingly prosperous and rich.
I was, in some degree, settled in my measures for carrying on the plan-
tation, before my kind friend, the captain of the ship that took me up at
sea, went back; for the ship remained there, in providing his lading, and
preparing for his voyage, near three months; when, telling him what
little stock I had left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and
sincere advice: Senhor Inglez, says he, (for so he always called me), if
you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to me, with
orders to the person who has your money in London, to send your effects
to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are
proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of them, God willing,
at my return: but, since human affairs are all subject to changes and dis-
asters, I would have you give orders for but 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
left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he
desired me.


I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adven-
tures; my slavery, escape, and how1 had met with the Portuguese
captain at sea, the humanity of his behavior, 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 etfectually to her;
whereupon she not only delivered the money, but, out of her own pocket,
sent the Portuguese captain a very handsome present for his humanity
and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in.English
goods, such as the captain had wrote for, sent them directly to him at
Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me at the Brazils; among which,
without my direction (for I was too young in my business to think of
them), he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, iron work, and utensils,
necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me. When
this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised
with the joy of it; and my good steward, the captain, had laid out the
five pounds, which my friend had sent him as a present for himself, to
purchase and bring me over a servant, under bond for six years' service,
and would not accept of any 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 manufactures, such as nloths, stuffs,
baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I
found means to sell them to a very great advantage; so that I might say,
I had more than four times the value of my first cargo, anel was now
infinitely beyond my poor neighbor, I mean in the advancement of my
plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a Negro slave, and a
European servant also; I mean another beside that which the captain
brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the means of our adversity,
so was it with me. I went on the next year with great success in my
plantation; I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more
than I had disposed of for necessaries among my neighbors; and these
fifty rolls, being each of above one hundred pounds weight, were well
cured, and laid by against the return'of the fleet from Lisbon: and now,
increasing in business and in wealth, my head began to be full of projects
and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are, indeed, often the ruin
of the best heads in business. Had I continued in the station I was now
in, I had room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which
my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and which he
had so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of: but
other things attended me, and I was still to be the willful agent of all my
own miseries; and, particular, to increase my fault, and double the


reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have
leisure to make, all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent
obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering about, and
pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing
myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects, and those
measures of life, which nature and providence concurred to present me
with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I could
not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of
being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only to pursue a
rash and, immoderate desire of rising faster than the nature of the thing
admitted; and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of
human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with
life, and a state of health in the world.
To come, then, by just degrees, to the particulars of this part of my
story:-You may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in the
Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my planta-
tion, I had not only learned the language, but had contracted an acquaint-
ance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the
merchants of St. Salvador, which was our port; and that, in my dis-
courses among them, I had frequently given them an account of my two
voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner of trading with the Negroes
there, and how easy it was to purchase on 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 ser-
vice of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on those heads,
but especially to the 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 from 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 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 to secresy, they
told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea; that they
had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened for nothing so much as
servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried on, because
they could not publicly sell the Negroes when they came home, so they
desired to make but one voyage, to bring the Negroes on shore privately,
and divide them among their own plantations: and, in a word, the ques-
tion was, whether I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the


trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I should
have an equal share of the Negroes, without providing any part of the
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any
one that had not a settlement and plantation of his own to look after,
which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a
good stock upon it. But for me, that was just 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 thpFliltle addition, could scarce have failed
of being worth threepr fdut thousand pounds sterling, and that increas-
ing too; for meto think of such a voy4e, was the most preposterous
thing that ever map, in B~,a)iciu'umstahc could be guilty of.
But I, that was i to beli rn de'loyer,pould no more resist the
offer, than I could- estrairr mj4t ramnlng 'designs, when my father's
good counsel wi losi4 & me.' 0la word, I told them I would go with
all my heart, if they wot0d undertake to look after my plantation in my
absence, and woulndi~ase of it to such as I should direct, if I miscarried.
This they all engaged t4(o, and entered into writings or covenants to do
so; and I made a fo Waill, disposing of my plantation and effects, in
case of my death; makiE 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-Il; one half of the produce being to himself, and
the other (Lob. shipped to England. In short, I took all possible caution
to preserve my effects, and to keeIP p 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 donefnd not to have done, I had cer-
tainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all
the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone a voyage to sea,
attended with all its common hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had
to expect particular misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy,
rather than my reason: and accordingly, the ship being fitted out, and
the cargo furnished, and all things done as by agreement, by my partners
in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour again, the first of Septem-
ber, 1659, being the same day eight years that I went from my parents at
Hull in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six
guns, and fourteen men, beside 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 very same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the
northward upon our own coast, with a design to stretch over for the
African coast. When they came about ten or twelve degrees of northern
latitude, which it seems, was the manner of their course in those days,
we had very good weather, only excessive hot all the way upon our own
coast, till we came to the hight of cape St. Augustino; from whence,
keeping farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were
for the isle of Fernando de Noronha, holding our course N. E., by N., and
leaving those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about
twelve days1'time, and were, by our la.obsesva~ions, in seven degrees
twenty-two minutes northern latitude, when~ 'ioj@nt tornado or hurri-
cane, took us quite out of our knb~iledgej-t be0an frompthe south-east,
and cameaboptto th north-westiand tfensettled in the north-east; from
whence it blew iri'sucl a terrible manlr, thbt _r glve days together
we could do nothing 'but drive, and4Auddinhg'-.F afore it, let it
carry us whither Aver fate and the fary of .ttw sint, 'directed; and
during these twelve days, I need not say thlt. 4pecfe every day to
be swallowed up; nor, indeed, did any in th.,40 lpect to save their
lives. .
In this distress we had, beside the terror dF* prm, one of our men
died of the calenture, and one man and a boy wvred overboard. About
the twelfth day, the weather abating a little, the master made an obser-
vation as well as he could, and found that he was in bout eleven degrees
north latitude, but that lie was twenty-two degrees boliongtuL difiynce,
west from cape St. Augustino: so that he found he was got upon the coast
of Guinea, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river Amazons, toward
that of the river Orinoco, commonly called the Great River; and began
to consult with me what course lie should take, for the ship was leaky
and very much disabled, and he was for going directly back to the coast
of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea-
coast of America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country
for us to have recourse to, till we came within the circle of the Caribbee
islands and therefore resolved to stand away for Barbadoes: which, by
keeping olf to sea, to avoid the indraft of the bay or gulf of MAexico, we
might easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas
we could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa without
some assistance, both to our ship and ourselves.
With this design, we changed our course, and steered away N. W. by
W., in order to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for
relief: but our voyage was otherwise 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 country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men
early in the morning, cried out, Land! and we had no sooner run out of
the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we
were, but the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment, her motion being
so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we
should all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven
into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the
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 noto much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes with-
out breaking inpifece% less the wind, by a kind of miracle, should
immediately turiP about. "Ilk a word, we sat looking upon one another,
and expecting deatbl, ;iry moment, and every man acting accordingly,
as preparing for another world; for there was little or nothing more for
us to do in this: thafwhich was our present comfort, and all the comfort
we had, was, that, contrary to our expectation, the shirdid not break
yet, and that the master said.the wind began to abate.
Now,.though we thought that the wind did a little abaje, 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 storzh, but she was first staved by dashing
against the ship's rudder, and, in the next place, she broke away, and
either sank, or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her; we
had another boat on board, but how t6 get her off into the sea was a
doubtful thing; however, there was no room to debate, for we fancied the
ship would break in pieces every minute, and some told us she was
actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat, and with
the help of the rest of thelnen, they got her flung over the ship's side;
and getting all into her, let her go, and committed ourselves, being eleven
in number, to God's mercy, and the wild sea: for though the storm was
abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and
might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly, that
the sea went so high that the boat could not live, and that we should be
inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none; nor, if we had,
could we have done any thing with it; so we worked at the oar toward


the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we
all knew that when the boat came nearer to shore, she would be dashed
in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea. However, we committed
our souls to God in the most earnest manner; and the wind driving us
toward the shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pull-
ing as well as we could toward land.
What the shore was-whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal-we
knew not; the only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow
of expectation, was, if we might happen into some bay or gulf, or the
mouth of some river, where by great chance we might have run our boat
in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water.
But there was nothing of this appeared; and as we made nearer and
nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed or rather driven, about a league and a half, as we
reckoned it, a raging wave, mountainlike, came rolling astern of us, and
plainly bade us expect the coup de grace. In a word, it took us with
such a fury, that it overset the boat at once; and separating us, as well
from the boat as from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, "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 my breath, till that wave having
driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on toward the shore, and
having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but
half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as
well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the main land than I ex-
pected, I got upon my feet, and endeavored to make on toward the land
as fast as I could, before another wave should return and take me up
again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea
come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy which I
had no means or strength to contend with: my business was to hold my
breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could; and so, by swimming,
to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself toward the shore, if possible;
my greatest concern now being, that the wave, as it would carry me a
great way toward the shore when it came on, might not carry me back
aga;n with it when it gave back toward 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 toward 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 1 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 toward 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
forward as before, the shore being very flat
The last time of these two had well nigh been fatal to me; for the sea
having hurried me along, as before, landed me, or rather dashed me against
a piece of a rock, and that with such force, that it left me senseless, and
indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side
and breast, beat the breath, as it were, quite out of my body; and had it
returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water;
but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and seeing I should
again be covered with the water, I 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 the first, being nearer land, I held my
bold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought
me so near the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did
not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took, I got
to the main land; where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the cliffs of
the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite
out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore; and began to look up and thank
God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there were, some minutes
before, scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible to express, to
the life, what the ecstacies and transports of the soul are, when it is so
saved, as I may say, out of the grave: and I did not wonder now at the
custom, viz: that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck,
is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to
him; I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let him
blood that very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise may not
drive the animal spirits from the heart, and overwhelm him.

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.
I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being,
as I may say, wrapped up in the contemplation of my deliverance; mak-
ing a thousand gestures and motions, which I can not describe; reflecting
upon my comrades that were drowned, and that there should not be one
soul saved but myself, for, as for them, I never saw them afterward, or
any sign of them, except three of the hats, one cap, and two shoes that
were not fellows.


I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel-wherr 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 kina of a place I was in, and what
was next to be done; and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in
a word, I had a 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 such terrible agonies of mind, that, for a while I
ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began with a heavy
heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous
beasts in that country, seeing at night they always come abroad for their
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that time, was, to get up
into a thick bushy tree, like a fir, but thorny-which grew near me, and
where I resolved to sit all night-and consider the next day what death I
should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong
from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I
did, to my great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco into my
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, en-
deavored to place myself so, as that if I should fall asleep, I might not
fall; and having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defense, I
took up my lodging; and having been excessively fatigued, I fell fast
asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my
condition; and found myself the most refreshed with it that I think I
ever was on such an occasion.



WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm
abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before; but that which
surprised me most was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the
sand where she lay, by the swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost


as far as the rock which I at first mentioned, where I had been so bruised
by the wave dashing me against it. This being within about a mile from
the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I
wished myself on board, that at least I might save some necessary things
for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me
again, and the first thing I found was the boat; which lay, as the wind
and the sea had tossed her up, upon the land, about two miles on my
right hand. I walked as far as I could upon the shore to have got to her;
but found a neck, or inlet, of water, between me and the boat, which was
about half a mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more
intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my
present subsistence.
A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far
out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship: and here I
found a fresh renewing of my grief; for I saw evidently that if we had
kept on board, we had been all safe; that is to say, we had all got safe on
shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of
all comfort and 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 ex-
tremity, 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 around her twice, and the second time I spied a small piece of a
rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hanging down by the fore-
chains so low, as that with great difficulty, I got hold of it, and by the help
of that rope got into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold; but that she lay so
on the side ofa bank of hard sand, or rather earth, that her stern lay lifted
up upon the bank, and her head low, almost to the water. By this means
all her quarter was free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you may
be sure my first work was to search and to see what was spoiled and what
was free; and, first, I found that all the ship's provisions were dry and
untouched by the water; and, being very well disposed to eat, I went into
the bread-room, and filled my pockets with biscuit, and eat it as I went
about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in
the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had indeed
need enough of, to spirit me for what was before me. Now I wanted
nothing but a boat, to furnish myself with many things which I foresaw
would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had, and this
extremity rousp my application; we had several spare yards, and two
or three large spars of wood, an4 a spare topmast or two in the ship; I


resolved to fall to work with these, and flung as many overboard as I could
manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might not
drive away. When this was done, I went down the ship's side, and pull-
ing 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 cuta spare topmast into three
lengths and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labor and pains.
But the hope of furnishing myself with necessaries, encouraged me to
go beyond what I should have been able to have done upon another
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 con-
sidered well what I most wanted, I got three of the seamen's chests, which
I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft;
these I filled with provisions, viz: bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five
pieces of dried goat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little re-
mainder of European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which
we had brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been
some barley and wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I found
afterward 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 cor-
dial waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of rack. These I stowed
by themselves, there being no need to put them into the chests, nor any
room for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide began to flow,
though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and
waistcoat, which I had left on shore, upon the sand, swim away; as for my
breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on board in them,
and my stockings. However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes,
of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use,
for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as, first, tools to
work with on shore: and it was after a long searching that I found the
carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much
more valuable than a ship-lading of gold would have been at that time.
I got it down to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time to look
into it, for I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two
very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols; these I
secured first, with some powder-horns, and a small bag of shot, and two
old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship,
but knew not where the gunner nad stowed them; but with much search


I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.
These two-I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself
pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with
them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; and the least capfull of wind
would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: 1st, A smooth calm sea: 2dly, The tide
rising and setting in to the shore: 3dly, What little wind there was, blew
me toward the land. And thus having found two or threebroken oars
belonging to the boat, and beside the tools which were in the chest, I
found two saws, an ax, 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 get-into 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 broken my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast, my raft
ran aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the
other end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off toward
that end that was afloat, and so fallen into the water. I did my utmost,
by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but
could not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir from
the posture I was in, but holding up the chests with all my might, I stood
in that manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the water
brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still
rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had, into the
channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in the
mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current or
tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore,
for I was not willing to be driven too high up the river; hoping in time.
to see some ship at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the
coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which,
with great pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so dear,
as that reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her directly in; but
here I had like to have dipped all my cargo into the sea again; for that
shore lying pretty steep, that is to say, sloping, there was no place to land,
but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and
the other sink lower,as before, that it would 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 upon that flat piece of ground, and there
fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken oars into the ground,
one on one side, near one end, and one on the other side, near the other
end: and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my
cargo safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place for my
habitation, and where to stow my goods, to secure them from whatever
might happen. Where I was, I yet knew not; whether on the continent,
or on an island; whether inhabited, or not inhabited: whether in danger
of wild beasts, or not. There was a hill, not above a mile from me, which
rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to 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 traveled for discovery up to the top of that hill; where, after I
had, with great labor and difficulty, got up to the top, I saw my fate, to
my great affliction, viz: that I was in an island, environed every way with
the sea, no land to be seen, except some rocks, which lay a great way off,
and two small islands, less than this, which lay about three leagues to the
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good
reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts, of whom, however,
I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds;
neither, when I killed them, could I tell what was fit for food, and what
not. At my coming back, I shot 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 innumerable number of fowls,
of many sorts, making a confused screaming, and crying, every one
according to his usual note; but not one of them of any kind that I knew.
As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its color and
beak resembling it, but it 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: 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 afterward 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 fet 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 particularly some of tile
rigging and the sails, and such other things as might come to land; and I
resolved to make another voyage on board the vessel, impossible. 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 im-
practicable; so I resolved to go as before, when the tide was down; apd
I did so, only that I stripped before I went from my hut; having nothing
on but a checkered shirt, a pair of linen drawers, and a pair of pumps on
my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and hav-
ing 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 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 bullets, seven muskets, and
another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a
large bag full of small shot, and a great roll of sheet lead; but this last
was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side. Beside
these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and a spare
foretopsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my
second raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great
I was under some apprehensions lest, during my absence from the land,
my provisions might be devoured on shore: but when I came back I
found no sign of any visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat
upon one of the chests, which, when I came toward it, ran away a little
distance, and then stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned,
and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with
me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, she
was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon
which I tossed her a bit of a 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, smeJled of it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased) fin
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

.- d .1


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 dote this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some
boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without: and spread-
ing one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my
head, and my gun at length by me, I went to bed for the first time and
slept very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy; for the night
before I had slept little, and had labored 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 have every thing out of her
that I could: so every day, at low water, I went on board, and brought
away something or other: but particularly, the third time I went, I
brought away as much of the rigging as I could, as also all the small
ropes and rope-twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which
was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpow-
der. 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 still more was, that, last of all, after I
had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing
more to expect from the ship that was worth my meddling with; I say,
after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread, and three large runlets
of rum or spirits, and a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was
surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provi-
sions, except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogs-
head of that bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the
sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.
The next day I made another voyage, and now having 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 hav-
ing cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and every thing I
could, to make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and
came away: but my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was
so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I was entered the little cove.
where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so
handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into
the water; as for myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore;
but as to my cargo, it was a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which
I expected would have been of great use to me: however, when the tide
was out, 1 got most of the pieces of cables ashore, and some of the iron,
though with infinite labor; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a


work which fatigued me very much. After this I went every day on
board, and brought away what I could get.
I had been now thirteen days ashore, and had been eleven times on
board the ship; in which time I had brought away all that one pair of
hands could well be supposed capable to bring; though I believe verily,
had the calm weather held, I should have brought away the whole ship,
piece by piece; but 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 rummaged the cabin so effectually, as that
nothing could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in
one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large 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, and some silver.
I-smiled to myself at the sight of this money: Oh drug! I exclaimed,
what art thou good for Thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking
off the ground; one of those knives'is worth all this heap: I have no man-
ner of use for thee, e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom, as a
creature whose life is not worth saving. However, upon second thoughts,
1 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 or flood began, or otherwise
I might not be able to reach the shore at all. Accordingly, I let myself
down into the water, and swam across the channel which.lay between
the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with
the weight of the things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the
water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water
it blew a storm.
But I was got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth
about me very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morn-
ing, when I looked out, behold, no more ship was to be seen! I was a
little surprised, but recovered myself with this satisfactory reflection,
viz: that I had lost no time, nor abated no diligence, to get every thing
out of her that could be useful to me, and that, indeed, there was little
left in her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
'I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any thing out of
her, except what might drive on shore, from her wreck; as, indeed, divers
pieces of her afterward did; but those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against
either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the
island; and I had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what


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


all the world, and consequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise
I could not have done; though, as it appeared afterward, there was Jo
need of all this caution against the enemies that I apprehended danger



INTO this fence or fortress, with infinite labor, I carried all my riches,
all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the account
above, and I made a large tent, which, to preserve me from the rains, that
in one part of the year are very violent there, I made double, viz: one
smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it, and covered the upper-
most 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 inclosed all my goods, I made up the
entrance, which till now I had left open, and so passed and repassed, as I
said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and
bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I
laid them up within my fence in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised
the ground within about a foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave,
just behind my tent, which served me like a cellar to my house. It cost
me much labor and many days, before all these things were brought to per-
fection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took up
some of my thoughts. At the same time it happened, after I had laid my
scheme for the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of
rain falling from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning hap-
pened, and after that, a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of
it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning, as I was with a
thought which darted into my mind asswift as the lightning 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, nut my defense 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 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 apprehend any danger from that; so I placed
it in my new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen, and the rest
I hid up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come
to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least once
every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to see if I could
kill any thing fit for food; and as near as I could, to acquaint myself
with what the island produced. The first time I went out, I presently
discovered that there were goats upon the island, which was a great satis-
faction to me; but then it was'attended with this misfortune to me, viz:
that they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most
difficult thing in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged
at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon hap-
pened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this man-
ner 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 direct downward, that they did not readily see
objects that were above them; so, afterward, I took this method-I always
climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had frequently a fair
mark. The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat,
which had a little kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me
heartily; but when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her, till I
came and took her up; and not only so, but when I carried the old one with
me, upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to my inclosure; upon
which, I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried it
over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so
I was forced to kill it, and eat it myself. These two supplied me with
flesh a great while, for I ate sparingly, and preserved my provisions (my
bread especially) as much as possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to pro-
vide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and what I did for that,
as also how I enlarged my cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall
give a full account of it in its proper place: but I must first give some
little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which, it may
well be supposed, were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away
upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm


quite out of the course of our intended voyage, and a great way, viz: some
hundreds of leagues, out of the 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 reflec-
tions: and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence
should thus completely ruin its creatures, and render them so absolutely a
miserable; so abandoned without help, so entirely depressed, that it could
hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts,
and to reprove me: and particularly, one day, walking with my gun in
my hand, by the seaside, I was very pensive upon the subject of my
present condition, when reason, as it were, expostulated with me the
other way, thus: Well, you are in a desolate condition, it is true; but
pray remember where are the rest of.you? Did not you come eleven of
you into the boat 1 Where are the ten? Why were not they saved, and
you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it better to be here or there?
And then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with the
good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for my subsist-
ence, and what would have been my case if it had not happened (which
was a hundred thousand to one) that the ship floated from the place
where she first struck, and was driven so near to the shore, that I had
time to get all these things out of her: what would have been my case,
if I had been to have lived in the condition in which I at first came on
shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure
them? Particularly, said I aloud (though to myself), what should I have
done without a gun, without ammunition, without any tools to niake 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 would provide for the accidents that might happen,
and for the time that was to come, not only after my ammunition should
be spent, but even after my health or strength should decay.
I confess, I had not entertained any notion of my 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 to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent
life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take
it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was, by my
account, the 30th of September, when, in the manner as above said, I first


set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun being to us in its autum-
nal 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, viz: "I came on shore here on the 30th of Septe in her,
1659." Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with
my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and
every first day of the month as long again as that long one: and thus I
kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning of time.
But it happened, that among the many things which I brought out of
the ship, in the several voyages which, as above mentioned, I made to it,
I got several things of less value, but not at all less useful to me, which I
found, some time after, in rummaging the chests; as, in particular, pens.
ink, and paper; several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's and car-
penter's keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical instru-
ments, 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 pther
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 occa-
sion to say something, in its place: for I carried both the cats with me;
and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship himself, and swam on
shore to me the day after I went on'shore with my first cargo, and was a
trusty servant to me for many years: I wanted nothing that he could
fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to me, I only wanted
S to have him talk to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I
found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I
shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after
that was gone, I could not; for I could not make any ink, by any means
that I could devise.


And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding
all that I had amassed together; and of these, this of ink was one; as also
a spade, pickax, and shovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and
thread; as for linen, I soon learned to want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was
near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or sur-
rounded my habitation. The piles or stakes which were as heavy as I
could well lift, were a long time in cutting and preparing in the woods,
and more, by far, in bringing home; so that I spent sometimes two days
in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driv-
ing it into the ground; for which purpose, I got a heavy piece of wood at
first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows; which,
however, though I found it answer, made driving these posts or piles
very laborious and tedious work. But what need I have been con-
cerned at the tediousness of any thing I had to do, seeing I had time
enough to do it in? nor had I any other employment, if that had been
over, at least that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for
food; which I did, more or less every day.
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstance
I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not
so much to leave them to any that were to come after me (for I was like
to have but few heirs), as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon
them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master
my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set
the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my
case from worse; and I stated very 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 miserable.

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

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

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

But I am alive; and not drowned, as
all my ship's company were.
But I am singled out too from all the
ship's crew, to be spared from death; and
he that miraculously saved me from death,
can deliver me from this condition.
But I am not starved and perishing in
a barren place, affording no sustenance.
But I am in a hot climate, where. if
I had clothes, I could hardly wear them.
But f am cast on an island where I see
no wild beast to hurt me, as I saw on
the coast of Africa; and what it.I had
been shipwrecked there?
But God wonderfully sent the ship in
near enough to the shore, that I have got
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 our-
selves 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 m'y condition, and given
over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship; I say, giving over
these things, I began to apply myself to accommodate my way of living,
and to make things as easy to me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the
side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables; but I
might now rather call it a wall, for I raised a kind of wall against it of
turfs, about two feet thick on the outside: and after some time (I think it
was a year and a half) I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and
thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could
get to keep out the rain; which I found, at some times of the year, very
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 work farther into the earth; for it was
a loose, sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labor I bestowed on it:
and when I found I was pretty safe as to the beasts of prey, I worked
sideways, to the right hand, into the rock, and then turning to the right
again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come out 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 labor, application,
and contrivance, I found, at last, that I wanted nothing but I could have
made, especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance of
things, even without tools; and some with no more tools than an adze and
a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before, and that with


infinite labor. 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 ax, till I had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then
dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but
one board of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience
any more than I had for a prodigious deal of time and labor which it took
meup to make a plank or board: but my time or labor was little worth,
and so it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the
first place; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought
on my raft from the ship. But when I wrought out some boards, as
above, I made large shelves of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over
another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron
work on: and, in a word, to separate every thing at large in their places,
that I might easily come at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the
rock, to hang my guns, and all things that would hang up; so that had
my cave been seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary
things; and I had every thing so ready at my hand, that it was a great
pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order and especially to find my
stock of all necessaries so great.
And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day's emplody-
ment; for, indeed, at first, I was in too much hurry, and not only as to
labor, but in much discomposure of mind; and my journal would, too,
have been full of many dull things; for example, I must have said thus-
"Sept. 30th. A.er I had got to shore, and had escaped drowning, instead
of being thaniTul to God for my deliverance, having first vomited with
the great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and
recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore, wringing my hands, and
beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out, I was
undone, undone! till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the
ground to repose; but durst not sleep, for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship and got all
that I could out of her, I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little
mountain, and looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship: then fancy
that, at a vast distance, I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it,
and, after 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 set-
tled my household stuff and habitation, made me a table and a chair,
and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to keep my journal: of
which I shall here give you the copy (though in it will be told all these
particulars over again) as long as it lasted; for, having no more ink, I was
forced to leave it off.




SEPTEMBER 30th, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being ship-
wrecked, during a dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this
dismal, unfortunate island, which I called the ISLAND OF DESPAIR; all the
rest of the ship's company being drowned, and myself almost dead.
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal cir-
cumstances I was brought to, viz: I had neither food, house, clothes,
weapon, nor place to fly to; and, in despair of any relief, saw nothing but
death before me; that I should either be devoured by wild beasts, mur-
dered 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 up-
right, and not broken in pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get
on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief), so,
on the other hand, it reneWed my grief at the loss of m~comrades, who,
I imagined, if we had all staid on board, might have saverthe ship, or, at
least, that they would not have been all drowned, but 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 of4)ctober to the 24th. All these days entirely spent in
many several voyages td get all I could out of the ship; which I brought
on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts. Much rain also in these days,
though with some intervals otfair weather: but it seems, this was the
rainy season.
OCT. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it; but
being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I recovered
many of them when the tide was out.
OCT. 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind; during
which time the ship broke in pieces (the wind blowing a little harder
than before) and was no more to be seen, except the wreck of'her, and


that only at low water. I spent this day in covering and securing the
goods which I had saved, that the rain might not spoil them.
OCT. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to
fix my habitation; greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack
in the night, either from wild beasts or men. Toward night I fixed upon
a proper place, under a rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encamp-
ment; which I resolved to strengthen with a work, wall or fortification,
made of double piles, lined within with cables, and without with turf.
From the126th 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
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gulf, to
seek for some food, and discover the country; when I killed a she-goat,
and her kid followed me home, which I afterward killed also, because it
would not feed.
NovxBEaa 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 fortification.
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks,
which were very good food. In the-afternoon I weat.to work to make
me a table. ,
Nov. 4. This glorning I began Jo order my times of w6rk of going out
with my gun, tilne of ileepiand time of diversion; viz: every morning I
walked out with my gun for two or three hours, if it did not rain; then
employed myself to work till about eleven o'clock; then ate what I had
to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being
excessive hot; and then, in the evening, to work again. The working
part of this day and the next was wholly employed in making my table,
for I was yet but a very sorry workman: though time and necessity made
me a complete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would any
one else.
Nov. 5. This day, went abroad with my gun and dog, and killed a wild
cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing: of every creature
that I killed I took off the skins, and preserved them. Coming back by
the seashore, I saw many sorts of seafowl which I did not understand:
but was surprised, and almost frightened, with two or three seals; which,
while I was gazing at them (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, according to my
reckoning), 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.
NOTr. I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for, omitting my mark
for them on my post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13. This day it rained; which refreshed me exceedingly, and
cooled the earth: but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and
lightning, which frightened me dreadfully, for fear of my powder. As
sodn as it was over,I resolved to separate my stock of powder into as
maly little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little square chests
or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or two pounds at most of
powder: and so, putting the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure
and as remote from one another as possible. On one of these three days
I killed a large bird that was good to eat; but I knew not what to call it.
Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent, into the rock to make
room for my farther convenience.
NoTm. Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work, viz: a pickax,
a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, or basket; so I desisted from my work, and
began to consider how to supply these wants, and make me some tools.
As for a pickax, 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, from its
exceeding hardness: of this, with great labor, and almost spoiling my ax,
I cut a piece; and brought it home, too, with difficulty enough, for it was
exceedingly heavy. The excessive hardness of the wood, and my having
no other way, made me a long while upon this machine: for I worked it
effectually, by little and little, into the form of a shovel or spade; the
handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only that the broad part
having no iron shod upon it at the 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 granted 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, none yet found out: and as to
the wheelbarrow, I fancied I could make all but the wheel, but that I had
no notion of; neither did I know how to go about it: beside, I had no
possible way to make iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel


to run in; so I gave it over: and, for carrying away the earth which I dug
out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod, which the laborers carry
mortar in for the bricklayers. This was not so difficult to me as the
making the shovel: and yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I
made in vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days,
I mean, always exceptingmy morning walk with my gun, which I seldom
omitted, and very seldom failed also bringing home something fit to eat.
Nov. 23. My other work having now stood still, because of my making
these tools, when they were finished I went on; and working every day,
as my strength and time allowed, I spent eighteen days entirely in
widening and deepening my cave, that it might hold my goods com-
NoTE. During all this time, I worked to make this room or cave,
spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a
kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. As for a lodging, I kept to the tent,
except that sometimes, in the wet season of the year, it rained so hard
that I could not keefmyselfdry; which caused me afterward to cover all
my place within my pale with long poles, and in the form of rafters,
leaning against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of
trees, like a thatch.
DECEMBER 10. I began now to think my cave or vault finished; when
on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of earth
fell down from the top and one side: so much, that, in short, it frightened
me, and not without reason too: for if I had been under it, I should never
have wanted a grave-digger. Upon this disaster, I had a great deal of
work to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out, and which
was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be
sure no more would come down.
DEc. 11. This day I 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 30th, I placed shelves, and knocked up
nails on the posts, to hang every thing up that could be hung up: and
now I began to be in some order within doors.
DEC. 20. I carried every thing into the cave, and began to furnish my
house, and set up some pieces of boards, like a dresser, t6 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. 20. No rain; and the earth much Cooler than before, and


DEC. 27. Killed a young goat; and lamed another, so that I watched it,
and led it home in a string: when I had it home, I bound and splintered
up its leg, which was broke.
N. B. I took such care of it that it lived; and the leg grew well, and as
strong as ever; but, by nursing it so long, it grew tame, and fed upon the
little green at my door, and would not go away. This was the first time
that I entertained a thought of breeding up some tame creatures, that I
might have food when my powder and shot was all spent.
DEC. 28, 29, 30, 31. Great heats, and no breeze; so that there was no
stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food; this time I spent in
putting all my things in order within doors.
JANUARY 1. Very hot still; but I went abroad early and late with my
gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther
into the valleys which lay toward the center of the island, I found there
was plenty of goats, though exceeding shy, and hard to come at; how-
ever, I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.
Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my dog,Ond 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 per-
fecting this wall; though it was no more than about twenty-five yards in
length, being a half circle, from one place in the rock to another place,
about twelve yards from it, the door of the cave being in the center,
behind it.
All this time I worked very hard: the rains hindering me many days,
nay, sometimes weeks together: but I thoughtI should never be perfectly
secure till this wall was finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpres-
sible labor every thing was done with, especially the bringing piles out of
the woods, and driving them into the ground; for I made them much
bigger than I needed to have done.
When this wall was finished and the outside double fenced, with a turf
wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any people were to
come on shore there they would not perceive any thing like a habitation:
and it was very well I did so, as may be observed hereafter, upon a very
remarkable occasion.
During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game every day,
when the rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries, in these
walks, of something or other to my advantage; particularly, I found a
kind of wild pigeons, who build, not as wood-pigeons, in a tree, but
rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks: and, taking some


young ones, I endeavored to breed them up tame and did so; but when
they grew older, they flew all away; which, perhaps, was at first for want
of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them: however, I frequently
found their nests, and got their young ones, which were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself want-
ing in many things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to
make; as indeed, as to some of them, it was; for instance, I could never
make a cask to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I observed
before; but I could never arrive to the capacity of making one by them,
though I spent many weeks about it: I could neither put in the heads,
nor join the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water; so
I gave that also over. In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles;
so that as soon as it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I
was obliged to go to bed. I remember the lump of beeswax with which
I made candles in my African adventure; but I had none of that now:
the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat, I saved the
tallow; and with a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to
which I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave
me light, though not a clear, steady light like a candle. In the middle of
all my labors it happened, that in rummaging my things, I found a little
bag; which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn, for the feeding
of poultry; not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship
came from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been in the bag
was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks
and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some other use (I think,
it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or
some such use), I shook the husks of corn out of it, on one side of my
fortification, under the rock.
It was a little before the great rain just now mentioned, that I threw
this stuff away: taking no notice of any thing, and not so much as
'remembering that I had thrown any thing there: when about a month
after, I saw some few stalks of something green, shooting out of the
ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen: but I was
surprised, and perfectly astonished, when, after a little longer time, I saw
about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfectly green barley of
the same kind as our European, nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my
thoughts on this occasion: I had hitherto acted upon no religious founda-
tion at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my head, nor had
entertained anysense of any thing that had befallen me otherwise than
as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as
inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a
climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially as I knew


not how it came there, it startled me stranegly; and I began to suggest,
that God had miraculously caused this grain to grow without any help of
seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance, on that
wild miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes; and
I began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature should happen
upon my account: and this was the more strange to me, because I saw
near it still, all along by the side of the rock, some other straggling stalks
which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen
it grow in Africa, when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my
support, but, not doubting that there was more in the place, I went over
all that part of the island where I had been before, searching in every
corner, and under every rock, for more of it; but I could not find any.
At last it occurred to my thoughts, that I had shook out a bag of chicken's
meat in that place, and then the wonder began to cease: and I must con-
fess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too,
upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common;
though I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a
providence, as if it had been miraculous: for it was really the work of
Providence, as to me, that should order or appoint that ten or twelve
grains of corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all
the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven; as also, that I should
throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in the shade of a
high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it any-
where else, at the time, it would have been burned up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you my be sure, in their season,
which was about the end of June; and, laying up every corn, I resolved
to sow them all again; hoping, in time, to have some quantity sufficient
to supply me with bread. But it was not till the fourth year that I could
allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and even then but
sparingly, as I shall show afterward in its order; for I lost all that I sowed
the first season, by not observing the proper time; as I sowed just before
the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would
have done; of which in its place.
Beside this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice,
which I preserved with the same care; and whose use was of the same
kind, or to the same purpose, viz: to make me bread, or rather food; for
I found ways to cook it up without baking, though I did that also aller
some time.-But to return to my Journal.
I worked excessively hard these three or four months, to get my wall
done; and the 14th of April I closed it up; contriving to get into it
not by a door, but over the wall, by a ladder, that there might be no sign
on the outside of my habitation.


APRIL 16. I finished the ladder; so I went up with the ladder to the
top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in the inside: this
was a complete inclosure to me; for within I had room enough, and
nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first mount my
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost all my
labor overthrown at once and myself killed; the case was thus:-As I
was busy in the inside of it, behind my tent, just at the entrance into my
cave, I was terribly frightened with a most dreadful surprising thing
indeed; for, all on a sudden, I found the earth come crumbling down
from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head, and
two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner.
I was heartily scared; but thought nothing of what really was 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 had no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, than I plainly saw
it was a terrible earthquake: for the ground I stood on shook three times
at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have
overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood
on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock, which stood about
half a mile from me next the sea, fell down, with such a terrible noise as
I never heard in all my life. I perceived also that the very sea was put
into a violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under
the water than on the island.
I was so much amazed with the thing itself (having never felt the like, nor
discoursed with any one that had) that I was like one dead or stupefied;
and the motion of the earth made my stomach sick, like one that was
tossed at sea: but the noise of the falling of the rock awaked me, as it
were; and rousing me from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me
with horror, and I thought of nothing but the hill falling upon my tent
and my household goods, and burying all at once; this sank my very
soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time, I
began to take courage; yet I had not heart enough to go over my wall
again for fear of being buried alive, but sat still upon the ground greatly
cast down, and disconsolate, not knowing what to do. All this while I
had not the least serious religious thought; nothing but the common,
Lord, have mercy upon me! and when it was over, that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, as if it
would rain; and soon after the wind rose by little and little, so that in
less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful hurricane: the sea was, all
on a sudden, covered with foam and froth; the shore was covered with a


breach of the water; the trees were torn up by the roots; and a terrible
storm it was. This held about three hours, and then began to abate; and
in two hours more it was quite calm, and began to rain very hard. All
this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and dejected; when,
on a sudden, it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being
the consequence of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and
over, and I might venture into my cave again. With this thought my
spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went
in, and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so violent, that my tent
was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to get into my
cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my
head. This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz: to cut a hole
through my new fortification, like a sink, to let the water go out, which
would else have drowned my cave. After I had been in my cave for some
time, and found no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be
more composed. And now to support my spirits, which indeed wanted
it very much, I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum;
which, however, I did then, and 'always, very sparingly, knowing I could
have no more when that was gone. It continued raining all that night,
and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad: but my
mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best do;
concluding, that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there
would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building me
some little hut in an open place, which I might surround with a wall, as
I had done here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men: for
if I staid where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried
With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the place
where it now stood, being just under the hanging precipice of the hill,
and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my
tent. I spent the two next days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in con-
triving where and how to remove my habitation. The fear of being
swallowed alive affected me so, that I never slept in quiet; and yet the
apprehension of lying abroad, without any fence, was almost equal to it:
but still, when I looked about, and saw how every thing was put in order,
how pleasantly I was concealed, and how safe from danger, it made me
very loth to remove. In the meantime, it occurred to me that it would
require a vast deal of time for me to do this; and that I must be con-
tented to run the risk where I was, till I had formed a convenient camp,
and secured it so as to remove to it. With this conclusion I composed
myself for a time; and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to
build me a wall with piles and cables, etc., in a circle as before, and set
up my tent in it when it was finished; but that I would venture to stay
where I was till it was ready, and fit to remove to. This was the 21st.


APRIL 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to put this
measure into execution;'but I was at a great loss about the tools. I had
three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets
for traffic with the Negroes); but with much chopping and cutting knotty
hard wood, they were all full of notches, and dull: and though I had a
grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This caused me as
much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point
of politics, or a judge upon the life and .death of a man. At length I
contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have
both my hands at liberty.
NOTE. I had never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to
take notice how it was done, though since I have observed it is very com-
mon there: beside that, my grindstone was very large and heavy. This
machine cost me a full week's work to bring it to perfection.
APRIL 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my
machine for turning my grindstone performing very well.
APRIL 30. Having perceived that my bread had been low a great while,
I now took a survey of it, and reduced-myself to one biscuit-cake a day,
which made my heart very heavy.



MAY i. In the morning, looking toward the seaside, the tide being low,
I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like
a cask; when I came to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three pieces
of the wreck of the ship, which were driven on shore by the late hurri-
cane; and looking toward the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie
higher out of the water than it used to do. I examined the barrel that
was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but
it had taken water, and the powder was caked as hard as a stone: how
ever, I rolled it farther on the shore for the present, and went on
upon the sands, as near as I could to the wreck of the ship, to look for
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely removed. The
forecastle, which lay before buried in the sand, was heaved up at least
six feet: and the stern (which was broke to pieces, and parted from the
rest, by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging of her) was
tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side: and the sand was thrown so
high on that side next her stern, that I cold now walk quite up to her


when the tid4 was out; whereas there was a great piece of water before,
so that I could not come within a quarter of a Aile of the wreck without
swimming. I was surprised with this at first, but soon concluded it must
be done by the earthquake; and as by this violence the ship was more
broke open than formerly, so many things came daily on shore, which
the sea had loosened, and which the winds and water rolled by degrees
to the land. *
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my
habitation; and I busied myself mightily, that day especially, in search-
ing whether I could make any way into the ship: but I found nothing
was to be expected of that kind, for all the inside of the ship was choked
up with sand. However, as I had learned not to despair of any thing, I
resolved to pull every thing to pieces that I could of the ship, con-
cluding that every thing I could get from her would be of some use or
other to me.
MAY 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through,
which I thought held some of the upper part or quarter-deck together:
and when I had cut it through, I cleared away the sand as well as I could
from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to
give over for that time.
MAY 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till
I was weary of my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young
dolphin. I had made me a long line of some ropeyarn, but I had no
hooks; yet I frequently caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat;
all which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.
MAY 5. Worked on the wreck: cut another beam asunder, and brought
three great fir planks off from the decks; which I tied together, and made
swim on shore when the tide of flood came on.
MAY 6. Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her, and
other pieces of iron-work; worked very hard, and came home very much
tired, and had thoughts of giving it over.
MAY 7. Went to the wreck again, but not with an intent to work; but
found the weight of the wreck had broke itself down, the beams being
cut; that several pieces of the ship seemed to lie loose; and the inside
of the hold lay so open that I could see into it; but almost full of water
and sand.
MAY 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the
deck, which lay now quite clear of the water and sand. I wrenched up
two planks, and brought them on shore also with the tide. I left the iron
crow in the wreck for the next day.
MAY 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the
body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with the
crow, but could not break them up. I felt also a roll of English lead, and
could stir it; but it was too heavy to remove.


' MAY 10 to 14. Went every day to the wreck; and got a great many
pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three hundred weight
of iron.
MAY 15. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a piece of the
roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the
other; but as it lay about a foot and a half in the water, I could not make
any blow to drive the hatchet.
MAY 16. It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more
broken by the force of the water: but I stayed so long in the woods, to
get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented my going to the wreck that
MAY 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a great
distance, two miles off me, but resolved to see what they were, and found
it was a piece of the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.
MAY 24. Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck; and with
hard labor I loosened some things so much with the crow, that the first
blowing tide several casks floated out, and two ofthe seamen's chests:
but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing came to land that day but
pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it; but
the salt water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this work every
day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food; which I
always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be when the
tide was up, that I might be ready when it was ebbed out: and by this
time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work, enough to have built
a good boat, if I had known how: and I also got, at several times, and in
several pieces, near one hundred weight of the sheet-lead.
JUNE 16. Going down to the seaside, I found a large tortoise, or turtle.
This was the first I had seen; which, it seems, was only my misfortune,
not any defect of the place, or scarcity; for had I happened to be on the
other side of the island, I might have had hundreds of them every day, as
I found afterward: but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
JUNE 17. I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her threescore eggs,
and her flesh was to me, at that time, the most savory and pleasant that
I ever tasted in my life; having had no flesh, but of goats and fowls,
since I landed in this horrid place.
JUNE 1i. Rained all that day, and I stayed within. I thought, at this
time, the rain felt cold, and I was somewhat chilly; which I knew was
not usual in that latitude.
JUNE 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
JUNE 20. No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and feverish.
JUNE 21. Very ill: frightened almost to death with the apprehensions
of my sad condition, to be sick, and no help: prayed to God, for the first
time since the storm off Hull; but scarce knew what I said, or why, my
thoughts being all confused.


JUNE 22. A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of sickneli.
JUNE 23. Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent
JUNE 24. Much better.
JUNE 25. An ague very violent: the fit held me seven hours; cold fit,
and hot, with faint sweats after it.
JUNE 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but
found myself very weak: however, I killed a she-goat, and with much
difficulty got it home, and broiled some of it, and ate. I would fain have
stewed it, and made some broth, but had no pot.
JUNE 27. The ague again so violent that I lay abed all day, and neither
ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for thirst; but so weak, I had not
strength to stand up,or to get myself any water to drink. Prayed to God
again, but was light-headed; and when I was not, I was so ignorant that
I knew not what to say; only lay and cried, Lord, look upon me! Lord,
pity me! Lord have mercy upon me! I suppose I did nothing else for
two or three hours; till the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not wake
till far in the night. When I awoke, 1 found myself much refreshed, but
weak, and exceeding thirsty; however, as I had no water in my whole
habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again. In
this second sleep I had this terrible dream: I thought that I was sitting
on the ground, on the outside of my wall, where I sat when the storm
blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a man descend from a great
black cloud, in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground: he was
all over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just bear to look toward
him: his countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for
words to describe: when he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I
thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake;
and all the air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with
flashes of fire. He bad no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved
forward toward me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me;
and when he came to a rising ground, at some distance, he spoke to me,
or I heard a voice so terrible that it is impossible to express the terror of
it: all that I can say I understood, was this: Seeing all these things have
not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die; at which words, I
thought he lifted up the spear that was in this hand, to kill me.
No one that shall ever read this account, will expect that I should be
able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible vision, I mean, that
even while it was a dream, I even dreamed of those horrors; nor is it any
more possible to describe the impression that remained upon my mind
when I awaked, and found it was but a dream.
I had, alas! no divine knowledge: what I had received by the good
instruction of my father was then worn out, by an uninterrupted series,
for eight years, of seafaring wickedness, and a constant conversation, with


none but such as were, like myself, wicked and profane to the last
degree. I do not remember that I had, in all that time, one thought that
so much as tended either to looking upward toward God. or inward
toward a reflection upon my own ways: but a certain stupidity of soul,
without desire of good, or consciousness of evil, had entirely overwhelmed
me; and I was all that the most hardened, unthinking, wicked creature
among our common sailors, can be supposed to be; not having the least
sense, either of the fear of God, in danger, or of thankfulness to him, in
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more
easily believed, when I shall add, that through all the variety of miseries
that had to this day befallen me, I never had so much as one thought of
its being the hand of God, or that it was a just punishment for my sin;
either my rebellious behavior against my father, or my present sins, which
were great: or even as a punishment for the general course of my wicked
life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert shores of
Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what would become"of me;
or one wish to God to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from
the danger which apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious
creatures as cruel savages; but I was quite thoughtless of a God or a
Providence; acted like a mere brute, from the principles of nature, and
by the dictates of common sense only; and indeed hardly that. When I
was delivered and taken up at sea by the Portuguese captain, well used,
and dealt with justly and honorably, as well as charitably, I had not the
least thankfulness in my thoughts. When again, I was shipwrecked,
ruined, and in danger of drowning, on this island, I was as far from
remorse or looking on it as a judgment: I only said to myself often, that
I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always miserable.
It is true, when I first got on shore here, and found all my ship's crew
drowned, and myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of ecstasy, and
some transports of soul, which, had the grace of God assisted, might have
come up to true thankfulness: but it ended where it began, in a mere
common flight of joy; or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without
the least reflection upon the distinguished goodness of the hand which
had preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved when all the
rest were destroyed, or an inquiry why Providence had been thus merci-
ful to me: just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally have,
after they are got safe ashore from a shipwreck; which they drown all in
the next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over: and all
the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was, afterward, on due con-
sideration, made sensible of my condition,-how I was cast on this dread-
ful place, out of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or
prospect of redemption,-as soon as I saw but a prospect of living, and
that I should not starve and perish for hunger, all the sense of my


affliction wore of, and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the
works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from
being afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the
hand of God against me: these were thoughts which very seldom entered
into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had, at first,
some little influence upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness,
as long as I thought it had something miraculous in it; but as soon as
that part of the thought was removed, all the impression which was
raised from it wore off also, as I have noted already. Even the earth-
quake, though nothing could be more terrible in its nature, or more
immediately directing to the invisible Power which alone directs such
things, yet no sooner was the fright over, but the impression it had made
went off also. I had no more sense of God, or his judgments, much less
of the present affliction of my circumstances being from his hand, than
if I had been in the most prosperous condition of life. But now, when
I began to be sick, and a leisure view of the miseries of death came to
place itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under the burden
ofa strong distemper, and nature was exhausted with the violence of the
fever; conscience, that had slept so long, began to awake; and I re-
proached myself with my past life, in which I had so evidently, by
uncommon wickedness, provoked the justice of God to lay me under
uncommon strokes, and to deal with me in so vindictive a manner. These
reflections oppressed me for the second or third day of my distemper;
and in the violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of
my conscience, extorted from me some words like praying to God: though
I can not say it was a prayer attended either with desires or with hopes;
it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress. My thoughts were
confused; the convictions great upon my mind; and the horror of dying
in such a miserable condition, raised vapors in my head with the mere
apprehension: and, in these hurries of my soul, I knew not what my
tongue might express: but it was rather exclamation, such as, Lord,
what a miserable creature am I! If I should be sick, I shall certainly
die for want of help; and what will become of me? When the tears
burst out of my eyes, and I could say no more for a good while. In this
interval, the good advice of my father came to my mind, and presently
his prediction, which I mentioned at the beginning of this story, viz:
that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me; and I should
have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when
there might be none to assist in my recovery. Now, said I, aloud, my
dear father's words are come to pass; God's justice has overtaken me,
and I have none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence,
which had mercifully put me in a station of life wherein I might have
been-happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself, nor learn from


my parents to know the blessing of it. I left them to mourn over my
folly; and now I am left to mourn under the consequences of it: I
refused their help and assistance, who would have pushed me in the
world, and would' have made every thing easy to me; and now I have
difficulties to struggle with, too great for even nature itself to support;
and no assistance, no comfort, no advice. The'I cried out, Lord, be my
help, for I am in great distress. This was the first prayer, if I may call
it so, that I had made for many years. But I return to my Journal.



JUNE 28. Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had,
and the fit being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright and terror
of my dream was very great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague
would return again the next day; and now was my time to get something
to refresh and support myself when I should be ill. The first thing I did
was to fill a large square case bottle with water, and set it upon my table,
in reach of my bed: and to take off the chill or aguish disposition of the
water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them
together. Then I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the
coals, but could eat very little. I walked about; but was very weak, and
withal very sad and heavy-hearted in the sense of my miserable con-
dition, dreading the return of my distemper the next day. At night, I
made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs; which I roasted in the
ashes, and ate, as we call it, in the shell: and this was the first bit of meat
I had ever asked God's blessing to, as I could remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten, I tried to walk; but found myself so weak; that I could
hardly carry the gun (for I never went out without that); so I went but a
little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which
was just before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat here, some such
thoughts as these occurred to me: What is this earth and sea, of which I
have seen so much? Whence is it produced? And what am I, and all
the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal? Whence are
we? Surely, we are all made by some secret power, who formed the
earth and sea, the air and sky. And who is that? Then it followed most
naturally, t is God that has made all. Well, but then, it came on, if God
has made all these things, he guides and governs them all, and all things
that concern them; for the power that could make all things, must cer-
A tainly have power to guide and direct them: if so, nothing can happen in


the great circuit of his works, either without his knowledge or appoint-
And if nothing happens without his knowledge, he knows that I am
here, and am in this dreadful condition: and if nothing happens without
his appointment, he has appointed all this to befall me. Nothing
occurred to my thought, to contradict any of these conclusions: and
therefore it rested upon me with the greatest force, that it must needs be
that God had appointed all this to befall me; that I was brought to this
miserable circumstance, by his direction, he having the sole power, not
of me only, but of every thing that happens in the world. Immediately
it followed, Why has God done this to me? What have I done to be thus
used? My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had
blasphemed: and methought it spoke to me like a voice, Wretch! dost
thou-ask what thou hast done ? Look back upon a dreadful misspent life,
and ask thyself, what thou hast not done? Ask, why is it that thou wert
not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth
Roads; killed in the fight when the ship was taken by the Sallee man-of-
war; devoured by the wild beasts on the coast of Africa; or drowned
here, when all the crew perished but thyself ]~ost thou ask what thou
hast done? I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonished,
and had not a word to say; no, not to answer to myself; and, rising up
pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went over my wall, as if
I had been going to bed: but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and ,
had no inclination to sleep: so I sat down in the chair, and lighted my
lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, as the apprehension of the return
of distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought, that the
Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for almost all distempers; and
I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, which was quite
cured; and some also that was green, and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven no doubt: for in this chest I found a cure
both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for,
viz: the tobacco; and as the few books I had saved lay there too, I took
out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before, and which to this time I
had not found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into. I say, I
took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, nor
whether it was good for it or not; but I tried several experiments with it,
as if I was resolved it should hit one way or other. I first took a piece
of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth; which, indeed, at first, almost
stupefied my brain; the tobacco being green and strong, and such as I
had not been much used to. Then I took some and steeped it an hour or
two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down: and,
lastly, I burned some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close over
the smoke of it as long as I could bear it; as well for the heat, as almost


for suffocation. In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and
began to read; but my head was too much disturbed with the tobacco to
bear reading, at least at that time; only, having opened the book casually,
the first words that occurred to me were these: Call on me in !he day
of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." These
words were very apt to my case; and made some impression upon my
thoughts at the time of reading them, though not so much as they did
afterward; for, as for being delivered, the word had no sound, as I may
say, to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension
of things, that, as the children of Israel said when they were promised
flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?" so I began to
say, Can even God himself deliver me from this place? And as it was
pot for many years that any hopes appeared, this prevailed very often
upon my thoughts: but, however, the words made a great impression
upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It now grew late; and the
tobacco had, as I said, dosed my head so much, that I inclined to sleep:
so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want any thing in the
night, and went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had
done in all my life; I kneeled down and prayed to God to fulfill the
promise to me, that if I called upon him in the day of trouble, he would
deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was over, I drank
the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco: which was so strong and
rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could scarce get it down: immediately
upon this I went to bed. I found presently the rum flew up into my
head violently; but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more till, by
the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the afternoon the
next day: nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion, that I slept all the
next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise, I
know not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the
week, as it appeared some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by
crossing and recrossing the line, I should have lost more than one day;
but certainly I lost a day in my account, and never knew which way.
Be that, however, one way or the other, when I waked I found myself
exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I got up,
I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I
was hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much
altered for the better. This was the 29th.
The 30th was my well day, of course; and I went abroad with my gun,
but did not care to travel too far. I killed a seafowl or two, something
like a brand goose, and brought them home; bit was not very forward
to eat them; so I ate some more of the turtle's eggs, which were very
good. This evening I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed did
me good the day before, viz: the (pbacco steeped in rum; only I did not
take so much as before, nor did I chew any of the leaf, or hold my head


over the smoke: however, I was not so well the next day, which was the
1st of July, as I hoped I should have been; for I had a little of the cold
fit, butit was not much.
JULY 2. I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and dosed myself
with it as at first, and doubled the quantity which I drank.
JULY 3. I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not recover my
full strength for some weeks after. While I was thus gathering strength,
my thoughts ran exceedingly upon this scripture, I will deliver thee;"
and the impossibility of my deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar
of my ever expecting it; but as I was discouraging myself with such
thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my deliver-
ance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliverance I had
received; and I was, as it were, made to ask myself such questions as
these, viz: Have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness;
from the most distressed condition that could be, and that was so fright-
ful to me? and what notice have I taken of it! Have I done my part?
God has delivered me, but I have not glorified him; that is to say, I have
not owned and been thankful for that as a deliverance: and how can I
expect a greater deliverance? This touched my heart very much; and
immediately I knelt down, and gave God thanks aloud for my recovery
from my sickness.
JULY'4. In the morning I took the Bible; and beginning at the New
Testament, I began seriously to read it; and imposed upon myself to read
a while every morning and every night; not binding myself to the
number of chapters, but as long as my thoughts should engage me. It
was not long-after I set seriously to this work, that I found my heart
more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.
The impression of my dream revived; and the words, All these things
have not brought thee to repentance, ran seriously in my thoughts. I
was earnestly begging of God to give me repentance, when it happened
providentially, the very same day, that, reading the scripture, I came to
these words, He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour; to give repentance,
and to give remission." I threw down the book; and with my heart as
well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried
out aloud, Jesus, thou son of David! Jesus, thou exalted Prince and
Saviour! give me repentance! This was the first time in all my life I
could say, in the true sense of the words, that I prayed; ior now I prayed
with a sense of my condition, and with a true scripture view of hope,
founded on the encouragement of the word of God: and from this time,
I may say, I began to have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, "Call on me, and
I will deliver thee," in a different sense from what I had ever done before;
for then I had no notion of any thing .being called deliverance, but my
being delivered from the captivity I was in: for though I was indeed at


large in the place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that
in the worst sense in the world. But now I learned to take it in another
sense: now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my
sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but
deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As
for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be
delivered from it or think of it; it was all of no consideration, in com-
parison with this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall
read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will
find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as to my way
of living, yet much easier to my mind: and my thoughts being directed,
by constantly reading the scripture and praying to God, to things of a
higher nature, I had a great deal of comfort within, which, till now, I
knew nothing of: also, as my health and strength returned, I bestirred
me to furnish myself with every thing that I wanted, and make my way
of living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in walking
about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little at a time, as a man
that was gathering up his strength after a fit of sickness: for it is hardly
to be imagined how low I was, and to what weakness I was reduced.
The application which I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps
what had never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to any
one to practice, by this experiment: and though it did carry off the fit,
yet it rather contributed to weakening me; for I had frequent convul-
sions in my nerves and limbs for some time: I learned from it also this,
in particular; that being abroad in the rainy season was tle most per-
nicious thing to my health that could be, especially in those rains which
came attended with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain
which came in the dry season was almost always accompanied with such
storms, so I found that this rain was much more dangerous than the rain
which fell in September and October.
I had now been in this unhappy island above ten months; all possi-
bility of deliverance from this condition seemed to be entirely taken from
me; and I firmly believed that no human shape had ever set foot upon
that place. Having secured my habitation, as I thought, fully to my mind,
I had a great desire to make a more perfect discovery of the island, and
to see what other productions I might find, which I yet knew nothing of.
It was on the 15th of July that I began to take a more particular
survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first, where, as I hinted,
I brought my rafts on shore. I found, after I came about two miles up,
that the tide did not flow any higher; and that it was no more than a
little brook of running water, very fresh and good: but this being the dry


season,.there was hardly any water in some parts of it; at least not any
stream. On the banks of this brook I found many pleasant savannas
or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass: and on the rising
parts of them, next to the higher grounds (where the water, as it might
be supposed, never overflowed), I found a great deal of tobacco, green,
and growing to a very great and strong stalk: and there were divers other
plants, which I had no knowledge of, or understanding about, and that
might, perhaps, have virtues of their own, which I could not find out. I
searched for the cassava root, which the Indians, in all that climate, make
their bread of; but I could find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but
did not understand them. I saw several sugar-canes, but wild; and. for
want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these discoveries
for this time; and came back, musing with myself what course I might
take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or plants which
I should discover; but could bring it to no conclusion; for, in short, I
had made so little observation while I was in the Brazils, that I knew
little of the plants in the field; at least, very little that might serve me to
any purpose now in my distress.
The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and after going
something farther than I had gone the day before, I found the brook and
the savannas begin to cease, and the country become more woody than
before. In this part I found different fruits; and particularly I found
melons upon the ground, in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees:
the vines, indeed, had spread over the trees, and the clusters of grapes
were now just in their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising
discovery, and I was exceedingly glad of them, but I was warned by my
experience to eat sparingly of them; remembering that when I was
ashore in Barbary, the eating of grapes killed several of our Englishmen,
who were slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers. I found,
however, an excellent use for these grapes; and that was, to cure or dry
them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept;
which I thought would be (as indeed they were) as wholesome and as
agreeable to eat, when no grapes were to be had.
I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation;
which, by the way, was the first night, as I might say, I had lain from
home. At night I took my first contrivance, and got up into a tree, where
I slept well; and the next morning proceeded on my discovery, traveling
near four miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley; keeping
still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north sides of me.
At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the country
seemed to descend to the west; and a little spring of fresh water, which
issued out of the side of the hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due
east; and the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, every
thing being in a constant verdure, or flourish offspring, that it looked like


a planted garden. I descended a little on the side of that delicious vale,
surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure (though mixed with other
afflicting thoughts), to think that this was all my own; that I was king
and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and had a right of possession;
and, ifI coula convey it, I might have it in inheritance as completely as
any lord of a manor in England. I saw here abundance of cocoa-trees,
and orange, lemon, and citron-trees, but all wild, and very few bearing
any fruit; at least not then. However, the green limes that I gathered
were not only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome; and I mixed their
juice afterward with' water, which made it very wholesome, and very
cool and refreshing. I found now I had business enough, to gather and
carry home; and I resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes as limes
and lemons, to furnish myself for the wet season, which I knew was
approaching. In order to this, I gathered a great heap of grapes in one
place, a lesser heap in another place; and a great parcel of limes and
lemons in another place; and, taking a few of each with me, I traveled
homeward; and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or what
I could make, to carry the rest home. Accordingly, having spent three
days in this journey, I came home (so I must now call my tent and my
cave): but before I got thither, the grapes were spoiled; the richness of
the fruits, and the weight of the juice, having broken and bruised them,
they were good for little or nothing: as to the limes, they were good, but
I could bring only a few.
The next day being the 19th, I went back, having made me two small
bags to bring home my harvest; but I was surprised, when, coming to
my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine when I gathered them,I
found them all spread about, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some
here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I con-
cluded there were some wild creatures thereabouts which had done this,
but whatthey were I knew not. However, as I found there was no laying
them up in heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack: but that one
way they would be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed
with their own weight, I took another course; I then gathered a large
quantity of the grapes, and hung them upon the out-branches of the
trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun; and as for the limes and
lemons, I carried as many back as I could well stand under.
When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great
pleasure the fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleasantness of the
situalton; the security from -storms on that side; the water and the
wood: and concluded that I had pitched upon a place to fix my abode
in, which was by far the worst part of the country. Upon the whole, I
began to consider of removing my habitation, and to look out for a place
equally safe as where I was now situate; if possible, in that pleasant
fruitful part of the island.


This thought ran long in my head; and I was exceedingly fond of it
for some time, the pleasantness of the place tempting me: but when I
came to a nearer view of it, I considered that I was now by the sea-side,
where it was at least possible that something might happen to my
advantage, and, by the same ill fate that brought me hither, might bring
some other unhappy wretches to the same place; and though it was
scarce probable that any such thing should ever happen, yet to inclose
myself among the hills and woods in the center of the island, was to
anticipate my bondage, and to render such an affair not only improb-
able, but impossible; and that therefore I ought not by any means to
remove. However, I was so enamored of this place, that I spent much
of my time there for the whole remaining part of the month of July;
and though, upon second thoughts, I resolved, as above stated, not to
remove, yet I built me a little kind of a bower, and surrounded it at a
distance with a strong fence, being a double hedge, as high as I could
reach, well staked, and filled between with brushwood. Here I lay very
secure, sometimes two or three nights together; always going over it
with a ladder, as before: so that I fancied now I had my country and
sea-coast house. This work took me up till the beginning of August.
I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labor, when
the rains came on, and made me stick close to my first habitation: for
though I had made a tent like the other, with a piece of sail, and spread
it very well, yet I had not the shelter of a hill to keep me from storms,
nor a cave behind me to retreat into when the rains were extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower,
and began to enjoy myself. The 3d of August, I found the grapes I had
hung up were perfectly dried, and indeed were excellent good raisins of *
the sun; so I began to take them down from the trees; and it was very
happy that I did so, as the rains which followed would have spoiled them,
and I should have lost the best part of my winter food; for I had above
two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken them all
down, and carried most of them home to my cave, but it began to rain,
and from hence, which was the 14th of August, it rained, more or less,
every day till the middle of October; and sometimes so violently, that I
could not stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season, I was much surprised with the increase of my family.
I had been concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from
me, or, as I thought, had been dead; and I heard no more of her, till, to
my astonishment, she came home with-three kittens. This was the more
strange to me, because, about the end of August, though I had killed a
wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was quite a difler-
ent kind from our European cats: yet the young cats were the same
kind of house-breed as the old one; and both of my cats being females, 1
thought it very strange. But from these three, I afterward came to be so


pestered with cats, that I was forced to kill them like vermin, or wild
beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible.
From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain: so that I could
not stir, and was now very careful not to be much wet In this confine-
ment, I began to be straitened for food: but venturing out twice, I one
day killed a goat, and the last day, which was the 26th, found a very large
tortoise, which was a treat to me. My food was now regulated thus; I
ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast; a piece of the goat's flesh, or of
the turtle, broiled, for my dinner (for, to my great misfortune, I had no
vessel to boil or stew any thing); and two or three of the turtle's eggs for
my supper.
During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two
or three hours at enlarging my cave: and by degrees worked it on toward
one side, till I came to the outside of the hill; and made a door, or way
out, which came beyond my fence or wall: and so I caie in and out this
way. But I was not perfectly easy at lying so open-: for as I had managed
myself before, I was in a perfect inclosure; whereas now, I thought I lay
exposed; and yet I could not perceive that there was any living thing to
fear; the biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a
SEPTEMBER 30. I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my
landing; I cast up the notches on my post, and found I had been on
shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I kept this day as a solemn
fast; setting it apart for religious exercise, prostrating myself on the
ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God,
acknowledging his righteous judgments upon me, and praying to him to
have mercy on me through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted the least
refreshmentt for twelve hours, even till the going down of the sun, I then
ate a biscuit and a bunch of grapes, and went to bed, finishing the day as
I began it. I had all this time observed no Sabbath-day; for as at first I
had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after some time, omitted
to distinguish the weeks, by making a longer notch than ordinary for
the Sabbath-day, and so did not really know what any of the days were;
but now having cast up the days, as above, I found I had been here a
year; so I divided it into weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a
Sabbath: though I found, at the end of my account, I had lost a day or
two in my reckoning. A little after this, my ink beginning to fail me, I
contented myself to use it more sparingly; and to write down only the
most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily memoran-
dum of other things.
The rainy season and the dry season began now to appear regular to me,
and I learned to divide them so as to provide for them accordingly; but I
bought all my experience before I had it; and what I am going to relate
was one of the most discouraging experiments that I had made at all.


I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice,
which I had so surprisingly found sprung up, as I thought, of themselves.
I believe there were about thirty stalks of rice, and about twenty of bar-
ley; and now I thought it a proper time to sow it after the rains; the sun
being in its southern position, going from me. Accordingly I dug a piece
of ground, as well as I could, with my wooden spade; and dividing it
into two parts, I sowed my grain; but, as I was sowing, it casually
occurred to my thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did
not know when was the proper time for it; so I sowed about two-thirds
of the seed, leaving about a handful of each; and it was a great comfort
to me afterward that I did so, for not one grain of what I sowed this time
came to any thing; for the dry month following, and the earth having
thus had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its
growth, and never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and
then it grew as if it had been but newly sown. Finding my first seed
did not grow, which I easily imagined was from the drought, I sought for
a moister piece of ground to make another trial in; and I dug up a piece
of ground near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in
February, a little before the vernal equinox. This having the rainy
months of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, and
yielded a very good crop; but having only part of the seed left, and not
daring to sow all that I had, I got but a small quantity at last, my whole
crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind. But by this
experiment I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when
was the proper time to sow; and that I might expect two seed-times, and
two harvests, every year.
While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, which was of
use to me afterward. As soon as the rains were over, and theweatheA
began to settle, which was about the month of November, I made a visit
up the country to my bower; where, though I had not been for some
months, yet I found all things just as I left them. The circle or double
hedge that I had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which
I had cut out of some trees that grew thereabouts, were all shot out and
grown with long branches, as much as a willow-tree usually shoots the
first year after lopping its head; but I could not tell what tree to call it
that these stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well
pleased, to see the young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them
to grow as much alike as I could: and it is scarce credible how beautiful
a figure they grew into in three years: so that, though the hedge made a
circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet the trees, for such 1
might now call them, soon covered it, and it was a complete shade,
sufficient to lodge under all the dry season. This made me resolve to
cut some more stakes, and make me a hedge like this, in a semicircle
round my wall (I mean that of my firit dwelling), which I did; and


placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at about eight yards' distance
from my first fence; they grew presently; and were at the first a fine
cover to my habitation, and afterward served for a defense also; as I shall
observe in its order.



I FOUND now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided,
not into summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and
the dry seasons, which were generally thus: From the middle of Febru-
ary to the middle of April, rainy; the sun being then on or near the
equinox. From the middle of April to the middle of August, dry; the
sun being then north of the line. From the middle of August till the
middle of October, rainy; the sun being then come back to the line.
From the middle of October till the middle of February, dry; the sun
being then to the south of the line.
The rainy seasons held sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, as
the wind happened to blow; but this was the general observation I
made. After I had found, by experience, the ill consequences of being
abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with provisions before-
hand, that I might not be obliged to go out: and I sat within doors as
much as possible during the wet months. This time I found much
employment, and very suitable also to the time; for I found great occa-
sion for many things which I had no way to furnish myself with, but by
hard labor and constant application: particularly, I tried many ways to
make myself a basket: but all the twigs I could get for the purpose
proved so brittle, that they would do nothing. It proved of excellent
advantage to me now, that when I was a boy, I used to take a great
delight in standing at a basket-maker's in the town where my father
lived, to see them make their wicker-ware; and being, as- boys usually
are, very officious to help, and a great observer of the manner how they
worked those things, and sometimes lending a hand, I had by these
means full knowledge of the methods of it, so that I wanted nothing but
the materials; when it came into my mind, that the twigs of that tree
from whence I cut my stakes that grew might possibly be as tough as the
sallows, willows, and osiers in England; and I resolved to try. Accor-
dingly, the next day, I went to my country-house, as I called it; and
cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as much
as I could desire: whereupon I came the next time prepared with a
hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found, for there was great


plenty of them. These I set up dry within my circle or hedge: and
when they were fit for use, I carried them to my cave: and here, during
the next season, I employed myself in making, as well as I could, several
baskets; both to carry earth, or to carry or lay up any thing as I had
occasion for. Though I did not finish them very handsomely, yet I made
them sufficiently serviceable for my purpose and thus, afterward, I took
care never to be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made
more; especially strong, deep baskets, to place my corn in, instead of
sacks, when I should come to have any quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about
it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to supply two other wants.
I had no vessel to hold any thing that was liquid, except two runlets
which were almost full of rum; and some glass bottles, some of the
common size, and others (which were case-bottles) square, for the holding
of water, spirits, etc. I had not so much as a potato boil any thing,
except a great kettle, which I saved out of the ship, and which was too
big for such use as I desired it, viz: to make broth, and stew a bit of meat
by itself. The second thing I would fain have had, was a tobacco pipe;
but it was impossible for me to make one; however,I found a contrivance
for that too at last. I employed myself in planting my second row of
stakes or piles, and also in this wicker-working, all the summer or dry
season; when another business took me up more time than it could be
imagined I could spare.
I mentioned before, that I had a great mind to see the whole island;
and that I had traveled up the brook, and so on to where I had built my
bower, and where I had an opening quite to the sea, on the other side of
the island. I now resolved to travel quite across to the sea-shore, on that
side: so taking my gun, a hatchet, and my dog, and a larger quantity of
powder and shot than usual; with two biscuit-cakes, and a great bunch
of raisins in my pouch, for my store; I began my journey. When I had
passed the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view of
the sea, to the west; and it being a very clear day, I fairly described land,
whether an island or continent I could not tell; but it lay very high,
extending from W. to W. S. W. at a very great distance; by my guess, it
could not be less than fifteen or twenty leagues off.
I could not tell what part of the world this might be; otherwise than
that I knew it must be part of America; and, as I concluded, by all my
observations, must be near the Spanish dominions; and perhaps was all
inhabited by savages, where, if I should have landed, I had been in a
worse condition than I was now. I therefore acquiesced in the disposi-
tions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe ordered
every thing for the best; I say, I quieted my mind with this, and left off
afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there. Beside, after some
pause upon this affair, I considered that if this land was the Spanish


coast, I should certainly,one time or other, see some vessel pass or repass
one way or the other; but if not, then it was the savage coast between the
Spanish country and the Brazils, whose inhabitants are indeed the worst
of savages; for they are cannibals or men-eaters, and fail not to murder
and devour all human beings that fall into their hands.
With these considerations, walking very leisurely forward, I found this
side of the island, where I now was, much pleasanter than mine; the
open or savanna fields sweetly adorned with flowers and grass, and full
of very fine woods. I saw abundance of parrots; and fain would have
caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to speak
to me. I did, after taking some pains, catch a young parrot; for I
knocked it down with a stick, and, having recovered it, I brought it
home; but it was some years before I could make him speak; however,
at last I taught him to call me by my name very familiarly. But the
accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its
I was exceedingly amused with this journey. I found in the low
grounds bares, as I thought them to be, and foxes: but they differed
greatly from all the other kinds I had met with; nor could I satisfy
myself to eat them, though I killed several. But I had no need to be
venturous: for I had no want of food, and of that which was very good
too; especially these three sorts, viz: goats, pigeons, and turtle, or
tortoise. With these, added to my grapes, Leadenhall market could not
have furnished a table better than I, in proportion to the company: and
though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause for thank-
fulness; as I was not driven to any extremities for food, but had rather
plenty, even to dainties.
I never traveled on this journey above two miles outright in a day, or
thereabout; but I took so many turns and returns, to see what discoveries
I could make, that I came weary enough to the place where I resolved to
sit down for the night; and then I either reposed myself in a tree, or sur-
rounded myself with a row of stakes, set upright in the ground, either
from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me
without waking me.
As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was surprised to see that I had
taken up my lot on the worst side of the island: for here indeed the shore
was covered with innumerable turtles: whereas, on the other side, I had
found but three in a year and a half. Here was also an infinite number
of fowls of many kinds: some of which I had seen, and some of which I
ha4 not seen before, and many of them very good meat; but such as I
knew not the names of, except those called penguins.
I confess, this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine; yet
I had not the least inclination to remove; for as I was fixed in my habita-
tion, it became natural to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to


be as it were upon a journey, and from home. However, I traveled along
the sea-shore toward the east, I suppose about twelve miles; and then
setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark, I concluded I would
go home again; and that the next journey I took should be on the other
side of the island, east from my dwelling, and so round till I came to my
post again; of which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could
easily keep so much of the island in my view, that I could not miss my
first dwelling by viewing the country; but I found myself mistaken; for
being come about two or three miles, I found myself descended into a
very large valley, but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered
with wood, that I could not see which was my way by any direction but
that of the sun, nor even then, unless I knew very well the position of the
sun at that time of the day. And it happened to my farther misfortune,
that the weather proved hazy for three or four days while I was in this
valley; and not being able to see the sun, I wandered about very uncom-
fortable, and at last was obliged to find out the sea-side, look for my post,
and come back the same way I went: and then by easy journeys I turned
homeward, the weather being exceedingly hot, and my gun, ammunition,
hatchet, and other things very heavy.



IN this journey, my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it; and
running to take hold of it, I caught it, and saved it alive from the dog. I
had a great mind to bring it home if I could; but I had often been
musing whether it might not be possible to get a kid or two, and so raise
a breed of tame goats, which might supply me when my powder and
shot should be all spent. I made a collar for this little creature, and with
a string which I had made of some rope-yarn, which I always carried
about me, I led him along, though with some difficulty, till I came to my
bower, and there I inclosed him and left him; for I was veryimpatient
to be at home, from whence I had been absent above a month.
I can not express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my old
hutch, and lie down in my hammock bed. This little wandering journey,
without a settled place of abode, had been so unpleasant to me, that my
own house, as I called it to myself, was a perfect settlement to me,
compared to that; and it rendered every thing about me so comfortable,-
that I resolved I would never go a great way from it again, while it
should be my lot to stay on the island.


I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long
Journey: during which, most of the time was taken up in the weighty
affair of making a cage for my Poll, who began now to be more domestic,
and to be mighty well acquainted with me. Then I began to think of
the poor kid which I had penned within my little circle, and resolved to
fetch it home, or give it some food: accordingly I went, and found it
where I left it (for indeed it could not get out), but was almost starved
for want of food. I went and cut boughs of trees, and branches of such
shrubs as I could find, and threw it over, and having fed it, I tied it as I
did before, to lead it away; but it was so tame with being hungry, that I
had no need to have tied it, for it followed me like a dog: and as I con-
tinually fed it, the creature became so loving, so gentle, and so fond, that
it was from that time one of my domestics also, and would never leave
me afterward.
The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, and I kept
the 30th of September in the same solemn manner as before, being the
anniversary of my landing on the island; having now been there two
years, and no more prospect of being delivered than the first day I came
there. I spent the whole day in humble and thankful acknowledgments
for wonderful mercies which my solitary condition was attended with,
and without which it might have been infinitely more miserable. I gave
humble and hearty thanks to God for having been pleased to discover to
me, that it was possible I might be more happy even in this solitary con-
dition, than I should have been in the enjoyment of societyhd in all
the pleasures of the world: that he could fully make up to me the defi-
ciencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by his
presence, and the communications of his grace to my soul; supporting,
comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon his providence here,
and to hope for his eternal presence hereafter.
It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy the life
I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked,
cursed, abominable life I led all the past part of my days: and now I
changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered, my
affections changed their gusts, and my delights were perfectly new from
what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past.
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the
country, the anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon
me on a sudden, and my very heart would die within me, to think of the
woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in; and how I was a prisoner,
locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited
wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest com-
posures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and
make me wring my hands, and weep like a child: sometimes it would
take me in the middle of my work, and I would immediately sit down


and sigh, and look upon the ground for an hour or two together: this
was still worse to me; but if I could burst into tears, or give vent to my
feelings by words, it would go off; and my grief being exhausted, would
But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts; I daily read
the word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state.
One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, "I
will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Immediately it occurred that
these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a
manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as
one forsaken of God and man? Well then, said I, if God does not forsake
me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the
world should forsake me; seeing, on the other hand, if I had all the
world, and should lose the favor and blessing of God, there would be no
comparison in the loss?
From this moment I began to conclude in my mind, that it was possi-
ble for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it
was probable I should ever have been in any other particular state in the
world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for
bringing me to this place. I know not what it was, but something
shocked my mind at that thought, and I durst not speak the words.
How canst thou be such a hypocrite, said I, even audibly, to pretend to
be thankful for a condition, which however thou mayst endeavor to be
contentetwith, thou wouldst rather pray heartily to be delivered from
Here I stopped: but though I could not say I thanked God for being here,
yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by whatever
afflicting providence, to see the former condition of my life, and to
mourn for my wickedness, and repent. I never opened the Bible, or shut
it, but my very soul within me blessed God for directing my friend in
England, without any order of mine, to pack it up among my goods;
and for assisting me afterward to save it out of the wreck of the ship.
Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year; and
though I have not given the reader the trouble of so particular an
account of my works this year as the first, yet in general it may be
observed, that I was very seldom idle; but having regularly divided my
time, according to the several daily employment that were before me;
such as, first, My duty to God, and the reading the Scriptures, which I
constantly set apart some time for, thrice every day: secondly, Going
abroad with my gun for food, which generally took me up three hours
every morning, when it did not rain: thirdly, Ordering, curing, preserv-
ing, and cooking what I had killed or catched for my supply: these took
up a great part of the day; also it is to be considered, that in the middle
of the day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was
too great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the


time Icould be supposed to work in; with this exception, that sometimes
I changed my hours of hunting and working, and went to work in the
morning, and'abroad with my gun in the afternoon.
To this short time allowed for labor, I desire may be added the exceed-
ing laboriousness of my work; the many hours which, for want of tools,
want of help, and want of skill, every thing I did took up out of my
time: for example, I was full two and forty days making me a board for
a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave: whereas, two sawyers, with
their tools and a saw-pit, would have cut six of them out of the samo
tree in half a day.
My case was this; it was a large tree which was to be cut down,
because my board was to be a broad one. This tree I was three days
cutting down, and two more in cutting off the boughs, and reducing it
to a log, or a piece of timber. With inexpressible hacking and hewing, I
reduced both the sides of it into chips, till it was light enough to move;
then I turned it, and made one side of it smooth and flat as a board, from
end to end; then turning that side downward. cut the other side, till I
brought the plank to be about three inches thick, and smooth on both
sides. Any one may judge the labor of my hands in such a piece of
work; but labor and patience carried me through that, and many other
things: I only observe this in particular, to show the reason why so much
of my time went away with so little work, viz: that what might be a
little to be done with help and tools, was a vast labor, and required a
prodigious time to do alone, and by hand. Notwithstanding this, with
patience and labor I went through many things; and, indeed, every thing
that my circumstances made necessary for me to do, as will appear by
what follows.
I was now in the months of November and December, expecting my
crop of barley and rice. The ground I had manured or dug up for them
was not great; for, as I observed, my seed of each was not above the
quantity of half a peck, having lost one whole crop by sowing in the dry
season: but now my crop promised very well; when, on a sudden, I
found I was in danger of losing it all again by enemies of several sorts,
which it was scarce possible to keep from it; as, first, the goats, and wild
creatures which I called hares, who, tasting the sweetness of the blade,
lay in it night and day, as soon as it came up, and ate it so close, that it
could get no time to shoot up into stalk.
I saw no remedy for this, but by making an inclosure about it with
a hedge, which I did with a great deal of toil; and the more, because
it required speed. However, as my arable land was but small, suited
to my crop, I got it tolerably well fenced in about three weeks' time;
and shooting some of the creatures in the daytime, I set my dog to
guard it in the night, tying him up to a stake at the gate, where he
would stand and bark all night long; so in. a little time the enemies

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