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

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073563/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: 631 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Eastman, E. C ( Publisher )
Defoe, Daniel
Lee and Shepard ( Publisher )
Publisher: Lee and Shepard (Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.)
E.C. Eastman
Place of Publication: Boston
Concord, N. H.
Publication Date: 1867
Edition: New ed., complete.
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1867   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- New Hampshire -- Concord
General Note: Spine title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe describes an 1864 ed. by Lee and Shepard (496) as a reissue of an 1852 ed. by Phillips, Sampson, and Co. (420). The 1852 ed. is described as having 16 plates; this issue appears to be complete with eight.
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.
Statement of Responsibility: with a biographical account of Defoe ; illustrated with sixteen characteristic engravings.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073563
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 28252002

Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
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    Biographical sketch of Daniel DeFoe
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    Section I: Robinson's family, etc. - His elopement from his parents
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    Section II: First adventures at sea, and experience of a maritime life - Voyage to Guinea
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    Section III: Robinson's captivity at Sallee - Escape with Xury - Arrival at the Brazils
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    Section IV: He settles in the Brazils as a planter - Makes another voyage, and is shipwrecked
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    Section V: Robinson finds himself in a desolate island - Procures a stock of articles from the wreck - Constructs his habitation
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    Section VI: Carries all his riches, provisions, etc. into his habitation - Dreariness of solitude - Consolatory reflections
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    Section VII: Mode of reckoning time - Difficulties arising from want of tools - He arranges his habitation
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    Section VIII: Robinson's journal - Details of his domestic economy and contrivances - Shock of an earthquake
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    Section IX: Robinson obtains more articles from the wreck - His illness and affliction
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    Section X: His recovery - His comfort in reading the scriptures - Make an excursion into the interior of the island - Forms his "bower"
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    Section XI: Robinson makes a tour to explore his island - Employed in basket-making
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    Section XII: He returns to his cave - His agricultural labors and success
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    Section XIII: His manufacture of pottery, and contrivance for baking bread
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    Section XIV: Meditates his escape from the island - Builds a canoe - Failure of his scheme - Resignation to his condition - Makes himself a new dress
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    Section XV: He makes a smaller canoe, in which he attempts to cruise round the island - His perilous situation at sea - He returns home
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    Section XVI: He rears a flock of goats - His diary - His domestic habits and style of living - Increasing prosperity
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    Section XVII: Unexpected alarm and cause for apprehension - He fortifies his abode
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    Section XVIII: Precautions against surprise - Robinson discovers that his island has been visited by cannibals
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    Section XIX: Robinson discovers a cave, which serves him as a retreat against the savages
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    Section XX: Another visit of the savages - Robinson sees them dancing - Perceives the wreck of a vessel
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    Section XXI: He visits the wreck and obtains many stores from it - Again thinks of quitting the inland - Has a remarkable dream
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    Section XXII: Robinson rescues one of their captives from the savages, whom he names Friday, and makes his servant
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    Section XXIII: Robinson instructs and civilian his man Friday - Endeavours to give him an idea of Christianity
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    Section XXIV: Robinson and Friday build a canoe to carry them to Friday’s country - Their scheme prevented by the arrival of a party of savages
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    Section XXV: Robinson releases a Spaniard - Friday discovers his father - Accommodation provided for these new guests - Who are afterwards sent to liberate the other Spaniards - Arrival of an English vessel
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    Section XXVI: Robinson discovers himself to the English captain - Assists him in reducing his mutinous crew, who submit to him
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    Section XXVII: Atkins entreats the captain to spare his life - The latter recovers his vessel from the mutineers - And Robinson leaves the island
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    Section XXVIII: 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
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    Section XXIX: Friday's encounter with a bear - Robinson and his fellow travellers attacked by a flock of wolves - His arrangement of his affairs, and marriage after his return to England
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    Section XXX: He is seized with a desire to revisit his island - Loses his wife - Is tempted to go to sea again - Takes out a cargo for his colony
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    Section XXXI: Robinson's ship relieves the crew of a French vessel that had caught fire
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    Section XXXII: Relieves the crew of a bristol ship, who are starving - Arrives at his island
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    Section XXXIII: Robinson and Friday go ashore - The latter meets with his father - Account of what passed on the island after Robinson's quitting it
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    Section XXXIV: The account continued - Quarrels between the Englishmen - A battle between two parties of savages who visit the island - Fresh mutiny among the settlers
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    Section XXXV: The mutinous Englishmen are dismissed from the island - Return with several captive savages - Take the females as wives - Arrival of savages
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    Section XXXVI: Several savages killed; the remainder leave the island - A fleet of them afterwards arrive - A general battle - The savages are overcome, and tranquillity restored
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    Section XXXVII: Robinson learns from the Spaniards the difficulties they had to encounter - He furnishes the people with tools, etc. - The French ecclesiastic
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    Section XXXVIII: Robinson's discourse with ecclesiastic as to introducing marriages among the people - Marriages performed - Atkins converts his wife
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    Section XXXIX: Atkins relates his conversation with his wife - The latter baptized by the priest - Account of the starving state of those on board the rescued vessel - Robinson's departure from the island
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    Section XL: Encounter with savages at sea - Friday's death - Robinson finds his former partner in the Brazils - Sails for the East Indies
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    Section XLI: The vessel touches at Madagascar - Affray with the natives who are massacred by the crew - The sailors afterwards refuse to sail with Robinson, who is left by his nephew, the captain, in Bengal
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    Section XLII: Meets with an English merchant with whom he makes some trading voyages - They are mistaken for pirates - Vanquish their pursuer - Voyage to China - Rencontre with the Cochin Chinese - Island of Formosa – Gulf of Nanquin - Apprehensions of falling into the hands of the Dutch
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    Section XLIII: Journey to Peking - Robinson joins a caravan proceeding to Moscow - Rencontres with the Tartars
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    Section XLIV: Route through Muscovy - Robinson and a Scots merchant destroy an idol - The whole caravan in great peril from the pursuit of the Pagans – Tobolski - Muscovite exiles - Departure from Tobolski - Encounter with a troop of robbers in the desert - Robinson reaches Archangel, and finally arrives in England
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Full Text

___-.___.---. _--_ -. --





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DREAM. .218





































Tnb author of Robinson Crusoe would be entitled to a prominent place la
the history of our literature, even had he never given to the wori that
truly admirable production; and yet we may reasonably question whether
the name of Defoe would not long ago have sunk into oblivion, or at least
have been known, like those of most of his contemporaries, only to the
curious student, were it not attached to a work whose popularity has been
rarely equalled-never, 'perhaps, excelled. Even as it is, the reputation
due to the writer has been nearly altogether absorbed in that of his hero.
and in the all-engrossing interest of his adventures: thousands who have
read Robinson Crusoe with delight, and derived from it a satisfaction in
no wise diminished by repeated perusal, have never bestowed a thought on.
its author, or, indeed, regarded it in theli ght of a literary performance.
While its fascination has been universally felt, the genius that conceived
it, the talent that perfected it, have been generally overIoekAel 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 commit-
ted to paper plain matter of fact, without study or embellishment. We
wonder at and are struck with admiration by the powers of Shakspeae or.
Cervantes; with regard to-Defoe we experience no similar feelings; it is
not the skill of the artist that enchants us, but the perfect naturalness
of the picture, which is such that we mistake it for a mirror; so that every
reader persuades himself that he could write as well, perhaps better, were
he but furnished with the materials for an equally interesting narrative.
There are many circumstances in Defoe's own history thatwould recom-
mend it to the notice of the biographer, independently of-his claims as
the author of R9binson: 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 ims 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 fai advanced in
years, he having then arrived at a period of life when the generality of
authors close their literary career, and when the powers of agination
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 wras not a recluse
student or professed scholar, but was engaged in trail and vamous other
speculations. In one respect, however, his mercantile occupation eon-
trib'ited to lay the foundation of his excellence as a novel-writer, s Ce



theie 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 presume to under-
value 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 lustre on a pedigree. It is
usual to affect some degree of astonishment when we read of men whose
after fame presents a striking contrast to the humility of their origin: yet
we must recollect that it is not ancestry and splendid descent, but educa-
tion 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 exekising their mental
energies. Those on the contrary who are placed- in a middle station
while they are not debarred from the means of application, feel that
stimulus to exertion which arises from the desire of acquiring fortune or
fame. The history of such men as Ximenes, Wolsey, Alberoni, and
Napoleon, may, indeed, justly excite our wonder;-when, too, we behold
unlettered genius emerging, in spite of every obstacle, from the obscurity
to which it seemed condemned, as in a Fergusson, a Duval, a Burns, ana
an Opie, we may be permitted to express our astonishment; but as regards
his origin, the history of Defoe is that of thousands who have afterwards
raised themselves into comparative elevation by the display of their
powers. The solicitude, therefore, so generally displayed by biographers,
on similar occasions, to trace some consanguinity with a more dignified
branch of their families, for those whose native obscurity seems to demand
some apology, betrays a rather mistaken policy. 'However this may be,
it is certain that it is quite as honorable for Defoe to have ascended from
a butcher as it would have been to have descended from the Conqueror
One undoubted and very great advantage, for which Defoe was indebted
to his parents, who were Nonconformists, was an education superior to
what it was then usual for persons in their station to bestow upon their
children; and they were careful also to implant in his youthful mind that
regard for religion, and that strict moral integrity, which afterwards
displayed themselves not only in his writings, but his conduct through
life. And this rectitude of principle he most 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 afterwards vice-president of Harvard College,
New England; and from various incidental remarks in his own works, it
appears that young Defoe now entered upon an extensive course of
studies, and made considerable proficiency in languages, mathematics,
philosophy, history, and theology; although the natural liveliness of his
disposition unfitted him for that severe application which is necessary ta
form a profound scholar in any one of those pursuits.
It was the intention of his parents that h% should embrace the clerical
profession, which their religious feelings, and probably a very pardonable
ambition, induced'tgn to select for him: yet, notwithstanding his regar&
for the sacred office was unwilling to embrace it himself; or events, af
east, 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 ofl
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 distinguish-
ing himself. He was a warm advocate for the Bill of Exclusion, passed
by the Commons to prevent the succession of the Duke of York to the
throne; and regarded with abhorrence that spirit of despotism which
sentenced Sydney and so many others to the scaffold. At the age of twenty-
one he commenced author, which employment he continued for nearly
half a century, and that, too, almost uninterruptedly, notwithstanding
his various speculations of a different nature. It cannot be expected that
in a sketch of this nature we should attempt to give anything like a con-
nected account of Defoe's various literary performances, they being too
numerous and multifarious for us to advert to them separately, even if we
conceived that by so doing we should greatly interest the readers of this-
the most distinguished of them all. But the truth is, the majority o(
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 indulged in rather
intemperate language, and while vindicating the dissenters, reflected in
too hostile and indiscrimine a 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 Pro-
tes:antism not to increase the influence of a Catholic power, it was
infinitely more so to oppose a Mahommedan one; which, however debate-
able 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 publica-
tions quickly to fall into oblivion after the events which call them forth
have passed away: the reputation derived from them is as transitory as
the events themselves, or if the fame of the writer occasionally descents
to posterity, it is more than can be affirmed of his writings.
Shortlyafter this, Defoe proved that he was as ready to support the
doctrines he advocated by the sword as by the pen: he apardingly joined
the standard of the Duke of Monmouth, when the lattelande 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 per-
fectly innocent, Monmouth are well known. Happier than the leader of
the enterprise, it was Defoe's better luck to escape: he returned to the
metropolis in safety; and, abandoning politics and warfare, was content .,
for a while to turn his attention to the more humble but less stormy pur-
suits of trade.
He now became a hosier, or rather a hose-factor, that is, a kind of agent
between the manufacturer and retailer; and, according to Mr. Chalmers,
he continued to carry on this concern from 1685 to 1695. It was about
two years after he had thus established himself, that he was admitted a
liveryman of London, on the 26th of January, 1687-8. Business, how
ever, did not so entirely absorb his attention but that he found time to
engage in the various controversies that agitated the public mind,. and
which were occasioned by the arbitrary measures of James, who, feeling
himself secure after the removal of .so dangerous an enemy as Monmouth,
began more openly to 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 doctrine of the dispensing power was Defoe; nor.


as may well be imagined, was he afterwards an unconcerned i spectator o
the Revolution, whose progress he had minutely watched, and whose
anniversary he continued yearly to celebrate as a day marked by the
deliverance of his country from political and religious tyranny. His
attachment to the new sovereign was confirmed by the personal notice
shown him both by that prince and his consort; for the butcher's son"
had 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 embarked
in the Spanish and Portuguese trade, so that he might fairly claim the
title of merchant. The precise time of his going to Spain, whether before
or after the Revolution, cannot be ascertained; but he not only made a
voyage thither, but stayed some time in the country, and acquired a
knowledge of the language. Sincere as was his attachment to the purer
tenets of Protestantism, it did not degenerate into blind prejudice, nor
prevent him from doing justice to Catholics: he has accordingly, in
his Robinson Crusoe, represented the Spanish character under its most
amiable traits, and in a tone that may almost pass for panegyric. This
voyage, as we have already remarked, doubtlessly contributed to store his
observant mind with many materials for those descriptions of the perils
and adventures common to a seafaring life, that so strongly excite the
sympathy of those who follow his hero across the trackless deep. Nor
was he without some 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." Besides 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.
k commission of bankruptcy was taken out against him, yet it was after-
wards superseded, those to whom he was most in debt agreeing to accept
a composition his own bond; and he not only punctually discharged
these claims, bFt, after he had somewhat retrieved his circumstances,
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 impunity held out
to them by the supineness or the impotency of the law, were then accus-
tomed to set their creditors at defiance in the most barefaced manner.
It was Defoe himself who first called the attention of the legislature to
the intolerable abuses which arose from those sanctuaries, as they were
termed, for criminals and debtors, which then existed in the metropolis;
and to him, consequently, may we be said to be indebted for the abatement
of a nuisance as disgraceful to the national character, as it was injurious
'.o the industrious and honest portion of the community.
With a 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, advanta-
geous as the proposal was, he declined it, preferring to endeavor to retrieve
his finances by his pen. The country being then engaged in an expensive
war with France, Defoe proposed a scheme to assist the government in
raising the ways and means;" and some time afterwards he received
the appointment of accountant to the commissioners of the glass duty;
but it proved only a temporary one, as the duty was repealed in August,
1699. Probably it was also about the same period that he became secretary
to the tile-works at Tilbury, in which concern he embarked some money.
nm was again a sufferer. His "Essay on Projects," published in Jan'


nary, 1696-7, shows him to have been, if not a very successful speculator
himself, at least a very ingenious and fertile deviser of theoretical plans,
most of which must be allowed to have the welfare of society in view; nor
have they been without influence in leading to many improvements of
later times: among those which have been practically adopted, we may
mention his scheme for Friendly Societies and Savings Banks. Were
any testimony required in 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 defence of public morals,
Defoe's pen was too honest to betray their interests on any occasion: it
was not always that his topics called for, or even admitted, any direct
inculcations 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, levelled 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 reprehen-
sible in the vulgar. The. stage too did not escape his castigation; and
really its transgressions were at that period so barefaced and audacious, so
offensive even to common decency, that, whatever infamy there may have
been in either tolerating or in attempting to defend such a system of
lewdness, there could be no great triumph in exposing that which did not
even attempt to conceal itself.
We have now to notice our author in a somewhat different character-
namely, as a candidate for poetical fame. His satire, entitled the "True
born Englishman," which was written for the purpose of averting from
the king the abusive reflections cast upon him as a foreigner, had indeed a
very great run at the time-more, however, on account of the matter
than of the manner-since both that and all Defoe's other attempts of
the kind convince us, that, like the great Roman orator, he was an intol-
erably bad poet, and not even a decent versifier. Yet could gratitude and
enthusiastic devotion to his prince have supplied the inspiration which
the muses denied him, Defoe's poetry'would have been of first-rate excel
lence, so sincere was his admiration of, so zealous was his devotion to,
William III. The various effusions in rhyme, and the numerous political
pamphlets and tracts which he published at this interval, we must pass by.
and come directly to an event that obtained for our author a rather
unenviable species of distinction. The reign of Anne commenced with
much violence and with cabals between the respective church parties,
leading to controversies that rather fanned than allayed the public fer-
ment. 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 create! an amazing sensation;. and on its real object being exposed.
the high-church party became as fierce in their indignation, as they hao
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 champion of religious
liberty, converted an ignominious punishment into a triumph, so that his
enemies had as little reason to exult in their victory, as to be proud of the
sagacity they had displayed. If, however, this event rather increased
than diminished Defoe's reputation, it had a different effect upon his
pecuniary affairs: his confinement in Newgate prevented his attending


any longer to his concern at Tilbury, the consequence of which was that
it was obliged to be given up; and thus Defoe saw himself deprived at
once of what had been the source of a handsome income, for before this
affair he was in such thriving circumstances as to be able to ketp his
coach. According to his own statement, he lost three thousand five
hundred pounds, a far more considerable sum at that period than it wtuld
De now. There was indeed one way of both speedily and safely repairing his
finances, namely, by accepting the overtures made him by the ministry
who would gladly have enlisted in their own cause that pen which had
proved so powerful against them: but Defoe was too dependent 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 afterwards continued the subject in another,.entitled "More Reforma-
tion ;" in which he alludes to his own situation in the following nervous
.ines, describing himself as
A modern tool,
To wit, to parties and himself a fool;
Enbroil'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 say fact indignatio versus, for the caustic tone and
antithesis are not unworthy of Pope himself. The political controversial
pieces which he sent forth to the world from his "place of durance vile"
weretoo 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 twd of the most popular and admired of
our classic writers in the days of Anne-namely, Steele and Addison.
Defoe's "Review," which commenced Feb. 19, 1704, deserves to be
considered as the prototype of our Tatlers and Spectators; and may earn
for its author the appellation of the Father of English Essayists: since
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 proceeding or contem-
porary publications. Uniformily assailing vice, or exposing to just ridicule
the follies and foibles of society, Defoe varied his mode of attack, at Pne
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 common-place, merely because they have been
so repeatedly handled by later writers, that both the wit and argument
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 far 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 steam-
boat, who claims the homage of our admiration.
Those who are unacquainted with Defoe the essayist, as well as Defos
the novelist, will not be able to appreciate the extent of our author's


powvns, and the variety of his information. But we lave already dwelt
upon the Review" at greater length than is consistent with the brevity
we must perforce observe: it is time, therefore, to proceed with our nar-
rative. Mr. Harley, afterwards earl of Oxford, happened, by a change in
the ministry, to come into power, after Defoe had been about two years in
confinement, and being able to appreciate his abilities -perhaps anxious
to secure them in his own support, he represented his case to the queen,
who generously sent a sum of money to his wife and family, and another
to discharge his fine and prison expenses. Immediately upon his libera-
tion, 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 otheapccupations, for it should be observed that he had been sent in
1705 by Harley on a secret mission to the continent, the express object of
which has not transpired, he found leisure to employ his pen on other
subjects, and anticipating his future character of a romance writer, he
invented the true narrative" of Mrs. Veal's apparition, which was pre-
fixed to a translation 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 bookseller's 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 in-
genuity 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, besides 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 calcula-
tions relating to trade and taxes, for the information of the committees of
parliament; he also occupied himself in collecting those documents rela-
tive to the Union which he afterwards published. Besides this, he
proposed several plans for encouraging the manufactures, and for pro-
moting 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 afterwards, his patron Harley was dismissed from office,
through the -persevering intrigues of the duchess of Marlborough,
whom he had supplanted in the queen's favor, an event that suddenly
overclouded Defoe's political prospects, Without compromising his
principles, however, he espoused the intern of the succeeding ministry;
but although Godolphin treated him with considerati2p, he suffered his
pension to fall into arrears, perhaps in consequence of Defoe's long
absence in Scotland, whither he was again despatched a few months after-
wards, 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 amongst the soundest historians of the day; and which.*
according to the testimony of another, would have handed down his name
to posterity, even had he not immortalized himself by Robinson Crusoe.
This was his History of the Union," which is as interesting for the
minute descriptions it gives of e actors and incidents in that important
event, as for the documents it furnishes.
Still engaged in politics, Defoe's continued and severe attacks again


the Tories and high-church party so exasperated them, that they attempted
to suppress his writings, and even threatened him with prosecutions:
their animosity, however, did not procure for him, from those whose causa
he defended, a degree of favor and support at all commensurate with his
long and able services. He had also to contend with fresh pecuniary
losses in some concern in which he was engaged (1712) with Mr. Wood, a
mercer of Coleshill in Warwickshire, and with the personal abuse with
which his character was assailed by writers who reflected upon him as
being a knavish bankrupt. But his political career was now drawing to
its close: having carried on his Review" for more than nine years, lie
finally relinquished it in May, 1713, when he was again a prisoner in
Newgate upon an indictment preferred against him by his friends thi
Whigs, as the author of three treasonable Jacobitical pamphlets; whereas
the publications in question were of a directly opposite tend.ncy. The
queen once more bestowed a free pardon on him, and the malice of his,
numerous enemies was defeated. From this time he employed 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 wih
which, during nearly thirty years, he had not only advocated religious and
political independence, but endeavored to call attention to subjects if
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 accom-
panied by an equal degree of vigor and raciness of intellect: when, how-
ever, 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 sub-
ject serves to recruit the mental energies. Defoe at least may be quoted
as an extraordinary instance of rejuvenescency of mind in the decline of
years. We do not here allude to his Family Instructor," although that
performance is one of the most valuable and useful systems of practical
morality in our 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 appear in quick succession from his pen, that have won
for him an imperishable reputation among the Worthies of English litera-
ture: nor will his claims upon our admiration be diminished by considering
the extravagant, unnatural system of romance-writing which had till then
prevailed, where everything was either .so artificial or so shadowy, that
not a glimpse of real lifee wasto be discerned. In Defoe's narratives, on
the contrary, there is such an air of downright matter-of-fact and un
adorned truth, ashto amount to actual deception; thereby preventing uo
from crediting the author with any merit on the score of imagination
contrimvnce, or invention. Of this the reader will be amply convinced by
the perusal of the present work, on which it is not necessary that wr'
should expatiate, and we shall therefore merely advert to the circum-
stances connected wit itts origin and publication. The history of lobin-sn
Crusoe was first pui.ished in the year 1719, and its popularity may be
said to have been established immediately, since four editions were calle~i
for in about as many months, a circumsadce at that time almost unpre-
cedented in the annals of literature. It rarely happens that an author'e
rpectatiotum are surpassed by the success of his work, howmeer astonishing


jt may seem t< others: yet perhaps even Defoe himself did not vetare to
look forward to such a welcome on the part of the public, after the repul-
ses he had experienced on that of the booksellers; for incredible as it now
appears the manuscript of the work had been offered to, and rejected by,
every one in tie trade, in which respect its destiny was not only similar to
that of Paradise Lost, but two of the most celebrated literary productions ol
the present day, namely, Waverly and Childe Harold; the former of which
ilmained in manuscript ten years, without any probability of ever seeing
the light, although its fame has since extended itself wherever the Eng-
lish language is known-nay more, has even penetrated the wilds ot
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 Cnusoe,
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
duri-ng his imprisonment in the Tower; in 1715, on a charge of high
treason; and they have urged that the whole tone of the work, especially
of that part towards the conclusion where an account is given of the
exiled nobles of Muscovy, is what would naturally be suggested by the
solitude of a prison. Yet as far as internal evidence is concerned, that is,
indisputably, much stronger in 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 conclusive and
undeniable testimony of facts to the contrary can at all invalidate his
claims to be considered as the real author. Had Robinson Crusoe been
the only production of the kind that proceeded from his pen, there might
be better reason for doubting whether he wrote it; but the various other
novels, or rather pieces of fictitious biography, which he produced, form
an additional reason for attributing it to him.
Of these latter we must here speak far more briefly than they deserve:
the History of Moll Flanders," which was published in 1721, is an
admirably drawn picture of life, and contains an excellent moral lesson,
.' many of the scenes it necessarily discloses are coarse and revolt-
i,. "Life of Colonel Jaque" contains almost as much alle
~.i :-ation of real life; and in that part of the narrative which gives an
ace -unt of the hero's residence in Virginia, Defoe has humanely advocated
the cause of the negro slaves. His Memoirs of a Cavalier," which
tAk 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
rt mance. Indeed, all the details are so circumstantial and accurate, that
't Las been mistaken for a genuine narrative of the events of the civil
wars in England and Germany ; and it was actually recommended as the
ery 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 Boccaccio; and depicts the horrors
of pestilence as vividly and as masterly as Poussin. It may, however, be
imagined by some that this is rather suspicious praise, and that the work
of fiction which can pass as true history must be cold, matter-of-fact, and
tame-repulsive and dry. It is not, however, in the formal gravity of
style that these works resemble history; but they imitate and reflect the
features of the past in their most interesting, if not their most engaging
Besides the preceding, and one or two'other productions of a similar
cast, Defoe produced that very-excellent and popular work entitled
"Religious Courtship," which was first published in 1722, and afterwards
went through numerous editions. This and his "Family Instructor" are
replete with lessons of the soundest practical wisdom, and place their
author among the most extensively useful of our English moralists.
Here, however, we must terminate our sketch, having barely left 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 tV
the affliction of bodily infirmity and severe pain, he again fell into great
pecuniary difficulties, and was even arrested. He appears, however, to
have recovered his liberty within a short time; but the unnatural conduct
of his son, who refused to give up the property that had been entrusted to
him, with the view of securing a provision to his mother and two unmar-
ried sisters, was a heavier blow than any he had before experienced; and
the mental anguish it occasioned doubtless accelerated his death, which
3ccured on the 24th of April, 1731. Since that period more than a century
has elapsed; and in that interval many names of considerable eminence
in their day have sunk into irretrievable oblivion; IRefoe, also, has lost
some portion of the celebrity he enjoyed with his contemporaries: yet,
after deduction, enough remains to entitle him to a place among the
Worthies of English literature, for should all his other productions be
forgotten, his Robinson Crusoe must remain imperishable.




I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a gocd
family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner
of Bremen,- named Kreutznaer, who settled first at Hull.
He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his
trade, lived afterwards at York; from whence he had mar-
ried my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a
very good family in that country,~and after whom I was soa
called, that is to-say, Robinson Kreutznaer; but by toh
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 f6ot in Flanders, formerly
commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed
at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What
became of my second brother, I never knew, any more than
my father and mother did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any
trade, my head began to e 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

*. .'.i-ssia


sea; and my inclination to this led me so stongly against
the will, nay, the commands of my father, and against all
the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other
friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that
propension of nature, tending directly to the life of misery
whlih 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
L 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 one hand,'or of superior
fortunes, on The other, who went abroad upon adventures,
aspiring to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous
in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that
these things were all either too far above me, or too far
below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might
be called the upper station of low life, which he had found,
by long experience, was the best state in the world, the
most suited to human happiness; not exposed to the mis-
eries and hardships, the labor and sufferings, of the mechanic
part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury,
ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind: he told
me, I might judge of the happiness of this state by one thing,
viz., that this was the state of life which all other people
envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable
consequences of being born to great things, and wished they
had been placed in the middle of two extremes, between the
mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimon-
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, tha the
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower
part of mankind ; but tlat 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 ol
body or mind, as those were, who, by vicious living, luxu
and extravagancies, on one hand, or by hard labor, wa.I
necessaries, and mean and insufficient diet, on the -
hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural
sequences of their way of living that the middle station
life was calculated for all kind of virtues, and all kind of
enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a
middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness,
health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable
pleasures were the blessings attending the middle station of
life; that this waymen 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 oW
slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed circum-
stances, which *rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest;
not enraged with the passion of envy, or secret burning -lust
of ambition for great things; but, in easy circumstances,
sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the
sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are
happy, and learning by every day's experience, to know it
more sensibly.
After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affec-
tionate manner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate
myself into miseries which nature and the station of life I
was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was
under no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do
well for me, and endeavor to enter me fairly into the station
f 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 merl fate, or fault, that must hinder it; and that he
should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged
his duty in warning me against measures which ne knew
would be to my hurt: in a word, that as he would do very
kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home, as he di-
rected; so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes
as to give me any encouragement to go away : and, to close
all, he told me I had my elder brother for an example, to
whbm he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him
from going into the Low Country wars; but could not pre-
vail, 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 the last part of his discourse, which was
truly prophetic, though, I suppose, my father did not know
w to be so himself; I say, I observed the tears run down hit
ace very plentifully, especially when he spore of my brother,
vho was killed; and that, when he spoke of my having
leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved
that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart-was so
full, he could say no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who
could be otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going
abroad any more, but to settle at home, according to my
father's desire. But, alas! a few days wore it all off; and,
in short, to prevent any of my father's farther importunities,
in a few weeks after, I resolved to run quite away from him.
However, I did not act so hastily neither, as my first heat of
S 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 anything 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, 1
would go no more, and I would promise, by a double dili-
gence, 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 anything so much for my
hurt; and that sLh wondered how I could think of any such
thing, after the discourse I had had with my father, and such
kind and tender expressions, as she knew my father had used
to me; and that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was
no help for me; but I might depend I should never have
their consent to it: that, for her part, she would not have so
much hand in my destruction; and I should never have it to
say, that my mother was willing w:men my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I
heard afterwards, that she reported all the discourse to him;
and that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said
to her, with a sigh, That boy might be happy, if he would
stay at home; but if he goes abroad, he will be the most
miserable wretch that ever was born: I can give no consent
to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though in the mean time I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating
with my father and mother about their being so positively
determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted


me t,. But being one day at Hull, whithe- I went casually,
and without any purpose of making an elopement at that
time, and one of my companions then going to London by
sea in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with then
by the common allurement of seafaring men, viz., that it
should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither
father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them word
of it; but left them to hear of it as they might, without
asking God's blessing, or my father's, without any consider-
ation 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 misfcr-
tunes, 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.


ll1 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
[ thought, into the trough or hollow of the sea, we should
never rise more; and in this agony of mind I made many
vows and resolutions, that if it would please God to spare
my life this voyage, if ever I got my foot once on dry land,
I would go directly home to my father, and never set it
into a ship again, while I lived; that I would take his advice,
and never run myself into such miseries as these any more.
Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about
the middle station of life; how easy, how comfortable,
he had lived all his days, and never had been exposed to
tempests at sea or troubles on shore; and I resolved that I
would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued" during the
storm, and indeed sometime after; but the next day, as the
wind was abated, and the sea calmer, I began to be a little
inured to it. However, I was very grave that day, being
also a little sea-sick still: but towards night the weather
cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine
evening followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and
rose so the next morning; and having little or no wind,
and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as
I thought, the most delightful that I ever sam
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 resolution should continue, my
companion, who had indeed enticed me away, came to me,


and said, Well, Bob, clapping me on the shoulder, how do
you do after it? I warrant you you were frightened, wa'n't
you, last night, when it blew but a cap-full of wind ? A
cap-full, do you call it ? said I; 'twas a terrible stcrm. -
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 th'nk nothing of such a squall of wind as
that: yo are but a fresh-water sailor, Bob; ccme, let us
make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all -that. D'ye see
what charming weather 'tis now? To make short this sad
part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch
was made, and I was made drunk with it; and in that one
night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance,' all my
reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions for
the future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its
smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abate-
ment 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 distemper, and, apply-
ing myself to drink and company, soon mastered the return
of those fits for so I called them; and 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 lave 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


tontrar) and the weather calm, we had made but little way
since the storm. Here we were obliged to come to an
anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary, viz.,
at south-west, for seven or eight days, during whicl 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, rid here so
long, but we should hdve tided up the river, but that the
wind blew too fresh; and, after we had lain four or five
days, blew very hard. However, the roads being reckoned
as good as a harbor, the anchorage good, and our ground
tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in
the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest
and mirth, after the manner of the sea. But the eighth day,
in the morning, the wind.increased, and we had all hands at
work to strike our topmasts, and make everything snug and
close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon
the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rode-forecastle
in, shipped several seas, and we thought, once or twice, our
anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered out
the sheet anchor; so that we rode with two anchors ahead,
and the cables veered out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I
began to see terror and amazement in the faces of even the
seamen themselves. The master was vigilant in the business
of preserving the ship; but, as he went in and out of his
cabin by me, I could hear him softly say to himself several
times, Lord, be merciful to us! we shall be all lost; we
shall be all undone and the like. During these first hurries
I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steer-
age, and cannot 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, am


I said just now, and sazd we should be all lost, I was dreal-
fully frightened. I got up out of my cabin, and looked out;
but such a dismal sight I never saw; the sea went mountains
high, ad bioke upon us every three or four minutes. When
I could look about, I could see.nothing but distress around
us; two ships, that rid near us, we found had cut their
masts by the board, being deeply laden; and our men cried
out that a ship, which rid about a mile ahead of us, was
foundered. Two more ships being driven from their anchors,
were run out of the roads to sea, at all adventures, and that
with not a mast standing. The light ships fared the best,
as not so much laboring in the sea; but two or three o.'
them drove, and came close to us, running away, with only
their spritsails out, before the wind. Toward evening, the
mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let
them cut away the foremast, which he was very loath to do;
but the boatswain protesting to him, that if he did not, the
ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cu6
away the foremast, the mainmast stood so loose, and shook
the ship so much, they were obliged to cut it away also, and
make a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all
this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such
a fright .before at but a little. But if I can express, at this
distance, the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in
tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former
convictions, and the having returned from them to the res-
olutions 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
suck firy, that the seamen themselves acknowledged they
had never known a worse. We had a good ship, but she
was deep laden, and so swallowed in the sea, t at the sea-
men every now and then cried out she would founder. It


was my advantage, in one respect, that I did not know what
they meant byfounder, till I inquired. However, the storm
was so violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master,
the boatswain, and some others, more sensible than the rest,
at their prayers, and expecting every moment the ship would
go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under
all the rest of our distresses, one of the men, that had been
down on purpose to see, cried out, we had sprung a leak;
another said there was four. feet water in the hold. Then
all hands were called to the pump. At that very word my
neart, as I thought, died within me, and I fell backwards
upon the side of my bed, where I sat in the cabin. How-
ever, 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, aLd 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,
'\ h., knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that
I ilought the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing had
happened. In a word, I was so surprised, that I fell down
in a swoon. As this was a time when 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
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it
was apparent that thb 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
continuedd firing guns for help; and a light ship, who had
rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help um
It was with the utmost hazard that the boat came near we.


but it was impossible for us to get on board, or for the boa
to lie near the ship's side; till at last the men rowing very
heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men
east them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then
veered it out a great length, which they, aftej great labol
and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close undef
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 towards shore as much as we could: and our
master promised them, that if the boat was staved upon
shore, he wmuld make it good to their master; so partly
rowing, and partly driving, our boat went away to the
northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out
of our ship 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 pat me into the boat, than that I might
be said to go in. My heart was, as it were, dead within
me, partly with fright, partly with horror of mind, and the
thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet laboring at
the oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see
(when, our" boat mounting the -vaves, we were able to see
the shore) a great many people running along the strand, to
assist us when we should come near; but we made slow
way towards the shore; nor were we 6ble to reach it, till,
being past the lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to
the westward, towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a
little the violence of the wind. Here we got in, and, though
not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked
afterwards on foot to'Yarmouth; where, as unfortunate men,


we were used with great humanity, as well by -the magio
rates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by tho
particular merchants and owners of ships : and had money
given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to
Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and
have gone home, I had been happy: and my father, an
emblem of our blessed Saviour's parable, had even kill-A
the fatted calf for me : for, hearing the ship I went in was
east away in Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before
he-had any assurance that I was not drowned.
But my. ill fate pushed me on with an obstinacy that
nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud
c~ls- from my reason, and my more composed judgment, to
go. home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what
to- ai. this, nor will I urge that it is a secret, overruling
d Aerw :ith hurries us on to be the instruments of our own
SPllatraeion, even though it be before us, and that we rush
~ U t- with our -eyes open.. Certainly, nothing but some
smh dereed unavoidable. misery attending, and which it
* VtF poGsiMe for me to escape, could have pushed me for-
, wed.-ainst the c.Iln reasoning and persuasions of my
most retired thought, and againstatwo such visible instruc-
tioa as,I had met with in my first attempt.
S.y copirade. h. had helped to harden me before, and
Swho was the master's son, was now less forward than I: the
S- ft time -he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which
v wa ot till two,or three days, for we were separated in the
bown to several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it
appeared his tone was altered, and, looking very Aelancholy,
1 d shaking his head, he asked me how I did; telling his
father whb I was, and .how I had come this voyage only for
a tral, in order to go farther abroad. His father, turning to
me, with a grave and concerned tone, Young man, says he,
Syb ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to takq


&is for a plain and visible token, that you are no 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 the Tarshish. -
4gay, 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 pas-
sion. What had I done, said he, that such an unhappy
wretch should have come into my ship? I would not set
my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
pounds. This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his
spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and
was farther than he could have authority to go. However,
he afterwards talked very gravely to me; exhorted me to go
back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin;
told me, I might see-a visible hand of Heaven against me;
and, young man, said he, depend upon it, if you do not go
back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but dis-
asters and disappointments, till your father's words are
fulfilled upon you.
We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I
saw him no more: which way he went, I know not: as for
me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London
by. land; and there, as well as on the road, had many strug-
gles 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 everybody else. From
whence I have often since observed, how incongruous and
irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of


youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such
cases, viz., that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are
ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action, for which
they ought justly to be esteemed fools; but are ashamed of
the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise
In this state of life, however, 1 remained some time, uncer-
tain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead.
An irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as
I stayed awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been
in wore off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in
my desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I quite
laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.
That evil influence which carried me first away from my
father's house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested
notion of raising my fortune, and that impressed those con
ceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all gooc
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 Guinea.
It was my great misfortune, that in all these adventures 1
did not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, though I might
indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet, at the
same time, I had learned the duty and office of -a tiemast-
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 omit-


ting to lay some snare for them very Early. But it was nc%
so with me: I first fell acquainted with the master of a ship,
who had been on the coast of Guinea, and who, having had
very good success there, was resolved to go again. He,
taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all
disagreeable 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, T should be at no expense; I should be his mess-
mate and his companion; and if I could carry anything
with me, I should have all the advantage of it that the
trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some
encouragement. I embraced the offer, and entering into a
strict friendship with this captain, who was an honest and
plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried
a small adventure with me; which, by the disinterested
honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very considera-
bly; fbr 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 1
may say was successful in all my adventures, and which I
owe to the integrity and honesty of my friend the captain;
under whom I also got a competent knowledge of mathe-
matics and the rules of navigation, learned how to keep an
account of the ship's course, take an observation, and, in
short, to understand some things that were needful to be
understood by a sailor; for, as he took delight to instruct
me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage
made me both a sailor and a merchant: for I brought home
five pounds nine ounces of gold dust for my adventure, which
yielded me in London, at my return, almost three hundred
pounds, and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts
which have since so completed my ruin. Yet even in this


royage I had my misfortunes too; particularly, that I war
.nntinually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by
the excessive. heat of the climate; our principal trading
being upon the coast, from the latidude of fifteen degrees
north, even to the Line itself.



I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to
my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved
to go the same voyage again; and I embarked in the same
vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and
had now got the command of the ship. This was the un-
happiest 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 towards the Canary
Islands, or rather between those islands and the African
shore, was surprised, in the gray of the .morning, by a
Turkish rover, of Sallee, who gave chase to. us with all the
sail she could make. We crowded also as much 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 prepare to fight, our
ship having twelve guns and the rover eighteen.. About
three in the afternoon he came up with us; and bringing
'o, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwar


our stern, as lie intended, we brought eight of our guns td
bear on that side, and poured in a broadside upon him,
which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire,
and pouring in also his small shot from near two hundred
men which he had on board. However, we had not a man
touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack
us again, and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on
board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty
men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and
hacking the sails and rigging. We plied them with small
shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and cleared
our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melan-
choly part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three
of our men killed and eight wounded, we were obliged tc
yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port
belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I
apprehended: nor was I carried up the country to the
emperor's court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept
by the captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his
slave, being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At
this surprising change of my circumstances, from a merchant
to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now
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
ne went to sea again, believing that it would, some time or
other, be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese
man of war, and that then I should be set at liberty. Bit


this hope of mine was soon taken away, for when he went to
sea, he left me on shore to look after his little garden, and
do the common drudgery of slaves about his house; and
when he came home again from his cruise, he ordered me to
lie in the cabin, to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what
method I might take to effect it, but found no way that
had the least probability in it. Nothing presented to make
the supposition of it rational; for I had nobody to com-
municate it to that would embark with me; no fellow-slave,
no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotchman there but myself;
so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with
the imagination, yet I never had the least encouraging pros-
pect 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 pinnacle, and go out into the road a fishing;
and as he always took me and a young Moresco with him to
row the boat, we made him very merry, and I proved very
dexterous in catching fish, insomuch that sometimes he
would send me with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the
youth, the Moresco, as they called him, to catch a dish of
fish for him.
It happened one time, that going a fishing in a stark calm
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a
league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing, we
knew not whither, or which way, we labored all day, and all
the next night, and when the morning came, we found we
had pulled off to sea, instead of pulling in for the.shore;
and that we were at least two leagues from the. shore: how-
ever, we got well in again, though with a gre4t deaJ of


labor, and s me 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 longboat of our English ship he had taken, he
resolved he would not go a fishing any more without a com-
pass and some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of the
ship, who was an English slave, to build a little state-room
rr cabin in the middle of the longboat, like that of a barge,
with a place to stand behind it, to steer and haul home the
main sheet, and room before for a hand or two to stand and
work the sails. She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-
mutton sail, and the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin,
which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to
lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some
small lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he
thought fit to drink, and particularly his bread, rice, and
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I
was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went
without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out
in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three
Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom he
had provided extraordinarily, and had therefore sent on
board the boat, overnight, a larger store of 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 everything to accommodate his guests: when, by
and by, my patron came on board alone, and told me his
guests had put off going, upon some business that fell out,
and ordered me with a man and boy, as usual, to go out


with the boat, and catch them some fish, for that his Mrends
were to sup at his house; and commanded, that as sool As
I had got some fish, I should bring it home to his hou~e:
all which I prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into
my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship
at my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to
furnish myself, not for a fishing business, but for a voyage;
though I knew not, neither did I so much as consider,
whither I should steer; for any where, to get out of that
place, was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to
this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board;
for I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's
bread: he said that was true; so he brought a large basket
of rusk or biscuit, of their kind, and three jars with fresh
water, into the boat. I knew where my patron's case of
bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken
out of some English prize, and I conveyed them into the
boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been there
before for our master. I conveyed also a great lump of bees-
wax into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred
weight, with -a parcel of twine or thread; a hatchet, a saw,
and a hammer, all which were of great use to us afterwards,
especially the wax, to make candles. Another trick:I tried
upon him, which he innocently came into also: his name
was Ismael, whom they call Muley, or Moley: so I called to
him; Moley, said I, our patron's guns are on board the
boat, can you not get a little powder and shot?: it may be
we may kill some alcamies (fowls like our curlews) for our-
selves, 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 of shot, that had
Eve or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into thb


boat: at the same time I found some powder of my ma.ter'i
in the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large bot-
tles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what was
in it into another; and thus furnished with everything
needful, we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which
is at the entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took
no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out of the
port, before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish.
The wind blew from from NN. 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 the bay of
Cadiz: but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, 1
would be gone from the horrid place where I was, and leave
the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for
when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that
he might not see them, I said to the Moor, This will not do;
our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther
off. He, thinking no harm, agreed; and being at the head
of the boat, set the sails; and as I had the helm, I run the
boat near a league farther, and then brought to, as if I would
fish. Then giving the* boy the helm, I stepped forward to
where the Moor was, and I took him by surprise, with my
arm under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the
sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and
called to me, begged to be taken in, and told me he would
go all the world over with me. He swam so strong after
the boat, that he would have reached me very quickly, thera
being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin,
and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him,
and told him I had done him no hurt, and if he would be
quiet, I would do him none: But, said I, you swim. well
enough to reach the shore, and the sea is calm: make the
best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but
if y4 u come near the boat, I will shoot you through the


head; for I am resolved to have my liberty. So he turned
himself about, and swam for the shore and I make no
doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent
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 b4 true to me (that is, swear by Ma-
homet and his father's beard), I must throw you into the sea
too. The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently,
that I could not mistrust him; and swore to be faithful to
me, and go all over the world with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was" swimming, I
stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to
windward, that they might think me gone towards the
Strait's mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their
vits must have been supposed to do); for who would have
supposed we were sailing on to the southward, to the truly
Barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure
to surround us with their canoes, and destroy us; where we
could never once go on shore but we should be devoured by
savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my
course a little towards the east, that I might keep in with
the shore; and having a fair fresh gale of wind, and a
smooth quiet sea, I made such sail, that I believe by the
next day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I made the
land, I could not be less than one hundred and ffty mil"s
south of Sallee, quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's do.
minions, or indeed of any other king thereabout; for we saw
no people.
Ye' such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the


dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their han Is, that
I would not stop; or go on shore, or come to an anchor, the
wind continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five
days; and then the wind shifting to the' southward, I con-
cluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase of me,
' they also would now give over: so I ventured to make to
the coast, and came to an anchor in the mouth of a little
river; I knew not what or where, neither what latitude,
what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw,
nor desired to see, any people; the principal thing I wanted
was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening,
resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and dis-
cover 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. How-
ever, 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 sea-shore, and run into the water, wallowing and
washing themselves, for the pleasure of cooling themselves;
and they made such hideous howlings and yelling, that I
never indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so was I too;
but we were both more frightened when we heard one of
these mighty creatures swimming towards our boat: we
eculd not see him, but we might hear him, by his blowing,


to be a monstrous, huge, and furious beast. Xur3 iaid it
was a lion, and it might be so, for aught I know; but pool
Kury cried to me to weigh'the anchor and row away. No,
says I, Xury; we can slip our cable with a buoy to it, and
go off to sea: they cannot follow us far. I had no sooner
said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it was) within
two oars' length, which something surprised me; however, I
immediately stepped to the cabin door, and taking up my
gun, fired at him; upon which he immediately turned about,
and swam to the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and
hideous cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon
the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon
the noise or report of the gun; a thing, I believe, those
creatures had never heard before. This convinced me there
was no going on shore for us in the night upon that coast:
and how to venture on shore in the day, was another ques-
tion too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the
savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the paws of
lions and tigers; at least, we were equally apprehensive of
the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore
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 botf
*les, which I mentioned before; and we hauled in the boat
A near the shore as we thought was proper, and so wadea


to shore, carrying nothing but our arms, and two jars foi
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy,
seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to
it; and, by and by, I saw him come running towards me.
I thought he was pursued by some savage, or frightened by
some wild beast, and I therefore ran forwards to help himn;
but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging
over his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot,
like a hare, but different in 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 afterwards that we need not take such pains
for water; for a little higher up the creek where No 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 crea-
ture 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 remem-
ber, what latitude they were in, I knew not where to look
for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them, other-
wise 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 ni


Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and tinin-
habited, except by wild beasts; the Negroes having aban
doned it, and gone farther south, for fear of the Moors, and
the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of
its barrenness; and, indeed both forsaking it because of the
prodigious numbers of tigers, 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 hun-
dred miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a
waste, uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but
cowlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice, in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico
of Teneriffe, being the top of the mountain Teneriffe, in the
Canaries, and had a great mind to venture out, in hopes of
reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in
again by contrary winds; the sea also going too high for my
little vessel; so I resolved to pursue my first design, and
keep along the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after
we had left this place; and once, in particular, being early
in the morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of
land which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow,
we lay still, to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more
about him than, it seems, mine were, calls softly to me, and
tells me, that we had best go further 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
ay 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 boie, and loaded it with a good charge of powder.
and with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another
gun with two bullets: and a third, for we had three pieces,
I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I
could with the first piece, to have shot him in the head; but
te lay so, with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the
slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone: he
started up, growling at first, but finding his leg broke, fell
down again and then got up upon three legs, and gave the
most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised
that I had not hit him on the head; however, I took up the
second piece immediately, and though he began to move off,
fired again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure
to see him drop, and make but little noise, but lie struggling
for life. Then Xury took heart, and would have me let him
go on shore, Well, go, said I; so the boy jumped into the
water, and taking a little gun in one hand, swam to shore
with the other hand, and coming close to the creature, put
the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him in the head
again, which despatched him quite.
This was game, indeed, to us, but it was no food; and I
was very sorry to loose 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 aor cabin, tha


jun effectually dried it in two days' time, ani.it afterwards
served me to lie upon.
After this stop we made on to the southward continually,
for ten or twelve days, living very sparingly on our provis-
ions, 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 for-
tune upon this single point, either that I must meet with
some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer,
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited;
and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people
stand upon the shore to look at us: we could also perceive
they were quite black and stark naked. I was once inclined
to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my better
counsellor, and said to me, No go, no go. However, I
hauled in nearer the shore, that I might talk to them; and I
found they ran along the shore by me a good way. I
observed they had no weapons in their hands, except one,
who had a long slender stick, which 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 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
cams close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing tc
make them amends; but an opportunity offered that very
instant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying
by the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the
other (as we took it) with great fury, from the mountains
towards the sea; whether it was the male pursuing the
female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could
not tell, any more than we could tell whether it was usual
or strange; but I believe it was the latter, because, in the
first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but
in the night; and, in the second place, we found the
people terribly frightened, especially the women. The man
that had the lance, or dart, did not fly from them, but
the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran directly
into the water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon any
of the Negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and
swam about, as if they had come for their diversion; at last,
one of them began to come nearer our boat than I at first
expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun
with all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the
others. As soon as he came fairly within my reach, I fired,
and shot him directly in the head : immediately he sunk
"own into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and
,own, 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.


S 4

It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor
creatures, at the noise and fire of my gun; some of them
were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with
the very terror ; but when they saw the creature dead, and
sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to
the shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and began
to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining
the water; and by the help of a rope,-which I slung round
him, and gave the Negroes to haul, they dragged him on
shore, and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted,
and fine to an admirable degree; and the Negroes held up
their hands with admiration, to think what it was I had
killed him with.
The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire, and
the noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to
thle mountains from whence they came; nor could I, at that
distance, know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes
were for eating the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to
have them take it as a 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 understand, yet I ac-
cepted. I then made signs to them for some water, and held
out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upwards, to
show that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled.
They called immediately to some of their friends, and there
came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth,
and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this they set down to
mn", as bPfore, 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 sucn as it was,
and water; and leaving my friendly Negroes, I made
forward for about eleven days more, without offering to
go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length
into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues
before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large
offing, to make this point. At length, doubling the point,
at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on
the other side, to seaward: then I concluded, as it was most
certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those
the islands, called, from thence, Cape de Verd Islands.
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 Portu-
guese 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; re-
solving to speak with them, if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be
able to come in their way, but that they would be gone.by
before I could make any signal to them; but after I had
crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems,


saw me, by the help of their perspective glasses, and that it
was some European boat, which, they supposed, must. belong
to some ship that was lost: so they shortened sail, to let me
come up. I was encouraged with this, and as I had my
patron's ensign on board, I made a waft of it to them, for a
signal of distress, and fired a gun, both which they saw;
f.r .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 an-
swered 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 mygoods.
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 the Brazils. For, says
he, I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be
glad to be saved myself; and it may, one time or other, be
my lot to be taken up in the same condition. Besides, said
ne, 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 had given. No, no, Senhor Ingles (Mr. Englishman),
says he, I will carry you thither in charity, and these things
will help to buy your subsistence there, and your passag
home again.




As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the
performance, to a tittle: for he ordered the seamen, that
none should offer to touch anything I had: then he took
everything into his own possession, and gave me back an
exact inventory of tliem, 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 everything, 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
same there, if any one offered to give more, he would make
it up. He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy
Xury, which I was loath to take; not that I was not willing
to let the captain have him, but I was very loath to sell the
poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in pro-
*curing my own. However, when I let him know my reason,
he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he
would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten
years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury saying
he was willing to go with 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 abou,
twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered
from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what
te do next with myself, I waslow to consider.


The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never
enough remember: he would take nothing of me for my
passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and
forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused
everything I had in the ship to be punctually delivered to
me; and what I was willing to sell, he bought of me; such
as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the
lump of beeswax,- for I had made candles of the rest: in
a word, I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of
eight of all my cargo; and with this stock, I went on shore
in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, before I was recommended to
the house of a good honest man, like himself, who had an
ingeftio 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 pur-
pose, getting a kind of 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 Portuguese 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 socia-
bly together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and
we rather planted for food than anything else, for about two
years. However, we began to increase, and our land began
to come in order; so that the third year we planted some
toWalco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready


for planting canes in the year to come; but we bAth wanted
nelp; and now I found more than before, I had done wrong
in parting with my boy Xury.
But, alas for me to do wrong, that never did right, was
no great wonder. I had no remedy, but to go on: I had
got into an employment quite remote to my genius, and di- *
rectly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which 1
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 to have gone five thousand miles off to do it among
strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a dis-
tance as never to hear from any part of the world that had
the least knowledge of me.
In this manner, I used to look upon my condition with
the utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now
and then this 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 un-
justly compared it with the life which I then led, in which,
had I continued, I had, in all probability, been exceeding
prosperous and rich !
I was, in some degree, settled in my measures for carrying
in the plantation, before my kind friend, the captain of the


ship that took me up at sea, went back; for the ship re-
mained 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 pro-
curation here in form to me, with orders to the person who
has your money in London, to send your effects to Lisbon,
to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are
proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of
them, God willing, at my return: but since human affairs
are all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you
give orders for but one hundred pounds 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 con-
vinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly
prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I left m
money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he
desired me.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all
my adventures; my slavery, escape, and how I had met with
the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his 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 repre-
sented it effectually to her: whereupon she not only deliv-
ered the money, but, out of her own pocket, sent the Portu-
guese captain a very handsome present for 'his humanity and
tharity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in


English goods, such as the captain had wrote for, sent thens
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,qron work, and utensils,
necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to
me. When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made,
for I was surprised with joy of it; and my good steward,
the captain, had laid out the five pounds, which my friend
had sent him 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 manu-
factures, such as cloths, stuffs, baize, and things particularly
valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell
them to a very great advantage; so that I might say, I had
more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was
now infinitely beyond my poor neighbor, I mean in the ad-
ancement of my plantation: for the first thing I did, I
Bought me a Negro slave, and a European servant also : I
mean another besides that which the captain brought me
from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very
means of our adversity, so was it with me. I went on the
next year with great success in my plantation; I raised fifty
great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had
disposed of for necessaries among my 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 be-
yond 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 at-
tended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my
own miseries; and, particularly, to increase my fault, and
double the reflections upon myself, which in my future sor-
rows 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 plantation, 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 discourses among them, I had frequently
given them an account of my two voyages to the coast of
Guinea, the manner of trading with the Negroes there, and
how easy it was to purchase on the coast for trifles such
ts beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and


the like -not only gold dust, Guinea grains, elephants
teeth, &c., but Negroes, for the service of the Brazils, i
great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the
buying Negroes; which was a trade, at that time, not only
not far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried
on by the assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and
Portugal, and engrossed from the public; so that few
Negroes were bought, and those excessively dear.
It happened, being in company with some merchants and
planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things
very earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning,
and told me they had been musing very much upon what. I
had discoursed with them of the last night, and they cama
to make a secret proposal to me: and, after enjoining me to
secrecy, they told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship
to go to Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I,
and were straitened for nothing so much as servants; that 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 planta-
tions; and, in a word, the question was, whether I would
go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading part
upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I should
have an equal share of the Negroes, without providing any
part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been
made to any one that had not a settlement and plantation of
his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to
be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But
for me, that was thus entered and established, and had no-
thing to do but go on as I had begun, for three or four years
more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from


England; and who, in that time and with that 1t addi-
tion, could scarce have failed of being worth .three or fou
thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too; for me
to think of such a voyage, was the most Wposterous thing
that ever man, in such circumstances, could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my owan destroyer* could no
more resist the offer, than I could restrain m first rambling
designs, when my father's good counsel was lost upon me.
In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they
would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence,
and would dispose of it to such as I should direct, if I mis-
carried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into
writings or covenants to do so: and I made a formal will,
disposing of my plantation and effects, in case of my death;
making the captain of the ship that had saved my life, as
before, my universal heir; but obliging him to dispose of my
effects as I had directed in my will; one-half of the produce
being to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects,
and to keep up my plantation: had I used half as much
prudence to have looked into my own interest, and have
made a judgment of what I ought to have done, and not to
have done, I had certainly never gone away from so prosper-
ous 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 misfoitunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of
my fancy, rather than'my reason: and accordingly, the ship,
being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done
as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on
board in an evil hour again, the first of September, 1659,
being the same day eight years that I went from my parents
at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the
fool to my own interest.


Ouihip was about one hundred and twenty tons burden,
carried six gunp and fourteen men, besides the master, his
boy, and myself; we had on board no large cargo of goods,
except of such tos as were fit for our trade with the Ne-
groes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles,
especially'little loAiAg-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets,
and the life.
The very same day I went on board we set sail, standing
away to the northward upon our own coast, with design to
stretch over for the African coast. When they came about
ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems,
was the manner of their course in those days, we had very
good weather, only excessively hot all the way upon our own
coast, till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino;
from whence, keeping farther off at sea, we lost sight of
land, and steered as if we were bound for the isle Fernando
de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N. and leaving
those isles on the east. In this course we passed the Line
in about twelve days' time, and were, by our last observa-
tion, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes northern latitude,
when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out of
our knowledge: it began from the south-east, came about to
the north-west, and then settled in the north-east; from
whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve
days together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding
away before it, let it carry us whithersoever fate and the fury
of the winds directed; ant, during these twelve days, I
need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up,
nor, indeed, did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm,
one of our men died of the calenture, and one man and a
boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather
abating a little, the master made an observation as well as
he could, and found that he was in about eleven degrees
north latitude, but that he was twenty-two degrees of long'


mde- difference, west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he
found he was got upon the coast of Guiana, or the north
part of Brazil, beyond the river Amazons, toward that of the
river Oronoco, commonly called the Great River; .and began
to consult with nA what course he should take, for the thip
was leaky and very much disabled, and he was for' going di-
rectly back to the coast of Brazil.
SI 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 Carribee islands, and there-
fore resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; which by keeping
off to sea, to avoid the indraft of the bay or gulf of Mexico,
we might easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days'
sail; whereas we could not possibly make our voyage to the
coast of Africa without some assistance, both to our ship and
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 other-
wise determined; for being in the latitude of twelve degrees
eighteen minutes a second storm came upon us, which carried
us away with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us
so out of the very way of all human commerce, that had all
our lives been saved, as to the sea, we were rather in danger
of being devoured by savages than ever returning to our own
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of
our men early in the morning, cried out, Land! and we had
no sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing
whereabouts in the world we were, than 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 immedi


ately driven into our close quarters, to shelter us fiom the
very foam and sp-ay of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has .not been in the like
condition.to describe or conceive the consternation of men in
such circumstances: we knew nothing where we were, or
upon what land it was we were driven, whether an island or
the main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the
rage of the wind was still great, though rather less than at
first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold
many minutes without breaking in pieces, unless the wind,
by a kind of miracle, should immediately turn about. In a
word we sat looking upon one another, and expecting death
every moment, and every man acting accordingly, as pre-
paring for another world; for there was little or nothing
more for us to do in this: that which was our present com-
fort, and all the comfort we had, was, that, contrary to our
expectation, the ship did not break yet, and that the master
,aid the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate,
yet the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking
too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dread-
ful condition indeed, and had nothing to do, but to think of
saving our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our
stern just before the storm, but she was first staved by dash-
ing against the ship's rudder, and, in the next place, she
broke away, and either- sunk, or was driven off to sea; so
there was no hope from her: we had another boat on board,
but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing;
however, there was no room to debate, for we fancied the
ship would break in pieces every minute, and some told us
she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold of the
boat, and with the help of the rest of the men, they got her
flung over the ship's side; and getting all into her, we let
her go, and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to


God's mercy, and the wild sea: for though the storm war
abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadfully 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 anything with it; so we worked at the oar towards the
land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution;
for we all knew that when the boat came nearer to the shbre,
she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of
the sea. However, we committed our souls to God in the
most earnest manner; and the wind driving us towards the
shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands,
pulling as well as we could towards land.
What the shore was whether rock or sand, whether
steep or shoal- we knew not; the only hope that could
rationally give us the least shadow of expectation, was, if
we might happen into some.bay or gulf, or the mouth of
some river, where by great chance we might, have run our
boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made
smooth water. -But 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, mountaindlike, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup de
grace. In a word, it took us with such fury, that it overset
the boat at once; and separating us, as well from the boat
as from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, "O
God for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I
felt, when I sunk into the water; for though I swam vey
well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to


draw my breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather
carried me, a vast way on towards the shore, and having
spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost
dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much
presence of mind, as well as breath left, that seeing myself
nearer the main land than I expected, I got upon my feet,
and endeavored to make on towards the land as fast as I
could, before another wave should return and take me up
again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I
saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as
furious as an enemy which I had no means or strength to
contend with : my business was to hold my breath, and raise
myself upon the water, if I could; and so, by swimming, to
preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore,
if possible; my greatest concern now being, that he wave,
as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it
came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave
back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once
twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body; and I could feel
myself carried with mighty force and swiftness towards the
shore, a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted
myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was
ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt
myself rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found mw
nead and hands shoot out above the surface of the water;
and though it was not two seconds of time that I could
keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath
and new courage. I was covered again with water a good
while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the
water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward
against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with
my feet. I stood still a few moments, to recover breath, and
till the water went from me, and then took to my heels, and
ran with what strength I had farther towards the shore.


But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the aea,
which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I
was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as before,
the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well 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 olit 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 hold till the wave abated, and then fetched
another run, which brought me so near the shore, that the
next wave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow
me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took, I got
to the main land; where, to my great comfort, I clambered
up the cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the'grass,
free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore; and began to look
up and thank God that my life was saved, in a case wherein
there were, some minutes before, scarcely any room to hope.
I believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what the
ecstacies and transports of the soul are, whenit 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
.ha.t very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise may


not drive the animal spirits from the heart, and overwhelm
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and m)
whole being, as I may say, wrapped up in the contemplation
of my deliverance ; making a thousand gestures and motions,
which I cannot describe; reflecting 'upon my comrades that
were drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved
but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards,
or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and
two shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel- when the breach
and froth of the sea being so big I could hardly see it, it lay
so far off- and considered, Lord how was it possible I
could get on shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part
of my condition, I began to look around me, to see what
kind of a place I was in, and what was next to be done;
and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a
word, I had a dreadful deliverance: for I was wet, had no
clothess to shift me, nor anything 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 night 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 th, re were any ravenous beasts in that country, seeing
At night they always come abroad for their prey.


All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that tinfe,
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 -ny 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 wen;
to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavored to place my-
self so as that, if I should fall asleep, I might not fall; and
having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defence,
I took up my lodging; and having been excessively fatigued,
I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few
could have done in my condition; and found myself the
most refreshed with it that I think I ever was on such an



WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the
storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as be-
fore; 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 fot
my use.


. When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I
looked about me again, and the first thing ] found was thA
boat; which lay. as the wind and the sea had tossed her up,
uo::! the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked
as far as 1 could upon the shore to have got to her; but
ibund a neck, or inlet of water, between me and the boat,
v.hich 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 this, I resolved, if possible, to get to the ship: so
I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity,
and took the water: but when I came to the ship, my diffi-
culty was still greater to know how to get on board; for as
she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was nothing
within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice,
and the second time I spied a small piece of rope, which I
wondered I did not see at first, hang down by the fore-chains
so low, as that with great difficulty I got hold of it, and by
Sthe help of that rope got into thd forecastle of the ship.
Here I found that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of
water in her hold; but that she lay so on the side of a bank
of hard sand, or rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up
upon the bank, and her head low, almost to the water. By
this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that
part was dry; for .you may be sure my first work was to
search and to see what was spoiled and what was free; and,
first, I found that all the ship's provisior s were dry and un-


ot.ched by the water: and, being very well disposed to eat, I
went to the bread-room, and filled my pockets with biscuit,
and ate it as I went about other things, for I*had no time to
lose. I also found some rum in the great cabin, of which I
took a large dram, and which I had indeed need enough of,
to spirit me for what was before me. Now I wanted no-
thing but a boat, to furnish myself with many things which
I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be
had, and this extremity roused my application: we had
several spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood,
and a spare topmast or two in the ship; I resolved to fall to
work with these, and flung as many overboard as I could
manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that
they might not drive away. When this was done, I went
down to the ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied four
of them fast together at both ends, as well as I could, in the
form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank
upon them, crossways, I found I could walk upon it very
well, but that it was not able to bear any great weight, the
pieces being too light; so I went to work, and with tho
carpenter's saw I cut a 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, encour-
aged me to go beyond what I should have been able to have
done upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable
'weight. My next care was what to load it with, and how
to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but
I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks
or boards upon it that I could get, and having considered
well what I most wanted, I got three of the seamen's chests,
which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them
down upon my raft; these I filled with provisions, via.,
bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of died goats'


flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little remainder of
European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which
we had brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed.
There had been some barley and wheat together, but, to my
great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had
eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several cases
of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some 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 waist-
coat, which I had left on shore, upon the sand, swim away;
as for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed,
I swam on board in them, and my stockings. However,
this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found
enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for
I had other things which my eye was more upon: as, first,
tools to work with on shore: and it was after long searching
that I found the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very
useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-
lading of gold would have been at that time. I got it down
to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time to look
into it, for I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and
two pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns
and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew
there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not
where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I
found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken
water. Those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And
now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began' tc
think how I should get to shore with them, having neither


~=--- -~------~-~





sail, oar, n r rudder; and the least capful of wind would
have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: 1st, A smooth, calm sea:
2dly, The tide rising, and setting in to the shore; 3dly
What little wind there was blew me towards the land. And
thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to the
boat, and besides the tools which were in the chest, I found
two saws, an axe, and a hammer; and with this cargo I put
to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well,
only that I found it drive'a little distant from the place
where I had landed before; by which I perceived that there
was some 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
it verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing
of the coast, my raft ran aground at one end of it upon a
shoal, and, not being aground at the other end, it wanted
but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards that
end that was afloat, and so fallen into the water. I did my
utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them
in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my
strength; neither durst I stir from the posture I was in, but
holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in that
manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the
water brought me a little more upon a level; and a little
after, the water still rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust
her off with the oar I had into the channel; and then driving
up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little
river, with land on both sides, and a strong current or tid<


running up. I looked on both sides for a proper Ilace to get
to shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high up the
river; hoping, in time, to see some ship at sea, and therefore
resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the
creek, to which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my
raft, and at last got so near, as that, reaching ground with
my oar, I could thrust her directly in; but here I had like
tc 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 se-
cure them from whatever might happen. Where I was I yet
knew not; whether on the continent, or on an island;
whether inhabited, or not inhabited; whether in danger of
wild beasts, or not. There was a hill, not above a mile from
me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to
overtop some other hills, which lay as in a ridge from it,
northward. I took out one of the fowling-pieces, and one
of the pistols, and a horn of powder; and thus armed, I
travelled for 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
paw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild
beasts, of whom, however, I saw none; yet I saw abundance
of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed
them, could I tell what was fit for food, and what not. At
my coming back, I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting
upon a tree, on the side of a great wood. I believe it was
the first gun that had been fired there since the creation of
the world: I had no sooner fired, but from all the parts of
the wood there arose an innumerable number of fowls, of
many sorts, making a confused screaming, and crying, every
one according to his usual note; but not one of them of any
kind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to
be a kind of a hawk, its 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 the day : what to do with myself at night I
knew not, nor indeed where to rest: for I was afraid to lie
down on the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might
devour me; though, as -I afterwards found, there was really.
no need for those fears. However, as well as I could, I barri-
cadoed myself round with chests and boards that I had
brought on shore, and made a kind of hut for that night's
lodging. As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply
myself, except that I had seen two or three creatures, like
hares, run out of the wood where I shot the fowl.
I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and


particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other
things as might come to land; and I resolved to make
another voyage on board the vessel, if possible. And as 1
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 everything out of the ship that I could get. Then I
called a council, that is to say, in my thoughts, whether I
should take back the raft; but this appeared impracticable;
so I resolved to go as before, when the tide was down; and
I did so, only that I stripped before I went from my hut;
having nothing on but a chequered shirt, a pair of linen
drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second
raft; and having had experience of the first, I neither made
this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought
away several things very useful to me: as, first, in the car-
penter's stores, I found two or three bags of nails and
spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets; and,
above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone. All
these I secured together, with several things belonging to
the gunner; 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. Besides these things, I took all the men's
clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-topsail, a ham-
mock, 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 towards it, ran away a little distance,


and then stood still. She sat very composed and uncon-
cerned, 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 biscuit, though, by the way, I was not very free of it,
for my store was not great; however, I spared her a bit, I
say, and she went to it, smelled of it, and ate it, and looked
(as pleased) for more; but I thanked her, and could spare
no more: so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore-though I was faib
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
everything that I knew would spoil either with rain or sun;
and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle
round the tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt either
from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent
with some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end
without; and spreading one of the beds upon the ground,
laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at
length by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept
very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy; for
the night before I had slept little, and had labored very
hard all day, as well to fetch all those things from the ship
as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was
laid up, I believe, for one man: but I was not satisfied still;
for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I
ought to get everything out of her that I could; so every
day, at low water, I went on board, and brought away
s"iething or other: buit particularly the third time I went,
f roght 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 sa.s upo: occa-
sion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I
brought away all the sails first and last; only that I was
fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I
could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere
canvas only.
But that which comforted me 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 expect-
ing any more provisions, except what was spoiled by the
water. I soon emptied the hogshead of that bread, and
wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which
I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.
The next day I made another voyage, and now having
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out,
1 began with the cables, and cutting the great cable into
pieces such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser
on shore, with all the iron work I could get; and having
cut down the spritsail-yard, ahd the mizen-yard, and every-
thing I could, to make a large raft, I loaded it with all those
heavy goods, and came away: but my good luck began now
to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen,
that after I was entered the little cove, where I had landed
the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily
as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo
into the water; as for myself, it was no great harm, for I
was near the shore; but as to my cargo, it was a great part
of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have
been of great use to me: however, when the tiee was out,
I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the



iron, though with infinite labor; for I was fan 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 in money, some European coin, some Bra-
zil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money; 0 drug !
I exclaimed, what art thou good for? Thou art not worth
to me, no, not the taking off the ground; one of those
knives is worth all this heap: I have no manner of use for
thee; e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom, as
a creature whose life is not worth saving. However, upon.
second thoughts, I took it away; and wrapping all this in a
piece of 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
ay between the ship' and the sands, and even that with


difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the things I Lad
about me, and partly the roughness of the water; for the
wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it
blew a storm.
But I was got home to my little tent, where I lay, with
all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all
that night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold
no more ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised, but
recovered myself with this satisfactory reflection, viz., that I
had lost no time, nor abated no diligence, to get everything
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 more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of
anything out of her, except what might drive on shore, from
her wreck; as indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did;
but those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing
myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild
beasts, if any were in the island: and I had many thoughts
of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to
make, whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a
tent upon the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon both;
the manner and description of which, it may not be improper
to give an account of.
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement,
particularly because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near
the sea, and I believed it would not be wholesome; and
more particularly because there was no fresh water near it:
so I resolved to find a more healthy and more convenient
spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation, which 1 found
would be proper for me; first, air and fresh water, I just
now mentioned: secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun:
thirdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether men or


beasts: fourthly, a view to the sea, that if God sent any
hip in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my
deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish all my
expectation yet.
In search for a place proper for this, I found a little plain
on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little
plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come
down upon me from the top. On the side of this rock,
there was a hollow place, worn a little way in, like the
entrance or door of a cave; but there was not really any
cave, or way into the rock, at all.
On t&e 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 sea-
side. 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
fras so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it


or over it. This cost me a great deal of time and laboi,
especially to cut the piles in the woods, bring them to the
lace, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door,
nut by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder,
when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was com-
pletely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the
world, and consequently slept secure in the night, which
otherwise I could not have done; though, as it appeared
afterwards, there was no need of all this caution against the
enemies that I apprehended danger from.




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
uppermost with a large tarpaulin, which I had saved among
the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had
brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a
very good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all
tay goods, 1 made up the entrance, which till now I had left


open, and so passed and repassed, ea I said, by a short
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 perfection; and therefore I must go back to some
other things which took up some of my thoughts. At the
same time it happened, after I had laid my scheme for the
setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of
rain falling from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of light-
ning happened, and after that, a great clap of thunder, as is
naturally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with
the lightning, as I was with a thought, which darted into
my mind as swift as the lightning itself: 0 my powder!
My very heart sank within me when I thought, that at one
blast, all my powder might be destroyed on which, not my
defence only, but the providing me food, as I thought, en-
tirely depended. I was nothing near so anxious about my
own danger, though, had the powder taken fire, I should
never have 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, t;
separate the powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a
parcel, in hope that whatever might come, it might not all
take fire at once; and to keep it so apart, that it should not
be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this
work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which
in all was about two hundred and forty pounds weight was
divided into not less than a hundred parcels. As to the
barrel t.'.at had been wet, I did not apprehend any da ge-


from that; so I placed it in my new cave, which, in my
ftncy, 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 my-
self, as to see if I could kill anything fit for food; and, as
near as I could, to acquaint myself with what the island
produced. The first time I went out, I presently discovered
that there were goats upon the island, which was a great
satisfaction to me; but then it was attended with this mis-
fortune to me, viz., that they were so shy, so subtle, and so
swift of foot, that it was the most difficult thing in the world
to come at them: but I was not discouraged at this, not
doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon
happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid
wait in this manner for them; I observed, if they saw me in
the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would
run away as in a terrible fright; but if they were feeding in
the valleys, and I A s upon the rocks, they took .no notice
of me; from whence I concluded, that by the position of
-their optics, their sight was so directed downward, that they
did not readily see objects that were above them: so after-
wards, I took this method -I always climbed the rocks
first, to get above them, and then 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 en-
closure; upon which I laid down the dam, and took the kid
in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have
bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to
kill it, and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh


A great while, for I eat sparingly, and preserved my
provisions (my bread especially) as much as possibly I
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely
necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to
burn; and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my
cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall give a full
account of in its 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 plenti-
fully down my face when I made these reflections; and
sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence
should thus completely ruin its creatures, and render them
so absolutely miserable; so abandoned without help, so
entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be-
thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check
these thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly, one
day 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 trae;
but, pray remember, where are the rest of you? Did not
you come eleven of you into the boat? Where are the ten?
Why were not they saved, and you lost? Why were you
singled out? Is it better to be here or there? And then
I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with


the good that is in them, and with what worse attends
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished
for my subsistence, and what would have been my case if it
had not happened (which was a hundred thousand to one)
that the ship floated from the place where she first struck,
and was driven so near to the shore, that I had time to get
all these things out of her; what would have been my case,
if I had been to have lived in the condition in which I at
first came on shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries
to supply and procure them? Particularly, said I aloud
(though to myself), what should I have done without a gun,
without ammunition, without any tools to make anything,
or to work with, without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any
manner, of covering ? and that now I had all these to a suf-
ficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in
such a manner as to live without my gun, when my ammu-
aition was spent: so that I had a tolerable view of subsist-
mng, without any want, as long as I lived; for I considered,
irom the beginning, how I would provide for the accidents
ihat 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 ammu-
nition 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 con-
tinue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of
September when, in the manner as above said, I first set
foot upon this horrid island; when the sun being to


us in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my
head: for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the
latitude of nine degree- twenty-two minutes north of the



AFTER I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came
into my thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time
for want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget
the sabbath days from the working days: but, to'prevent
this, I cut it with my knife upon a large post, in capital
letters; and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the
shore where I first landed, viz., I came on shore here on
the 30th of September, 1659." Upon the sides of this
square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and
every seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every
first day of the month as long again as that long one: and
thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly
reckoning of time.
But it happened, that among the many things which I
brought out of the ship, in the several voyages which, as
above 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 carpenter's keeping; three or four compasses,
some mathematical instruments, dials, perspectives, charts,
and books of navigation; all of 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 Port u-
gese books also, and, among them, two or three popish
prayer-books, and several other books, all which I carefully
secured. And I must not forget, that we had in the ship a
dog, and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have
occasion to say something, in its place: for I carried both
the cats with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the
shiplhimself, 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 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, pickaxe, and
shovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and
thread; as for linen, I soon learned to want that without
much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily:
and it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished
my little pale, or surrounded my habitation. The piles or
stakes, which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long
time in cutting and preparing in the woods, and more by
far, in bringing home;. so that I spent sometimes two days
in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third
day in driving it into the ground; for which purpose, I got
a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last bethought myself
of one of the iron crows; which, however, though I found


it answer, made driving these posts or piles very laboriomu
and tedious work. But what need I have been concerned
at the tediousness of anything 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 But I am alive; and not drowned,
island, void of all hope of recovery, as all my ship's company were.

I am singled out and separated,
as it were, from all the world, to be

I am divided from mankind, a
solitaire; one banished from human

I have no clothes to cover me.

I am without- any defence, or

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 perish-
ing in a barren place, affording no

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

But I am cast on an island wheo



means to resist any violence of man I see no wild beasts tc haur me, asu
or beast. saw on the coast of Africa: .u4
what if I had been shipwrecked

1 have na soul to speak to, or But God wonderfully sent the
relieve me. ship in near enough to the shore,
that I have got out so many neces-
sary things, as will either supply
my wants, or enable me to supply
myself, even as long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was tn unbounded 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 com-
fort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good
and evil on the credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condi-
tion, and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could
spy a ship; I say, given over these things, I began to
apply myself to accommodate my way of living, and to
make things as easy to me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent
under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of
posts and cables; but I might now rather call it a wall, for
I raised a kind of wall against it of turfs, about two feet
thick on the outside: and after some time (I think it was a
year and a half) I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock,
and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such
things as I could get, to keep out the rain; which I found
at some times of the year, very violent.-
I have already observed how I brought all my goods nto
this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind 'ie.
But I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused
heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they tock


ap all my place; I had no room to turn myself: so I gt
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 but, and made me a door to come out in the
outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were, a
back way to my tent, and to my storehouse, but gave me
room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary
things as I found I most wanted, particularly a chair and a
table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few
-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 everything 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 anted nothing but I could
have made, especially if I had ti~Br ls. 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 axe, till I had brought it to be as
thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. I.
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 labox
vhich' it took mhe up to make a plank or board: but my tinh


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 fbot 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 everything so ready at my hand,
that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in
such order, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries
so great.
And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every
day's employment; for, indeed, at first, I was in too much
hurry, and not only as to labor, but in much discomposure ol
mind; and my journal would, too, have been full of many
dull things: for example, I must have said thus Sept.
30th. After I had got toihore, and had escaped drowning,
instead of being than^i *.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 feai
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, atea vast


distance, I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes. ofi; 'i
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 settled my household stuff and habitation, made me
a table and a chair, and all as handsome stuff 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 partic-
ulars over again) as long as it lasted; for; having no more
ink, I was forced to leave it off.




SEPTEMBER 30th, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe,
being shipwrecked, during a dreadfiu 'torm, in the offing,
came on shore on this dismal unfortunate island, which I
called the IsLAND or DESPAIR; all the rest of the ship's
company being drowned and myself almost dead.
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the
dismal circumstances I was brought to, viz.; I had neither
food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to: and in
despair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me : that
I should either be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by
savages, or starved to death for 'want of food. At -th
approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures;
but slept soundly, though it rained all night.


OCTOBER 1. In the morning I saw, to my great surprise
the ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on
shore again much nearer the island; which, as it was some
comfort on one hand (for seeing her sit upright, and not
broken in pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get
on board, and get-some food and necessaries out of her for
my relief), so, on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the
loss of my comrades, who, I imagined, if we had all staid
on board, might have saved the ship, or, at least, that they
would not have been all drowned, as they were: and that,
had the men been saved, we might perhaps have built us a
boat, out of the ruins of the ship, to have carried us to some
other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in
perplexing myself on these things; but, at length, seeing
the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could,
and then swam on board. This day also it continued rain-
ing, though with no wind at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th. All these days
entirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out
of the ship; which I brought on shore, every tide of flood,
upon raft. Much rain alsoin these days, though with some
intervals of fair weather; but, it seems, this was the rainy
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 ihich I had saved, that the rain might not spai


(';O. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, t'
lind out a place to fix my habitation; greatly concerned
to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from
wild beasts or men. Towards night I fixed upon a propel
place, under a rock, and marked out a semicircle for my
cnicampinent; which I resolved to strengthen with a work,
wall, or fortification, made of double piles lined within.with
cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 30th, I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceedingly hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with
my gun, to seek for some food, and discover the country;
when I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home,
which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.
NoVEMBER 1. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay
there for the first night; making it as large as I could, with
stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the
pieces of timber which made my rafts; and with them
formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had
marked out for my fortification.
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls
like ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon I
went to work to make me a table.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of
work, of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time
of diversion; viz., every morning I walked out with my gun
for two or three hours, if it did not rain; then employed
myself to work till about eleven o'clock; then ate what I
had to live.on; and from twelve to two I lay down to sleep,
the weather being excessive hot; and then, in the evening,
to work again. The working part of this day and the next
as* 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 sea-
shore, I saw many sorts of sea-fowl which I did not under-
stand: 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 tolera-
ble shape, but never to please me; and, even in the making,
I pulled it to pieces several times.
NOTE. I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for,
omitting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was
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 soon as it was over,
I resolved to separate my stock of powder into as many little
parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 1.4, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making
little square chests or boxes, which might hold about a
pound, or two pounds at most, of powder; and so, putting
the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and as remote
from one another as possible. On one of these three days I


killed a large bird that was good to eat; but I knew not
what to call it.
Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent, into
the rock, to make room for my farther convenience.
NOTE. Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work,
viz., a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, or basket; so
I desisted from my work, and began to consider how t4
supply these wants, and make me some tools. As for a
pickaxe, I made use of the iron crows, which were roper
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 axe, I cut a piece; and
brought it home, too, with difficulty enough, for it was
exceeding heavy. The excessive hardness of the wood, and
my having no other way, made me a long while upon this
machine: for I worked it effectually, by little and little,
into the form of a shovel or spade; the handle exactly
shaped like ours in England, only that the broad part
having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me
so long: however, it served well enough for the uses which
I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I
believe, made after that fashion, or so long in making.
I was still deficient; fqr I wanted a basket or a wheel-
barrow. A basket I could not make by any means, having
no such things as twigs that would bend to make wicker
waze; at least, none yet found out: and as to the wheel-
barrow, I fancied I could make all but the wheel, but that I
had no notion of; neither did I know how to get about it:
besides, 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 for
me as the making the shovel: and yet this and the shovel,
and the attempt which I made in vain to make a wheelbar-
row, took me up no less than four days: I mean, always
excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I seldom
omitted, and very seldom failed also bringing home some-
thingfit 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 the tent: except that some-
times, in the wet season of the year, it rained so hard that
I could not keep myself dry; which caused me afterwards
to cover all my .place within my pale with long poles, 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 im-
portance, 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, wiUs
two pieces of board across over each post: this I finished
the next day; and setting more posts up with boards, in
about a week more I had the roof secured; and the po,
standing in rows, served me for partitions to part off My
DEC. 17. From this day to the 30th, I placed shelves,
and knocked up nails on the posts, to hang everything up
that could be hung up: and now I began to be in some order
within doors.
DEC. 20. I carried everything into the cave, and began
to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards, like
a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to
be very scarce with me: also I made me another table.
DEC. 24. Much rain all night and all day: no stirring
DEC. 25. Rain all day.
DEC. 26. No rain; and the earth much cooler than
before, and pleasanter.
Dzc. 27. Killed a young goat; and lamed another, so
that I catched it, and led it home in a string: when I had
it home, I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke.
N. B. I took such care of it that it lived; and the leg
grew well, and as strong as ever: but, by nursing it so
long, it grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my
door, and would notgo 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
JANiUaAR 1. Very hot still; but I went abroad earth
and late with my gun, and lay still in tne middle of the ay.


This evening, going farther into the valleys which lay
towards the centre of the island, I found there was plenty
of goats, though exceeding shy, and hard to come at; 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, and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken,
for they all faced about upon the dog: and he knew his
danger too well, for he would not come near them.
JA&w. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still
jealous of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to
make very thick and strong.
N. B. This wall being described before, I purposely
omit what was said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe
that I was no less time than from the 3d of January to the
14th of April, working, finishing, and perfecting this wall;
though it was no more than about twenty-five yards in length,
being a half circle, from one place in the rock to another
place, about twelve yards from it, the door of the cave being
in the centre, behind it.
All this time I worked very hard; the rains hindering m(
many days, nay, sometimes weeks together: but I thought I
should never be perfectly secure till this wall was finished;
and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labor everything
was done with, especially the bringing of piles out of the
woods, and driving them into the ground; for I made them
much bigger than I needed to have dcne.
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 anything 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 wo ds fo .
game every day, when the rain permitted me, and made fre-
iuent 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 -a
nouse-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 wanting in many things, which I thought at first it
was impossible for me to make; as indeed, as to some of
them, it was: for instance, I could never make a cask to be
hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before;
but could never arrive at the capacity of making one by
them, though I spent many weeks about it: I could neither
put in the heads, nor join the staves so true to one another
as to make them hold water; so I gave that also over. In
the next place, I was at a great loss for candle; so that as
soon as it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I
was obliged to go to bed. I remember the lump of 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 rummag-
ing my things, I found a little bag; which, as I hinted be-
fore, had been filled with corn, for the feeding 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 by 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

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