Half Title
 Title Page
 The life and adventures of Robinson...
 The farther adventures of Robinson...

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The Life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073567/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner who lived eight and twenty years all alone in an uninhabited island on the coast of America, near the mouth of the great River of Oronooque, having been cast on shore by shipwreck, wherein all the men perished but himself, with an account how he was at last as strangely delivered by pirates, also the further adventures, written by himself
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Alternate Title: Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: 356 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Nast, Thomas, 1840-1902 ( Illustrator )
Hurd & Houghton
Riverside Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Publisher )
H.O. Houghton & Company
Publisher: Hurd and Houghton
Riverside Press
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: H.O. Houghton and Company, stereotypers and printers
Publication Date: 1868
Subject: Crusoe, Robinson (Fictitious character) -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Castaways -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Islands -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Pirates -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Genre: Adventure fiction   ( gsafd )
Adventure fiction.   ( gsafd )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
General Note: Spine title: Robinson Crusoe; half-title: Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Copyright statement by Hurd and Houghton, 1868, on verso of t.p.
General Note: Matches the citation in Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe, 571, dated 1873, but Lovett describes a different front.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe.
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel Defoe ; with eight illustrations by Thomas Nast.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073567
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 28229606
lccn - 06032889

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
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    The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
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Full Text
1w :













eamittigei o lberrsbtz ces6.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of
New York.





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


My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and ex-
cellet counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He
called me one morning into his chamber, where he was con-
fined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon
this subject: he asked me what reasons, more than a mere
wandering inclination, I had for leaving my father's house and
my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had
a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry,
with a life of ease and pleasure. Ile told me it was for men
of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior for-
tunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise
by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings
of a nature out of the conilnlon road ; that these things were
all either too flr aho\v me, or too far below me.; that mine
was the middle state, or what might be called the upper sta-
tion of low lilf, which lie hlad found by long experience was
the best state ill the world, the most suited to human happi-
ness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labor and
sufferings rassed with the prilde, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper
part of mankind. l1e told le, 1 might judge of the happi-
ness of this state, by this one tWing, namely, that this was the
state of life which all other people envied ; that kings have
frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born
to great things, and wish they had been placed in the middle
of the two extremes, between the mean and the great ; that the
wise man gave his testimony to this, as the just standard of true
felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
11e b:ade me observe it, and 1 should always find; that the
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part
of mankind ; but that the middle station had the fewest dis-
asters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the
higher or lower part of mankind ; nay, they were not sub-
jected to so many distempers and uncasinesses either of body
or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and
extravagances on one hand, or by hard labor, want of nec-
essaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand,
bring distempers upon themselves by the natural conse-
quences of their way of living; that the middle station of


life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of
enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmai of
a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quiets,
health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desitrle
pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station
of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through
the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the
labors of the hands or of the head, not sold to the life of
slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed 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, not to precipitate
myself into miseries which nature and the station of life I
was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was
under no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do
well for me, and endeavor to enter me fairly into the station
of life which he had been just recommending to me ; and
that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be
my mere fate or fault that must hinder it, and that he should
have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty
in warning me against measures which he knew would be to
my hurt; in a word, that as he would do very kind things for
me if I would stay and settle at home as he directed, so he
would n6t have so much hand in my misfortunes, as to give
me any encouragement to go away; and to close all, he told
me I had my elder brother for an example, to whom he had
used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going
into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young
desires 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 fool-
ish step, God would not bless me, and I would have leisure
hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel when
there might be none to assist in my recovery.

I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was
truly prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to
be so himself, I say, I observed the tears run down his face
very plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my brother
who was killed ; and that when he spoke of my having leisure
to repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he
broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full, he
could say no more to me.
I was sincerely altected 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 fa-
ther's desire. But, alas I a few days wore it all off; and, in
short, to prevent any of my father's further importunities, in a
few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him. How-
ever, 1 did not act so hastily neither, as my first heat of res-
olution 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 1 was now eighteen
years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or
clerk to an attorney ; that 1 was sure, if I did, 1 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 mc go but one voyage abroad,
if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more,
and 1 would promise by a double diligence to recover that
time I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion: she told me, she
knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon
any such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest
to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt, and that
she wondered how I could think of any such thing after such
a discourse as I had had from my father, and such kind and
tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me, and
that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for
me; but I might depend I should never have their consent to
it; that for her part she would not have so much hand in my


destruction; and I should never have it to say, that my
mother was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as
I heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, and
that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to her,
with a sigh, "That boy might be happy if he would stay at
home, but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable
wretch that was ever born ; I can give no consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though in the mean time I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating
with my father and mother about their being so positively de-
termined against what they knew my inclinations prompted
me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went casually,
and without any purpose of making an elopement that time
- but I say, being there, and one of my companions being
about to sail to London, in his father's ship, and prompting
me to go with them, with the common allurement of seafaring
men, namely, that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I
consulted neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as
sent them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they
might, without asking God's blessing, or my father's, without
any consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in
an ill hour-God knows-on the first of September, 165r,
I went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young
adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or contin-
ued longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out of
the Humber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to
rise in a most frightful manner; and as I had never been at
sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terri-
fied in mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I
had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of
Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and aban-
doning my duty; all the good counsel of my parents, my
father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into
my mind, and my conscience, which was not yet come to the
pitch of hardness to which it has been since, reproached me
with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to
God and my father.


All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had
never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like
what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw a
few days after: but it was enough to affect me then, who was
but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the
matter. 1 expected every wave would have swallowed us up,
and that every time the ship fell down, as 1 thought, in the
trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more ; and
in this agony of mind 1 made many vows and resolutions,
that if it would please ( ld here to spare my life this one voy-
age, if ever I got once Il' foot upon dry land again I would
go directly home to Imy father, and never set it into a ship
again while 1 lived ; that I would take his advice, and never
run myself into such miseries as these any more. Now I saw
plainly tlhe goodness of his observations about the middle
station of life, how Casy\, how comfortably he had lived all his
days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea, or
troubles on shore; an; I1 resolvel that I would, like a true re-
penting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise anl sober thoughts continued all the while the
storm continued, and indeed some time after ; but the next
day the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to
be a little inured to it : however, I was very grave for all that
day, being also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the
weather cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming
fine evening 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 1 thought,
the most delightful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick,
but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was
so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm
and so pleasant in so little time after. And now, lest my
good resolutions should continue, my companion, who had
indeed enticed me away, comes to me. Well, Bob," says he
(clapping me upon the shoulder), "how do you do after it ? I
warrant you were frighted, want you, last night, when it blew
but a cap full of wind ? A cap full do you call it ? said
I. It was a terrible storm." A storm, you fool you," re-


plies he; "do you call that a storm ? why it was nothing at
all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think noth-
ing of such a squall of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-
water sailor, Bob: come, let us make a bowl of punch, and
we'll forget all that. Do you see what charming weather it is
now ?" To make short this sad part of my story, we went
the old way of all sailors; the punch was made, and I was
made drunk with it, and in that one night's wickedness I
drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past
conduct, and all my resolutions for my future. In a word, as
the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and settled
calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my
thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being
swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of
my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and
promises that 1 made in my distress. I found indeed some
intervals of reflection, and the 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 applying myself to drink and company, soon mastered
the return of those fits, for so I called them, and I had in five
or six days got as complete a victory over conscience as any
young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could de-
sire. But I was to have another trial for it still; and Provi-
dence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me
entirely without excuse. For if I would not take this for a
deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst and
most hardened wretch among us would confess both the dan-
ger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth
Roads; the wind having been contrary, and the weather'lm,
we had made but little way since the storm. Here we ere
obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind con-
tinuing contrary, namely, at southwest, for seven or eight
days, during which time a great many ships from Newcastle
came into the same roads, as the common harbor where the
ships might wait for a wind from the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but should have
tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh, and


after we had lain four or five days blew very hard. However,
the roads being reckoned as good as a harbor, the anchorage
good, and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were un-
concerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but
spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea;
but the eighth day in the morning, the wind increased, and we
had all hands at work to strike our topmasts, and make every-
thing snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as pos-
sible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship
rid forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or
twice our anchor had come home ; upon which our master or-
dered 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 even of the
seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in the busi-
ness of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his
cabin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say several
times, Lord, be merciful to us ; we shall be all lost, we shall
be all undone," and the like. During these first hurries, I was
stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and
cannot describe my temper. I could ill reassume the first
penitence which I had so apparently trampled upon, and
hardened myself against: 1 thought the bitterness of death
had been past, and that this would be nothing like the first.
But when the master himself came by me, as I said just now,
and said we should be all lost, 1 was dreadfully frighted; I
got up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal
sight I never saw: the sea went mountains high, and broke
upon us every three or four minutes: when I could look about,
I could see nothing but distress round us : two ships that rid
near us, we found, had cut their masts by the board, being
deep loaden; and our men cried out, that a ship which rid
about a mile 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 of them drove, and came close by us, run-
ning away with only their spritsail out before the wind.


Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the mas-
ter of our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he
was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protesting to him,
that if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and
when they had cut away the foremast, the mainmast stood
so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to
cut her away also, and make a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all
this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a
fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this dis-
tance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in ten-
fold more horror of mind upon account of my former convic-
tions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions I
had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and
these, added to the terror of the storm, put me into such a
condition, that I can by no words describe it. But the worst
was not come yet: the storm continued with such fury, that
the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never known a
worse. We had a good ship, but she was deep loaden, and
wallowed in the sea, that the seamen every now and then
cried out she would founder. It was my advantage in one
respect, that I did not know what they meant by founder,
till I inquired. However, the storm was so violent, that I
saw what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and
some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers,
and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the
bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest
of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on pur-
pose to see, cried out, we had sprung a leak; another said
there was four foot water in the hold. Then all hands were
called to the pump. At that very word my heart, as I thought,
died within me, and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed
where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me,
and told me, that I who was able to do nothing before, was as
well able to pump as another: at which I stirred up, and went
to the pump and worked very heartily. While this was doing,
the master seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out
the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would
not come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress.


I, who knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that
I thought the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing hap-
pened. In a word I was so surprised, that I fell down in a
swoon. As this was a time when everybody had his own life
to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me;
but another man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me
aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead, and it
was a great while before I came to myself.
We worked on, but the water increasing in the hold, it was
apparent that the ship would founder ; and though the storm
began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could swim
till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing
guns for help ; and a light ship who had rid it out just ahead
of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the
utmost hazard the boat came near us, but it was impossible
for us to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's
side ; till at last, the men rowing very heartily, and venturing
their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the
stern with the buoy to it, and then veered it out a great
length, which they, after great labor and hazard, took hold.of,
and we hauled them close under our stern and got all into
their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us after we were
in the boat to think of reaching to their own ship, so all agreed
to let her drive, and only to pull her in towards shore as
much as we could, and our master promised them, that if the
boat was staved upon shore he would make it good to their
master; so partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went
away to the northward, sloping -towards the shore almost as
far as Winterton-Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of
our ship before we saw her sink, and then I understood for
the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea.
I must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the
seamen told me she was sinking ; for from that moment they
rather put me into the boat than that I might be said to go
in: my heart was as it were dead within me, partly with fright,
partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet
before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet laboring at the



oars to bring the boat near the shore, we could see (when our
boat mounting the waves we were able to see the shore) a
great many people running along the shore to assist us when
we should come near; but we made but slow way towards the
shore, nor were we able to reach the shore, till being past the
light-house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward
towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence
of the wind: here we got in, and, though not without much
difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot
to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with
great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who
assigned us good quarters, as by particular merchants and
owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us
either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have
gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of
our blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf
for me; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in
Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any as-
surance that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that
nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud
calls from my reason and my more composed judgment to go
home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call
this, nor will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree that
hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction,
even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our
eyes open. Certainly nothing but some such decreed una-
voidable misery attending, and which it was impossible for me
to escape, could have pushed me forward against the calm
reasoning and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and
against two such visible instructions as I had met with in my
first attempt.
My comrade who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was
not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town
to several quarters, I say, the first time he saw me, it ap-
peared his tone was altered; and looking very melancholy,




and shaking his head, asked me how I did, and telling his
father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a
trial, in order to go farther abroad; his father, turning to me
with a very grave and concerned tone, Young man," says he,
"you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take
this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a sea-
faring 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 is all befallen us on
your account, like Jonah, in the ship of Tarshish. Pray," con-
tinued he, "what are you ? and on what account did you go
to sea ?" Upon that I told him some of my story; at the
end of which he burst out with a strange kind of passion:
"What had I done," says he, that such an unhappy wretch
should come into my ship ? I would not set my foot in the
same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds." However,
he afterwards talked very gravely to me, and exhorted me to
go back to my father and not tempt Providence to my ruin;
told me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me.
"And, young man," said he, "depend upon it if you do not
go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but
disasters and disappointments, till your father's words are ful-
filled 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 since often observed,
how incongruous and irrational the common temper of man-
kind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to
guide them in such cases, namely, that they are not ashamed


13 1

to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the
action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but
are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be
esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncer-
tain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead.
An irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I
stayed a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in
wore off, and as that abated, the little motion I had in my de-
sires 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 notion of raising
my fortune, and that imprest those conceits so forcibly upon me,
as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties
and even the command of my father, I say, the same influ-
ence, 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 voy-
age to Guinea.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I
did not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, though I might
indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the
same time I had learned the duty and office of a foremast
man, and in time might have qualified myself for a mate or
lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it was always my fate
to choose for the worse, so I did here; for having money in
my pocket, and good clothes upon my back, I would always
go on board in the habit of a gentleman, and so I neither had
any business in the ship, nor learned to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in
London, which does not always happen to such loose and un-
guided young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not
omitting to lay some snare for them very early: but it was
not so with me. I first fell acquainted with the master of a
ship who had been on the coast of Guinea, and who, having
had very good success there, was resolved to go again; and
who, taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all
disagreeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to see


the world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I should
be at no expense; I should be his messmate and his compan-
ion, 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 cap-
tain, I increased very considerably ; for I carried about 40/.
in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy.
This 40/. I had mustered together by the assistance of some
of my relations whom I corresponded with, and who, I be-
lieve, got my father, or at least my mother, to contribute so
much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful
in all my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and
honesty of my friend the captain, under whom also I got a
competent knowledge of the mathematics, and the rules of
navigation, learned how to keep an account of the ship's
course, take an observation, and, in short, to understand some
things that were needful to be understood by a sailor ; for, as
he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn, and, in
a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant;
for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold dust for
my adventure, which yielded me in London at my return,
almost 300oo., and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts
which have since so completed my ruin.
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too ; partic-
ularly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent
fever by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal trad-
ing being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees
north even to the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to
my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to
go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel
with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now
got the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voy-
age that ever man made; for though I did not carry quite zool.


of my new gained wealth, so that I had 2ool. left, and which I
lodged with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet
I fell into terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first
was this, namely: Our ship, making her course towards the
Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the Afri-
can 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 have got clear ;
but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly
come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight; our
ship having twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three
in the afternoon he came up with us, and bringing to, by mis-
take, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as
he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that
side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him
sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in also
his small shot from near 200 men which he had on board.
However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping
close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend our-
selves; but laying us on board the next time upon our other
quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks, who immedi-
ately fell to cutting and hacking the decks and rigging. We
plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such
like, and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut
short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being dis-
abled, and three of our men killed, and eight wounded, we
were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sal-
lee, a port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I ap-
prehended, nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's
court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the cap-
tain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave,
being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this sur-
prising change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a
miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I
looked back upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that
I should be miserable, and have none to relieve me, which,
I thought, was now so effectually brought to pass, that I could


not be worse; that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken
me, and I was undone without redemption. But, alas I this
was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will
appear in the sequel of the story.
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his
house, so I was in hopes that he would take me with him
when he went to sea again, believing that it would some time
or other be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese
man-of-war, and that then I should be set at liberty. But
this hope of mine was soon taken away; for when he went
to sea, he left me on shore to look after his little garden, and
do the common drudgery of slaves about his house; and when
he came home again from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in
the cabin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method
I might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least
probability in it: nothing presented to make the supposition
of it rational ; for I had nobody to communicate it to, that
would embark with me; no fellow-slave, no Englishman,
Irishman, or Scotchman, there but myself; so that for two
years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet
I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in
After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself,
which put the old thought of making some attempt for my
liberty again in my head : my patron lying at home longer
than usual, without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was
for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week,
sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's
pinnace, and go out into the road a fishing ; and as he always
took me and a young Maresco with him to row the boat, we
made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catch-
ing fish: insomuch, that sometimes he would send me with a
Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth, the Maresco as they
called him, to catch a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time, that going a fishing in a stark calm
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a
league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing we
knew not whither or which way, we labored all day, and all


the next night, and when the morning came we found we hid
pulled off to sea instead of pulling in for the shore, and that
we were at least two leagues from the shore; however, we got
well in again, though with a great deal of labor, and some
danger; for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morn-
ing, but particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take
more care of himself for the future ; and having lying by him
the long boat of our English ship he had taken, he resolved
he would not go a fishing any more without a compass and
some provision ; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who
also was an English slave, to build a little state-room or cabin
in the middle of the long boat, like that of a barge, with a
place to stand behind it to steer and hale home the main-
sheet, and room before for a hand or two to stand and work
the sails. She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton
sail; and the boom gibed over the top of the cabin, which
lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with
a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small lockers
to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink,
particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I
was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went with-
out 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 over night a larger store of provisions than ordinary, arid
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 flag and pendants
ut, and everything to accommodate his guests; when by and
y my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests
ad put off going, upon some business that fell out, and or-
ered me with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the
oat and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup
t his house ; and commanded that as soon as I got some fish


I should bring it home to his house; all which I prepared to
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 anywhere to get out of that place was my
My first contrivance was to make a pretense to speak to
this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for
I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread :
he said, that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk
or biscuit of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, 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 hundredweight, with a par-
cel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all
which were of great use to us afterwards ; especially the wax
to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which he
innocently came into also ; his name was Ismael, who they call
Muly, or Moley ; so I called to him, Moley," said I, our
patron's guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little
powder and shot, it may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl
like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gun-
ner's stores in the ship ? Yes," says he, I'll bring some ;"
and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch which held
about a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and an-
other with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets,
and put all into the boat; at the same time I had found some
powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which I filled
one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty;
pouring what was in it into another: and thus furnished with
everything needful, we sailed out of the port to fish. The
castle which is at the entrance of the port knew who we were,
and took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out


of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to
fish. The wind blew from the N. N. E. which was contrary to
my desire ; for had it blown southerly I had been sure to have
made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of
Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I
would be gone from that horrid place where I was, and leave
the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and 'catched nothing, for
when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that
he might not see them, I said to the Moor, "This will not*
do; our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther
off:" he thinking no harm agreed, and being in the head of
the boat set the sails; and as I had the helm I run the boat
out near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I would
fish, when giving the boy the helm, I stept forward to where
the Moor was, and making as if I stooped for something be-
hind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his legs,
and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose immedi-
ately, for he swam like a cork, and calling to me, begged to be
taken in: told me he would go all over the world with me; he
swam so strong after the boat that he would have reached me
very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I
stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-
pieces, I presented it at him, and told him I had done him
no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none:
"but," said I, you swim well enough to reach the shore, and
the sea is calm; make the best of your way to shore, and I will
do you no harm, but if you come near the boat I'll shoot you
through the head; for I am resolved to have my liberty: so
he turned himself about and swam for the shore, and I make
no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me,
and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to
trust him. When he was gone I turned to the boy, who they
called Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be faithful to
me I'll make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your
face to be true to me," that is swear by Mahomet and his
father's beard, "I must throw you into the sea too ;" the boy


smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently that I could not
mistrust him ; and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over
the world with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I
stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to
windward, that they might think me gone towards the Straits'
mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must
have been supposed to do), for who would have supposed we
were sailed on to the southward to the truly Barbarian coast,
where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with
their canoes, and destroy us; where we could never once go
on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more
merciless savages of human kind ?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my
course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the
shore; and having a fair fresh gale of wind, and a smooth
quiet sea, I made such sail that I believe by the next day at
three o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I
could not be less than 150 miles south of Sallee ; quite beyond
the emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other
king thereabouts, for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that
I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor. The
wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days,
and the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that
if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also Would
now give over ; so I ventured to make the coast, and came to
an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or
where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or
what river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people, the
principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this
-creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as
it was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was
quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises o( the barking,
roaring, and howling of wild creatures of we knew not what
kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and
begged of me not to go on shore till day. Well, Xury," said


I, then I won't, but it may be we may see men by day, who
will be as bad to us as those lions." "Then we give them the
shoot gun," says Xury, laughing ; "make them run way." 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 great crea-
tures (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 frighted, and indeed so was I too; but
we were both more frighted when we heard one of these
mighty creatures come swimming towards our boat: we could
not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a
monstrous huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion,
and it might be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to
me to weigh the anchor and row away. No," says I, Xury,
we can slip our cable with a buoy to it and go off to sea; they
cannot follow us far." I had no sooner said so, but I per-
ceived the creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length,
which something surprised me; however I immediately stept
to the cabin-door, and taking up my gun fired at him, upon
which he immediately turned about and swam towards the
shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hid-
eous cries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the
edge of the shore, as higher within the country, upon the
noise or report of the gun; a thing I have some reason to be-
lieve those creatures had never heard before: this convinced
me that there was no going on shore for us in the night upon
that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was an-
other question too ; for to have fallen into the hands of any
of the savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the:
hands of lions and tigers; at least we were equally apprehen-,
sive of the danger of it. .


Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some-
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the
boat ; when or where to get it was the point. Xury said, if I
would let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find
if there was any water, and bring some to me. I asked him
why he would go? why I should not go, and he stay in the
boat? The boy answered with so much affection that made
me love him ever after. Says he, If wild mans come, they
eat me, you go way." "Well, Xury," said I, "we will both go,
and if the wild mans come, we will kill them: they shall eat
neither of us ;" so I gave Xury a piece of rusk-bread to eat,
and a dram out of otfr patron's case of bottles which I men-
tioned before; and we hauled the boat in as near the shore as
we thought was proper, and waded on shore; carrying noth-
ing but our guns, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river: but the boy,
seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to it;
and by and by I saw him come running towards me. I
thought he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some
wild beast, and I ran forward towards him to help him; but
when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over
his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a
hare, but different in 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 we were, we
found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but
a little way up ; so we filled our jars and feasted on the hare
we had killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no
footsteps of any human creature in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verde
Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no
instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we
were in, and did not exactly know, or at least remember, what
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or


when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might
now easily have found some of these islands. But my hope
was, that if I stood along this coast till I came to that part
where the English traded, I should find some of their vessels
upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take
us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was,
must be that country, which, lying between the emperor of
Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and unin-
habited; except by wild beasts, the Negroes having abandoned
it, and gone farther south for fear of the Moors; and the
Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its bar-
renness; and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodi-
gious number of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious
creatures which harbor there; so that the Moors use it for
their hinting only, where they go like an army, two or three
thousand, men at a time; and indeed for near an hundred
miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste
uninhabied country by day; and heard nothing but howlings
and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time I thought I saw the Peak of
Teneriffi, being the high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes of
reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again
by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little
vessel, so I resolved to pursue my first design and keep along
the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water after we
had left this place; and once in particular, being early in the
morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land
which was pretty high, and the tide beginning to flow, we lay
still to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about hint
than it seems mine were, calls softly to me, and tells me that
we had best go farther off the shore; "for," says he, "look,
yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock fast
asleep." I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful mon-
ster indeed, for it was a terrible great lion that lay on the side
of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung
as it were a little over him. Xury," says I, "you shall go on


shore and kill him : Xury looked frighted, and said, Me kill!
he eat me at one mouth;" one mouthful he meant. However,
I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still; and took
our biggest gun, which was almost musquet-bore, and loaded
it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid
it down; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the
third, for we had three pieces, I loaded with five smaller bul-
lets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece, to have
shot him into the head, but he lay so with his leg raised a
little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the knee,
and broke the bone. He started up growling at first, but
finding his leg broke, fell down again, and then got up upon
three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever I heard.
I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the head;
however, I took up the second piece immediately, and though
he began to move off, fired again, and shot him into the head,
and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but little
noise, but lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and
would have me let him go on shore. "Well, go," said I. So
the boy jumped into the water, and taking a little gui in one
hand, swam to the shore with the other hand, and coming
close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his
ear, and shot him into the head again, which dispatched him
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food: and I
was very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon
a creature that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury
said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and
asked me to give him the hatchet. "For what, Xury ? said I.
"Me cut off his head," said he. However, Xury could not cut
off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him,
and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him
might one way or other be of some value to us; and I re-
solved to take off his skin, if I could. So Xury and I went
to work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at
it, for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed it took us up both,
the whole day; but at last we got the hide off him, and
spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually


dried it in two days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually
for ten or twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions,
which began to abate very much, and going no oftener into
the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water: my design
in this was, to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to
say 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 per-
ish there among the Negroes. I knew that all the ships from
Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Bra-
zil, or to the East Indies, made this Cape, or those Islands ;
and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this
single point, either that I must meet with some ship or must
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer,
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited;
and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people
stand upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive
they were quite black, and stark naked. I was once inclined
to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my better coun-
sellor, and said to'me, '" No go, no go: however I hauled in
nearer the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they
ran along the shore by me a good way. I observed they had
no weapons in their hands except one, who had a long slender
stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they would throw
them a great way with good aim. So I kept at a distance, but
talked with them by signs as well as I could; and particularly
made signs for something to eat: they beckoned to me to
stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat; upon this
I lowered the top of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran
up into the country, and in less than half an hour came back,
and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some corn,
as is the produce of their country; but we neither knew what
the one nor the other was: however, we were willing to ac-
,cept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was
not for venturing on shore to them, and they were as much
afraid of us; but they took a safe way for us all, for they


brought it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood
a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came
close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to
make them amends; but an opportunity offered that very in-
stant 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 crea-
tures seldom appear but in the night; and in the second
place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the
women. The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from
them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran di-
rectly into the water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon
any of the Negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and
swam about as if they had come for their diversion. At last
one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I ex-
pected, but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with
all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others.
As soon as he came fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot
him directly into the head. Immediately he sunk down into
the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down as if
he was struggling for life; and so indeed he was: he imme-
diately made to the shore, but between the wound, which was
his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just
before he reached the shore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor
creatures at the noise and the fire of my gun; some of them
were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with
the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and
sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to
the shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and began
to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining
the water; and by the help of a rope, which I slung round
him, and gave the negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore,
and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted and fine


to an admirable degree, and the Negroes held up their hands
with admiration to think what it was I had killed him
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the
noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the
mountains from whence they came, nor could I at that dis-
tance know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes were
for eating the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have
them take it as a 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 provision, which, though I did not
understand, yet I accepted; then I made signs to them for
some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it
bottom upward, to 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 ves-
sel made of earth, and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this
they set down for me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore
with my jars, and filled them all three.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was,
and water; and, leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward
for about eleven days more, without offering to go near the
shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at
about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and, the
sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point:
at length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the
land, I saw plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I
concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the
Cape de Verd, and those the islands, called from thence Cape
de Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance,
and I could not tell what I had best do, for if I should be
taken with a fresh of wind I might neither reach one nor the


In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stept into the
cabin and set me down, Xury having the helm, when on a
sudden the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a sail;"
and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it
must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us,
when I knew we were gotten far enough out of their reach.
I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw not only the
ship, but that it was a Portuguese ship, and, as I thought, was
bound to the coast of Guinea for Negroes. But when I ob-
served the course she steered, I was soon convinced they were
bound some other way, and did not design to come any nearer
to the shore; upon which I stretched out to sea as much as I
could, resolving to speak with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be
able to come in their way, but they would be gone by before
I could make any signal to them. But after I had crowded
to the utmost, and began to despair, they, .it seems, saw me by
the help of their perspective-glasses, and that it was some
European boat, which, as they supposed, must belong to some
ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up.
I was encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's flag on
board, I made a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and
fired a gun, both which they saw; for they told me they saw
the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these
signals they very kindly brought-to, and lay-by for me, and in
about three hours' time I came up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish,
and in French; but I understood none of them; but at last
a Scottish 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.
Then they bade me come on board, and-very kindly took me
in, and all my goods.
It was inexpressible joy to me, that any one would believe,
that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a mis-
erable and almost hopeless condition as I was in, and imme-
diately 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," says he, "when I carry you
to the Brazils, so great a way from your own country, if I
should take away from you what you have, you will be starved
there, and then I only take away that life I have given. No,
no, Seignor, Mr. Englishman, I will carry you thither in
charity, and those things will help you to buy your subsistence
there, and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the
performance to a tittle, for he ordered the seamen that none
should offer to touch anything I had; then he took everything
into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory
of them, that I might have them ; even so much as my earthen
As to my boat, it .was a very good one, and that he saw, and
told me he would buy it of me for the ship's use, and asked
me what I would have for it? I told him he had been so gen-
erous 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 his hand to pay me 80
pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if any
one offered to give more, he would make it up; he offered me
also 60 pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was
loth to take; not that I was not willing to let the captain
have him, but JI was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty,
who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own.
However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be
just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy
an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Chris-
tian. Upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to
him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and arrived in
All-Saints-Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I
was once more delivered from the most miserable of all con-
ditions of life, and what to do next with myself I was now to
The generous treatment the captain .gave me, I can never


enough remember; he would take nothing of me for my pas-
sage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty
for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused
everything I had in the ship to be punctually delivered me;
and what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the case of
bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-wax,
for I had made candles of the rest; in a word, I made about
220 pieces of eight of all my cargo, and with this stock I went
on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the
house of a good honest man like himself, who had an Ingenio,
as they call it, that is, a plantation and a sugar house; I
lived with him some time, and acquainted myself by' that
means with the manner of their planting and making of sugar;
and seeing how well the planters lived, and how they grew
rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get license to settle there,
I would turn planter among them, resolving in the mean time to
find out some way to get my money, which I had left in Lon-
don, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a letter
of naturalization, I purchased as much land that was uncured
as my money would reach, and formed a plan for my planta-
tion and settlement, and 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 neighbor, because his
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably
together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we
rather planted for food, than anything else, for about two
years. However, we began to increase, and our land began
to come into order; so that the third year we planted some
tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready
for planting canes in the year to come; but we both wanted
help; and now I found more than before, I had done wrong
in parting with my boy Xury.
But alas for me to do wrong, that never did right, was no
great wonder: I had no remedy but to go on; I was gotten
into an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly
contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my


father's house, and broke through all his good advice; nay, I
was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of
low life, which my father advised me to before; and which if
I resolved to go on with, I might as well have staid at home,
and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done:
and I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as
well in England among my friends, as have gone five thou-
sand miles off to do it among strangers and savages in a wil-
derness, and at such distance as never to hear from any part
of the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and
then this neighbor: no work to be done, but by the labor of
my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast
away upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but
himself. But how just has it been, and how should all men
reflect, that, when they compare their present conditions with
others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the
exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity, by their
experience; I say how just has it been, that the truly solitary
life I reflected on in an island of mere desolation should be
my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with the life
which I then led, in which, had I continued, I had in all prob-
ability been exceeding prosperous and rich.
I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying
on the plantation, before my kind friend, the captain of the
ship that ptok me up at sea, went back; for the ship remained
there, providing his loading and preparing for his voyage,
near three months; when, telling him what little stock I had
left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere
advice: Seignor Inglese," says he (for so he always called
me), "if you will give me letters, and a procuration here in
form to me, with orders to the person who has your money
in London, to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as
I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this coun-
try, I will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my
return; but since human affairs are all subject to changes and
disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred
pounds sterling, which you say is half your stock, and let the


hazard be run for the first; so that if it come safe, you may
order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry, you may have
the other half to have recourse to it for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that
I could not but be convinced it was the best course I could
take ; so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman
with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the
Portuguese captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all
my adventures, my slavery, escape, and how I had met with
the Portugal captain at sea, the humanity of his behavior, and
what condition I was now in, with all other necessary direc-
tions for my supply; and when this honest captain came to
Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants
there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of
my story, to a merchant at London, who represented it effect-
ually to her; whereupon, she not only delivered the money,
but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain a very
handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in
English goods, such as the captain had written for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me
to the Brazils; among which, without my directions (for I was
too young in my business to think of them), he had taken care
to have all sorts of tools, iron-work, and utensils necessary for
my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived I thought my fortune made, for I
was surprised with joy of it; and my good steward the cap-
tain had laid out the five pounds which my friend had sent him
for a present for himself, to purchase, and bring me over a ser-
vant 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 man-
ufactures, such as cloth, stuffs, baize, and things particularly
valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell
them to a very great advantage, so that I may say I had more
than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now infi-
nitely beyond my poor neighbor, I mean in the' advancement


of my plantation: for the first thing I did, I bought me a
Negro slave, and an European servant also; I mean another
besides that which the captain brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means
of our greatest adversity, so it was 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 an hundred-weight, were well
cured and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon.
And now, increasing in business and in wealth, my head began
to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach;
such as are indeed often the ruin of the best heads in busi-
Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room
for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my
father so earnestly recommended a quiet retired life, and of
which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life
to be full; but other things attended me, and I was still to be
the willful agent of all my own miseries.; and particularly to
increase my fault, and double the reflections upon myself,
which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make.
All these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obsti-
nate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad,
and pursuing that inclination in contradiction to the clearest
views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of
those prospects and those measures of life, which nature and
Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my
As I had done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I
could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy
view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plan-
tation, 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 the 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 acquaintance and friendship
among my fellow planters, as well as among the merchants at
St. Salvadore, which was our port; and that in my discourses
among them I had frequently given them an account of my
two voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner of trading
with the Negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upon
the coast, for trifles, such as beads, toys, knives, scissors,
hatchets, bits of glass, and the like, not only gold dust,
Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but Negroes for the ser-
vice of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the
buying Negroes, which was a trade at that time not only not
far entered into, but as far as it was, had been carried on by
the Assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and Portu-
gal, and engrossed in the public, so that few Negroes were
bought, and those excessively dear.
It happened, being in company with some merchants and
planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very
earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning, and
told me they had been musing very much upon what I had
discoursed with them of the last night, and they came to
make a secret proposal to me; and after enjoining me secrecy,
they told me that they had a mind to fit out t ship to go to
Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were
straitened for nothing so much as servants; that as this was a
trade that could not be carried on, because they could not
publicly sell the Negroes when they came home: so they de-
sired to make but one voyage, to bring the Negroes on shore
privately, and divide them among their own plantations; and
in a word, the question was, whether I would go as their su-
percargo in the ship, to manage the trading part upon the
coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I should have my
equal share of the Negroes, without providing any part of the
This was a fair proposal, it must be" confessed, had it been
made to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation


of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of becoming
very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me,
that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do
but go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to
have sent for the other hundred pounds from England, and
who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce
have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds ster-
ling, and that increasing too; for me to think of such a voy-
age, was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such
circumstances could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no
more resist the offer, than I could restrain my first rambling
designs, when my father's good counsel was lost upon me. In
a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they
would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence,
and would dispose of it to such as I should direct if I mis-
carried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writ-
ings or covenants to do so; and I made a formal will, dispos-
ing of my plantation and effects, in case of my death, making
the captain of the ship that saved my life, as before, my uni-
versal heir; but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I
had directed in my will, one half of the produce, being to
himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects,
and keep up my plantation. Had I used half as much pru-
dence to have looked into my own interest, and have made a
judgment of what I ought to have done and not to have done,
I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an under-
taking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circum-
stance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its
common hazards; to say nothing of the reasons I had to ex-
pect particular misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of
my fancy rather than my reason; and accordingly, the ship
being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done
as by agreement by my partners in the voyage, I went on
board in an evil hour, the ist of September- being the same
day eight years that I went from my father and mother at
Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool
to my own interest.


Our ship was about 120 tons burden, carried 6 guns, and
14 men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We had on
board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit
for our trade with the Negroes, such as beads, bits of glass,
shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives,
scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away
to the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch
over for the African coast when they came about ten or twelve
degrees of northern latitude, which it seems was the manner
of their course in those days. We had very good weather,
only excessive hot, all the way upon our own coast till we
came the height of Cape St. Augustino; from whence, keep-
ing farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if
we were bound for the isle Fernand de Noronha, holding our
course N. E. by N. and leaving those isles on the east. In
this course we passed the line in about twelve days' time, and
were by our last observation in seven degrees twenty-two min-
utes northern latitude, when a violent tornado or hurricane
took us quite out of our knowledge. It began from the south-
east, came about to the north-west, and then settled into the
north-east, from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that
for twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and
scudding away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and
the fury of the winds directed; and during 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 fever, and one man and the boy washed
overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating a little,
the master made an observation as well as he could, and
found he was in about eleven degrees north latitude, but that
he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference west from
Cape St. Augustino: so that he found he was gotten upon the
coast of Guinea, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river
Amazones, toward that of the river Oronoque, commonly
called the Great River, and began to consult with me what ,
course he should take, for the ship was leaky and very much
disabled, and he was going directly back to the coast of


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 Caribbee Islands, and therefore
resolved to stand away for Barbadoes, which, by keeping off
at sea, to avoid the indraught 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
to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away
N. W. by W in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was otherwise de-
termined; for being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen
minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried us away
with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of
the very way of all human commerce, that had all our lives
been saved, as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being
devoured by savages than ever returning to our own country.
In this distress, the wind-still blowing very hard, one of our
men early in the morning cried out, Land" and we had no
sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing
whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a
sand, and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea
broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we should
all have perished immediately; and we were immediately
driven into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very
foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like con-
dition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in
such circumstances. We knew nothing where we were, or
upon what land it was we were driven, whether an island or
the main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the rage
of the wind was still great, though rather less than at first, we
could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many min-
utes without breaking in pieces, unless the winds, by a kind
of miracle, should turn immediately about. In a word, we
sat looking one upon another, and expecting death every mo-
ment, and every man acting accordingly as preparing for


another world, for there was little or nothing more for us to do
in this. That which was our present comfort, and all the
comfort we had, was, that contrary to our expectation the ship
did not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to
Now, though we found that the wind did a little abate, yet
the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too
fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful con-
dition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving
our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern
just before the storm, but she was first staved by dashing
against the ship's rudder, and in the next place she broke
away, and either sunk or was driven off to sea, so there was
no hope from her. We had another boat on board but how
to get her 'ff 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 ac-
tually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the
boat, and with the help of the rest of the men, they got her
slung over the ship's side, and getting all into her, let go, and'
committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy
and the wild sea; for though the storm was abated consider-
ably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and might
well be called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw
plainly that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live,
and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making
sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done any-
thing with it, so we worked at the oar towards the land,
though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for
we all knew that when the boat came nearer the shore she
would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the
sea. However, we committed our souls to God in the most
earnest manner, and the wind driving us towards the shore,
we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as
well as we could towards land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or


shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give
us the least shadow of expectation was, if we might happen
into some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by
great chance we might have run our boat in, or got under the
lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there
was nothing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and
nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling a-stern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup-de-
grace. In a word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset
the boat at once; and separating us, as well from the boat as
from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, O God for
we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt
when I sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw
breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me,
a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went
back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead
with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind,
as well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the main land
than I expected, I got upon my feet, and 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 my-
self towards the shore, if possible. My greatest concern now
being that the sea, as it would carry me a great way towards
the shore when it came on, might not carry, me back again
with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once 20
or 30 feet deep in its own body, and I could feel myself car-
ried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore a
very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to
swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst


with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so,
to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out
above the surface of the water; and though it was not two
seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved
me greatly, gave me breath and new courage. I was covered
again with water a good while, but not so long but I held it
out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to re-
turn, 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 far-
ther towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me
from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me
again, and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and car-
ried forwards as before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me;
for the sea having hurried me along as before, landed Ir
rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock, and that with
such force, as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to
my own deliverance ; for the blow taking my side and breast,
beat the breath as it were quite out of my body ; and had it not
returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in the
water ; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves,
and seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved
to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so hold my breath,
if possible, till the wave went back. Now as the waves were
not so high as at first, being near land, I held my hold till the
wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me
so near the shore that the next wave, though it went over me,
yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the
next run I took I got to the main-land, where, to my great
comfort, I clambered up the clefts of the shore, and sat me
down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the
reach of the water.
I was now landed and safe on shore, and began to look up
and thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there
was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe
it is impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and
transports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say,


out of the very grave. I walked about on the shore, lifting
up my hands, and my whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in
the contemplation of my deliverance, making a thousand
gestures and motions which I cannot describe, reflecting upon
all my comrades that were drowned, and that there should
not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never
saw them afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of
their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so
far off, and considered, Lord how was it possible I could get
on shore!
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of
my condition, I began to look around me, to see what kind of
place I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon
found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dread-
ful deliverance. For I was wet, had no clothes 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 might desire to
kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a
knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box; this was
all my provision, and this threw me into terrible agonies of
mind; that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night
coming upon me, I began with a heavy heart to consider what
would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that
country, seeing at night they always come abroad for their
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was,
to get up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which
grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and con-
sider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw
no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore,
to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to
my great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco in
my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting



up into it endeavored to place myself so as that if I should
sleep I might not fall; and having cut me a short stick, like
a truncheon, for my defense, I took up my lodging, and having
been excessively fatigued I fell fast asleep, and slept as com-
fortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition,
and found myself the most refreshed with it that I think I ever
was on such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the
storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before ;
but that which surprised me most was, that the* ship was
lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay by the
swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the
rock which I first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by
the dashing me against it. This being within about a mile
from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand
upright still, I wished myself on board, that, at least, I might
save some necessary things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked
about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat,
which lay as the wind and the sea had tossed her, up upon
the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far
as I could upon the shore to- have got to her, but found a
neck or inlet of water between me and the boat, which was
about half a mile broad; so I came back for the present,
being more intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to
find something for my present subsistence.
A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide
ebbed so far out that I could come within a quarter of a mile
of the ship, and here I found a fresh renewing of my grief;
for I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had
been all safe, that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and
I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of
all comfort and company, as I now was. This forced tears
from my eyes again, but as there was little relief in that, I
resolved, if possible, to get to the ship, so I pulled off my
clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity, and took the
water; but when I came to the ship, my difficulty was still
greater to know how to get on board, for as she lay aground,
and high out of the water, there was nothing within my reach


to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the second time
I spied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see
at first, hang down by the fore-chains so low as that with great
difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope got up
into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold, but
that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather
earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her
head low almost to the water. By this means all her quarter
was free, and all that was in that part was dry ; for you may
be sure my first work was to search and to see what was
spoiled and what was free; and first I found that all the
ship's provisions were dry and untouched by the water; and
being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread-room and
filled my pockets with biscuit, and eat it as I went about
other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some
rum in the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and
which I had indeed need enough of to spirit me for what was
before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat to furnish my-
self with many things which I foresaw would be very neces-
sary 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 sev-
eral spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a
spare topmast or two in the ship. I resolved to fall to work
with these, and flung as many of them overboard as I could
manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope that they
might not drive away; when this was done I went down the
ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast
together at both ends, as well as I could, in the form of a raft,
and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them
cross-ways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it
was not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too
light; so I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut
a spare topmast into three lengths, and added them to my
raft, with a great deal of labor and pains: but hope of fur-
nishing myself with necessaries encouraged me to go beyond
what I should have been able to have done upon another oc-


My raft was now strong enough to bear any. reasonable
weight; my next care was what to load it with, and how to
preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I
was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or
boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well
what I most wanted, I first got three of the seamen's chests,
which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them
down upon my raft. The first of these I filled with provis-
ions, namely, bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of
dried goat's flesh, which we lived much upon, and a little re-
mainder of European corn which had been laid by for some
fowls which we 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 sev-
eral cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were
some cordial waters, and in all about five or six gallons of
rack; these I stowed by themselves, there being no need to
put them into the chest, nor no room for them. While I was
doing this, I found the tide began to flow, though very calm;
and I had the 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
out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize
to me, and much more valuable than a ship-loading of gold
would have been at that time. I got it down to my raft, even
whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew
in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there
were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where
our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found


them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.
Those two I got to my raft, with the arms ; and now I thought
myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should
get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder,
and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navi-
I had three encouragements : a smooth, calm sea, the tide
rising and setting into the shore, and 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
As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a
little opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the
tide set into it, so I guided my raft as well as I could to keep
in the middle of the stream ; but here I had'like to have suf-
fered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily
would have broke my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast,
my raft run aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not
being aground at the other end, it wanted but a little that all
my cargo had slipped off towards that end that was afloat, and
so fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back
against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not
thrust off the raft with all my strength, neither durst I stir
from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all
my might, stood in that manner near half an hour, i'n 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 chan-
nel; and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in
the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a
strong current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for
a proper place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be


driven too high up the river, hoping in time. to see some ship
at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the
coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the
creek, to which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my
raft, and at last got so near, as that, reaching ground with my
oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here I had liked to
have dipped all my cargo in the sea again: for that shore ly-
ing pretty steep, that is to say sloping, there was no place to
land, but where one end of the float, if it run on shore, would
lie so high, and the other sink lower as before, that it would
endanger my cargo again. All that I could do, was to wait
till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar
like an anchor to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a
flat piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow
over; and so it did. As soon as I found water enough (for
my raft drew about a foot of water), I thrust her on upon that
flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her by
sticking my two broken oars into the ground; one on one side
near one end, and one on the other side near the other end;
and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and
all my cargo safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper
place for my habitation, and where to stow my goods to secure
them from whatever might happen. Where I was I yet knew
not; whether on the continent or on an island, whether inhab-
ited 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 an horn of pow-
der, and thus armed, I travelled for discovery up to the'top of
that hill; where, after I had with great labor and difficulty
got to the top, I saw my fate to my great affliction, namely,
that I was in an island environed every way with the sea, no
land to be seen, except some rocks which lay a great way off,
and two small islands less than this, which lay about three
leagues to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I


saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild
beasts, of 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 com-
ing back, I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting upon a
tree on the side of a great wood I believe it was the first
gun that had been fired there since the creation of the world.
I had no sooner fired, but from all parts of the wood there
arose an 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 hawk,
its color and beak resembling it, but had no talons or claws
more than common; its flesh was carrion and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and
fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up
the rest of that day; and what to do with myself at night I
knew not, nor indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie
down on the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might
devour me, though, as I afterwards found, there was really no
need for those fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricaded myself round
with the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, and
made a kind of a hut for that night's lodging. As for food, I
yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had
seen two or three creatures, like hares, run out of the wood
where I shot the bird.
I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship which would be useful to me, and par-
ticularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things
as might come to land, and I resolved to make another voy-
age on board the vessel, if possible ; and as I knew that the
first storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces,
I resolved to set all other things apart till I got 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


checkered shirt, and a pair of linen trousers, and a pair of
pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second
raft, and having had experience of the first, I neither made
this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard; but yet I brought
away several things very useful to me ; as first, in the carpen-
ter's stores, I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes,
a great screw jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and above all,
that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I se-
cured, together with several things belonging to the gunner,
particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of mus-
ket-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 foretop-sail, hammock, and some bed-
ding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought
them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort
I was under some apprehensions during my absence from the
land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore;
but when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor, only
there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests,
which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and
then stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned,
and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be ac-
quainted with me. I presented my gun at her, but as she did
not understand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did
she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of bis-
cuit, though by the way I was not very free of it, for my store
was not great. However, I spared her a bit, I say, and she
went to it, smelled it, ate it, and looked, as pleased, for more;
but I thanked her, and could spare no more, so she marched
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to
open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels (for
they were too heavy, being large casks), I went to work to
make me a little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut
for that purpose; and into this tent I brought 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 for-
tify 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 on 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
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever were
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 something or
other; but particularly the third time I went, I brought away
as much of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes
and rope twine. I could get, with a piece of spare canvas,
which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of
wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails first
and last, only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring
as much at a time as I could; for they were no more useful
to be sails, but as mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was that, last of
all, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and
thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was
worth my meddling with; I say, after all this, I found a great
hogshead of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits,
and a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour. This was sur-
prising to me, because I had given over expecting any more
provisions, except what was spoiled by the water. I soon
emptied the hogshead of that bread, and wrapped it up, par-
cel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in
a word, I got all this safe on shore also.
The next day I made another voyage; and now, having
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out,
I began with the cables; and cutting the great cable into


pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser
on shore, with all the iron-work I could get; and having cut
down the spritsail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and everything 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 had entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest of
my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the
other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the
water. As for myself it was no great harm, for I was near
the shore; but as to my cargo, it was great part of it lost,
S especially the iron, which I expected would have been of
great use to me. However, when the tide was out, I got
most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the iron,
though with infinite labor; for I was fain to dip for it into
the water a work which fatigued me very much. After this,
I went every day on board and brought away what I could
I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been
eleven times on board the ship, in which time I had brought
away all that one pair of hands could be well supposed capa-
ble 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 begin to rise; however, at low water I went
on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so
effectually, as that nothing more could be found, yet I discov-
ered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two
or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten
or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found
about thirty-six pounds value in money, some European coin,
some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. O Drug "
said I, aloud, "what art thou good for? thou art not worth to
me, no, not the taking off the ground. One of these knives
is worth all this heap. I have no manner of use for thee,
even remain where thou art and go to the bottom, as a crea-
ture whose life is not worth saving." However, upon second
thoughts, I took it away, and wrapping all this in a piece pf


canvas, I began to think of making another raft; but while I
was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind
began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh
gale from the shore. It presently occurred to me, that it was
in vain to pretend to make a raft with the wind off shore, and
that it was my business to be gone before the tide of flood
began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at
all: accordingly I let myself down into the water, and swam
across the channel, which lay between the ship and the sands,
and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight
of things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the
water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite
high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with
all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard
all that night; and in the morning when I looked out, be-
hold no more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised,
but recovered myself with this satisfactory reflection ; namely,
that I had lost no time, nor abated any 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 had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any-
thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her
wreck, as indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but
those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing
myself against either savages (if, any should appear) or wild
beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts
of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to
make; whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a
tent upon the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon both, of
the manner, and description of which it may not be improper
to give an account.
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement,
particularly because it was upon a low moorish ground near the
sea, and I believed would not be wholesome, and more par-
ticularly because there was no fresh water near it, so I resolved
to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.


I consulted several things in my situation which I found
would be proper for me. Health, and fresh water, I just now
mentioned; shelter from the heat of the sun; security from
ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; a view to the sea,
that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any ad-
vantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing to
banish all my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain
on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little
plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come
down upon me from the top; on the side of this rock there
was a hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or
door of a cave: but there was not really any cave or way
into the rock at all.
On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I
resolved to pitch my tent. This plain was not above an hun-
dred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a
green before my door, and at the end it descended irregularly
every way down into the low grounds by the sea-side. It
was on the N. N. W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered
from the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or
thereabouts, which in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half circle before the
hollow place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diam-
eter, 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, driv-
ing them into the ground till they stood very firm, liki piles, the
biggest end being out of the ground about five foot and a half,
and sharpened on the top; the two rows did not ......d above
six inches from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut I the ship,
and laid them in rows one upon another, within the circle
between these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing
other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two
foot and a half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was
so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it or over
it. This cost me a great deal of time and labor, especially to
cut the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive
them into the earth.


The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door,
but by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when
I was in, I lifted over after me: and so I was completely
fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and
consequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise I
could not have done ; though, as it appeared afterward, there
was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I appre-
hended 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 me a large tent,
which, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the
year are very violent there, I made double, namely, one
smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it, and covered
the uppermost with a large tarpaulin which I had saved among
the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had
brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a
very good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus inclosed all my
goods I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open,
and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the
rock; and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out
through my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the nature
of a terrace, that so it raised the ground within about a foot
and a half; and thus I made me a cave just behind my tent,
which served me like a cellar to my house.
It cost me much 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 sunk within me, when I thought that at one blast all
my powder might be destroyed; on which, not my defense
only, but the providing me food, as I thought, entirely de-
pended. I was nothing near so anxious about my own dan-
ger, though, had the powder took fire, I had never known
who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the
storm was over I laid aside all my works, my building, and
fortifying, and applied myself to make bags and boxes to
separate the powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a
parcel, in hope, that whatever might come, it might not all
take fire at once ; and to keep it so apart, that it should not
be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this
work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which in
all was about 240 pounds weight, was divided in not less than
a hundred parcels. As to the barrel that had been wet, I did
not apprehend any danger from that, so I placed it in my new
cave, which in my fancy I called my kitchen; and the rest I
hid up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet
might come to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out
once at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself
as to see if I could kill 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 in the island, which was a great satisfaction to me ;
but then it was attended with this misfortune to me, namely,
that they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it
was the most difficult thing in the world to come at them.
But I was not discouraged at this, not doubting but I might
now and then shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had
found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for
them: I observed, if they saw me in the valleys, though they
were upon the rocks, they would run away as in a terrible
fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was
upon the rocks, they took no notice of me: from whence I
concluded, that by the position of their optics, their sight was
so directed downward, that they did not readily see objects
.that were above them; so afterwards I took this method: I


always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then
I had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made among
these creatures I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by
her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; but
when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her till I
came and took her up; and not only so, but when I carried
the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me
quite to my inclosure, upon which I laid down the dam, and
took the kid in my arms and carried it over my pale, in hopes
to have bred it up tame, but it would not eat, so I was forced
to kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh
a great while, for I eat sparingly, and saved my provisions
(my bread especially) as much as possibly I could.
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 ac-
count of in its place ; but I must first give some little account
of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which it may well
be supposed were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I wassnot
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, some hundreds of leagues, out of
the ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great
reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven that in
this desolate place and in this desolate manner, I should end
my life. The tears would run plentifully down my face when
I made these reflections, and sometimes I would expostulate
with myself, why Providence should thus completely ruin his
creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without
help abandoned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be
rational to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check
these thoughts and reprove me; and particularly one day,
walking with my gun in my hand by the sea-side, I was very
pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when rea-
son as it were expostulated with me the other way, thus:
Well, you are in a desolate condition, it is true; but pray
remember, where are the rest of you ? Did not you come


eleven of you into the boat ? Where are the ten ? Why were
they not saved and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is
it better to be here or there ? and then I pointed 'to the sea.
All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them,
and with what worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for
my subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had
not happened, which was a hundred thousand to one, that the
ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was
driven so near the shore that I had time to get all these
things out of her? What would have been my case if I had
been to have lived in the condition in which I at first came
on shore, without necessaries of life or necessaries to supply
and procure them? Particularly, said I aloud (though to
myself), what should I have done without a gun, without am-
munition, without any tools to make anything, or to work
with; without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of cov-
ering ? And that now I had all these to a sufficient quantity,
and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a manner, as
to live without my gun when my ammunition was spent, so
that I had a tolerable view of subsisting, without any want,
as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning how
I should provide for the accidents that might happen and for
the time that was to come, even not only after my ammuni-
tion should be spent, but even after my health or strength
should decay.
I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammuni-
tion being destroyed at one blast, I mean, my powder being
blown up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so
surprising to me when it lightened and thundered, as I ob-
served just now.
And now being about to enter into a melancholy relation
of a scene of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of
in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and
continue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 3oth of
September, when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot
upon this horrid island, when the sun being, to us, in its au-
tumnal equinox, was almost just over my head; for I reck-
oned myself, by observation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees
and 22 minutes north of the line.


After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came
into my thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for
want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the
Sabbath days from the working days; but to prevent this, I
cut it with my knife upon a large post in capital letters, and
making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I
first landed, namely, I CAME ON SHORE HERE ON THE 30TH OF
SEPT. I659. Upon the sides of this square post I cut every
day a notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was as
long again as the rest, and every first day of the month as
long again as that long one; and thus I kept my calendar, or
weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning of time.
In the next place we are to observe, that among the many
things which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages,
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of
less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and paper; several
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's
keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical in-
struments, dials, perspective glasses, charts, and books of
navigation; all which I huddled together, whether I might
want them or no; also, I found three very good Bibles which
came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had
packed up among my things; some Portuguese books also,
and among them two or three Popish prayer-books, and
several other books, all which I carefully secured. And I
must not forget, that we had in the ship a dog and two cats,
of whose eminent history I may have occasion to say some-
thing in its place; for I carried both the cats with me; and
as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and
swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore with my
first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years. I
wanted nothing that he could fetch me, or any company that
he could make up to me; I only wanted to have him talk to
me, but that he could not do. As I observed before, I found
pen, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost;
and I shall show, that while my ink lasted, I kept things very
exact; but after that was gone I could not, for I could not
make any ink, by any means that I could devise.


And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, not-
withstanding all that I had amassed together ; and of these
this of ink was one, as also 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 habitation. The piles or stakes,
which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in
cutting and preparing in the woods, and more by far in bring-
ing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and
bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving
it into the ground ; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of
wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron
crows, which, however, though I found it, yet it made driving
those posts or piles very laborious 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 have already described my habitation, which was a tent
under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of
posts and cables, but I might now rather call it a wall, for I
raised a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet
thick on the outside, and after some time, I think it was a
year and a half, I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock,
and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such
things as I could get to keep out the rain, which I found at
some times of the year very violent.
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into
this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me;
but I must observe too, that at first this was a confused heap
of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my
place, I had no room to turn myself; so I set to work 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 so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I
worked sideways to the right hand into the rock; and then


turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made me a
door to come out, on the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a
back way to my tent and to my store-house, but gave me room
to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary
things as I found I most wanted, as particularly a chair and a
table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few com-
forts I had in the world. I could not write or eat, or do sev-
eral 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 con-
trivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could
have made it, especially if I had had tools; however, I made
abundance of things, even without tools, and some with no
more tools than an adze and a hatchet, which, perhaps, were
never made that way before, and that with infinite labor; for
example, if I wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut
down a tree, set it on a hedge before me, and hew it flat on
either side with my axe, till I had brought it to be as thin as
a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by
this method I could make but one board out of a whole tree,
but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I
had for the prodigious deal of time and labor which it took
me up to make a plank or board; but my time or labor was
little worth, and so it was as well employed one way as an-
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed
above, in the first place, and this I did out of the short pieces
of boards which I brought on my raft from the ship; but
when I had wrought out some boards, as above, I made large
shelves, of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another,
all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and
iron-work, and in a word, to separate everything at large in
their places, that I might come easily at them. I knocke4


pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all
things that would hang up.
So that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a gen-
eral 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 hurry as to labor, but in too much discomposure
of mind, and my journal would have been full of many dull
I shall here give you the copy (though in it will be told
many particulars over again) as long as it lasted; for having
no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.


September 30, 1659. I, poor, miserable Robinson Crusoe,
being shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm, in the offing,
came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which I
called the Island of Despair, all the rest of the ship's com-
pany 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, namely, I had neither
food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to, and in de-
spair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me, either
that I should be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by sav-
ages, or starved to death for want of food. At the approach
of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures, but slept
soundly though it rained all night.
October i. In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the
ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore
again much nearer the island, which as it was some comfort
on one hand, for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to
pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get' on board,
and get some food or necessaries out of her for my relief; so,
on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my
comrades, who I imagined if we had all stayed on board


S 61

might have saved the ship, or at least that they would not
have been all drowned, as they were; and that, had the men
been saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out of the
ruins of the ship, to have carried us to some other part of the
world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing myself on
these things; but at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I
went upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam on
board: this day also it continued raining, though with no
wind at all.
From the ist of October to the 24th. All these days en-
tirely spent in making several voyages to get all I could out
of the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood,
upon rafts. Much rain also in these days, though with some
intervals of fair weather: but, it seems, this was the rainy
Oct. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon
it; but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly
heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out.
Oct. 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts
of wind, during which time the ship broke in pieces, the
wind blowing a little harder than before, and was no more to
be seen, except the wreck of her, and that only at low water.
I spent this day in covering and securing the goods which I
had saved, that the rain might not spoil them.
Oct. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, to find
out a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure
myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or
men. Toward night I fixed upon a proper place under a
rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encampment, which
I resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification
made of double piles, lined within with cables, and without
with turf.
From the 26th to the 3oth, I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceeding hard.
The 3Ist, in the morning, I went out into the island with
my gun, to see for some food, and discover the country, when
I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home; which I
afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.


November i. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there
for the first "night, making it as large as I could with stakes
driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces
of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence
round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to
work to make me a table.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work,
of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion.
Every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three
hours, if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till
about eleven o'clock, then eat what I had to live on, and from
twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessive
hot, and then in the evening to work again. The working
part of this day, and of the next, were wholly employed in
making my table, for I was yet but a very sorry workman,
though time and necessity made me a complete natural
mechanic soon after, as I believe it would do any one else.
Nov. 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog,
and killed a wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good
for nothing: every creature I killed I took off the skins and
preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore I saw many
sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was sur-
prised and almost frighted with two or three seals, which,
while I was gazing, 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, ioth, and a part of the 12th (for the ixth was Sun-
day), I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much
ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me;
and even in the making I pulled it in pieces several times.
Note. I soon neglected my keeping Sundays, for omitting
my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was which.


Nov. 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceed-
ingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with ter-
rible thunder and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over I resolved to
separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as
possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, i5, i6. These three days I spent in making little
square chests or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or
two pounds at most, of powder; and so putting the powder
in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one an-
other as possible. On one of these three days I killed a
large bird that was good to eat, but I know not what to
call it.
Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent into the
rock, to make room for my farther conveniency. Note. Three
things I wanted exceeding for this work, namely, a pickaxe,
a shovel, and a wheelbarrow or basket, so I desisted from my
work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and
make me some tools. As for a pickaxe, I made use of the
iron crows, which were proper enough, though heavy ; but the
next thing was a shovel or spade. This was so absolutely
necessary, that indeed I could do nothing effectually without
it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.
Nov. 18. The next day, in searching the woods, I found
a tree of that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call
the Iron Tree, for its exceeding hardness; of this, with great
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 having no other
way, made me a long while upon this machine ; for I worked
it effectually by little and little into the form of a shovel or
spade, the handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only
that the broad part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it
would not last me so long; however, it served well enough
for the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was
a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long a
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbar-
row. A basket I could not make by any means, having no


such things as twigs that would bend to make wicker ware, at
least none yet found out; and as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied
I could make all but the wheel, but that I had no notion of,
neither did I know how to go about it; besides, I had no
possible way to make the iron gudgeons for the spindle or
axis of the wheel to run in, so I gave it over; and so for car-
rying away the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me
a thing like a hod which the laborers carry mortar in, when
they serve the bricklayers.
This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel;
and yet this, and the shovel, and the attempt which I made
in vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than
four days, I mean always excepting my morning walk with my
gun, which I seldom failed ; and very seldom failed also bring-
ing home something to eat.
Nov. 23. My other work having now stood still, because
of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on,
and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I
spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my
cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously.
Note. During all this time, I worked to make this room or
cave spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or
magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar; as for my
lodging, I kept to the tent, except that sometimes in the wet
season of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep
myself dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place
within my pale with long poles in the form of rafters, leaning
against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of
trees like a thatch.
December io. I began now to think my cave or vault fin-
ished, when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a
great quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side,
so much, that in short it frighted me, and not without reason
too; for if I had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-
digger. Upon this disaster I had a great deal of work to do
over again; for I had the loose earth to carry out, and, which
was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that
I might be sure no more would come down.
Dec. ii. This day I went to work with it accordingly, and


got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two
pieces of boards across over each post; this I finished the
next day, and setting more posts up with boards, in about a
week more I had the roof secured; and the posts, standing in
rows, served me for partitions to part off my house.
Dec. 17. From this day to the twentieth I placed shelves,
and knocked up nails on the posts to hang everything up that
could be hung up; and now I began to be in some order
within doors.
Dec. 20. Now I carried everything into the cave, and be-
gan to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards,
like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began
to be very scarce with me; also, I made me another table.
Dec. 24. Much rain all night and all day; no stirring out
Dec. 25. Rain all day.
Dec. 26. No rain; and the earth much cooler than before,
and pleasanter.
Dec. 27. Killed a young goat, and lamed another, so that
I caught it, and led it home in a string; when I had it home,
I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke. N B.
I took such care of it, that it lived, and the leg grew well
and as strong as ever; but by nursing it so long it grew tame,
and fed upon the little green at my door, and would not go
away. This was the first time that I entertained a thought
of breeding up some tame creatures, that I might have food
when my powder and shot was all spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30. Great heats and no breeze, so that there
was no stirring abroad, except in the evening for food; this
time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.
january I. Very hot still, but I went abroad early and
late with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This
evening, going farther into the valleys, which lay towards the
centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though
exceeding shy and hard to come at; however, I resolved to
try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.
yan. 2. Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my
dog, and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken, for
they all faced about upon the dog; and he knew his danger
too well, for he would not come near them.


ian. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still
jealous of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to
make very thick and strong.
N. B. This wall being described before, I purposely omit
what was said in the Journal. It is sufficient to observe, that
I was no less time than from the 3d of january to the 14th
of April, working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though
it was no more than about twenty-four yards in length, being
a half circle from one place in the rock to another place about
eight yards from it; the door of the cave being in the centre
behind it.
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me
many days, nay, sometimes weeks together ; but I thought I
should never be perfectly secure until this wall was finished ;
and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labor everything
was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods,
and driving them into the ground, for I made them much
bigger than I need to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double fence
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
During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game
every day, when the rain permitted me, and made frequent
discoveries in these walks of something or other to my advan-
tage; particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, who built
not as wood pigeons, in a tree, but rather as house pigeons,
in the holes of the rocks; and taking some young ones, I
endeavored to breed them up tame, and did so; but when
they grew older they flew away, which perhaps was at first
for want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them;
however, I frequently found their nests, and got their young
ones, which were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found
myself wanting in many things, which I thought at first it was
impossible for me to make, as indeed, as to some of them, it
was ; for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped.


I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could
never arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though I
spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads,
or joint the staves so true to one another as to make them
hold water, so I gave that also over.
In the next place, I was at a great loss for candle; so that
as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven
o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump
of bees-wax with which I made candles in my African adven-
ture, 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 rummaging my
things, I found a little bag, which, as I hinted before, had been
filled with corn for the feeding of poultry, not for this voyage,
but before, as I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon;
what little remainder of corn had been in the bag, was all
devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but
husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some
other use, I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it
for fear of the lightning, or some such use, I shook the husks
of corn out of it on one side of my fortification under the
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned,
that I threw this stuff away, taking no notice of anything, and
not so much as remembering that I had thrown anything
there ; when about a month after, or thereabouts, I saw some
few stalks of something green shooting out of the ground,
which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen; but I
was surprised and perfectly astonished, when after a little
longer time I saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which
were perfect green barley of the same kind as our European,
nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion
of my thoughts on this occasion. I had hitherto acted upon
no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions
of religion in my head, or had entertained any sense of any-


thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as a chance, or, as
we lightly say, what pleases GOD; without so much as inquir-
ing into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in
governing events in the world; but after I saw barley grow
there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and
especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me
strangely; and I began to suggest, that GOD had miraculously
caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and
that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that wild,
miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my
eyes, and I began to bless myself, that such a prodigy of na-
ture should happen upon my account; and this was the more
strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side
of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be
stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow
in Africa, when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Provi-
dence for my support, but not doubting but that there was
more in the place, I went all over that part of the island,
where I had been before, peeping in every corner and under
every rock to see for more of it, but I could not find any; at
last it occurred to my thought, that I had shook a bag of
chicken's meat out in that place, and then the wonder began
to cease. And I must confess, my religious thankfulness to
God's providence began to abate too, upon discovering that
all this was nothing but what was common ; though I ought
to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a prov-
idence as if it had been miraculous; for it was really the
work of Providence as to me, that should order or appoint
ten or twelve grains of corn to remain unspoiled, when the
rats had destroyed all the rest, as if it had been dropped from
heaven; as also, that I should throw it out in that particular
place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang
up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at
that time, it had been burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in
their season, which was about the end of June, and laying up
every corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to


have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread; but it
was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least
grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I
shall say afterwards in its order; for I lost all that I sowed
the first season, by not observing the proper time; for I
sowed it just before the dry season, so that it never came up
at all, at least, not as it would have done: of which in its
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty
stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care, and
whose use was of the same kind or to the same purpose,
namely, to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways
to cook it up without baking, though I did that also after
some time. But to return to my Journal.
I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get
my wall done ; and the I4th of April I closed it up, contriv-
ing to go into it not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder,
that there might be no sign in the outside of my habitation.
April 16. I finished the ladder, so I went up with the lad-
der to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down
on the inside. This was a complete inclosure to me; for
within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me
from without, unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost
had all my labor overthrown at once, and myself killed. The
case was thus. As I was busy in the inside of it, behind my
tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frighted
with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed ; for on a sudden
I found the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my
cave, and from the edge of the hill, over my head, and two of
the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful man-
ner. I was heartily scared, but thought nothing of what was
really the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was
falling in, as some of it had done before; and, for fear I
should be buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder; and not
thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear
of the pieces of the hill which I expected might roll down
upon me. I was no sooner stepped down upon the firm
ground, but I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the,


ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes'
distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned
the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood
on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock, which
stood about half a mile from me next the sea, fell down with
such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life. I per-
ceived also the very sea was put into violent motion by it;
and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than
on the island.
I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the
like, or discoursed with any one that had, that I was like one
dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my
stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea. But the noise
of the falling of the rock awaked me, as it were, and rousing
me from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me with hor-
ror, and I thought of nothing then but the hill falling upon
my tent, and all my household goods, and burying all at once;
and this sunk my very soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some
time, I began to take courage, and yet I had not heart enough
to get over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but
sat still upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate,
not knowing what to do. All this while I had not the least
serious religious thought, nothing but the common, Lord,
have mercy upon me; and when it was over, that went away
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy,
as if it would rain; soon after that the wind rose by little and
little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful
hurricane. The sea was all on a sudden covered over with
foam and froth, the shore was covered with the breach of the
water, the trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible
storm it was; and this held about three hours, and then
began to abate, and in two hours more it was stark calm, and
began to rain very hard.
All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified
and dejected, when on a sudden it came into my thoughts,
that these winds and rain being the consequences of the earth-
quake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might


venture into my cave again. With this thought my spirits
began to revive, and the rain also helping to persuade me, I
went in and sat down in my tent, but the rain was so violent,
that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was
forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid and un-
easy, for fear it should fall on my head.
This violent rain forced me to a new work, namely, to cut a
hole through my new fortification like a sink to let water go
out, which would else have drowned my cave. After I had
been in my cave some time, and found still no more shocks
of the earthquake follow, I began to be more composed. And
now, to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it very much,
I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum, which
however I did then, and always, very sparingly, knowing I
could have no more when that was gone.
It continued raining all that night, and a great part of the
next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being
more composed, I began to think of what I had best do, con-
cluding, that if the island was subject to these earthquakes,
there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider
of building me some little hut in an open place, which I
might surround with a wall as I had done here, and so make
myself secure from wild beasts or men: but concluded if I
stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be
buried alive.
With these thoughts I resolved to remove my tent from the
place where it stood, which was just under the hanging preci-
pice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again,
would certainly fall upon my tent. And I spent the next two
days, being the i9th and 20th of April, in contriving where
and how to remove my habitation.
The fear of being swallowed up alive, made me that I never
slept in quiet: and yet the apprehension of lying abroad,
without any fence, was almost equal to it; but still, when I
looked about an~d saw how everything was put in order, how
pleasantly concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it
made me very loth to remove.
In the mean time, it occurred to me that it would require a
vast deal of time for me to do this, and that I must be con-


tented to run the venture where I was, till I had formed a
camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it;
so with this resolution I composed myself for a time, and re-
solved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a
wall with piles and cables, in a circle as before; and set my
tent up in it when it was finished, but that I would venture to
stay where I was till it was finished and fit to remove to.
This was the 2 st.
April 22. The next morning I began to consider of neans
to put this resolve in execution, but I was at a great loss
about my tools; I had three large axes and abundance of
hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the In-
dians), but with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood,
they were all full of notches and dull, and though I had a
grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too : this
cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed
upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and
death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string,
to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at
liberty. I had never seen any such thing in England, or at
least not to take notice how it was done, though since I have
observed it is very common there; besides that, my grind-
stone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full
week's work to bring it to perfection.
April 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding
my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone performing
very well.
April 30. Having perceived my bread had been low a great
while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one
biscuit cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May i. In the morning, looking towards the sea-side, the
tide being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than
ordinary; and it looked like a cask. When I came to it, I
found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of
the ship, which were driven on shore by the late hurricane;
and looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to
lie higher out of the water than it used to do. I examined
the barrel which was driven on shore, and soon found it was a
barrel of gunpowder, but it had taken water, and the powder


was caked as hard as a stone; however, I rolled it farther on
shore for the present, and went on upon the sands as near as
I could to the wreck of the ship, to look for more.
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely re-
moved: the forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was
heaved up at least six feet; and the stern, which was broken
to pieces and parted from the rest by the force of the sea,
soon after I had left rummaging her, was tossed, as it were,
up, and cast on one side, and the sand was thrown so high on
that side next her stern, that whereas there was a great place
of water before, so that I could not come within a quarter of
a mile of the wreck without swimming, I could now walk
quite up to her when the tide was out. I was surprised with
this at first, but soon concluded it must be done by the earth-
quake. And as by this violence the ship was more broken
open than formerly, so many things came daily on shore,
which the sea had loosened, and which, the winds and water
rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of re-
moving my habitation ; and I busied myself mightily, that day
especially, in searching whether I could make any way into
the ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that
kind, for that all the inside of the ship was choked up with
sand. However, as I had learnt not to despair of anything, I
resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship,
concluding, that everything I could get from her would be of
some use or other to me.
May 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam
through, which I thought held some of the upper part or quar-
ter-deck together; and when I had cut it through, I cleared
away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay
highest; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over
for that time.
May 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I
durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when just going to
leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long
line of some rope yarn, but I had no hooks, yet I frequently
caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I
dried in the sun, and eat them dry.

May 5. Worked on the wreck, cut another beam asunder,
and brought three great fir planks off from the decks, which
I tied together, and made swim on shore when the tide of
flood came on.
May 6. Worked on the wreck, got several iron bolts out of
her, and other pieces of iron-work; worked very hard, and
came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving it
May 7. Went to the wreck again, but with an intent not to
work, but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself
down, the beams being cut, that several pieces of the ship
seemed to lie loose : and the inside of the hold lay so open,
that I could see into it, but almost full of water and sand.
May 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to
wrench up the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water
or sand; I wrenched open two planks, and brought them on
shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for
next day.
May 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way
into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loos-
ened them with the crow, but could not break them up; I felt
also the roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too
heavy to remove.
May o1, I 12, 13, 14. Went every day to the wreck, and
got a great many pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and
two or three hundred weight of iron.
May 15. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a
piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet,
and driving it with the other ; but as it lay about a foot and a
half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the
May 16. It had blowed hard in the night, and the wreck
appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I staid
so long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide pre-
vented me going to the wreck that day.
May 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore,
at a great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see
what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too
heavy for me to bring away.


May 24. Every day to this day I worked on the wreck,
and with hard labor I loosened some things so much with the
crow, that the first blowing tide several casks floated out, and
two of the seamen's chests; but the wind blowing from the
shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber,
and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it, but the
salt water and sand had spoiled it.
I continued this work every day to the i5th of June, except
the time necessary to get food, which I always appointed, dur-
ing this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up,
that I might be ready when it was ebbed out; and by this
time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work enough to
have built a good boat, if I had known how; and also, I got
at several times, and in several pieces, near a hundred weight
of the sheet-lead.
June i6. Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tor-
toise or turtle ; this was the first I had seen, which it seems
was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scar-
city; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island,
I might have had hundreds of them every day; as I found
afterwards; but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
7une 17. I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her
threescore eggs; and her flesh was to me at that time the
most savory and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having
had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this
horrid place.
.une I8. Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought
at this time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly,
which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
-une 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had
been cold.
7une 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head, and
2June 21. Very ill, frighted almost to death with the ap-
prehensions of my sad condition, to be sick and no help.
Prayed to God for the first time since the storm off Hull, but
scarce knew what I said, or why; my thoughts being all con-
rune 22. A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions
of sickness.


'une 23. Very bad again, cold and shivering, and then a
violent headache.
7une 24. Much better.
June 25. An ague very violent; the fit held me seven
hours, cold fit and hot, with faint sweats after it.
yune 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my
gun, but found myself very weak; however, I killed a she-
goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and broiled some
of it, and ate; I would fain have stewed it and made some
broth, but had no pot.
rune 27. The ague again so violent, that I lay abed all
day, and neither eat nor drank. I was ready to perish for
thirst, but so weak I had not strength to stand up, or to get
myself any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was
light-headed ; and when I was not, I was so ignorant that I
knew not what to say; only I lay and cried, Lord, look upon
me; Lord, pity me ; Lord, have mercy upon me. I suppose I
did nothing else for two or three hours, till the fit wearing off,
I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night; when I
waked I found myself much refreshed, but weak and exceed-
ing thirsty: however, as I had no water in my whole habita-
tion, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again.
In this second sleep I had this terrible dream.
I thought that I was sitting on the ground on the outside of
my wall, where I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake,
and that I saw a man descend from a great black cloud, in a
bright flame of fire, and alight upon the ground. He was all
over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just bear to look
towards him ; his countenance was most inexpressibly dread-
ful, impossible for words to describe; when he stepped upon
the ground with his feet I thought the earth trembled just as it
had done before in the earthquake, and all the air looked to
my apprehension as if it had been filled with flashes of fire.
He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved
forward toward me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand
to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some
distance, he spoke to me, or I heard a voice so terrible, that it
is impossible to express the terror of it; all that I can say
I understood was this, Seeing all these things have not


brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die;" at which
words I thought he lifted up the spear that was in his hand to
kill me.
No one, that shall ever read this account, will expect that I
should be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this ter-
rible vision ; I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even
dreamed of those horrors; nor is it any more possible to de-
scribe the impression that remained upon my mind, when I
awaked, and found it was but a dream.
7une 28. Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep
I had had, and the fit being entirely off, I got up; and though
the fright and terror of my dream was very great, yet I con-
sidered, that the fit of the ague would return again next day,
and now was my time to get something to refresh and support
myself when I should be ill. And the first thing I did, I filled
a large square case-bottle with water, and set it upon my table,
in reach of my bed; and to take off the chill or aguish disposi-
tion of the water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into
it, and mixed them together. Then I got me a piece of the
goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very
little. I walked about, but was very weak, and withal, very
sad and heavy-hearted under a sense of my miserable condi-
tion, dreading the return of my distemper the next day. At
night I made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs, which I
roasted in the ashes, and eat, as we call it, in the shell; and
this was the first bit of meat I had ever asked God's blessing
to, even, as I could remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten I tried to walk; but found myself so weak
that I could hardly carry the gun (for I never went out without
that); so I went but a little way, and sat down upon the
ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me,
and very calm and smooth.
I rose up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and
went up over my wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my
thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to
sleep; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it
began to be dark. Now as the apprehension of the return of
my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my
thought, that the Brazilians take no physit but their tobacco


for almost all distempers; and I had a piece of a roll of to-
bacco in one of the chests, which was quite cured, and some
also that was green, and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt! for in this chest I
found a cure both for soul and body I opened the chest, and
found what I looked for, namely, the tobacco; and as the few
books I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles
which I mentioned before, and which, to this time, I had not
found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into; I say I
took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to
the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my dis-
temper, or whether it was good for it or no ; but I tried several
experiments with it, as if I resolved it should hit one way or
other: I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my
mouth, which indeed at first almost stupefied my brain, the to-
bacco being green and strong, and that I had not been used
to it; then I took some, and steeped it an hour or two in some
rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down ; and,
lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose
close over the smoke of it, as long as I could bear it, and I
held almost to suffocation.
In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and
began to read; but my head was too much disturbed with the
tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time. Only having
opened the book casually, the first words that occurred to me
were these: Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will de-
liver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
The words were very apt to my case, and made some im-
pression upon my thoughts at the time of reading them, though
not so much as they did afterwards; for, as for being de-
livered, the word had no sound, as I may say, to me; the thing
was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension of things, that
I began to say as the children of Israel did when they were
promised flesh to eat, Can God spread a table in the wilder-
ness?" so I began to say, Can God himself deliver me from
this place ? And as it was not for many years that any hope
appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts; but,
however, the words made a very great impression upon me,


and I mused upon them very often. It grew now late, and
the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much, that I in-
clined to sleep; so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I
should want anything in the night, and went to bed: but be-
fore I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life; I
kneeled down and prayed to God to fulfil the promise to me,
that if I called upon him in the day of trouble, he would de-
liver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was over,
I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco, which
was so strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could
scarce get it down. Immediately upon this I went to bed, and
I found presently it flew up into my head violently; but I fell
into a sound sleep, and waked no more, till noon the next day ;
nay, to this hour, I am partly of the opinion that I slept all the
next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for
otherwise I knew not how I should lose a day out of my reck-
oning in the days of the week, as it appeared some years after
I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and recrossing the
line, I should have lost more than one day : but certainly I
lost a day in my account, and never knew which way.
Be that however one way or other, when I waked I found
myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheer-
ful. When I got up, I was stronger than I was the day be-
fore, and my stomach better, for I was hungry; and, in short,
I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the
better. This was the 29th.
The 3oth was my well day, of course; and I went abroad
with my gun, but did not care to travel too far. I killed a
sea-fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought
them home, but was not very forward to eat them; so I eat
some more of the turtle's eggs, which were very good. This
evening I renewed the medicine which I had supposed did me
good the day before, namely, the tobacco steeped in rum;
only I did not take so much as before, nor did I chew any of
the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke. However, I was
not so well the next day, which was the first of July, as I
hoped I should have been; for I had a little spice of the cold
fit, but it was not much.
July 2. I renewed the medicine all tld three ways, and


dosed myself with it at first, and doubled the quantity which
I drank.
Jtil 3. I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not
recover my full strength for some weeks after. While I was
thus gathering strength, my thoughts run exceedingly upon
the scripture, I will deliver thee ;" and the impossibility of
my deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever
expecting it : but as I was discouraging myself with such
thoughts, 'it occurred to my mind that I pored so much on
my deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the
deliverance I had received; and I was, as it were, made to
ask myself such questions as these ; namely, Have I not been
delivered, and wonderfully, too, from sickness ? from the most
distressed condition that could be, and that was so frightful to
me? and what notice had I taken of it? had I done my part?
" God had delivered me; but I had not glorified him :" that
is to say, I had not owned and been thankful for that as a de-
liverance and how could I expect greater deliverance ?
This touched my heart very much, and immediately I
kneeled down and gave God thanks, aloud, for my recovery
from my sickness.
7utly 4. In the morning I took the Bible ; and, beginning at
the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and imposed
upon myself to read awhile every morning and every night, not
tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my
thoughts should engage me. It was not long after I set seri-
ously to this work, but I found my heart more deeply and sin-
cerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, Call
on me, and I will deliver thee," in a different sense from what
I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything
being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the cap-
tivity I was in: for though I was indeed at large in the place,
yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in the
worst sense in the world ; but now I learned to take it in an-
other sense. Now I looked back upon my past life with such
horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought
nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore
down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing;


I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of
it; it was all of no consideration in comparison of this. And I
add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that when-
ever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliver-
ance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from
But, leaving this part, I return to my Journal: -
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable
as to my way of living, yet much easier to my mind: and my
thoughts being directed, by a constant reading the Scripture,
and praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great
deal of comfort within, which till now I knew nothing of; also
as my health and strength returned I bestirred myself to fur-
nish myself with everything that I wanted, and make'my way
of living as regular as I could.
from the 4th of _7uly to the I4th, I was chiefly employed in
walking about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little at
a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit
of sickness; for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was,
and to what weakness I was reduced. The application which
I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps what had never
cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to any one
to practice by this experiment; and though it did carry off the
fit, yet it rather contributed to weaken me; for I had frequent
convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time.
I learnt from it also this, in particular, that being abroad in
the rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my health
that could be, especially in those rains which came attended
with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which
came in the dry season was always most accompanied with
such storms, so I found this rain was much more dangerous
than the rain which fell in September and October.
I had been now in this unhappy island above ten months,
all possibility of deliverance from this condition seemed to be
entirely taken from me; and I firmly believed that no human
shape had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured:
my habitation, as I thought, fully to my mind, I had a great
desire to make a more perfect discovery of the island, and to

- -*'fVi


see what other productions I might find, which I yet knew
nothing of.
It was on the 15th of July that I began to take a more par-
ticular survey of the island itself; I went up the creek first,
where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found,
after I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any
higher, and that it was no mole than a little brook of running
water, and very fresh and good; but this being the dry season,
there was hardly any water irl some parts of it, at least not
enough to run in any stream, so as it could be perceived.
On the banks of this brook I found many pleasant savannas
or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass; and on
the rising parts of them next to the higher grounds, where the
water, as it might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a
great deal of tobacco, green, and growing to a great and very
strong stalk. There were divers other plants which I had no
notion of, or understanding about; and might perhaps have
virtues of their own, which I could not find out.
I searched for the cassava root, which the Indians in all that
climate make their bread of, but I could not find none. I saw
large plants of aloes, but did not then understand them. I saw
several sugar-canes, but wild, and, for want of cultivation, im-
perfect. I contented myself with these discoveries for this
time, and came back musing with myself what course I might
take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or
plants which I should discover, but could bring it to no con-
clusion: for, in short, I had made so little observation while I
was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants of the field,
at least very little that might serve me to any purpose now in
my distress.
The next day, the i6th, I went up the same way again; and,
after going something farther than I had done the day before,
I found the brook and the savannas began to cease, and the
country became more woody than before. In this part I found
different fruits, and particularly I found melons upon the
ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees; the
vines had spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters of
grapes were just now in their prime, very ripe and rich. This
was a surprising discovery, and I was exceedingly glad of them;


but I was warned by my experience to eat sparingly of them,
remembering that, when I was ashore in Barbary, the eating
of grapes killed several of our Englishmen who were slaves
there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers; but I found
an excellent use for these grapes, and that was to cure or dry
them in the sun and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are
kept, which I thought would be, as indeed they were, as whole-
some, and as agreeable to eat, when no grapes might be had.
I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my
habitation, which, by the way, was the first night, as I might
say, I had lain from home. In the night I took my first con-
trivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well, and the
next morning proceeded upon my discovery, travelling near
four miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley, keep-
ing still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north
side of me.
At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the
country seemed to descend to the west; and a little spring of
fresh water, which issued out of the side of the hill by me, ran
the other way, that is, due east; and the country appeared so
fresh, so green, so flourishing, everything being in a constant
verdure or flourishing of spring, that it looked like a planted
I descended a little on the side of that delicious valley, sur-
veying it with a secret kind of pleasure (though mixed with
other afflicting thoughts), to think that this was all my own,
that I was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and
had a right of possession; and if I could convey it, I might
have it in inheritance, as completely as any lord of a manor in
England. I saw here abundance of cocoa-trees, orange and
lemon, and citron-trees, but all wild, and few bearing any
fruit; at least not then. However, the green limes that I
gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome;
and I mixed their juice afterwards with water, which made it
very wholesome, and very cool and refreshing.
I found now I had business enough to gather and carry
home; and resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes, as
limes and lemons, to furnish myself for the wet season, which
I knew was approaching.


In order to do this I gathered a heap of grapes in one place,
and a lesser heap in another place; and a great parcel of
limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of each
with me, I travelled homeward, and resolved to come again,
and bring a bag or sack, or what I could make, to carry the
rest home.
Accordingly, having spent three days in this journey, I came
home (so I must now call my tent and my cave); but before I
got thither the grapes were spoiled; the richness of the fruit
and the weight of the juice having broken them and bruised
them, they were good for little or nothing; as to the limes,
they were good, but I could bring but a few.
The next day, being the i9th, I went back, having made me
two small bags to bring home my harvest. But I was sur-
prised when, coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich
and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread
abroad, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some
there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I con-
cluded there were some wild creatures thereabouts which had
done this ; but what they were I knew not.
However, as I found there was no laying them up on heaps,
and no carrying them away in a sack, but that one way they
would be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed
with their own weight, I took another course; for I gathered a:
large quantity of the grapes and hung them upon the out
branches of the trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun ;
and as for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as I
could well stand under.
When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with
great pleasure on the fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleas-
antness of the situation, the security from storms on that side
of the water, and the wood ; and concluded that I had pitched
upon a place to fix my abode, which was by far the worst part
of the country. Upon the whole, I began to consider of re-
moving my habitation, and to look out for a place equally safe
as where I now was situated, if possible, in that pleasant and
fruitful part of the island.
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding
fond of it for some time, the pleasantness of the place tempt-


ing me; but when I came to a nearer view of it, and to con-
sider that I was now by the sea-side, where it was at least pos-
sible that something might happen to my advantage, and that
the same ill fate that brought me hither, might bring some
other unhappy wretches to the same place, and though it was
scarce probable that any such thing should ever happen, yet
to inclose myself among the hills and woods, in the centre of
the island, was to anticipate my bondage, and to render such
an affair not only improbable, but impossible; and that there-
fore I ought not by any means to remove.
However, I was so enamored of this place, that I spent
much of my time there for the whole remaining part of the
month of July and though, upon second thoughts, I resolved
as above, not to remove, yet I built me a little kind of a
bower, and surrounded it at a distance with a strong fence,
being a double hedge, as high as I could reach, well staked
and filled between with brushwood; and here I lay very se-
cure, sometimes two or three nights together, always going
over it with a ladder, as before; so that I fancied now I had
my country house, and my sea-coast house: and this work
took me up to the beginning of August.
I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my
labor, but the rains came on, and made me stick close to my
first habitation; for though I had made me a tent like the
other, with a piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I
had not the shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a
cave behind me to retreat into when the rains were extraor-
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished
my bower, and began to enjoy myself. The 3d of August I
found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly dried, and in-
deed were excellent good raisins of the sun: so I began to
take them down from the trees, and it was very happy that I
did so ; for the rains which followed would have spoiled them,
and I had lost the best part of my winter food; for I had
above two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I
taken them all down, and carried most of them home to my
cave, but it began to rain; and from thence, which was the
14th of August, it rained more or less every day, till the mid-


die of October; and sometimes so violently, that I could not
stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season I was much surprised with the increase of
my family: I had been concerned for the loss of one of my
cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead;
and I heard no more tidings of her, till, to my astonishment,
she came home about the end of August, with three kittens.
This was the more strange to me, because though I had killed
a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was a
quite different kind from our European cats; yet the young
cats were the same kind of house breed like the old one; and
both my cats being females, I thought it very strange: but
from these three cats, I afterwards came to be so pestered
with cats, that I was forced to kill them like vermin, or wild
beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible.
From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain, so that
I could not stir, and was now very careful not to be much wet.
In this confinement I began to be straitened for food: but
venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat: and the last day,
which was the 26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a
treat to me; and my food was regulated thus: I eat a
bunch of raisins for my breakfast, a piece of the goat's flesh,
or of the turtle, for my dinner, broiled (for to my great mis-
fortune I had no vessel to boil or stew anything), and two or
three of the turtle's eggs for supper.
During this confinement in my cover, by the rain, I worked
daily two or three hours at enlarging my cave; and, by de-
grees, worked it on towards one side, till I came to the outside
of the hill, and made a door or way out, which came beyond
my fence or wall; and so I came in and out this way. But
I was not perfectly easy at lying so open; for as I had man-
aged myself before, I was in a perfect inclosure, whereas now
I thought I lay exposed; and yet I could not perceive that
there was any living thing to fear, the biggest creature that I
had seen upon the island being a goat.
September 30. I was now come to the unhappy anniversary
of my landing. I cast up the notches on my post, and found
I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I
kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart to a religious


exercise, prostrating myself on the ground with the most se-
rious humiliation, confessing my sins to God, acknowledging
his righteous judgments upon me, and praying to him to have
mercy on me, through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted
the least refreshment for twelve hours, even to the going down
of the sun, I then ate a biscuit cake, and a bunch of grapes,
and went to bed, finishing the day as I began it.
I had all this time observed no Sabbath-day; for as at first
I had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had after some
time omitted to distinguish the weeks, by making a longer
notch than ordinary for the Sabbath-day, and so did not really
know what any of the days were; but now, having cast up
the days as above, I found I had been there a year; so I
divided it into weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a
Sabbath; though I found at the end of my account I had lost
a day or two in my reckoning.
A little after this my ink began to fail me, and so I con-
tented myself to use it more sparingly, and to write down
only the most remarkable events of my life, without continu-
ing a daily memorandum of other things.
The rainy season, and the dry season, began now to appear
regular to me, and I learned to divide them so as* to provide
for them accordingly. But I bought all my experience before
I had it; and this I am going to.relate, was one of the most
discouraging experiments that I made at all. I have men-
tioned, that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which
I had so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of them-
selves, and believe there were about thirty stalks of rice, and
about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper time
to sow it after the rains, the sun being in its southern position
going from me.
Accordingly I dug up a piece of ground, as well as I could,
with my wooden spade, and dividing it into two parts, I sowed
my grain; but as I was sowing, it casually occurred to my
thought, that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not
know when was the proper time for it; so I sowed about two-
thirds of the seeds, leaving about a handful of each. It was
a great comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not one
grain of that I sowed this time came to anything; for the dry


months following, the earth having had no rain after the seed
was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and never
came up at all, till the wet season had come again, and then
it grew as if it had been newly sown.
Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imag-
ined was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of
ground to make another trial in; and I dug up a piece of
ground near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in
February, a little before the vernal equinox; and this, having
the rainy months of March and April to water it, sprung up
very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop; but having
part of the seed left only, and not daring to sow all that I had
yet, I had but a small quantity at last, my whole crop not
amounting to above half a peck of each kind.
But by this experience I was made master of my business,
and knew exactly when the proper season, was to sow; and
that I might expect two seed-times, and two harvests every
While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery,
which was of use to me afterwards. As soon as the rains
were over, and the weather began to settle, which was about
the month of November, I made a visit up the country to my
bower, where, though I had not been some months, yet I found
all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that
I had made, was not only firm and entire, but the stakes
which I had cut off of some trees that grew thereabouts, were
all shot out, and grown with long branches, as much as a wil-
low-tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its head.
I could not tell what tree to call it that these stakes were cut
from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the
young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them to grow
as much alike as I could, and it is scarce credible, how beau-
tiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that though the
hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter,
yet the trees, for such I might now call them, soon covered it;
and it was a complete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the
dry season.
This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make
me a hedge like this in a semicircle round my wall, I mean


that of my first dwelling, which I did ; and placing the trees
or stakes in a double row, at about eight yards' distance from
my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a fine
cover to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence
also, as I shall observe in its order.
I found now, that the seasons of the year might generally
be divided, not into summer and winter, as in Europe, but
into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were gen-
ally thus:
Half February, March, half April- Rainy, the sun being
then on or near the equinox.
Half April, May, June, July, half August Dry, the sun
being then to the north of the line.
Half August, September, half October- Rainy, the sun
then being come back.
Half October, November, December, January, half Febru-
ary Dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy season sometimes held longer or shorter, as the
winds happened to blow; but this was the general observation
I made. After I had found, by experience, the ill consequences
of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with
provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out;
and I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet
In this time I found much employment (and very suitable
also to the time), for I found great occasion for many things
which I had no way to furnish myself with, but by hard labor
and constant application. Particularly, I tried many ways to
make myself a basket; but all the twigs I could get for the
purpose proved so brittle that they would do nothing. It
proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a
boy, I used to take great delight in standing at a basket-
maker's 'in the town where my father lived, to see them make
their wicker ware ; and being, as boys usually are, very offi-
cious to help, and a great observer of the manner how they
worked those things, and sometimes lending a hand, I had by
this means so full knowledge of the methods of it, that I
wanted nothing but the materials ; when it came into my mind,
that the twigs of that tree from whence I cut my stakes thit


grew, might possibly be as tough as the sallows, and willows,
and osiers in England, and I resolved to try.
Accordingly, the next day I went to my country house, as I
called it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them
to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came
the next time prepared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity
which I soon found, for there was a great plenty of them
These I set up to dry within my circle or hedges; and when
they were fit for use, I carried them to my cave; and here,
during the next season, I employed myself in making (as well
as I could) a great many baskets, both to carry earth, or to
carry or lay up anything, as I had occasion; and though I did
not finish them very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently
serviceable for my purpose; and thus afterwards I took care
never to be without them ; and as my wicker ware decayed, I
made more; especially I made strong, deep baskets to place
my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come to have any
quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of
time about it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to sup-
ply two wants. I had no vessels to hold anything that was
liquid, except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and
some glass bottles, some of the common size, and others,
which were case-bottles, square, for the holding of waters,
spirits, &c. I had not so much as a pot to boil anything in,
except a great kettle which I saved out of the ship, and which
was too big for such uses as I desired for it, namely, to make
broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing I
would fain have had, was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible
for me to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that,
too, at last.
I employed myself in planting my second rows of stakes or
piles, and in this wicker work, all the summer, or dry season;
when another business took me up more time than it could be
imagined I could spare.
I mentioned before, that I had a great mind to see the whole
island, and that I had travelled up the brook, and so on to
where I built my bower, and where I had an opening quite to
the sea, on the other side of the island. I now resolved to


travel quite across to the sea-shore on that side; so taking my
gun, and hatchet, and my dog, and a larger quantity of powder
and shot than usual, with two biscuit cakes, and a great bunch
of raisins in my pouch, for my store, I began my journey.
When I had passed the vale where my bower stood, as above,
I came within view of the sea, to the west; and it being a very
clear day, I fairly described land, whether an island or conti-
nent I could not tell ; but it lay very high, extending from the
west to the W. S. W. at a very great distance; by my guess it
could not be less than fifteen or twenty leagues off.
I could not tell what part of the world this might be, other-
wise than that I knew it must be part of America; and, as I
concluded by all my observations, must be near the Spanish
dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where,
if I should have landed, I had been in a worse condition than
I was now; and therefore I acquiesced in the dispositions of
Providence, which I began now to own, and to believe, ordered
everything for the best; I say I quieted my mind with this,
and left afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there.
Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered, that
if this land was the Spanish coast, I should certainly, one time
or other, see some vessel pass or repass one way or other;
but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish
country and Brazil, which is inhabited by the worst of sav-
ages; for they are cannibals, or men-eaters, and fail not to
murder and devour all the human bodies that fall into their
With these considerations I walked very leisurely forward.
I found that side of the island where I now was, much
pleasanter than mine, the open or savanna fields sweet,
adorned with flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods.
I saw abundance of parrots, and fain would I have caught
one, if possible,'to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to
speak to me. I did, after some pains taken, catch a young
parrot, for I knocked it down with a stick, and, having re-
covered it, I brought it home, but it was some years before I
could make him speak. However, at last I taught him to call
me by my name, very familiarly; but the accident that fol-
lowed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its place.


I was exceedingly diverted with this journey. I found in
the low grounds, hares, as I thought them to be, and foxes,
but they differed greatly from all other kinds I had met with;
nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several:
but I had no need to be venturous, for I had no want of food,
and of that which was very good too ; especially these three
sorts, goats, pigeons, and turtle or tortoise; which, added to
mygrapes, Leadenhall Market could not have furnished a bet-
ter table than I, in proportion to the company : and though
my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause for
thankfulness, that I was not driven to any extremities for
food; but rather plenty, even to dainties.
I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in
a day, or thereabouts ; but I took so many turns and returns,
to see what discoveries I could make, that I came weary
enough to the place where I resolved to sit down for all night;
and then either reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded my-
self with a row of stakes set upright in the ground, either from
one tree or another, or so as no wild creature could come at
me without waking me.
As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was surprised to see
that I had taken up my lot on the worst side of the island ; for
here indeed the shore was covered with innumerable turtles,
whereas on the other side I had found but three in a year and
a half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of many
kinds, some of which I had not seen before, and many of them
very good meat; but such as I knew not the names of, except
those called penguins.
I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very spar-
ing of my powder and shot; and therefore had more mind to
kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed on ; and
though there were many more goats here than on the other
side of the island, yet it was with much more difficulty that I
could come near them, the country being flat and even, so that
they saw me much sooner than when I was on the hills.
I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than
mine, but yet I had not the least inclination to remove; for, as
I was fixed in my habitation, it became natural to me; and I
seemed all the while I was here to be, as it were, upon a jour-


ney, and from hctne. However, I travelled along the shore of
the sea toward the east, I suppose about twelve miles; and
then setting up-a great pole upon the shore for a mark, I con-
cluded I would go home again; and the next journey I took
should be on the other side of the island, east from my dwell-
ing, and so round, till I came to my post again, of which in its
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking
I could easily keep all the island so much in my view, that I
could not miss finding my first dwelling by viewing the coun-
try; but I found myself mistaken; for being come about two
or three miles, I found myself descended into a very large val-
ley, but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered with
woods, that I could not see which was my way by any direc-
tion but that of the sun; nor even then, unless I knew very
well the position of the sun at that time of the day.
It happened, to my farther misfortune, that the weather
proved hazy for three or four days while I was in this valley;
and not being able to see the sun, I wandered about very un-
comfortably, and at last was obliged to find out the sea-side,
look for my post, and come back the same way I went; and
then by easy journeys I turned homeward, the weather being
exceeding hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other
things very heavy.
In this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized
upon it; and I, running to take hold of it, caught it, and saved
it alive from the dog. I had a great mind to bring it home, if
I could; for I had often been musing whether it might not be
possible to get a kid or two, and so raise a breed of tame
goats, which might supply me when my powder and shot
should be spent.
I made a collar for this, little creature ; and with a string
which I made' of some rope-yarn, which I always carried
about me, I led him along, though with some difficulty, till I
came to my bower, and there I inclosed him, and left him;
for I was very impatient to be at home, from whence I had
been absent above a month.
I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come
into iy old hutch, and lie down in my hammock-bed: this


little wandering journey, without a settled place of abode, had
been so unpleasant to me, that my own house, as I called it to
myself, was a perfect settlement to me, compared to that;
and it rendered everything about me so comfortable, that I
resolved that I would never go a great way from it again,
while it should be my lot to stay on the island.
I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself
after my long journey; during which, most of the time was
taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage for my Poll,
who began now to be a mere domestic, and to be mighty well
acquainted with me. Then I began to think of the poor kid,
which I had pent in within my little circle, and resolved to go
and fetch it home, and give it some food: accordingly I went,
and found it where I left it; for indeed it could not get out,
but was almost starved for want of food. I went and cut
boughs of trees and branches of such shrubs as I could find,
and threw over to it; and having fed it, I tied it as I did be-
fore to lead it away; but it was so tame with being hungry,
that I had no need to have tied it; for it followed me like a
dog; and as I continually fed it, the creature became so lov-
ing, so gentle, and so fond, that it became from that time one
of my domestics also, and would never leave me afterwards.
The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come,
and I kept the 3oth of September in the same solemn man-
ner as before, being the anniversary of my landing on the isl-
and, having now been there two years, and no more prospect
of being delivered than the first day I came there. I spent
the whole day in humble and thankful acknowledgments of
the many wonderful mercies which my solitary condition was
attended with, and without which it might have been infinitely
more miserable. I gave humble and hearty thanks, that God
had been pleased to discover to me, even that it was possible
I might be more happy in this solitary condition, than I should
have been in society, and in all the pleasures of the world :
that he could fully make up to me the deficiencies of my sol-
itary state and the want of human society, by his presence,
and the communications of his grace to my soul, supporting,
comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon his provi-
dence here, and hope for his eternal presence hereafter.

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