Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Robinson Crusoe
 Back Cover

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/UF00073594/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xiv, 392, 2, 16 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Griset, Ernest Henry, 1844-1907 ( Illustrator )
Justyne, Percy William, 1812-1883 ( Illustrator )
Leitch, R. P ( Richard Pettigrew ) ( Illustrator )
Macquoid, Thomas Robert, 1820-1912 ( Illustrator )
Thomas, George Houseman, 1824-1868 ( Illustrator )
Cooper, J ( Engraver )
Linton, W. J ( William James ), 1812-1897 ( Engraver )
Marriott, R. S ( Engraver )
Pannemaker, Adolphe François, b. 1822 ( Engraver )
Pearson ( Engraver )
Thomas, William Luson, 1830-1900 ( Engraver )
Wentworth, Frederick ( Engraver )
Butterworth and Heath ( Engraver )
Cassell & Company
Publisher: Cassell & Co.
Place of Publication: London
New York
Manufacturer: Cassell & Co.
Publication Date: 188-?
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
France -- Paris
United States -- New York -- New York
Australia -- Melbourne
General Note: Cover and spine blind stamped decoration and illustration with gilt titles: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Illustrators include: Ernest Griset, P. Justyne, R.P. Leitch, T. Macquoid and GHT George Houseman Thomas; engravers include: Butterworth and Heath, J. Cooper, W.J. Linton, R.S. Marriott, Pann, Pearson, W.L. Thomas, and Wentworth.
General Note: Includes publishers' catalog (16 p.) at end.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe. Part II originally published under title: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
Statement of Responsibility: as related by himself, by Daniel Defoe ; with upwards of one hundred illustrations.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073594
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 26942892

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
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        Page viii
        Page ix
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        Page xiv
    Robinson Crusoe
        Page 1
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Full Text

NP, IJ;f It,

The Baldwin Library
RmB 0_6"












Of York, Mariner.



With upwards of One Hundred Illustrations.




CRUSOE ON THE ISLAND ... ........ .. ... ...... ... ... ... 1
CRUSOE ADVISED BY HIS FATHER ... ... ... ... ....... ... ... ... 5
THE SHIPWRECK IN YARMOUTH ROADS ... ... ... ... .... .. ... ... 9
THE ATTACK BY THE SALLEE ROVER ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... 12
CRUSOE A SLAVE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 13
CRUSOE ESCAPES WITH XURY ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 17
CRUSOE PICKED UP BY THE PORTUGUESE SHIP ... ... ... ...... ... ... 21
CRUSOE AND THE PLANTERS .... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25
THE SHIPWRECK ... ...... ..... ... ... ... ... ... ... 29
CRUSOE LOADING HIS RAFT ... .. ... ..... .. ... ... ... ... 33
CRUSOE MAKES A LITTLE TENT WITH A SAIL ... ... ... ...... ... ... 37
CRUSOE WRITING HIS JOURNAL ......... ... .. .. .. ... ...... ... 41
CRUSOE DISCOVERS GOATS ON THE ISLAND ... ......... ...... ... ... 45
CRUSOE DISCOVERS THE BARLEY ... .. .. ..... ... ... ... 49
THE W RECK ... ..... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 53
CRUSOE FINDS A TURTLE ... ... ....... .. .......... .... ... 57
CRUSOE ILL, READING THE BIBLE ... .. ...... ... ... ... ... 61
CRUSOE MAKING BASKETS ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 65
CRUSOE IN HIS BOWER ... ............ .. .. ... ... ... 69
CRUSOE LEADING THE YOUNG KID ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 73
CRUSOE SOWING CORN ... ... ... ... ... .. ... .. .... ... ... 77
CRUSOE TEACHES HIS PARROT TO TALK ... ... ... ..... .. .. ... 81
CRUSOE MAKES A BOAT ... ..... ... ...... ... ... ... ... ... ... 85
CRUSOE MAKING A COAT ....... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 89
CRUSOE SAILS OUT OF HIS CREEK ... .. ... ... .. ... ... ... 93
CRUSOE AT DINNER ... ... ... ...... ... ... ... ... ... ... 97
CRUSOE SEES A FOOT-PRINT IN THE SAND ... ...... ...... ... ... ... 101
CRUSOE MILKING GOATS ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 105
CRUSOE FENCES A PADDOCK FOR HIS GOATS ... ......... ... ... ... 109
CRUSOE ON THE LOOK-OUT ON THE HILL ............ ... ... ... 113
CRUSOE FINDS A DYING GOAT... ... ........ ... ... ... 117
CRUSOE IN HIS FORT .............. .. ... ......... ... 121
CRUSOE VISITS THE SPANISH SHIP ........... ......... .. .. ... ... 125
CRUSOE SLEEPING IN HIS BOAT ... .. ....... ... ....... 129
CRUSOE AND FRIDAY ... .. ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... 133
FRIDAY BURYING THE DEAD ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... 137
CRUSOE AND FRIDAY OUT SHOOTING ....... ... ... ..... ... 141
CRUSOE INSTRUCTING FRIDAY ... ... ... ..... .. .. ... ... 145
CRUSOE AND FRIDAY ON THE HILL ... ... .. .. .. ..... ... 149
CRUSOE AND FRIDAY FELLING WOOD ... ... ...... ... ... ... ... ]53
CRUSOE RESCUES THE SPANIARD ... .... ... ... .. .. ... ... ... 157
CRUSOE SEES AN ENGLISH SHIP ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... 165
THE MUTINEERS ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... 173
THE MUTINEERS OVERPOWERED ... ... ......... .. ... ... ... 177
DEATH OF THE REBEL CAPTAIN ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... 181
THE CAPTAIN HUNG AT THE YARD-ARM ... ... ...... ... ... 185



CRUSOE ARRIVES AT LISBON ... ... .. ... ... .... ..
CRUSOE'S TROOP ON THE MARCH ... ... ... ... ... ...
FRIDAY AND THE BEAR ... ... ...... ... ... ... ...
THE W OLVES DRIVEN OFF ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ...
'CRUSOE MARRIED ... ... ...... .. .. .. ... .. ...
THE FRENCH SHIP ON FIRE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
FRIDAY AND HIS FATHER ... ......... ...
THE PIRATES LEAVING THE ISLAND ... ... ... ...... ...
A BATTLE ... ... ..... ...
WILL ATKINS' TENT ... ... ... ...
GROUP OF HUTS UNDER THE HILL... ... ............ ... ...
CRUSOE AND THE PRIEST ... ...... ...
WILL ATKINS, CRUSOE, AND PRIEST ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ...
FAREWELL TO THE ISLAND ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
FLEET OF CANOES... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
BURNING THE VILLAGE ... ...... ... ...
THE MUTINY ... ........ .... ... ...
CHASED BY BOATS ... .. ....
STOPPING LEAKS IN THE SHIP... ... ... ... ... ... .. .. ...
CRUSOE ENTERING A CHINESE PORT ... ............ ... ...
THE CITY OF NANKIN ... ..... ... ... ...
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA ... ... ......... ... ... ...
THE TARTAR ARMY ... ...... ... ...
CRUSOE ARRIVES AT TOBOLSK ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...




E FOE published "Robinson Crusoe in 1719, under the
following quaint title: The Life and Strange Surpris-
ing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner:
who lived eight-and-twenty years all alone in an unin-
habited island on the coast of America, near the mouth
of the great River Oroonoque; having been cast on shore
by shipwreck, wherein all the men perished but himself.
K With an account how he was at last strangely delivered by Pirates.
Written by himself."
Like "Paradise Lost," this romance, destined to so immediate and
lasting a popularity, is said to have been offered to "the whole circle
of the trade" before any publisher could be found willing to incur
the risk of producing it. William Taylor, of the Ship, in Paternoster Row,
finally agreed to purchase it, for, it is believed, a very moderate sum of
money. He is said to have realized 1,000 profit. Its success was so great
that four editions were printed in as many months. It appeared, in the first
instance, with the following preface:-

If ever the story of any private man's adventures in the world were worth making
public, and were acceptable when published, the Editor cf this account thinks this will
be so.
The wonders of this man's life exceed all that (he thinks) is to be found extant; the
life of one man being scarce capable of a greater variety.
The story is told with modesty, with seriousness, and with a religious application of
events to the uses to which wise men always apply them; viz., to the instruction of others,
by this example, and to justify and honour the wisdom of Providence in all the variety of
circumstances, let them happen how they will.
The Editor believes the thing to be a just history of fact; neither is there any
appearance of fiction in it: and however thinks, because all such things are disputed, that
the improvement of it, as well to the diversion as to the instruction of the reader, will be the
same; and as such, he thinks, without farther compliment to the world, he does them a
great service in the publication.

There is no truth in the story, so often repeated, that Robinson Crusoe "
was the first tale published in a serial form. That it did appear in a journal called


The Original London Post, or Heathcote's Intelligence," is a fact beyond
dispute. We have, however, carefully compared the tale as it there appears with
the original edition. It is manifestly a pirated copy. Just so much of the work
is printed as contains the story, with all the reflections omitted. Besides, the date
of publication is subsequent, by a few months, to the time when we know the
complete work appeared.
The great success of the first part induced De Foe to write a second, which
was published in August, 1719; Part I. having appeared in the previous April.
A map of the world accompanied it, to give a greater appearance of truth to the
tale, on which the travels of Crusoe were indicated, and its proper place assigned
to the island.
In the following preface to it the author lashes with deserved severity the
conduct of those who had published pirated and abridged editions of his work:-

The success the former part of this work has met with in the world has yet been no
other than is acknowledged to be due to the surprising variety of the subject, and to the
agreeable manner of the performance.
All the endeavours of envious people to reproach it with being a romance, to search it
for errors in geography, inconsistency in the relation, and contradictions in the fact, have
proved abortive, and as impotent as malicious.
The just application of every incident, the religious and useful inferences drawn from
-very part, are so many testimonies to the good design of making it public, and must
legitimate all the part that may be called invention or parable in the story.
The second part, if the Editor's opinion may pass, is (contrary to the usage of second
parts) every way as entertaining as the first; contains as strange and surprising incidents,
and as great a variety of them; nor is the application less serious or suitable; and doubtless
will, to the sober as well as ingenious reader, be every way as profitable and diverting; and
this makes the abridging this work as scandalous as it is knavish and ridiculous; seeing, to
shorten the book, that they may seem to reduce the value, they strip it of all those re-
flections, as well religious as moral, which are not only the greatest beauties of the work,
but are calculated for the infinite advantage of the reader.
By this, they leave the work naked of its brightest ornaments; and yet they would
(at the same time they pretend that the Author has supplied the story out of his in-
vention) take from it the improvement, which alone recommends that invention to wise and
good men.
The injury these men do to the proprietors of works is a practice all honest men
abhor; and they believe they may challenge them to show the difference between that and
robbing on the highway or breaking open a house.
If they can't show any difference in the crime, they will find it hard to show why
there should be any difference in the punishment.

A few words on the source whence the author derived the idea of his romance
will be appropriate in this place. We can hardly doubt that De Foe conceived
the idea of Robinson Crusoe from the story of Alexander Selkirk. This
man's adventures had been made public, and excited considerable attention, seven
years before the publication of Robinson Crusoe." Wilson, the biographer of


De Foe, says, "His real name was Seleraig, which he changed to that of Selkirk
when he went to sea. He was born at Largo, in the county of Fife, in 1676,
and, after a common school education, was put to his father's business, which
was that of a shoemaker. Being a spoiled child, he soon discovered a wayward-
ness of temper that gave much uneasiness to his parents; whilst an early pro-
pensity to the sea rendered his employment irksome. At length an incident
occurred that put him upon indulging his humour; for, being brought under
church-censure for irregular conduct when he was eighteen years of age, rather
than submit, he suddenly left home, and was never heard of for six years. It
is supposed that he was with the buccaneers in the South Seas. In 1701 we find
him again at Largo, but the same intractable person as ever, being engaged in
constant broils with his family. As the sea was his favourite element, he did not
continue long in Scotland, but, going to London, engaged with Captain Dampier
upon a cruising expedition to the South Seas. This was the voyage that rendered
his subsequent history so interesting to the lovers of romance.
Being appointed sailing-master .of the Cinque Ports galley, a companion
to the St. George, commanded by Dampier, he left England in the spring of
1703, and, after various adventures, both vessels reached the island of Juan
Fernandez in the following February. After staying some time to re-fit, they
sailed again in quest of booty; but a violent quarrel arising between Selkirk and
his commander, Stradling, which settled into a rooted animosity, the former
resolved to take the first opportunity of leaving the vessel. This occurred at the
beginning of September, 1704, when her crazy state obliged Stradling to return
to Juan Fernandez for fresh repairs; which being completed, Selkirk bid a final
adieu to his comrades at the end of the same month. Upon this island he lived
by himself four years and four months, until he was released by Captain Woodes
Rogers, in the month of February, 1709. He was then engaged as a mate on
board of Rogers' ship, the Duke, and accompanied him during the remainder of
the expedition, conducting himself much to the satisfaction of his employer. At
length, after a long and fatiguing cruise, Selkirk arrived in England, in the
month of October, 1711, with a booty of 800, after an absence of rather more
than eight years." *
Like Crusoe, Selkirk could not settle to a quiet life on shore; his rest-
less nature drove him again to sea; and he is said to have died on board ship in
1723. On his first appearance in London he attracted a good deal of attention,
and Sir Richard Steele gave an account of his residence on the island, and his

Wilson's De Foe," vol. iii., p. 448.


feelings while there, in a paper published in a journal called The English-
We do not attach the slightest importance to a story dictated by the male-
volence of De Foe's political enemies, that Selkirk placed a manuscript, detailing
his adventures, in De Foe's hands for publication; but that, instead of doing
justice to him, he applied the materials so obtained to his own use. The best
authorities have deliberately rejected this idle tale.
In so far as Selkirk passed a certain number of years on an uninhabited
island, he may be truly said to have furnished the idea of Crusoe; but if we are
compelled to admit that he is the central figure in the picture, the subordinate
figures, the grouping, and the scenery are altogether due to the genius of
De Foe. Herein he affords an exact parallel to Shakespeare, who derived the
plots of his immortal dramas, now from an Italian romance, now from passing
Whatever may have been the origin of the tale, however virulent may have
been the attacks made against its author, as he himself says, by political enemies
and senseless critics, the judgment of the most enlightened men of all nations
has placed Robinson Crusoe upon a height which no sounds of animosity can
now reach. What pleasure has this wonderful tale given, and still gives, to all
readers Young and old, rich and poor, find in its pages an unfailing source of
pure delight.
It blends instruction with amusement in a way no other production of human
intellect has ever succeeded in doing. While depicting a solitary individual
struggling against misfortune, it indicates the justice and the mercy of Providence ;
and while inculcating the duty of self-help, asserts the complete dependence of
man upon a higher power for all he stands in need of.
If we consider novels in their relation to life, Robinson Crusoe" must win
the prize for truthfulness and reality. How naturally the incidents occur!
There is no deference shown by the author to the exigencies of his story, nor
to dramatic effect. The characters appear as they do in real life-exercise some
influence for good or evil on the principal figure in the tale-and then disappear,
to be seen no more. Take, for instance, Xury. Would not a novelist of less
power have brought him forward, over and over again, after he had once introduced
him as the faithful friend of the hero? But De Foe saw fit to do otherwise.
Xury is brought upon the stage; assists the escape of the chief personage in the
drama; and is seen no more. Is not this the way of real life ?
Nor does the effect of reality stop here. So natural are all the characters,


that we seem to know them personally-to be ourselves assisting at the scenes
recorded in it.
For these excellencies the learned and the good have uniformly persisted in
singling out "Robinson Crusoe" for special commendation. To mention only
two-Rousseau held that it was the book a boy should read first and read longest.
Dr. Johnson remarked, Was there ever anything written by mere man that was
wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote,' Robinson Crusoe,' and
the Pilgrim's Progress ?'"
In conclusion, we present to our readers the touching lines in which Cowper
supposes Alexander Selkirk to record his feelings :-

I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude! -where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face ?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech-
I start at the sound of my own.
The beasts, that roam over the plain,
My form with indifference see;
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
Oh! had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth.
Religion! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word!
More precious than silver and gold;
Or all that this earth can afford.
But the sound of the church-going bell
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Never sigh'd at the sound of a knell,
Or smiled when a Sabbath appeared.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,.
Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial, endearing report
Of a land I shall visit no more.


My friends, do they now and then send
,A wish or a thought after me ?
Oh! tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.

How fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-wing'd arrows of light.
When I think of my own native land,
In a moment I seem to be there;
But, alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.

But the sea fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place,
And mercy, encouraging thought I
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.

I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city
of York, of a good family, though not
of that country, my father being a foreigner,
of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: he got
a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off
his trade, lived afterwards at York; from
whence he had married 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-colonel to an English regiment
of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed
at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second brother
I never knew, any more than my father or mother did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my head began'
to be filled very early with rambling thoughts: my father, who was very ancient,
had given me a competent share of learning,-as far as house-education and a country
free-school generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied
with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly
against the will, nay, the commands, of my father, and against all the entreaties
and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something
fatal in that propension of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to
befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against
what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where
he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject *
he asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving
my father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a
prospect of raising* my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and
pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring,
superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise,
and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road;
that these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was
the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human
happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the
mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and
envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me, I might judge of the happiness of
this state by this one thing, viz., that this was the state of life which all other people
envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born
to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes,
between.the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the
just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life
were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station
had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or
lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and
uneasiness, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and
:xtravagances on0 one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or
insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural
consequences of their way of living ; that the middle station of life was calculated for
all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the hand-
maids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all
agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle
station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and
comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not
sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed circumstances,
which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; nor enraged with the passion of


envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things ; but, in easy circum-
stances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living,
without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience
to know it more sensibly.
After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play
the young man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which Nature, and the station of
life I was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of
seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly
into the station of life which he had just been recommending to me; and that if I was
not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must
hinder it; and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his
duty in warning me against measures which he knew would be to my hurt; in a word,
that as he would do very kind things for me, if I would stay and settle at home as he
directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes as to give me any
encouragement to go away; and to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for an
example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going
into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting him to
run into the army, where he was killed; and though he said he would not cease to
pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me, and I should have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected
his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my recovery.
I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic, though I
'suppose my father did not know it to be so himself; I say, I observed the tears run
-down his face very plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed;
and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was
.so moved that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full he could say
no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise ? and
I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my
father's desire. But, alas a few days wore it all off; and, in short, to prevent any of my
father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from
him. However, I did not act quite so hastily neither as the first heat of my resolution
prompted, but I took my mother at a time when I thought her a little more pleasant
than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the
world, that I should never settle to anything with resolution enough to go through with
it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I
was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to
an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve out my time, but I should
certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she
would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and
did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise, by a double diligence, to
recover the time that 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 the discourse I had had with my
father, and such kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me;
and that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I might


depend I should never have their consent to it; that for her part, she would not have
so much hand in my destruction; and I should never have it to say that my mother
was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I heard afterwards that she
reported all the discourse to him, and that my father, after showing a great concern
at it, said to her with a sigh: "That boy might be happy if he would stay at home;.
but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that ever was born; I can
give no consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the mean time,
I- continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, and frequently
expostulated with my father and mother about their being so positively determined
against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one day at Hull,
whither I went casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement at that
time; but I say, being there, and one of my companions being going by sea to London
in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the common allurement of
a seafaring man, that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither
father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but leaving them
to hear of it as they might, without asking God's blessing, or my father's, without any
consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows, on the
1st of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young
adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner or continued longer than mine. The-
ship was no sooner got out of the Humber than the wind began to blow, and the
sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was
most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to
reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of
Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty. All
the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came
now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet come to the pitch of
hardness to which it has come since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and
the breach of my duty to God and my father.
SAll this while the storm increased, and the sea went very high, though nothing like
what I have seen many times since; no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it was
enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never known anything
of the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every
time the ship fell down, as I thought it did, in the trough or hollow of the sea, we-
should never rise more : in this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that
if it would please God to spare my life in this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot
upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father, and never set it into a
ship again while I lived; that I would take his advice, and never run myself into such
miseries as these any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about
the middle station of life, how easy, how comfortable he had lived all his days, and
never had been exposed to tempests at sea, or troubles on shore; and, in short, I
resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm lasted, 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-


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i I I


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)))~II 'IIsII 111')I


the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon
it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very cheerful,,
looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough and terrible the day before, and
could be so calm and so pleasant in so little a time after. And now, lest my good
resolutions should continue, my companion who had 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, wer'n't you, last night, when it blew but a capful of
wind? "
"A capful d'you call it ?" said I ; "'twas a terrible storm."
"A storm, you fool, you !" replies he; "do you call that a storm 1 why, it was.
nothing at all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a
squall of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob. Come, let us make a
bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that; d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now ?"
To make short this sad part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch.
was made, and I was made half-drunk with it; and in that one night's wickedness I
drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, all my resolutions
for the future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and
settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being
over, my fears and 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
I made in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection; and the serious.
thoughts did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes; but I shook them off,
and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and applying myself to drink-
ing 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 my conscience as any young
fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire. But I was to have another
trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me
entirely without excuse; for if I would not take this for a deliverance, the next was to
be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch among us would confess both.
the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the wind having
been contrary, and the weather calm, we had made but little way since the storm.
Here we were obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing
contrary, viz., at south-west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great iany
ships from Newcastle came into the same Rolds, as the common harbour where the ships.
might wait for a wind for the River.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but we should have tided it up the river,
but that the wind blew too fresh, and, after we had lain four or five days, blew very
hard. However, the Roads being reckoned as good as an harbour, the anchorage good,
and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least
apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the-
sea; but the eighth day, in the morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands at
work to strike our top-masts, and make everything snug and close, that the ship might
ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rode
forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor had come
home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor, so that we rode with two-
anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the better end.


By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I began to see terror and
amazement in the faces even of the seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in
the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I
could hear him softly to himself say, several times, Lord, be merciful to us we shall
be all lost we shall be all undone and the like. During these first hurries I was
stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe
my temper. I could ill resume the first penitence which I had so apparently trampled
upon, and hardened myself against : I thought the bitterness of death had been past,
and that this would be nothing too, like the first ; but when the master himself came by
me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted. I got
up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw; the sea ran
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 rode near us, we found,
had cut their masts by the board, being deep laden; and our men cried out, that a ship
which rode 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 not
with a mast standing. The light ships fared the best, as not so much labouring in the
sea; but two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running away with only
their spritsail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them
cut away the fore-mast, which he was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protest-
ing to him that if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented ; and when they had
cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they
were obliged to cut that away also, and make a clear deck.
And one must judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young
sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express at
this distance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror of
mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to
the resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added
to the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can by no words describe
it. But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury, that the
seamen themselves acknowledged they had never seen a worse. We had a good ship,
but she was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, so 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 nob 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 to see, cried out we had sprung a leak;
another said, there was four feet water in the hold. Then all hands were called to the
pump. At that word, my heart, as I thought, died within me; and I fell backwards
upon the side of my bed, where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me,
and told me, that I, that was able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as
another; at which I stirred up, and went to the pump, and worked very heartily.
While this was doing, the master seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out
the storm, were obliged to slip, and run away to the sea, and would come near us
ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what they meant,
thought the ship had broken, or some dreadful thing happened. In a word, I was so


surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when everybody had his own
life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me; but another man
stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had
been dead; and it was a great while before I came to myself.
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship
would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible
she could swim till we might run into any 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 a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after much
labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all
into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to
think of reaching to their own ship ; so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her
in towards shore as much as we could; and our master promised them, that if the boat
was staved upon shore, he would' make it good to their master: so partly rowing, and
partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost
as far as Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship till 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 the moment that they rather put me into the boat, than that
I might be said to go in, my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright,
partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at the oar to bring the
boat near the shore, we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, we were able to
see the shore) a great many people running along the strand, 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 lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to the
westward, towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the wind.
Here we got in, and, though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and
walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with
great humanity, as well by the 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 assurances that I was not
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 unavoidable misery attending,
and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me forward against

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the calm reasoning and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two
such visible obstructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master's son,
was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at
Yarmouth, which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to
several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered ;
and looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, he asked me how I did, and
telling his father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order
to go farther abroad : his father turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone,
"Young man," says he, "you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take
this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man." "Why, sir,"
said I, will you go to sea no more ?" That is another case," said he; "it is my
calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what
a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps this
has all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray," con-
tinues 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 into a strange kind of
passion : "What had I done," says he, that such an unhappy wretch should come into
my ship ? I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, which were yet
agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go.
However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorting me to go back to my
father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin; telling me I might see a visible hand of
Heaven against me. And, young man," said he, depend upon it, if you do not go
back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments,
till your father's words are fulfilled upon you."
We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I saw him no more; which
way he went I know not. As for me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to
London by land; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with myself
what course of life I should take, and whether I should go home or go to sea.
As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my thoughts;
and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among the neighbours,
and should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even everybody else;
from whence I have often since observed, how incongruous and irrational the common
temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which o- -ht to guide them in
such cases, viz., that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not
ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed
of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remain ;d some time, uncertain what measures to
take, and what course of life to lead. An irresistible reluctance continued to going
home; and as I stayed awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore
off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to a return wore off with
it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.
That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house, which
hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune; and that.
impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice,
and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father : I say, the same influence,
whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I


went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call
it, a voyage to Guinea.*
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a
sailor; when, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at
the same time I should have learnt 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 worst, 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 learnt to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London, which does
not always happen to such loose and misguided young fellows as I then was; the devil
generally not omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was not so with
me. I first got 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 ; this
captain taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that
time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the voyage
with him, I should be at no expense; I' should be his messmate and his companion;
and if I could carry 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, plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small
adventure with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I
increased very considerably; for I carried about 40 in such toys and trifles as the!
captain directed me to buy. This 40 I had mustered together by the assistance of
some of my relations whom I corresponded with, and who, I believe, got my father, or
at least my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first 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 under-
stand 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 300; 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; particularly, that I was con-
\tinually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the excessive heat of the climate;
bur principal trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees north,
even to the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune,
dying soon after'his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in
the same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the
command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made; for
though I did not carry quite 100 of my new-gained wealth, so that I had 200 left
which I had lodged with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into

Guinea.-A distr ict of that part of the West Coast of Africa where the land runs nearly due east and
west. The six countries into which it is divided are known to sailors under the names of Sierra Leone,
Grain Coast, Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Slave Coast, and Benin.



terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz., our ship making her
course, towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those Islands and the African
shore, was surprised in the grey of the morning by a Moorish rover of Sallee, who gave
chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our
yards would spread, or our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate gained
upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight; our
ship having twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came
up with us, and bringing to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our
stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a
broadside upon him, which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pour-
ing in also his small shot from near two hundred men which he had on board. However,
we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again,
and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on board the next time upon our other
quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and
hacking the sails and rigging. We plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-
chests, and such like, and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this
.melancholy part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men killed, and
eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a
port belonging to the Moors.



The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at frst I apprehended; nor was
I carried up the country to the Emperor's court, as the rest of our men were, but
was kept by the captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave,
being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of
my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly over-
whelmed; 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 ; for now the
hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption. But,
alas this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the
sequel of this story.
As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I was in
hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea again, believing
that it would 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 Scotsman there but
myself; so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet
I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years, an odd circumstance presented itself, which put the old
thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head. My patron lying at
home longer than usual without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of
money, he used, constantly, once or twice a week, sometimes oftener, if the weather was
fair, to take the ship's pinnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and as he always
took me and a young Moresco with him to row the boat, we made him very merry, and
I proved very dexterous in catching fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me
with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth the Moresco, as they called him, to
catch a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time, that going a-fishing with him in a calm morning, a fog rose
so thick, that though we were not half a league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and
rowing we knew not whither or which way, we laboured all day, and all the next night;
and when the morning came,, we found we had pulled out to sea instead of pulling in for
the shore; and that we were at least two leagues from the land. However, we got
well in again, though with a great deal of labour, and some danger; for the wind
began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of himself
for the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of our English ship which he
had taken, he resolved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass and
some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English
slave, to build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like
that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to steer, and haul home the main-
sheet; and room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. She sailed
with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton sail; and the boom jibbed over the top of
the cabin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a
slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles
of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; and particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing; and as I was most dexterous
to catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had ap.
pointed 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 extraordi-
narily, and had therefore sent on board the boat over-night a larger store of pro-
visions than usual; and had ordered me to get ready three fusils* with powder
and shot, which were on board his ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling
as well as fishing.
I got all. things ready as he had directed ; and waited the next morning with
the boat washed clean, her ancient+ and pendants out, and everything to accommo-
date his guests; when by-and-by my patron came on board alone, and told me his
guests had put off going, from some business that fell out, and ordered me, with
%the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the boat and catch them some fish, for

Fusil, a French word, meaning a light musket or firelock.
+ A ancient, the old word, derived from the French enseigne, for a flag, or the man who carries it


that his friends were to sup at his house; he commanded me too, that as soon as I had
got some fish, I should bring it home to his house: all which I prepared to do.
This moment, my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts, for now
I found I was likely to have a little ship at my command; and my master being
gone, I prepared to furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though
I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I would steer; for anywhere
to get out of that place was my desire.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get some-
thing 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 about half an hundredweight, with a parcel of twine
or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great use to us after-
wards, especially the wax to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which
he innocently came into also : his name was Ismael, which they call Muley, or Moely;
so I called to him :-" Moely," said I, "our patron's guns are all on board the boat;
can you not get a little powder and shot It may be we may kill some alcamies (a
fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the
ship." "Yes," says he, I'll bring some :" accordingly, he brought a great leather pouch,
which held about a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and another with
shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into the boat. At
the same time, I had found some powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which
I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what
was in it into another; and thus furnished with everything needful, we sailed out of
the port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port, knew who we were,
and took no notice of us ; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we
hauled in our sail, and sat 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 caught 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, think-
ing no harm, agreed, and, being in the head of the boat, set the sails; and, as I had
the helm, I ran the boat out near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I
would fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor was,
and making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by surprise with my
arm under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose im-
mediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken in, telling 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 swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned the
boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone, I turned to the
boy, whom they called -Xury, and said to him, "Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'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 the 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 sailing on to the
southward to the truly barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure
to surround us with their canoes, and destroy us ; where we could never once go on
shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of
human kind ?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and steered
directly south and by east, bending my course a little towards the east, that I might
keep in with the shore : and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea,
I made such sail that I believe by the next day at three o'clock in the afternoon, when
I first made the land, I could not be less than one hundred and fifty miles south of
Sallee: quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king
thereabouts, for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions
I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an
anchor, the wind continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five days; and then,
the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in
chase of me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and
came to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what nor where; neither
what latitude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw, nor desired
to see any people; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into
this creek in the evening, resolving t3 swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and
discover the country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful
noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what
kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go
on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I, "then I won't; but it may be we may
see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions." "Then we give them the
shoot gun," says Xury, laughing, "make them run wey." Such English Xury spoke
by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful,
and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up. After
all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it : we dropped our little anchor, and lay
still all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we saw
vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them), of many sorts, come down to
the sea-shore, and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves for the
Straits, the Straits of Gibraltar.



pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous cowlings 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 mighty creature 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 the buoy to it, and go to sea; they cannot follow us far."
I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature, whatever it was, within two
oars' length, which something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the
cabin-door, and taking up my gun, fired at him; upon which he immediately turned
about, and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises, and hideous cries and howlings
that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon
the noise or report of a gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures
had never heard before. This convinced me that there was no going on shore for us
in the night upon that coast; and how to venture on shore in the day was another
question too ; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been as bad
as to have fallen into the paws of lions and tigers; at least we were equally appre-
hensive of the danger of it.


Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere or other for water,
for we had not a pint left in the boat; when.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 wey." "Well,
Xury," said I, "we will both go, and if the wild mans come, we will kill them, they
shall eat neither of us." So I gave Xury a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram out
of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before; and we hauled the boat in as
near the shore as we thought was proper, and waded on shore, carrying nothing but
our arms, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming of canoes with
savages down the river; but the boy, seeing a low place about a mile up the country,
rambled to it, and by-and-by I saw him come running towards me. I thought he was
pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I ran forward towards
him to help him; but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his
shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour,
Sand longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but the
great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water, and seen
no wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water, for a little
higher up the creek where we were we found the water fresh when the tide was out,
which flows but a little way up ; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare we had
killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature
in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the islands of
the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as
I had no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and
did not exactly know, or at least not remember, what latitude they were in, I knew not
where to look for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might
now easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was, that if I stood along
this coast till I came to that part where the English traded, I should find some of their
vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must be that country
which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste
and uninhabited, except by wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned it, and gone
farther south, for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting,
by reason of its barrenness; and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious
numbers of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbour there ; so
that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three
thousand men at a time : and, indeed, for near a hundred miles together upon this
Toast, we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing
but cowlings and roarigigs of wild beasts by night.
Once' or twice in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being
the high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries; and had a great mind
to venture out, in hopes of reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in
again by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little vessel; so I resolved.
to pursue my first design, and keep along the shore.


Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had left this place ; and
once in particular, being early in the morning, we came to an anchor under a little point
of land, which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go
farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were, calls
softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off the shore; for," says he, lo k,
yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock, fast asleep." I looked where
he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible great lion that lay
on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung as it were a
little over him. Xury," says I, "you shall go on shore and kill him." Xury looked
frighted, and said, Me kill! he eat me at one mouth;" one mouthful he meant.
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him be still, and took our biggest gun,
which was almost musket-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with
two slugs, and laidit down ; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third
(for we had three pieces) I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I
could with the first piece to have shot him in the head, but he lay so, with his leg raised
a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone.
He started up, growling at first, but finding his leg broke, fell down again; and then
got up upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a
little surprised that I had not hit him on the head ; however, I took up the second
piece immediately, and though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him in
the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop; and making but little noise, he 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 the little gun in
one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close to the creature,
put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him in the head again, which
despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I was very sorry to lose
three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good for nothing to us.
However, Xury said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me
to give him the hatchet. For what, Xury said I. Me cut off his head," said he.
However, Xury could not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with
him, and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him might, one way or
other, be of some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury
and I went to work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I
knew very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us up both the whole day, but at last we
got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually
dried it in two days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days, living
very sparingly on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener
into the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My design in this was, to make
the River Gambia or Senegal; that is to say, anywhere about the Cape de Verd, where
I was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what
course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there among the negroes. I
knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to
Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and,.in a word, I put
the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must meet with some
ship, or must perish.


When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, I began
to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw
people stand upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite black,
and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was
my better counsellor, and said to me, "No go, no go." However, I hauled in nearer
the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by me a
good way : I observed they had no weapons in their hands, except one, who had a long,
slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they could throw them a great
way with good aim : so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I
could; and particularly made signs for something to eat: they beckoned to me to stop
my boat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this, I lowered the top of my sail,
and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than half an hour
came back, and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some corn, such as is the
produce of their country; but we neither knew what the one or the other was : how-
ever, we were willing to accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I
would not venture on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us: but they
took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it down, and went
and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends but
an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully: for while we were
lying on 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 pur-
suing the female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more
than we could tell whether it was usual or strange: but I believe it was the latter;
because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the night;
and, in the second place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the women.
The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did; however,
as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not offer to fall upon any of
the negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if they had come
for their diversion: at last one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I
expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible expe-
dition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon as he came fairly within my
reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head: immediately he sank down into the
water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down, as if he was struggling for life, and
so indeed he was : he immediately made to the shore; but between the wound, which
was his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached the
It is impossible to.express the astonishment of these poor creatures at the noise and
fire of my gun; some of them were ready even to die for fear, and fell down as dead
with the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and sunk into 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 killed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam -to
the shore- and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came; nor could I



at that distance, know what it was. I found quickly the negroes were for eating the
flesh of this creature, so 'I was willing to have them take it as a favour from me;
which, when I made signs to them that they might take it, 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 would 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 its bottom upward, to show that it
was empty, and that I wanted'.to have it filled. They called immediately to some of
their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth,
and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this they set down for me, as before, and I sent
Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three. The women were as stark
naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water and leaving
my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to
go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the
distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large
offing to make this point. At length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the
land, I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward; then I concluded, as it was
most certain indeed that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands called, from
thence, Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could
not well tell.what I had best do; for if I should be taken with a fresh gale of wind, I
might neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin, and sat me down, Xury
having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a
sail!" and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some
of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten far enough out of their
reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only the ship, but that it
was a Portuguese ship;- and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea, for
negroes. But, when I observed the course she steered, I was soon convinced they were
bound some other way, and did not design to go any nearer the shore: upon which
I stretched out to the sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to come in their way,
but that they would be gone by before I could nake any signal to them: but after I.
had crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the help of
their perspective glasses, and that it was some European boat, which they supposed must
belong to some ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I was
encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ancient on board, I made a waft of it to
them for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both which they saw ; for they told me they
saw the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these signals they very kindly
brought to, and lay by for me; and in about three hours' time I came up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French, but I
understood none of them; but at last a Scotch sailor, who was on board, called to me:
and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that had made my escape
out of slavery from the Moors at Sallee; they then bade me come on board, and very
kindly took me in, and all my goods.


It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will believe, that I was thus
delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I
was in; and I immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a return for
my deliverance; but he generously told me, he would take nothing from me, but that
all I had should be delivered safe to me, when I came to the Brazils. For," says he,
" I have saved your life on no other terms than as I would be glad to be saved myself;
:and it may, one time or other, be my lot to be taken up in the same condition.
Besides," said he, "when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your own
country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then
I only take away that life I have given. No, no," says he; "Seignor Inglese" (Mr.
Englishman), "I will carry you thither in charity, and these things will help you to buy
your subsistence there, and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the performance to a tittle;
for he ordered the seamen, that none should offer to touch anything I had : then he took
everything into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them, that
I might have them, even to my three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me he would buy
it of me for the ship's use; and asked me what I would have for it. I told him, he
had been so generous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any price of
the boat, but left it entirely to him: upon which, he told me he would give me a note
of his hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if
any one offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered me also sixty pieces of
eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to
let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had
assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my
reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy
an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury
saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and I arrived in the Bay de Todos los
Santos, or All Saints Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I was once more
delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with
myself I was to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never enough remember:
he would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's
skin, and forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused everything I
had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me; and what I was willing to sell, he
bought of me : such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of
bees'-wax, for I had made candles of the rest : in a word, I made about two hundred
and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo; and with this stock, I went on shore in the
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house of a good, honest
mani, 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 got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a licence to settle there, I would
turn planter amcng them; resolving, in the meantime, to find out some way to get my
money, which I had left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a idnd of
letter of naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my money would


reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement such a one as might be
suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a. Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English parents, whose
name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call him neighbour,
because his plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My
stock was but low, as well as his and we rather planted for food than 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
But, alas for me to do wrong that never did right, was no great wonder. I had
no remedy but to go on: I had got into an employment quite remote to my genius
and 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 stayed at home, and never fatigued
myself in the world, as I have done; and I used often to say to myself, "I could have
done this as well in England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to
do it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never to
hear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me."
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had
nobody to converse with, but now and" then this neighbour; no work to be done, but
by the labour of my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away upon
some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. But how just has it been ;
and how should all men reflect, that when they compare their present conditions with
others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced
of their former felicity by their experience : I say, how just has it been, that the truly
solitary life I reflected on, in an island, or mere desolation, should be my lot, who had so
often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which, had I continued, I
had, in all probability, been exceeding 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 took me up at sea, went back; for the ship
remained there, in providing her lading, and preparing for her voyage, near three
months; when, telling him what little stock I had left behind me in London, he gave
me this friendly and sincere advice:--"Seignor Inglese," says -he (for so .he always
called me), "if you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to me, with orders
to the person who has your money in London, to send your effects to Lisbon, to such
persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring
you the produce of them, God-willing, at my return; but, since human affairs are all
subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred
pounds sterling, which, you say, is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for the
first; so that, if it come safe, you may order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry,
you may have the other half to have recourse to for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be
convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the
gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese
captain, as he desired.


I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures, my
slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity
of his behaviour, and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions
for my supply; and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means, by
some of the English merchants there, to send over not the order only, but a full account
of my story, to a merchant at London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon
she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain
a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vested 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 direction (for I was too young in
my business to think of them), he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, iron work,
and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made; for I was surprised with the
joy of it; and my good steward the captain, had laid out the five pounds, which
my friend had sent him for a present for himself, to purchase and bring me over a,
servant, under bond for six years' service, and would not accept of any consideration,
except a little tobacco, which I would have him accept, being of my own produce.


Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture, such as cloth,
stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found
means to sell them at a very great advantage; so that I may say, I had more than
four times the value of my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor neighbour
-I mean in the advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me
a negro slave, and an European servant also: I mean another besides that which
the captain brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our greatest
adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next year with great success in my plan-
tation: I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed
of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a
hundred weight, were well cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet from
Lisbon. And now increasing in business and wealth, my head began to be full of
projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are indeed often the ruin of the
best heads in business. Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for
all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so earnestly recom-
mended a quiet, retired life, and which he had so sensibly described the middle
station of life to be full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be
the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly, to increase my fault, and
make, all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my
foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction
to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects
and those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present me with,
and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I could not be
content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving
man in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster
-than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again into the
-deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent
with life, and a state of health in the world.
To come then by just degrees to the particulars of this part of my story:-
.You may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning
to thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned the
language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as
well as among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which was our port; and that, in
my discourse 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
megroes, for the service of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads, but especially
to that part which related to 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 Assiento,
or permission of the King of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public stock; so
that few negroes were brought, and those excessively dear.
It happened, being in company one day with some merchants and planters of my ac-
quaintance, 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
of with them the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me; and, after
enjoining me secresy, they told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to
Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened for nothing so
much as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried on, because they
could not publicly sell the negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but
one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide them among their own
plantations; and, in a word, the question was, whether I would go their supercargo in
the ship, to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that
I should have my equal share of the negroes, without providing any part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any one that had
not had a settlement and plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way
of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me, that
was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as I had.begun,
for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from
England; and who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed
,of being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too-for me
to think of such a voyage was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such
-circumstances could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer,
than I could restrain my first rambling designs, when my father's good counsel was
lost upon me. In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would
undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it as I
should direct, if I miscarried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings,
-or covenants, to do so; and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects
in case of my death, making the captain of the ship that had saved my life, as
before, my universal heir, but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had
-directed in my will; one-half of the produce being to himself, and the other to be
shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects, and to keep up my
plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my own interest,
and have made a judgment of what I ought to have done, and not to have done,
I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all
the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea,
attended with all its common hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to ex-
I)ect 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 finished,
and all things done as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on
board in an evil hour again, the 1st of September 1659, being the same day eight years
that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their
authority, and the fool to my own interest.
Oar ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six guns, and
fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself; we had on board no large
cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with .the negroes,
such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses,
knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward


upon our own coasts, with design to stretch over for the African coast, when they came
into about ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude; which, it seems, was the manner
of their course in those days. We had very good weather, only excessively hot, all the
way upon our own coast, till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino; from
whence, keeping farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were
bound for the isle Fernando de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N., and leav-
ing those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve days
time, and were, by our last observation, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes
northern latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out of our
knowledge. It began from the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then
settled into the north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for
twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding away before it,
let it carry us wherever 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
did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men died of
the calenture, and a man and a boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day,
the weather abating a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and
found that he was in about eleven degrees of 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 Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river Amazones,
towards that of the river Oroonoque, commonly called the Great River; and now he began
to consult with me what course he should take; for the ship was leaky, and very much
disabled, and he was for going directly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea-coast of
America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to have
recourse to till we came within the circle of the Carribbee Islands, and therefore resolved
to stand away for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the in-draft 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 other-
wise determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen minutes, a
second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity westward,
and drove us so out of the 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 one
morning cried out, Land !" and we had no sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in
hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we were, than the ship struck upon a sand,
and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a.
manner, that we expected we should all have perished immediately; and we were
even driven into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and spray
of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition to describe
or conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances. We knew nothing where
we were, or upon what land it was we were driven; whether an island or the main,



whether inhabited or not inhabited. As the rage of the wind was still great, though.
rather less than at first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many
minutes without breaking in pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle, should
turn immediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon another, and expecting
death every moment, and every man acting accordingly, as preparing for another world;.
for there was little or nothing more for us to do in this; that which was our present
comfort, and all the comfort we had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship did
pot break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the ship having thus
struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in
a dreadful condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as
well as we could. ,We had a boat at our stern just before the storm, but she was first
staved by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in the next place she broke away, and
either sunk, or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another
boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing; however, there
was no room to debate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every minute, and
some told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat, and with the help of
the rest of the men, they got her flung over the ship's side; and getting all into her, let go,
and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild sea : for
though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadfully high upon the
shore, and might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly, that the sea
went so high, that the boat could not escape, and that we should be inevitably drowned.
As to making sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done anything with it;
so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to
execution; for we all knew that when the boat came near 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
night 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 an half, as we reckoned it,
a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the
coup de grace. In a word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once;
and separating us as well from the boat as from one another, gave us not time hardly
to say, "0 God !" for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt, when I sank into the
water: for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so
as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on
towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost
dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well
as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the main land than I expected, I got upon my


feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could, before another
wave should return and take me up again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid
it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy,
which I had no means or strength to contend with: my business was to hold my
breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could ; and so by swimming to preserve
my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore if possible, my greatest concern now
being, that the wave, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it came
on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty feet deep
in its own body, and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness
towards the shore a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to
swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst with holding my breath,
when as I felt myself rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and
hands shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds
of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath and
new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but not so long but I
held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck
forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood
still a few moments to recover breath, and till the waters went from me, and then
took to my heels, and ran with what strength I had, farther towards the shore. But
neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after
me again; and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as
before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well nigh been fatal to me; for the sea having
hurried me along, as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock,
and that with such force, as it Lft me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own
deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite
out of my body; and had it returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in
the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and seeing I should
be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to.
hold my breath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now, as the waves were not so
high as at first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched
another run, which brought me so near the shore, that the next wave, though it went
over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took,
I got to the main land ; where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the clifts of the
shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of
the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank God that my
life was saved, in a case wherein there was some minutes before scarce any room to
hope. I believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstacies and transports
of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave: and I do not
wonder now at that custom, when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is
tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him-I say, I do
not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they
tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart, and
overwhelm him.
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.
I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I may say,


wrapt up in a contemplation of my deliverance; making a thousand gestures and
motions, which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned,
and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never saw
them afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes
that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the sea being so
big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off; and considered, Lord how was it possible I
could get on shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of'my condition, I began to
look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was next to be done : and
I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful deliverance: for
I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor 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 tan about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I. began, with a heavy
heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that
country, seeing at night they always come abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that time, was to get up into a thick
bushy tree, like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all
night, and consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect
of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water
to drink, which I did to my great joy; and having drunk, and put a little tobacco in
my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to
place myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut me a short
stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging; and being exces-
sively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could
have done in my condition, and found myself more refreshed with it than I think
I ever was on such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so that
the sea did not rage and swell as before; but that which surprised me most was, that
the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling of the
tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I at first mentioned, where I
had been so bruised by the wave dashing me against it. This being within about a
mile from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished
myself on board, that at least I might save some necessary things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, and
the first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and 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:



K~ ..

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 to 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 espied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see at, first,


hanging down by the fore-chains so low, 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 ate it as I went about other
things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in the great cabin, of which
I took a large dram, and which I had, indeed, need enough of to spirit me for what was
before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat, to furnish myself with many things
which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this extremity
roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three large spars
of wood, and a spare top-mast or two in the ship: I resolved to fall to work with these,
and I 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 together at both ends, as
well as I could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon
them, crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not able to
bear any great weight, the pieces being too light. So I went to work, and with
the carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-mast into three lengths, and added them to my
raft, with a great deal of labour and pains. But the hope of furnishing myself with
necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to have done
upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care was
what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea:
but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that I
could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I first got three of the
seamen's chests, which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon
my raft; the first of these I filled with provisions-viz., bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses,
five pieces of dried goat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little remainder of
European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us,.
but the fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat together; but, to
my great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all.
As for liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were
some cordial waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of arrack. These I stowed by
themselves, there being no need to put them into the chest, nor any room for them.
While I was doing this, I found the tide began to flow, though very calm; and I had
the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore
upon the sand, swim away. As for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-
kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings. However, this put me upon
rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for
present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as, first, tools
to work with on shore: and it was after 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-lading of gold would have been at that time. I got it down to my raft,


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, a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were
three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them;
but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken
water. Those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty
well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither
sail, oar, nor rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements : first, a smooth, calm sea; secondly, the tide rising, and
setting in to the shore; thirdly, 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, two saws, an axe, and a hammer : with this cargo I put
to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive
a little distant from the place where I had landed before; by which I perceived that
there was some indraft of the water, and consequently, I hoped to find some creek or
river there, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a little opening of the land.
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 liked to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think
verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran
aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it
wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the end that was afloat,
and so fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests,
to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength;
neither durst I stir from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my
might, I stood in that manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the water
brought me a little more upon a level; and, a little after, the water still rising, my raft
floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving
up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on
both sides, and a strong current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper
place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high up the river; hoping,
in time to see some ship at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the coast
as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which, with great
pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so near, that reaching ground with
my oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here I had like to have dipped all my
cargo into the sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep-that is to say, sloping-
there was no place to land, but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie
so high, and the other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again.
All that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with
my oar like an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of
ground, which I expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I
found water enough, for my raft drew about a foot of water, I thrust her upon that
flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken oars
into the ground-one on one side, near one end, and one on the other side, near the


other end ; and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo
safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place for my habitation,
and where to stow my goods, to secure them from whatever might happen. Where I
was, I yet knew not; whether on the continent or an island; whether inhabited or
not inhabited; whether in danger of wild beasts or not. There was a hill not above a
mile from me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some other
hills, which lay as in a ridge from it, northward. I took out one of the fowling pieces,
and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder; and thus armed, I travelled for discovery
up to the top of that hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to the
top, I saw my fate, to my great affliction-viz., that I was in an island environed
every way with the sea: no land to be seen except some rocks, which lay a great way
off, and two small islands, less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good reason to
believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts, of which, however, I saw none. Yet I saw
abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed them, could I tell
what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot at a great bird, which
I saw sitting upon a tree, on the side of a great wood. I believe it was the first gun
that had been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no sooner fired, but
from all the parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number of fowls of many
sorts, making a confused screaming and crying, every one according to his usual note,
but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to
be a kind of a hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no talons or claws
more than common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work to bring my
cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of the day : what to do with myself at night
I knew not, nor indeed where to rest, for I was afraid to lie down on the ground, not
knowing but some wild beast might devour me; though, as I afterwards found, there was
really no need for those fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricaded myself round with the chests and boards
that I had brought on shore, and made a kind of hut for that night's lodging. As for
food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three
creatures, like hares, run out of the wood where I shot the fowl.
I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of the ship,
which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such
other things as might come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on board
the vessel, if possible. And as 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 chequered shirt, a pair of linen
drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had
experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I
brought away several things very useful to me; as, first, in the carpenter's stores I
found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of
hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured,

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together with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron
crows, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling piece,
with some small quantity of powder more ; a large bag-full of small shot, and a great roll of
sheet lead ; but this last was so heavy I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-
top sail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and
brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehension during my absence from the land, that at least my
provisions might be devoured on shore; but when I came back, I found no sign of any
visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat, upon one of the chests, which, when I
came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very composed
and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with
me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, she was perfectly
unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of
biscuit, though, by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not great; how-
ever, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled at it, and ate it, and
looked (as pleased) for more; but I thanked her, arid could spare no more : so she
marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore-though I was obliged to open the barrels of
powder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks-I went
to work to make me a little tent, with the sail, and some poles which I cut for that
purpose; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew would spoil either with
rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to
fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within,
and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of the beds upon the
ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night. I was very weary and heavy;
for the night before I had slept little, and had laboured very hard all day, as well to
to fetch those things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one
man; but still I was not satisfied, 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 me for sails, but as mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was, that at 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, three large runlets of rum, or spirits, a box of fine sugar, and a barrel of fine
flour: this was surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions
except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of the bread, and
wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I
got all this safe on shore also, though at several times.
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 cable; cutting the great cable into
pieces such as I could move, I got two cable and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-
work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and
everything I could to make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods and
Came away; but my good luck began to leave me, for this raft was so unwieldy,
-and so overladen, that after I was entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest
,of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and
threw me and all my cargo into the water; as for myself, it was no great harm, for I
was near the shore ; but as to my cargo, it was great part of it lost, especially the
iron, which I expected would have been of great use to me; however, when the tide
was out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infi-
nite labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very
much. After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what I could get.
I had now been thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the
ship, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be sup-
posed capable of bringing; though I verily believe, had the calm weather held, I should
have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece; but preparing the twelfth time to go
on board, I found the wind began to rise : however, at low water I went on board, and
though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually that nothing more could be
found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or
three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and
forks; in another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money-some European coin,
some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. Oh, drug !" said I aloud, what art
thou good for ? Thou art not worth to me-no, not the taking off the ground ; one of
those knives is worth all this heap ; I have no manner of use for thee; e'en remain
where thou art, and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving."
However, upon second thoughts, I took it away ; and wrapping all in a piece of canvas,
I began to think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the
sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh
.gale from the shore. It presently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to
make a raft with the wind off shore; and that it was my business to be gone before
the tide of flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at all.
Accordingly, I let myself down into the water, and swam across the channel which lay
between the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the
weight of the things I had about me, and partly from the roughness of the water; for
the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth about me
very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morning, when I looked out,
behold, no more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with
this satisfactory reflection, 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 anything out of her, except
what might drive on shore from her wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards
,did; but those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against either savages,
if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts


of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make-whether I should
make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon
both; the manner and description of which it may not be improper to give an account of.
I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement, particularly because
it was upon a low moorish ground near the sea, and I believed would not be whole-
some, and more particularly because there was no fresh water near it; so I resolved to
find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation, which I found would be proper for me
first, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned; secondly, shelter from the heat of
the sun ; thirdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; fourthly, a
view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for
my deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish 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 the 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 below this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent.
This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like
a green before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down
into the low ground by the sea-side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill; so that it
was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to the W. and by S. sun, or there-
abouts, which, in those countries, is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow place, which took i!t
about ten yards in its semi-diameter, from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter
from its beginning and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground
till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground above five
feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six inches
from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows,
upon one another, within the circle, between these two rows of stakes, up to the top,
placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could
get into it or over it. This cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut
the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a short ladder to
go over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I
was completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and con-
sequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though, as
it appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that
I apprehended danger from.
Into this fence, or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my riches, all my
provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the account above; and I
made me a large tent also, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year
are very violent there. I made it double-viz., one smaller tent within, and one larger
tent above it; and covered the uppermost part of it with a large tarpaulin, which I had
save&. among the sails.



And now I lay no more for awhile in the bed which I had brought on shore, but
in a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything that would spoil by the
wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I
had left open, and so passed and re-passed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing all
the earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid them up within
my fence, in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about a
foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind my tent, which served me
like a cellar to my house.
It cost me much labour and many days before all these things were brought to per-
fection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took up some of my
thoughts. At the same time it occurred, after I had laid my scheme for the setting
up the tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick, dark
cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that, a great clap of thunder,
as is naturally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning,
as I was with the thought which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning
itself, Oh, my powder !" My very heart sank within me when I thought that, at one


blast, all my powder might be destroyed; on which not my defence only, but the
providing me food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was nothing near so anxious
about my own danger; though, had the powder took fire, I had never known who had
hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that, after the storm was over, I laid aside
all my work, my building and fortifying, and applied myself to make bags and boxes
to separate my powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hopes,
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 one hundred and
forty pounds weight, was divided into no less than a hundred parcels. As to the barrel
that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that; so I placed it in my
new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down in
holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully where
I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least once every
day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to see if I could kill 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, viz., that they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most
difficult Ihing in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged at this, not
doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had
found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them : I observed if they
saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would run away, as in a
terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they
took no notice of me; from whence I concluded, that by the position of their optics,
their sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily see objects that were
above them; so afterwards I took this method-I always climbed the rocks first, to
get above them, and then had frequently a fair mark.
The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had .a little
kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; for, when the old one
fell, the kid stood stock still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only so, but
when I carried the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to
my enclosure; upon which, I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and
carried it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame ; but it would not eat; so I
was forced to kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great
while, for I eat sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as much as
I possibly 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 account of in its place; but I
must now give some little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which, it
maywell be supposed, were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not cast away upon that island
without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the course of our
intended voyage, and a great way, viz., some hundreds of leagues, out of the ordinary
course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a determination of


Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life.
The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections ; and some-
times I would- expostulate with myself why Providence should thus completely ruin its
creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, and so
entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts, and to
reprove me; and particularly one day walking with my gun in my hand by the sea-
side, I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when Reason, as it
were, put in expostulating 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 not they saved, and you
lost ? Why are you singled out ? Is it better to be here or there ?" And then I
pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them and
with what worse attended 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 first she struck, and was driven so
near to the shore, that I had time to get all these things out of her ? What would have
been my case, if I had been forced to have lived in the condition in which I at first
came on shore, without necessaries of life, or any means to supply and procure them ?
' Particularly," said I aloud (though to myself), "what should I have done without a
gun, without ammunition, without any tools to make anything, or to work with ? with-
out clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of coverings ?" and that now I had all these
to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a manner as to
live without my gun, when my ammunition was spent: so that I had a tolerable view
of subsisting without any want as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning
how I would provide for the accidents that might happen, and for the time that was to
come, even not only after my ammunition should be spent, but even after my health
and strength should decay.
I confess I had not then entertained any notion of my ammunition being destroyed
at one blast-I mean, my powder being blown up by lightning; and this made the
thoughts of it surprising to me, when it lightened aid 'thundered, as I observed just
And now, being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent life, such,
perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning,
and continue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September, when, in
the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun being
to us in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head : for I reckoned myself,
by observation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north of
the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my thoughts that I
should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen, and ink, and should even
forget the Sabbath-day from the working-days; but to prevent this, I cut it with my
knife upon a large post, in capital letters; and making it into a great cross, I set it up
on the shore where I first landed, viz., I came on shore here on the 30th of Sep-
tember, 1659."
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and every
seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of the month as long


again as that long one; and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly
reckoning of time.
In the next place, we are to observe, that among the many things which I brought
from the ship in the several voyages which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got
several things of less value, but not at all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper; several parcels in the captain's,
mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical
instruments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I huddled
together, whether I might want them or no: also I found three very good Bibles,
which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among my
things; some Portuguese books also; and, among them, two or three Popish prayer-
books, and several other books; all which I carefully secured. And I must not forget
that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I must have occa-
sion to say something in its place, for I carried both the cats with me; and as for the
dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on shore to me the day after I
went on shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years ; I wanted
nothing that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to me; I only
wanted to have him talk to me, but that he could not do. As I observed before, I found
pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall show that while
my ink lasted, I kept things very exact; but after that was gone I could not, for I could
not make any ink by any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding all that I had
amassed together; and of these, ink was one : as also a spade, pick-axe, and shovel, to
dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread : as for linen, I soon learned to want
that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was near a whole
year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or surrounded habitation. The
piles or stakes, which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and
preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in bringing home; so that I spent sometimes
two days in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it
into the ground; for which purpose, I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last
bethought myself of one of the iron crows; which, however, though I found it, yet 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
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstances I was reduced
to; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so muchto leave them to any
that were to come after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to deliver my
thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind : and as my reason began
now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set
the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse.
and I stated it very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comfort I enjoyed, against
the miseries I suffered, thus:-
I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island; But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship's con-
void of all hope of recovery. pany was.

7 -7

IN :




I am singled out and separated, as it were, But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's crew, to be
from all the world, to be miserable, spared from death; and He that miraculously saved me
from death can deliver me from this condition.
I am divided from mankind, a solitary; But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place,
one banished from human society. affording no sustenance.
I have no clothes to cover me. But I am in a hot climate, where if I had clothes, I could
hardly wear them.
I am without any defence, or means to But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts to,
resist any violence of man or beast. hurt me, as I saw on the coast of Africa; and what if I had
been shipwrecked there ?
I have no soul to speak to or relieve me. But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the.
shore, that I have got out so many necessary things as will
either supply my wants or enable me to supply myself, even
as long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any con-
dition in the world so miserable, but there was something negative, or something positive,
to be thankful for in it : and let this stand as a direction, from the experience of the
most miserable of all conditions in this world-that we may always find in it something
to comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit
side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and giving over looking
out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship; I say, giving over these things, I began to apply
myself to accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the side of a rock,
surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables; but I might now rather call it a
wall, for I raised a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the out-
side : and after some time (I think it was a year and a half) I raised rafters from it,
leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I
could get to keep out the rain, which I found at some times of the year very violent.
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and into the
cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that at first this was a.
confused heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place;
I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and worked farther
into the earth; for it was a loose, sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I
bestowed on it : and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked
sideways, to the right hand, into the rock; and then turning to the right again, worked
quite out, and made me a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it was a back way to my tent and to
my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I most
wanted, particularly a chair and a table ; for without these I was not able to enjoy the
few comforts I had in the world; I could not write, or eat, or do several things with
so much pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe that as reason is the substance
and original of the mathematics, so by stating and squaring everything by reason,
and by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time,
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life; and yet,,
in time, by labour, application, and contrivance, I found, at last, that I wanted
nothing but I could have made it, especially if I had had tools. However, I made
abundance of things, even without tools; and some with no more tools than an adze


and a hatchet, which, perhaps, were never made that way before, and that with infinite
labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree,
set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I had brought
it to be as thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this
method I could make but one board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for
but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it
took me up to make a plank or board ; but my time or labour was little worth, and so
it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the first place;
and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought on my raft from the
ship. But when I had wrought out some boards as above, I made large shelves, of the
breadth of a foot and an half, one over another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all
my tools, nails, and iron-work on; and, in a word, to separate everything at large into
their places, that I might come easily at them : also I knocked pieces into the wall of the
rock, to hang my guns and all things that would hang up : so that had my cave been to
be seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary things 3 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 when I began to keep a journal of every day's employment; for,
indeed, at first, I was in too much hurry, and not only an hurry as to labour, but in too
much discomposure of mind ; and my journal would have been full of many dull things :
for example, I must have said thus : Sept. the 30th.-After I had got to shore, and had
escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first
vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and
recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore wringing my hands and beating my
head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out I was undone, undone! till,
tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep,
for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and had got all I
could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and
looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship : then fancy at a vast distance I spied
a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and then, after looking steadily, till I was
almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my
misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having settled my house-
hold stuff and habitation, made me a table and a chair, and all as handsome about me
as I could, I began I say to keep my journal; of which I shall here give you the copy
(though in it will be told all these particulars over again), as long as it lasted; for at
last, having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.

September 30, 1659.-1, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during
a dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which
I called "The Island of Despair;" all the rest of the ship's company being drowned,.
and myself almost dead.
All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal circumstances I was
brought to; viz., I had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and, in
despair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me: either that I should be devoured


by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want of food. At the
approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures; but slept soundly, though
it rained all night.
October 1.-In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship had floated with
the high tide, and was driven on shore again, much nearer the island; which, as it was
some comfort, on one hand (for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped,
if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her
for my relief), so, on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades,
who, I imagined, if we had all stayed on board, might have saved the ship, or, at least,
that they would not have been all drowned, as they were; and that, had the men been
saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship, to have
carried us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing
myself on these things; but, at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand
as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day also it continued raining, though
with no wind at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th.-All these days entirely spent in many several
voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood,
upon rafts. Much rain also, in these days, though with some intervals of fair weather;
but it seems this was the rainy season.
Oct. 24.-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
:ime the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing a little harder than before, and was no
oaore 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 saved, that the rain might not spoil them.
Oct. 26.-I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my
habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from
wild beasts or men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place, under a rock, and
marked out a 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 30th, I worked very hard in carrying all my goods to my new
habitation, though some part of the time it rained exceeding hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gun, to see for some
food, and discover the country; when I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home,
which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.
November 1.-I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the first night;
making it as large as I could, with stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2.-I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of timber which made
my rafts, and with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had marked
out for my fortification.
Nov. 3.-I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks, which were very
good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me a table.
Nov. 4.-This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my
gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion; viz., every morning I walked out with my
gun for two or three hours, if it did not rain; then employed myself to work till about
eleven o'clock; then ate what I had to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down to



sleep, the weather being excessive hot; and then, in the evening, to work again.
The working part of this day and the next were wholly employed in making this table,
for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a com-
plete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do any one else.
Nov. 5.-This day I 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 surprised, and almost frighted, with
two or three seals, which, while I was gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got
into the sea, and escaped me for that time.
Nov. 6.-After my morning walk, I went to work with my table again, and
finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it long before I learned to mend it.
Nov. 7.-Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and
part of the 12th (for the 1lth was Sunday according to my reckoning), I took wholly
up to make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never
to please me; and even in the making I pulled it to pieces several times.
Note.-I soon neglected keeping Sundays; for,'omitting my mark for them on my
post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13.--This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the
-earth; but it was accompanied. with terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me


dreadfully, for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate my
stock of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, 16.-These three days I spent in making little square chests, or boxes,
which might hold about a pound, or two pounds at most, of powder; and so, putting
the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as possible.
On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I knew not
what to call it.
Nov. 17.-This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock, to make room for
my further conveniency.
Note.-Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work; viz., 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 the 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 labour, and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home,
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.
effeatually by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade; the handle exactly
shaped like ours in England, only that the board 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 making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket, or a wheelbarrow. A basket I could
not make by any means, having no such things as twigs that would bend to make
wicker-ware-at least, none yet found out; and as to the wheelbarrow, I fancied I could
make all but the wheel; but that I had no notion of; neither did I know how to go.
about it; besides, I had no possible way to make iron gudgeons for the spindle or-
axis of the wheel to run in; so I gave it over, and so, for carrying away the earth which
I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod, which the labourers carry mortar,
in, when they serve the bricklayers. This was not so difficult to me as the making the
shovel; and yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain to make a
wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days, I mean always excepting my morning's.
walk with my gun, which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also of bringing home
something fit to eat.
Nov. 23.-My other work having 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 a lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet season of the
year, it rained so hard, that I could not 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 10.-I began now to think my cave or vault finished, when on a sudden


(it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of earth fell down from the top and
one side; so much that, in short, it frighted me, and not without reason, too; for if I
had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-digger. Upon this disaster I had a
great deal of work to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out; and, which
was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no more
would come down.
Dec. 11.-This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got two shores or posts
pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of board across over each post; this I
finished the next day, and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more
I had the roof secured ; and the posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to
part off my house.
Dec. 17.-From this day to the 20th I placed shelves, and knocked up nails on the
posts, to hang 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 began to furnish my house
and set up some pieces of board like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but board
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 catched it, and led it
home in a string; when I had it at home, I bound and splintered up its leg, which was
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
were all spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30, 31.-Great heats, and no breeze, so that there was no stirring
abroad, except in the evening, for food; this time I spent in putting all my things in
order within doors.
Jan. 1.--ery 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 ex-
ceedingly shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try if I could not bring
my dog to hunt them down.
Jan. 2.-Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog, and set him upon the
goats; but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon the dog, and he knew his
danger too well, for he would not come near them.
Jan. 3.-I began my fence, or wall; which, being still jealous of my being attacked
by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and strong.
N.B.-This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was said in the
Journal; it is sufficient to observe that I was no less time than from the 3rd 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 till this wall was
finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour 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 needed to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double-fenced, with a turf wall raised
up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any people were to come on shore there, they
would not perceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may
be observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time I made rounds in the woods for game every day, when the
rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these walks of something or other
to my advantage; particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as
wood pigeons in a tree, but rather as house pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking
some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they
grew older they flew all away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding them, for I
had nothing to give them; however, I frequently found their nests, and got their young
ones, which were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting
in many things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to make;
as, indeed, as to some of them it was: for instance, I could never make a cask
to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before; but I could
never arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks about
it; I could neither put in the heads, nor join the staves so true to one another as to
make them hold water; so I gave that also over.
In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles; so that as soon as it
was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I
remembered the lump of bees'-wax with which I made candles in my African
adventure; but I had none of that now; the only remedy I had was, that
when I had killed a goat I saved the tallow, and with a little dish made of clay,
which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a
lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear steady light like a candle. In the
middle of all my labours it happened that, rummaging my things, I found a little bag,
which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the feeding of poultry-not for
this voyage, but before, asI suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon. What little re-
mainder of corn had been in the bag was all devoured by the rats, and I saw nothing in
the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some other use (I
think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some
such 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 some-
thing green shooting upon 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, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had



befallen me, otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God, without
so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley grow there in a climate which
I knew was not proper for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there, it
startled me strangely, and I began to suggest that God had miraculously caused this
grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my
sustenance in that wild, miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes, and I began to
bless myself that such a prodigy of Nature should happen upon my account; and this
was the more strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the
rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew,
because I had seen it grow in Africa, when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my support, but not
doubtingg but that there was more in the place, I went all over that part of the island where
I had been before, peering 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 thoughts, that I had shaken the
bag of chickens' meat out in that place; and the wonder began to cease; and I must
confess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too, upon the
discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have
been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen providence, as if it had been
miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence as to me, that should order or
appoint that ten or twelve grains of corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had
,destroyed all the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven; as also that I should
throw it out into 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 would allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and
,even then but sparingly, as I shall say afterwards, in its order; for I lost all that I
sowed the first season, by not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just before the
dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would have done : of which
in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I
preserved with the same care, and whose use was of the same kind, or to the same
purpose, viz., 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 14th of April, I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over a
wall, by a ladder, that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
April 16.-1 finished the ladder; so I.went up the ladder to the top, and then
pulled it up after me, and let it down on the inside: this was a complete enclosure to
me; for within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without,
unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost had all my labour
overthrown at once, and myself killed. The case was thus:-As I was busy in the


inside of it, behind my tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened
with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed: for, all on a sudden, I found the earth
came tumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head,
and two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner. I was
heartily scared; but thought nothing of what really was the cause, only thinking that
the top of my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before : and for fear I should
-be buried in it, I ran forwards 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, than I plainly saw it
was a terrible earthquake; for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight
minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest
building that could be supposed to have stood upon the earth ; and a great piece of the
top of the rock, which stood about half a mile from me, next the sea, fell down with
.such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life. I perceived also the very sea
was put into a 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 dis-
coursed with any one that had, that I was like one dead or stupefied; and the motion
of the earth made my stomach sick like one that was tossed at sea ; but the noise of the
falling of the rock awaked me as it were, and rousing me from the stupefied condition
I was in, filled me with horror, and I thought of nothing 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 still sat upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not
knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least serious religious thought;
nothing but the common Lord, have mercy upon me ]" and when it was over, that
-went away too.
While I sat tnus, I found the air overcast, and it grew cloudy, as if it would rain;
:soon after that, the wind arose by little and little, so that in less than half an hour it
blew a most dreadful hurricane of wind : the sea was, all on a sudden, covered 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. This held about three hours, and
then began to abate; and then in two hours more it was calm, and began to rain very
hard. All this while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and dejected; when
on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequences
of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into
my cave again. With this thought, my spirits began to revive; and the rain also
helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so
violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and -I was forced to go
into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head.
'This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz., to cut a hole through my new fortifi-
-cations, like a sink, to let the 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 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 to do; concluding, that if the island was subject
to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of
building me some little hut in an open place which I might surround with a wall, as
I had done here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men; for I concluded
if I stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to move my tent from the place where it now-
stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill; and which, if it should
be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent : and I spent the two next days,
being the 19th 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 apprehensions of lying abroad without any fence were almost equal to it :
but still, when I looked about, and saw how everything was put in order, how pleasantly
concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me 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 contented to run the venture where I was, till I had formed a camp for
myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it. So with this resolution I composed
myself for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a.
wall with piles ai-d cables, &c., in a circle, as before, and set my tent up in it, when it
was finished; but that I would venture to stay where I was till it was finished, and
fit to remove to. This was the 21st.
April 22.-The next morning I began to consider of means to put this resolve in
execution; but I was at a great loss about my tools. I had three large axes, and
abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians); but
with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches, and
dull; and though I had a 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.
Note.-I had not seen any such thing in England, or at least not to take notice
how it was done, though since I have observed it was very common there; besides that,
my grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to
bring it to perfection.
April 28, 29.-These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine-
for turning my grindstone performing very well.
April 30.-Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, I now took a
survey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very
May 1.-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.


-te~- --


When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely removed. 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 of her, was tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side; and the sand
was thrown so high on that side next the 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 earthquake;
and as by this violence the ship was more broken open than formerly, so many things
came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened, and which the winds and water
rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my habitation,
and I busied myself mightily, that day especially, in searching whether I could make
any way into the ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for
that all the inside of the ship was choked up with sand. However, as I had learned
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 say, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I
thought held some of the upper part or quarter deck together, and when I had cut


it through, I cleared away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest;
but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for that time.
May 4.-I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was
weary of my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had
made me a long line of some rope-yarn, but I had no hooks; yet I frequently caught
fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.
May 5.-Worked on the wreck; cut another beam asunder, and brought three great
fir planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made swim on shore when
the tide of flood came on.
May 6.-Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her, and other pieces
of iron-work; worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of
giving it over.
May 7.-Went to the wreck again, with an intent not to work, but found the
weight of the wreck had broken 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 it was almost full of water and sand.
May 8.-Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck
which lay now quite clear of the water or sand. I wrenched open two planks, and
brought them on shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for next
May 9.--Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the body of the
wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with the crow, but could not break
them up. I felt also a roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to
IMay 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.-Went every day to the wreck; and got a great deal of
pieces of timber, and boards, or planks, and two or three hundredweight 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 blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by
the force of the water; but I stayed so long in the woods, to get pigeons for food, that
the tide prevented 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 they were pieces of
the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.
May 24.-Every day, to this day; I worked on the wreck; and with hard labour I
loosened some things so much with the crow, that the first flowing 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 the sand had spoiled it. I continued this
work every day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food, which I
always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be 'vhen 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 one hundredweight of the sheet-lead.
June 16.-Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tortoise, or turtle. This was
the first I had seen, which, it seems, was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place;


or the scarcity; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have
had hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards; but perhaps had paid dear
enough for them.
June 17 I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her threescore eggs; and her
flesh was to me, at that time, the most savoury and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life,
having had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrible place.
June 18.-Rained all the 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.
June 19.-Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
June 20.-No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and feverish.
June 21.-Very ill; frighted almost to death with the apprehensions of my sad
condition-to be sick, and no help : prayed to God, for the first time since the storm,
off of Hull, but scarce knew what I said or why; my thoughts being all confused.
June 22.-A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of sickness.
June 23.-Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent headache.
June 24.-Much better.
June 25.-An ague very violent: the fit held me seven hours; cold fit, and hot
with faint sweats after it.
June 26.-Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun,'but found myself
very weak; however, I killed a she-goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and
broiled some of it, and ate. I would fain have stewed it, and made some broth, but had
no pot.
June 27.-The ague again so violent that I lay a-bed all day, and neither ate nor
drank. I was ready to perish for thirst; but so weak I had no 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 awake
till far in the night. When I awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and
-exceeding thirsty; however, as I had no water in my whole habitation, I was forced to lie
till morning, and went to sleep again. In this second sleep, I had this terrible dream:
I thought that I was sitting on the ground, on the outside of my wall, where I sat when
the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a man descend from a great black
.cloud, in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground : he was all over as bright as
a flame, so that I could but just bear to look towards him : his countenance was most
inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe; when he stepped upon the ground
with his feet, I thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake,
and all the air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with flashes of fire.
He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved forwards towards me, with a long
spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some
distance, he spoke to me-or I heard a voice so terrible that it is 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 terrible vision. I mean, that even while it was a dream,
I even dreamed of those horrors. Nor is it any more possible to describe the impression
that remained upon my mind when I awaked, and found it was but a dream.


I had, alas! no divine knowledge. What I had received by the good instruction of
my father was then worn out by an uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring
wickedness, and a constant conversation with none but such as were, like myself, wicked
and profane to the last degree. I do not remember that I had, in all that time, one
thought that so much as tended either to looking upwards towards God, or inwards
towards a reflection upon my own ways; but a certain stupidity of soul, without desire
of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely overwhelmed me; and I was all that the most
hardened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors can be supposed to
be-not having the least sense, either of the fear of God in dangers, or of thankfulness
to God in deliverances.
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more easily believed
when I shall add, that through all the variety of miseries that had to this day befallen
me, I never had so much as one thought of its being the hand of God, or that it was a
just punishment for my sins-my rebellious behaviour against my father-or my
present sins, which were great-or so much as a punishment for the general course of
my wicked life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert shores of
Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what would become of me, or one wish
to God to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which
apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel savages; but I
was merely thoughtless of God or a Providence-I acted like a mere brute, from the
principles of nature, and by the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly that.
When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the Portugal captain, well used, and dealt
justly and honourably with, as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness in
my thoughts. When, again, I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on
this island, I was as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment. I only said to
myself often, that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always miserable.
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's crew drowned, and
myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of ecstacy, and some transports of soul, which,
had the grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness; but it ended
where it began, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was
alive, without the least reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the Hand which had
preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved when all the rest were destroyed,
or an inquiry why Providence had been thus merciful to me. Even just the same
common sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they have got safe ashore from a
shipwreck, all which they drown in the next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon
as it is over; and all the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was afterwards, on due
consideration, made sensible of my condition, how I was cast on this dreadful place, out
of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption, as soon
as I saw a probability of living, and that I should not starve and perish for hunger,
all the sense of my affliction wore off; and I began to be very easy, applied myself
to the works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from being
afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the hand of God against
me: these were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my journal, had, at first, some little
influence upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness, as long as I thought it had
something miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was removed,
all the impression which was raised from it wore off also, as I have noted already. Even
the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible in its nature, or more imme-



diately directing to the invisible Power which alone directs such things, yet no sooner
was the first fright over, but the impression it had made went off also. I had no more
sense of God, or His judgments--much less of the present affliction of my circumstances
being from His hand-than if I had been in the most prosperous condition of life.
But now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the miseries of death came
to place itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under the burden of a strong
distemper, and nature was exhausted with the violence of the fever, conscience, that
had slept so long, began to awake, and I began to reproach myself with my past life, in
which I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness, provoked the justice of God to lay
me under uncommon strokes, and to deal with me in so vindictive a manner. These
reflections oppressed me from the second or third day of my distemper; and in the
violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted
some words from me like praying to God, though I cannot say they were either a prayer
attended with desires or with hopes : it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress.
My thoughts were confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror of
dying in such a miserable condition raised vapours into my head with the mere appre-
hensions; and in these hurries of my soul, I knew not what my tongue might express.
But it was rather exclamation, such as, Lord, what a miserable creature am I! If I
should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help, and what will become of me? "
Then, the tears burst out of my eyes, and I could say no more for a good while. In this
interval, the good advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his prediction,
which I mentioned at the beginning of this story, viz., that if I did take this foolish
step, God would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having
neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist me in my recovery. Now,'
said I aloud, "my dear father's words are come to pass; God's justice has overtaken
me, and I have none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence, which had
mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and
easy; but I would neither see it myself, nor learn to know the blessing of it from my
parents. I left them to mourn over my folly; and now I am left to mourn under the
consequences of it. I refused their help and assistance, who would have lifted me into
the world, and would have made everything easy to me ; and now I have difficulties
to struggle with too great for even nature itself to support, and no assistance, no help,
no comfort, no advice." Then I cried out, "Lord, be my help, for I am in great
distress." This was the first prayer, if I might call it so, that I had made for many
years. But I return to my Journal:-
June 28.-Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had, and the fit
being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright and terror of my dream was very
great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague would return again the next day, and
now was my time to get something to refresh and support myself when I should be ill.
and the first thing I did, I filled a large square case-bottle with water, and set it upon
my table, in reach of my bed; and to take off the chill or aguish disposition of the
water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together. Then
I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very little
I walked about, but was very weak, and withal very sad and heavy-hearted in the
sense of my miserable condition, 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 out but a little way, and
sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and very
calm and smooth. As I sat here, some thoughts such as these occurred to me:-What.
is the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much? Whence is it produced? And
what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal? Whence
are we ? Sure we are all made by some secret Power, who formed the earth and sea,
the air and sky. And who is that? Then it followed most naturally, It is God that
has made it all. Well, but then, it came on strongly, if God has made all these things,
he guides and governs them all, and all things that concern them; for the Being that
could make all things must certainly have power to guide and direct them. If so,
nothing can happen in the great circuit of his works, either without his knowledge or
And if nothing happens without his knowledge, he knows that I am here, and
am in this dreadful condition; and if nothing happens without his appointment, he
has appointed all this to befall me. Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any
of these conclusions, and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force, that it must
needs be that God had appointed all this to befall me; that I was brought to this
miserable circumstance by his direction, he having the sole power, not of me only, but
of everything that happened in the world. Immediately it followed,-Why has God
done this to me ? What have I done to be thus used ? My conscience presently checked
me in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me like a voice,
" Wretch dost thou ask what thou hast done ? Look back upon a dreadful misspent
life, and ask thyself, what thou hast not done? Ask, why is it that thou wert not
long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads? killed in the.
fight, when the ship was taken by the Sallee man-of-war? devoured by the wild beasts
off the coast of Africa ? or drowned here, when all the crew perished but thyself? Dost
thou ask, What have .I done?" I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one
astonished, and had not a word to say,-no, not to answer to myself, but rose up
pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went up over my wall, as if I had been.
going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to sleep;
so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, as the
apprehensions of the return of my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my
thought, that the Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for almost all distempers,
and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, which was quite cured, and.
some also that was green, and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt; for in this chest I found a cure both for soul
and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, viz., the tobacco; and as the
few books I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned
before, and which to this time I had not found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look
into. I say, I took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, or whether it was good.
for it or no; but I tried several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should heal
one way or other. I first took a piece of leaf, and chewed it in my mouth, which, indeed,
at first, almost stupefied my brain, the tobacco being green and strong, and that I had
not been much 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, as-


well for the heat as the virtue of it, and I held it almost to suffocation. In the interval of
this operation, I took up the Bible, and began to read; but my head was too much dis-
turbed with the tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only, having opened the
book casually, the words first that occurred to me were these, Call upon me in the day
of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." These words were very
apt to my case, and made some impression upon my thoughts at the time of reading them,
though not so much as they did afterwards; for, as for being delivered, the word had no
sound, as I may say, to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension
of things, that I began to say, as the children of Israel did when they were promised
flesh to eat, Can God spread a table in the wilderness ?" so I began to say, Can God
himself deliver me from this place ?" And as it was not for many years that any hopes
appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts; but, however, the words made
a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It grew now late, and
the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much that I inclined to sleep; so I left
my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night, and went to
bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life; I kneeled
down, and prayed to God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon him in the
day of trouble, he would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was over,
I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco, which was so strong and rank of
the tobacco, that indeed I could scarcely 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, by the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the
afternoon the next day: nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion that I slept all the
next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise, I know not how
I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared some
years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and re-crossing the line, I should
have lost more than one day; but in my account it was lost, and I never knew
which way. Be that, however, one way or other, when I awaked I found myself
exceedingly refreshed, .and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I got up I was
stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I was hungry; and, in
short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the better. This was
the 29th.
The 30th was my well day, of course, and I went abroad with my gun, but did not
care to travel too far. I killed a 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, viz., 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 1st of July, as
I hoped I should have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it was not
July 2.-I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and dosed myself with it as
at first, and doubled the quantity which I drank.
July 3.-I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not recover my full strength
for some weeks after. While I was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceed-
ingly upon this Scripture, I will deliver- thee;" and the impossibility of my
deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever expecting it; but as I was
discouraging myself with such thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much



'upon my 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, viz.,
Have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness ? from the most dis-
tressed 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 deliverance; 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
July 4.-In the morning, I took the Bible; and beginning at the New Testament,
I began seriously to read it, and imposed upon myself to read 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 seriously to this work, till
I found my heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past
life. The impression of my dream revived; and the words, "All these things have
not brought thee to repentance," ran seriously in my thoughts. I was earnestly
begging of God to give me repentance, when it happened providentially, the very day,
5 65


that, reading the Scripture, I came to these words: He is exalted a Prince and a-
Saviour, to give repentance and to give remission. I threw down the book ; and
with my heart as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstacy of joy,
I cried out aloud, Jesus, thou Son of David Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour !
give ifme repentance !" This was the first time I could say, in the true sense of the'
words, that I prayed in all my life; for now I prayed with a sense of my condition,
and with a true Scripture view of hope, founded on the encouragement of the word of
God; and from this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began .to construe the words mentioned above, Call on me, and I will
deliver thee," in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had'
no notion of anything being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the captivity
I was in : for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly
a prison to me, and that in the worst sense in the world. But now I learned to take
it in another sense : now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my
sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the-
load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing ;
I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of no,
consideration, in comparison of this. And I added this part here, to hint to whoever
shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliver-
ance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.
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, my health and strength
returned, I bestirred myself to furnish myself with everything that I wanted, and make
my way of living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in walking about with my
gun in my hand, a little and a little at a time, as a man that was gathering up his-
strength after a fit of sickness : for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to
what weakness I was reduced. The application which I made use of was perfectly new,
and perhaps what had never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to any
one to practise, 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 learned 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 a 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 now been in this unhappy island above ten months; all possibility of de-
liverance 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 see what other productions I might find, which yet I
knew nothing of.
It was the 15th of July that I began to take a more particular survey of the
island itself. I went up the creek first, where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore.
I found, after I qame about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any higher; and


that it was no more than a little brook of running water, and very fresh and good : but
this being the dry season, there was hardly any water in 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 of 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 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
of plants which I should discover; but could bring it to no conclusion : for, in short, I
had made so little observation while I was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants
of the field ; at least, very little that might serve me to any purpose now in my distress.
The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and after going something
further than I had gone the day before, I found the brook and savannas 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
exceeding 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 wholesome 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 contrivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well; and the next morning
proceeded upon my discovery, travelling nearly four miles, as I might judge by the length
of the valley, keeping still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north 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 flourish of spring, that it
looked like a planted garden. I descended a little on the side of that delicious valley,
surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure, though mixed with other afflicting
thoughts, to think that this was all my own; that I was king and lord of all this
country indefeasibly, and had a right of possession; and, 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 I resolved to lay up a store, as
well of grapes as limes and lemons, to furnish myself for the wet season, which I knew


was approaching. In order to do this, I gathered a great heap of grapes in one place,
a lesser heap-in another place, and a great parcel of limes and lemons in another place;
and taking a few of each with me, I 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 19th, I went back, having made me two small bags to bring
home my harvest; but I was surprised when, coming to my heap of grapes, which were
so rich and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread abroad, trodden to pieces,
and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By
this I concluded 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 the fruit-
fulness of that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation; the security from storm
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 removing my habitation, and to look out for a place equally
safe as where now I was situate, if possible, in that pleasant, fruitful part of the
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding fond of it for some time,
the pleasantness of the place tempting me; but when I came to a nearer view of it,
I considered that I was now by the sea-side, where it was at least possible that some-
thing 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 enclose 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 therefore I ought not by
any means to remove. However, I was so enamoured with 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 secure, sometimes two or three nights together, always going over it with a
ladder as before; so that I fancied now I had my country 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 labour, 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 extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower, and began to

~A -.. .

*1 I.

N-6i\t2 =:i



enjoy myself. The 3rd of August, I found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly dried,
and indeed were excellent good raisins of the sun; so I began to take them down from
the trees, and it was very happy that I did so, 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 hence, which was the
14th of August, it rained, more or less, every day till the middle of October, and
sometimes so violently, that I could not stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family; I had been
concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had
been dead, and I heard no more 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; but the young cats were the same kind of
house-breed as 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 ate 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 misfortune, 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 degrees 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 managed myself before, I was in a perfect inclosure; whereas
now, I thought, I lay exposed, and yet I could not perceive that there was any living
thing to fear; the biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a
Sept. 30.-I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my landing. I cast up
the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five
days. I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart for religious exercise, pros-
trating myself on the ground with the most -serious humiliation, confessing my sins to
God, acknowledging his righteous judgment 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 till 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 contented myself to use it more sparingly, and to


-write down only the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing 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 dis.
couraging experiments that I made at all.
I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which I had so
surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of themselves; and I 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 his 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 thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not know when was
the proper time for it, so I sowed about two-thirds of the seed, leaving about a handful
of each. 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 imagined
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, sprang 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 got, I had but
,a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind.
But by this experiment I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when the
proper season was to sow, and that I might expect two seed times and two harvests
every year. While this corn was growing I made a little discovery, which was of use to me
.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, 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 willow-tree usually shoots the first year after loppirg
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 up to grow as much alike as I could; and it is scarcely credible how
beautiful a figure they grew into, in three years; so that though the hedge made a circle
.of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet the trees, for such 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 generally thus :-


The half of February, the whole of March, and the half of April-rainy, the sun being
then on or near the equinox.
The half of April, the whole of May, June, and July, and the half of August-dry,
the sun being then to the north of the line.
The half of August, the whole of September, and the half of October-rainy, the sun
being then come back.
The half of October, the whole of November, December, and January, and the half
of.February-dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy seasons 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.
consequence 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 months. In this time I found much employment, and very
suitable also to the time, for I found great occasion of many things which I had no
way to-furnish myself with but by hard labour 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 officious to help, and a great observer of the manner
how they worked those things, and sometimes lent 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 that grew
might possibly be as tough as the sallows, 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 strong, deep
baskets to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come to have any
quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about it, I bestirred
myself to see, if possible, how to supply two wants. I had no vessel 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 water, 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.it for-viz., to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing I
fain would have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible for me to make one;
however, I found a contrivance for that, too, at last. I employed myself in planting
my second row of stakes or piles, and 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



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, a hatchet, and my
dog, and, a larger quantity of powder and shot than usual, with two biscuit-cakes and
a. great bunch of raisins in my pouch for my store, I began my journey. When
I had passed the .vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view of the
sea to the west, and it being a very clear day, I fairly described land-whether an island
or a continent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from the W. 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, otherwise than that I knew it
must be part of America, and, as I concluded, by all my observations, must be near the
Spanish dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I should have
landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now; and therefore I acquiesced in the

I' U' A&~


-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 the Brazils, which were indeed the worst of savages; for they are canni-
bals, and fail not to murder and devour all the human bodies that fall into their hands.
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 savannah 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 painstaking, catch a young parrot, for
I knocked it down with a stick, and having recovered it, I brought it home; but it was
.some years before I could make him speak; however, at last, I taught him to call me
by my name very familiarly. But the accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will
be very diverting in its 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 the other kinds
I had met with, nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several. But I
had no need to be venturous, for I had no want of food, and of that which was very
good, too, especially these three sorts, viz., goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise, which,
-added to my grapes, Leadenhall Market could not have furnished a table better than I,
in proportion to the company; and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had
great cause for thankfulness that I was not driven to any extremities for food, but had
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 I either
reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes set upright in the
:ground, either from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me
without waking me. As soon as I came to the sea-shore I was surprised to see that I had
taken up my lot on the worst side of the island, for here, indeed, the shore was
-covered with innumerable turtles, whereas on the other side I had found but three in
.a year and a half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds, some of
which I had 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 sparing 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 goats here, more 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, and 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 journey,
and from home. However, I travelled along the shore of the sea towards the east, I
suppose about twelve miles, and then setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark,
I concluded I would go home again, and that the next journey I took should be on the


other side of the island east from my dwelling, and so round till I came to my post
again, of which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could easily keep all
the island so much in my view, that I could not miss finding my first dwelling by
viewing the country; but I found myself mistaken, for, being come about two or three
miles, I found myself descended into a very large valley, but so surrounded with hills,
-and those hills covered with wood, that I could not see which was my way by any
direction but that of the sun, nor even then, unless I knew very well the position of
the sun at that time of the day. It happened, to my further 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 uncomfortable 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, ammu-
nition, hatchet, and other things, very heavy.
In this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it, and I running in
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 to 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 my old hutch, and
lie down in my hammock-bed. This little wandering journey, without 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 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 hal pent in V Ithin my little
circle, and resolved to go and fetch it home, or give it some food; accordingly I went, and
found it where I left it, for indeed it could not get out, but was almost starved for want
.of food. I went and cut boughs of trees, an,. branches of such shrubs as I could find,
and threw them over, and having fed it, I tied it as I did before, to lead it away; but
it was so tame with being hungry, that I had no need to have tied it, for i. followed me
like a dog; and as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving, 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 30th o,
September in the same solemn manner as before, being the anniversary of my landing
on the island, having- now been there two years, and no more prospect of being
delivered than the first day I came there. I spent the whole day in humble and thankful
acknowledgments 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 that it was


possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have been in
a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world: that He could fully make
up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by his
presence, and the communication of his grace to my soul; supporting, comforting, and
encouraging me to depend upon his providence here, and hope for his eternal presence
It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy the life I now led
was, with all its miserable circumstances, than tlie wicked, cursed, abominable life I led
all the past part of my days; and now having changed both my sorrows and my joys;
my very desires altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my delights were per-
fectly new from what they were at first coming, or, indeed, for the two years past.
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the
anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very
heart would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in,
and how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an
uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composures
of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring my
hands, and weep like a child: sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work,
and I would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for an hour or
two together; and this was still worse to me, for if I could burst out into tears, or vent
myself by words, it would go off, and the grief having exhausted itself would abate.
But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of
God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very
sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake
thee." Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they
be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my con-
dition, as one forsaken of God and man ? "Well, then," said I, "if God does not
forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world
should all forsake me, seeing, on the other hand, if I had all the world, and should lose
:the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss ?"
From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to
be more' happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it was probable I should ever
have been in any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going
to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place. I know not what it was, but
something shocked my mind at that thought, and I durst iot speak the words. How
canst thou become such a hypocrite," said I, even audibly, to pretend to be thankful
for a condition, which, however thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, thou
wouldst rather pray heartily to be delivered from ?" So I stopped there; but though I
could not say I thanked God for being there, yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for
opening my eyes, by whatever afflicting providence, to see the former condition of my
life, and to mourn for my wickedness, and repent. I never opened the Bible, or shut
it, but my very soul within me blessed God for directing my friend in England, without
any order of mine, to pack it up among my goods, and for assisting me afterwards to
save it out of the wreck of the ship.
Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year; and though I have
not given the reader the trouble of so particular an account of my works this year as
the first; yet in general it may be observed that I was very seldom idle, but having
regularly divided my time according to several daily employment that were before

S- -- -.-" "'; '"J 1
--_-_ ,
o .': ,,




me, such as, first, my duty to God, and the reading the Scriptures, which I constantly
set apart some time for, thrice every day 3 secondly, the going abroad with my gun for
food, which generally took up three hours in every morning, when it did not rain;
thirdly, the ordering, curing, preserving, and cooking what I had killed or caught for
my supply : these took up great part of the day; also, it is to be considered, that in the
middle of the day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was too.
great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the time I could be-
supposed to work in, with this exception, that sometimes I changed my hours of
hunting and working, and went to work in the morning, and abroad with my gun in
the afternoon.
To this short time allowed for labour, I desire maybe added the exceeding laborious-
ness of my work; the many hours which for want of tools, want of help, and want of
skill, everything I did took up out of my time: for example, I was full two-and-
forty days in making a board for a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave; whereas
two sawyers, with their tools and a saw-pit, would have cut six of them out of the same
tree in half a day.
My case was this : it was to be a large tree which was to be cut down, because my
board was to be a broad one. This tree I was three days a cutting down, and two.
more cutting off the boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. With inex-
pressible hacking and hewing, I reduced both the sides of it into chips till it began to
be light enough to move; then I turned it, and made one side of it smooth and fat as
a board from end to end; then turning that side downward, cut the other side till I
brought the plank to be about three inches thick, and smooth on both sides. Any one
may judge the labour of my hands in such a piece of work; but labour and patience
carried me through that, and many other things; I only observe this in particular, to
show the reason why so much of my time went away with so little work, viz., that what
might be a little to be done with help and tools, was a vast labour and required a pro-
digious time to do alone, and by hand. But notwithstanding this, with patience and
labour, I went through many things, and indeed everything that my circumstances made
necessary to me to do, as will appear by what follows.
I was now in the months of November and December, expecting my crop of barley
and rice. The ground I had manured or dug up for them was not great; for, as I
observed, my seed of each was not above the quantity of half a peck, for I had lost one
whole crop by sowing in the dry season : but now my crop promised very well, when on
a sudden I found I was in danger of losing it all again by enemies of several sorts,
which it was scarcely possible to keep from it; as, first, the goats, and wild creatures
which I called hares, which, tasting the sweetness of the blade, lay in it night and day,
as soon as it came up, and eat it so close that it could get no time to shoot up into
This I saw no remedy for, but by making an inclosure about it with a hedge, which
I did with a great deal of toil, and the more, because it required a great deal of speed;
the creatures daily spoiling my corn. However, as my arable land was but small, suited
to my crop, I got it totally well fenced in about three weeks' time; and shooting some
of the creatures in the day time, I set my dog to guard it in the night, tying him up to
a stake at the gate, where he would stand and bark all night long; so in a little time
the enemies forsook the place, and the corn grew very strong and well, and began to
ripen apace.
But as the beasts ruined me before, while my corn was in the blade, so the birds were


as likely to ruin me now, when it was in the ear; for going along by the place to see-
how it throve, I saw my little crop surrounded with fowls, of I know not how many
sorts, who stood, as it were, watching till I should be gone. I immediately let fly
among them, for I always had my gun with me. I had no sooner shot, but there rose
up a little cloud of fowls, which I had not seen at all, from among the corn itself.
This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that in a few days they would devour all
my hopes ; that I should be starved, and never be able to raise a crop at all; and what.
to do I could not tell; however, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible, though I
should watch it night and day. In the first place, I went among it, to see what damage
was already done, and found they had spoiled a good deal of it; but that as it was yet
too green for them, the loss was not so great, but the remainder was likely to be a good
crop, if it could be saved.
I stayed by it to load my gun, and then coming away, I could easily see the thieves
sitting upon all the trees about me, as if they only waited till I was gone away, and
the event proved it to be so; for as I walked off, as if I was gone, I was no sooner out
of their sight, but they dropped down one by one into the corn again. I was so
provoked that I could not have patience to stay till more came on, knowing that every
grain that they eat now was, as it might be said, a peck-loaf to me in the consequence;
but coming up to the hedge, I fired again, and killed three of them. This was what I
wished for; so I took them up, and served them as we serve notorious thieves in
England, viz., hanged them in chains, for a terror to others. It is impossible to imagine
almost that this should have had such an effect as it had, for the fowls would not only
not come at the corn, but, in short, they forsook all that part of the island, and I could
never see a bird near the place as long as my scarecrows hung there. This I was very
glad of, you may be sure, and about the latter end of December, which was our second
harvest of the year, I reaped my corn.
I was sadly put to it for a scythe or sickle to cut it down, and all I could do was to
make one, as well as I could, out of one of the broad-swords,- or cutlasses, which I saved
among the arms out of the ship. However, as my crop was but small, I had no
great difficulty to cut it down; in short, I reaped it in my way, for I cut nothing off
but the ears, and carried it away in a great basket which I had made, and so rubbed it.
out with my hands ; and at the end of all my harvesting, I found that out of my half-
peck of seed I had near two bushels of rice, and above two bushels and a half of barley;,
that is to say, by my guess, for I had no measure at that time.
However, this was a great encouragement to me, and I foresaw that in time it
would please God to supply me with bread: and yet here I was perplexed again, for
I neither knew how to grind or make meal of my corn, or indeed how to clean it and
part it; nor, if made into meal, how to make bread of it; and if how to make it, yet
I knew not how to bake it; these things being added to my desire of having a good
quantity for store, and to secure a constant supply, I resolved not to taste any of this.
crop, but to preserve it all for seed against the next season; and, in the mean time, to
employ all my study and hours of working to accomplish this great work of providing.
myself with corn and bread.
It might be truly said that now I worked for my bread. It is a little wonderful,.
and what I believe few people have thought much upon, viz., the strange multitude of
little things necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing, making, and finish-
ing this one article of bread.
I, that was reduced to a mere state of nature, found this to my daily discourage-


ment and was made more and more sensible of it every hour, even after I had got the
first handful of seed-corn, which, as I have said, came up unexpectedly, and indeed
to a surprise.
First, I had no plough to turn up the earth; no spade or shovel to dig it. Well,
this I conquered by making me a wooden spade, as I observed before; but this did my
work but in a wooden manner; and though it cost me a great many days to make it,
yet for want of iron, it not only wore out the sooner, but made my work the harder, and
made it be performed much worse. However, this I bore with too, and was content to
work it out with patience, and bear with the badness of the performance. When the
corn was sown, I had no harrow, but was forced to go over it myself, and drag a great
heavy bough of a tree over it, to scratch it, as it may be called, rather than rake or har-
row it. When it was growing, or grown, I have observed already how many things
I wanted to fence it, secure it, mow or reap it, cure and carry it home, thrash, part it
from the chaff, and save it. Then I wanted a mill to grind it, sieves to dress it, yeast
and salt to make it into bread, and an oven to bake it in; and all these things I did
without, as shall be observed; and yet the corn was an inestimable comfort and
advantage to me too. But this, as I said, made everything laborious and tedious to
me; but that there was no help for; neither was my time so much loss to me, because,
as I had divided it, a certain part of it was every day appointed to these works; and
as I had resolved to use none of the corn for bread till I had a greater quantity by me,
I had the next six months to apply myself wholly, by labour and invention, to furnish
myself with utensils proper for the performing all the operations necessary for making
the corn, when I had it, fit for my use.
But first I was to prepare more land, for I had now seed enough to sow above an
acre of ground. Before I did this, I had a week's work at least to make me a spade,
which, when it was done, was but a sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required
double labour to work with it. However, I went through that, and sowed my seed in
two large flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could find them to my mind, and
fenced them in with a good hedge, the stakes of which were all cut of that wood
which I had set before, which I knew would grow; so that, in one year's time, I knew I
should have a quick or living hedge, that would want but little repair. This work was
not so little as to take me up less than three months, because great part of that time
was of the wet season, when I could not go abroad. Within-door, that is when it rained,
and I could not go out, I found employment in the following occupations-always
observing that all the while I was at work I diverted myself with talking to my parrot,
and teaching him to speak; and I quickly learnt him to know his own name, and at last
to speak it out pretty loud, Poll," which was the first word I ever heard spoken in the
island by any mouth but my own. This, therefore, was not my work, but an assistant to
my work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment upon my hands, as follows: viz,
I had long studied, by some means or other, to make myself some earthen vessels, which,
indeed, 1 wanted sorely, but knew not where to come at them. However, considering
the heat of the climate, I did not doubt but if I could find out any clay, I might
botch up some such pot as might, being dried by the sun, be hard enough and strong
enough to bear handling, and to hold anything that was dry, and required to be kept
so; and as this was necessary in preparing corn, meal, &c., which was the thing I was
upon, I resolved to make some as large as I could, and fit only to stand like jars, to hold
-what should be put into them.
It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, to tell low many awkward



ways I took to raise this paste; what odd, misshapen, ugly things I made; how
many of them fell in, and how many fell out-the clay not being stiff enough to
bear its own weight; how many cracked by the over-violent heat of the sun, being
set out too hastily; and how many fell to pieces -with only removing, as well before
as after they were dried; and, in a word, how, after having laboured hard to find
the clay-to dig it, to temper it, to bring it home, and work it-I could not make
above two large earthen ugly things (I cannot call them jars) in about two months
However, as the sun baked these two very dry and hard, I lifted them very
gently up, and set them down again in two great wicker baskets, which I had made
on purpose for them, that they might not break; and as between the pot and the
basket there was a 'little room to spare, I stuffed it full of the rice and barley
straw; and these two pots being to stand always dry, I thought would hold my
4ry corn, and perhaps the meal, when the corn was bruised.
6 81


Though I miscarried so much in my design for large pots, yet I made several
smaller things with better success such as little round pots, flat dishes, pitchers,
and pipkins, and anything my hand turned to; and the heat of the sun baked them
strangely hard.
But all this would not answer my end, which was to get an earthen pot to hold
what was liquid, and bear the fire; which none of these could do. It happened after
some time, making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat, when I went to put it out
after I had done with it, I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels in
the fire, burnt as hard as a stone, and red as a tile. I was agreeably surprised to see
it, and said to myself that certainly tl,:y might be made to burn whole, if they would-
burn broken.
This set me to study how to order my fire so as to make it burn me some pots. I had:
no notion of a kiln, such as the potters burn in, or of glazing them with lead, though I
had some lead to do it with; but I placed three large pipkins, and two or three pots, in
a pile, one upon another, an. placed, my firewood all round it, with a great heap of
embers under them. I plied the fire with fresh fuel round the outside, and upon the
top, till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through, and observed that they did
not crack at all; when I saw them clear red, I let them stand in that heat about five
or six hours, till I found one of them, though it did not crack, did melt or run; for the
sand which was mixed with the clay melted by the violence of the heat, and would
have run into glass if I had gone on; so I slacked my fire gradually till the pots began
to abate of the red colour, and watching them all night, that I might not let the fire
abate too fast, in the morning I had three very good (I will not say handsome) pipkins,
and two other earthen pots, as hard burnt as could be desired, and one of them
perfectly glazed with the running of the sand.
After this experiment, I need not say that I wanted no sort of earthenware for my
use; but I must needs say as to the shapes of them they were very indifferent, as any
one may suppose, when I had no way of making them but as the children make dirt
pies, or as a woman would make pies that never learned to raise paste.
No joy at a thing of so mean a nature was ever equal to mine, when I found I
had made an earthen pot that would bear the fire; and I had hardly patience to stay-
till they were cold before I set one on the fire again, with some water in it, to boil me
some meat, which it did admirably well; and with a piece of a kid I made some very
good broth, though I wanted oatmeal and several other ingredients requisite to make it,
as good as I would have had it.
My next concern was to get me a stone mortar to stamp or beat some corn in ; for
as to the mill, there was no thought of arriving to that perfection of art with one pair
of hands. To supply this want I was at a great loss; for, of all the trades in the world,
I was as perfectly unqualified for a stone-cutter as for any whatever; neither had I
any tools to go about it with. I spent many a day to find out a great stone big enough
to cut hollow, and make fit for a mortar, and could find none at all, except what was in
the solid rock, and which I had no way to dig or cut out; nor indeed were the rocks in
the island of hardness sufficient, but were all of a sandy, crumbling stone, which would-
neither bear the weight of a heavy pestle, nor would break the corn without filling it with.
sand. So, after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave it over, and resolved
to look out a great block of hard wood, which I found indeed much easier; and getting-
one as big as I had strength to stir, I rounded it and formed it on the outside with my
axe and hatchet, and then, with the help of fire and infinite labour, made a hollow place


in it, as the Indians in Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a great heavy
pestle, or beater, of the wood called the iron-wood; and this I prepared and laid by
against I had my next crop of corn, which I proposed to myself to grind, or rather
pound my corn or meal, to make my bread.
My next difficulty was to make a sieve, or sierce, to dress my meal, and to part it
from the bran and the husk; without which I did not see it possible I could have any
bread. This was a most difficult thing, so much as but to think on, for to be sure I had
nothing like the necessary things to make it with; I mean fine thin canvas, or stuff,
to sierce the meal through. And here I was at a full stop for many months; nor did I
really know what to do. Linen I had none left but what was mere rags; I had goats'-
hair, but neither knew I how to weave or spin it; and had I known how, here were no
tools to work it with. All the remedy that I found for this was, that at last I did
remember I had, among the seamen's clothes which were saved out of the ship, some
neckcloths of calico or muslin ; and with some pieces of these I made three small sieves,
but proper enough for the work; and thus I made shift for some years: how I did after-
wards, I shall show in its place.
The baking part was the next-thing to be considered, and how I should make bread
when I came to have corn; for, first, I had no yeast; as to that part, as there was no
supplying the want, so I did not concern myself much about it. But for an oven, I was
indeed in great pain. At length I found out an experiment for that also, which was
this: I made some earthen vessels very broad, but not deep, that is to say, about two
feet diameter, and not above nine inches deep; these I burned in the fire, as I had
done the other, and laid them by; and when I wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon
the hearth, which I had paved with some square tiles, of my own making and burning
also; but I should not call them square.
When the fire-wood was burned pretty much into embers, or live coals, I drew them
forward upon this hearth, so as to cover it all over, and there I let them lie till the
hearth was very hot; then sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf or loaves,
and whelming down the earthen pot upon them, drew the embers all round the outside
of the pot, to keep in and add to the heat; and thus, as well as in the best oven in the
world, I baked my barley-loaves, and became, in little time, a good pastry-cook into the
bargain; for I made myself several cakes and puddings of the rice ; indeed I made no
pies, neither had I anything to put into them, supposing I had, except the flesh either
of fowls or goats.
It'need not be wondered at if all these things took me up most part of the third year
of my abode here; for, it is to be observed that, in the intervals of these things, I had
my new harvest and husbandry to manage; for I reaped my corn in its season, and
carried it home as well as I could, and laid it up in the ear, in my large baskets, till I
had time to rub it out, for I had no floor to thrash it on, or instrument to thrash
it with.
And now, indeed, my stock of corn increasing, I really wanted to build my barns
bigger; I wanted a place to lay it up in, for the increase of the corn now yielded me so
much, that I had of the barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice as much, or more;
insomuch that I now resolved to begin to use it freely; for my bread had been quite
gone a great while; also I resolved to see what quantity would be sufficient for me a
whole year, and to sow but once a year.
Upon the whole, I found that the forty bushels of barley and rice were much more
than I could consume in a year ; so I resolved to sow just the same quantity every year


that I sowed the last, in hopes that such a quantity would fully provide me with
bread, &c.
All the while these things were doing, you may be sure my thoughts ran many times
upon th'e prospect of land which I had seen from the other side of the island; and I
was not without secret wishes that I was on shore there, fancying that, seeing the
main-land, and an inhabited country, I might find some way or other to convey myself
farther, and perhaps at last find some means of escape.
But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such a condition, and
how I might fall into the hands of savages, and perhaps such as I might have reason to
think far worse than the lions and tigers of Africa : that if I once came into their power
I should run a hazard more than a thousand to one of being killed, and perhaps of
being eaten; for I had heard that the people of the Caribbean coasts were cannibals, or
men-eaters, and I knew by the latitude that I could not be far off from that shore : that
suppose they were not cannibals, yet they might kill me, as many Europeans who had
fallen into their hands had been served, even when they had been ten or twenty
together-much more I, that was but one, and could make little or no defence; all these
things, I say, which I ought to have considered well of, and I did cast up in my thoughts
afterwards, yet took up none of my apprehensions at first, and my head ran mightily
upon the thought of getting over to that shore.
Now, I wished for my boy Xury, and the long-boat with the shoulder-of-mutton
sail, with which I sailed above a thousand miles on the coast of Africa; but this was in
vain: then I thought I would go and look at our ship's boat, which, as I have said,
was blown up upon the .shor6 a great way, in the storm, when we were first cast away.
She lay almost where she did at first, but not quite, and was turned, by the force of the
waves and the winds, almost bottom upward, against the high ridge of beachy, rough sand,
but no water about her as before. If I had had hands to have refitted her, and to have
launched her into the water, the boat would have done well enough, and I might have
gone back into the Brazils with her easily enough; but I might have easily foreseen that
I could no more turn her and set her upright upon her bottom, than I could remove
the island; however, I went to the wood, and cut levers and rollers, and brought them
to the boat, resolved to try what I could do; suggesting to myself, that if I could but
turn her down, I might easily repair the damage she had received, and she would be
a very good boat, and I might go to sea in her very easily.
I spared no pains, indeed, in this piece of fruitless toil, and spent, I think, three or
four weeks about it; at last, finding it impossible to heave it up with my little strength,
I fell to digging away the sand, to undermine it, and so to make it fall down, setting
pieces of wood to thrust and guide it right in the fall.
But when I had done this, I was unable to stir it up again, or to get under it, much
less to move it forward towards the water; so I was forced to give it over; and yet,
though I gave over the hopes of the boat, my desire to venture over for the main in-
creased, rather than decreased, as the means for it seemed impossible.
This at length set me upon thinking whether it was not possible to make myself a
canoe, or periagua, such as the natives of those climates make, even without tools, or, as
I might say, without hands-viz., of the trunk of a great tree. This I not only thought
possible, but easy, and pleased myself extremely with my thoughts of making it, and
with my having much more convenience for it than any of the Negroes or Indians;
but not at all considering the particular inconveniences which I lay under more than
the Indians did, viz., want of hands to move it into the water when it was made,--a




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difficulty much harder for me to surmount than all the consequences of want of tools
could be to them. For what was it to me, that when I had chosen a vast tree in the
wood, I might with great trouble cut it down, if after I might be able with my tools to
hew and dub the outside into the proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut out the inside
to make it hollow, so as to make a boat of it-if, after all this, I must leave it just
there where I found it, and was not able to launch it into the water ?
One would have thought I could not have had the least reflection upon my mind of
my circumstances while I was making this boat, but I should have immediately thought
how I should get it into the sea; but my thoughts were so intent upon my voyage over
the sea in it, that I never once considered how I should get it off the land: and it wrs
really, in its own nature, more easy for me to guide it over forty-five miles of sea, than
about forty-five fathoms of land, where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.
I went to work upon this boat the most like a fool that ever man did, who had any
of his senses awake. I pleased myself with the design, without determining whether I
was ever able to undertake it; not but that the difficulty of launching my boat came
often into my head; but I put a stop to my inquiries into it, by this foolish answer
which I gave myself: Let me first make it; I warrant I shall find some way or other
to get it along when it is done."
This was a most preposterous method; but the eagerness of my fancy prevailed, and
to work I went, and felled a cedar-tree. I question much whether Solomon ever had
such a one for the building the Temple at Jerusalem; it was five feet ten inches
diameter at the lower part next the stump, and four feet eleven inches diameter at the
end of twenty-two feet; after which it lessened for a while, and then parted into
branches. It was not without infinite labour that I felled this tree. I was twenty
days hacking and hewing at it at the bottom; I was fourteen more getting the branches
and limbs and the vast spreading head of it cut off, which I hacked and hewed through
with my axe and hatchet, and inexpressible labour; after this, it cost me a month to
shape it and dub it to a proportion, and to something like the bottom of a boat, that it
might swim upright as it ought to do. It cost me near three months more to clear the
inside, and work it out so as to make an exact boat of it: this I did, indeed, without fire,
by mere mallet and chisel, and by the dint of hard labour, till I had brought it to be a
very handsome periagua, and big enough to have carried six-and-twenty men, and
consequently big enough to have carried me and all my cargo.
When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it. The boat
was really much bigger than ever I saw a canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree,
in my life. Many a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure-for there remained
nothing but to get it into the water; and had I gotten it into the water, I make no
question but I should have begun the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be
performed, that ever was undertaken.
But all my devices to get it into the water failed me; though they cost infinite
labour too. It lay about one hundred yards from the water, and not more; but the
first inconvenience was, it was up hill towards the creek. Well, to take away this
discouragement, I resolved to dig into the surface of the earth, and so make a declivity.
This I began, and it cost me a prodigious deal of pains (but who grudge pains that have
their deliverance in view ?); but when this was worked through, and this difficulty
managed, it was still much at one, for I could no more stir the canoe than I could
the other boat. Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a dock or
canal, to bring the water up to the canoe, seeing I could not bring the canoe down to

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