Title Page
 Memoir of De Foe
 Life and adventures of Robinson...
 The further adventures of Robinson...

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073602/00001
 Material Information
Title: Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xvi sic, 13-472 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Cogswell, Albert ( Publisher )
Thomas, George Houseman, 1824-1868 ( Illustrator )
Thomas, William Luson, 1830-1900 ( Engraver )
Linton, W. J ( William James ), 1812-1897 ( Engraver )
Wentworth, Frederick ( Engraver )
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Publisher: Albert Cogswell
Place of Publication: New York (No. 24 Bond Street)
Publication Date: 1880
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1880   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Citation/Reference: Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe,
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-1956,
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel De Foe sic ; including a memoir of the of the author, and an essay on his writings.
General Note: Spine and cover title: Robinson Crusoe; caption title, p. 253: Further adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Some ill. signed GHT; engraved by F. Wentworth, W.J.L. and W.L. Thomas.
General Note: Parts I-II of Robinson Crusoe. Pt. II originally published under title: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073602
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 24946387

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Memoir of De Foe
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 110a
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 132a
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 178a
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 190a
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 244a
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
    The further adventures of Robinson Crusoe
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
Full Text

Page 171.









, i. .f-. w .-J.L- '^.^ ,^ .... ,- ,_ -i .,, .- ,a,,. .,r .-, -

-l4lF--X,*Mi rif


DANIEL FOE, or, as he subsequently styled himself (though at
what time and on what occasion is not known), De Foe, was born in
the parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, London, in the year 1661.
The earliest of his ancestors of whom there is any account, was
Daniel Foe, a yeoman, who farmed his own estate at Elton, in
Northamptonshire. He maintained a pack of hounds; from whence
it may be reasonably inferred that his means were above competency.
A custom of the times in bestowing party names on brutes is thus
mentioned by our author: I remember," he says, "my grandfather
had a huntsman that used the same familiarity with his dogs; and
he had his Roundhead, and his Cavalier, and his Goring, and his
Waller, and all the generals of both armies were hounds in his pack;
till the times turning, the old gentleman was fain to scatter his pack,
and make them up of more dog-like surnames." It is from his grand-
father that De Foe is supposed to have inherited landed property:
for in his Review," a work we shall often have occasion to consult,
he says, I have both a native and an acquired right of election."
Our author's father, James Foe, followed the trade of butcher, in St.
Giles's, Cripplegate; and these few barren facts are all that is to be
gathered of the ancestors of Daniel De Foe. He had," says Mr.
Wilson, in his excellent work, The Life and Times of Daniel De
Foe," a work abounding with the most curious and minute informa-
tion on the period of which it treats-" He had some collateral rela-
tives, to whom he alludes occasionally in his writings, but with too
much brevity to ascertain the degree of kindred."
At an early age, De Foe is said to have shown that vivacity of
humor, and that indomitable spirit of independence, that remained
with him through after life, "making a sunshine in the shady place"
of a prison, and arming him as the champion of truth in humanity in
the most perilous times. An anecdote related by our author is illus-
trative of the discipline that governed the home of his boyhood.
During that part of the reign of Charles II. when the nation feared
the ascendency of Popery, and it was expected that printed Bibles
would become rare, many honest people employed themselves in
copying the Bible into short-hand. To this task young De Foe
applied himself; and he tells us that "he worked like a horse till he
had written out the whole of the Pentateuch, when he grew so tired


that he was willing to risk the rest." The parents of De Foe were
Non-conformists, and his education was consonant to the practice
of that faith. Family religion formed an essential part of the disci-
pline; and it was made matter of conscience to instruct the children
of a family and its dependants in their social, moral, and religious
Although the enemies of De Foe vainly endeavored to sink his
reputation by representing him as having been bred a tradesman,
there is ample evidence to prove that he was originally intended for
one of the learned professions.* When he had, therefore, suffi-
ciently qualified under inferior tutors, he was, at about fourteen years
of age, placed in an academy at Newington Green, under the direc-
tion of that polite and profound scholar," the Reverend Charles
Morton, who was subsequently defended by his pupil, some asper-
sions having been cast upon the character of the master by an un-
grateful scholar who had deserted to the Church. De Foe writes,
" I must do that learned gentleman's memory the justice to affirm,
that neither in his system of politics, government, and discipline, nor
in any other of the exercises of that school, was there anything taught
or encouraged that was ant-imonarchical or destructive to the consti-
tution of England."
Of De Foe's progress under Mr. Morton, it is impossible now to
speak with any certainty. He tells us in one of his "Reviews that
he had been master of five languages, and that he had studied the
mathematics, natural philosophy, logic, geography, and history; he
was one of the few who, in those days, studied politics as a science.
He went through a complete course of theology, and his knowledge
of ecclesiastical history was also considerable. He was, however,
attacked by party malice as an illiterate person, without education."
To this he calmly makes answer: Those gentlemen who reproach
my learning to applaud their own, shall have it proved that I have
more learning than either of them-because I have more manners."
He adds, I think I owe this justice to my excellent father, still
living (1705), and in whose behalf I fully testify, that if I am a
blockhead, it is nobody's fault but my own." He proceeds to chal-
lenge his slanderer "to translate with me any Latin, French, and
Italian author, and after that to retranslate them crossways, for
twenty pounds each book; and by this he shall have an opportunity
to show the world how much De Foe, the hosier, is inferior in learn-
ing to Mr. Tutchin, the gentleman."
At one-and-twenty, De Foe commenced the perilous trade-most
perilous in his day-of author; at the which he labored through good
and through evil report, with lasting honor to himself, and enduring
benefit to mankind, for half a century. It is now ascertained that
De Foe's first publication was a lampooning answer to L'Estrange's
Guide to the Inferior Clergy," and bore the following quaint title:

*" It is not often," says De Foe, in his Reveiw, vi. 341, that I trouble you with any of
my divinity ; the pulpit is none of my office. It was my disaster first to be set apart for, and
then to be set apart from, the honor of that sacred employ."


" Speculum Crape-Gownorum; or, a Looking-Glass for the Young
Academicks new Foyl'd; with Reflections on some of the late High
Flown Sermons: to which is added, an Essay towards a Sermon of
the Newest Fashion. By a Guide to the Inferiour Clergie. Riden-
tem dicere Verum Quis Vetat. London: Printed for E. Rydal.
1682." This title De Foe borrowed from the crape gowns then
usually worn by the inferior clergy; and in the book, he fights the
fight of the Dissenters against what he terms the libels of the estab-
lished clergy. "The fertility of the subject," says Mr. Wilson,
"soon produced a second part of the 'Speculum;' in which the
author deals more seriously with the government, and by a practical
view of the effect of persecution, exposed its absurdity."
We have entered more at length into the nature and purpose of
De Foe's first book, than will be permitted to us by our limits to do
with each of the works that now followed, in rapid profusion, from
the pen of our author. All that we purpose to ourselves is, to give
the strongest outlines of his character,-the principal events of his
career; and, avoiding on one hand a jejune brevity, that confines
itself to mere dates, attempt not, on the other side, a minute descrip-
tion of events incompatible with our present object.
When the Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme, De Foe was
among those who joined the standard of the hapless nobleman. A
romantic kind of invasion," says Welwood, "and scarcely paralleled
in history." At the age of four-and-twenty, we see De Foe, the
author of Robinson Crusoe," a soldier; as ready with his sword
as prompt with his pen, in the cause of rational liberty. Of Mon-
mouth, De Foe seems to have had some previous knowledge, having
often seen him at Aylesbury races, where the duke rode his own
horses-a circumstance alluded to by our author in his Tour."
De Foe had the good fortune to escape the vengeance visited upon
so many of the duke's supporters, and returned in safety to London;
where, leaving the stormy region of politics, he now directed his
attention to trade. The nature of his business has been variously
represented. In several publications of the time, he is styled a ho-
sier; but, if we may believe his own account, he was a hose-factor,
or the middle-man between the manufacturer and the retail dealer.
This agency concern he carried on for some years, in Freeman's
Court, Cornhill; Mr. Chalmers says, from 1685 to 1695. On the
26th of January, 1687-8, having claimed his freedom by birth, he was
admitted a liveryman of London. In the Chamberlain's book, his
name was written Daniel Foe."
When the Revolution took place, De Foe was a resident in Toot-
ing, in Surrey, where he was the first person who attempted to form
the Dissenters in the neighborhood into a regular congregation. De
Foe was for many years a resident in this part of Surrey; it is likely
that he had a country-house there during the time that he carried on
his hose agency in Cornhill. De Foe was one of the most ardent
worshippers of the Revolution: he annually commemorated the 4th
of November as a day of deliverance. "A day," says he, "famous
on various accounts, and every one of them dear to Britons who love


love their country, value the Protestant interest, or have an aversion
to tyranny and oppression. On this day, he (King William) was
born; on this day, he married the daughter of England; and on
this day, he rescued the nation from a bondage worse than that of
Egypt; a bondage of soul, as well as bodily servitude ; a slavery to
the ambition and raging lust of a generation set on fire by pride,
avarice, cruelty, and blood." In order to do honor to the king, and
add to the splendor of the procession, on the royal visit to Guildhall,
many of the citizens volunteered to attend William as a guard of
honor on the occasion. Among these was Daniel De Foe.
The commercial speculations of our author, though at the first
prosperous, were ultimately unsuccessful. That they were of a
various character, it is evident from the fact of his having engaged
with partners in the Spanish and Portuguese trade. It is very clear,
from a passage in his Review," that he had been a merchant-
adventurer. In the number for January 27, 1711, he alludes to an
old Spanish proverb, "which," says he, I learnt when I was in
that country." It further appears, that while residing there, he
made himself a master of the language. De Foe's losses by ship-
wreck appear to have been very considerable. The occupations of
trade, however, according to De Foe's own confession, assort ill
with literary feelings. A wit turned tradesman! he exclaims;
no apron-strings will hold him: 'tis vain to lock him in behind the
counter; he's gone in a moment." He concludes, "A statute of
bankrupt is his Exeunt Omnes, and he generally speaks the epilogue
in the Fleet Prison or Mint."
In allusion to the misfortunes of our author, Mr. Chalmers
observes, "With the usual imprudence of genius, he was carried
into companies who were gratified by his wit. He spent those hours
with a small society for the cultivation of polite learning, which he
ought to have employed in the calculations of the counting-house;
and, being obliged to abscond from his creditors in 1692, he naturally
attributed those misfortunes to the war, which were probably owing
to his own misconduct. An angry creditor took out a commission
of bankruptcy, which was soon superseded, on the petition of those
to whom he was most indebted, who accepted a composition on his
single bond. This he punctually paid by the efforts of unwearied
diligence; but some of these creditors, who had been thus satisfied,
falling afterwards into distress themselves, De Foe voluntarily paid
them their whole claim, being then in rising circumstances, in con-
sequence of King William's favor." De Foe, being subsequently
reproached by Lord Haversham for mercenary conduct, he tells
him, in 1705, that "with a numerous family, and no help but his
own industry, he had forced his way, with undiscouraged diligence,
through a set of misfortunes, and reduced his debts, exclusive of
composition, from seventeen thousand to less than five thousand
It deserves to be remembered that, in the time of De Foe, our
laws against bankrupts were as inhuman as they were foolish. The
cruelty of our laws against debtors," says De Foe, "without distinc-


tion of honest or dishonest, is the shame of our nation. I am per-
suaded, the honestest man in England, when by necessity he is com-
pelled to break, will early fly out of the kingdom rather than submit.
To stay here, this is the consequence; as soon as he breaks, he is
proscribed as a criminal, and has thirty to sixty days to surrender
both himself and all that he has to his creditors. If he fails to do it,
he has nothing before him but the gallows, without benefit of clergy;
if he surrenders, he is not sure but he shall be thrown into jail for
life by the commissioners, only on pretence that they doubt his oath !
What must the man do We have reformed a great deal of this
in our days, yet something remains undone, for the bankrupt is still
too much left at the mercy of the malevolent or ignorant creditor.
It is certain that De Foe, whilst under apprehension from his
creditors, resided some time at Bristol. A friend of mine in that
city," says Mr. Wilson, "informs me that one of his ancestors re-
membered De Foe, and sometimes saw him walking in the streets of
Bristol, accoutred in the fashion of the times, with a fine flowing wig,
lace ruffles, and a sword by his side ; also, that he there obtained the
name of 'the Sunday gentleman,' because, through fear of the bai-
liffs, he did not dare to appear in public upon any other day." De
Foe was wont to visit The Red Lion," kept by one Mark Watkins,
who, in after times, used to entertain his company with an account
of a singular personage, who made his appearance in Bristol, clothed
in goat-skins, in which dress he was in the habit of walking the
streets, and went by the name of Alexander Selkirk, or Robinson
Crusoe It was during this retreat from London that De Foe wrote
his celebrated Essay upon Projects," though he did not publish it
until nearly five years afterwards.
It appears that at this time De Foe was invited, by some mer-
chants of his acquaintance residing in Cadiz, to settle in Spain, with
the offer of a good commission: "but," says our author, Provi-
dence, which had other work for me to do, placed a secret aversion
in my mind to quitting England upon any account, and made me
refuse the best offer of that kind, to be concerned with some emi-
nent persons at home, in proposing ways and means to the govern-
ment for raising money to supply the occasion of the war, then
newly begun." De Foe suggested a general assessment of personal
property, the amount to be settled by composition, under the inspec-
tion of commissioners appointed by the king. It was, doubtless,
owing to these services, that De Foe was appointed to the office of
accountant to the commissioners of the glass duty, in 1695: the com-
mission ceased in 1699. It was probably about this time that De
Foe became secretary to the tile-kiln and brick-kiln works at Til-
bury, in Essex. Pantiles had been hitherto a Dutch manufacture,
and were brought in large quantities to England. To supersede the
necessity of their importation, these works were erected. The
speculation proved unsuccessful, De Foe himself losing by its failure
no less than three thousand pounds. He continued the works, it is
believed, until the year 1703, when, being deprived of his liberty for
a libel, the undertaking came to an end.


Towards the close of the war in 1696-7, De Foe gave to the world
his Essay upon Projects; a work alike admirable for the novelty
of the subject, and the clearness and ingenuity with which it is treated.
The projects of our author may be classed under the heads of poli-
tics, commerce, and-benevolence; all having some reference to the
public improvement. The first relates to banks in general, and to
the royal or national bank in particular, which he wishes to be ren-
dered subservient to the relief of the merchant, and the interests of
commerce, as well as to the purposes of the state; his next project
relates to highways; a third, to the improvement of the bankrupt
laws; a fourth, to the plan of friendly societies, formed by mutual
assurance, for the relief of the members in seasons of distress; a
fifth, for the establishment of an asylum for fools," or, more prop-
erly, naturals," whom he describes as "a particular rent charge on
the great family of mankind;" he next suggests the formation of
academies, to supply some neglected branches of education; one of
these was for the improvement of the English tongue, "to polish
and refine it; and this project combined a reformation of that
"foolish vice," swearing: the next project of our author was an
academy for military studies; and, under the head of Academies,"
he suggested an institution for the education of females : "We re-
proach the sex every day," says he, "with folly and impertinence,
while, I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to
us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves."
In January, 1700-1, appeared De Foe's celebrated poem of The
True-Born Englishman." It was composed in answer to "a vile,
abhorred pamphlet, in very ill verse, written by one Mr. Tutchin,
and called 'The Foreigners,' in which the author-who he then was
I knew not," says De Foe-"fell personally upon the king and the
Dutch nation." How many thousands familiar with the following
now proverbial lines, know not that with them opens The True-
Born Englishman !"-
Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The devil always builds a chapel there;
And 'twill be found, upon examination,
fhe latter has the largest congregation I"

De Foe traces the rise of our ancient families to the Norman in-
vader, who cantoned out the country to his followers, and "every
soldier was a denizen." The folly of indulging this pride of ancestry
is finely painted in the following lines :-
"These are the heroes who despise the Dutch,
And rail at new-come foreigners so much;
Forgetting that themselves are all derived
From the most scoundrel race that ever lived.
A horrid crowd of rambling thieves and drones,
Who ransacked kingdoms and dispeopled towns;
The Pict and painted Briton, treacherous Scot,
By hunger, theft, and rapine hither brought;
Norwegian pirates, buccaneering Danes,
Whose red-haired offspring everywhere remains;


Who, joined with Norman-French, compound the breed
From whence your True-Born Englishmen proceed.
And lest by length of time it be pretended
The climate may the modern.race have mended,
Wise Providence, to keep us where we are,
Mixes us daily with exceeding care."

De Foe concludes with the following striking lines:-

Could but our ancestors retrieve their fate,
And see their offspring thus degenerate;
How we contend for birth and names unknown ;
And build on their past actions, not our own;
They'd cancel records, and their tombs deface,
And then disown the vile degenerate race;
For fame of families is all a cheat;

"When I see the town full of lampoons and invectives against
Dutchmen," says De Foe, in his "Explanatory Preface," "only
because they are foreigners, and the king reproached and insulted
by insolent pedants and ballad-making poets for employing foreign-
ers, and being a foreigner himself, I confess myself moved by it to
remind our nation of their own original, thereby to let them see what
a banter they put upon themselves; since, speaking of Englishmen
ab origine, we are really all foreigners ourselves."
It is to this poem that De Fee was indebted for a personal intro-
duction to King William. He was sent for to the palace by his
Majesty, conversed with him, and had repeated interviews with him
afterwards. The manners and sentiments of De Foe appeared to
have made such a favorable impression on the king, that he ever
after regarded him with kindness; and conceiving that his talents
might be turned to a beneficial account, he employed him in many
secret services, to which he alludes occasionally in his writings.
The effect produced upon the country by the satire was most
beneficial. De Foe himself, nearly thirty years afterwards, writes,
" National mistakes, vulgar errors, and even a general practice, have
been reformed by a just satire. None of our countrymen have been
known to boast of being True-Born Englishmen, or so much as use
the word as a title or appellation, ever since a-late satire upon that
national folly was published, though almost thirty years before."
In 1700-1, on the meeting of the fifth parliament of King William,
we find De Foe strenuously engaged advocating the necessity of set-
tling the succession in the Protestant line; an important object with
William, as the only means of perpetuating the benefits which the
nation had reaped from the Revolution. To this great end De Foe
devoted all his energies, laboring with unwearied zeal in the cause.
His conduct on the imprisonment of the Kentish gentlemen, whose
names are historically associated with the presentation of the famous
Kentish petition, was marked with all the intrepidity of his char-
acter. The Commons had imprisoned the petitioners, who prayed
the house for the settlement of the Protestant succession, for hav-


ing presented a petition scandalous, insolent, and seditious." On
this, De Foe drew up his celebrated Legion Paper." In what
manner it was communicated to the house does not appear upon
the journals. It was reported at the time that De Foe, dis-
guised as a woman, presented it to the Speaker as he entered the
House of Commons. The Legion" petition rang like a tocsin
throughout the kingdom. As, however, the author remained con-
cealed, the Commons did not think fit to pass any particular censure
upon it. The Kentish petitioners were discharged by the proroga-
tion of parliament on the 24th of June: they were subsequently
feasted at Mercers' Hall, where De Foe attended. Next the
Worthis," says a pamphlet of the time, "was placed their secretary
of state, the author of the Legion Paper;' and one might have
read the downfall of parliaments in his very countenance."
By the death of King William, more mortally wounded," says
De Foe, "with the pointed rage of parties, and an ungrateful peo-
ple, than by the fall from his horse," our author lost a kind friend
and powerful protector. Towards the latter part of this reign, De
Foe took up his abode at Hackney, and resided there many years.
Here some of his children were born and buried. In the parish
register is the following entry: Sophia, daughter to Daniel De Foe,
by Mary his wife, was baptized December 24, 1701."
The next important work of De Foe-a work that exercised the
greatest influence on his fortunes-was the Shortest Way with the
Dissenters; or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church;
1702." In this work, the author, assuming the character of an Ultra
High Churchman, advocates the adoption of the severest measures
against the Dissenters. "'Tis vain," writes De Foe, to trifle in
this matter. The light, foolish handling of them by fines, is their
glory and advantage. If the gallows instead of the computer, and the
galleys instead of the fines, were the reward of going to a conven-
ticle, there would not be so many sufferers." These arguments
found high favor with both the Universities. The High Church
Party never suspected the sincerity of their partisan, and charmed
and won by the fierce doctrines of their champion, were unsuspi-
cious of the satire of their extravagance. It was, however, De Foe s
hard fate to be misunderstood by both parties. Whilst the High
Churchmen congratulated themselves on the addition of another ad-
vocate, the Dissenters treated him as a real enemy. The Church
party, however, fell into the trap laid for them by De Foe; for by
expressing their delight at the fiery sentiments of the author, they
avowed them as their own true feelings on the question. De Foe
subsequently taunts the party thus: We have innumerable testi-
monies," he says, "with which that party embraced the proposal of
sending all the Dissenting ministers to the gallows and the galleys;
of having all their meeting-houses demolished; and being let loose
upon the people to plunder and destroy them." In another place,
De Foe characteristically portrays the common fate of the subtlety
of wit, when judged by the multitude. He says, All the fault I
can find with myself as to these people (the Dissenters) is, that when


I had drawn the picture, I did not, like the Dutchman with his man
and bear, write under them, 'This is the man,' and 'This is the
bear,' lest the people should mistake me; and having in a compli-
ment to their judgment shunned so sharp a reflection upon their
senses, I have left them at liberty to treat me like one that put a
value upon their penetration at the expense of my own." The first
detection of our author is said to have been owing to the industry of
the Earl of Nottingham, one of the secretaries of state. When the
author's name was known, people were at no loss to decipher his
object; and those who had committed themselves by launching forth
in his praises were stung with madness at their own folly. It was at
once resolved by the party in power to crush De Foe by a state pros-
ecution. In the height of the storm, our author sought conceal-
ment; when a proclamation was issued by the government, offering
o50 for the discovery of his retreat, and advertised in "The Lon-
don Gazette," for January 10, 1702-3. It was as follows:-
'" Whereas, Daniel De Foe, alias De Fooe, is charged with wri-
ting a scandalous and seditious pamphlet, entitled, 'The Shortest
Way with the Dissenters.' He is a middle-sized, spare man, about
forty years old; of a brown complexion, and dark brown colored
hair, but wears a wig; a hook nose, a sharp chin, gray eyes, and a
large mole near his mouth: was born in London, and for manyyears
was a hose-factor in Freeman's Yard, Cornhill: and now is owner of
the brick and pantile works, near Tilbury Fort, in Essex: whoever
shall discover the said Daniel De Foe to one of her Majesty's prin-
cipal secretaries of state, or any of her Majesty's justices of peace,
so he may be apprehended, shall have a reward of Z50, which her
Majesty has ordered immediately to be paid upon such discovery."
In the House of Commons, it was resolved that the book "be
burnt by the hands of the common hangman in Palace Yard." The
printer of the work and the bookseller being taken into custody, De
Foe issued forth from his retirement, to brave the storm, resolving,
as he expresses it, "to throw himself upon the favor of government,
rather than that others should be ruined by his mistake." De Foe
was indicted at the Old Bailey sessions, the 24th of February, 1703,
and proceeded to trial the following July. It may be gathered from
his own account of the prosecution, that when his enemies had him
in their power, they were at a loss to know what to do with him. He
wras therefore advised to throw himself on the mercy of the queen,
with a promise of protection; which induced him to quit his defence,
and acknowledge himself as the author of the offensive work. On
this, De Foe was sentenced to pay a fine of 200 marks to the queen; to
stand three times in the 5illory; to be imprisoned during the queen's
pleasure, and to find sureties for his good behavior for seven years.
The people, however, were with De Foe. Hence, he was guard-
ed to the pillory by the populace; and descended from it with the
triumphant acclamations of the surrounding multitude. De Foe has
himself related, that the people, who were expected to treat him
very ill, on the contrary pitied him, and wished those who set him
there were placed in his room, and expressed their affections by loud


shouts and acclamations when he was taken down." Tradition
reports that the pillory was adorned with garlands, it being in the
middle of summer. The odium intended for De Foe fell upon his
persecutors, and the pillory became to him a place of honor.
A triumphant evidence of the high spirit of De Foe-a spirit ele-
vated and strengthened by its unconquerable love of truth-is mani-
fested by the fact, that on the very day of his exhibition to the peo-
ple, he published A Hymn to the Pillory! This poem, which
successively passed through several editions, being eagerly bought
up by the people, opens nobly as follows:-
"Hail hieroglyphick state machine,
Contrived to punish fancy in;
Men that are men in thee can feel no fain,
And all thy insignificant disdain.
Contempt, that false new word for shame,
Is, without crime, an empty name;
A shadow to amuse mankind,
But never frights the wise or well-fixed mind;
Virtue despises human scorn,
And scandals innocence adorn."

De Foe is now presented to us, stripped of his fortunes, and a
prisoner. In consequence of his imprisonment, he could no longer
attend to his pantile works, which produced the chief source of his
revenue, and they were consequently given up. By this affair he
lost, as he himself informs us, 3,500; and he had now a wife and
six children dependent upon him, with no other resource for their
support than the product of his pen. Hence the leisure of De Foe,
whilst in Newgate, was not that of idleness or dissipation. Some of
his subsequent writings leave no doubt that he now stored his mind
with those facts relative to the habits and pursuits of the prisoners,
which he has detailed with so much nature as well as interest. A
great part of his time was devoted to the composition of political
works which our limits will not permit us to dwell upon. It was
likewise whilst in Newgate that he projected his Review," a pe-
riodical work of four quarto pages, which was published for nine
successive years without intermission; during the greater part of
the time, three times a week, and without having received any as-
sistance whatever in its production. Throughout this work, he car-
ried on an unsparing warfare against folly and vice in all their dis-
guises: it pointed the way to the Tatlers," "Spectators," and
" Guardians," and may be referred to as containing a vast body of
matter on subjects of high interest, written with all the author's char-
acteristic spirit and vigor.
The Tories vainly endeavored to buy up De Foe: but Newgate
had no terrors of him, and he continued at once their prisoner and
their assailant. Upon the accession of Mr. Harley to office, his
own politics not being dissimilar to those of De Foe, the minister
made a private communication to our author, with- the view of ob-
taining his support. No immediate arrangement, however, took
place between them, as De Foe remained a prisoner some months

MMoZr. Vp' DE 00P2. x

afterwards. Notwithstanding, it is most likely that the queen be-
came acquainted with De Foe's real merits through the medium of
the minister, and was made conscious of the injustice of our author's
sufferings, which she now appeared desirous to mitigate. For this
purpose, she sent money to his wife and family, at the same time
transmitting to him a sufficient sum for the payment of his fine, and
the expenses attending his discharge from prison.
On his release from Prison, De Foe retired to Bury St. Ed-
munds. Party clamor, and party malice, however, pursued him
there. On the miserable libels issued at this time against him, he
says, I tried retirement, and banished myself from the town. I
thought, as the boys used to say, 'twas but fair they should let me
alone, while I did not meddle with them. But neither a country re-
cess, any more than a stone doublet, can secure a man from the
clamor of the pen." In his elegy on' the author of The True-Born
Englishman," he alludes to the report that. the Tories had exerted
themselves in his favor. He says, in answer,-

"So I, by Whigs abandoned, bear
The Satyr's unjust lash;
Die with the scandal of their help,
But never saw their cash."

It appears that in 1705 De Foe was employed by Harley to ex-
ecute some mission of a secret nature, which required his presence
upon the continent. The mission, whatever it was, appears to have
been attended with some danger, and to have required his absence
for about two months. Harley seems to have been so well satisfied,
that upon De Foe's return, he was rewarded with an appointment at
home. In 1706, De Foe wrote voluminously on the subject of the
union with Scotland, which measure he advocated with all the strength
of his powers. This advocacy obtained for him a confidential mis-
sion to Scotland, where he was received with great consideration.
While in Edinburgh, he published his "Caledonia," &c., a poem in
honor of Scotland and the Scots nation. Of the union, he says in
his "Review," "I have told Scotland of improvement in trade,
wealth, and shipping, that shall accrue to them on the happy con-
clusion of this affair; and I am pleased doubly with this, that I am
likely to be one of the first men that shall give them the pleasure of
the experiment." In 1708, De Foe was rewarded with an appoint-
ment and a fixed salary. When the union was completed, he pub-
lished "The Union of Great Britain." In 1710, De Foe resided at
Stoke-Newington, and appears to have been comfortable in his cir-
cumstances. In 1712 was closed the last volume of the "Review."
In a long preface to this volume, De Foe has a most eloquent de-
fence of this work, and of the mode in which he had conducted it.
Nothing can be finer, more manly, or more conclusive. In allusion
to his sufferings during the progress of the work, he says, I have
gone through a life of wonders, and am the subject of a vast variety
of providence; I have been fed more by miracle than Elijah when



the ravens were his purveyors. I have some time ago summed up
my life in this distich :-
No man has tasted differing fortunes more,
And thirteen times I have been rich and poor.
In the school of affliction I have learnt more than at the academy,
and more divinity than from the pulpit; in prison, I have learnt to
know that liberty does not consist in open doors, and the free egress
and regress of locomotion. I have seen the rough side of the world
as well as the smooth, and have, in less than half a year, tasted the
difference between the closet of a king and the dungeon of New-
gate." This preface may be considered as a review,-a summing
up of the events of De Foe's political life, and as such is of the
highest value for the noble spirit of conscious truth breathing in and
animating every line of it. As a piece of English, it is exquisite
for its inate strength-the beauty of its simplicity. De Foe, how-
ever, was again doomed to taste the dungeon sweets of Newgate,
being committed there upon the foolish charge of writing libels in
favor of the Pretender.
After the death of Queen Anne, De Foe, who had been a politi-
cal writer for thirty years, retired from the thorny field to the more
pleasant paths of instructive fiction. Whilst writing "An Appeal
to Honor and Justice," he was struck with apoplexy; he however
recovered, and in the early part of 1715, committed to the press one
of his most valuable treatises, "The Family Instructor." In 1719
appeared the immortal Robinson Crusoe." Nearly the whole
circle of booksellers had in vain been canvassed for a publisher.
William Taylor, the fortunate speculator, is said to have cleared a
thousand pounds by the work, which rose into immediate popularity,
despite of the rancorous assaults of the petty, vulgar minds abound-
ing amongst De Foe's political enemies. There can be no doubt
that the idea of the work was first suggested to De Foe by the story
of Alexander Selkirk, which had been given to the public seven
years before. The enemies of De Foe charged him with having ob-
tained this man's journal, and from its contents producing Robin-
son Crusoe." The truth is, De Foe was as much indebted to Sel-
kirk for the materials nsed in his immortal work, as was Vandyke
for his portraits to the colorman who furnished him with pigments.
In a number of The Englishman," Sir Richard Steele gave the
true and particular history of Selkirk. The place in which Rob-
inson Crusoe" was composed has been variously contested. It
seems most probable (says Mr. Wilson), that De Foe wrote it in his
retirement in Stoke-Newington, where he resided, during the prin-
cipal part of Queen Anne's reign, in a large white house, rebuilt by
himself, and still standing in Church Street. The work has been
printed in almost every written language,-has been the delight of
men of all creeds and all distinctions-from the London apprentice
in his garret to the Arab in his tent.
Robinson Crusoe was speedily followed by the Account of
Dickory Crooke," the "Life and Piracies of Captain Singleton,"


the "History of Duncan Campbell," the "Fortunes and Misfor-
tunes of Moll Flanders," the "Life of Colonel Jacque," the
" Memoirs of a Cavalier," and that extraordinary work, the Ac-
count of the Plague." We might possibly have laid before the
reader a correct list of the multifarious productions of our author,
many of them, until of late, most difficult to be obtained, had not the
spirit of the times called for complete editions of De Foe's works,
most welcome and valuable offerings to the reading part of the nation.
The latter years of De Foe's life must have been those of com-
petence, a most honorable competence, insured to him by his works,
and the rapidity with which editions followed editions. There is,
however, a too miserable proof of his sufferings, inflicted upon him
by the cruelty and undutifulness of his son, who, to quote a letter of
De Foe, written in his anguish, has both ruined my family and
broken my heart." De Foe adds, I depended upon him, I trusted
him, I gave up my two dear unprovided children into his hands; but
he has no compassion, and suffers them and their poor dying mother
to beg their bread at his door, and to crave, as if it were an alms,
what he is bound under hand and seal, besides the most sacred
promises, to supply them with; himself at the same time, living in
a profusion of plenty. It is too much for me."
For some years before his death, De Foe was tormented with
those dreadful maladies, the gout and the stone, occasioned, in part,
most probably, by his close application to study, whilst making pos-
terity the heirs of undying wisdom. De Foe expired on the 24th of
April, 1731, when he was about seventy years of age, having been
born in the year 1661. The parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, in
which he drew his first breath, was also destined to receive his last.
He was buried from thence, on the 26th of April, in Tindall's burial-
ground, now most known by the name of Bunhill Fields. His wife
died at the latter end of the following year. De Foe left six chil-
dren, two sons and four daughters, whose descendants are living at
the present time.
The character of De Foe was but the practical example of his
noble writings. As a citizen of the world, his love of truth, and the
patience, the cheerfulness, with which he endured the obloquy and
persecution of his enemies, endear him to us as a great working
benefactor to his race. His memory is enshrined with the memories
of those who make steadfast our faith in the nobility and goodness
of human nature. As a writer, De Foe has bequeathed to us im-
perishable stores of the highest and the most useful wisdom. If he
paint vice, it is to show its hideousness; whilst virtue itself receives
a new attraction at his hands. His poetry is chiefly distinguished
for its fine common sense; it has no flights-it never wraps us by
its imagination, but convinces us by its terseness; by the irresist-
ible eloquence of its truth. De Foe's prose, though occasionally
careless, is remarkable for its simplicity and strength. What he has
to say, he says in the shortest manner, and in the simplest style. He
does not-the vice of our day-hide his thoughts under a glittering
mass of words, but uses words as the pictures of things. It is owing


to this happy faculty, this unforced power, that De Foe occasionally
rises, as in many instances in the golden volume now offered to the
reader, almost to the sublime. In his picture of the despair of
Crusoe, we have, in words intelligible even to infancy, a wondrous
delineation of the soul of man in a most trying and most terrible
hour. De Foe is, in the most emphatic sense of the word, an Eng-
lish writer. Cobbett has been compared to him; and in many of
the minor parts of authorship there is, certainly, a similitude; but
Cobbett was singularly deficient of imagination, the power which
gave a color and a beauty to all that De Foe touched, even though
of the homeliest and most unpromising materials.




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 com-
panions 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 go, and designed me for the law; but I would
be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination
to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands
of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of
my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be some-
thing fatal in that propensity of nature, tending directly to the
life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and ex-


cellent 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 wander-
ing 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 desper-
ate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on
the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enter-
prise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature
out of the common road; and these things were all either too
far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle
state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which
he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the
world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the
miseries and hardships, the labor and sufferings of the me-
chanic 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 con-
sequence 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 standard of 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 disas-
ters, 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 extravagances on
one hand, or by hard labor, want of necessaries, and mean or
insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon them-
selves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that
the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues
and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the
handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation,
quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all de-
sirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle
station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly
through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed


with the labors of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life of
slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed circum-
stances, 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 circumstances, sliding
gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of
living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and
learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affec-
tionate manner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate
myself into miseries which nature, and the station of life I was
born in seemed to have provided against; that I was under no
necessity of- seeking my bread; that he would do well for me,
and endeavor to enter me fairly into the station 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 persua-
sions 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 re-
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 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 destruc-
tion; and I should never have it to say that my mother was
willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to name 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 meantime, 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 not 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 con-
sideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour,
God knows, on the ist of September, 1651, I went on board a
ship bound for London. Never any young adventurer's mis-
fortunes, 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 leav-
ing my father's house, and abandoning my duty. All the good
counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's en-
treaties, 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.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea went very
high, though nothing like what I have seen many times since;
no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it was enough to
affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never
known 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 comfortably he
had lived all his days, and never had been exposed to tem-
pests at sea, or troubles on shore; and, in short, I resolved
that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home to my
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 fol-
lowed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next
morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the
sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most de-
lightful 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 ter-
rible storm." A storm, you fool you," replies he; "do you
call that a storm ? why, it was nothing at all; give us but a
good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a squall
of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob.
Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that;
d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now?" To make short
this sad part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the
punch was made, and I was made half drunk with it; and in
that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all
my reflections upon my past conduct, all my resolutions for the
future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness
of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm,
so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and appre-
hensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and
the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the
vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found, in-
deed, some intervals of reflection; and the serious thoughts
did, as it were, endeavor to return again sometimes; but I
shook them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a
distemper, and applying myself to drinking 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 con-
science 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, re-
solved to leave me entirely without excuse; for if I would not
take this for a deliverance, the next was to be such a one as
the worst and most hardened wretch among us would confess
both the danger and the mercy of,


The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth
Roads; the wind having been contrary, and the weather calm,
we had made but little way since the storm. Here we were
obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind con-
tinuing contrary, viz.: at the south-west, for seven or eight days,
during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came
into the same roads, as the common harbor where the ships
might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but we should have
tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh, and
after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However,
the roads being reckoned as good as a harbor, the anchorage
good, and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were uncon-
cerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent
the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea; but
the eighth day, in the morning, the wind increased, and we had
all hands at work to strike our 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 fore-
castle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice
our anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered
out the sheet-anchor, so that wq rode with two anchors ahead,
and the cables veered out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I
began to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the
seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in the busi-
ness of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his
cabin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say several
times, "Lord, be merciful to us we shall be all lost ; we shall
be all undone and the like. During these first hurries I was
stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and
cannot describe my temper: I could ill 'resume the first peni-
tence 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 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 laboring 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 mas-
ter of our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he was
very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protesting to him, that
if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when
they had cut away the foremast, the 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 dis-
tance 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 not often seen,
the master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than
the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when
the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night,
and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that
had been down 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 to
the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, think-
ing 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 con-
tinued 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 labor and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them
close under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no
purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of
reaching to their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and
only to pull her in towards shore as much as we could; and
our master promised them, that if the boat was staved upon
shore, he would make it good to their master; so partly row-
ing 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
While we were in this condition,-the men yet laboring at
the oar to bring the boat near the shore,-we could see (when
our boat mounting the 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 diffi-
culty, 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, as in 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 drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that
nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls
from my reason, and my more composed judgment, to go home,
yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor
will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree, that hurries us
on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it
be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.
Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery,
which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me
forward against the calm reasoning and persuasions of my most
retired thoughts, and against two such visible instructions as I
had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not
till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to sev-
eral 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," continues he, "what are you? and on
what account did you go to sea ? Upon that I told him some


of my story; at the end of which he burst out 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 vis-
ible 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 knew 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 neighbors, and should be
ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even every-
body else; from whence I have since often observed, how
incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is,
especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in
such cases, 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 re-
turning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncer-
tain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An
irresistible reluctance continued to going home ; and as I staid
a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore
off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to
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 ivas, presented the most unfor-
tunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a


vessel bound to the coast of Africa, or, as our sailors vulgarly
called 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 learned the duty and office of a foremast man, and
in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if
not for a master. But as it was always my fate to choose for
the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and
good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the
habit of a gentleman ; and so I neither had any business in the
ship, nor learned to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in
London, which does not always happen to such loose and mis-
guided young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not
omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was not
so with me. I first 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 disagree-
able 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. These 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
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in
all my adventures, which I owe to the integrity and honesty of
my friend the captain; under whom also I got a competent
knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of navigation,
learned how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an
observation, and, in short, to understand some things that were
needful to be understood by a sailor; for, as he took delight to
instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage


made me both a sailor and a merchant; for I brought home
five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust for my adventure, which
yielded me in London, at my return, almost 6300; and this
filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so com-
pleted my ruin.
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particu-
larly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent
calenture by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal
trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees
north even to the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my
great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go
the same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with
one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got
the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that
ever man made ; for though I did not carry quite 0oo 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
terrible misfortunes : the first was this-our ship, making her
course towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those
Islands and the African shore, was surprised in the gray of the
morning by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us
with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much
canvas as our yards would spread, or our masts carry, to get
clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would cer-
tainly 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 pouring in also his
small shot from near two hundred men which he had on board.
However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close.
He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves;
but laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he
entered sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cut-
ting 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 first I ap-


prehended; nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's
court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain
of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being
young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising
change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable
slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back
upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be
miserable and have none to relieve me, which I thought was
now so effectually brought to pass, that I could not. be worse;
for now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was un-
done 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
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 drudg-
ery of slaves about his house; and when he come 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
the young Maresco 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 kins-
men, and the youth-the Maresco, as they called him-to catch
a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time, that going a-fishing in a calm morn.


ing, a fog rose so thick that, though we were not half a league
from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew not
whither or which way, we labored all day, and all the next
night; and when the morning came, we found we had pulled
off to sea instead of pulling in for the shore; and that we were
at least two leagues from the shore. However, we got well
in again, though with a great deal of labor and some danger;
for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but 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 that 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 gibed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug and
low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and
a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles
of such liquor as he thought fit to drink, and 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 appointed to go out in this boat,
either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some
distinction in that place, and for whom he had provided extraor-
dinarily, and had therefore sent on board the boat over-night
a larger store of provisions than ordinary; and had ordered me
to get ready three fusees with powder and shot, which were on
board his ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling as
well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the
next morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient and pen-
dants out, and everything to accommodate his guests ; when by
and by my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests -
had put off going, 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 that his friends were to sup at
his house ; and commanded that as soon as I got some fish I
should bring it home to his house: all which I prepared to 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 fur-
nish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage ; though
I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should
steer,-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 something for our subsistence on board; for I
told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread.
He said that was true ; so he brought a large basket of rusk or
biscuit, and three jars of 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 con-
veyed 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 beeswax into the boat, which weighed above half
a hundred-weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a
saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great use to us 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 on board the
boat; can you not get a little powder and shot ? It may be we
may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves,
for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship." Yes,"
says he, I'll bring some ;" and accordingly he brought a great
leather pouch, which held a pound and a half of powder, or
rather more ; and another with shot, that had five or six pounds,
with some bullets, and put all into the boat. At the same time,
I had found some powder of my master's in the great cabin,
with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which
was almost empty, pouring what was in it into another; and
thus furnished with everything needful, we sailed out of the
port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port,
knew who we were, and took no notice of us; and we were not
above a mile out of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set
us down to fish. The wind blew from the 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 stana farther off."
He, thinking no harm, agreed, and being in the head of the
boat, set the sails; and, as I had the helm, I run the boat out
near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I would fish;
when, giving the boy the helm, I 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 immediately.
for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken in,
told me he would go all over the world with me. He swam so
strong after the boat, that he would have reached me very
quickly, there being but little wind ; upon which I stepped into
the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented
it at him, and told him I had done him no hurt, and if he would
be quiet I would do him none. But," said I, "you swim well
enough to reach to the shore, and the sea is calm; make the
best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but if
you come near the boat, I'll shoot you through the head, for I
am resolved to have my liberty: so he turned himself about,
and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached
it with ease, for he was an excellent 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 distrust him,
and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world
with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood
out directly to sea with the boat rather stretching to windward,
that they might think me gone towards the strait's mouth (as
indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been sup-
posed to do) : for who would have supposed we were sailed on to
the southward to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations
of Negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes, and
destroy us; where we could not 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 of 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 to swim on shore as soon as it
was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite
dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring,
and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that
the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not
to go on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I, "then I 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 ad
vice 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 pleas-
ure of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous howl-
ings and yelling, that I never indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frightened, and so was I too; but we
were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty
creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could not see
him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous
huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might
be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh
the anchor and row away. No," says I, "Xury; we can slip
our cable, with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they cannot


follow us far." I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the
creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length, which some-
thing 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 hid-
eous cries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the edge
of the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or
report of the gun-a thing I have some reason to believe those
creatures had never heard before:-this convinced me that
there was no going on shore for us in the night on 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 hands of the lions
and tigers; at least we were equally apprehensive of the dan-
ger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some-
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat;
when or where to get it was the point. Xury said, if I would
let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there
was any water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he
would go; why I should not go, and he stay in the boat. The
boy answered with so much affection, as 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 so 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 towards him to help him; but when I
came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoul-
ders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but
different in color, and longer legs: however, we were very glad
of it, and it was very good meat; but the great joy that poor
Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water, and
seen no wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains

for water, for a little higher up the creek where we were, we
found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but
a little way up ; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare
we had killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no
footsteps of any human creature in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de 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 not exactly knowing, or at least remembering, 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, r 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 Mo,
rocco'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 har-
bor there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only,
where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a
time: and, indeed, for near a hundred miles together upon this
coast, we saw nothing but a waste, uninhabited country by day,
and heard nothing but howlings and roaring of wild beasts by
Once or twice in the daytime, I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the high top of the Mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out, in hopes of
reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in
again by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little
vessel; so I resolved to pursue my first design and keep along
the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after
we had left this place, and once in particular, being early in
the morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land,
which was pretty high ; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still
to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than
it seems mine were, calls softly to me, and tells me that we had
best go farther off the shore; "for," says he, "look, yonder


lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock, fast asleep."
I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster in-
deed, for it was a terrible great lion that lay on the side of the
shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung as it
were a little over him. Xury," says I, you shall go on shore
and kill him." Xury looked frighted, and said, Me kill! he
eat me at one mouth ;" one mouthful he meant. However, I
said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still, and I took our
biggest gun, which was almost musket bore, and loaded it with
a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down;
then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third (for
we had three pieces) I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took
the best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him 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 broken, fell
down again; and then got up upon three legs, and gave the
most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised
that I had not hit him on the head; however, I took up the second
piece immediately, and, though he began to move off, fired
again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure to see
him drop and make but little noise, but lie struggling for life.
Then Xury took heart, and would have me let him go on shore.
" Well, go," said I: so the boy jumped into the water, and tak-
ing a little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other
hand, and coming close to the creature, put the muzzle of the
piece to his ear, and shot him in the head again, which de-
spatched 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 re-
solved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to
work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it,
for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us both up
the whole day, but at last we got off the hide, 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 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 to the
shore than we were obliged for fresh water. My design in this
was to make the River Gambia or Senegal, that is to say, any-
where about the Cape de Verd, where I was in hopes to meet
with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what
course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there
among the Negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe,
which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brazil, or to
the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and, in a
word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point,
either that I must meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer,
as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited ; and
in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand
upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they
were quite black and 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 back two pieces of dry flesh and some corn, such as
is the produce of their country; but we neither knew what the
one or the other was : however, we were willing to accept it;
but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I 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 in-
stant to oblige them wonderfully: for while we were lying by
the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other
(as we took it) with great fury from the mountains towards the
sea ; whether it was the male pursuing the female, or whether


they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than
we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it
was the latter; because, in the first place, those ravenous crea-
tures seldom appear but in the night; and, in the second place,
we found the people terribly frighted, especially the women.
The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but
the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran 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
even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the very
terror; but when they saw the creature dead, and sunk in the
water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore,
they took heart and came, and began to search for the crea-
ture. I found him by his blood staining the water; and by the
help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave the Negroes
to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found that it was a
most curious leopard, spotted, and fine to an admirable degree;
and the Negroes held up their hands with admiration, to think
what it was I had killed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the
noise of the gun, swam on the shore, and ran up directly to the
mountains from whence they came ; nor could I, at that dis-
tance, know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes wished
to eat the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them
take it as a favor from me; which, when I made signs to them
that they might take him, they were very thankful for. Imme-
diately they fell to work with him; and though they had no
knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of wood, they took off his
skin as readily, and much more readily, than we could have
done with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh, which
I declined, pointing out that I would give it them ; but made


signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought
me a great deal more of their provisions, which, though I did
not understand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them
for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning
it bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I want-
ed 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 supposed, in the sun; this they
set down to me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my
jars, and filled them all three. The women were as 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 to do; for if I should be
taken with a fresh of wind, I might neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the
cabin, and sat 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 righted out of his wits, thinking it must
needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, but I
knew we were 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 was soon convinced they were bound some other way,
and did not design to come any nearer to the shore upon
which I stretched out to sea as much 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 be-
fore I could make any signal to them: but after I had crowded
to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw, by the
help of their glasses, 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 I had made my
escape out of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee ; they then
bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will
believe, that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a
miserable and almost hopeless condition as I was in; and I
immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a
return for my deliverance ; but he generously told me, he would
take nothing from me, but that all I had should be delivered
safe to me when I came to the Brazils. "For," says he, "I
have saved your life on no other terms than I would be glad
to be saved myself ; and it may, one time or other, be my lot to
be taken up in the same condition. Besides," said 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 those things will help to
buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the
performance to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen, that none
should touch anything that 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 his ship's use; and
asked me what I would have for it. I told him he had been so
generous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make
any price of the boat, but left it entirely to him : upon which he
told me he would give me a note of hand to pay me eighty
pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if any
one offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered me
also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was
loath to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have


him, but I was very loath to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had
assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However,
when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and
offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obliga-
tion 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 pas-
sage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty
for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused
everything I had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me;
and what I was willing to sell, he bought of me; such as
the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump
of beeswax,-for I had made candles of the rest: in a word,
I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight
of all my cargo ; and with this stock, I went on shore in
the Brazils.
I had not been long here, before I was recommended to the
house of a good, honest man, like himself, who had an ingenio,
as they call it (that is, a plantation and a sugar-house). I lived
with him some time, and acquainted myself, by that means, with
the manner of planting and making of sugar; and seeing how
well the planters lived, and how they got rich suddenly, I
resolved, if I could get a license to settle there, I would turn
planter among them ; resolving, in the mean time, to find out
some way to get my money, which I had left in London,
remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of letter of
naturalization, I purchased as much land that was uncured as
my money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation
and settlement; such a one as might be suitable to the stock
which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbor, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of
English parents, who name was Wells, and in much such cir-
cumstances as I was. I call him my neighbor, because his
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably to-
gether. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather
planted for food than anything else, for about two years. How-
ever, we began to increase, and our land began to come into


order; so that the third year we planted some tobacco, and
made each of us a large piece of ground ready for planting
canes in the year to come : but we both wanted help; and now
I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with my
boy Xury.
But, alas for me to do wrong, that never did right, was no
great 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 staid at home, and never
have fatigued myself in the world, as I had done ; and I used
often to say to myself, I could have done this as well in
England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles
off to do it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and
at such a distance as never to hear from any part of the world
that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and
then this neighbor ; no work to be done, but by the labor of my
hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away
upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself.
But how just has it been; and how should all men reflect, that
when they compare their present conditions with others that
are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and
be convinced of their former felicity by their experience : I say,
how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on,
in an island of mere desolation, should be my lot, who had so
often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in
which, had I continued, I had, in all 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 his lading, and preparing for his voyage,
nearly 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 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 gentle-
woman 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 behavior,
and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary
directions for my supply; and when this honest captain came
to Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants
there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of
my story to a merchant at London, who represented it effect-
ually to her; whereupon she not only delivered the money, but,
out of her own pocket, sent the Portugal captain a very hand-
some present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in
English goods, such as the captain had written for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me
to the Brazils; among which, without my 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, neces-
sary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortunes 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 manu-
facture, such as cloths, stuffs, baize, and things particularly
valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell
them to a very great advantage; so that I might say, I had
more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now
infinitely beyond my poor neighbor-I mean in the advance-
ment of my plantation ; for the first thing I did, I bought me


a negro slave, and a European servant also-I mean another
besides that which the captain brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very
means of our greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on
the next year with great success in my plantation: I raised
fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had
disposed of for necessaries among my neighbors; and these
fifty rolls, being each of above a hundred weight, were well
cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon:
and now increasing in business and in wealth, my head began
to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach;
such as are, indeed, often the ruin of the best heads in busi-
ness. Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had
room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for
which my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life,
and which he had so sensibly described the middle station of
life to be full of; but other things attended me, and I was still
to be the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly,
to increase my fault, and double the reflections upon myself,
which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make, all
these 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 pros-
pects, 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 my breaking away from my
parents, so I could not be content now, but I must go and
leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man
in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate
desire of rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted;
and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of
human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be con-
sistent with life and a state of health in the world.
To come, then, by the just degrees, to the particulars of
this part of my story: You may suppose, that having now
lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive
and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only
learned the language, but had contracted acquaintance and
friendship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the
merchants at St. Salvador, which was our port; and that, in
my discourses among them, I had frequently given them an
account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea; the man-
ner of trading with the Negroes there, and how easy it was to


purchase upon the coast for trifles-such as beads, toys, knives,
scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like-not only gold
dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but Negroes, for
the service of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourse 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
assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal,
and engrossed in the public stock; so that few Negroes were
bought, and those excessively dear.
It happened, being in company with some merchants and
planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very
earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning, and
told me they had been musing very much upon what I had dis-
coursed with them of the last night, and they came to make a
secret proposal to me; and, after enjoining me secrecy, they
told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea;
that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened
for nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade 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 Ne-
groes, 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 a planta-
tion 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 to 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 to such as I should direct, if I miscarried.
This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings or cove-
nants 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 in England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects,
and to keep up my plantation: had I used half as much pru-
dence to have looked into my own interest, and have made a
judgment of what I ought to have done and not to have done,
I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an under-
taking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance,
and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common
hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular
misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my
fancy rather than my reason; and, accordingly, the ship being
fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done, as by
agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in
an evil hour, the Ist of September, 1659, being the same day
eight years that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in
order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden,
carried six guns, and fourteen men, besides the master, his
boy, and myself; we had on board no large cargo of goods,
except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the Negroes,
such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and other trifles, especially
little looking-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away
to the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch
over for the African coast, when we came about ten or twelve
degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was the manner
of course in those days. We had very good weather, only ex-
cessively hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came to
the height of Cape St. Augustino; from whence, keeping far-
ther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were
bound for the Isle Fernando de Noronha, holding our course
N. E. by N., and leaving those isles on the east. In this course
we passed the line in about twelve days' time, and were, by
our last 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 in the north-
east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for
twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and
scudding away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and
the fury of the winds directed; and during these twelve days, I
need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up;
nor, indeed, did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one
of our men die of the calenture, and one man and the boy
washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating
a little, the master made an observation as well as he could,
and found that he was in about eleven degrees north latitude,
but that he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference
west from Cape St Augustino; so that he found he was upon
the coast of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the
River Amazons, towards that of the River Oroonoque, com-
monly called the Great River; and began to consult with me
what course he should take, for the ship was leaky, and very
much disabled, and he was going directly back to the coast of
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts
of the sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was
no inhabited country for us to have recourse to, till we came
within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore
resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off
at sea, to avoid the indraft of the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we
might easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days'
sail; whereas we could not possibly make our voyage to the
coast of Africa without some assistance both to our ship and to
With this design, we changed our course, and steered away
N. W. by W., in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was otherwise
determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees
eighteen minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried
us away with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us
so out of the way of all human commerce, that had all our
lives been saved as to the sea, we 'were rather in danger of
being devoured by savages, than ever returning to our own
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our
men early in the morning cried out, Land and we had no

sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing where-
abouts 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 that we should all
have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven
into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and
spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like con-
dition to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such
circumstances. We knew nothing where we were, or upon what
land it was we were driven; whether an island or the main-
whether inhabited or not inhabited ; 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 into pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle,
should turn immediately about. In a word, we sat looking upon
one another, and expecting death every moment, and every
man, accordingly, preparing for another world; for there was
little or nothing more for us to do in this; that which was our
present comfort, and all the comfort we had, was that, contrary
to our expectation, the ship did not break yet, and that the
master said the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate,
yet the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking
too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful
condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving
our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern
just before the storm, but she was first staved by dashing
against the ship's rudder, and in the next place, she broke
away, and either sunk, or was driven off to sea; so there was
no hope from her. We had another boat on board, but how
to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing; however, there
was no time to debate, for we fancied the ship would break in
pieces, every minute, and some told us she was actually broken
In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat,
and with the help of the rest of the men, got her slung over the
ship's side; and getting all into her, let go, and committed
ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild
sea: for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the
sea ran dreadfully high upon the shore, and might be well called
den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw.
plainly, that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live,


and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail,
we had none, nor if we had, could we have done anything with
it; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with
heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all knew
that when the boat came nearer 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 de-
struction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or
shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give
us the least shadow of expectation, was, if we might find 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 like
this appeared ; but as we made nearer and nearer the shore,
the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and
a half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup degrace.
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 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 sunk into the water: for though I swam very well, yet
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath,
till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast
way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back,
and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the
water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as
breath left, that seeing myself nearer the main land than I ex-
pected, I got upon my feet, and endeavored to make on towards
the land as fast as I could, before another wave should return
and take me up again; but I soon found it was impossible to
avoid it; for I saw the sea coming 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 swim-
ming, to preserve my breathing and pilot myself towards the
shore, if possible, my greatest concern now being, that the sea,
as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it
came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave
back towards the sea,


The wave that came upon me again, buried me at once
twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body, and I could feel my-
self 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 raising 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 wellnigh 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 left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own
deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breath, 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 see-
ing 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 cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the
grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up
and thank God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there
was, some minutes before, scarce any room to hope. I believe
it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstasies and
transports of the soul are. when it is so saved, as I may say,


out of the very grave : and I do not wonder now at the 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 his 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 my-
self; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign
of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that
were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far
off ; and considered, Lord how was it possible I could get on
shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of
my condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of
place I was in, and what was next to be done: and I soon
found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful
deliverance : for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor any-
thing either to eat or drink, to comfort me; neither did I see
any prospect before me, but that of perishing with hunger, or
being devoured by wild beasts : and that which was particularly
afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon, either to hunt and
kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against
any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs. In
a word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and
a little tobacco in a box. This was all my provision; and this
threw me into terrible agonies of mind, that for a while, I ran
about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began, with
a heavy heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were
any ravenous beasts in that country, as 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 drank, and put a little tobacco in my
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up
into it, endeavored to place myself so that if I should sleep I
might not fall. And having cut me a short stick, like a trun-
cheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging; and having been
excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably
as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and found
myself 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 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: that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had
not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all com-
fort and company, as I now was. This forced tears 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 around, her twice, and the second time I spied a small
piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hung


down by the forechains so low, that with great difficulty I got
hold.of it, and by the help of that rope I got up into the fore-
castle 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 pro-
visions 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 man-
age 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 cross-
ways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was
not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light.
So I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare
top-mast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a
great deal of labor and pains. But the hope of furnishing
myself with necessaries, encouraged me to go beyond what I
should have been able to have done upon another 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 plank 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 dis-
appointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten and
spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several cases or bottles
belonging to our shippers, in which were some cordial waters ;
and, in all, about five or six gallons of rack. These I bestowed
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 mortifi-
cation to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left
on the 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 set me on 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 and a
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there
were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where
our gunner had stowed them ; but with much search I found
them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.
Those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I
thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I
should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor
rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all
my navigation.
I had three encouragements; ist, a smooth, calm sea;
2dly, the tide rising, and setting in to the shore ; 3dly, what little
wind there was blew me towards the land. And thus, having
found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and be-
sides 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 there-
abouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a
little distant from the place I had landed before; by which I
perceived that there was some indraft of the water, and con-


sequently, I hoped to find some creek or river there, which I
might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a
little opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the
tide set into it; so I guided my raft, as well as I could, to keep
in the middle of the stream.
But here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck,
which, if I had, I think, verily, would have 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 on upon that flat piece of ground,
and there fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken
oars into the ground,-one on one side, near one end, and one
on the other side near the other end ; and thus I laytill the
water ebbed away, and left my raft and 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 labor and difficulty
got to the top, I saw my fate, to my great affliction, viz.: that I
was in an island environed on every side by the sea: no land
to be seen except some rocks, which lay a great way off; and
two small islands less than this, which lay about three leagues
to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and as I
saw good reason to believe, uninhabited except by wild beasts,
of whom, however, I saw none. Yet I saw abundance of fowls,
but I 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, than 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 crea-
ture I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its color and
beak resembling it, but it had no talons or claws more than
common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and
fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the
rest of that day: what to do with myself at night I knew not,
nor indeed where to rest, for I was afraid to lie down on the
ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour me,
though, as I 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 particu-
larly 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 had got everything out of the ship
that I could get. Then I called a council-that is to say, in
my thoughts-whether I should take back the raft; but this
appeared impracticable; so I resolved to go as before, when
the tide was down; and I did so, only that I stripped before I
went from my hut, having nothing on but a checkered shirt, 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,
together with several things belonging to the gunner, particu-
larly 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 bagful 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 bed-
ding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them
all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some 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 under-
stand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer
to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though,
by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not great:
however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled
at it, and ate it, and looked (as if pleased) for more ; but I
thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched off.

Having got my second cargo on shore,-though I was
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 every-
thing that I knew would spoil either with rain or sun; and I
piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the
tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or
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, lay-
ing my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by
ne, I went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all
night, for I was very weary and heavy; for the night before I
had slept little, and had labored very hard all day, to fetch all
those things from the ship, and to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was
laid up, I believe, for one man: but I was not satisfied still,
for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I
ought to get everything out of her that I could: so every day,
at low tide, 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 obliged to cut them in pieces, and bring
as much at a time as I could, for they were no more useful to
be sails, but as mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was, that last of
all, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and
thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was
worth my meddling with ;-I say, after all this, I found a great
hogshead of bread, three large runlets of rum, or spirits, and a
box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour: this was surprising to
me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions,
except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the
hogshead of 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.
The next day I made another voyage, and now, having
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I
began with the cables : cutting the great cable into pieces such


as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with
all the iron work I could get; and having cut down the spirit-
sail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and everything I could, to
make a large raft, I loaded it with all these heavy goods, and
came away; but my good luck began now to leave me; for
this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I was
entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods,
not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset,
and threw me and all my cargo into the water; as for myself,
it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my
cargo, it was a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I
expected would have been of great use to me: however, when
the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and
some of the iron, though with infinite labor; for I had to dip
for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much.
After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what
I could get.
I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven
times on board the ship, in which time I had brought away
all that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to
bring; though I believe verily, had the calm 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 thid.-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: 0 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 can-
vas, 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. Ac-
cordingly, 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 had got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all
my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that
night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold no more
ship was to be seen I was a little surprised, but recovered
myself with this satisfactory reflection, that I had lost no time,
nor abated any diligence, to get everything out of her that
could be useful to me; and that, indeed, there was little left in
her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any-
thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her
wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did; but
those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing
myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild
beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of
the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make,
whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon
the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon both; 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 settle-
ment, because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near the
sea, and I believed it would not be wholesome, and more par-
ticularly because there was no fresh water near it; so I re-
solved to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of
I consulted several things in my situation, which I found
would be proper for me: ist, health and fresh water, I just
now mentioned: 2dly, shelter from the heat of the sun: 3dly,
security from ravenous creatures, whether men or beasts: 4thly,
a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I might
not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not
willing to banish all my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I .found a little plain
on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain
was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come down
upon me from the top. On the side of 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 before this hollow place, I
resolved to pitch my tent. This plain was not above a hun-
dred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green
before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly
every way down into the low ground by the sea-side. It was
on the N. N. W. side of the hill; so that it was sheltered from
the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or there-
about, which, in those countries, is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent I drew a half-circle before the hollow
place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter, from
the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its beginning
and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driv-
ing 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, one upon another, within the circle,
between these rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes
in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half
high, like a spur to a post ; and this fence was so strong, that
neither man nor beast could get into it or over it. This cost me
a great deal of time and labor, especially to cut the piles in the
woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door,
but by a short ladder to go up over the top ; which ladder, when
I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in
and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently
slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have
done ; though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of
all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger
Into this fence, or fortress, with infinite labor, I carried all
my riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which
you have the account above; and I made a large tent, which,
to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year are
very violent there, I made double, one smaller tent within, and
one large tent above it; and covered the uppermost with a
large tarpaulin, which I had saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had


brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very
good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus inclosed all my
goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open,
and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the
rock, and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out
through my tent, I laid them up within my fence, in the nature
of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about a foot
and a half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind my tent,
which served me like a cellar to my house.
It cost me much labor and many days before all these things
were brought to perfection; and, therefore, I must go back to
some other things which took up some of my thoughts. At the
same time it happened, after I had laid. my scheme for the set-
ting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain fall-
ing from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning
happened, and after that, a great clap of thunder, as is natu-
rally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the
lightning, as I was with a thought which darted into my mind
as swift as the lightning itself : 0 my powder! My very heart
sank within me when I thought that, at one blast, all my powder
might be destroyed; on which, not my defence only, but the
providing me food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was
nothing near so anxious about my own danger, though, had the
powder took fire, I should never have known who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm
was over, I laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying,
and applied myself to make bags and boxes, to separate the
powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope
that whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once;
and to keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make
one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight;
and I think my powder, which in all was about two hundred
and forty pounds weight, was divided into not less than a hun-
dred 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 call my kitchen; and the rest I hid up
and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come
to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once
at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to
see if I could kill anything fit for food; and, as near as I could,


to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first
time I went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in
the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it
was attended with this misfortune to me, viz.: that they were
so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the difficultest
thing in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged
at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it
soon happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I
laid wait in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me
in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would run
away, as in a terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the
valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice of me;
from whence I concluded that, by the position of their optics,
their sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily
see objects that were above them; so afterwards, I took this
method,-I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them,
and then had frequently a fair mark.
The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-
goat, which had a little kid by her, which she gave 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 ate
sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as
much as possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely
necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn;
and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave, and
what conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of in its
place; but I must now give some little account of my self, and
of my thoughts about living, which, it may well be supposed,
were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not
cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by
a violent storm, quite out of the course of our intended voyage,
and a great way, viz.: some hundreds of leagues, out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to
consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate
place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The.
tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these


reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself
why Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures, and
render them so absolutely miserable; so without help, aban-
doned, so entirely depressed, that it would hardly be rational
to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check
these thoughts and to reprove me; and particularly, one day,
walking with my gun in my hand, by the sea-side, I was very
pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when reason,
as it were, expostulated with me the other way, thus: Well,
you are in a desolate condition, it is true; but, pray remember,
where are the rest of you ? Did not you come eleven of you
into the boat ? Where are the ten ? Why were not they saved,
and you lost ? Why were you singled out ? Is it better to be
here or there ?" And then I pointed to the sea. All evils
are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with
what worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for
my subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had
not happened (which was a hundred thousand to one) that the
ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was
driven so near to the shore, that I had time to get all these
things out of her: what would have been my case, if I had
been forced to have lived in the condition in which I at first
came on shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries to
supply and procure them? "Particularly," said I, aloud
(though to myself), what should I have done without a gun,
without ammunition, without any tools to make anything, or to
work with, without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of
covering ? and that now I had all-these in 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 decaf.
I confess, I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition
being destroyed at one blast,-I mean my powder being blown
up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so surprising
to me, when it lightened and thundered, as I observed just now.
And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a
scene of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the
world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it


in its order. It was, by my account, the 3oth of September,
when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this
horrid island; when the sun, being to us in its autumnal equinox,
was almost just over my head: for I reckoned myself, by ob-
servation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two
minutes north of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came
into my thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for
want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the
Sabbath days; but to prevent this, I cut with my knife upon a
large post, in capital letters; and making it into a great cross,
I set up on the shore where I first landed, "I came on shore
here on the 3oth of September, 1659."
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch
with my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as
the rest, and every first day of the month, as long again as that
long one; and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly,
and yearly reckoning of time.
In the next place, we are to observe that among the many
things which I brought out of the ship, in the several voyages
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things
of less value, but not at all less useful to me, which I omitted
setting down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper;
several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's
keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical instru-
ments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all
which I huddled together, whether I might want them or no:
also I found three very good Bibles, which came to me in my
cargo from England, and which I had packed up among my
things; some Portuguese-books also; and, among them, two
or three Popish prayer-books, and several other books, all which
I carefully secured. And I must not forget, that we had in the
ship a dog, and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have
occasion to say something in its place ; for I carried both the
cats with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of
himself, and swam on shore to me the day after I went on
shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many
years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any com-
pany that he could make up to me; I only wanted to have him
talk to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I
found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the ut-
most; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things
very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not
make any ink by any means that I could devise.


And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, not-
withstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these
ink was one; as also a spade, pickaxe, and shovel, to dig or
remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread: as for linen, I
soon learned to want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily;
and it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my
little pale, or surrounded my habitation. The piles or stakes,
which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in
cutting and preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in bring-
ing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and
bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it
into the ground; for which purpose, I got a heavy piece of
wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron
crows; which, however, though I found it, made driving those
posts or piles very laborious and tedious work. But what need
I have been concerned at the tediousness of anything I had to
do, seeing I had time enough to do it in ? nor had I any other
employment, if that had been over, at least that I could foresee,
except the ranging the island to seek for food, which I did
more or less every day.
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the
circumstances I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my
affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were
to come after me, for I was likely 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 despond-
ency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set
the good against the evil, that I might have something to dis-
tinguish my case from worse; and I stated very impartially,
like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the
miseries I suffered, thus:-

I am cast upon a horrible, But I am alive; and not
desolate island, void of all drowned, as all my ship's com-
hope of recovery. pany were.
I am singled out and sepa- But I am singled out, too,
rated, as it were, from all the from all the ship's crew, to be
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 man-
kind,-a solitaire; one ban-
ished from human society.
I have not clothes to cover

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

I have no soul to
or relieve me.

speak to

But I am not starved, and
perishing on a barren place,
affording no sustenance.
But I am in a hot climate,
where, if I had clothes, I could
hardly wear them.
But I am cast on an island
where I see no wild beasts to
hurt me, as I saw on the coast
of Africa: and what if I had
been shipwrecked there ?
But God wonderfully sent
the ship in near enough to the
shore, that I have got out as
many necessary things as will
either supply my wants or en-
able me to supply myself, even
as long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that
there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but
there was something negative, or something positive, to be
thankful for in it; and let this stand as a direction, from the
experience of the most miserable of all conditions in this world :
that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves
from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the
credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition,
and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship,-
say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself to arrange
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
outside : and after some time (I think it was a year and a half)
I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and thatched or
covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get,
to keep out the rain; which I found at some times of the year
very violent.
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into
this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me. But
I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of


goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my
place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to en-
large my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a
loose sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labor I bestowed
on it: and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of
prey, I worked sideways, to the right hand into the rock; and
then turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made
me a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortifica-
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
store 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 com-
forts 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 origin of the mathematics, so by stating and
squaring everything by reason, and by making the most rational
judgment of things, every man may be, in time, master of every
mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life ; and yet,
in time, by labor, application, and contrivance, I found, at last,
that I wanted nothing but I could have made it, especially if I
had had tools. However, I made abundance of things, even
without tools; and some with no more tools than an adze and
a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before, and
that with infinite labor. For example, if I wanted a -board, I
had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge be-
fore me, and hew it flat on either side with an axe, till I had
brought it to be thin as a.plank, and then dub it smooth with
my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one
board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for but
patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time
and labor which it took me up to make a plank or board: but
my time or labor was little worth, and so it was as well em-
ployed 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 the raft from the ship. But when
I had wrought out some boards as above, I made large shelves,
of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another all along
one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work on;
and, in a word, to separate everything at large into their places,


that I might come easily at them. I knocked pieces into the
wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that would hang
up: so that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a gen-
eral magazine of all necessary things; and I had everything
so ready at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to see
all my goods in such order, and especially to find my stock of
all necessaries so great.
And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every
day's employment; for, indeed, at first, I was in too much
hurry, and not only hurry as to labor, but in too much discom-
posure of mind; and my journal would have been full of many
dull things: for example, I must have said thus: Sept. 3oth.
-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 had got
into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the
shore wringing my hands and beating my head and face ; ex-
claiming at my misery, and eying out, 'I was undone, undone !'
till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to
repose; but durst not sleep, for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the
ship, and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not for-
bear 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 dis-
tance, 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 mis-
ery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a
table and chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I
began to keep my journal; of which I shall here give you the
copy (though in it will be told all these particulars over again)
as long as it lasted; for having no more ink, I was forced to
leave it off.

September 30, 1659.-I, poor, miserable Robinson Crusoe,
being shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm, in the offing, came
on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which I called
The Island of Despair;" all the rest of the ship's company
being drowned, and myself almost 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 de-
spair 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 i.-In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the
ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore
again much nearer the island; which as it was some comfort,
on one hand, for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to
pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board, and
get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on
the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades,
who, I imagined, if we had all staid on board, might have saved
the ship, or, at least, that they would not have been all
drowned, as they were; and that, had the men been saved, we
might perhaps have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship,
to have carried us to some other part of the world. I spent
great part of this day in perplexing myself on these things;
but, at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand
as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day also it
continued raining, though with no wind at all.
From the Ist of October to the 24th.-All these days en-
tirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of
the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon
rafts. Much rain also, in the days, though with some intervals
of fair weather; but it seems this was the rainy season.
Oct. 20.-I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got
upon it; but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly
heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out.
Oct. 25.-It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of
wind; during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind
blowing a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen,
except the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent
this day in covering and securing the goods which I had saved,
that 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 3oth, I worked very hard in carrying
all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the
time it rained exceedingly hard.
The 3ist, in the morning, I went out into the island with my
gun, to see for some food, and discover the country; when I
killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I after-
wards killed also because it would not feed.
November i.-I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there
for the first night; making it as large as I could, with stakes
driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2.-I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces
of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence
round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my
Nov. 3.-I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to
work to make me a table.
Nov. 4.-This morning I began to order my times of work,
of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion;
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 tolive on; and from
twelve till two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessively
hot; and then, in the evening, to work again. The working
part of this day and of the next was wholly employed in making
my table, for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time
and necessity made me a complete natural mechanic soon after,
as I believe they would do any one else.
Nov. 5.-This day, went abroad with my gun and my dog,
and killed a wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good
for nothing; every creature that I killed I took off the skins and
preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many
sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was sur-
prised, and almost frightened, 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, ioth, and part of the i2th (for the i th was Sunday),
I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado
brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me; and
even in the making I pulled it in pieces several times.


Note.-I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for, omitting
my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13.-This day it rained, which refreshed me exceed-
ingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with
terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully,
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to
separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as
possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, i6.-These three days I spent in making little
square chests, or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or
two pounds at most, of powder; and so, putting the powder in,
I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one 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 effect-
Lally without it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.
Nov. 18.-The next day, in searching the woods, I found a
tree of that wood, or like it, which, in the Brazils, they call the
iron-tree, for its exceeding hardness; of this, with great labor,
and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home,
too, with difficulty, enough, for it was exceeding heavy. The
excessive hardness of the wood, and my having no other way,
made me a long while upon this machine, for I worked it effect-
ually by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade ; the
handle exactly shaped like ours in. England, only that the broad
part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last
me so long; however, it served well enough for the uses which
I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe,
made after that fashion, or so long in making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket, or a wheel-
barrow. A basket I could not make by any means, having no
such things as twigs that would bend to make wicker-ware-at
least, none yet found out; and as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied I
could make all but the wheel; but that I had no notion of;
neither did I know how to go about it; besides, I had no possible
way to make the iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the

wheel to run in; so I gave it over, and so, for carrying away
the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like
a hod, which the laborers carry mortar in, when they serve the
bricklayers. This was not so difficult to me as the making the
shovel; and yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I
made in vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than
four days-I mean always excepting my morning walk with my
gun, which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also bring-
ing home something fit to eat.
Nov. 23.-My other work having now stood still, because
of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on,
and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I
spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my
cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously.
Note.-During all this time, I worked to make this room,
or cave, spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse,
or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. As for
my lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet
season of the year, it rained so hard, that I could not keep myself
dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my
pale with long poles, in the form of rafters, leaning against the
rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees, like a
December io.-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. I had now 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. i .-This day I went to work with it accordingly, and
got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two
pieces of boards across over each post; this I finished the
next day; and setting more posts up with boards, in about a
week more I had the roof secured; and the posts, standing in
rows, served me for partitions to part off the house.
Dec. 17.-From this day to the 2oth 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
Dec. 20.-Now I carried everything into the cave, and be-
gan to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards like


a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to be
very scarce with me : also I made me another table.
Dec. 24.-Much rain all night and all day: no stirring
Dec. 25.-Rain all day.
Dec. 26.-No rain, and the earth much cooler than before
and pleasanter.
Dec. 27.-Killed a young goat, and lamed another so that
I caught it, and led it home in a string ; when I had it at home,
I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke.
N. B.- I took such care of it that it lived, and the leg
grew well and as strong as ever; but by my 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
January. i-Very hot still: but I went abroad early and
late with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This
evening, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the
centre of the island, I found there were plenty of goats, though
exceedingly shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to
try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.
Jan. 2.-Accordingly, the next day I went out with my
dog, and set him upon the goats ; but I was mistaken, for they
all faced about upon the dog, and he knew his danger too
well, for he would not come near them.
7an. 3.-I began my fence, or wall; which, being still
jealous of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make
very thick and strong.
N. B.-This wall being described before, I purposely omit
what was said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe that I
was no less time than from the 3d of January to the I4th 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 be-
hind 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 labor everything
was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods,
and driving them into the ground; for I made them much
bigger than I 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 per-
ceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did
so, as may be observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable oc-
During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game
every day, when the rain permitted me, and made frequent dis-
coveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage;
particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, 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 endeavored
to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew older
they flew away, which perhaps was at first for want of feed-
ing them, for I had nothing to give them; however, I fre-
quently found their nests, and got their young ones, which
were very good meat. And now, in the managing my house-
hold affairs, I found myself wanting in many things, which
I thought at first it was impossible for me to make; as, in-
deed, with 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 at the ca-
pacity 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 ever it was dark, which
was generally by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed.
I remembered the lump of beeswax with which I made can-
dles in my African adventure; but I had none of that now;
the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat
I saved the tallow, and with a little dish made of clay,
which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some
oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though
not a clear steady light like a candle. In the middle of all
my labors it happened that, rummaging my things, I found
a little bag, which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn
for the feeding of poultry,-not for this voyage, but before, as
I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon. The little re-
mainder of corn that had been in the bag was all devoured with


the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and
being willing to have the bag for some other use (I think it was
to put powder in, when I divided it, for the fear of the light-
ning, or some such use), I shook the husks of corn out of it
on one side ofmy fortification, under the rock.
It was a little before the great rains just now mentioned,
that I threw this stuff away, taking no notice, 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 out of the ground, which I fancied might
be some plant I had not seen; but I was surprised and per-
fectly astonished, when, after a little longer time, I saw about
ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfectly green barley,
of the same kind as our European- nay, as our English
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion
of my thoughts on this occasion; I had hitherto acted upon
no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions
of religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of any-
thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as chance, or, as we
lightly say, what pleases God, without so much as inquiring
into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in gov-
erning events for the world. But after I saw barley grow there,
in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and espe-
cially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely,
and I began to suggest that God had miraculously caused his
grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so
directed purely for my sustenance on that wild, miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my
eyes, and I began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature
should happen upon my account; and this was the more strange
to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the
rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks
of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa,
when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence
for my support, but not doubting that there was more in the
place, I went 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 shook a bag of chickens' meat out in that
place ; and then the wonder began to cease; and I must con-
fess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to
abate, too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but


what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful
for so strange and unforeseen a providence, as if it had been
miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence to me,
that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains of corn
should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all the
rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven ; as also, that I
should throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in
the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas,
if I had thrown it anywhere else, at that time, it had been burnt
up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in
their season, which was about the end of June; and, laying up
every corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping, in time,
to have some quantity, sufficient to supply me with bread. But
it was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least
grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall
say afterwards, in its order ; for I lost all that I sowed the first
season, by not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just
before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least
not as it would have done: of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty
stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care and for the
same use, or to the same purpose, to make me bread, or rather
food; for I found ways to cook it without baking, though I did
that also after some time.
But to return to my journal:-
I worked excessively hard these three or four months, to get
my wall done; and the I4th of April, I closed it up, contriving
to go into it, not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder, that
there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
April 16.-I finished the ladder; so I went up the ladder
to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in
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 labor overthrown at once, and myself killed. The case
was thus: As I was busy in the inside, behind my tent, just at
the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frighted with a most
dreadful surprising thing indeed : for, all on a sudden, I found
the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and
from the edge of the hill over my head, and two of the posts I
had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner. I was
heartily scared; but thought nothing of what was really tho


cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was fallen in, as
some of it had done before : and for fear I should be buried in
it, I ran forward to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe
there neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the
hill, which I expected might roll down upon me. I had no
sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, than I plainly saw
it was a terrible earthquake; for the ground I stood on shook
three times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such
shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that
could be supposed to have stood on the earth, and a great piece
of the top of a rock, which stood about half a mile from me,
next the sea, fell down, with such a terrible noise as I never
heard in all my life. I perceived also the very sea was put
into violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks were
stronger under the water than on the island.
I was so much amazed with the thing itself, having never
felt the like, nor discoursed with any one that had, that I was
like one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made
my stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea; but the noise
of the falling of the rock awaked me, as it were, and rousing
me from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me with horror,
and I thought of nothing 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 go over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat
still upon the ground greatly cast down and disconsolate, not
knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least serious
religious thought; nothing but the common Lord, have mercy
upon me and when it was over, that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy,
as if it would rain; soon after that, the wind arose by little and
little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful
hurricane: the sea was, all on a sudden, covered over with foam
and froth; the shore was covered with the breach of the water;
the trees were torn up by the roots ; and a terrible storm it was.
This held about three hours, and then began to abate; and in
two hours more it was quite calm, and began to rain very hard.
All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and
dejected; when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that
these winds and rain being the 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 fortification, like
a sink, to let the water go out, which would else have flooded
my cave. After I had been in my cave for 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 spar-
ingly, 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 com-
posed, I began to think of what I had best do; concluding,
that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there would
be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building
a 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 staid where I was, I should
certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the
place where it 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 i9th and 2oth 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 ap-
prehension of lying abroad without any fence was 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 very loath 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 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 and 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 re-
move. This was the 2ist.
April 22.-The next morning I began to consider of means
to put this resolve into execution; but I was at a great loss


about my tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of
hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the In-
dians) ; but with much chopping and cutting knotty, hard wood,
they were all full of notches, and dull; and though I had a
grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This
cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed
upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and
death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string,
to turn it with my foot, that I might have both of my hands at
Note.-I had never seen any such thing in England, or at
least not to take notice how it was done, though since I have
observed it is very 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, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to
one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May i.-In the morning, looking towards the sea-side, the
tide being very 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 the 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 bar-
rel of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and the powder was
caked as hard as a stone : however, I rolled it farther on shore
for the present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could
to the wreck of the ship, to look for more.
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely re-
moved. The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was
heaved up at least six feet, and the stern, which was broke in
pieces and parted from the rest by the force of the sea, soon
after I had left rummaging her, was tossed, as it were, up, and
cast on one side; and the sand was thrown so high on that side
next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of water
before, so that I could not come within a quarter of a mile of
the wreck without swimming, I could now walk quite up to her
when the tide was out. I was surprised with this at first, but
soon concluded it must be done by the 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 remov-
ing my habitation, and I busied myself mightily, that day es-
pecially, in searching whether I could make any way into the
ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for
all the inside of the ship was choked up with sand. However,
as I had learned not to despair of anything, I resolved to pull
everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that
everything I could get from her would be of some use or other
to me.
May 3.-I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam
through, which I thought held some of the upper part or quar-
ter-deck together, and when I 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
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 from the decks, which I tied
together, and made to float on shore when the tide of flood
came on.
May 6.-Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out
of her, and other pieces of iron-work ; worked very hard, and
came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving it
May 7.-Went to the wreck again, not with an intent to work,
but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself down, the
beams being cut ; the 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 day.
May 9.-Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way
into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loos-


enea them with the crow, but could not break them up. I felt
also a roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too
heavy to remove.
May Io-14.-Went every day to the wreck; and got a
great many pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or
three hundred-weight of iron.
May 15.-I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a
piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet,
and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a
half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the
May 16.-It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck
appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I staid so
long in the woods, to get pigeons for food, that the tide pre-
vented my going to the wreck that day.
May 17.-I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore,
at a great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see
what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too
heavy for me to bring away.
May 24.-Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck;
and with hard labor I loosened some things so much with the
crow, that the first blowing tide several casks floated out, and
two of the seamen's chests; but the wind blowing from the
shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber, and
a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it; but the salt
water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this work every
day to the i5th of June, except the time necessary to get food,
which I always appointed, during this part of my employment,
to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready when it was
ebbed out; and by this time I had got 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 hundred-weight of the sheet-lead.
.une 16.-Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tor-
toise, or turtle. This was the first I had seen, which, it seems,
was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or 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 after-
wards; but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
yune 17.-I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her
threescore eggs; and her flesh was to me, at that time, the
most savory and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having
had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this
horrid place.


rune i8.-Rained all day, and I staid within. I thought,
at this time, the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly;
which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
_uine 19.-Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had
been cold.
June 20.-No rest all night ; violent pains in my head, and
yune 2 i.-Very ill; frighted almost to death with the ap-
prehensions of my sad condition,-to be sick, and no help:
prayed to God, for the first time since the storm off Hull, but
scarce knew what I said, or why; my thoughts being all con-
yune 22.-A little better; but under dreadful apprehen-
sions of sickness.
7une 23.-Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a
violent headache.
yune 24.-Much better.
June 25.-An ague very violent; the fit held me seven
hours; cold fit, and hot, with faint sweats after it.
June 26.-Better ; and having no victuals to eat, took my
gun, but found myself very weak; however, I killed a she-goat,
and with much difficulty got it home, and broiled some of it,
and ate. I would fain have stewed it, and made some broth,
but had no pot.
June 27.-The ague again so violent that I lay abed all
day, and neither ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for
thirst; but so weak, I had not strength to stand up, or to get
myself any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was light-
headed; and when I was not, I was so ignorant that I knew
not what to say; only I lay and cried, Lord, look upon me !
Lord, pity me Lord have mercy upon me I suppose I did
nothing else for two or three hours; till the fit wearing off, I
fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night. When I
awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and exceed-
ing thirsty ; however, as I had no water in my 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 just bear to look towards him : his countenance
was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to de-
scribe; when he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I


thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before in the
earthquake, and all the air looked, to my apprehension, as if it
had been filled with'flashes of fire. He was no sooner landed
upon the earth, but he moved forward 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 ter-
rible vision. I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even
dreamed of those horrors. Nor is it any more possible to de-
scribe the impression that remained upon my mind when I
awaked, and found it was but a dream.
I had, alas! no divine knowledge. What I had received by
the good instruction of my father was then worn out by an un-
interrupted 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 over-
whelmed me; and I was all that the most hardened, unthink-
ing, wicked creature among our common sailors can be sup-
posed to be; not having the least sense, either of the fear of
God, in danger, or of thankfulness to God, in deliverance.
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 it being the hand of God, or
that it was a just punishment for my sin-my rebellious be-
havior 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 ap-
parently surrounded me, as well 'from voracious creatures as
cruel savages. But I was merely thoughtless of a God or a
Providence, acted like a mere L :ute, from the principles of


nature, and by the dictates of common sense only, and, indeed,
hardly that. When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the
Portuguese captain, well used, and dealt justly and honorably
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 miser-
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 ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the
grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankful-
ness; but it ended where it began, in a mere common flight of
joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least
reflection upon the distinguished goodness of the hand which
had preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved
when all the rest were destroyed, or an inquiry why Providence
had been thus merciful unto me. Even just the same common
sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they are got safe
ashore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in the next bowl
of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over; and all the
rest of my life was like it. Even when I was, 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 but a prospect 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 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 mi-
raculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was
removed, all the impression that 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 immedi-
ately directing to the invisible power which alone directs such
things, yet no sooner was the first fright over, but the impres-
sion 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 wicked-
ness, provoked the justice of God to lay me under uncommon
strokes, and to deal with me in so vindictive a manner. These
reflections oppressed me for the second, or third day of my
distemper, and in the violence, as well of the fever as of the
dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted 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 con-
fused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror of
dying in such a miserable condition raised vapors into my head
with the mere apprehension; and in these hurries of my soul,
I knew not what my tongue might express. But it was rather
exclamation, such as, "Lord, what a miserable creature am I!
If I should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help; and
what will become of me ?" 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 neg-
lected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my
recovery. Now," said I, aloud, my dear father's words are
come to pass; God's justice has overtaken me, and I have
none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence,
which had mercifully put me in a 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 in 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 dis-
tress This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I
had made for many years.


But to 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 were very great, yet I con-
sidered 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 agu-
ish 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 under a sense of my miserable condition,
dreading the return of my distemper the next day. At night,
I made my supper of three of the turtles' eggs, which I roasted
in the ashes, and ate, as we call it, in the shell, and this was
the first bit of meat I had ever asked God's blessing to, that 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 a
gun, for I never went out without that; so I went but a little
way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea,
which was just before me, and very calm and smooth. As I
sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me : What is
this earth and sea of which I have seen so much? Whence is
it produced ? And what am I, and all the other creatures, wild
and tame, human and brutal? Whence are we ? 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 all. Well, but then, it comes
on strangely, if God has made all these things, He guides and
governs them all, and all things that concern them; for the
power that could make all things must 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 appoint-
And if nothing happens without His knowledge, He knows
that I am here, and am in this dreadful condition; and if noth-
ing happens without His appointment, He has appointed all
this to befall me. Nothing occurred to my thought to contra-
dict 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 into 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 on 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 apprehension 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, 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 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, in 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 hit 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. 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 almost for
suffocation. In the interval of this operation, I took up the
Bible, and began to read; but my head was too much disturbed
with. the tobacco to bear reading, at least at the time; only


having opened the book casually, the first words that occurred
to me were these: Call on me in the day of trouble, and I
will deliver thee, and thbu 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 fulfi 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 to-
bacco, that I could scarcely get it down; immediately upon
this I went to bed. 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 recrossing the line, I should have lost more than one day;
but certainly I lost a day in my account, and I never knew
which way. Be that, however, one way or the 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 3oth was my well day, of course, and I went abroad
with my gun, but did not care to travel too far. I killed a sea-
fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought them
home; but was not very forward to eat them; so I ate some


more of the turtles' eggs, which were very good.' This even-
ing I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed did me
good the day before,-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 ist of July, as I hoped I should have
been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it was not
7uZly 2.-I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and
dosed myself with it as at first, and doubled the quantity which
I drank.
Yuly 3.-I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not
recover my full strength for some weeks after. While I was
thus gathering strength my thoughts ran exceedingly upon this
scripture, "I will deliver thee ;" and the impossibility of my
deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever expect-
ing it; but as I was discouraging myself with such thoughts, it
occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my deliver-
ance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliver-
ance I had received, and I was, as it were, made to ask myself
such questions as these ; viz.: Have I not been delivered,
and wonderfully too, from sickness ? from the most distressed
condition that could be, and that was so 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 knelt down and gave
God thanks aloud for the recovery from my sickness.
.uly 4.-In the morning; I took the Bible; and beginning
at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and im-
posed upon myself to read a while 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 tothis work, till I found my heart more deeply and
sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life. The im-
pression 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, that, reading the
Scripture, I came to these words : He is exalted a Prince and a
Saviour, to give repentance and give to remission." I threw down
the book; and with my heart as well as my hands lifted up to
heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried out aloud. Jesus,


thou Son of David! Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour !
give me repentance This was the first time 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, that I began to
have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above,
"Call on me and I will deliver thee," in a different sense from
what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of any-
thing being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the
captivity I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the
place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in
the worse 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 to this. And
I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that
whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find
deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance
from 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 i4th, I was chiefly employed in
walking about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little at a
time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit of
sickness: for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to
what weakness I was reduced. The application which I made
use of was perfectly new, and perhaps which had never cured
an ague before ; neither can I recommend it to any to practise,
by this experiment: and though it did carry off the fit, yet it
rather contributed to weakening me; for I had frequent con-
vulsions 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 the dry season
was almost always accompanied with such storms, so I found'
that 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 deliverance from this condition seemed to be
entirely taken from me; and I firmly believe 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 I yet knew
nothing of.
It was on the i5th of July that I began to take a more
particular survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first,
where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found, after
I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any higher;
and that it was, no more than a little brook of running water,
very fresh and good: but this being the dry season, there was
hardly any water in some parts of it; at least, not enough to
run in any stream, so as it could be perceived. On the banks
of this brook, I found many pleasant savannas or meadows,
plain, smooth, and covered with grass; and on the rising parts
of them, next to the higher grounds, where the water, as 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, that might, perhaps, have virtues of their own, which I
could not find out. I searched for the cassava root, which the
Indians, in all that climate, make their bread of, but I could
find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but did not understand
them. I saw several sugar-canes, but wild, and for want of
cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these discoveries
for this time, and came back, musing with myself what course I
might take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits
or plants which I should discover; b it could bring it to no
conclusion ; for, in short, I had made so little observation while
I was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants in the field ;
at least, very little that might serve me to any purpose now in
my distress.
The next day, the I6th, I went up the same way again; and
after going something farther 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 dis-
covery, 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, wholesome and agreeable to eat, when
no grapes could be had.
I spent all that evening, there, and went not back to my
habitation, which, by the way, was the first night, as I might
say, I had lain from home. In the night I took my first con-
trivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well; and the
next morning, proceeded upon my discovery, travelling 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 vale,
surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure, though mixed with
my 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 very few bearing any
fruit, at least not then. However, the green limes that I
gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome;
and I mixed their juice 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 homewards; 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 sur-
prised, when coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich
and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread about,
trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, and
abundance eaten and devoured. By this, I concluded there was
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 fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleasant-
ness of the situation ; the security from storms on that side the
water, and the wood; and concluded that I had pitched upon
a place to fix my abode, which was by far the worst part of the
country. Upon the whole, I began to consider of removing
my habitation; and looking out for a place equally safe as
where now I was situate, if possible, in that pleasant, fruitful
part of the island.
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding fond
of it for some time, the pleasantness of the place 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, by the same ill fate
that brought me hither, might bring some other unhappy
wretches to the same place ; and though it was scarcely 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 enamored of this
place, that I spent much of my time there for the whole of the
remaining part of the month of July; and though, upon second
thoughts, I resolved 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; so that I fancied now I had my country-house
and my sea-coast house; and this work took me up to the
beginning of August.
'I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my
labor, when 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 enjoy myself. The 3d of August, I
found the grapes I had hung up 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 spoilt them, and I had
lost the best part of my winter food; for I had above two hun-
dred 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 i4th 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 a quite
different kind from our European cat; 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 I4th 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 my supper.
During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked
daily two or three hours at enlarging my cave, and by degrees
worked it on towards one side, till I came to the outside of the
hill, and made a doorway out, which came beyond my fence or
wall; and so I came in and out this way. But I was not per-
fectly easy at lying so open; for, as I had managed myself be-
fore, I was in a perfect enclosure; whereas now, I thought I
lay exposed, and open for anything to come in upon me; 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 goat.
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,
prostrating myself on the ground with the most serious humilia-
tion, confessing my sins to God, acknowledging his righteous
judgments upon me, and praying to him to have mercy on me
through Jesus Christ; and not having tasted the least refresh-
ment 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 had 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 discourag-
ing experiments that I made.
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 its
southern position, going from me. Accordingly, I dug up a
piece of ground as well as I could with my wooden spade, and
dividing it into two parts, I sowed my grain; but as I was
sowing, it casually occurred to my 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 after-
wards that I did so, for not one grain of what 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 sea-
son had come again, and then it grew as if it had been but
newly sown. Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily
imagined was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of
ground to make another trial in, and I dug up a piece of ground
near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in February,
a little before the vernal equinox; and this having the rainy
months of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleas-
antly, and yielded a very good crop ; but having part of the seed
left only, and not daring to sow all that I had, 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 har-
vests 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, yet I found
all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that
I had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which
I had cut out of some trees that grew thereabouts, were all shot
out and grown with long branches, as much as a willow-tree


usually shoots the first year after lopping, its head 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 scarce credible how
beautiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that though
the edge 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 semi-circle 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' dis-
tance 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
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 consequences
of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with
provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out,
and I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet
months. This time I found much employment, and very suit-
able also for the time, for I found great occasion for many
things which I had no way to furnish myself with but by hard
labor and constant application; particularly I tried many ways
to make myself a basket, but all the twigs I could get for the
purpose proved so brittle that they would do nothing. It
proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a
boy, I used to take great delight in standing at a basket-

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs