Title Page
 Publisher's note
 List of Illustrations
 Sketch of Daniel Defoe
 Robinson Crusoe
 The further adventures of Robinson...

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073606/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: v-xxxv, 1-510 p., 20 leaves of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Stothard, Thomas, 1755-1834 ( Illustrator )
Heath, Charles, 1785-1848 ( Engraver )
Nicoll, Henry James
Hogg, John ( Publisher )
Billing and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: John Hogg
Place of Publication: London (Paternoster Row)
Manufacturer: Billing and Sons
Publication Date: 1883
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1864   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1883   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
England -- Guildford
Citation/Reference: Boston Public Library. Defoe collection,
Statement of Responsibility: with engravings from designs by Thomas Stothard ; engraved by Charles Heath ; and a sketch of Defoe by Henry J. Nicoll.
General Note: Illustrated cover with gilt relief vignettes has title: Robinson Crusoe, complete. Stothard's plates, engraved by Heath, with a sketch of Defoe.
General Note: "The illustrations were prepared for the edition of Robinson Crusoe published by T. Cadell and W. Davies in 1820 ..." cf. Publisher's note, p. v.
General Note: "List of books published by John Hogg, 13, Paternoster Row, London, E.C., season 1885-1886" (24 p.) at end.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073606
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07286083

Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Publisher's note
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Sketch of Daniel Defoe
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
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        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
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        Page xxxii
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Robinson Crusoe
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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    The further adventures of Robinson Crusoe
        Page 264
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Full Text





0(YT YTA=i >T







- -.-- ~ -


IF the present edition of' Robinson Crusoe' were in any need
of justification, it might perhaps find it in the single fact of its
reproduction of the twenty-two Illustrations by Mr. Thomas
Stothard, R.A., engraved by Mr. Charles Heath. These Illus-
trations were prepared for the edition of 'Robinson Crusoe'
published by T. Cadell and W. Davies in 182o, which is now
very scarce, and commands a high price in the auction-rooms.
In that edition the following statement was made regarding Mr.
Charles Heath's masterly rendering of Mr. Stothard's admirable
compositions: The designs from which the Embellishments
of this Edition are taken were executed many years ago; but
the Engravings from them which were then published were
executed so inadequately to the present state of the Arts, that
it is no wonder the public showed little sense of their extra-
ordinary merit. Now at length entire justice has been done
to the genius of the celebrated Painter, who conceived these
admirable illustrations. So much the present publishers may
venture to say, without incurring the blame of any lover of the
Fine Arts of his country.'


The whole of the original copper-plates have become my
property, and have been 'steel-faced'-the hardening process,
which preserves the copper-plates from wear while being
printed from. I am thus enabled, after an interval of more
than half a century, to present a handsome edition of Defoe's
master-piece, with all the illustrations printed from the original
plates; in this way preserving the individualities both of the
eminent artist and the engraver, which would be in great part
lost in mere copies, by whatever process produced. It need
only be added that the present edition is in all respects
complete, and that it is printed from new type from the
edition of Messrs. T. Cadell and W. Davies, in which the
Illustrations originally appeared.


13, Paternoster Row, London.
October 2, 1883.

". I




Now Printed from the Original Copper Plates (steel-faced).


FATHER AND THE SPANIARD (seepage 207) Frontispiece




BANDRY Half-title














IF Defoe had not written the immortal 'Robinson Crusoe' he
would at present be a name and little besides. His many
other works, some of them equal if not superior in purely
literary power to 'Crusoe,' are now read only by those who
make a special study of English literature. With even the
names of most of these the 'general reader' is unacquainted;
and as regards a considerable number of them it is not illiberal
to say that ignorance is scarcely a disadvantage. Moreover, it
must be remembered that it was only in his latter years that
Defoe appeared in the character of a man of letters. His own
generation knew him as an industrious and powerful pamphle-
teer; as a restless and intriguing politician; and as a fertile if
not very successful originator of all sorts of new schemes. The
complete list of the productions of his pen reaches to appalling
dimensions, even if nothing be included in it but what is known
to be his; and as he frequently wrote under disguise, it is
probable that the list, large though it is, ought to be very
greatly extended. Nor is the number of his publications their
only extraordinary feature. His range extended 'from China
to Peru;' whenever any subject arose to interest the minds of
men, his facile and vigorous pen was always ready to produce
something upon it.


His wonderful versatility alone would make the task of
writing a sketch of Defoe a sufficiently difficult one; but
this is by no means the only or the principal difficulty with
which the biographer of Defoe has to contend. It would
be perfectly possible, by stringing together extracts from
his various works, to make Defoe tell the story of his own life
in his own words. And a very interesting story it would
be, full of strange adventures, of heroic sacrifices of interest to
principle, of grievous persecution by wicked men, of virtue un-
conquered by the stings of outrageous fortune-a story every-
where full of instances of the just man struggling under
adversity. But though a very interesting story, it would also be
a very false one-a story equal in verisimilitude to Robinson
Crusoe,' and having almost as slender a foundation in fact.
Little more than thirty years ago a writer on Defoe could say:
' He pursued an honest and manful course; he was hated and
persecuted and wronged in every way by his contemporaries;
but posterity have done him justice, and there are few hearts
now that refuse respect, if not reverence, to his name.' No
one nowadays, at all acquainted with his subject, would think
of writing about Defoe in this strain. By the researches of
Mr. Lee, his latest and best biographer, it has been proved
beyond all dispute that the author of Robinson Crusoe' did
not confine his marvellous faculty of making fiction appear
reality to its appropriate sphere. A man almost, if not alto-
gether, destitute of principle, he constantly used this faculty in
furthering his own private ends; his life was one full of plots
and stratagems, just redeemed from meanness by the admira-
tion which his unique and persistent energy cannot fail to excite
even in its most questionable passages.
It is somewhat strange that in the case of so voluminous an
author as Defoe, the good that was in him should be to a great


extent measurable by his literary forbearance. Loyalty and
patriotism are not excluded from other reasons of expediency
which prevented such an Apologia pro vita sua as might have
lightened the shadows which fall upon his reputation. He
respected himself, and contained himself, however, as a
depository of State secrets, which, in the words of Mr. Lee,
' the noble reticence of a true patriot forbade to be divulged,
even in vindication of his own honour. Defoe enjoyed the
private confidence of King William III., and of the official
advisers of three successive monarchs. He was necessarily the
depository of many secrets of State, and must have possessed,
in the shape of private instructions, and a large correspondence
with successive Ministers, a mass of statements of the utmost
importance. These were possessions of which an honourable
man might have been proud, as heir-looms to posterity, showing
that though he had now "no honour in his own country," he
had been the honoured instrument in effecting great national
good. But nothing of their contents was ever disclosed during
his life, nor is there evidence that any vestige of the kind was
discovered among his papers after his death. He was frequently
employed by Government on secret missions, but the research
of his biographers has failed to ascertain anything as to the
nature or direction of such services. Noblemen and Ministers
of State have thought letters written by him worth preservation,
and some of these letters are now carefully preserved among
the national treasures; but even the memory of all State
secrets was inviolable with Defoe, and he finally buried them
in his grave.'*

As already indicated, Defoe's life was rather the life of a
politician and diplomatist than of a literary man. But as this
Lee's Daniel Defoe : His Life and Recently Discovered Writings, vol. i.,


is an introduction to his greatest and most popular work, it is
in the latter character chiefly that we propose to consider him
here, touching only on the more prominent incidents of his
public career.
Daniel Defoe was the son of James Foe, a butcher and
citizen of London, and was born in the parish of St. Giles,
Cripplegate, in the year 1661. No more exact date of this
event is ascertainable; and the parish register contains no
record of his baptism. Not much is known of his ancestry, or
of his relatives of even his own generation. His paternal
grandfather was Daniel Foe, of Elton, in Huntingdonshire, but
on the borders of Northamptonshire, a yeoman in easy circum-
stances, who, during the Civil Wars, kept a pack of hounds, in
the names of which, with a grim humour foreshadowing that of
his celebrated descendant, he caused all the generals of both
armies to be represented.
James Foe, whose excellence of character as a Christian and
a father is apparent in the affectionate reverence with which
he was regarded by his son, was an adherent of the Rev.
Samuel Annesley, LL.D., who was ejected under the Act of
Uniformity from his living of St. Giles, on St. Bartholomew's
Day, 1662. His son Daniel, being thus born fairly into the
ranks of Nonconformity, was originally intended for the
Dissenting ministry; in preparation for which he was placed,
at the age of fourteen, at the Academy of the Reverend Charles
Morton, of Newington Green, who enjoyed the reputation of
being a scholar at once 'polite and profound.' Here he had
great facilities for learning, and a very agreeable society, and
shared, as he afterwards said, one advantage with the rest of
the pupils over those in the established universities, in the
circumstance that while in the latter the tutors were careful
about the dead tongues, and had all their readings in Latin and


Greek, in this one the tutors gave all their lectures in English,
by which great advantages were gained. He appears to have
remained at the Academy for the normal period of five years
over which the curriculum of study extended; but did not on
the completion of his course proceed to engage in ministerial
duties. 'It is not often,' he says in one of his Reviews,
written many years after this epoch in his career, '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 honour of that sacred
For this diversion of his talents into secular channels, Defoe
gave various reasons, some of them plausible enough; but the
real reason probably was his own innate aversion for the calling
for which he had been designed, and for which, indeed, he was
probably about as ill-qualified as any man could conveniently
be. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that, if he could have
curbed his reckless energy, he would have turned out an
excellent and persuasive preacher. The sum of the explana-
tion,' says Mr. Minto comprehensively, 'is that the ministry
seemed to him at that time to be neither honourable, agreeable,
nor profitable. It was degraded, he thought, by the entrance
of men who had neither physical nor intellectual qualifications
for it, who had received out of a denominational fund only such
an education as made them pedants rather than Christian
gentlemen of high learning, and who had consequently to
submit to shameful and degrading practices in their efforts to
obtain congregations and subsistence. Besides, the behaviour
of congregations to their ministers, who were dependent, was
often objectionable and un-Christian. And finally, far-flown
irds having fine feathers, the prizes of the ministry in London
ere generally given to strangers, "eminent ministers called


from all parts of England," some even from Scotland, finding
acceptance in the metropolis before having received any formal

Be these things as they may, there is no doubt that at
Mr. Morton's Academy Defoe acquired the culture of wide and
various learning; and nothing irritated him more than to be
accused of being 'no scholar.' In one of his papers written
towards the evening of his life, he says, describing one who was
spoken of as an 'Illiterate Fellow,' and who evidently stands
for himself:

'I happened to come into this Person's Study once, and I
found him busy translating a Description of the Course of the
River Boristhenes, out of Bleau's Geography, written in Spanish.
Another Time I found him translating some Latin Paragraphs
out of Leubinitz Theatri Cometici, being a learned Discourse upon
Comets; and that I might see whether it was genuine, I looked
on some part of it that he had finished, and found by it that he
understood the Latin very well, and had perfectly taken the
sense of that difficult Author. In short, I found that he
understood the Latin, the Spanish, the Italian, and could read
the Greek, and I knew before that he spoke French fluently-
yet this Man was no Scholar.'
After describing in a similar strain his acquirements in Science,
Geography, and History, he concludes:
'This put me upon wondering, ever so long ago, what this
Strange Thing called a Man of Learning was, and what is it
that constitutes a Scholar. For, said I, here's a man speaks
five Languages and reads the sixth, is a master of Astronomy,
Geography, History, and abundance of other useful Knowledge
(which I do not mention that you may guess at the man, who
English Men of Letters. Daniel Defoe.


is too Modest to desire it), and yet, they say this Man is no

Defoe's account of his acquisitions in learning must be taken,
like all his descriptions of himself, cum grano salis; but a man
who could handle the English language with the remarkable
force and effect of which he was capable was certainly not open
to the charge of being an 'illiterate fellow,' to whatever other
accusations he might be liable.
It will have been seen that the name assumed by Defoe is a
modification of the more simple patronymic which he inherited;
as if, according to the suggestion of some writers, he wished to
go as far as he could in the way of appropriating for his family
a Norman-French origin. 'Daniel, not liking his paternal
name (and certainly it has not a Christian sound), prefixed the
syllable De to give it greater dignity.'* A more liberal inter-
pretation of the change would refer it to reasons of convenience,
and even to the half-accidental discovery of its value for the
purpose of distinguishing the son from the father. It was
through such breaches of uniformity as D. Foe, De Foe, Defoe,
and the initials representing these various forms, that the name
finally settled into the Daniel Defoe which has become so
genially interwoven with the regards of five or six generations
of readers of' Robinson Crusoe.'
Having bidden farewell to all thoughts of a clerical life, Defoe
took to the career for which he was naturally fitted-that of an
active writer on public affairs and an energetic schemer in
public affairs. He wrote-probably for discussion rather than
for publication-on the rebellion of the Hungarians against the
Emperor of Austria; took part in the Duke of Monmouth's
rising in 1685; and in the same year began business as a hosier,
Bogue and Bennett's History of Dissenters, vol. ii., p. 416.


or, as variously described, for the sake of dignity or exactness,
as a hose-merchant, or hose-factor, in Freeman's Court, Corn-
hill. More fortunate than most of his companions, he escaped
the bloody vengeance which generally overtook those concerned
in Monmouth's rebellion. As a man of business, Defoe was
not then, or at any period of his life, successful. Like many
other people, he was able to give very admirable counsel to
others, which he could not follow himself. The principal
reason of his commercial mishaps was probably his having
always too many irons in the fire. He was constitutionally
incapable of hard, slaving, persistent toil directed solely to one
object; the irrepressible activity of his nature always found
vent in several directions at the same time. He had to fly
from his creditors in 1692, but, to his credit be it said, he was
afterwards able to boast-and the boast was confirmed by the
testimony of his enemies-that he subsequently discharged
nearly twenty shillings in the pound of his debts.
Amongst the earliest political brochures referred more or less
conclusively to Defoe, and probably the first printed production
of his pen, was a single quarto sheet, printed in double columns,
and without title-page, which on its first page was headed, 'A
LETTER, containing some Reflections on His Majesty's Declara-
tion for LIBERTY of CONSCIENCE. Dated the 4th April, 1687.'
The language of this Letter,' although constitutional, was so
bold as to have probably exposed the author, in the event of
discovery, to the penalty of death; and the conscious danger of
its production was so great, that it was allowed to go forth
without date, or name of printer, or place of publication. Yet
the conviction of perilous partisanship, which seemed to Defoe
to coincide with the assurance of perilous patriotism, was the
chief, if not the only reward of his outspoken faithfulness. His
exposure of the King's intentions, as being really conceived in


the interests of Popery and against those of Protestantism,
whether as expressed in Anglicanism or in Nonconformity,
went beyond the purblind perception of the majority of the
members of his communion, and resulted in their coldness,
distrust, or alienation. Mr. Lee not unjustly observes that
after the danger Defoe had incurred in writing and publishing
his Tract against the King's declaration, he must have felt
chagrined that his efforts to serve the Dissenters had only given
great offence to many of his friends. He appears, upon this, to
have turned his attention more fully to his commercial duties;
and, thinking it expedient to unite himself closely with his
fellow-citizens, was admitted a liveryman of the City of London
on the 26th of January, 1688, having claimed his freedom by
birth. In the Chamberlain's book his name was written Daniel
When the Revolution occurred, in 1688, Defoe, who had
exerted himself for its promotion, and who marched as far as
Henley-on-Thames to join the advancing army of the Prince of
Orange, who made his public entry into London on the i8th
of December, found himself thoroughly in his element. He
was also one of the 'royal regiment of volunteer horse, made up
of the chief citizens, who, being gallantly mounted and richly
accoutred,' attended the King and Queen from Whitehall to the
City on the occasion of the banquet given to their Majesties at
Guildhall, 29th October, 1689, by the Lord Mayor and Cor-
poration of London.
At this time, and probably for some little time before, the
place of Defoe's residence was Tooting, in Surrey, where he
was instrumental in forming the Dissenters of the neighbour-
hood for the first time into a regular congregation.
The commercial side of the character and career of Defoe

* Lee's Life of Daniel Defoe, p.'2I.


does not demand, for our present purpose, more than an inci-
dental consideration; and the subject may be satisfied and dis-
missed almost finally with the convenient summary which the
pen of Mr. George Saintsbury has offered in the pages of the
current edition of the 'Encyclopedia Britannica': 'His busi-
ness operations at this period appear to have been extensive
and various. He would seem, both now and later, to have
been a sort of commission-merchant, especially in Spanish and
Portuguese goods, and at some time or other he visited Spain
on business. Later we hear him spoken of as "a civet-cat
merchant" ; but as he can hardly have kept a menagerie of
these animals, it is odd that no one has supposed that the civet-
cat was the sign of his place of business (it was a very usual
one), rather than the staple of his trade. In 1692 his mercan-
tile operations came to a disastrous close, and he failed for
,17,000. By his own account, the disaster would seem to have
arisen from relying too much on credit. His misfortunes made
him write both feelingly and forcibly on the bankruptcy laws;
and although his creditors accepted a composition, he afterwards
honourably paid them in full, a fact attested by independent
and not very friendly witnesses. Subsequently, he undertook,
first, the secretaryship, and then the managership and chief
ownership of some tile-works at Tilbury; but here also he was
unfortunate, and his imprisonment in 1703 brought the works
to a stand-still, and thereby lost him C3,ooo. From this time
forward we hear of no settled business in which he engaged.
He evidently, however, continued to undertake commissions,
and made his political visits to Scotland an occasion for opening
connections of this kind with that country. In the last thirty
years of his life business played but a subordinate part, though
he seems to have derived more profit from it than from his
earlier ventures. It was probably at the time of his troubles in



1692 that he had occasion to visit Bristol, where-according to
a local tradition-he lay perdu for fear of bailiffs all the week,
but emerged in gorgeous raiment on Sunday, whence he was
known by the nickname of the Sunday gentleman."'
By pamphlets on topics of the time, and by satires, racy and
occasionally epigrammatic, but uncouth, and now difficult on
account of their frequent allusions to individual or typical
obscurities, he soon made himself prominent among the
defenders of King William. The first acknowledged produc-
tion of his pen is a satire in verse, directed against a Jacobite
plot, and entitled, 'A New Discovery of an Old Intrigue, a
Satire levelled at Treachery and Ambition.' This was pub-
lished in 1691. Other similar productions, both in prose and
verse, speedily followed, but these we must pass over without
even naming. In 1692 he was appointed, on account of his
exertions on behalf of the Government, Accountant to the
Commissioners of the Glass Duty, a position which he obtained,
he says, 'without the least solicitation of his own,' and which
he held till the duty itself was abolished in 1699. Omitting
minor productions, we come to the publication of Defoe's first
really popular work, which took place at the beginning of
January, 170o, 'The True-Born Englishman.' On the Ist of
August, 1700, there appeared what Defoe describes as 'an
horrid pamphlet in very ill verse, written by one Mr. Tutchin,
and called The Foreigners," in which the author-who he was
I then knew not-fell personally upon the King, then upon the
Dutch nation. And after having reproached his Majesty with
crimes that his worst enemies could not think of without
horror, he sums up all in the odious name of Foreigner... This
filled me with a kind of Rage against the Book, and gave birth
to a trifle which I never could hope should have met with so
general an acceptance as it did; I mean "The True-Born


Englishman."' Defoe's method of rejoinder to Tutchin's
slanders was characteristic. He boldly took the bull by the
horns, and proceeded to prove, in rough but vigorous verse,
that the English, seeing of how many composite elements the
race was composed, had, least of all nations, the right to
reproach anyone with being a foreigner:
'These are the heroes that 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.'
He concludes with the following manly and hearty lines:
'Then let us boast of ancestors no more,
Or deeds of heroes done in days of yore;
For if our virtues must in lines descend,
The merit with the families would end,
And intermixtures would most fatal grow,
For vice would be hereditary too.
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 openly disown the vile, degenerate race;
For fame of families is all a cheat-
'Tis personal virtue only makes us great.'

Despite the many hard hits in the satire, it was received with
great favour by the nation, and Defoe's name met with much
acceptance and appreciation in the mouths of the populace.
The sale of 'The True-born Englishman' was prodigious; and
if the literary piracy, against which the author was powerless,
cheated him out of the legitimate profits-estimated at above
,i,ooo-of an almost unlimited success, the disadvantage found


mitigation in the circumstance that the *ork recommended
him to the personal friendship of King William, from whose
death, in March, 1702, is to be dated an unfortunate change
in Defoe's relations with the ruling powers. It was not long
before he began to feel the hand and influence of his adver-
His second prominent satire, in which he adopted the
common method of endeavouring to prove the absurdity of
an opponent's position by an exaggerated statement of his
arguments, was attended with less fortunate results to its
author. In the course of the year 1702 he published his
'Shortest Way with the Dissenters,' a pamphlet meant to
show, by a reduction ad absurdum, the folly of the policy of the
High Churchmen, or, as they were then called, the High-Fliers,
towards the Nonconformists. One or two brief quotations will
best illustrate the drift of this production: 'The first execution
of the laws against Dissenters in England,' he says, in his
assumed character of High Churchman, 'was in the days
of King James I. And what did it amount to ? Truly, the
worst they suffered was at their own request to let them go to
New England and erect a new colony, and give them great
privileges, grants, and suitable powers, keep them under pro-
tection, and defend them against all invaders, and receive no
axes or revenues from them. This was the cruelty of the
Church of England. Fatal lenity! 'Twas the ruin of that
excellent prince, King Charles I. Had King James sent all
he Puritans in England away to the West Indies, we had been
National, unmixed Church; the Church of England had been
ept undivided and entire. To requite the lenity of the father,
hey take up arms against the son; conquer, pursue, take,
prison, and at last put to death the anointed of God, and
destroy the very being and nature of Government, setting up a


sordid impostor, who had neither title to govern, nor under-
standing to manage, but supplied that want with power, bloody
and desperate councils, and craft, without conscience.' The
conclusion of the whole matter is: 'The light, foolish handling
of them by mulcts, fines, etc., 'tis their glory and advantage.
If the gallows instead of the counter, and the galleys instead of
the fine, were the reward of going to a conventicle, to preach
or hear, there would not be so many sufferers-the spirit of
martyrdom is over. They that will go to the church to be
chosen sheriffs and mayors, would go to forty churches rather
than be hanged.'
Need we be surprised that a tract written in this strain gave
great offence alike to the Nonconformists and to the High
Churchmen? The Nonconformists, with a High Church
Government in power, and in actual danger of incurring the
pains and penalties of which the pamphlet advocated the sus-
pension over their heads, were in no humour to appreciate the
joke of the thing. The Shortest Way' might be ironical, but
its threats were perilously near what the extreme High Church-
men were quite prepared to carry into execution, should the
opportunity be granted them. The High Churchmen, on the
other hand, had at least equal reason to be offended. For
Defoe had not caricatured what they proposed to do; he had
merely, as it were, collected their extreme opinions into a
focus, and when they were thus presented in their naked
absurdity, there was danger that the popularity of the High
Church party in the country might be damaged. The Govern-
ment accordingly took proceedings against the author, and a
proclamation, dated January o1, 1703, offering a reward of 50
for his discovery, was published in the Gazette. This proclama-
tion, the terms of which are interesting as containing an account
of Defoe's personal appearance, ran as follows:


'He is a middle-aged, spare man, about forty years old, of
a brown complexion, and dark brown coloured hair, but
wears a wig; a hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a
large mole near his mouth; was born in London, and for
many years was a hose-factor in Freeman's Yard in Cornhill,
and now is owner of the brick and pantile works near Tilbury
Fort, in Essex.'
After attempts to explain away his objectionable pamphlet,
Defoe surrendered himself, and in July, 1703, was sentenced to
pay a fine of 200oo marks, stand three times in the pillory, be im-
prisoned during the Queen's pleasure, and find securities for
his good behaviour for seven years. Nothing could better show
the dauntless confidence in his own resources and the indomit-
able energy of Defoe's nature than his behaviour under thi:
heavy sentence. He wrote a 'Hymn to the Pillory,' in which
he pointed out the injustice of his sentence, commencing

'Hail, hieroglyphic State machine !
Contrived to punish fancy in,'

and busily employed himself in Newgate in the production of a
variety of literary performances. It was during this period of
his life probably that Defoe acquired that extraordinary know-
ledge of the habits of thieves, prostitutes, and others of the
lower strata of society which we find in his novels. It is diffi-
cult to believe that a man who had such genuine pleasure and
address in outwitting his opponents, and who was so fond of
describing rogues and scenes of roguery that it is impossible
they could not have possessed a secret attraction for him,
should not have found very sincere satisfaction in listening to
the many 'Annals of Newgate which he must have heard.
Defoe's imprisonment did not last very long. In 170o4 the
Earl of Nottingham resigned, and was succeeded by Robert



Harley. Shortly after Harley's succession to power Defoe was
released, upon condition that he should keep silence for seven
years, or at any rate 'not write what some people might not
like.' The real case of the matter, however, appears to be
that on leaving prison he received a pension from the Queen,
and was employed on secret missions. 'The True-born
Englishman,' says Professor Minto, in his admirable mono-
graph on Defoe, 'was, indeed, dead. Defoe was no longer
the straightforward advocate of King William's policy. He
was engaged thenceforward in serving two masters, per-
suading each that he served him alone, and persuading the
public, in spite of numberless insinuations, that he served
nobody but them and himself, and wrote simply as a free
lance under the jealous sufferance of the Government of the
Ere his release from prison Defoe had invented an excellent
and powerful instrument both for benefiting himself and any
party with which he was connected. From Newgate he issued,
in February, 1704, the first number of a periodical called the
Review, which under various forms he carried on single-handed
for eight years. It was a periodical paper, published first twice
and then three times a week, which, besides treating of news,
foreign and domestic, of politics, British and continental, and
of trade, particular and universal, incorporated the fiction of a
club for the discussion of questions in divinity, morals, war,
trade, language, poetry, love, marriage, drunkenness, and
Defoe knew, he said, that people liked to be amused, and he
administered to this weakness in the section of his paper just
described, to which he gave the title of' Mercure Scandale; or,
Advice from the Scandalous Club, being a weekly History of
Nonsense, Impertinence, Vice, and Debauchery.' Thus, on the



whole, the Review, which was discontinued in May, 1713, has
been recognized as having given the hint of the Tatler, and the
other celebrated papers of Steele and Addison; and especially
as having vindicated Defoe's genius as being essentially of the
journalistic order, as promptly seizing and interpreting not
only the ephemeral, but also the historical significance of
passing events.
After his liberation from prison, Defoe took a house at Bury
St. Edmund's, whither he removed with his wife and children,
who, during his incarceration, had been succoured by the
Queen, and recommended his literary labours. His retirement
in Suffolk, which gave occasion to malicious rumours to his
disadvantage in London, only, however, to. be triumphantly
refuted, was of no long continuance, and did not interrupt the
production either of his Review or of his occasional pamphlets.
One of the latter, written controversially against the Bill of Sir
Humphrey Mackworth for the employment of the poor, is
entitled 'Giving Alms no Charity, and Employing the Poor a
Grievance to the Nation,' 1704, which Mr. Saintsbury describes
as being 'for the time an extraordinarily far-sighted perfor-
mance. It denounces on the one hand indiscriminate alms-
giving, and on the other the folly of national work-shops, the
institution of which on a parochial system had been proposed
by Sir Humphrey Mackworth.'
In March, 1705, Defoe published 'The Consolidator; or,
Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon,'
in which he makes the lunar politicians debate the policy of
Charles XII. of Sweden with regard to the Saxons and the
Poles. Some passages are supposed to have fed the imagi-
nation of the author of' Gulliver.' In the same year appeared
'The True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal, the
next Day after her Death, to one Mrs. Bargrave, at Canterbury,



the 8th of September, 1705,' a fiction of vivid and wonderful
Just before and after the date last mentioned Defoe was
engaged in the first of a series of secret missions on account of
the Government, which led him to the West of England in
August, September, and October, where he was the object of
vexatious party prosecutions, the circumstances of which he
revenged himself by publishing in the Review. In July, 1706,
Defoe published a considerable work entitled, Jure Divino : a
Satire on Tyranny and Passive Obedience,' a 'practical argu-
ment in some 1o,ooo terribly bad verses,' the issue of which had
been prudentially delayed, and would have been still further
postponed, but that the world seemed to be going mad a second
time with the error of passive obedience and non-resistance.
He makes the preface to this work a vehicle of his confession
of constitutionalism. 'Because,' he says, 'some men require
more explicit answers, I declare my belief that a monarchy,
according to the present constitution, limited by Parliament,
and dependent upon law, is not only the best government in
the world, but also the best for this nation in particular, and
suitable to the genius of the people, and the circumstances of
the whole body.'
The union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland
had become an object of pressing and paramount importance
towards the close of the reign of King William the Third; and
the pen of Defoe now found in the furtherance of the scheme a
subject worthy of his most skilful, diplomatic, and energetic
activity. He not only vigorously recommended the measure in
his Review, but published several pamphlets in its advocacy,
and especially a series of 'Essays at Removing National
Prejudices against an Union with Scotland,' issued at intervals
during the years 1706 and 1707, with the object of conciliating


the opinion of the people of England. Northern prejudice, on
the other hand, was to be soothed in numbers, and in January,
1707, the publication took place, both in Edinburgh and
London, of 'Caledonia: a Poem in Honour of Scotland and
the Scots Nation,' which was followed later in the same year
by 'An Historical Account of the Sufferings of the Episcopal
Clergy in Scotland,' and a more cheerful production, at least
titularly, called 'The Fifteen Comforts of an Honest Scotch-
man.' In August, 1707, the literature of the Union, the legis-
lative completion of which had taken place on May-day pre-
vious, had already begun to assume a retrospective and
historical character, and Defoe published a slight work or two
for the purpose of apology and consolidation, as for instance,
'The Quaker's Sermon on the .Union; being the only Sermon
preached and printed by that Sort of People on that Subject,'
and in March, 1708, 'The Union Proverb,
'If Skiddaw has a cap,
Scruffel wots full well of that!
Setting forth-I, The Necessity of Uniting; 2, The Good
Consequences of Uniting; 3, The Happy Union of England
and Scotland in Case of a Foreign Invasion.'
In the midst of his literary labours on behalf of the Union,
and partly on account of the zeal which he had already mani-
fested for its achievement, Defoe was recommended to the
Queen by Lord Godolphin as a fit and proper person to send
to Scotland for its promotion. In fulfilment of this difficult
and delicate mission he proceeded to Edinburgh in October,
S1706, and resided in that capital as a salaried official of the
Government for a period of nearly sixteen months, during
which it was a part of his business to attend the committees of
Parliament, for whose use he made several of the calculations
on the subject of trade and taxes. He was concurrently



engaged, also, in the accumulation of materials for his elaborate
'History of the Union between England and Scotland. With
an Appendix of Original Papers,' which he published in 1709.
In this latter year he brought out The History of Addresses.
By one very near akin to the Author of the Tale of a Tub';
which he followed up with other pamphlets bearing upon the
Sacheverel agitation.
To present the circumstances of Defoe's life for the next few
years, is to involve an impeachment of his personal honour and
political purity. We are happy that the task, which is neces-
sarily repugnant to every admirer of his genius, has been suffi-
ciently accomplished in summary, and not ungenerously, by his
biographer in the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica.' In 1710,'
writes Mr. Saintsbury, 'Harley returned to power, and Defoe
was placed in a somewhat awkward position. To Harley
himself he was bound by gratitude, and by a substantial agree-
ment in principle, but with the rest of the Tory Ministry he had
no sympathy. He seems, in fact, to have agreed with the
foreign policy of the Tories, and with the home policy of the
Whigs, and naturally incurred the reproach of time-serving, and
the hearty abuse of both parties. At the end of 171o he again
visited Scotland. In the negotiations concerning the Peace of
Utrecht, Defoe strongly supported the Ministerial side, to the
intense wrath of the Whigs; and this wrath was displayed in
an attempted prosecution against some pamphlets of his on the
all-important question of the succession, but the influence of
Harley saved him. He continued, however, to take the side of
the Dissenters in the questions affecting religious liberty, which
played such a prominent part towards the close of Anne's
reign. He naturally shared Harley's downfall; and though
the loss of his salary might seem a poor reward for his constant
support of the Hanoverian claim, it was little more than his



ambiguous, not to say trimming, position must have led him to
expect. He was violently attacked on all sides, and at last
published, in 1715, an apologia entitled, An Appeal to Honour
and Justice, in which he defends his political conduct, and
which furnishes us with the main authority for the details of his
life. With this publication his political work was formerly
supposed to have ended; but in 1864 six letters were discovered
in the Record Office, from Defoe to a Government official, Mr.
Delafaye, which established the fact that in 1718 at least Defoe
was doing not only political work, but political work of a some-
what equivocal kind-that he was, in fact, sub-editing the
Jacobite Mist's Journal, under a secret agreement with the
Government that he should tone down the sentiments and
omit objectionable items. He seems to have performed the
same not very honourable office in the case of two other
journals-Dormer's Letter and the Mercurius Politicus; and, if
we may trust Mr. Lee, he wrote in these and other papers till
nearly the end of his life.'
Be this as it may, the immortal distinction of Defoe is
not of a political, but of a literary nature. Yet the honours
of his literary creations are chronologically an after-harvest
from the already more than half-reaped field of his political
productiveness. Up to the attainment of his fifty-fifth
year, his works had been devoted chiefly to topics of occa-
sional, fugitive, and even ephemeral interest; and the cata-
logue of them contains little of importance, whether with
regard to their bulk or abiding significance, beyond the Jure
Divino,' and the History of the Union.' All his writings,'
as Professor Minto observes, 'with so few exceptions that they
may reasonably be supposed to fall within the category, were
pieces de circonstance. Whenever any distinguished person died,
or otherwise engaged public attention, no matter how distin-


guished, whether as a politician, a criminal, or a divine, Defoe
lost no time in bringing out a biography. It was in such
emergencies that he produced his memoirs of Charles XII.,
Peter the Great, Count Patkul, the Duke of Shrewsbury, Baron
de Goertz, the Rev. Daniel Williams, Captain Avery the King
of the Pirates, Dominique Cartouche, Rob Roy, Jonathan
Wild, Jack Sheppard, Duncan Campbell. We owe the
Journal of the Plague in 1665 to a visitation which fell upon
France in 1721, and caused much apprehension in England.
The germ which in his fertile mind grew into Robinson Crusoe
fell from the real adventures of Alexander Selkirk, whose
solitary residence of four years on the island of Juan Fernandez
was a nine days' wonder in the reign of Queen Anne.'*
The last sentences involve a slight chronological anticipation.
It should be said that in 1715 Defoe brought out a work in
three parts entitled, 'The Family Instructor,' which was con-
versant about the various home and household relations as
subsisting (i) between Fathers and Children; (2) between
Masters and Servants; and (3) between Husbands and Wives.
The work was very popular during the last century, and was
completed by a second volume of subsequent issue, the two
parts of which related (i) to Family Breaches, and their
obstructing Religious Duties; and (2) to the Great Mistake of
Mixing the Passions in the Managing and Correcting of
Children, with a Great Variety of Cases relating to Setting Ill
Examples to Children and Servants.
The year 1719 not only marks an epoch in Defoe's literary
activity, but supplies a date to one of the most interesting
events in the course of British literary history; for it witnessed
the publication, in April and August respectively, of the first
and second parts of 'The Life and Strange Surprising Adven-
English Men of Letters. Daniel Defoe.



tures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner.' Twelve months
after the second part, a third was produced with the title of
' Serious Reflections, during the Life and Surprising Adven-
tures of Robinson Crusoe; with his Vision of the Angelic
World.' Defoe would seem instinctively to have worked the
vein to the very limit of its remunerativeness; and the
'Serious Reflections,' which, indeed, form no essential part of
the plot or narrative of 'Crusoe,' who is simply made the
mouthpiece of Defoe's sentiments on various questions of
morals and religion, are scarcely ever reprinted. Mr. Saints-
bury records the interesting circumstance that 'the first two
parts were reprinted as a feuilleton in Heathcote's Intelligencer,
perhaps the earliest appearance of such a work in such a form.
Crusoe was immediately popular, and various wild stories were
set afloat of its having been written by Lord Oxford, in the
Tower, and of its being simply a piratical utilization of Alex-
ander Selkirk's papers,' to which, according to a more just and
generous criticism, they were no more indebted than Shakespeare
was for his Macbeth and Hamlet to the several Chronicles of
Scotland and Denmark, or to antecedent Italian ballad
traditions for his Romeo and Juliet. In fact, there is as little
reason as possible for indulging, in this connection, in specula-
tions whose result is more or less in disparagement of Defoe's
reputation, whether for honesty or inventive genius. And
there is not much more ground for accepting the allegorical and
veiled autobiographic theory of 'Robinson Crusoe,' which,
thanks to the mystifying pen of the author himself, had been
partially current amongst his contemporaries, and which was
lately, and with some ingenuity, revived for the credence of our
own generation.
The publication of Robinson Crusoe' was followed by the ap-
pearance of a series of works, some of them in imitation or con-



tinuation of the identical strain of imaginative adventure, which,
while displaying much of the same vivid and inventive realism
which have so long fascinated the world in Defoe's great
romance, par excellence, have never attained to a tithe, hardly
to an appreciable fraction, of its popularity. The works thus
referred to include: 'The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the
famous Captain Singleton,' 1720; 'The Fortunes and Misfortunes
of the famous Moll Flanders,' 1721; 'Religious Courtship,
being Historical Discourses on the Necessity of marrying
Religious Husbands and Wives only,' 1722; The History and
Remarkable Life of the truly Honourable Colonel Jaque,
commonly called "Colonel Jack,"' 1722; 'The Fortunate
Mistress, or a History of the Life of the Lady Roxana,' 1724;
'A New Voyage round the World, by a Course never sailed
before,' 1725; 'The Political History of the Devil, as well
Ancient as Modern,' 1726; 'Memoirs of a Cavalier, or a
Military Journal of the Wars in Germany and the Wars in
England, from the year 1632 to the year 1648.' Of the last-
named of these, which in the order of its production should
have been referred to the year 1720, it is habitually repeated,
whenever it is mentioned at all, that Lord Chatham believed
it to be true history, and Mr. Lee regards it as the
embodiment at least of authentic private memoirs. Mr.
Saintsbury, however, thinks it more probable that Defoe, with
his extensive acquaintance with recent English history, and
his astonishing power of working up details, was fully equal
to the task of its unassisted composition. 'As a model of
historical work of a certain kind,' he says, 'it is hardly sur-
passable, and many separate passages-accounts of battles and
skirmishes-have never been equalled except by Mr. Carlyle.'
Defoe published another work, in two volumes, the mention
of which is almost imperative, entitled 'The Complete English



Tradesman, in Familiar Letters, directing him in all the
several Parts and Progressions of Trade,' 1727. This pro*
duction has had the misfortune, not to say the fault, of being
characterized by Charles Lamb as of 'a vile and debasing
tendency,' the author of which it is almost impossible to
suppose to have been in earnest. Whether for good or
evil, however, it has been quoted as a necessary complement
to the 'Religious Courtship' and the 'Family Instructor' for
a thorough understanding of the middle classes of Defoe's
countrymen, and especially as represented by his contempo-
Altogether, Defoe was the author of about 250 works, the
aggregate attractiveness of which cannot so much as approach
to the surpassing popularity, in nearly every language of
civilization, of that supreme production which, illustrated
by the highest artistic genius that has ever been directed to
the subject, now awaits the attention and the delight of the
The end of a career so chequered as that of Defoe is rather
mournful than surprising; and it is not without its element of
mystery or obscurity. It was about the time of the publica-
tion of 'Robinson Crusoe' that he touched the summit of his
worldly prosperity. In 1724 he had built himself a large house
at Stoke Newington, with stables and pleasure-grounds, and
kept a coach. Henry Baker, the naturalist, who married
Sophia, one of the three daughters of Defoe, and received his
assistance in establishing 'The Universal Spectator,' offers a
pleasant glimpse of this period of his father-in-law's existence.
In the notes which he left of his courtship, he records how he
made the acquaintance of Mr. 'Defoe, a gentleman, well
known by his writings, who had newly built there a very hand-
some house, as a retirement from London, and amused his



time either in the cultivation of a large and pleasant garden, or
in the pursuit of his studies, which he found means of making
very profitable.' Defoe 'was now at least sixty years of age,
afflicted with the gout and stone, but retained all his mental
faculties entire.' Mr. Baker goes on to say that he 'met
usually at the tea-table his three lovely daughters, who were
admired for their beauty, their education, and their prudent
conduct; and if sometimes Mr. Defoe's disorders made com-
pany inconvenient, Mr. Baker was entertained by them, either
singly or together, and that commonly in the garden when the
weather was favourable.'
There are various evidences of Defoe's possession of landed
property in more places than one; but misfortunes, both
domestic and financial, seem to have fallen upon him. 'There
is a good deal of mystery,' Mr. Saintsbury remarks, 'about
the end of Defoe's life. It used to be said that he died
insolvent, and that he had been in gaol shortly before his death.
As a matter of fact, after great suffering from gout and stone,
he died of a lethargy in Ropemaker's Alley, Moorfields, on
Monday, the 6th of April, 1731, and was buried in the well-
known ground of Bunhill Fields. He left no will, all his
property having been previously assigned, and letters of
administration were taken out by a creditor. How his affairs
fell into this condition, why he did not die in his own house,
and why in the previous summer he had been in hiding, as we
know he was from a letter still extant, are points apparently
not to be cleared up.
'Defoe was twice married, and his second wife Susannah
outlived him a few months. He had seven children, one of
whom, Martha, died in 1707; the others survived him. The
eldest, Daniel, emigrated to Carolina; the second, Bernard or
Benjamin Norton, has, like his father, a scandalous niche in



the Dunciad. Three of the daughters, Maria, Henrietta, and
Sophia, married well-the husband of the last named being a
Mr. Henry Baker, of some repute in natural science. In
April, 1877, public attention was called to the existence, in
some distress, of three maiden ladies directly descended from
Defoe, and bearing his name, and a crown pension of 75
a-year was bestowed on each of them. There are several
portraits of Defoe, the principal one being engraved by


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




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
merchandize, and leaving off his trade, lived afterward at York;
from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were
named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from
whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual
corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay we call
ourselves, and write our name, Crusoe, and so my companions
always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant-colonel
to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly com-
nanded 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
other did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade,
y head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts:
y father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent
hare of learning, as far as house education and a country free-
hool generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I would


be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination
to this led me so strongly against the will, nay the commands
of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of
my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be some-
thing fatal in that propension of nature tending directly to the
life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and ex-
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 for men of
desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior fortunes
on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by
enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a
nature out of the common road; that these things were all
either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was
the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of
low life, which he had found by long experience was the best
state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not ex-
posed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings
of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the
pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.
He told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state, by
this one thing, viz., that this was the state of life which all
other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the
miserable consequences of being born to great things, and wished
they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, be-
tween the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his
testimony to this as the just standard of true felicity when he
prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the cala-
mities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of
mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters,
and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or
lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so
many distempers and uneasinesses either of body or mind, as
those were, who by vicious living, luxury, and extravagancies on

mmomar-7c L )7,TT~~I~.


I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly
prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to be so
himself; I say, I observed the tears run down his face very
plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my brother who was
killed; and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent,
and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he broke off the
discourse, and told me, his heart was so full, he could say
no more to me.
I was sincerely 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
so hastily neither as my first heat of resolution prompted, but I
took my mother, at a time when I thought her a little plea-
santer than ordinary, and told her, that my thoughts were so
entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I should never settle
to anything with resolution enough to go through with it, and
my father had better give me his consent than force me to go
without it; that I was now eighteen years old, which was too
late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney ; that I
was sure, if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I
should certainly run away from my master before my time was
out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let
me go but one voyage abroad, if I came home again and did not
like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double
diligence to recover that time I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion: she told me, she
knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any
such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest
to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt, and that
she wondered how I could think of any such thing after such a
discourse as I had had 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 move it to my father, yet, as I have


heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, and that
my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to her with
a sigh, That boy might be happy if he would stay at home, but
if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that was
ever born; I can give no consent to it.'
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though in the mean time I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating
with my father and mother about their being so positively
determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted
me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went casually, and
without any purpose of making an elopement that time; but I
say, being there, and one of my companions being going by sea
to London, in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with
them, with the common allurement of seafaring men, viz., That
it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither
father nor mother any more, not so much as sent them word of
it : but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without asking
GoD's blessing, or my father's, without any consideration of
circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, GOD knows,
on the first of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound
for London: never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I
believe, began sooner, or continued longer than mine. The
ship was no sooner gotten out of the Humber, but the wind
began to blow, and the waves to rise in a most frightful manner;
and as I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly
sick in body, and terrified in mind: I began now seriously
to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken
by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's
house, and abandoning my duty; all the good counsel of my
parents, my father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now
fresh into my mind, and my conscience, which was not yet
come to the pitch of hardness to which it has been since,
reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of
my duty to GOD and my father.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had
never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like
what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw
a few days after: but it was enough to affect me then, who was
but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the
matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up,


and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the
trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more ; and in
this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if
it would please Gon here to spare my life 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 miserieasas these any more. Now I saw plainly the good-
ness 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 tempests at sea, or troubles on shore; and
I resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home
to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the
storm continued, anid indeed some tim0 e 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 clarlling line even-
ing foilloVed tlie sun w-ent down perfectly clear, and rose
so the next morning ; and having little or no wind, and a smooth
sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight \was, as I thought, the
most delightful that 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 ca:l and
so pleasant in so little time after. And no\w, lest my good
resolutions should continue. m1y companion who had indeed
enticed me away, comes to me. \ell, lob,' says he, (clapping
me upon the shoulder,) how do you do after it ? I warrant
you were frighted, wan't you, last night, when it blew but a cap-
full of wind ?' A capfull do you call it ?' said I. It was a
terrible 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, lobl:
come, let us make a bowl of punch, and \\e'll forget all that: do
yon see what charming weather it is now ?' To make short
this sad part of imy story, we went the old way of all sailors;
the punch was made, and I was made drunk with it, and in that
one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my


reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions for my
future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of
surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so
the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehen-
sions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the
current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows
and promises that I made in my distress. I found indeed some
intervals of reflection, and the serious thoughts did, as it were,
endeavour to return again sometimes, but I shook them off, and
roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and
applying myself to drink and company, soon mastered the
return of those fits, for so I called them, and I had in five or six
days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young
fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire.
But I was to have another trial for it still; and Providence, as
in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely
without excuse. For if I would not take this for a deliverance,
the next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened
wretch among us would confess both the danger and the
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 south-west, for seven or eight days,
during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came
into the same roads, as the common harbour where the ships
might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not however rid here so long, but should have tided
it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh ; and after we
had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However,'the roads
being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and
our ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and
not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in
rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea ; but the eighth day
in the morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands at
work to strike our top-masts, and make everything snug and
close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon
the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rid forecastle in,
slipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor
had come home ; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-


anchor; so that we rode with two anchors a-head, and the
cables veered out to the bitter 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 re-assume the first
penitence which I had so apparently trampled upon and
hardened myself against: I thought the bitterness of death
had been past, and that this would be nothing 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 went mountains high, and broke upon us
every three or four minutes : when I could look about, I could
see nothing but distress round us: two ships that rid near us,
we found, had cut their masts by the board, being deep laden;
and our men cried out, that a ship which rid about a mile
a-head of us was foundered. Two more ships being driven
from their anchors, were run out of the roads to sea, at all
adventures, and that with not a mast standing. The light ships
fared the best, as not so much labouring in the sea; but two or
three of them drove, and came close by us, running away with
only their spritsail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master
of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was
very unwilling to do: but the boatswain protesting to him, that
if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when
they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose,
and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away
also, and make a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this,
who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright
before at but a little. But if I can express at this distance the
thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more
horror of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the
having returned from them to the resolutions I had wickedly


taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to
the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can
by no words describe it. But the worst was not come yet: the
storm continued with such fury, that the seamen themselves
acknowledged they had never known a worse. We had a good
ship, but she was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, that the
seamen every now and then cried out, she would founder. It
was my advantage in one respect, that I did not know what they
meant by founder, till I enquired. However, the storm was so
violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master, the boat-
swain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their
prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go
to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the
rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on
purpose to see, cried out, we had sprung a leak; another said
there was four foot water in the hold. Then all hands were
called to the pump. At that very word my heart, as I thought,
died within me, and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed
where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and
told me, that I 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 sea, and would not
come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I
who knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that I
thought the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing happened.
In a word, I was so surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As
this was a time when every body had his own life to think of,
nobody minded me, or what was become of me; but another
man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his
foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great
while before I came to myself.
We worked on, but the water increasing in the hold, it was
apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm
began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could swim
till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing guns
for help; and a light ship who had rid it out just a-head of us,
ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the utmost hazard
the boat came near us, but it was impossible for us to get on
board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side; till at last, the


men rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours,
our men cast them a rope over the stern with the buoy to it, and
then veered it out a great length, which they after great labour
and hazard took hold of, and we hauled them close under our
stern and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them
or us after we were in the boat to think of reaching to their own
ship, so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in to-
wards shore as much as we could, and our master promised
them, that if the boat was staved upon shore he would make it
good to their master : so partly rowing and partly driving, our
boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore
almost as far as Winterton-Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of
our ship before we saw her sink, and then I understood for the
first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea; I
must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the sea-
men told me she was sinking ; for from that moment they rather
put me into the boat than that I might be said to go in: my
heart was as it were dead within me, partly with fright, partly
with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at the
oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see (when our
boat mounting the waves we were able to see the shore) a great
many people running along the shore to assist us when we
should come near, but we made but slow way towards the shore,
nor were we able to reach the shore, till being past the light-
house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward towards
Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the
wind: here we got in, and, though not without much difficulty,
got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth,
where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great humanity,
as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good
quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and
had money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or
back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and
have gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem
of our blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf
for me; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in
Yarmouth Road, it was a great while before he had any assur-
ance 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
attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could
have pushed me forward against the calm reasoning and per-
suasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such
visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who
was the master's son, was now less forward than I; the first
time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not
till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to
several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his
tone was altered ; and looking very melancholy, and shaking his
head, 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 is all befallen
us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray,'
continued he, 'what are you ? and on what account did you go
to sea ?' Upon that I told him some of my story; at the end of
which he burst out with a strange kind of passion: 'What had I
done,' says he, 'that such an unhappy wretch should come into
my ship! I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee
again for a thousand pounds.' This indeed was, as I said, an
excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of
his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go.
However he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorted me
to go back to my father and not tempt Providence to my ruin;
told me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me; 'and,
young man,' said he, 'depend upon it, if you do not go back,


wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters
and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon
We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I
saw him no more; which way he went, I know not. As for me,
having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London by land;
and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with
myself, what course of life I should take, and whether I should
go home, or go to sea.
As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that
offered to my thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me how
I should be laughed at among the neighbours, and should be
ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even every-
body else; from whence I have since often observed, how in-
congruous 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 return-
ing, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain
what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An
irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I stayed
a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off;
and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to a
return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts
of it, and looked out for a voyage.
That evil influence which carried me first away from my
father's house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested
notion of raising my fortune; and that imprest those conceits so
forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to
the entreaties and even the command of my father: I say, the
same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate
of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel
bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a
voyage to Guinea.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did
not ship myself as a sailor; whereby though I might indeed
have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time
I had learned the duty and office of a fore-mast man; and in
time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not


for a master. But as it was always my fate to choose for the
worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and good
clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit
of a gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship,
nor learned to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in
London, which does not always happen to such loose and un-
guided young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not
omitting to lay some snare for them very early: but it was not
so with me. I first fell acquainted with the master of a ship
who had been on the coast of Guinea; and who having had
very good success there, was resolved to go again; and who
taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all dis-
agreeable 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 advan-
tage of it that the trade would. admit; and perhaps I might
meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer, and entering into a strict friendship with
this captain, who was an honest and plain-dealing man, I went
the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me,
which by the disinterested honesty of my friend, the captain, I
increased very considerably; for I carried about 40 in such
toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. This 40 I
had mustered together by the assistance of some of my relations
whom I corresponded with, and who, I believe, got my father,
or at least my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in
all my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and honesty
of my friend the captain, under whom also I got a competent
knowledge of the mathematics, and the rules of navigation,
learned how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an
observation, and, in short, to understand some things that were
needful to be understood by a sailor: for, as he took delight to
instruct me, I took delight to learn ; and, in a word, this voyage
made me both a sailor and a merchant: for I brought home 5
pounds 9 ounces of gold dust for my adventure, which yielded me
n London, at my return, almost 300, and this filled me with
hose aspiring thoughts which have since so completed 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 15 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 ioo of my
new-gained wealth, so that I had 2oo left, and which I lodged
with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into
terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz.,
Our ship making her course towards the Canary Islands, or
rather between those islands and the African shore, was surprised
in the grey of the morning, by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who
gave chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded
also as much canvas as our yards would spread, or our masts
carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate gained upon
us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours,
we prepared to fight; our ship having 12 guns, and the rogue
18. 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 200 men which he had
on board. However, we had not a man touched, all our men
keeping close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to
defend ourselves; but laying us on board the next time upon
our other quarter, he entered 60 men upon our decks, who
immediately fell to cutting and hacking the decks and rigging.
We plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and
such like, and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to
cut short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being dis-
abled, and three of our men killed, and eight wounded, we were
obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a
port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I
apprehended, nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's


court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain
3f 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; that now
the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone with-
Dut redemption. But, alas this was but a taste of the misery I
wvas to go through, as will appear in the sequel of the story.
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his
house, so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when
he went to sea again, believing that it would some time or
their be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal man-of-
var; and that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope
f mine was soon taken away; for when. he went to sea, he left
ne on shore to look after his little garden, and do the common
rudgery of slaves about his house; and when he came home
gain 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
might take to effect it; but found no way that had the least
probability in it: nothing presented to make the supposition of
t rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to, that would
mbark with me; no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman,
r Scotsman, there but myself; so that for two years, though I
often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I never had the
ast 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
erty again in my head: my patron lying at home longer than
ual, without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for
ant of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week,
metimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's
nnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and as he always
ok me and a young Maresco with him to row the boat, we
ade him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catching
h; insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a Moor,
e of his kinsmen, and the youth, the Maresco as they called
to catch a dish of fish for him.


It happened one time, that going a-fishing in a stark calm
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a
league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew
not whither or which way, we laboured 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 labour, and some danger;
for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but
particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take
more care of himself for the future; and having lying by him
the long-boat of our English ship he had taken, he resolved he
would not go a-fishing any more without a compass and some
provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also
was an English slave, to build a little state-room or cabin in the
middle of the long-boat, like that of a barge, with a place to
stand behind it to steer and hale home the main-sheet; and
room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails; she
sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton sail; and the
boom gibed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug and
low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and
a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some
bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; particularly
his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing, and as I
was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went
without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out in
this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three
Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom he had
provided extraordinarily; and had therefore sent on board the
boat 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 pendants
out, and everything to accommodate his guests; when by-and-
by my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests had
put off going, upon some business that fell out, and ordered me
with 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 like to have a little ship at
my command ; and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish
myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though I
knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should
steer; for any where to get out of that place was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this
Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told
him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread : he said,
that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of
their kind, and three jars with fresh water into the boat. I
knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, which it was
evident by the make were taken out of some English prize; and
I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as
if they had been there before for our master; I conveyed also a
great lump of beeswax into the boat, which weighed above half
a hundredweight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a
saw, and a hammer, all 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, who they call Muly, or Moley; so I called to him,
'Moley,' said I,' our patron's guns are on board the boat, can you
ot get a little powder and shot, it may be we may kill some
lcamies (a fowl like our curlews), for ourselves, for I know he
eeps the gunner's stores in the ship ?' 'Yes,'says he,' I'll bring
ome;' and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch which
eld about a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and an-
ther with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets,
nd put all into the boat: at the same time I had found some
owder of my master's in the great cabin, with which I filled
ne of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty;
during 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,
nd took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out of
he port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish :
he wind blew from the N.N.E. which was contrary to my
esire; for had it blown southerly I had been sure to have made


the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz; but
my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone
from that horrid place where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for when
I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that he might
not see them; I said to the Moor, 'This will not do, our master
will not be thus served, we must stand farther off:' he thinking
no harm agreed, and being in the head of the boat set the sails;
and as I had the helm I run the boat out near a league farther,
and then brought her to as if I would fish, when giving the boy
the helm, I stept forward to where the Moor was, and making
as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by surprise
with my arm under his twist, and tossed him clear overboard
into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork,
and calling to me, begged to be taken in, told me he would go
all over the world with me; he swam so strong after the boat
that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but
little wind; upon which I stept into the cabin, and fetching one
cf 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
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me,
and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust
him. When he was gone I turned to the boy, who they called
Xury, and said to him, 'Xury, if you will be faithful to me I'll
make you a great man, but if you will not stroke your face to be
true to me, that is, swear by Mahomet and his father's beard, I
must throw you into the sea too:' the boy smiled in my face,
and spoke so innocently that I could not mistrust him; and swore
to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood
out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward,
that they might think me gone towards the Straits mouth (as
indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been
supposed to do), for who would have supposed we were sailed


on to the southward to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole
nations of negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes,
and destroy us; where we could never once go on shore but we
should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages
of human kind ?
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my
course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the
shore; and having a fair fresh gale of wind, and a smooth quiet
sea, I made such sail that I believe by the next day at three
o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not
be less than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the
emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king
thereabouts, for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I
would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor. The
wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days,
and 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, or
where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or
what river: I neither saw, nor desired to see any people, the
principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this
creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it
was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite
dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and
howling of wild creatures of we knew not what kinds, that the
poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go
on shore till day. 'Well, Xury,' said I, 'then I 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 cheer-
ful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles)
to cheer him up: after all, Xury's advice was good, and I took
it; we dropped our little anchor and lay still all night; I say
still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we saw vast
great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of many sorts,
come down to the sea-shore and run into the water, wallowing


and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves;
and they made such hideous howlings and yelling, that I never
indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but
we were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty
creatures come swimming towards our boat: we could not see
him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous
huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might
be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the
anchor and row away. 'No,'says I,'Xury, we can slip our cable
with a buoy to it and go off to sea, they cannot follow us far.' I
had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it
was) within two oars' length, which something surprised me;
however I immediately stept to the cabin-door, and taking up
my gun, fired at him, upon which he immediately turned about,
and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hideous
cries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the edge of
the shore, as higher within the country, upon the noise or report
of the gun; a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures
had never heard before: this convinced me that there was no
going on shore for us in the night upon that coast, and how to
venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to
have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been as bad
as to have fallen into the hands of lions and tigers; at least we
were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some-
where or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat;
when or where to get to it was the point. Xury said, if I would
let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there
was any water and bring some to me. I asked him why he
would go ? why I should not go and he stay in the boat ? The
boy answered with so much affection that made me love him
ever after. Says he, 'If wild mans come, they eat me, you go
wey.' 'Well, Xury,' said I,' we will both go, and if the wild mans
come, we will kill them, they shall eat neither of us;' so I gave
Xury a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram out of our
patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before; and we
hauled the boat in as near the shore as we thought was proper;
and waded on shore; carrying nothing but our arms, and two
jars for water.


I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the
coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy
seeing a low place about a mile up the country rambled to it;
and by-and-by I saw him come running towards me. I thought
he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild
beast, and I ran forward towards him to help him, but when I
came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders,
which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different
in colour, 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 did not exactly know, or at least remember, what
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or
when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now
easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was,
that if I stood along this coast till I came to that part
where the English traded, I should find some of their vessels
upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take
us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was,
must be that country, which lying between the emperor of
Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and unin-
habited, except by wild beasts; the Negroes having abandoned
it, and gone farther south for fear of the Moors; and the Moors
not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness;
and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious number
of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which
harbour there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only,
where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a
time; and indeed for near an hundred miles together upon this


coast, we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day;
and heard nothing but howlings and roarings of wild beasts by
Once or twice in the day-time I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes of
reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again
by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little
vessel, so I resolved to pursue my first design and keep along
the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we
had left this place; and once in particular, being early in the
morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land
which was pretty high, and the tide beginning to flow, we lay
still to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him
than it seems mine were, calls softly to me, and tells me that
we had best go farther off the shore; 'for,' says he, 'look yonder
lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock fast asleep.' I
looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed,
for it was a terrible great lion that lay on the side of the shore,
under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung as it were a
little over him. 'Xury,' says I, 'you shall go on shore and kill
him:' Xury looked frighted, and said, 'Me kill! he eat me at one
mouth;' one mouthful he meant. However, I said no more to
the boy, but bade him lie still; and took our biggest gun, which
was almost musquet-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of
powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded
another gun with two bullets; and the third, for we had three
pieces, I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim
I could with the first piece, to have shot him into the head, but
he lay so with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the
slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone. He
started up growling at first, but finding his leg broke fell down
again, and then got up upon three legs, and gave the most
hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I
had not hit him on the head; however, I took up the second
piece immediately, and, though he began to move off, fired
again, and shot him into the head, and had the pleasure to see
him drop, and make but little noise, but lay struggling for life.
Then Xury took heart, and would have me let him go on shore.
'Well, go,' said I. So the boy jumped into the water, and

f~l~n" TS'fr~J 4 n EM

u1i- by




taking a little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other
hand, and coming close to the creature, put the muzzle of the
piece to his ear, and shot him into the head again, which
despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food: and I was
very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a
creature that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury said
he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked
me to give him the hatchet. 'For what, Xury?' said I. 'Me
cut off his head,' said he. However, Xury could not cut off his
head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him, and it was
a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him
might one way or other be of some value to us; and I resolved
to take off his skin, if I could. So Xury and I went to work
with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I
knew very ill how to do it. Indeed it took us up both the
whole day; but at last we got off the hide of him, and spreading
it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two
days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for
ten or twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions, which
began to abate very much, and going no oftener into the shore
than we were obliged to for fresh water: my design in this was,
to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to say, anywhere
about the Cape de Verd, where I was in hopes to meet with
some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course
I had to take, but to seek for the Islands, or perish there among
the Negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which
sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brasil, or to the East
Indies, made this Cape, or those Islands; and, in a word, I put
the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I
must meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as
I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in
two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon
the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite
black, and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone on
shore to them; but Xury was my better counsellor, and said to
me, 'No go, no go:' however I hauled in nearer the shore that I
might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by


me a good way. I observed they had no weapons in their
hands, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury
said was a lance, and that they would throw them a great way
with good aim. So I kept at a distance, but talked with them
by signs as well as I could; and particularly made signs for
something to eat: they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and
they would fetch me some meat; upon this I lowered the top
of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country,
and in less than half an hour came back, and brought with
them two pieces of dry flesh and some corn, such as is the pro-
duce of their country; but we neither knew what the one nor
the other was: however, we were willing to accept it, but how
to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for venturing
on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us; but they
took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and
laid it down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched
it on board, and then came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to
make them amends; but an opportunity offered that very
instant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying by
the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other
(as we took it) with great fury, from the mountains 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 seem to offer to fall upon any of the
Negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about
as if they had come for their diversion. At last one of them
began to come nearer our boat than at first I expected, but I
lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible
expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon as
he came fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly
into the head. Immediately he sunk down into the water, but
rose instantly, and plunged up and down as if he was struggling
for life; and so indeed he was: he 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 the fire of my gun; some of them
were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the
very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and sunk
in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to the
shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and began to
search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the
water; and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and
gave the Negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found
that it was a most curious leopard, spotted and fine to an
admirable degree, and the Negroes held up their hands with
admiration to think what it was I had killed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the
noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the
mountains from whence they came, nor could I at that distance
know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes were for eating
the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them take it
as a favour from me, which when I made signs to them that
they might take him, they were very thankful for. Immediately
they fell to work with him, and though they had no knife, yet
with a sharpened piece of wood they took off his skin as readily,
and much more readily, than we could have done with a knife:
they offered me some of the flesh, which I declined, making as
if I would give it them, but made signs for the skin, which they
gave me very freely, and brought me a great deal more of
their provision, which though I did not understand, yet I
accepted; then I made signs to them for some water, and held
out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to shew
that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They
called immediately to some of their friends, and there came two
women, and brought a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, as
I suppose, in the sun; this they set down for me, as before, and
I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three.
The women were as stark naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and
water: and, leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward for
about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore,
till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about
the distance of four or five leagues before me; and, the sea


being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point: at
length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the land,
I saw plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I con-
cluded, 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 nor the
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stept into the
cabin and set me down, Xury having the helm, when on a
sudden the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a sail 1'
and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it
must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us,
when I knew we were gotten far enough out of their reach. I
jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw not only the
ship, but what she was, (viz.) that it was a Portuguese ship,
and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea for
Negroes. But when I observed the course she steered, I was
soon convinced they were bound some other way, and did not
design to come any nearer to the shore; upon which I stretched
out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able
to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I
could make any signal to them. But after I had crowded to
the utmost, and began to despair; they, it seems, saw me by
the help of their perspective-glasses, and that it was some
European boat, which, as they supposed, must belong to some
ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up.
I was encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's 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
Scots 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. Then they


bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all
my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one would believe
that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miser-
able and almost hopeless condition as I was in, and 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 Brasils; '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
Brasils, 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, Seignior Inglese,'
says he, 'Mr. Englishman, I will carry you thither in charity,
and those things will help you to buy your subsistence there,
and your passage home again.'
As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the
performance to a tittle, for he ordered the seamen, that none
should offer to touch anything I had; then he took every-
thing into his own possession, and gave me back an exact in-
ventory of them, that I might have them; even so much as my
three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one, and that he saw, and
told me he would buy it of me for the ship's use, and asked me
what I would have for it ? I told him, he had been so generous
to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any price
of the boat, but left it entirely to him; upon which he told me
he would give me a note of his hand to pay me 8o pieces of
eight for it at Brasil; and when it came there, if any one
offered to give more, he would make it up; he offered me also
60 pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to
take; not that I was not willing to let the captain have him, but
I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted
me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him
know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this
medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him
free in ten years, if he turned Christian. Upon this, and Xury
saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brasils, and arrived in the


Bay de Todos los Santos, or All-Saints-Bay, in about twenty-
two days after. And now I was once more delivered from the
most miserable of all conditions of life, and what to do next
with myself I was now to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never
enough 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 every-
thing I had in the ship to be punctually delivered me; and
what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the case of bottles,
two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-wax, for I had
made candles of the rest; in a word, I made about 220 pieces
of eight of all my cargo, and with this stock I went on shore in
the Brasils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the
house of a good honest man like himself, who had an Ingenio
as they call it; that is, a plantation and a sugar-house, I lived
with him some time, and acquainted myself by that means
with the manner of their planting and making of sugar; and
seeing how well the planters lived, and how they grew rich
suddenly, I resolved, if I could get license to settle there, I
would turn planter among them, resolving in the mean time to
find out some way to get my money, which I had left in
London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a
letter of naturalization, I purchased as much land that was
uncured as my money would reach, and formed a plan for my
plantation and settlement, and such a one as might be suitable
to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from Eng-
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of
English parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such
circumstances as I was. I call him neighbour, because his
plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably
together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we
rather planted for food, than anything else, for about two
years. However, we began to increase, and our land began to
come into order; so that the third year we planted some
tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready for
planting canes in the year to come; but we both wanted help;
and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in
parting with my boy Xury.


But alas for me to do wrong, that never did right, was no
great wonder: I had no remedy but to go on; I was gotten
into an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly
contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my
father's house, and broke through all his good advice; nay, I
was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of
low life, which my father advised me to before; and which if I
resolved to go on with, I might as well have staid at home, and
never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done: and I
used often to say to myself, I could have done this as well in
England among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles
off to do it, among strangers and savages in a wilderness, and
at such distance as never to hear from any part of the world
that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and
then this neighbour: no work to be done, but by the labour of
my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away
upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself.
But how just has it been, and how should all men reflect, that,
when they compare their present conditions with others that
are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange,
and be convinced of their former felicity, by their experience;
I say how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected
on in an island 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 loading, and preparing for his voyage,
near three months; when telling him what little stock I had
left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere
advice: 'Seignior Inglese,' says he, (for so he always called me)
'if you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to
me, with orders to the person who has your money in London,
to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct,
and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring
you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but since
human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would


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


of my plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro
slave, and 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 neighbours; and these
fifty rolls, being each of above an hundredweight, were well
cured and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lis-
bon. 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 this
Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for
all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my
father so earnestly recommended a quiet retired life, and of
which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to
be full; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the
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 mis-
carriages 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 my-
self good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and
those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred
to present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I
could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy
view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new planta-
tion, 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 gulph of human misery that
ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with life and
a state of health in the world.
To come then by the just degrees to the particulars of this
part of my story; you may suppose, that having now lived
almost four years in the Brasils, and beginning to thrive and
prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned the
language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship


among my fellow-planters, as well as among the merchants at
St. Salvadore, which was our port; and that in my discourses
among them, I had frequently given them an account of my
two voyages to the coast of Guinea, the manner of trading with
the Negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upon the
coast, for trifles, such as beads, toys, knives, scissars, hatchets,
bits of glass, and the like, not only gold dust, Guinea grains,
elephants' teeth, etc., but Negroes for the service of the Brasils,
in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on
these heads, but especially to that part which related to the
buying Negroes, which was a trade at that time not only not far
entered into, but as far as it was, had been carried on by the
Assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal,
and engrossed in the public, so that few Negroes were bought,
and those excessive 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 could not
be carried on, because they could not publicly sell the Negroes
when they came home; so they desired to make but one voyage,
to bring the Negroes on shore privately, and divide them among
their own plantations; and in a word, the question was, whether
I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading
part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I
should have my equal share of the Negroes, without providing
any part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been
made to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation
of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to
be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for
me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to
do but go on as I 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 under-
take to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dis-
pose of it to such as I should direct if I miscarried. This they
all engaged to do, and entered into writings or covenants to do
so; and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and
effects, in case of my death, making the captain of the ship that
had saved my life as before, my universal heir, but obliging him
to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will, one half
of the produce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects,
and keep up my plantation; had I used half as much prudence
to have looked into my own interest, and have made judgment
of what I ought to have done, and not to have done, I had cer-
tainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking,
leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and
gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards;
to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfor-
tunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my
fancy rather than my reason: and accordingly the ship being
fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done as by
agreement by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an
evil hour, the ist of September, being the same day eight years
that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act
the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about 12o ton burthen, carried 6 guns, and
14 men, besides the master, his boy and myself; we had on
board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit
for our trade with the negroes, such as beads, bits of glass,
shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives,
scissars, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to
the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch over


for the African coast, when they came about o1 or 12 degrees
of northern latitude, which it seems was the manner of their
course in those days. We had very good weather, only exces-
sive hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came the height
of Cape St. Augustino; from whence keeping farther off at sea,
we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the
isle Fernand de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N. and
leaving those isles on the east. In this course we passed the
line in about twelve days' time, and were by our last observation
in 7 degrees 22 min. northern latitude, when a violent tornado
or hurricane took us quite out of our knowledge: it began from
the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then settled
into the north-east, from whence it blew in such a terrible
manner, that for twelve days together we could do nothing
but drive; and scudding away before it, let it carry us whither
ever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and during these
twelve days, I need not say that I expected every day to be
swallowed up, nor indeed did any in the ship expect to save
their lives.
In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one
of our men died of 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 II degrees north latitude, but that
he was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St.
Augustino ; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast of
Guinea, or the north part of Brasil, beyond the river Amazones,
toward that of the river Oronoque, commonly called the Great
River, and began to consult with me what course lie should
take, for the ship was leaky and very much disabled, and he was
going directly back to the coast of Brasil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of
the sea-coasts 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 gulph of Mexico, we might easily per-
form, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we could
not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa without
some assistance, both to our ship and to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away


N.W. by W. in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was otherwise deter-
mined; for being in the latitude of 12 deg. 18 min. a second
storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same
impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very way of
all human commerce, that had all our lives been saved, as to the
sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than
ever returning to our country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our
men early in the morning cried out, 'Land !' and we had no
sooner ran out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing
whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a
sand, and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea
broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we should
all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven
into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and
spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like
condition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in
such circumstances: we knew nothing where we were, or upon
what land it was we were driven, whether an island or the
main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the rage of
the wind was still great, though rather less than at first, we
could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes
without breaking in pieces, unless the winds by a kind of
Miracle should turn immediately about. In a word, we sat
looking one upon another, and expecting death every moment;
and every man acting accordingly as preparing for another
world, for there was little or nothing more for us to do in this:
that which was our present comfort, and all the comfort we
had, was, that contrary to our expectation the ship did not
break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.
Now though we found that the wind did a little abate, yet the
ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for
us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition
indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives
as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the
storm, but she was first staved by dashing against the ship's
rudder, and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk
or was driven off to sea, so there was no hope from her; we
had another boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea


was a doubtful thing: however, there was no room to debate,
for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every minute, and
some told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat,
and with the help of the rest of the men, they got her slung
over the ship's side, and getting all into her, let go, and com-
mitted ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and
the wild sea; for though the storm was abated considerably,
yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and might
well be called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw
plainly that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live,
and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail,
we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done 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 com-
mitted our souls to God in the most earnest manner, and the
wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our destruction
with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or
shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give us
the least shadow of expectation, was, if we might happen into
some bay or gulph, or the mouth of some river, where by great
chance we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of
the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was
nothing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer
the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather, driven about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup-de-grace.
In a word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat
at once; and separating us, as well from the boat as from one
another, gave us not time hardly to say, '0 God !' for we were
all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt
when I sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet
I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath,
till that wave having driven me, or rather, carried me a vast


way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back,
and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the
water I took in. I had so much presence of mind as well as
breath left, that, seeing myself nearer the main land than I
expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on
towards the land as fast as I could, before another wave should
return and take me up again. But I soon found it was impos-
sible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a
great hill, and as furious as an enemy which I had no means or
strength to contend with; my business was to hold my breath,
and rise myself upon the water, if I could : and so by swimming
to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore if
possible: my greatest concern now being that the sea, as it
would carry me a great way towards the shore when it came on,
might not carry me back again with it when it gave back
towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once 20 or
30 foot deep in its own body, and I could feel myself carried
with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore, a very
great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim
still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst with
holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so, to my
immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above
the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of
time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave
me breath and new courage. I was covered again with water a
good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the
water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward
against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with my
feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath, and till the
water went from me, and then took to my heels, and run with
what strength I had farther towards the shore. But neither
would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came
pouring in after me again, and twice more I was lifted up
by the waves and carried forwards as before, the shore being
very flat.
The last time of these two had well near 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 breast, beat the


breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it not returned
again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water;
but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and
seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to
hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath,
if possible, till the wave went back. Now as the waves were
not so high as at first, being near land, I held my hold till the
wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me
so near the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me,
yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the
next run I took I got to the main land, where, to my great
comfort, I clambered up the clifts of the shore, and sat me
down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the
reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up
and thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there
was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it
is impossible to express to the life what the ecstacies and trans-
ports of the soul are when it is so saved, as I may say, out of
the very grave; and I do not wonder now at that custom, viz.
that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied
up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought
to him: I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with
it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him of it, that
the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart, and
overwhelm him:
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.
I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands and my
whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of my
deliverance, making a thousand gestures and motions which I
cannot describe, reflecting upon all my comrades that were
drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but
myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any
sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes
that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far
off, and considered, Lord i how was it possible I could get on
shore !

" ^
*> "'. i ll",
r" .11
i'; -'- ,


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 deliver-
ance: for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything
either to eat or drink to comfort me; neither did I see any
prospect before me but that of perishing with hunger, or being
devoured by wild beasts: and that which was particularly
afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon either to hunt and
kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against
any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs: in a
word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and
a little tobacco in a box; this was all my provision, and this
threw me into terrible agonies of mind, that for a while I ran
about like a madman; night coming upon me, I began with a
heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if there were any
ravenous beasts in that country, seeing at night they always
come abroad for their 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 con-
sider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no
prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, to
see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to my
great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco in my
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up
into it, endeavoured to place myself so, as that if I should sleep
I might not fall; and having cut me a short stick, like a
truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging, and having
been excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as com-
fortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and
found myself the most refreshed with it that I think I ever was
on such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the
storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before:
but that which surprised me most, was, that the ship was lifted
off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling of
the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I
first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the dashing me
against it; this being within about a mile from the shore where
I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished


myself on board, that, at least, I might save some necessary
things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked
about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat, which
lay as the wind and the sea had tossed her, up upon the land,
about two miles on my right hand: I walked as far as I could
upon the shore to have got to her, but found a neck or inlet of
water between me and the boat, which was about half a mile
broad; so I came back for the present, being more intent upon
getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my
present subsistence.
A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide
ebbed so far out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile
of the ship; and here I found a fresh renewing of my grief; for
I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had been all
safe, that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not
been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all comfort
and company, as I now was: this forced tears from my eyes
again, but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if
possible, to get to the ship; so I pulled off my clothes, for the
weather was hot to extremity, and took the water; but when I
came to the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know how to
get on board, for as she lay a-ground, and high out of the
water, there was nothing within my reach to lay hold of. I
swam round her twice, and the second time I spied a small
piece of a rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hang
down by the fore-chains so low as that with great difficulty I
got hold of it, and by the help of that rope got up into the 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, and her stern lay
lifted up upon the bank, and her head low almost to the water;
by this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that
part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search
and to see what was spoiled and what was free: and first I
found that all the ship's provisions were dry, and untouched by
the water; and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the
bread room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and eat it as I
went about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also
found some rum in the great cabin, of which I took a large
dram, and which I had indeed need enough of to spirit me for


what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat to
furnish 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 flung as many of them overboard as I could
manage of their weight, tying every one with a rope that they
might not drive away; when this was done I went down the
ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast
together at both ends, as well as I could, in the form of a raft,
and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them cross-
ways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was
not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light; so
I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-
mast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great
deal of labour and pains: but hope of furnishing myself with
necessaries, encouraged me to go beyond what I should have
been able to have done upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight;
my next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve
what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I was not long
considering this; I first laid all the planks or boards upon it
that I could get, and having considered well what I most
wanted, I first got three of the seamen's chests, which I had
broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon my
raft; the first of these I filled with provisions, viz., bread, rice,
three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh, which we
lived much upon, and a little remainder of European corn
which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea
with us, but the fowls were killed; there had been some barley
and wheat together, but to my great disappointment, I found
afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all; as for
liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging to our
skipper, in which were some cordial waters, and in all above
five or six gallons of rack; these I stowed by themselves, there
being no need to put them into the chest, nor no room for them.
While I was doing this I found the tide began to flow, though
very calm ; and I had the mortification to see my coat,
shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore upon the sand,


swim away; as for my breeches, which were only linen, and
open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings: how-
ever, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found
enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I
had other things which my eye was more upon; as, first, tools
to work with on shore; and it was after long searching that I
found out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful
prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-loading of
gold would have been at that time: I got it down to my raft,
even whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I
knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms; there
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a
small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords: I knew there were
three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our
gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them,
two of them dry and good, the third had taken water: those
two I got to my raft, with the arms; and now I thought myself
pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to
shore with them, having neither sail, oar, or rudder, and the
least capfull of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: I. A smooth, calm sea: 2.
The tide rising and setting into the shore: 3. What little wind
there was blew me towards the land; and thus, having found
two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and besides the
tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an ax and a
hammer, and with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or
thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a
little distant from the place where I had landed before, by
which I perceived that there was some indraft of the water,
and consequently I hoped to find some creek or river there,
which I might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was; there appeared before me a little
opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide
set into it, so I guided my raft as well as I could to 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
broke my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast, my raft run
a-ground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being
a-ground at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my


cargo had slipped off towards that end that was afloat, and so
fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back
against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not
thrust off the raft with all my strength, neither durst I stir from
the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my
might, stood in that manner near half an hour, 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, as that, reaching ground with my oar, I
could thrust her directly in; but here I had like to have dipped
all my cargo in 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 the float, if it run on shore, would lie so high, and
the other sink lower as before, that it would endanger my cargo
again: all that I could do, was to wait till the tide was at the
highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor to hold the
side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I
expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as
I found water enough (for my raft drew about a foot of water),
I thrust her on upon that flat piece of ground, and there
fastened or moored her by sticking my two broken oars into the
ground; one on one side near one end; and one on the other
side near the other end; and thus I lay till the water ebbed
away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper
place for my habitation, and where to stow my goods, to secure
them from whatever might happen; where I was I yet knew not;
whether on the continent or on an island, whether 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 over-top some other hills which
lay as in a ridge from it northward; I took out one of the


fowling-pieces, and one of the pistols, and an horn of powder,
and thus armed I travelled for discovery up to the top of that
hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to
the top, I saw my fate to my great affliction, viz., that I was in
an island environed every way with the sea, no land to be seen,
except some rocks which lay a great way off, and two small
islands less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I
saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts,
of whom however I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls,
but knew not their kinds, neither when I killed them could I
tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back,
I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting upon a tree on the
side of a great wood; I believe it was the first gun that had
been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no
sooner fired, but from all the parts of the wood there arose an
innumerable number of fowls of many sorts, making a confused
screaming, and crying every one according to his usual note;
but not one of them of any kind that I knew: as for the
creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of hawk, its colour and
beak resembling it, but had no talons or claws more than
common; its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell
to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest
of that day ; and what to do with myself at night I knew not, nor
indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie down on the ground,
not knowing but some wild beast might devour me, though,
as I afterwards found, there was really no need for those fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricadoed myself round
with the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, and
made a kind of a hut for that night's lodging: as for food, I
yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had
seen two or three creatures, like hares, run out of the wood
where I shot the fowl.
I now began to consider, that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and
particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things
as might come to land, and I resolved to make another voyage
on board the vessel, if possible; and as I knew that the first
storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I
resolved to set all other things apart, till I got everything out


of the ship that I could get; then I called a council, that is to
say, in my thoughts, whether I should take back the raft; but
this appeared impracticable ; so I resolved to go as before, when
the tide was down, and I did so, only that I stripped before I
went from my hut, having nothing on but a chequered shirt,
and a pair of linen trowsers, 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, particularly two
or three iron crows, and two barrels of musquet-bullets, seven
musquets, and another fowling-piece, with some small quantity
of powder more; a large bag full of small shot, and a great roll
of sheet lead; but this last was so heavy I could not hoist it up
to get it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could
find, and a spare fore-top-sail, hammock, and some bedding;
and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all
safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehensions during my absence from the
land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore;
but when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor, only there
sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which,
when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then
stood still; she sat very composed, and unconcerned, and
looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted
with me; I presented my gun at 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, ate it, and looked, as pleased, for more: but I thanked
her, and could spare no more; so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to
open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels, (for they
were too heavy, being large casks,) I went to work to make me
a little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut for that


purpose; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew
would spoil, either with rain or sun, and I piled all the empty
chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from
any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
When I had done this I blocked up the door of the tent with
some boards within, and an empty chest set up an-end without:
and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two
pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was
very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slept little,
and had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch all those
things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now, that ever were
laid up, I believe, for one man; but I was not satisfied still;
for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought
to get everything out of her that I could: so every day at low
water I went on board, and brought away something or other;
but particularly the third time I went, I brought away as much
of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope
twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to
mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gun-powder:
in a word I brought away all the sails first and last, only that I
was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as
I could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere
canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was, that, last of all,
after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought
I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my
meddling with; I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of
bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box of
sugar and a barrel of fine flour: this was 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
that bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the
sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on
shore also.
The next day I made another voyage; and now, .having
plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I
began with the cables; and cutting the great cable into pieces,
such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore,
with all the iron-work I could get; and having cut down the



spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and everything I could to
make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and
came away: but my good luck began now to leave me; for this
raft was so unwieldy and so overladen, that after I had entered
the little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not
being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset,
and threw me and all my cargo into the water. As for myself
it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my
cargo, it was great part of it lost, 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 labour; for I was fain to
dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much.
After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what
I could get.
I had been now 13 days on shore, and had been II 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 Izth time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise;
however at low water I went on board, and though I thought I
had rummaged the cabin so effectually, as that nothing 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
scissars, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks; in
another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money, some
European coin, some Brasil, some pieces of eight, some gold,
some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. Drug!' said
I, aloud, what art thou good for ? thou art not worth to me, no
not the taking off of the ground: one of those knives is worth
all this heap: I have no manner of use for thee, even remain
where thou art and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is
not worth saving.' However, upon second thoughts, I took it
away, and wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to
think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I
found the sky over-cast, and the wind began to rise, and in a
quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It pre-
sently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a
raft with the wind off shore, and that it was my business to be


gone before the tide of flood began, otherwise I might not be
able to reach the shore at all; accordingly I let myself down
into the water, and swam across the channel, which lay between
the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough,
partly with the weight of things I had about me, and partly the
roughness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and
before it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with all
my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that
night; and in the morning when I looked out, behold no more
ship was to be seen : I was a little surprised, but recovered my-
self with this satisfactory reflection, viz., That I had lost no
time, nor abated any diligence to get everything out of her that
could be useful to me; and that indeed there was little left in
her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any-
thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her
wreck, as indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those
things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing
myself against either savages (if any should appear) or wild
beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of
the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make;
whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon
the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon both, of the manner
and description of which it may not be improper to give an
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement,
particularly because it was upon a low moorish ground near the
sea, and I believed would not be wholesome, and more parti-
cularly because there was no fresh water near it; so I resolved
to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation which I found
would be proper for me: Ist, Health, and fresh water, I just
now mentioned. zdly, Shelter from the heat of the sun. 3dly,
Security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast.
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 this rock there was a
hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of
a cave; but there was not really any cave or way into the rock
at all.
On the flat of the green just before this hollow place, I
resolved to pitch my tent: this plain was not above an hundred
yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green
before my door, and at the end of it descended irregularly every
way down into the low grounds by the sea-side. It was on the
N.N.W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the heat
every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabouts,
which in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow
place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from
the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its beginning
and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving
them into the ground till they stood very firm, like piles, the
biggest end being out of the ground about five foot 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 two rows of stakes up to the top, placing other
stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two foot and a
half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong,
that neither man or beast could get into it or over it: this cost
me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles
in the woods, bring them to. the place, and drive them into the
The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door, but
by a short ladder, to go over the top; which ladder, when I was
in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in,
and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently
slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done;
though, as it appeared afterward, there was no need for all this
caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.
Into this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all
my riches, all my provisions, ammunition and stores, of which
you have the account above; and I made me a large tent,

which, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the
year are very violent there, I made double, viz. one smaller tent
within, and one larger tent above it, and covered the uppermost
with a large tarpaulin which I had saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had
brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very
good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything
that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my
goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open,
and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock;
and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down, out
through my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the nature
of a terrace, that so it raised the ground within about a foot and
a half: and thus I made me a cave just behind my tent, which
served me like a cellar to my house.
It cost me much labour, and many days, before all these
things were brought to perfection, and therefore I must go back
to some other things which took up some of my thoughts. At
the same time it happened, after I had laid my scheme for the
setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain
falling from a thick dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning
happened, and after that a great clap of thunder, as is naturally
the effect of it: I was not so much surprised with the lightning,
as I was with a thought which darted into my mind as swift as
the lightning itself: O my powder my very heart sunk within
me, when I thought, that at one blast all my powder might be
destroyed; on which, not my defence only, but the providing
me food, as I thought, entirely depended: I was nothing near
so anxious about my own danger; though had the powder took
fire, I had never known who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm
was over, I laid aside all my works, my building, and fortifying,
and applied myself to make bags and boxes to separate the
powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope,
that whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once;
and to keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make
one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight;
and I think, my powder, which in all was about 240 pounds
weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels: as to


the barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger
from that, so I placed it in my new cave, which in my fancy I
called my kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down in holes
among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very
carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once
at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to
see if I could kill anything fit for food, and, as near as I could,
to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first
time I went out I presently discovered that there were goats in
the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it
was attended with this misfortune to me, viz., that they were so
shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult
thing in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged
at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it
soon happened; for after I had found their haunts 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 afterward I took this method:
I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then
had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made among these
creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by her, which
she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; but when the old
one fell, the kid stood stock-still by her till I came and took her
up; and not only so, but when I carried the old one with me
upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to my enclosure,
upon which I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms,
and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame,
but it would not eat, so I was forced to kill it and eat it myself:
these two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I eat sparingly,
and saved my provisions (my bread especially) as much as
possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely neces-
sary 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 first give some little account of myself, and of my


thoughts about living, which it may well be supposed were not
a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not
cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by
a violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage,
and a great way, viz., some hundreds of leagues out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to
consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate
place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The
tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these
reflections, and sometimes I would expostulate with myself, why
Providence should thus completely ruin His creatures, and render
them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, so
entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thank-
ful 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 expostulating with me the other way, thus : Well, you are
in a desolate condition, it is true; but pray remember, where
are the rest of you ? Did not you come eleven of you into the
boat? Where are the ten? Why were they not saved and you
lost ? Why were you singled out ? Is it better to be here or
there ?' and then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be con-
sidered with the good that is in them, and with what worse
attended them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for
my subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had not
happened, which was an hundred thousand to one, that the ship
floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so
near the shore that I had time to get all these things out of her:
what would have been my case if I had been to have lived in the
condition in which I at first came on shore, without necessaries
of life or necessaries to supply and procure them ? Particularly,
said I aloud (though to myself), what should I have done with-
out a gun, without ammunition, without any tools to make any-
thing, or to work with; without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any
manner of covering? and that now I had all these to a sufficient
quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a
manner, as to live without my gun when my ammunition was


spent; so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting, without any
want, as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning
how I should provide for the accidents that might happen and
for the time that was to come, even not only after my ammuni-
tion should be spent, but even after my health or strength
should decay.
I confess I had not entertained any notion of my 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
And now being about to enter into a melancholy relation of a
scene of silent life, such perhaps as was never heard of in the
world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it
in its order. It was, by my account, the 3oth of September,
when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid
island, when the sun being, to us, in its autumnal equinox, was
almost just over my head; for I reckoned myself, by observa-
tion, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north of the
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into
my thoughts, that I should lose my reckoning of time for want
of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath
days from the working days; but to prevent this, I cut it with
my knife upon a large post in capital letters, and making it into
a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed, viz.,
I came on shore here on the 3oth of Sept. 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 reckon-
ing of time.
In the next place we are to observe, that among the many
things which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages,
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of
less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and paper; several
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keep-
ing; three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments,
dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I
huddled together, whether I might want them or no: also, I found


three very good Bibles which came to me in my cargo from
England, and which I had packed up among my things; some
Portuguese books also, and among them two or three popish
prayer-books, and several other books, all which I carefully
secured. And I must not forget, that we had in the ship a dog
and two cats of whose eminent history I 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 company that he could
make up to me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that
he could not do. As I observed before, I found pen, ink, and
paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall shew,
that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact; but after
that was gone, I could not; for I could not make any ink, by
any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, not-
withstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these
this of ink was one, as also spade, pick-axe and shovel,
to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread;
as for linen, I soon learned to want that without much diffi-
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily, and
it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little
pale or surrounded habitation: the piles or stakes, which were
as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and
preparing in the woods, and more by far in bringing home; so
that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing home
one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground;
for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at
last bethought myself of one of the iron crows, which however,
though I found it, yet 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 cir-
cumstance I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my


affairs in writing; not so much to leave them to any that were
to come after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to
deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting
my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despon-
dency, 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 it very impartially,
like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the
miseries I suffered, thus:

I am cast upon a horrible deso-
late island, void of all hope of re-

1 am singled out and separated,
as it were, from all the world, to
be miserable.

I am divided from mankind, a
solitaire, one banished from hu-
man society.

I have not clothes to cover me.

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

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

But I am alive, and not
drowned, as all my ship's com-
pany was.

But I am singled out too from
all the. ship's crew to be spared
from death; and He that mira-
culously saved me from death, can
deliver me from this condition.

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 gotten out so many
necessary things as will either
supply my wants, or enable me
to supply myself even as long as
I live.


Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that there
was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but there
was something negative or something positive to be thankful for
in it; and let this stand as a direction from the experience of
the most miserable of all conditions in this world, that we may
always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, and to
set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of the
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;
I say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself to
accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to
me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent
under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts
and cables, but I might now rather call it a wall, for I raised a
kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the
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 enlarge my cave
and works farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock,
which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so
when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked
sideways to the right hand into the rock; and then, turning to
the right again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come
out, on the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a back-
way to my tent and to my store-house, but gave me room to
stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary
things as I found I most wanted, 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.

rDwnbyT totbha-RA Eugmvea-by C Heitb


So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that as
reason is the substance and original of the mathematics, so by
stating and squaring everything by reason, and by making the
most rational judgment of things, every man may be in time
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in
my life; and yet in time by labour, application and contrivance,
I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made it,
especially if I had had tools; however I made abundance of
things, even without tools, and some with no more tools than
an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that
way before, and that with infinite labour; for example, if I
wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set
it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with my
axe, till I had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then dub
it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could
make but one board out of a whole tree, but this I had no
remedy for but patience, any more than I had for the pro-
digious deal of time and labour which it took me up to make a
plank or board: but my time or labour was little worth, and so
it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above,
in the first place, and this I did out of the short pieces of boards
which I brought on my raft from the ship: but when I had
wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves, of the
breadth of a foot and a half one over another, all along one side
of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work, and in a
word, to separate everything at large in their places, that I
might come easily at them; I knocked pieces into the wall of
the rock to hang my guns and all things that would hang up.
So that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a general
magazine of all necessary things; 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 a hurry; and
not only hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of
mind, and my journal would have been full of many dull things.
For example, I must have said thus: Sep. the 3oth, after. I got
to shore, and had escaped drowning, instead of being thankful
to GOD for my deliverance, having first vomited with the great


quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and
recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore, wringing my
hands, and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery,
and crying out, I was undone, undone; till, tired and faint, I
was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not
sleep for fear of being devoured.
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship,
and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear
getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea
in hopes of seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied
a sail; please myself with the hopes of it; and then, after look-
ing steadily till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and
weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a
table and a chair, and all as handsome 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.


SEPT. 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
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself, at the
dismal circumstances I was brought to, viz., I had neither food,
house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to, and in despair of any
relief, saw nothing but death before me, 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.

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