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

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073629/00001
 Material Information
Title: The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xix, 474, <2> p., <16> leaves of plates : ill. (16 col.) ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Lee, William
Griset, Ernest Henry, 1844-1907 ( Illustrator )
Dalziel, Edward, 1817-1905 ( Engraver )
Dalziel, George, 1815-1902 ( Engraver )
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Frederick Warne (Firm) ( Publisher )
Billing and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Frederick Warne and Co.
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Manufacturer: Billing and Sons, Printers
Publication Date: 1890
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1890   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1890   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
England -- Guildford
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel Defoe ; with an introduction by William Lee ; original coloured ill. and numerous woodcuts by Ernest Griset and others.
General Note: Cover and spine has gilt stamped decoration and illustration with title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: "Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe"--P. 257.
General Note: Editor's preface written in 1869. Cf. p. <ix>.
General Note: Same as NUC Pre-1956, 0118492, with date 1888.
General Note: Some illustrations engraved by the Dalziels.
General Note: Includes publisher's advertisement <2> p. at end.
General Note: Parts I and II of Robinson Crusoe. Pt. II originally published under title: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073629
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 27022435

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Illustrations
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
    The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe, etc.
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 56a
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 86a
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 112a
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 170a
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 200a
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 230a
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
    The farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 262a
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 290a
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 320a
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 354a
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 382a
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 392a
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 432a
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 470a
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
Full Text






L *

ag~i :

~" ~s~t~







Original Qolortrb Ellnetrations anb ~nmmtrons oobcut



On the Look-out -
Crusoe's Escape from the Moors
First Attempt at Carpenter's Work
First Attempt at Husbandry-
'Eager to view the Circumference of my Little Kingdom'
Friday's First Suit of Clothes
The Spaniard and the Savage -
Crusoe and the Mutineers -
A Vision of the Island -
The Spiteful Englishman -
Escape of the Savage -
Robinson Crusoe and Will Atkins -
Death of Friday -
The Cow leading the Party -
Travelling in Style
Defeat of Tartars -

S 320
S 354


F 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 fact;
neither is there any appearance of fiction it it: and however
thinks, because all such things are despatched, that the improve-
ment of it, as well to the diversion as to the instruction of the
reader, will be the same; and as such, he thinks, without farther
compliment to the world, he does them a great service in the



ON this twenty-fifth day of April, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-nine, which is exactly a century and a half
since his first appearance in the world, it does seem like an act of
presumptuous supererogation to say,-' Allow me to introduce to you
Mr. Robinson Crusoe, and his strange surprising adventures I' Indeed.
I can almost hear a reply, in a million voices-of many languages,
from all points of the compass-' Why, we have known him ever
since we can remember i'
That may be; yet, without presumption, I think I shall be able to
tell some, at least, of my readers more than they already know.
This, then, must be my apology. Those who know' all about it,' and
need no Introduction,' may turn over a few leaves, and take their
old acquaintance by the hand, without further ceremony.

The historic original of Robinson Crusoe was Alexander Selcraig,
the seventh son of John Selcraig and Euphan Mackie. He was born
at Largo in the county of Fife, in Scotland, A.D. 1676; and went to
sea in 1695, changing his name to Selkirk. He was not again heard
of until 1701, when he returned to his native place. On the 18th
May, 1703, he sailed from the Downs in the Cinque Ports galley,
96 tons, 18 guns, and 63 men, Charles Pickering, captain; Thomas
Stradling, lieutenant; and himself, Selkirk, sailing-master. On the
24th November, the same year, they anchored at La Granda, Brazil,
where Capt. Pickering died, and the command devolved upon Strad-
ling. They left on the 8th December, and on the 10th February,
the following year, cast anchor at the Island of Juan Fernandez.
After taking in wood and water they sailed on the 29th February in


pursuit of a French ship, but returned in the month of September.
In consequence of frequent quarrels between himself and Stradling,
and a fear that the ship was not seaworthy, Selkirk determined to
leave the vessel; and when she departed at the end of the month,
all his effects, with additional necessaries, were taken on shore, and
he remained alone on the island.
On the 2nd February, 1709, the privateer ships Duke and Ducheas,
commanded by Captain Woodes Rogers, anchored at Juan Fernandez,
and found Selkirk there. He engaged in the capacity of mate on
board the Duke, and they sailed on the 12th of the same month,
arriving at Erith, on the Thames, the 14th October, 1711.
In the following year, Capt. Woodes Rogers published an account
of his voyages, in which he relates the finding of Selkirk, and how
he had lived alone on the island four years and four months.'
Another officer of the same expedition, Capt. Edward Cooke, pub-
lished a similar volume during the same year, and states on the title-
page :-' Wherein an account is given of Mr. Alexander Selkirk, his
manner of living and taming some wild beasts during the four yeass
and four months he lived upon the uninhabited Island of Juan
Fernandez.' Sir Richard Steele appears to have had an interview
with Selkirk soon after the arrival of the latter in England, and made
his adventures the subject of No. 26 of The Englishman, published
in December, 1713.
These are all the historical resources known to have been available
for the production of Robinson Crusoe.'
I may, however, add a few particulars as to the subsequent career
of Selkirk. His share of prize money, while on board the ship Duke,
amounted to 800; which having received, he set out for his native
place, and arrived there early in 1712. After investing his money he
appears to have remained in Largo until 1717, when he again went to
sea, leaving his property in charge of his relations. He never returned,
though he was heard of at times from Bristol, Liverpool, and London;
but he became a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and died in that
capacity on board his Majesty's ship Weymouth, in the year 1723.
The first attempt to collect all the facts that could be ascertained
about Selkirk was by Isaac James, of Bristol, who, in 1800, published
a small volume, entitled 'Providence Displayed; or, The Remark-
able Adventures of Alexander Selkirk,' etc., etc. A few additional
particulars are contained in The Life of Alexander Selkirk,' by John
Howell, London, 1829. The most recent work, I believe, on the sub-
ject is entitled, Crusoniana; or, Truth versus Fiction, elucidated in
a History of the Islands of Juan Fernandez, by a Retired Governor
of that Colony. Manchester. Published by the author. 1843.'
The author was Lieut.-Col. Thomas Sutcliffe, and his account of
Selkirk forms the second chapter of his work, pp. 14-52.

I have yet to state one interesting fact, on the authority of the
Panama Star and Herald of 6th October, 1868; namely, that a
monument had been executed by Messrs. J. Child and Son, Val-
paraiso, for erection on the island of Juan Fernandez. Its inscrip-
tion will tell its own tale :
A native of LARGO, in the County of FIFE, SCOTLAND,
Who lived on this Island, in complete Solitude,
For four years and four months.
He was landed from the Cinque Porta galley, 96 tons,
18 guns, A.D. 1704, and was taken off in the
Duke, privateer, 12th February, 1709.
He died Lieutenant of H.M.S. Weymouth,
A.D. 1723, aged 47 years.
This Tablet is erected near Selkirk's look-out,
of H.M.S. Topaze, A.D. 1868.
The above, erected in a desolate island on the opposite side of the
globe, after the lapse of a hundred and fifty years, is evidence of the
force of intellectual genius exerted by the writer who first made
Selkirk famous. This brings us back to the author of Robinson
Crusoe,' whose imperishable work will still exist, in all its freshness,
when the most endurable monument of marble shall have been re-
solved into its original dust.
The great reputation of Robinson Crusoe' has attached a degree
of interest to every fact connected with its history. As to the
authorship of the work. Nearly fifty years after its first publication
a rumour was alluded to, in the Biographia Britannica,' that Dr.
Arbuthnot was the writer; but no reason was given, and the account
concludes with stating: It was the delectable offspring of the
teeming brain of Daniel Defoe, a writer famous in his generation for
politics and poetry.'
A more circumstantial tissue of hearsay appeared about eight years
later, when Mr. T. Warton gravely stated that the Rev. Benjamin
Holloway, of Middleton Stony, told him that Lord Sunderland
assured him that the first volume of Robinson Crusoe' was written
by the Earl of Oxford, while a prisoner in the Tower, as an amuse-
ment under confinement,' and was given to Defoe, who visited him
there; and that Defoe printed it as his own, with his lordship's ap-
probation, adding the second volume, 'the inferiority of which is


generally acknowledged.' Now, 1st-Lord Oxford was so prostrated
by illness during the greater part of his imprisonment, that it was
matter of speculation whether or not he would live to be tried. He
was incapable of preparing his defence, and on that account the
House of Lords, from time to time, granted his petitions for post-
ponement of his trial. He was, therefore, in no capacity to write a
romance 'as an amusement under confinement.' 2nd-He was
discharged from his impeachment by the House of Lords two years
before 'Robinson Crusoe' was heard of. 3rd-Only the Earl of
Oxford and Defoe could have originally known if there had been any
foundation of truth in the matter, and there is not a tittle of evidence
that either ever uttered a word thereon. 4th-Lord Sunderland
would have been one of the last to whom they would have communi-
cated the secret, because: 5th-During the whole of the impeach-
ment against Lord Oxford, Lord Sunderland spoke and voted against
him. There could be no intercourse between the prisoner and the
man who believed him a traitor, and sought to bring his head to the
block. 6th-Defoe was in the service of the Government, and under
Lord Sunderland's power during Lord Oxford's imprisonment, and
he so continued when Robinson Crusoe' was published. Self-in-
terest would make him reticent. 7th-The smallest share of critical
acumen is sufficient to decide not only that the second volume of
' Robinson Crusoe' is not inferior to the first, but that the two
volumes are equally the offspring of the same parent.

It seems the singular fate of human greatness to be misunderstood,
disparaged, and comparatively forgotten by the generations imme-
diately succeeding. Shakespeare, Milton, Queen Anne, the Duke of
Marlborough, Daniel Defoe, and many others might be mentioned as
instances of this neglect of posterity. Great men ultimately, however,
become incorporated with the history of their country; and some
later literary research brings to light much that had been obscured,
and enables after-ages to form more accurate judgment of their
characters and genius. Defoe is now much better known than he
was a hundred years ago. Going back to the pamphlets and news-
papers of the period, it becomes obvious that no doubt whatever
existed at the time as to the authorship of Robinson Crusoe.' In
the year of its first appearance, and even before the second volume
was published, a mutilated abridgment of the first was clandestinely
printed for T. Cox, of the Amsterdam Coffee-House, in London.
When remonstrated with and threatened, he only replied by an
advertisement in The Flying Post, in which he abused and insulted
Defoe; proving that, although the work was published anonymously,
there was, even then, no doubt as to the authorship. In the preface
to the first edition of the second volume Defoe alludes to this trans-
action. In the same year also, Charles Gildon published a satirical
pamphlet, entitled The Life avd Strange Surprizing Adventures of


Mr. D-- De F-- of London, Hosier, who has lived above fifty
Years by himself in the Kingdoms of North and South Britain.
The various Shapes he has appeared in, and the Discoveries he has
made for the Benefit of his Country. In a Dialogue between Him,
Robinson Crusoe, and his Man Friday. With Remarks Serious and
Comical upon the Life of Crusoe.' In 'An Epistle to D-
D'F-e, the reputed author of Robinson Crusoe,' the writer con-
fesses that 'Crusoe' was already 'famed from Tuttle Street to
Limehouse-hole. There is not an old woman,' says he, that can
go to the price of it, but buys thy "Life and Adventures," and
leaves it as a Legacy, with the Pilgrim's Progress," the Practice
of Piety," and God's Revenge against Murther," to her Posterity.'
Defoe does not seem to have replied to the above; but when, a
few years later, Bishop Benjamin Hoadley inserted some strictures
in the London Journal about Robinson Crusoe' filling his pockets
with biscuit, after having previously divested himself of his clothes,
Defoe replied very warmly in Applebee's Journal. In like manner he
was highly incensed at one of the pirates, who then infested the
coasts of Carolina and Virginia, for having named his ship Robinson
Crusoe, and calls him a most bloody-minded murdering rogue.' A
collateral and inferential bearing on the fact of Defoe's authorship
may be found in the chagrin of the booksellers against Mr. William
Taylor, for his having secured to himself the great profits arising
from the publication of Robinson Crusoe,' and that seven or more
of them shortly afterwards entered into a confederacy for the joint
publication of such works of fiction as Defoe might write.

Another unfounded rumour of the generation after Defoe's decease
was, that Selkirk had written some memoir or journal, which he
placed in Defoe's hands in order that he might digest it for publica-
tion, but that the latter used the documents for his own purpose to
the damage of their author-and then returned the papers to Selkirk,
telling him his history would not sell. The answer is simple and
complete. I have stated that Selkirk returned to England in 1711-
that the volume of Captain Woodes Rogers, and that of Captain
Edward Cooke, were both published in 1712 ; followed by Sir Richard
Steele's paper in 1713. These three accounts contained what Selkirk
had to say of himself, and being printed, they became public property.
Yet they remained otherwise entirely unappropriated until Defoe's
work appeared in 1719; and, in Robinson Crusoe,' nothing has been
discovered to be historic fact except what he gathered from those
previously published works. I have mentioned the titles of sub-
sequent accounts of Selkirk, containing many additional particulars
of his adventures, but none of these are to be found in Robinson
Crusoe.' Mr. James and others, to whom we are indebted for in-
vestigating the history of Selkirk, tell us that John Selkirk, a weaver
at Largo, in 1794, was in possession of the gun and chest which his


great-uncle brought from Juan Fernandez; and they also had a
drinking cup of cocoa-nut shell, tipped with silver, which had been
his property.' These treasures are known to be still in existence;
but of those who had carefully preserved such relics, Mr. James
states (in 1800) : Even Selkirk's relations do not know that he left
any journals behind him.' The conclusion is evident that Defoe
fairly acquired, from published accounts, some of the fundamental
incidents of Robinson Crusoe's' life; but the ever-varying events
that fill up the historic monotony, the useful and improving
moralities,-and the fascinating style,-are all his own.

It may add to the interest of' Robinson Crusoe,' with young readers,
to know something of the circumstances under which it was written.
There is every reason to believe that Defoe was then quite easy as to
his pecuniary circumstances; yet there is perhaps no parallel in the
world's history to his marvellous literary industry. The following is
an epitome of his known labours, from the appearance of the first
volume of Robinson Crusoe,' on the 25th of April, 1719 (pp. 366), to
the publication, on the 6th of August, 1720, of the third volume
(now never reprinted), entitled Serious Reflections during the Life
and Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. With his Vision of
the Angelick World,' etc.
Besides holding a very responsible though objectionable office of
'Censor of Public Journals,' under the government of George I., he
edited, at the same time, a monthly publication called Mercurius
Politics, each number containing not less than 64 pages ; a Weekly
Journal ;-occasionally The Whitehall Evening Post, published thrice
weekly;-and part of the time a paper called The Daily Post. In
addition to these, the first volume of Crusoe was immediately followed
by Some Account of the Life, etc., of Henry Baron Goertz' (pp. 46).
A Letter to the Dissenters' (pp. 27). The Anatomy of Exchange
Alley' (pp. 64). Then appeared the second volume of 'Robinson
Crusoe,' published on the 20th of August, 1719 (pp. 380). This was
succeeded by Dickory Cronke' (pp. 64). Charity still a Christian
Virtue' (pp. 72). 'The King of Pirates, Captain Avery' (pp. 100).
The Chimera' (pp. 76). The Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan
Campbell' (pp. 344). Campbell's 'Pacquet, an Apparition' (pp. 14).
'Memoirs of a Cavalier' (pp. 350). 'The Life, Adventures, and
Piracies of Captain Singleton' (pp. 344). After which appeared the
third volume of Robinson Crusoe,' published on the 6th August,
1720 (pp. 370).
The aggregate of Defoe's literary labours, during about a year and
a half, including Robinson Crusoe,' exceeds four thousand octavo
printed pages.

I must mention another fact connected with the history of Robin-
son Crusoe,' and its great popularity. Even so minute a circum-


stance as the place where it was written has not escaped controversy,
and the claims of different localities have been numerous. Most of
these claims rest upon an erroneous supposition that Defoe was, at
that time, under the frowns of Government, and obliged to conceal
himself. A house in Halifax, Yorkshire, is pointed out in the
history of that town. Gateshead, in the county of Durham, has
claimed the honour. A house in Harrow Alley, Whitechapel Market,
has been said to be the birthplace of both Robinson Crusoe' and
the Journal of the Plague,' although three years intervened between
their publication. A correspondent assured one of Defoe's biographers
that 'Robinson Crusoe' was written in the back chamber over the

,_-* .^^^-^as^- -


washhouse of a cottage in the little village of Hartley, in Kent. It
might be deemed conclusive that Gildon, writing at the time, lays
the scene of the scurrilous dialogue already alluded to, in a field at
Stoke Newington, where Defoe would be close to his home. We now
know from more recent researches, that he was in London, where his
duties under the Government imperatively required his presence,-
that he was under no necessity of concealment :-and that Robin-
son Crusoe' could only have been written in his own house at
Stoke Newington.

But I must now acquaint such readers of Robinson Crusoe' as
are not already aware of the fact, that besides having Alexander
Selkirk as an 'historical original,' there is enclosed, in an occult


manner, throughout its pages, an emblematic original,' namely, that
Crusoe' contains the principal events of Defoe's own life.
The first and second volumes contain all the narrative and romantic
part of Robinson Crusoe;' but I have stated that there is a third
volume, now never reprinted, and little known, entitled Serious Re-
flections,' etc. It is filled with metaphysical disquisitions on morals
and religion, divided into chapters and sections: On Solitude,' On
Honesty,' On Immorality of Conversation,' On the Present State
of Religion in the World,' On Divine Providence,' On the Propor-
tion between the Numbers of Christians and Pagans,' and A Vision
of the Angelic World.' From this brief enumeration of principal
topics it will be obvious that, however interesting these digressive
'Reflections' may be to the Christian philosopher, this third volume
is not adapted to the same class of readers as the two narrative
volumes. It wants that simple naturalness, the charm of reality-
which, in them, is spread over the commonest incidents; and yet-
all concentrating in one solitary man-combine to perfect the
fascination of the story.
The above may be sufficient to serve two purposes: first, why the
volume of 'Serious Reflections' has rarely been reprinted with the
narrative, and is also omitted in the present edition; and secondly,
why I have thus mentioned it in this Introduction, namely, that the
preface to the third volume discloses the fact that the vicissitudes of
Defoe's own life are parabolically related in the narrative volumes
of the work.
In this preface he affirms that the story, though allegorical, is also
historical. Further, that there is a man alive, and well known too,
the actions of whose life are the just subject of these volumes, and
to whom all or most part of the story most directly alludes; this may
be depended upon for truth. Without letting the reader into a
nearer explication of the matter, I proceed to let him know, that the
happy deductions I have employed myself to make from all the cir-
cumstances of my story, will abundantly make him amends for his
not having them explained by the original. In a word, there's not
a circumstance in the imaginary story, but has its just allusion to a
real story, and chimes part for part, and step for step, with the in-
imitable Life of Robinson Crusoe." With respect to the fictitious
representation of Crusoe's forced confinement in an island, he says,
' 'Tis as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another,
as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists
not. Had the common way of writing a man's private history been
taken, and I had given you the conduct or life of a man you knew,
and whose misfortunes and infirmities perhaps you had sometimes
unjustly triumphed over; all I could have said would have yielded
no diversion, and perhaps have scarce obtained a reading, or at best
no attention. The teacher, like a greater, having no honour in his
own country.'


From this it is quite clear that Defoe had seriously considered the
propriety, or otherwise, of writing his autobiography; but having in
his surprising adventures, as he goes on to say, suffered all manner
of violence and oppressions, injurious reproaches, contempt of men,
attacks of devils, corrections from heaven, and opposition on earth,
and had innumerable ups and downs in matters of fortune,' he was
convinced that the clearing up of his own character and conduct, in
plain words, would be an indictment against the age in which he had
lived. That his contemporaries would either refuse to read, or would
resent it. He therefore gave to the world the eventful story of his
own life, and the lessons contained therein, under the emblem' of
' Robinson Crusoe,' without letting the reader into a nearer explica-
tion of the matter.'
If we could now lay open The Life and Strange Surprizing
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,' side by side with Memoirs of the
Life of Daniel Defoe,' and trace throughout the parallels between
what he calls the emblem and the original,' the results would be
as valuable as interesting; but the attempt would, we fear, be com-
paratively in vain. What the author intended to be only veiled, time
has rendered obscure, if not consigned to entire oblivion.

Having already given the exact dates when the first editions of the
respective volumes of Crusoe were published, I must add a few words
as to the success of the work. The first volume was so immediately
sold off that a second edition was published on the 12th May, only
seventeen days after the first; a third on the 6th June; a spurious
edition on the 7th August; and, on the following day, the fourth
edition appeared. Meanwhile, the author had been busy on the
second volume; and there is reason to believe that its first edition,
on the 20th August, was a very large issue. During the same year
the two volumes were translated into German and French. From
the 7th October, 1719, to the 19th October, 1720, the first and
second volumes were reprinted in weekly portions, in a newspaper
called the Original London Post, or Heathcote's Intelligencer. The
fifth edition was an abridgment, in one volume, on the 19th November,
1720; the sixth, in two volumes, 28th October, 1721; the seventh,
on the 28th February, 1722; and the eighth, in two volumes, with
fourteen copper-plates (called the sixth edition), on the 5th June, in
the same year. Since then it has been translated and printed in
Italian, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and almost every living language
that has become subjected to grammar and the press. Even Latin
and Greek are not without their translations of this immortal work.
In English, the editions have been, and continue to be, innumerable
-from the elegantly illustrated, gilt-leaved, and morocco-bound
costly edition, for the aristocratic drawing-room, down, down through
all sizes, abridgments, and prices, suited to every grade of society


and every class of readers, to the penny, and even farthing books,
vended only from the basket of the itinerant village hawker.
It has been truly said that Defoe took no more of Robinson
Crusoe' from the accounts of Selkirk than Shakespeare did of
Macbeth and Hamlet from the old Scotch and Danish chronicles;
yet we have seen that all the materials available to Defoe had been
published, and were therefore at the service of any other writer from
six to seven years, though none had made use of them before the
genius of our author gave to the world his celebrated romance. No
sooner, however, had the work appeared than its popularity called
forth many imitations, some of them short-lived, but several still
known and read.
Mr. Wilson is mistaken in saying that the first rival of Crusoe was
'Philip Quarll.' The following work was published on the 3rd
October, 1719, and it will be at once seen that the name 'Vend-
church' is a travestied synonym of Selkirk: 'The Adventures and
Surprizing Deliverances of James Dubourdieu and his Wife, from the
uninhabited Part of the Island of Paradise, etc. Also the Adven-
tures of Alexander Vendchurch, set on Shore on an Island in the
South Sea,' etc. The next was, The Life and Strange Surprizing
Adventures of Major Alexander Ramkins,' etc., published the 3rd
December, 1719. Two days afterwards appeared, The Voyages,
Travels, and dangerous Adventures of Captain Richard Falconer,'
etc. Defoe himself further contributed to the love of maritime
adventure by writing 'The King of Pirates: Being an Account
of the Famous Enterprizes of Captain Avery, the Mock King of
Madagascar,' etc., published on the 10th December, 1719. And
again, on the 4th of June, in the following year, appeared his Life,
Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton,' etc.
Many of the imitations of Crusoe are now almost forgotten; but I
may mention 'The Voyages and Adventures of Miles Phillips, a
West Country Sailor, etc., written by Himself,' etc., published the
26th February, 1724. The colonies of North America must also
have their Crusoe,' and in December, 1725, a book was published at
Boston, New England, entitled 'The Strange Adventures and
Signal Deliverances of Mr. Philip Ashton, Jun., etc., who lived alone
upon a Desolate Island in the Gulph of Honduras for about Sixteen
Months.' I may also notice, in order of date, while passing, that on
the 20th of January, 1726, was published, A Voyage Round the
World by Way of the Great South Sea, etc. By Captain George
Shelvocke.' From this book it appears that Shelvocke's ship was
cast away, the 25th of May, 1720, on the island of Juan Fernandez,
and that he and his crew remained there until the 6th of October in
the same year. He fully describes the island, but mentions no
relics of Selkirk, or of any previous human inhabitant; and he
appears to have been, by long absence from England, ignorant of the
existence of Robinson Crusoe.' On the 10th of March, 1726,


appeared, The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Robert Boyle,'
etc. And in October of the same year, Dean Swift's celebrated
' Travels into several Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel
Gulliver,' etc. The longest-lived, among the strict imitations of
' Crusoe,' was published on the 15th of April, 1727, and is entitled,
'The Hermit; or, The Unparalleled Sufferings and Surprizing
Adventures of Mr. Philip Quarll, an Englishman. Who was dis-
covered by Mr. Dorrington, a Bristol Merchant, upon an uninhabited
Island in the South Sea; where he has lived above Fifty Years, with-
out any human Assistance, still continues to reside, and will not come
away,' etc. This, though very inferior to Crusoe,' is still reprinted in
abridged form, and in numerous editions. I might go on to mention,
' A Voyage to Cacklogallinia, by Captain S. Brunt,' published the
15th of July, 1727. And 'The Pleasant and Surprizing Adventures
of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years' Captivity on the
Island of Madagascar,' etc., which first appeared on the 24th of May,
1729; and in which the hero is almost as perfectly isolated inland,
among the barbarous natives, as Crusoe was on his desolate island.
I might enumerate others that appeared between 1730 and 1750,
when' The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornish Man.
Taken from his own Mouth in his Passage to England from off Cape
Horn in America, in the Ship Hector,' was published. These, how-
ever, will suffice to show how large a fleet of smaller craft followed
in the wake of that which, in 1719, began its course along the stream
of time, having on board Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner.'
Thus, to recapitulate, I have given a brief account of the his-
torical original' of this celebrated work, of its authorship, the
circumstances under which it was composed, the place where it was
written, its emblematical original,' as enclosing an autobiography
of Defoe, the author, how it was received by the world, its imme-
diate and lasting popularity, the numerous rivals and imitations that
followed it.
Shall I still keep my readers from the rich intellectual repast before
them, by lengthening out this 'grace before meat' with any feeble
observations and encomiums of my own? As to the naturalness,
the truth and simplicity, the fine sentiments, the delicate wit, the
pure morality, the instructive vindication of the ways of Providence,
to be found everywhere in the following pages; all of which, and
other unmentioned beauties, make it greatly superior to any other
work of its kind ? I am convinced that I should not deserve thanks
for so doing, nor even if I were to greatly extend this Introduction
by quoting the criticisms and eloquent things said of it by a host of
writers and men of genius.





SWAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a
good family, though not of that country, my father
being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at
Hull: he got a good estate by merchandise, and
leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from
B 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 commanded by the
famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk
against the Spaniards; what became of my second brother I never
knew, any more than my father or mother did know what was become
of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my
head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts: my father,
who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning,
as far as house education and a country free-school generally goes,
and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing
but going to sea, and my inclination to this led me so strongly against
the will, nay the commands of my father, and against all the en-
treaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there

seemed to be something fatal in that propension of nature tending
directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent
counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one
morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and
expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject: he asked me

nllm- o ::]-i

what reasons more than a mere wandering inclination I had for
leaving my father's house and my native country, where I might be
well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortunes by appli-
cation 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 exposed to the miseries and hard-
ships, 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 happi-
ness 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,
between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testi-
mony to this as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to
have neither poverty or riches.
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities
of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind, but
that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed
to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay,
they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses
either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury
and extravagances on one hand, or by hard labour, want of neces-
saries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring dis-
tempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way
of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all
kinds of virtues and all kinds of enjoyments; that peace and
plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance,
moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and
all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle
station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly
through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with
the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to the life of
slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed circumstances,
which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; not enraged with
the passion of envy, or secret burning lust of ambition for great
things; but in easy circumstances sliding gently through the world,
and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling
that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know
it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate
manner, not to play the young man, not to precipitate myself into
miseries which nature and the station of life I was born in seemed
to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking
my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me
fairly into the station of life which he had been just recommending
to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it
must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it, and that he
should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in


warning me against measures which he knew would be to my hurt:
in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would
stay and settle at home as he directed; so he would not have so
much hand in my misfortunes, as to give me any encouragement to
go away: and to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for an
example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep
him from going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail,
his young desires prompting him to run into the army, where he
was killed; and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet
he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step,
God would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect
upon having neglected his counsel when there might be none to assist
in my recovery.
I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly pro-
phetic, 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 l a
few days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my father's
farther importunities, in a few weeks after, I resolved to run quite
away from him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my
first heat of resolution prompted, but I took my mother, at a time
when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her,
that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that
I should never settle to anything with resolution enough to go
through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than
force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years old, which
was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney;
that I was sure if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I
should certainly run away from my master before my time was out,
and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me 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 destruction; and I should never have 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 miserablest 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 elope-
ment 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 him, with the common allurement of seafaring men,
viz., that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted
neither father or mother any more, nor so much as sent them word
of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without asking
God's blessing, or my father's, without any consideration of circum-
stances 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 my 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
All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which 1 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 God 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 miseries
as these aniy more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observa-
tions 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, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind
was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inured to
it: however, I was very grave for all that day, being also a little sea-
sick still; but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was
quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun went down
perfectly clear and rose so the next morning; and having little or no
wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I
thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but
very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough
and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so pleasant in
so little time after. And now lest my good resolutions should con-
tinue, my companion, who had indeed enticed me away, comes to me,
' Well, Bob,' says he, clapping me on the shoulder, 'how do you do
after it? I warrant you were frighted, wasn't you, last night, when
it blew but a capfull of wind?' 'A capfull do you call it,' said I,
' 'twas 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, Bob; come, let us make a bowl of
punch and we'll forget all that, d'ye see what charming weather 'tis
now.' To make short this sad part of my story, we went the old
way of all sailors, the punch was made, and I was made drunk with
it, and in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance,
all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions for
my future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of
surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the
hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of
being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my
former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises
that I made in my distress. I found indeed some intervals of re-
flection, 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 con-
science as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it,
could desire. But I was to have another trial for it still; and Provi-
dence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely


without excuse. For if I would not take this for a deliverance, the
next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch
among us would confess both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth roads;
the wind having been contrary, and the weather calm, we had made
but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to come to an
anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary, viz., at south-
west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great 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 topmasts, and
make everything snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as
possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rid
forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our
anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered out the
sheet anchor; so that we rode with two anchors a-head, and the
cables veered out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed, and now I began to
see terror and amazement in the faces even of the seamen them-
selves. The master, though vigilant in the business of preserving the
ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I could hear
him softly to himself say several times, Lord be merciful to us, we
shall be all lost, we shall be all undone;' and the like. During these
first hurries I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the
steerage, and cannot describe my temper: I could ill 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.
The 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 sprit-sail out
before the wind.


Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of
our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he was very
unwilling to. But the boatswain protesting to him, that if he did
not the ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut
away the foremast, the mainmast stood so loose, and shook the
ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away also, and make a
clear deck.
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who
was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at
but a little. But if I can express at this 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 inquired. However,
the storm was so violent that I saw what is not often seen, the
master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest,
at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would
go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the
rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on
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 had happened. In a word,
I was so surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time
when everybody had his own life to think of, 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 appa-
rent 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 side, till at last the men rowing very heartily, and ven-
turing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the
stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which
they after 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 towards shore as much as we could, and our master promised them,
that if the boat was staved upon shore he would make it good to
their master, so partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went
away to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as
Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship
before we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time what
was meant by a ship foundering in the sea; I must acknowledge I
had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me she was sink-
ing; 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 mount-
ing 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 lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls
off to the westward towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little
the violence of the wind: here we got in, and though not without
much difficulty got all safe on shore and walked afterwards on foot
to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great
humanity as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us
good quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and
had money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to
Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have
gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our
blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me; for
hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth Road, it
was a great while before he had any assurance 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
over-ruling decree that hurries us on to be the instruments of our


own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it
with our eyes open. Certainly nothing but some such decreed una-
voidable misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to
escape, could have pushed me forward against the calm reasoning
and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such
visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was
the master's son, was now less forward than I; the first time he
spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or
three days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters;
I say, the first time he saw me, it 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 be-
fallen 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 disas-
ters 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 everybody else; from whence
I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the com-


mon temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason
which ought to guide them in such cases, viz., that they are not
ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the
action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are
ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed
wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain
what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An irresis-
tible 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 impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me,
as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and
even 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 foremast man; and in time might have qualified
myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master: but as it was
always my fate to choose for the worst, so I did here; for having
money in my pocket, and good clothes upon my back, I would always
go on board in the habit of a gentleman; and so I neither had any
business in the ship, or 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 unguided
young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not omitting to lay
some snare for them very early: but it was not so with me; I first
fell acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the coast
of Guinea; and who having had very good success there, was resolved
to go again; and who taking a fancy to my conversation, which was
not at all disagreeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to
see the world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I should be
at no expense; I should be his messmate and his companion, and if
I could carry anything with me, I should have all the advantage of
it that the trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some
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 dis-
interested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very con-


siderably; 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 contri-
bute so much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage, which I may say was successful in all
my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my
friend the captain, under whom also I got a competent knowledge of
the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned how to keep an
account of the ship's course, take an observation; and in short, to
understand some things that were needful to be understood by a
sailor: for, as he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to
learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a
merchant: for I brought home 5 pounds 9 ounces of gold dust for my
adventure, which yielded me in London at my return almost 300,
and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so
completed my ruin.
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particularly,
that I was 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
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my
great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the
same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one who
was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the command
of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made;
for though I did not carry quite 100 of my new gained wealth, so that
I had 200 left, 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 8 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 disabled, and three of our men killed, and eight wounded,
we were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a
port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I apprehended,
nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's court, as the rest
of our men were, but was kept by the captain of the rover, as his
proper prize, and made his slave, being young and nimble, and fit for
his business. At this surprising change of my circumstances from a
merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and
now I looked back upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that
I should be miserable, and have none to relieve me, which I thought
was now so effectually brought to pass, that I could not be
worse; that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was
undone without redemption. But alas I this was but a taste of the
misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel of this
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his house, so
I was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea
again, believing that it would some time or other be his fate to be
taken by a Spanish or Portugal man of war; and then that I should
be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was soon taken away; for
when he went to sea, he left me on shore to look after his little
garden, and do the common drudgery of slaves about his house; and
when he came home again from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the
cabin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape; and what method I
might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least proba-
bility in it: nothing presented to make the supposition of it rational;
for I had nobody to communicate it to, that would embark with me;
no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotsman there but
myself; so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the
imagination, yet I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting
it in practice.
After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself, which
put the old thought of making some attempt for my liberty, again in
my head: my patron lying at home longer than usual, without fitting
out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of money; he used
constantly, once or twice a week, sometimes oftener, if the weather
was fair, to take the ship's pinnace, and go out into the road a fish-
ing; and as he always took me and a young Maresco with him to
row the boat, we made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous
in catching fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a
Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth the Maresco, as they called
him, to catch a dish of fish for him.

It happened one time, that going a fishing in a stark calm morning,
a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a league from the
shore we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew not whither or which
way, we laboured all day and all the next night, and when the morn-
ing 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 morn-
ing; but particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care
of himself for the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of
our English ship we 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 gibbed 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 pro-
visions than ordinary; and had ordered me to get ready three fuzees
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 morn-
ing 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
had got some fish I should bring it home to his house; all which I
prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my
thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship at my com-
mand; and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish myself, not
for a fishing business, but for a voyage; though I knew not, neither
did I so much as consider, whither I should steer; for anywhere to
get out of that place was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor,


to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told him we
must not presume to eat of our patron's bread: he said, that was
true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of their kind,
and three jars with fresh water into the boat. I knew where my
patron's case of bottles stood, which it was evident by the make
were taken out of some English prize; and I conveyed them into the
boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been there before,
for our master; I conveyed also a great lump of bees'-wax into the
boat, which weighed above half a hundred weight, with a parcel of
twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of
great use to us afterwards; especially the wax to make candles.
Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also;
his name was Ismael, who they called Muly, or Moley, so I called to
him, Moley, said I, our patron's guns are on board the boat, can you
not get a little powder and shot, it may be we may kill some
Alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps
the gunner's stores in the ship ? Yes, says he, I'll bring some; and
accordingly he brought a great leather pouch which held about a
pound and half of powder, or rather more; and another with shot,
that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into the
boat: at the same time I had found some powder of my master's in
the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the
case, which was almost empty; pouring what was in it into another:
and thus furnished with everything needful, we sailed out of the port
to fish. The castle which is at the entrance of the port knew who
we were, and took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out
of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish:
the wind blew from the N.N.E. which was contrary to my desire;
for had it blown southerly I had been sure to have made the coast of
Spain, and at least reached to the Bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions
were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid
place where I was and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and watched 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 stepped
forward to where the Moor was, and making as if I stooped for some-
thing behind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his
twist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose imme-
diately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken
in, told me he would go all over the world with me; he swam so
strong after the boat that he would have reached me very quickly,
there being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and
fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him, and told


him, I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do
him none; but, said I, you swim well enough to reach the shore, and
the sea is calm, make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you
no harm, but if you come near the boat I'll shoot you through the head;
for I am resolved to have my liberty; so he turned himself about and
swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease,
for he was an excellent swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and
have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him.
When he was gone I turned to the boy, 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; 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
anyone 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, until 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, or desired to see
any people, the principal thing I wanted was fresh water: we came
into this creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as
it was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite
dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and
howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the poor

- .bA




boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go on shore
till day. Well, Xury, said I, then I won't, but it may be we may see
men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions. Then we give
them the shoot gun, says Xury, laughing; make them run wey. Such
English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves; however, I was
glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our
patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up: after all, Xury's advice
was good, and I took it; we dropped our little anchor and lay still all
night; I say still, for we slept none I 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 Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away. No, says
I, Xury, we can slip our cable with the buoy to it and go off to sea,
they cannot follow us far. I had no sooner said so, but I perceived
the creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length, which some-
thing surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the cabin
door, and taking up my gun fired at him, upon which he immediately
turned about and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the 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 somewhere 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 mane
come, they eat me, you go wey. Well, Xury, said I, we will both go,
and if the wild mans come, we will kill them, they shall eat neither
of us; so I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a dram out
of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before; and we


hauled the boat in as near the shore as we thought was proper, and
so waded on shore, carrying nothing but our arms and two jars for
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 run 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 uninhabited, except by
wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned it and gone farther south
for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabit-
ing, by reason of its barrenness; and indeed both forsaking it because
of the prodigious numbers of tigers, lions, leopards and other
furious creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors use it for
their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three thou-
sand 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 roaring of wild beasts, by
Once or twice in the daytime, I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe,
being the high top of the Mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries; and had
a great mind to venture out in hopes of reaching thither; but having



tried twice I was forced in again by contrary winds, the sea also going
too high for my little vessel, so I resolved to pursue my first design
and keep along the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had
left this place; and once in particular, being early in the morning,
we came to an anchor under a little point of land which was pretty
high, and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go farther in;
Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were,
calls softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off the
shore; for, says he, look yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side
of that hillock fast asleep: I looked where he pointed, and saw a
dreadful monster 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 bad him lie still, and I took our biggest gun, which was
almost musket-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and
with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with
two bullets, and the third, for we had three pieces, I loaded with five
smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece to
have shot him 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 imme-
diately, and though he began to move off fired again, and shot him
into the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but
little noise, but lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and
would have me let him go on shore: Well, go, said I; so the boy
jumped into the water, and taking a little 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 sparingly on our provisions, which began to
abate very much, and going no oftener into the shore than we were
obliged to for fresh water; my design in this was to make the River
Gambia or Senegall, 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 out for the
islands, or perish there among the negroes. I knew that all the
ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea, or to
Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and
in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either
that I must meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have
said, I began to see that the land was inhabited, and in two or three
places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look
at us; we could also perceive they were quite black and stark naked.
I was once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my
better counsellor, and said to me, No go, no go; however, I hauled
in nearer the shore, that I might talk to them, and I found they ran
along the shore by me a good way; I observed they had no weapons
in their hands, except one who had a long slender stick, which Xury
said was a lance, and that they 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 that they would fetch me
some meat; upon this I lowered the top of my sail, and lay by, and
two of them run up inbo the country, and in less than half an hour
came back and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some
corn, such as is the produce of their country, but we neither knew
what the one or the other was; however, we were willing to accept
it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for ven-
turing 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 creatures seldom appear but in the night; and in the

second place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the
women. The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from
them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran directly
into the water, they did not 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 the 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 admira-
tion 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 it, they were very
thankful for; immediately they fell to work with him, and though they
had no knife, yet with a sharpened piece of wood they took off his
skin as readily, and much more readily than we 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 pro-
vision, 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 showthat 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
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 sea-
ward; then I concluded, as it was more certain indeed, that this was
the Cape de Verd, and those the islands, called from thence Cape de
Verd islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could
not well tell what I had best to do, for if I should be taken with a
fresh of wind I might neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin and
sat me down, Xury having the helm, when on a sudden, the boy cried
out, Master, Master, a ship with a sail! and the foolish boy was
frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some of his
master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten far
enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and imme-
diately 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 possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to
come in their way, but that they would be gone by, before I could
make any signal to them; but after I had crowded to the utmost
and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the help of their per-
spective-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 Scotch sailor
who was on board, called to me, and I answered him, and told him I
was an Englishman, that I had made my escape out of slavery from
the Moors at Sallee; 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 will believe, that I
was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and
almost hopeless condition as I was in, and I immediately offered all
I had to the captain of the ship, as a return for my deliverance; but
he generously told me, he would take nothing from me, but that all I
had should be delivered safe to me when I came to the Brazils, for

says he, I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be
glad to be saved myself, and it may one time or other be my lot to be
taken up in the same condition; besides, said he, when I carry you
to the Brazils, so great a way from your own country, if I should
take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then I
only take away the life I have given. No, no, Seignor 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
As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the per-
formance to the tittle, for he ordered the seamen that none should
offer to touch anything I had; then he took everything into his own
possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them, that I
might have them, even so much as my 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 80 pieces of eight for it at Brazil, and
when it came there, if any one offered to give more he would make
it up; he offered me also 60 pieces of eight more for my boy Xury,
which I was loth to take, not that I was not willing to let the captain
have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had
assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let
him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this
medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in
ten years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury saying he was
willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and 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 passage, gave me
twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty for the lion's skin
which I had in my boat, and caused everything I had in my ship to
be punctually delivered me, and what I was willing to sell he bought,
such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump
of bees-wax, for I had made candles of the rest; in a word, I made
about 220 pieces of eight of all my cargo, and with this stock I went
on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house of a
good honest man like himself, who had an Ingeino 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
licence to settle there, I would turn planter among them, resolving
in the meantime to find out some way to get my money which I had
left in London remitted to me. To this purpose getting a 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 England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of English
parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as
I was. I call him my 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 em-
ployment 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 ad-
vised me to before; and which if I resolved to go on with, I might
as well have stayed at home, and never have fatigued myself in the
v.world as I had done; and I used often to say to myself, I could have
done this as well in England among my friends, as have gone five
thousand miles off to do it among strangers and savages in a
wilderness, and at such a distance, as never to hear from any part of
the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost
regret. I had nobody to converse with but now and then this
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 pros-
perous 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: Seignor Inglese, says he, for so he
always called me, if you will give me letters, and a procuration here
in form to me, with orders to the person who has your money in
London, to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall
direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring
you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but since human
affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you
give orders but for one hundred pounds sterling, which you say is half
your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that if it come
safe, you may order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry, you
may have the other half to have recourse to for your supply.
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could
not but be convinced it was the best course I could take; so I ac-
cordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I had
left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my ad-
ventures, my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portugal
captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and in what condition
I was now in, with all other necessary directions for my supply; and
when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means by some of
the English merchants there, to send over not the order only, but a
full account of my story to a merchant at London, who represented
it effectually to her; whereupon, she not only delivered the money,
but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain a very handsome
present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in English
goods, such as the captain had writ for, sent them directly to him at
Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to the Brazils, among
which, without my direction (for I was too young in my business to
think of them) he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, iron-
work, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of
great use to me.
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortunes made, for I was
surprised with joy of it; and my good steward and 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
Neither was this all; but my goods being all English manufactures,
such as cloths, stuffs, bays, and things particularly valuable and de-
sirable in the country, I found means to sell them to a very great


advantage ; so that I might say, I had more than four times the value
of my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor neighbour,
I mean in the advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I
did, I bought me a negro slave, and an European servant also; I
mean another besides that which the captain brought me from
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 a
hundredweight, were well cured and laid by against the return of
the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing in business and in
wealth, my head began to be full of projects and undertakings
beyond my reach; such as are indeed often the ruin of the best
heads in business.
Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all
the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so
earnestly recommended a quiet retired life, and of which he had so
sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of; but other
things attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my
own miseries; and particularly to increase my fault and double the
reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have
leisure to make ; all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent
obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad,
and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views
of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects
and those measures of life, which nature and providence concurred
to present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so
I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view
I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only
to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than the
nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again
into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or
perhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health in the
To come then by the just degrees to the particulars of this part
of my story; you may suppose, that having now lived almost four
years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well
upon my plantation, I had not only learned the language, but had
contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters,
as well as among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which was our
port; and that in my discourses among them, I had frequently given
them an account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea, the
manner of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to
purchase upon the coast, for trifles, such as beads, toys, knives,


scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like; not only gold dust,
Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, etc., but negroes for the service of
the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these
heads, but especially to that part which related to the buying
negroes, which was a trade at that time not only not far entered
into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the Assiento, or
permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in
the public, so that few negroes were bought, and those excessive
It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters
of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly,
three of them came to me the next morning, and told me they had
been musing very much upon what I had discoursed with them of,
the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me; and
after enjoining me secrecy, they told me, that they had a mind to fit
out a ship to go to Guinea, that they had all plantations as well as I,
and were straitened for nothing so much as servants; that as it was
a trade that could not be carried on, because they could not publicly
sell the negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but
one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide them
among their own plantations; and in a word, the question was,
whether I would go their supercargo in the ship to manage the
trading part upon the coast of Guinea ? And they offered me that I
should have my equal share of the negroes without providing any
part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal it must be confessed, had it been made
to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation of his own
to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very consider-
able, and with a good stock upon it. But for me that was thus
entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as I had
begun for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other
hundred pounds from England, and who in that time, and with that
little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or four
thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too; for me to think
of such a voyage, was the most preposterous thing that ever man in
such circumstances could be guilty of.
But I that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist
the offer than I could restrain my first rambling designs, when my
father's good counsel was lost upon me. In a word, I told them I
would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to look after my
plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it 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 England.
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 a judgment of what I
ought to have done, and not to have done, I had certainly never gone
away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable
views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea,
attended with all its common hazards; to say nothing of the reasons
I had to expect particular misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy
rather than my reason; and accordingly the ship being fitted out,
and the cargo furnished, and all things done as by agreement, by my
partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the first of
September,1659,being the same day eight years that I went from my
father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority,
and the fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about 120 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,
-... i 'i, little looking-glasses,knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the
northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch over for the
African coast, when they came about 10 or 12 degrees of northern
latitude, which it seems was the manner of their course in those days.
We had very good weather, only excessive hot, all the way upon our
own coast, till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino, from
whence keeping farther off at sea we lost sight of land, and steered
as if we were bound for the Isle 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12th day, the weather abating a little, the
master made an observation as well as he could, and found that he
was in about 11 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
Brazil, beyond the river Amazones, toward that of the river Oronoque,
commonly called the Great River, and began to consult with me what
course he should take, for the ship was leaky and very much disabled,
and he was going directly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that, and looking over charts of the sea-
coast of America with him, we concluded thlre 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 Barba-
does, which by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of the Bay or
Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped, in about
fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make our voyage to
the coast of Africa without some assistance, both to our ship and to

With this design we changed our course and steered away N.W.
by W. in order to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped
for relief; but our voyage was otherwise determined, for being in
the latitude of 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 own country.
In this distress, the wind blowing very hard, one of our men early
in the morning, cried out, Land! and we had no sooner run out of the
cabin to look out in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we
were, but the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment her motion
being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner, that we
expected we should all have perished immediately, and we were
immediately driven into our close quarters to shelter us from the very
foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for anyone, 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 in-
habited; 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 thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the
ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to
expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition indeed, and
had nothing to do but to think of "-ing our lives as well as we could;
we had a boat at our stern just 1.. I the storm, but she was first
staved by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in the next place she
broke awav, 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
deliate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every minute,
and some told us she was ,. r.. .1, broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat, and
with the help of the rest of the men, they got her slung over the
ship's side, and getting all into her, let go, and committed ourselves,
being eleven in number, to God's mercy, and the wild sea; for though
the storm was abated 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 storm.




And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly
that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live, and that we
should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor,
if we had, could we have done anything with it; so we worked at the
oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to
execution; for we all knew, that when the boat came nearer the
shore, she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the
sea. However, we committed our souls to God in the most earnest
manner, and the wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our
destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal,
we knew not ; the only hope that could rationally give us the least
shadow of expectation, was, if we might happen into some bay or
gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great chance we might
have run our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps
made smooth water. But there was nothing of this appeared; but as
we made nearer and nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful
than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a half,
as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling a-stern
of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup-de-grace. In a word, it
took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once; and sepa-
rating us as well from the boat, as from one another, gave us not
time hardly to say, O God I for we were all swallowed up in a
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
mainland 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 im-
possible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a
great hill, and as furious as an enemy which I had no means or
strength to contend with; my business was to hold my breath, and
raise myself upon the water, if I could; and so by swimming to pre-
serve 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 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 Iheld it out ; and find-
ing 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 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 returned again immediately, I must have
been strangled in the water; but I recovered a little before the
return of the waves, and seeing I should be covered again with the
water, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold
my breath, if possible, till the wave went back ; now as the waves
were not so high as at first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the
wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so
near the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did
not so swallow me up as to carry me away, and the next run I took,
1 got to the main land, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up
the cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from
danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now laded, and safe on shore, and began to look up and
thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there was some
minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible to
express to the life what the ecstasies and transports of the soul are,
when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave ; and I do not
wonder now at 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 hii :
'For suddru 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 how was it possible I could get on shore ?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my con-
dition, I began to look round me to see what kind of place I was in,
and what was next to be done, and I soon found my comforts abate,
and that in a word I had a dreadful deliverance: for I was wet, had
no clothes to shift me, nor anything either to eat or drink to comfort
me, neither did I see any prospect before me, but that of perishing
with hunger, or being devoured by wild beasts; and that which was
particularly afflicting to me, was, that I had no weapon either to hunt
and kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against
any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs: in a word,
I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little
tobacco in a box, this was all my provision, and this threw me into
terrible agonies of mind, that for a while I 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 consider the next
day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life; I
walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any
freshwater to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and having drunk
and put a little tobacco in my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to
the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to place myself so, 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 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
have 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 a 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 all been 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 the 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 forecastle of the ship; here I
found that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her
hold, but that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or
rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head
low almost to the water; by this means all her quarter was free, and
all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work
was to search and to see what was spoiled and what was free; and
first I found that all the ship's provisions were dry and untouched
by the water, and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the
bread-room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and eat it as I went
about other things, for I had no time to lose; I also found some rum
in the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had
indeed need enough of to spirit me for what was before me. Now I
wanted nothing but a boat to furnish myself with many things which
I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had, and
this extremity roused my application; we had several spare yards,
and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two
in the ship. I resolved to fall to work with these, and flung as many
of them overboard as I could manage for their weight, tying every
one with a rope that they might not drive away; when this was
done I went down the ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied
four of them fast together at both ends as well as I could, in the
form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon


them crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it
was not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light;
so I went to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-
mast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great
deal of labour and pains, but hope of furnishing myself with neces-
saries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to
have done upon another occasion.

F7i ---


My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight;
my next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I
laid upon it from the surf of the sea. But I was not long considering
this: I first laid all the plank or boards upon it that I could get, and
having considered well what I most wanted, I first got three of the
seamen's chests, which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered
them down upon my raft; the first of these I filled with provisions,


viz.: bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's
flesh, which we lived much upon, and a little remainder of European
corn which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea
with us, but the fowls were killed; there had been some barley and
wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I found afterwards
that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all; as for liquors, I found
several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some
cordial waters, and in all about five or six gallons of 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
sind, swim away; as for my breeches, which were only linen and
open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings. However,
this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough,
but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had other
things which my eye was more upon, as first tools to work with on
shore, and it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter's
chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much more
valuable than a ship-loading of gold would have been at that time.
I got it down to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time
to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition, and arms : there were
two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols;
these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a small bag of
shot, and two old rusty swords : I knew there were three barrels of
powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed
them, but with much search I found them, two of them dry and
good, the third had taken water; those two I got to my raft, with
the arms, and now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began
to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail,
oar, or rudder, and the least capfull of wind would have overset all
my navigation.
I had three encouragements, 1. A smooth calm sea, 2. The tide
rising and setting in to 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 axe, and a hammer, and with this
cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very
well, only that I found it drive a little distant from the place where
I had landed before, by which I perceived that there was some
indraft of the water, and consequently I hoped to find some creek or
river there, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with
my cargo.
As I imagined, so it was, there appeared before me a little opening
of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide set into it, so
I guided my raft as well as I could to 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 know-
ing 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 there-
fore resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to
which with great pain and difficulty I guided my raft, and at last got
so near, as that, reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her
directly in, but here I had liked to have dipped all my cargo into the

sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep, that is to say sloping,
there was no place to land, but where one end of my float, if it 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 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 how-
ever I saw none, yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not their
kinds, neither when I killed them could I tell what was fit for food,
and what not; at my coming back, I shot at a great bird which I saw
sitting upon a tree on the side of a great wood: I believe it was the
first gun that had been fired there since the creation of the world; I
had no sooner fired, but from all the parts of the wood there arose an
innumerable number of fowls of many sorts, making a confused
screaming, and crying every one according to his usual note; but not
one of them of any kind that I knew: as for the creature I killed, I
took it to be a kind of a hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but
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 know-
ing 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 pos-
sible; 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, until 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 drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second raft, and
having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy,
nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very
useful to me; as first, in the carpenter's stores I found two or three
bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two or
hatchets, and above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone;
all these I secured together, with several things belonging to the
gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of
musket-bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling-piece, with some
small quantity of powder more; a large bag full of small shot, and a
great roll of sheet-lead: but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist
it up to get it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find,
and a spare fore-topsail, a 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 com-
posed, 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 understand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor
did she effer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit,
though by the way I was not very free of it, for my store was not
great: however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled
of it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased) for more, but I thanked her,
and could spare no more; so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was 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 on end without, and spread-
ing 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 as to fetch all those things from the ship, as to get them on
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever were laid
up, I believe, for one man, but I was not satisfied still; for while
the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought to get every-
thing 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, the
barrel of wet gunpowder : in a word, I brought away all the sails first
and last, only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much
at a time as I could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as
mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still, was, that at last of all,
after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I
had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my
meddling with, I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of
bread, 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 wrapt
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 ironwork
I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the
mizzen-yard, and everything I could to make a large raft, I loaded
it with all those heavy goods, and came away: But my good luck
began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so over-
laden, that after I was entered the little cove, where I had landed
the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did


the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the water;
as for myself it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as
to my cargo, it was great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I
expected would have been of great use to me: however, when the
tide was out, I got most of the pieces of cables 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 thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times
on board the ship; in which time I had brought away all that one
pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring, though I
believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should have brought
away the whole ship piece by piece: but preparing the 12th time
to go on board, I found the wind begin to rise; however, at low
water I went on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the
cabin so effectually, as that nothing more could be found, yet I dis-
covered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or
three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a
dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six
pounds value in money, some European coin, some Brazil, some
pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. 0 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, e'en remain where thou art, and
go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving. How-
ever, upon second thoughts, I took it away, and wrapping all this in
a piece of canvas, I began to think of making another raft, but
while I was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind
began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from
the shore; it presently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend
to make a raft with the wind off shore, and that it was my business
to be gone before the tide 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 cross the channel, which lay between the ship
and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the
weight of the things I had about me, and partly 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 the night, and in
the morning when I looked out, behold no more ship was to be seen;
I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with this satisfactory re-
flection, viz.: that I had lost no time, nor abated no diligence to get
everything out of her that could be useful to me, and that indeed there
was little left in her that I was able to bring away if I had had more


I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything out
of her, except what might drive on shore from her wreck, as indeed
divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those things were of small
use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself
against either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any
were in the island; and I had many thoughts of the method how to
do this, and what kind of dwelling to make, whether I should make
me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth: and, in short, I
resolved upon both, the manner and description of which, it may not
be improper to give an account of.
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement, parti-
cularly because it was upon a low moorish ground near the sea, and
I believed would not be wholesome, and more particularly because
there was no fresh water near it, so I resolved to find a more healthy
and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation which I found would
be proper for me. 1st, health, and fresh water I just now mentioned.
2dly, shelter from the heat of the sun. 3dly, security from ravenous
creatures, whether men or beasts. 4thly, a view to the sea, that if
God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my
deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish all my expectation
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
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
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
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and

I 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 earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be not by a door, but
by a short ladder to go over the top, which ladder, when I was in,
I lifted over after me, and so I was completely fenced in, and forti-
fied, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept secure
in the night, which otherwise I could not have done, though as it
appeared afterward, there was no need of all this caution from the
enemies that I 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 pre-
serve 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 large
tent above it, and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin
which I had saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had brought
on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and
belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything that
would spoil by the wet, and having thus 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
bringingall the earthandstones that I dug down out through mytent, 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. 0 my powder 1
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
Lhe 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
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 lb. 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 1
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 subtile, and so
swift of foot, that it was the difficultest thing in the world to come
at them. But I was not discouraged at this, not doubting but I
might now and then shoot one, as it soon happened, for after I had
found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them : I
observed if they saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the
rocks, they would run away as in a terrible fright; but if they were
feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice
of me, from whence I concluded, that by the position of their optics,
their sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily see
objects that were above them; so 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 necessary
to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and what I
did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave, and what conveniences
I made; I shall give a full account of in its place. But I must 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 deter-
mination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate
manner, I should end my life; the tears would run plentifully down
my face when I made these reflections, and sometimes I would
expostulate with myself, why Providence should thus completely
ruin its creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so with-
out help abandoned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be
rational to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these
thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly one day walking with
my gun in my hand by the seaside, I was very pensive upon the
subject of my present condition, when reason as it were expostulated
with me the other way, thus: Well, you are in a desolate condition
it is true, but pray remember, where are the rest of you? Did not
you come eleven of you into the boat? where are the ten? Why
were not they saved and you lost ? Why were you singled out ? Is
it better to be here or there? and then I pointed to the sea. All
evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with
what worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for my
subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had not hap-
pened, 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 neces-
saries to supply and procure them ? Particularly, said I aloud
(though to myself), what should I have done without a gun, without
ammunition, without any tools to make anything, or to work with,
without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of covering? and
that now I had all these to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair
way to provide myself in such a manner as to live without my gun
when my ammunition was spent; so that I had a tolerable view of
subsisting without any want as long as I lived; for I considered from
the beginning how I would provide for the accidents that might
happen, and for the time that was to come, even not only after my
ammunition should be spent, but even after my health 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 whei
it lightened and thundered, as I observed just now.
And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of- a scene of

silent life, such perhaps as was never heard of in the world before, I
shall take it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was,
by my account, the 30th of Sept. when, in the manner as above
said, I first set foot upon this horrid island, when the sun being, to
us, in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head, for I
reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22
minutes north of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my
thoughts, that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books
and pen and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath days from the
working days; but to prevent this I cut it with my knife upon a
large post, in capital letters, and making it into a great cross I set it
up on the shore where I first landed, viz., I came on shore here on
the 30th 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 reckoning of time.
In the next place we are to observe, that among the many things
which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages which, as
above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of less value, but
not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting down before; as in
particular, pens, ink, and paper, several parcels in the captain's,
mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping, three or four compasses,
some mathematical 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 care-
fully 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 would not do : as I observed
before, I found pen, ink, and paper; and I husbanded them to the
utmost, and I shall show, that while my ink lasted, I kept things
very exact; but after that was gone, I could not, for I could not make
any ink by any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwith-
standing 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 difficulty.


e,; _1


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 sur-
rounded 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 any-
thing 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 circum-
stance I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my affairs in
writing; not so much to leave them to any that were to come after me,
for I was like to have but few heirs, as to deliver my thoughts from
daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason
began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as
well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might
have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated 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
I 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 human
I have no clotlies to cover me.

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

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

But I am singled out too from
all the ship's crew to be spared
from death; and He that miracu-
lously saved me from death, can
deliver me from this condition.
But I am not starved and per-
ishing 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


I have no soul to speak to, or But God wonderfully sent the
relieve me. 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
Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that there was
scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but there was some-
thing 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 some-
thing to comfort ourselves from, and to set in the description of good
and evil, on the credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and
given over looking out to sea to see if I could spy a ship; 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 by 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 foot thick on the outside, and after some
time, I think it was a year and 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 storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things
as I found I most wanted, as particularly a chair and a table, for
without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in the
world; I could not write, or eat, or do several things with so much
pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that as reason
is the substance and original of the mathematics, so by stating and
squaring everything by reason, and by making the most rational judg-


/d ~ B, '

\\kA W


cw ~i~*RP








ment 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; how-
ever 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 thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with
my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one board out
of a whole tree, but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more
than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took
me up to make a plank or board; but my time or labour was little
worth, and so it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in
the first place, and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I
brought on my raft from the ship: but when I had wrought out some
boards, as above, I made large shelves of the breadth of a foot and
half one over another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my
tools, nails, and ironwork, 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 when I began to keep a journal of every day's
employment, for indeed at first I was in too much hurry, and not
only hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of mind, and
my journal would have been full of many dull things: for example,
I must have said thus : Sept. the 30th. After I got to shore and had
escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliver-
ance, 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 looking steadily till I was almost blind,
lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase
my misery by my folly.


But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having
settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a table and a
chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to keep my
journal, of which I shall here give you the copy (though in it will be
told all these particulars over again) as long as it lasted, for having
no more ink I was forced to leave it off.

September 30, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being ship-
wrecked, 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, or place to fly to, and in despair of any relief, saw
nothing but death before me, either that I should be devoured by
wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want of
food. At the approach of night, I slept in a tree for fear of wild
creatures, but slept soundly though it rained all night.
October 1. In the morning I saw to my great surprise the ship had
floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again much nearer
the island, which as it was some comfort on one hand, for seeing her
sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I
might get on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her for
my relief; so, on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my
comrades, who I imagined if we had all stayed on board might have
saved the ship, or at least that they would not have been all drowned
as they were; and that had the men been saved, we might perhaps
have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship, to have carried us to
some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in
perplexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing the ship
almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam
on board; this day also it continued raining, though with no wind
at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th. All these days entirely spent
in many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I
brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts. Much rain
also in these days, though with some intervals of fair weather : but,
it seems, this was the rainy season.
Oct. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it,
but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I re-
covered many of them when the tide was out.
Oct. 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind,
during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing a little
harder than before, and was no more to be seen, except the wreck of


her, and that only at low water. I spent this day in covering and
securing the goods which I had saved, that the rain might not spoil
Oct. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day to find out a
place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from
an attack in the night, either from wild beasts or men. Towards
night I fixed upon a proper place under a rock, and marked out a
semicircle for my encampment, which I resolved to strengthen with
a work, wall, or fortification made of double piles, lined within with
cables, and without with turfs.
From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying all my
goods to my new habitation, though some part of the time it rained
exceeding hard.
The 31st in the morning I went out into the island with my gun
to seek for some food, and discover the country, when I killed a she-
goat, and her kid followed me home, which I afterwards killed also,
because it would not feed.
November 1. I set up my tent upon a rock, and lay there for
the first night, making it as large as I could with stakes driven in to
swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of
timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence round
me, a little within the place I had marked out for my fortification.
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks,
which were very good food. In the afternoon went to work to make
me a table.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work, of
going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion, viz.:
Every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three hours
if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till about eleven
o'clock, then eat what I had to live on, and from twelve to two
I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessive hot, and then in
the evening to work again: the working part of this day and of
the next were wholly employed in making my table, for I was yet
but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a
complete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe it would do any-
one else.
Nov. 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and
killed a wild cat, her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing:
every creature I killed, I took off the skins and preserved them:
coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of sea-fowls, which
I did not understand; but was surprised and almost frightened with
two or three seals, which, while I was gazing at, not well knowing
what they were, got into the sea, and escaped me for that time.
Nov. 6. After my morning walk I went to work with my table
again, and finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it long before
I learnt to mend it.


Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th,
9th, 10th, and part of the 12th, (for the 11th was Sunday) I took
wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a
tolerable shape, but never to please me; and even in the making I
pulled it in pieces several times. Note, I soon neglected my keeping
Sunday, for omitting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which
was which.
Nov. 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and
cooled the earth, but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and
lightning, which frightened me dreadfully for fear of my powder; as
soon as it was over, I resolved to separate my stock of powder into
as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little square
chests or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or two pound, at
most, of powder; and so putting the powder in, I stowed it in
places as secure and remote from one another as possible. On one
of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I
know not what to call it.
No. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock to
make room for my farther conveniency. Note, two things I wanted
exceedingly for this work, viz., a pick-axe, a shovel, and a wheel-
barrow or basket, so I desisted from my work, and began to consider
how to supply that want and make me some tools; as for a pick-axe,
I made use of the iron crows, which were proper enough, though
heavy; but the next thing was a shovel or spade; this was so
absolutely necessary, that indeed I could do nothing effectually
without it, but what kind of one to make I knew not.
Nov. 18. The next day in searching the woods I found a tree of
that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call the Iron tree,
for its exceeding hardness; of this, with great labour and almost
spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home too with difficulty
enough, for it was exceeding heavy.
The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other way,
made me a long while upon this machine, for I worked it effectually
by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade, the handle
exactly shaped like ours in England, only that the broad part
having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me so long;
however it served well enough for the uses which I had occasion to
put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion,
or so long a making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheel-barrow; a
basket I could not make by any means, having no such things as
twigs that would bend to make wicker ware, at least nn e yet found
out; and as to a wheel-barrow, I fancied I could make all but the
wheel, but that I had no notion of, neither did I know how to go
about it; besides I had no possible way to make the iron gudgeons
for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in, so I gave it over, and


so for carrying away the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made
me a thing like a hod, which the labourers carry mortar in, when
they serve the bricklayers.
This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel; and yet
this, and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain to make
a wheel-barrow, took me up no less than four days, I mean always
excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I seldom failed, and
very seldom failed also bringing home something fit to eat.
Nov. 23. My other work having now stood still, because of my
making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and work-
ing every day, as my strength and time allowed, I spent eighteen
days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that it might hold
my goods commodiously.
Note, During all this time, I worked to make this room or cave
spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a
kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar; as for my lodging, I kept to
the tent, except that sometimes in the wet season of the year, it
rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry, which caused me
afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with long poles in
the form of rafters leaning against the rock, and load them with
flags and large leaves of trees like a thatch.
December 10. I began now to think my cave or vault finished,
when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity
of earth fell down from the top and one side, so much, that in short
it frighted me, and not without reason too; for if I had been under
it I had never wanted a grave-digger. Upon this disaster I had a
great deal of work to do over again; for I had the loose earth to
carry out, and, which was of more importance, I had the ceiling to
prop up, so that I might be sure no more would come down.
Dec. 11. This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got
two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of
boards across over each post; this I finished the next day; and
setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more I had the
roof secured; and the posts standing in rows, served me for par-
titions to part off my house.
Dec. 17. From this day to the twentieth I placed shelves, and
knocked up nails on the posts to hang everything up that could be
hung up; and now I began to be in some order within doors.
Dec. 20. Now I carried everything into the cave, and began to
furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards, like a dresser,
to order my victuals upon, but boards began to be very scarce with
me; also I made me another table.
Dec. 24. Much rain all night and all day; no stirring out.
Dec. 25. Rain all day.
Dec. 26. No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, and
Dec. 27. Killed a young goat, and lamed another so that I caught


it and led it home in a string; when I had it home I bound and
splintered up its leg which was broke. N.B. I took such care of it,
that it lived, and the leg grew well and as strong as ever ; but by my
nursing it so long it grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my
door, and would not go away : this was the first time that I enter-
tained a thought of breeding up some tame creatures, that I might
have food when my powder and shot was all spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30. Great heats and no breeze; so that there was no
stirring abroad, except in the evening for food ; this time I spent in
putting all my things in order within doors.
January 1. Very hot still, but I went abroad early and late with
my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day; this evening going
farther into the valleys which lay towards the centre of the island, I
found there was plenty of goats, though exceeding shy and hard to
come at; however I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt
them down.
Jan. 2. Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my dog, and
set him upon the goats ; but I was mistaken, for they all faced .bout
upon the dog, and he knew his danger too well, for he would not come
near them.
Jan. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous of my
being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and
N.B. This wall being described before, I purposely omit what
was said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe, tlht I was
no less time than from the 3rd of January to the 14th of
April, working, finishing and perfecting this wall, though it
was no more than about 2 4 yards in length, being a half-
circle from one place in the rock to another place about
eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre
behind it.
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many
days, nay sometimes weeks together; but I thought I should never
be perfectly secure till this wall was finished ; and it is scarce credible
what inexpressible labour everything was done with, especially the
bringing piles out of the woods, and driving them into the ground, for
I made them much bigger than I need to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced with a
turf-wall raised up to close it, I persuaded myself that if any people
were to come on shore there, they would not perceive anything like
a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may be observed
hereafter upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game every
day, when the rain admitted me, and made frequent discoveries in
these walks of something or other to my advantage; particularly I
found a kind of wild pigeons, who built not as wood pigeons, in a tree,

'-. ,-




but rather as house pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking
some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so;
but when they grew older they flew all away, which perhaps was at
first for want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them; how-
ever I frequently found their nests, and got their young ones, which
were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself
wanting in many things, which I thought at first it was impossible
for me to make, as indeed as to some of them it was; for instance, I
could never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two,
as I observed before, but I could never arrive to the capacity of making
one by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither
put in the heads, or joint the staves so true to one another, as to make
them hold water, so I gave that also over.
In the next place, I was at a great loss for candle; so that as soon
as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I was
obliged to go to bed: I remembered the lump of beeswax with which
I made candles in my African adventure, but I had none of that
now; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat, I
saved the tallow, and with a little dish made of clay, which I baked
in the sun, to which I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a
lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear steady light like a
candle. In the middle of all my labours it happened, that rummaging
my things, I found a little bag, which, as I hinted before, had been
filled with corn for the feeding of poultry, not for this voyage, but
before, as I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon; what little
remainder of corn had been in the bag was all devoured with the
rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being
willing to have the bag for some other use, I think it was to put
powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such
use, I shook the husks of corn out of it on one side of my fortification
under the rock.
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned, that I
threw this stuff away, taking no notice of anything, and not so much
as remembering that I had thrown anything there; when about a
month after, or thereabout, I saw some few stalks of something
green shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some
plant I had not seen; but I was surprised and perfectly astonished,
when, after a little longer time, I saw about ten or twelve ears come
out, which were perfectly green barley of the same kind as our
European, nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my
thoughts on this occasion; I had hitherto acted upon no religious
foundation at all, indeed I had very few notions of religion in my
head, or had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen me,
otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God;
without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these


things, or His order in governing events in the world. But after I
saw barley grow there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for
corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled
me strangely, and I began to suggest that God had miraculously
caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it
was so directed purely for my sustenance, on that wild miserable
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes,
and I began to bless myself, that such a prodigy of nature should
happen upon my account; and this was the more strange to me,
because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the rock, some
other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which
I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa, when I was ashore
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for
my support, but not doubting but that there was more in the place,
I went all over that part of the island, where I had been before,
peering in every corner, and under every rock, to see for more of it,
but I could not find any; at last it occurred to my thoughts, that I
had shook a bag of chickens' meat out in that place, and then the
wonder began to cease; and I must confess, my religious thankful-
ness to God's Providence began to abate, too, upon the discovering
that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have
been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a Providence as if it had
been miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence as to me,
that should order or appoint that 10 or 12 grains of corn should
remain unspoiled (when the rats had destroyed all the rest), as if it
had been dropped from heaven; as also, that I should throw it out in
that particular place, where it being in the shade of a high rock, it
sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else, at
that time, it had been burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn you may be sure in their
season, which was about the end of June; and laying up every corn,
I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to have some
quantity sufficient to supply me with bread; but it was not till the
4th year that I could allow myself the least grain of this corn to
eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall say afterwards in its
order; for I lost all that I sowed the first season, by not observing
the proper time; for I sowed it just before the dry season, so that it
never came up at all, at least, not as it would have done: of which in
its place.
Besides this barley, there was, as above, 20 or 30 stalks of rice,
which I preserved with the same care, and whose use was of the
same kind or to the same purpose, viz., to make me bread, or rather
food; for I found ways to cook it up without baking, though I did
that also after some time. But to return to my journal.
I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get my wall


done; and the 14th of April I closed it up, contriving to go into it,
not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder, that there might be no
sign in the outside of my habitation.
April 16. I finished the ladder, so I went up with the ladder to
the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in the inside:
This was a complete enclosure to me; for within I had room enough,
and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first
mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost had
all my labour overthrown at once, and myself killed; the case was
thus: As I was busy in the inside of it, behind my tent, just in the
entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened with a most dreadful
surprising thing indeed; for all on a sudden I found the earth come
crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the
hill over my head, and two of the posts I had set up in the cave
cracked in a frightful manner: I was heartily scared, but thought
nothing of what was really the cause, only thinking that the top of
my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before; and for fear
I should be buried in it, Iran forward to my ladder, and not thinking
myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces
of the hill which I expected might roll down upon me; I was
no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, but I plainly saw it
was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three
times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as
would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed
to have stood on the earth, and a great piece of the top of a rock,
which stood about half a mile from me next the sea, fell down with
such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life: I perceived also
the very sea was put into violent motion by it; and I believe the
shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.
I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like,
or discoursed with any one that had, that I was like one dead or
stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my stomach sick like
one that was tossed at sea; but the noise of the falling of the rock
awaked me as it were, and rousing me from the stupefied condition I
was in, filled me with horror, and I thought of nothing then but the
hill falling upon my tent and all my household goods, and burying all
at once; and this sunk my very soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time,
I began to take courage, and yet I had not heart enough to go over
my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat still upon the
ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not knowing what to do:
all this while I had not the least serious religious thought, nothing
but the common, Lord have mercy upon me; and when it was over,
that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, as it
it would rain; soon after that the wind rose, by little and little, so


that, in less than half an hour, it blew a most dreadful hurricane:
the sea was all on a sudden covered with foam and froth, the shore
was covered with the breach of the water, the trees were torn up by
the roots, and a terrible storm it was; and this held about three
hours, and then began to abate, and in two hours more it was stark
calm, and began to rain very hard.
All this while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and
dejected, when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these
winds and rain being the consequences of the earthquake, the earth-
quake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave
again. With this thought my spirits began to revive, and the rain
also helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent, but
the rain was so violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten down
with it, and I was forced to go into my cave, though very much
afraid and uneasy for fear it should fall on my head.
This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz., to cut a hole
through my new fortification like a sink to let the water go out,
which would else have drowned my cave. After I had been in my
cave some time, and found still no more shocks of the earthquake
follow, I began to be more composed; and now to support my
spirits, which indeed wanted it very much, I went to my little store
and took a small sup of rum, which however I did then and always
very sparingly, knowing I could have no more when that was gone.
It continued raining all that night, and great part of the next day,
so that I could not stir abroad, but my mind being more composed,
I began to think of what I had best do, concluding that if the island
was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in
a cave, but I must consider of building me some little hut in an
open place which I might surround with a wall as I had done here,
and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men; but concluded,
if I stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be
buried alive.
With these thoughts I resolved to remove my tent from the place
where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the
hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall
upon my tent: and I spent the two next days, being the 19th and
20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation.
The fear of being swallowed up alive, made me that I never slept
in quiet, and yet the apprehensions of lying abroad without any
fence was almost equal to it; but still when I looked about and saw
how everything was put in order, how pleasantly concealed I was,
and how safe from danger, it made me very loth to remove.
In the meantime it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal
of time for me to do this, and that I must be contented to run the
venture where I was, till I had formed a camp for myself, and had
secured it so as to remove to it: so with this resolution I composed
myself for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all

speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, etc., in a circle as
before, and set my tent up in it when it was finished, but that I
would venture to stay where I was till it was finished and fit to
remove to. This was the 21st.
April 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to put
this resolve in execution, but I was at a great loss about my tools;
I had three large axes and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the
hatchets for traffic with the Indians), but with much chopping and
cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches and dull, and
though I had a grindstone I could not turn it and grind my tools too:
this cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed
upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of
a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with
my foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty. Note, I had
never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to take notice
how it was done, though since I have observed it is very common
there; besides that, my grindstone was very large and heavy. This
machine cost me a full week's work to bring it to perfection.
April 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools,
my machine for turning my grindstone performing very well.
April 30. Having perceived my bread had been low a great while,
now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit-cake a
day, which made my heart very heavy.
May 1. In the morning, looking towards the seaside, the tide
being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary,
and it looked like a cask. When I came to it, I found a small barrel,
and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were driven
on shore by the late hurricane, and looking towards the wreck itself,
I thought it seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to do;
I examined the barrel which was driven on shore, and soon found it
was a barrel of gunpowder, but it had taken water, and the powder
was caked as hard as a stone; however I rolled it farther on shore
for the present, and went on upon the sands as near as I could to the
wreck of the ship to look for more.
When I came down to the ship I found it strangely removed.
The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was heaved up at
least six foot, and the stern, which was broke to pieces and parted
from the rest by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rum-
maging her, was tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side, and
the sand was thrown so high on that side next her stern, that whereas
there was a great place of water before, so that I could not come
within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming, I could
now walk quite up to her when the tide was out; I was surprised
with this at first, but soon concluded it must be done bythe earthquake,
and as by this violence the ship was more broken open than formerly,
so many things came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened,
and which the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.

This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my
habitation; and I busied myself mightily that day especially, in
searching whether I could make any way into the ship, but I found
nothing was to be expected of that kind, for that all the inside of the
ship was choked up with sand: however, as I had learned not to
despair of anything, I resolved to pull everything to pieces that I
could of the ship, concluding, that everything I got from her would
be of some use or other to me.
May 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through,
which I thought held some of the upper part or quarter-deck together,
and when I had cut it through, I cleared away the sand as well as I
could from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was
obliged to give over for that time.
May 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat
of, till I was weary of my sport; when just going to leave off, I
caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long line of some rope
yarn, but I had no hooks, yet I frequently caught fish enough, as
much as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and eat them
May 5. Worked on the wreck, cut another beam asunder, and
brought three great fir planks off from the decks, which I tied
together, and made swim on shore when the tide of flood came on.
May 6. Worked on the wreck, got several iron bolts out of her, and
other pieces of ironwork, worked very hard, and came home very
much tired, and had thoughts of giving it over.
May 7. Went to the wreck again, but with an intent not to work,
but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself down, the beams
being cut, that several pieces of the ship seemed to lie loose, and the
inside of the hold lay so open, that I could see into it, but almost
full of water and sand.
May 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up
the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water or sand; I
wrenched open two planks, and brought them on shore also with the
tide: I left the iron crow in the wreck for next day.
May 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the
body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with
the crow, but could not break them up; I felt also the roll of English
lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to remove.
-May 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Went every day to the wreck, and got a
great deal of pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or
three hundred weight of iron.
May 15. I carried two hatchets to try if I could not cut a piece
off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and
driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a half in the
water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16. It had blowed hard in the night, and the wreck appeared
more broken by the force of the water; but I stayed so long in the

woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented me going to the
wreck that day.
May 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a
great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see what they
were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too heavy for me to
bring away.
May 24. Every day to this day I worked on the wreck, and with
hard labour I loosened some things so much with the crow, that the
first blowing tide several casks floated out, and two of the seamen's
chests; but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing came to
land that day but pieces of timber, and a hogshead which had
some Brazil pork in it, but the salt water and the sand had
spoiled it.
I continued this work every day to the 15th of June, except the
time necessary to get food, which I always appointed, during this
part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that I might be
ready when it was ebbed out, and by this time I had gotten timber,
and plank, and ironwork enough to have builded a good boat, if I
had known how; and also, 1 got at several times, and in several
pieces, near 100 weight of the sheet-lead.
June 16. Going down to the seaside, I found a large tortoise or
turtle; this was the first I had seen, which it seems was only my
misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scarcity; for had I
happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have had
hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards; but perhaps
had paid dear enough for them.
June 17. I spent in cooking the turtle; I found in her threescore
eggs; and her flesh was to me at that time the most savoury and
pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had no flesh, but of
goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrid place.
June 18. Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought at this
time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly, which I knew
was not usual in that latitude.
June 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
June 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head, and feverish.
June 21. Very ill, frighted almost to death with the apprehensions
of my sad condition, to be sick, and no help: prayed to God for the
first time since the storm off Hull, but scarcely knew what I said, or
why; my thoughts being all confused.
June 22. A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions of
June 23. Very bad again, cold and shivering, and then a violent
June 24. Much better.
June 25. An ague very violent; the fit held me seven hours, cold
fit and hot, with faint sweats after it.
June 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but


found myself very weak; however I killed a she-goat, and with much
difficulty got it home, and broiled some of it, and eat; I would fain
have stewed it, and made some broth, but had no pot.
June 27. The ague again so violent, that I lay a-bed all day, and
neither eat or drank. I was ready to perish for thirst, but so weak,
I had not strength to stand up, or to get myself any water to drink :
prayed to God again, but was light-headed, and when I was not, I
was so ignorant that I knew not what to say; only I lay and cried,
Lord look upon me, Lord pity me, Lord have mercy upon me : I
suppose I did nothing else for two or three hours, till the fit wearing
off, I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night; when I
waked, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and exceeding
thirsty: however, as I had no water in my whole habitation, I was
forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again. In this second
sleep, I had this terrible dream.
I thought that I was sitting on the ground on the outside of my
wall, where I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that
I saw a man descend from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of
fire, and alight upon the ground: he was all over as bright as a flame,
so that I could but just bear to look towards him ; his countenance
was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe ;
when he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I thought the earth
trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all the
air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with flashes
of fire.
He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved forward to-
wards me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and
when he came to a rising ground, at some distance, he spoke to me,
or I heard a voice so terrible, that it is impossible to express the
terror of it; all that I can say I understood was this, Seeing all
these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt
die;' at which words, I thought he lifted up the spear that was in
his hand to kill me.
No one, that shall ever read this account, will expect that I should
be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible vision,
I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even dreamed of those
horrors; nor is it any more possible to describe the impression
that remained upon my mind when I awaked and found it was but a
I had, alas I no divine knowledge; what I had received by the good
instruction of my father was then worn out by an uninterrupted
series, for eight years, of seafaring wickedness, and a constant
conversation with nothing but such as were like myself, wicked and
profane to the last degree : I do not remember that I had in all that
time one thought that so much as tended either to looking upwards
towards God, or inwards towards a reflection upon my own ways;
but a certain stupidity of soul, without desire of good, or conscience


of evil, had entirely overwhelmed me, and I was all that the most
hardened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors
can be supposed to be, not having the least sense, either of the fear
of God in danger, or of thankfulness to God in deliverances.
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the
more easily believed, when I shall add, that through all the variety of
miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never had so much as one
thought of it being the hand of God, or that it was a just punishment
for my sin; my rebellious behaviour against my father, or my present
sins which were great; or so much as a punishment for the general
course of my wicked life. When I was on the desperate expedition
on the desert shores of Africa, I never had so much as one thought
of what would become of me; or one wish to God to direct me
whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which ap-
parently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as
cruel savages; but I was merely thoughtless of a God, or a Provi-
dence; acted like a mere brute from the principles of nature,
and by the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly
When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the Portugal captain,
well used, and dealt justly and honourably with, as well as charitably,
I had not the least thankfulness on my thoughts: when again I was
shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on this island, I was
as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment; I only said to
myself often, that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's
crew drowned, and myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of
ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the grace of God
assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness; but it ended
where it begun, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say,
being glad I was alive, without the least reflection upon the dis-
tinguishing goodness of the hand which had preserved me, and had
singled me out to be preserved, when all the rest were destroyed; or
an inquiry why Providence had been thus merciful to me; even just
the same common sort of joy which seamen generally have after they
are got safe ashore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in the
next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over, and all
the rest of my life was like it.
Even when I was afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible
of my condition, how I was cast on this dreadful place, out of the
reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemp-
tion, as soon as I saw but a prospect of living, and that I should not
starve and perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off,
and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the works proper for
my preservation and supply, and was far enuogh from being afflicted
at my condition, as a judgment from heaven, or as the hand of God


against me; these were thoughts which very seldom entered into my
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my journal, had at
first some little influence upon me, and began to affect me with
seriousness, as long as I thought it had something miraculous in it ;
but as soon as ever that part of the thought was removed, all the im-
pression which was raised from it wore off also, as I have noted
Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible in its
nature, or more immediately directing to the invisible power which
alone directs such things, yet no sooner was the first fright over, but
the impression it had made went off also. I had no more sense of
God or His judgments, much less of the present affliction of my
circumstances being from His hand, than if I had been in the most
prosperous condition of life.
But now when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the
miseries of death came to place itself before me; when my spirits
began to sink under the burden of a strong distemper, and nature
was exhausted with the violence of the fever; conscience, that had
slept so long, began to awake, and I began to reproach myself with
my past life, in which I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness,
provoked the justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and
to deal with me in so vindictive a manner.
These reflections oppressed me for the second or third day of my
distemper, and in the violence, as well of the fever as of the
dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some words from
me, like praying to God, though I cannot say they were either a
prayer attended with desires or with hopes; it was rather the voice
of mere fright and distress; my thoughts were confused, the con-
victions grew upon my mind, and the horror of dying in such a
miserable condition raised vapours into my head with the mere
apprehensions; and in these hurries of my soul, I knew not what
my tongue might express; but it was rather exclamation, such as,
Lord what a miserable creature am II If I should be sick, I shall
certainly die for want of help, and what will become of me? Then
the tears burst out of my eyes, and I could say no more for a good
In this interval, the good advice of my father came to my mind,
and presently his prediction which I mentioned at the beginning of
this story, viz., That if I did take this foolish step, God would not
bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having
neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my
recovery. Now, said I aloud, my dear father's words are come to
pass: God's justice has overtaken me, and I have none to help or
hear me: I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully
put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been
happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself, or learn to know


the blessing of it from my parents; I left them to mourn over my
folly, and now I am left to mourn under the consequences of it; I
refused their help and assistance who would have lifted me into the
world, and would have made everything easy to me, and now I have
difficulties to struggle with, too great for even nature itself to support,
and no assistance, no help, no comfort, no advice; then I cried out,
Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress 1
This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made for
many years. But I return to my journal.
June 28. Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had
had, and the fit being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright
and terror of my dream was very great, yet I considered, that the
fit of the ague would return again the next day, and now was my
time to get something to refresh and support myself when I should
be ill; and the first thing I did, I filled a large square case bottle
with water, and set it upon my table, in reach of my bed; and to
take off the chill or aguish disposition of the water, I put about a
quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together; and then
I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but
could eat very little; I walked about, but was very weak, and withal
very sad and heavy-hearted in the sense of my miserable condition,
dreading the return of my distemper the next day; at night I made
my supper of three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes,
and eat, as we call it, i: the shell; and this was the first bit of meat
I had ever asked God's blessing to, even as I could remember, in my
whole life.
Atter I had eaten, I tried to walk, but found myself so weak, that
I could hardly carry the gm (for I never went out without that); so I
went but a little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out
upon the sea, which was just before me, and very calm and smooth.
As I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me :-
What is this earth and sea of which I have seen so much, whence
is it produced, and what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and
tame, human and brutal; whence are we?
Sure we are all made by some secret power, who formed the earth
and sea, the air and sky; and who is that?
Then it followed most naturally, It is GOD that has made it alL
Well, but then it came on strangely, if God has made all these
things, He guides and governs them all, and all things that concern
them ; for the Power that could make all things, must certainly have
power to guide and direct them.
If so, nothing can happen in the great circuit of His works, either
without His knowledge or appointment.
And if nothing happens without His knowledge, He knows that I
am here, and am in this dreadful condition; and if nothing happens
without His appointment, He has appointed all this to befal me.
Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of these con-


delusions; and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force,
that it must needs be, that God had appointed all this to befal me;
that I was brought to this miserable circumstance by His direction,
He having the sole power, not of me only, but of everything that
happened in the world. Immediately it followed,
Why has God done this to me ? What have I done to be thus used ?
My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had
blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me like a voice; Wretch
dost thou ask what thou hast done? Look back upon a dreadful
misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast not done ? Ask, why is it
that thou wert not long ago destroyed ? Why wert thou not drowned
in Yarmouth Roads; killed in the fight when the ship was taken
by the Sallee man of war? devoured by the wild beasts on the coast
of Africa? or, drowned HERE, when all the crew perished but
thyself ? Post thou ask, What have I done ?
I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonished, and
had not a word to say, no, not to answer to myself, but rose up
pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went up over my
wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly dis-
turbed, and I had no inclination to sleep; so I sat down in my
chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now as the
apprehension of the return of my distemper terrified me very much,
it occurred to my thought, that the Brazilians take no physic but
their tobacco, for almost all distempers; and I had a piece of a roll
of tobacco in one of the chests, which was quite cured, and some
also that was green and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt for in this chest I found a
cure, both for soul and body I I opened the chest, and found what
I looked for, viz., the tobacco; and as the few books I had saved
lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before,
and which, to this time, I had not found leisure, or so much as
inclination, to look into; I say I took it out, and brought both that
and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distem-
per, or whether it was good for it or no; but I tried several experi-
ments with it, as if I was resolved it should hit one way or other:
I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth, which
indeed at first almost stupefied my brain, the tobacco being
green and strong, and that I had not been used to it; then I
took some and steeped it an hour or two in some rum, and resolved
to take a dose of it when I lay down; and lastly, I burnt some
upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close over the smoke of it as
long as I could bear it, as well for the heat as the virtue of it, and I
held almost to suffocation.
In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible ani began
to read, but my head was too much disturbed with the tobacco to
bear reading, at least that time; only having opened the book


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

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