Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Part I
 Part II
 Back Cover

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The Life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner, as related by himself
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074462/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner, as related by himself
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: 328 p., <6> leaves of plates : ill. (6 col.) ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Defoe, Daniel,
Finnemore, Joseph, 1860-1939
De Wolfe, Fiske & Company
Publisher: DeWolfe & Fiske Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1864   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Boston
General Note: Cover col. ill. with gilt title: Robinson Crusoe; spine title: Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: Some black and white illustrations signed: J. Finnemore.
General Note: Probably a variant of Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe, 935.
General Note: Part I and II of Robinson Crusoe.
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel Defoe ; illustrated.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074462
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: lccn - SN01272
oclc - 13131296

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
        Front Matter 3
        Front Matter 4
    Half Title
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Part I
        Page 7
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Full Text





~ bn~t A 29 i






-Pulling as well as we could towards the land."

The Life and Strange



Nobins on


of York

as Related by

Daniel Defoe






I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that
country, my father being a foreigner, of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; he got a
good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York;
from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very
good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by
the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called,-nay, we call ourselves,
and write our name, Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an English regi-
ment 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 strongly against the will, nay, the com-
mands, of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and
other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propension of nature, tend-
ing directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against
what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where
he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject:
he asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving


my father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a
prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleas-
ure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior
fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make
themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these
things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle
state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long
experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not
exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of
mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper
part of mankind. He told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one
thing, viz., that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have
frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born to great things, and wished
they had been placed in the middle of two extremes, between the mean and the great;
that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the just standard of true felicity, when
he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were
shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the
fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part
of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers, and uneasiness, either
of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury and extravagances on one
hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other
hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of liv-
ing; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of
enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that tem-
perance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable
pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men
went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed
with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread,
nor harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the body of
rest; nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for
great things; but, in easy 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, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which nature, and the station of
life I was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of.
seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into
the station of life which he had just been recommending to me; and that if I was not
very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it;
,and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warn-
ing 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 ven-
ture to say to me, that if I take this foolish step God would not bless me, and I should
have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might be
none to assist in my recovery.


I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic, though I
suppose my father did not know it to be so himself; I say, I observed the tears run
down his face very plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed;
and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so
moved that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full he could say no
more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse, and, indeed, who could be otherwise?
and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to
my father's desire. But alas! a few days wore it all off; and, in short, to prevent any of
my father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from
him. However, I did not act quite so hastily as the first heat of my resolution prompted,
but I took my mother at a time when I thought her a little more pleasant than ordinary,
and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I
should never settle to anything with resolution enough to go through with it, and my
father had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now
eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an
attorney; that I was sure if I did I should never serve out my time, but I should
'certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she
would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and
did not like it, I would go no more; and I would promise, by a double diligence, to
recover the time that I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion; she told me she knew it would be to no
purpose to speak to my father upon any such subject; that he knew too well what was
my interest to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt; and that she wondered
how I could think of any such thing after the discourse I had had with my father, and
such kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me; and that, in
short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I might depend I should
never have their consent to it; that for her part, she would not have so much hand in
my destruction; and I should never have it to say that my mother was willing when my
father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I heard afterwards that she
reported all the discourse to him, and that my father, after showing a great concern at it,
said to her with a sigh: "That boy might be happy if he would stay at home; but if he
goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that ever was born: I can give no
consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the mean time, I
continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostu-
lated with my father and mother about their being so positively determined against what
they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one day at Hull, whither I went
casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement at that time; but, I say,
being there, and one of my companions being going by sea to London in his father's
ship, and prompting me to go with them with the common allurement of a seafaring man,
that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither father nor mother any
more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they
might, without asking God's blessing or my father's, without any consideration of circum-
stances or consequences, and in an ill hour God knows, on the Ist of September, 165 I, I
went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I
believe, began sooner, or continued longer, than mine. The ship was no sooner got out
of the Humber, than the wind began to blow and the sea to rise in a most frightful
manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body,
and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon whatI had done, and how


justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's
house, and abandoning my duty. All the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears
and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which
was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to. which it has come since, reproached me
with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to God and my father.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea went very high, though nothing like
what I have seen many times since; no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it was
enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never known anything of
the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every time the
ship fell down, as I thought it did, in the trough or hollow of the sea, we should never
rise more: in this agony of mind, I made many vows and resolutions, that if it would please
God to spare my life in this one voyage, if ever'I got once my foot upon dry land again,
I would go directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again while I lived;
that I would take his advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these any more.
Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about the middle station of life, how
easy, how comfortably he had lived all his days, and never had been exposed to 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 lasted, and indeed
some time after; but the next day the wind was abated, and the sea calmer, and I began
to be a little inured to it: however, I was very grave for all that day, being also a little
sea-sick still, but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a
charming fine evening followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so 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
and could be so calm and so pleasant in so little a time after. And now, lest my good
resolutions should continue, my companion, who had enticed me away, comes to me:
"Well, Bob," says he, clapping me upon the shoulder, "how do you do after it?
I warrant you were frighted, wer'n't you, last night, when it blew but a capful of wind ?"
"A capful, d'you call it?" said I; "'twas a terrible storm." "A storm, you fool you,"
replies he; "do you call that a storm? why, it was nothing at all; give us but a good
ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a squall of wind as that; but you're but
a fresh-water sailor, Bob. Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that;
d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now ?" To make short this sad part of my story, we
went the way of all sailors; the punch was made, and I was made half-drunk with it;
and in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon
my past conduct, all my resolutions for the future. In a word, as the sea was returned
to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the
hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by
the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot
the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals
of reflection; and the serious thoughts did, as it were, endeavor to return again some-
times; but I shook them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper,
and applying myself to drinking and company, soon mastered the return of those fits-
for so I called them; and I had in five or six days got as complete a victory over my
conscience as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire.
But I was to have another trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases generally it
does, resolved to leave me entirely without excuse; for if I would not take this for a
deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch among
us would confess both the danger and the mercy.


The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the wind having
been contrary, and the weather calm, we had made but little way since the storm. Here
we were obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary,
viz., at south-west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great 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 we should have tided it up the river,
but that the wind blew too fresh, and, after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard.
However, the Roads being reckoned as good as an harbour, the anchorage good, and
our ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least appre-
hensive 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

'U. ..


strike our top-masts, and make everything snug and close, that the ship might, ride as
easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rode forecastle
in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor had come home; upon
which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor, so that we rode with two anchors ahead,
and the cables verred out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I began to see terror and
amazement in the faces even of the seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in
the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I could
hear him softly to himself say, several times, Lord, be merciful to us! we shall be all
lost; we shall be all undone and the like. During these first hurries I was stupid,
lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my temper: I


could ill resume the first penitence which I had so apparently trampled upon, and hard-
ened myself against: I thought the bitterness of death had been past; and that this
would be nothing too, like the first; but when the master himself came by me, as I said
just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted. I got up out of my
cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw: the sea ran mountains
high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes: when I could look about, I could
see nothing but distress round us; two ships that rode near us, we found, had cut their
masts by the board, being deep laden; and our men cried out, that a ship which rode
about a mile ahead of us was foundered. Two more ships, being driven from their anchors,
were run out of the Roads to sea, at all adventures, and that not with a mast standing.
The light ships fared the best, as not so much labouring in the sea; but two or three of
them drove, and came close by us, running away with only their spritsail out before
the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them
cut away the fore-mast, which he was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protesting
to him, that if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut
away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were
obliged to cut that away also, and make a clear deck.
And one must judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young
sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express at
this distance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror of
mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to the
resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to
the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can by no words describe it.
But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury, that the seamen
themselves acknowledged they had never seen a-worse. We had a good ship, but she
was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, so that the seamen every now and then cried out
she would founder. It was my advantage in one respect that ILdid not know what they
meant by founder, till I inquired. However, the storm was so oiplent, that I saw, what
is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest,
at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom.
In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that
had been down to see, cried out we had sprung a leak: another said, there was four feet
water in the hold. Then all hands were called to the pump. At that word, my heart,
as I thought, died within me: and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed where I sat,
into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me, that I, that was able to do
nothing before, was as well able to pump as another; at which I stirred up, and went to
the pump, and worked very heartily. While this was doing, the master seeing some
light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm, were obliged to slip, and run away to
the sea, and would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who
knew nothing what they meant, thought the ship had broken, or some dreadful thing
happened. In a word, I was so surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a
time when everybody had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was
become of me; but another man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with
his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came
to myself.
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship
would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little, yet it was not possible she
could swim till we might run into any port; so the master continued firing guns for
help; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help
us. It was with the utmost hazard the boat came near us; but it was impossible for us


to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at last the men rowing
very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the
stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after much
labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all
into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of
reaching to their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in towards
shore as much as we could; and our master promised them, that if the boat was staved
upon shore, he would make it good to their master: so partly rowing, and partly
driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far
as Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship till we saw her
sink, and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the
sea. I must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me she
was sinking; for from the moment that they rather put me into the boat, than that I
might be said to go in, my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright,
partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition-the men yet labouring at the oar to bring the
boat near the shore-we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, we were able to
see the shore) a great many people running along the strand, to assist us when we should
come near; but we made but slow way towards the shore; nor were we able to reach
the shore, till, being past the lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward
towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the wind. Here we
got in, and, though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked
afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great
humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by
particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us
either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home I had
been happy, and my father, an emblem of our blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed
the fatted calf for me; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth
Roads, it was a great while before he had any assurances that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist;
and though I had several times loud calls from my reason, and my more composed
judgment, to go home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor
will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree, that hurries us on to be the instruments
of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our
eyes open. Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery attending,
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 obstructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master's son,
was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth,
which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to several
quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered; and, looking
very melancholy, and shaking his head, he asked me how I did, and telling his father
who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go farther
abroad: his father, turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone, Young man,"
says he, "you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a plain and
visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man." "Why, sir," said I, will you go
to sea no more ? " That is another case," said he; "it is my calling, and therefore
my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste Heaven has given


you of what you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps this has all befallen us on your
account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray," continues he, "what are you; and
on what account did you go to sea?" Upon that I told him some of my story; at the
end of which he burst out into a strange kind of passion : What had I done," says he,
"that such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship? I would not set my foot in
the same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an
excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther
than he could have authority to go. However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me,
exhorting me to go back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin, telling me
I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. And, young man," said he, depend
upon it, if you do not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but
disasters and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you."
We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I saw him no more; which
way he went I know not. As for me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to
London by land; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with myself,
what course of life I should take, and whether I should go home or go to sea.
As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my thoughts;
and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among the neighbours,
and should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even everybody else;
from whence I have often -since observed, how incongruous and irrational the common
temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which 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 irresistible reluctance continued to going
home; and as I stayed awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off;
and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to return wore off with it, till at
last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.
The evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house,-which
hurried me into the wild and undigested notion of raising my fortune; and that
impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice,
and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father;-I say, the same influence,
whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I
went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly called
it, a voyage to Guinea.*
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a
sailor; when, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at
the same time I should have learnt the duty and office of a fore-mast man, and in time
might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it was
always my fate to choose for the 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 gentle-
man; and so I neither had any business in the ship, nor learned to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London, which does not
always happen to such loose and misguided young fellows as I then was; the devil gen-
erally not omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was not so with me.
I first got acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the coast of Guinea;
and who, having had very good success there, was resolved to go again. This captain
taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time, hearing
Guinea. A district of that part of the West Coast of Africa where the land runs nearly due east and west.
,The six countries into which it is divided are known to sailors under the names of Sierra Leone, Grain Coast, Ivory
'Coast, Gold Coast, Slave Coast, and Benin.


me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I
should be at no expense; I should be his messmate and his companion; and if I could
carry anything with me, I should have all the advantage of it that the trade would admit;
and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer; and entering into a strict friendship with this captain, who was
an honest, plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure
with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very
considerably; for I carried about 40 in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me
to buy. This 40 I had mustered together by the assistance of some of my relations
whom I corresponded with; and who, I believe, got my father, or at least my mother, to
contribute so much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in all my adventures, and
which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my friend the captain; under whom also I
got a competent knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned how
to keep an account of the ship's course, take an observation, and, in short, to understand
some things that were needful to be understood by a sailor; for, as he took delight to


instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a sailor
and a merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust for my adven-
ture, 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 continu-
ally sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the excessive heat of the climate; our
principal trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees north even to
the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune, dying
soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the
same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the com-
mand of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made; for though I
did not carry quite Ioo of my new-gained wealth, so that I had 200 left, which I had
lodged with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfor-
tunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz., our ship making her course towards the
Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the African shore, was surprised in
the grey of the morning by a Moorish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the
sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our yards would spread, or
our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would cer-
tainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight; our ship having twelve guns
and the rogue eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came up with us, and bringing
to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he intended, we
brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a broadside upon him,
which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in also his small
shot from nearly two hundred men which he had on board. However, we had not a man
touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend
ourselves. But laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered
sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the sails and
rigging. We plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and
cleared our decks 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; for now the
hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption; but, alas!
this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel of
this story.
As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I was in
hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea again, believing that
it would some time or other be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugese man-of-
war; and that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was soon taken
away; for when he went to sea, he left me on shore to look after his little garden, and do
the common drudgery of slaves about his house; and when he came home again from
his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might take to effect
it, but found no way that had the least probability in it; nothing presented to make
the supposition of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that would embark'


with me-no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotchman there but myself; so
that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I never had
the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself, which put the old
thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head. My patron lying at
home longer than usual without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of
money, he used, constantly, once or twice a week, sometimes oftener, if the weather was
fair, to take the ship's pinnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and, as he always took
me and a young Moresco with him to row the boat, we made him very merry, and
I proved very dexterous in catching fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me
with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth-the Moresco, as they called him-to
catch a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time, that going a-fishing with him in a calm morning, a fog rose so
thick that, though we were not half a league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and
rowing we knew not whither or which way, we laboured all day, and all the next night;
and when the morning came, we found we had pulled off to sea instead of pulling in for
the shore; and that we were at least two leagues from the land. However, we got well
in again, though with a great deal of labour and some danger; for the wind began to
blow pretty fresh in the morning; but particularly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of himself for
the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of our English ship which he had
taken, he resolved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass and some
provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English slave, to
build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like that of a barge,
with a place to stand behind it to steer, and haul home the mainsheet; and room before
for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. She sailed with what we call a shoulder-
of-mutton sail; and the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug and
low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with
some small lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; and
particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing; and as I was most dexterous to
catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had appointed to go
out in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two oi three Moors of some distinc-
tion in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily, and had therefore sent
on board the boat over-night a larger store of provisions than usual; and had ordered me
to get ready three fusils* with powder and shot, which were on board his ship, for that
they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next morning with the boat
washed clean, her ancient and pendants out, and everything to accommodate his guests;
when by-and-by my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests had put off
going, from some business that fell out, and ordered me, with the man and boy, as usual,
to go out with the boat and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup at his
house: he commanded me too that as soon as I had got some fish I should bring it
home to his house: all which I prepared to do.
This moment, my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts, for now I
found I was likely to have a little ship at my command; and my master being gone, I
prepared to furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though I knew
not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should steer; for anywhere to get out
of that place was my desire.
Fusil, a French word, meaning a light musket or .relock.
t Ancient, the old word, derived from the French ensigne, for a flag, or the man who carries it.


My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get something
for our subsistence on board; for I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's
bread. He said that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of their
kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my patron's case of
bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken out of some English prize,
and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been
there before for our master. I conveyed also a great lump of beeswax into the boat,
which weighed about half an hundredweight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet,
a saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great use to us afterwards, especially the wax to
make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also: his
name was Ismael, which they call Muley, or Moely; so I called to him:-" Moely," said
I, our patron's guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot ?
It may be we may kill some alcamies" (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for
I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship." Yes," says he, "I'll bring some;"
and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half
of powder, or rather more; and another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some
bullets, and put all into the boat. At the same time, I had found some powder of my
master's in the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which
was almost empty, pouring what was in it into another; and thus furnished with every-
thing 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 port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish. The wind blew
from the N.N.E., which was contrary to my desire, for had it blown southerly, I had
been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz; but
my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place
where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and caught nothing, for when I had fish on my
hook, I would not pull them up, that he might not see them, I said to the Moor, "This
will not do; our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off." He,
thinking no harm, agreed, and, being in the head of the boat, set the sail; and, as I had
the helm I ran the boat out near a league farther, and then brought her to, as if I would
fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor was, and
making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by surprise with my arm
under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose immediately, for
he swan like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken in, telling me he would
go all over the world with me. He swam so strong after the boat, that he would -have
reached me very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the
cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him and told him I had
done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none: But," said I, "you
swim well enough to reach the shore, and the sea is calm; make the best of your way to
shore, and I will do you no harm; but if you come near the boat, I'll shoot you through
the head, for I am resolved to have my liberty:" so he turned himself about, and swam
for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned the
boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone, I turned to the boy,
whom they called Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'll make
you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be true to me" (that is, swear
by Mahomet and his father's beard), "I must throw you into the sea too." The boy
smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could not mistrust him, and swore to
be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.

r- 2--~- ~- < ------

{ .' .


(See ,. 22).


While I was in the view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out directly to sea
with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone towards
the Straits' mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been sup-
posed to do): for who would have supposed we were sailing on to the southward, to the
truly barbarian coast; where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with
their canoes and destroy us; where we could never once go on shore but we should be
devoured by savage beasts, or mere merciless savages of human kind.
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and steered
directly south and by east, bending my course a little towards the east that I might keep
in with the shore: and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea, I made
such sail that I believe by the next day at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I first
made the land, I could not be less than one hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee: quite
beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king thereabouts,
for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions I
had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an an-
chor; the wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days; and then the
wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase
of me, they also would now give over: so I ventured to make to the coast, and came to
an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, nor where; neither what lati-
tude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw, nor desired to see, any
people; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the
evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country;
but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring,
and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the poor boy was ready
to die with fear, and begged of me not to go on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I,
"then I won't; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those
lions." "Then we give them the shoot-gun," says Xury, laughing, make them run
wey." Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad
to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to
cheer him up. After all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it: we dropped our little
anchor, and lay still all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we
saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of many sorts, come down to
the sea-shore, and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves for the pleasure
of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and yelling, that I never
indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but we were both more
frighted when we heard one mighty creature come swimming towards our boat; we
could not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous, huge and
furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so for aught I know; but poor
Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away. No," says I, Xury, we can slip
our cable, with the buoy to it, and go to sea; they cannot follow us far." I had no
sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length,
which something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the cabin-door, and
taking up my gun, fired at him; upon which he immediately turned about, and swam
towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises, and hideous cries and howlings,
that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon
the noise or report of 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
Straits, the Straits of Gibraltar.



night upon that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was another question too';
for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been as bad as to have fallen
into the paws of the 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 it was the point. Xury said,
if I would let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there was any water,
and bring some to me. I asked him why he would go ? why I should not go, and he stay
in the boat ? The boy answered with so much affection, as made me love him ever after.
Says he, If wild mans come, they eat me, you go wey." "Well, Xury," said I, we
will both go. and if the wild mans come, we will kill them-they shall eat neither of us."
So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a dram out of our patron's case of
bottles which I mentioned before; and we hauled the boat in as near the shore as we
thought was proper, and waded on shore; carrying nothing but our arms, and two jars
for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming of canoes with
savages down the river; but the boy seeing a low place about a mile up the country,
rambled to it, and by-and-by I saw him come running toward me. I thought he was
pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I ran forward towards
him to help him; but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his
shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour, and
longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but the great
joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water, and seen no
wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water, for a little
higher up the creek where we were, we found the water fresh when the tide was out,
which flows but a little way up; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare we had
killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature
in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the islands of


the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as
I had no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and did
not exactly know, or at least not remember, what latitude they were in, I knew not where
to look for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now easily
have found some of these islands. But my hope was that if I stood along this coast till
I came to that part where the English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon
their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must be that country
which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste
and uninhabited, except by wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned it, and gone farther
south, for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason
of its barrenness; and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious numbers of
tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors
use it for their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at
a time; and, indeed, for near a hundred miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing
but a waste uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roarings of
wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being the high
top of the mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out, in
hopes of reaching thither; but having failed 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 if it were a little over him.
Xury," says I, "you shall go on shore and kill him." Xury looked frighted, and said,
"Me kill! he eat me at one mouth; one mouthful he meant. However, I said no more
to the boy, but bade him be still, and took our biggest gun, which was almost musket
bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down;
then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third (for we had three pieces) I
loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece to have
shot him in the head, but he laid so with his leg raised a little above his nose that the
slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone. He started up, growling at first,
but finding his leg broke, fell down again; and then got up upon three legs, and gave
the most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him
on the head; however, I took up the second piece immediately, and though he began to
move off, fired again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop;
and making but little noise, he lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and would
have me let him go on shore. Well, go," said I, so the boy jumped into the water, and
taking the little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close to
the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him in the head again, which
despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I was very sorry to loose
three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good for nothing to us.
However, Xury said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me
to give him the hatchet. "For what, Xury ?" said I. Me cut off his head," said he.


However, Xury could not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him,
and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him might, one way or other,
be of some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went
to work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I knew very ill how
to do it. Indeed, it took us up both the whole day, but at last we got off the hide of him,
and spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days' time, and
it afterwards served me to lie upon.
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days, living
very sparingly on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener
into the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My design in this was, to make
the River Gambia or Senegal, that is to say, anywhere about the Cape de Verd, where I
was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course
I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there among the negroes. I knew that

all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brazil, or to
the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and, in a word, I put the whole of my
fortune upon this single point, either that I must meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, I began to
see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people
stand upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive that 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 theft
shore that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by me a good way:
I observed they had no weapons in their hands, except one, who had a long slender stick,
which Xury said was a lance, and that they could throw them a great way with good aim;
so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I could; and particularly
made signs for something to eat; they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and they would
fetch me some meat. Upon this, I lowered the top of my sail, and lay by, and two of
them ran up into the country; and in less than half an hour came back, and brought with


them two pieces of dried flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country;
but we neither knew what the one or the other was: however, we were willing to accept
it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I would not venture on shore to them,
and they were as much afraid of us: but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought
it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on
board, and then came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends; but
an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully: for while we were
lying on the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it)
with great fury from the mountains towards the sea; whether it was the male 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 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 in the
head: immediately he sank down into theater, but rose instantly, and plunged up and
down, as if he were 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 shore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor creatures at the noise and
fire of my gun; some of them were ready even to die for fear, and fell down as dead with
the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and sunk into the water, and that
I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and
began to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the water: and by
the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave the negroes to haul, they dragged
him on shore, and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted, and fine to an ad-
mirable degree; and the negroes held up their hands with admiration, to think what it
was I killed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam to
the shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came; nor could I, at
that distance, know what it was. I found quickly the negroes were for eating the flesh of
this creature, so I was willing to have them take it as a favor from me; which, when I
made signs to them that they might take him, they were very thankful for. Immediately
they fell to work with him; and though they had no knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of
wood, they took off his skin as readily, and much more readily, than we would have done
with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh, which I declined, making as if I would
give it them; but made signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought
me a great deal more of their provision, which, though I did not understand, yet I ac-
cepted. Then I made signs to them for some water, and held out one of my jars to them,
turning its bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled.
They called immediately to some of their friends, and there came two women, and brought
a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I supposed, in the sun; this they set down for
me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three. The
women were as stark naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and leaving
my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to


go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the
distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large
offing to make this point. At length, doubling the point, at about two leagues from the
land, I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward: then I concluded, as it was most
certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands called, from thence,
Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could not well
tell what I had best do; for if I should be taken with a fresh gale of wind, I might
neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin, and sat me down,
Xury having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship
with a sail!" and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs
be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten far enough
out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only the ship,
but that it was a Portuguese ship; and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea,
for negroes. But, when I observed the course she steered, I was soon convinced they
were bound some other way, and did not design to go any nearer the shore; upon which
I stretched out to the sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to come in their way,
but that they would be gone by before I could make any signal to them: but after I had
crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me, by the help of their
perspective glasses, and that it was some European boat, which 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 of which they saw; for they told me
they saw the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these signals they very
kindly brought to, and lay by for me; and in about three hours' time I came up
with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French, but I
understood none of them; but, at last, a Scotch sailor, who was on board, called to me:
and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that had made my escape out
of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee; they then bade me come on board, and very kindly
took me in, and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will believe, that I was thus
delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I was
in; and I immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship. as a return 'for my
deliverance; but he generously told me, he would take nothing from me, but that all I
had should be delivered safe to me, when I came to the Brazils. "For," says he,
" I have saved your life on no other terms than as I would be glad to be saved myself;
and it may, one time or other, be my lot to be taken up in the same condition.
Besides," said he, when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your own
country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then
I only take away that life I have given. No, no," says he; Seignor Inglese (Mr.
Englishman), I will carry you thither in charity, and these things will help you to buy
your subsistence there, and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the performance to a tittle;
for he ordered the seamen, that none should offer to touch anything I had: then he took
everything into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them, that
I might have them, even to my three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me he would buy
it of me for the ship's use; and asked me what I could have for it ? I told him, he had
been so generous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any price of the


boat, but left it entirely to him: upon which, he told me he would give me a note of his
hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if any one
offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered me also sixty pieces of eight
more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the
captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me
so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned
it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set
him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing
to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and I arrived in the Bay de Todos los
Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I was once more
delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with
myself I was to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never enough remember: he
would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin,
and forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused everything I had in the
ship to be punctually delivered to me; and what I was willing to sell, he bought of me,
such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees'-wax, for
I had made candles of the rest: in a word I made about two hundred and twenty pieces
of eight of all my cargo; and with this stock, I went on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house of a good, honest
man, like himself, who had an ingenio, as they call it (that is, a plantation and a sugar-
house), I lived with him some time, and acquainted myself, by that means, with the
manner of their planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters lived,
and how they got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a 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 letter of naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my money
would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement; such a one as might
be suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English parents, whose
name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call him neighbour, because
his plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My stock was
but low, as well as his; and we rather planted for food than anything else, for about two
years. However, we began to increase, and our land began to come into order; so that
the third year we planted some tobbaco, 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 I for me to do wrong that never did right, was no great wonder. I had no
remedy but to go on: I had got into employment quite remote to my genius, and
directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father's house,
and broke through all his good advice. Nay, I was coming into the very middle station,
or upper degree of low life, which my father advised me to before, and which, if I
resolved to go on with, I might have as well have stayed at home, and never fatigued
myself in the world, as I have done; and I used often to say to myself, I could have done
this as well in England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to do it
among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never to hear
from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had
nobody to converse with, but now and then this neighbor; 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 exceedingly prosperous and rich.
I was, in some degree, settled in my measures for carrying on the plantation, before

my kind friend, the captain of the ship that took me up at sea, went back-for the ship
remained there, in providing her lading, and preparing for her voyage, near three months;
when, telling him what little stock I had left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly
and sincere advice:-" Seignor Inglese," says he (for so he always called me), if you will
give me letters and a procuration here in form to me, with orders to the person who has
your money in London, to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct,
and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of them,
God willing, at my return ; but, since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters,
I would have you give orders for one hundred pounds sterling, which, you say, is half


your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that, if it come safe, you may order
the rest the same way; and, if it miscarry, you may have the other half to have recourse
to for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be
convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the
gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese
captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures-my slavery,
escape, and how I had met with the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his beha-
viour, and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions for my supply;
and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English
merchants there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of my story to a
merchant at London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon she not only de-
livered the money, but, out of her own pocket, sent the Portugal captain a very handsome
present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vested this hundred pounds in English goods, such as the
captain had written for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe
to me to the Brazils; among which, without my direction (for I was too young in my
business to think of them), he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, iron work, and
untensils, necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised with the joy
of it; and my good steward, the captain, had laid out the five pounds, which my friend
had sent him for a present for himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant, under bond
for si< years' service, and would not accept of any consideration, except a little tobacco,
which I would have him accept, being of my own produce.
Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture, such as cloths,
stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found means
to sell them at a very great advantage; so that I may say, I had more than four times the
value of my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor neighbour-I mean in
the advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro slave,
and an European servant also-I mean another besides that which the captain brought
me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our greatest adversity,
so was it with me. I went on the next year with great success in my plantation: I raised
fifty great rolls of tobacco on.my own ground, more than I had disposed of for necessaries
among my neighbors; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a hundred-weight were
well cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing in
business and 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 lif and which he had so
sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of; but other things attended me,
and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly to increase
my fault, and double the reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should
have leisure to make, all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate ad-
hering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in
contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of
those prospects, and those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to
present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I could not be con-
tent now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man


in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than
the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest
gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with life, and
a state of health in the world.
To come, then, by just degrees, to the particulars of this part of my story:-You
may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to
thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned the language,
but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as well as
among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which was our port; and that, in my discourse
among them, I had frequently given them an account of my two voyages to the coast of
Guinea; the manner of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase
upon the coast for trifles-such as beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and
the like-not only gold dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes, for the
service of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourse on these heads, but especially
to that part which related to the buying negroes, which was a trade, at that time, not only
not far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the assiento, or permis-
sion, of the Kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public stock; so that few
negroes were brought and those excessively dear.
I happened, being in company one day 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
of with them the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me; and, after
enjoining me secresy, they told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to
Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straightened 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 plan-
tations; and, in a word, the question was, whether I would go their supercago in their
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 a plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of
coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it; but for me, that was
thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as I had begun, for three
or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from England; and
who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being Moith
three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too-for me to think of such
a voyage was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be
guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer than I
could restrain my first rambling designs when my father's good counsel was lost upon
me. In a word I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to
look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it as I should direct, if I
miscarried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings and covenants to do
so. I made a formal will disposing of my plantation and effects in case of my death, making
the captain of the ship that had saved my life, as before, my universal heir, but obliging
him to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will: one-half of the produce being
to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects, and to keep up my
plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my own interest, and


have made a judgment of what I ought to have done and not to have done, I had cer-
tainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable views
of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common
hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather than my
reason; and, accordingly, the ship being fitted out, and the cargo finished, and all things
done, as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour
again, the Ist of September, 1659, being the same day eight years that I went from my
father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my
own interests.
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six guns, and four-
teen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We had on board no large cargo of
goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the negroes, such as beads, bits
of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets,
and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward upon our
own coasts, with design to stretch over for the African coast when they came into about
ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was a manner of their course
in those days. We had very good weather, only excessively hot, all the way upon our own
coast, till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino; from whence, keeping farther off at
sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the isle of Fernando de Nor-
onha, holding our course N. E. by N., and leaving those isles on the east. In this course
we passed the line in about twelve days' time, and were, by our last observation, in seven
degrees twenty-two minutes northern latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took
us quite out of our knowledge. It began from the south-east, came about to the north-
west, and then settled into the north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner,
that for twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding away before
it, let it carry us wherever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and, during these
twelve days, I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up; nor did any
in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men died of the
calenture, and a man and a boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather
abating a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and found that he
was in about eleven degrees of north latitude, but that he was twenty-two degrees of
longitude difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon
the coast of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river Amazons, towards that
of the river Oronoque, commonly called the Great River; and now he began to consult
,- #', with me what course he should take, for the ship was leaky, and very much disabled, and
he was for going directly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea coast of America
with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to have recourse to, till
we came within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore resolved to stand away
for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of the Bay or Gulf of
Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we
could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa without some assistance both
to our ship and to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away N. W. by W., in order to
reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for relief. But our voyage was other-
wise determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen minutes, a second
storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity westward, and
drove us out of the way of all human commerce, that, had all our lives been saved as to


.,- .


the sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than ever returning to
our own country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men early one morning
cried out, Land!" and we had no sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of
seeing whereabouts in the world we were, than the ship struck upon a sand, and in a
moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner, that we
expected we should all have perished immediately, and we were even driven into our
close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition to describe or con-
ceive the consternation of men in such circumstances. We knew nothing where we
were, or upon what it was we were driven-whether an island or the main, whether
inhabited or not inhabited. As the rage of the wind was still great, though rather less
than at first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes without
breaking in pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle, should turn immediately
about. In a word, we sat looking upon one 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 saving our lives as well
as we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the storm, but she was first staved
by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in the next place, she broke away, and either
sunk, or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another boat on
board, but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing. However, there was no
room to debate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces every minute, and some
told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat, and with the help of the
rest of the men, they got her flung over the ship's side; and getting all into her, let go,
and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild sea; for


though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea ran dreadfully high upon the
shore, and might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly, that the sea went
so high that the boat could not escape, and that we should be inevitably drowned. As
to making sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done anything with it; so we
worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to execu-
tion; for we all knew that when the boat came near the shore, she would be dashed in a
thousand pieces by the breach of the sea. However, we committed our souls to God in
the most earnest manner; and the wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our
destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards the land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal we knew not.
The only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of expectation, was, if we
might happen into some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great chance
we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth
water. But there was nothing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the
shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed or rather driven about a league and a half, as we reckoned it, a
raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the
coup de grace. In a word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once;
and separating us, as well from the boat as from one another, gave us not time hardly to
say, O God !" for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt, when I sank into the
water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so as
to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on
towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost
dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as
breath left, that, seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet,
and endeavored to make on towards the land as fast as I could, before another wave
should return and take me up again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for
I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy, which I
had no means or strength to contend with: my business was to hold my breath, and raise
myself upon the water, if I could; and so, by swimming, to preserve my breathing and
pilot myself towards the shore, if possible, my greatest concern now being, that the
wave, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it came on, might not
carry me back again with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again, buried me at once twenty or thirty feet deep in
its own body, and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the
shore a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward
with all my might. I was ready to burst with holding my breath, when as I felt myself
rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above the
surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I could keep
myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath and new courage. I was covered
again with water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and, finding the water
had spent itself and began to return, I struck forward against the return of the waves,
and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath and
till the waters went from me, and then took to my heels and ran, with what strength
I had, farther towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the
sea, which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was lifted up by the waves
and carried forward as before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me, for the sea having hurried
me along, as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against a piece of a rock, and that


with such force, as it 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, I got to the mainland,
where to my great comfort, I clambered up the "GOTITDOWN
cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the TO MY RAFT"
grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach (. 36).
of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and
began to look up and thank God that my life was j
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 ecsta-
cies and transports of the soul are, when it is so
saved, as I may say, out of the very grave, and
I do not wonder now at that custom, when a male-
factor, 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, c .
I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon :l-L-
with it, to let him blood that very moment
they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the
animal spirits from the heart and overwhelm him.
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.
I walked about on the shore lifting up my hands, and my
whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in a contemplation of my
deliverance; making a thousand gestures and motions, which I
cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were
drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but my-
self; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign
of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that
were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far
off; and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get
on shore?
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part
of my condition, I began to look around me, to see what kind
of a place I was in, and what was next to be done: and I soon
found my comforts abate, and that in a word, I had a dreadful
deliverance: for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor any-
thing either to eat or drink to comfort me; neither did I see
any prospect before me, but that of perishing with hunger, or
being devoured by wild beasts; and that which was particularly
afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon, either to hunt and


kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against any other creature
that might desire to kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife,
a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. This was all my provisions; 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 fresh water
to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and having drunk, and put a little tobacco in my
mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavour ed to place
myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut me a short stick, like a
truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging: and being excessively fatigued, I fell
fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition,
and found myself more refreshed with it than, I think, I ever was on such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so that
the sea did not rage and swell as before. But that which surprised me most was, that
the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling of the
tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I at first mentioned, where I had
been so bruised by the wave dashing me against it. This being within about a mile
from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself
on board, that at least I might save some necessary things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, and
the first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and the sea had tossed her
up, upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I could upon
the shore to have got to her; but found a neck or inlet of water between me and the
boat which was about half a mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more
intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my present
A little after noon, I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far out that
I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship. And here I found a fresh renewing
of my grief; for I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had been all safe-
that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be
left entirely destitute of all comfort and company as I now was. This forced tears to
my eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get to
the ship; so I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity, and took
the water. But when I came to the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know how
to get on board; for, as she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was nothing
within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the second time I
espied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hanging down
by the fore-chains so low, that with great difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help
of that rope got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship was
bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold; but that she lay so on the side
of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank,
and her head low, almost to the water. By this means all her quarter was free, and
all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search,
and to see what was spoiled and what was free. And, first, I found that all the ship's
provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat,
I went to the bread-room, and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about


other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in the great cabin,
of which I took a large dram, and which I had, indeed, need enough of to spirit me
for what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat to furnish myself with
many things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this extremity
roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood,
and a spare top-mast or two in the ship: I resolved to fall to work with these, and I flung
as many of them overboard as I could,
manage for their weight, tying every one
with a rope, that they might not drive
away. When this was done, I went down
the ship's side, and pulling them to me, I
tied four of them together at both ends, as
well as I could, in the form of a raft, and
laying two or three short pieces of plank
upon them crossways, I found I could
walk upon it very well, but that it was not
able to bear any great weight, the pieces
being too light. So I went to work, and
with a carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-
mast into three lengths, and added them to
my raft, with a great deal of labour and
pains. But the hope of furnishing myself
with necessaries, encouraged me to go be-
yond what I should have been able to have
done upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to
bear any reasonable weight. My next care
was what to load it with, and how to pre-
serve what I had laid upon it from the surf
of the sea: but I was not long considering
this. I first laid all. the planks or boards
upon it that I could get, and having con-
sidered 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 "THESE I SECURED FIRST" (. 45).
a little remainder of European
corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us, but the
fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat together; but, to my great
disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors,
I found several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some cordial
waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of arrack. These I stowed by them-
selves, there being no need to put them into the chest, nor any room for them. While I
was doing this, I found the tide began to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortifi-
cation to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore, upon the sand, swim


away. As for my breeches, they were only linen, and open-knee'd, I swam on board in
them and my stockings. However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I
found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had other things
which my eye was more upon-as, first, tools to work with on shore. And it was after
long searching that I found out the carpenter's chest, which was, indeed, a very useful
prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-lading of gold would have been at that
time. I got it down to my raft, whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for
I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good
fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with powder-
horns, a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of
powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much
search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water. Those two
I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and
began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder;
and the least cap-full of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: first, a smooth, calm sea; secondly, the tide rising, and
setting in to the shore; thirdly, what little wind there was blew me towards the land.
And thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and besides the tools
which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer: with this cargo I put
to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a
little distant from the place where I had landed before; by which I perceived that there
was some indraught 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 broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran
aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it wanted
but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the end that was afloat, and so fallen
into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in
their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir
from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in that
manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me a little more
upon a level; and, a little after, the water still rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust
her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found
myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current of tide
running up. I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I was not
willing too be driven to high up the river: hoping, in time, to see some ship at sea, and
therefore resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which, with great
pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so near, that, reaching ground with
my oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here I had like to have dipped all my cargo
into the sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep-that is to say, sloping-there was
no place to land, but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and
the other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again. All that I could
do, was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor,
to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I expected the
water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I found water enough-for my raft
drew about a foot of water-I thrust her upon that flat piece of ground, and there fastened


- ~. -'




(.Sele 36)


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


.,,,4" "r


quantity of powder more; a large bag-full of small shot, and a great roll of sheet lead;
but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes, that I could find, and a spare
fore-top sail, a hammock and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft and
brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehension during my absence from the land, that at least my
provisions might be devoured on shore; but when I came back, I found no sign of any
visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat, upon one of the chests, which, when I
came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very composed-
and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with
me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, she was perfectly
unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit,
though, by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not great; however, I
spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled at it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased)
for more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more; so she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore-though I was obliged to open the barrels
of powder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks-I
went to work to make me a little tent, with the sail, and some poles which I cut for that
purpose; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew would spoil either with rain
or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify
it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within,



and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of the beds upon the
ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night. I was very weary and heavy; for
the night before I had slept little, and had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch
those things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one
man; but still I was not satisfied, for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought
I ought to get everything out of her that I could; so every day, at low water, I went on
board, and brought away something or other; but particular 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 occa-
sion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails first and
last; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I could,
for they were no more useful to me for sails, but as mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still was that at last of all, after I had made five
or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship
that was worth my meddling with-I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread,
three large runlets of rum, or spirits, a box of fine sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this
was surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions except
what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of the bread, and wrapped
it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all
this safe on shore also, though at several times.
The next day I made another voyage, and now, having plundered the ship of what
was portable and fit to hand out, I began with the cable; cutting the great cable into
pieces such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-
work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and every-
thing I could, to make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and came away.
But my good luck began to leave me, for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen,
that after I entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being
able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo
into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to
my cargo it was great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have
been of great use to me; however, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of
cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip
for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I went every
day on board, and brought away what I could get.
I had now been thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the
ship, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be sup-
posed capable of bringing; though I verily believe, had the calm weather held,. I
should have brought away the whole ship, piece by by piece; but preparing the twelfth
time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise. However, at low water I went on
board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually, that nothing
more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I
found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of
good knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money-
some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. Oh, drug!" said I, aloud, what art
thou good for? Thou art not worth to me-no, not the taking off the ground; one of
those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of use for thee; e'en remain where
thou art, and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving." However,
upon second thoughts, I took it away; and, wrapping all in a piece of canvas, I began to


think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky overcast.
and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the
shore. It presently occurred to me that it was in vain to pretend to make a raft with the
wind off shore; and that it was my business to be gone before the tide of flood began,
otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at all. Accordingly I let myself down
into the water, and swam across the channel which lay between the ship and the sands,
and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the "things I had about
me, and partly from the roughness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before
it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth about me
very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morning, when I looked out,


behold, no more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with
this satisfactory reflection, that I had lost no time, nor abated any diligence, to get every-
thing out of her that could be useful to me; and that, indeed, there was little left in her
that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything out of her, except
what might drive on shore from her wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did;
but those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against either savages,
if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts
of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make-whether I should


make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon
both; the manner and description of which, it may not be improper to give an
account of.
I soon found the place I was in' was not fit for my settlement, particularly because it
was upon a low, moorish ground near the sea, and I believed would not be 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:
Ist, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned; 2ndly, shelter from the heat of the sun;
3rdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; 4thly, a view to the sea,
that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of
which I was not willing to banish my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of a rising hill,
whose front towards this little plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come
down upon me from the top. On the side of the rock there was a hollow place, worn a
little way in, like the entrance or door of a cave; but there was not really any cave, or
way into the rock, at all.
On the flat of the green, just below this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent.
This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a
green before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down into
the low ground by the sea-side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill; so that it was
sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to the W. and by S. sun or thereabouts,
which, in those countries, is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow place, which took in
about ten yards in its semi-diameter, from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter from
its beginning and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground
till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground about five feet
and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six inches from
one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows,
one upon another, within the circle, between these two rows of stakes, up to the top,
placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong that neither man nor beast could get
into it or over it. This cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles
in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a short ladder to go
over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely
fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept secure in
the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though, as it appeared afterwards,
there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger
Into this fence, or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my riches, all my pro-
visions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the account above; and I made me
a large tent also, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year are very violent
there. I made it double-viz., one smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it;
and covered the uppermost part of it with a large tarpaulin, which I had 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 re-passed, as I said by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing all
the earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid them up within
my fence, in the nature of a terrace,
so that it raised the ground within
about a foot and a half; and thus I
made me a cave, just behind my tent,
which served me like a cellar to my
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 occurred, after I
had laid my scheme for the setting up
the tent, and making the cave, that a
storm of rain falling from a thick, dark
cloud, a sudden flash of lighting hap-
pened, and after that, a
great clap of thunder, as is
naturally the effect of it.
I was not so much sur-
prised with the lightning,
as I was with a thought
which darted into my mind
as swift as the lightning it-
self-Oh, my powder! My
very heart sank within me
when I thought that, at one
blast, all my powder might be
destroyed; on which, not my
defence only, but the providing
me food, as I thought, entirely
depended. I was nothing near
so anxious about my own dan-
ger; though had the powder
took fire, I had never known
who had hurt me.
Such impression did this
make upon me, that after the
storm was over, I laid aside all
my work, my building and
fortifying, and applied myself
to make bags and boxes, to
separate my powder, and to
keep it a little and a little in a
parcel, in hopes that, whatever
might come, it might not all
"A GREAT QUANTITY OF EARTH FELL DOWN" (f. Sr). take fire at once; and to keep


it so apart, that it should not be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this
work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which in all was about one hundred
and forty pounds weight, was divided into no less than a hundred parcels. As to the
barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that; so I placed it in my
new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down in
holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully where
I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least once every day
with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to see if I could kill anything fit for food; and
as near as I could, to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first time I
went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in the island, which was a great
satisfaction to me; but then it was attended with this misfortune to me, viz., that they
were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult 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 down-
ward that they did not readily see objects that were above them; so afterwards I took
this method-I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had
frequently a fair mark.
The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little
kid by her which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; for, when the old one
fell, the kid stood stock-still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only so, but
when I carried the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to my
enclosure; upon which, I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried
it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced
to kill it, and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I ate
sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as much as I possibly could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide a place
to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my
cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of in its place; but I
must now give some little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which, it
may well be supposed, were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not cast away upon that island
without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the course of our intended
voyage, and a great way, viz., some hundreds of leagues, out of the ordinary course of
the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven
that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears
would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would
expostulate with myself why Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures, and
render them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, and so entirely
depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts, and to
reprove me; and particularly one day walking with my gun in my hand by the seaside,
I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when Reason, as it were,
put in expostr:ating with me the other way, thus: Well, you are in a desolate con-
dition, it is true; but, pray remember, where are the rest of you ? Did not you come
eleven of you into the boat ? Where are the ten ? Why were not they saved, and you
lost? Why are you singled out? Is it better to be here or there ? And then I


pointed to the sea. All evils are to be con-
sidered with the good that is in them, and
with what worse attended them.
Then it occurred to me again, how well
I was furnished for my subsistence, and what
would have been my case if it had not hap-
pened (which was a hundred thousand to one)
that the ship floated from the place where
first she struck, and was driven so near to the
shore, that I had time to get all these things
out of her? what would have been my case,
if I had been forced to have lived in the con-
dition in which I at first came on shore, with-
out necessaries of life, or any means to supply
and procure them? Particularly," said I
aloud (though to myself), "what should I
have done without a gun, without ammuni-
tion, without any tools to make anything, or
to work with ? without clothes, bedding, a
tent, or any manner of coverings ?" and that
now I had all these to a sufficient quantity,
and was in a fair way to provide myself in
such a manner as to live without my gun,
when my ammunition was spent: so that I
had a tolerable view of subsisting without any
want as long as I lived; for I considered from
the beginning how I would provide for the
accidents that might happen and for the time
that was to come, even not only after my
ammunition should be spent, but even after
* my health and strength should decay.
I confess I had not then entertained any
notion of my ammunition being destroyed at GRINDING MY TOOLS" (A 57)
one blast-I mean, my powder being blown
up by lightning; and this made the thoughts
of it surprising to me, when it lightened and thundered, as I observed just now.
And now, being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent life, such,
perhaps, as was never heard of it in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning,
and continue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September when, in the
manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun, being to us
in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head: for I reckoned myself, by obser-
vation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my thoughts that I should
lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen, and ink, and should even forget
the Sabbath day from the working days; but to prevent this, I cut it with my knife upon
a large post, in capital letters; and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore
where I first landed, viz., I came on shore here on the 3oth of September, 1659."
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and every
seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of the month as long
again as that long one; and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly
reckoning of time.


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


I am divided from mankind, a solitary; But I am not starved, and perish-
one banished from human society. ing on a barren place, affording no suste-
But I am in a hot climate, where if I
I have no clothes to cover me. had clothes, I could hardly wear them.
But I am cast on an island where I see
I am without any defence, or means to no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw on the
resist any violence of man or beast. coast of Africa; and what if I had been
shipwrecked there?
But God wonderfully sent the ship in
I have no soul to speak to or relieve near enough to the shore, that I have got
me. out so many necessary things as will either
supply my wants or enable me to supply
myself, even as long as I live.
Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any condi-
tion in the world so miserable but there was something negative, or something positive,
to be thankful for in it: and let this stand as a direction, from the experience of the most
miserable of all conditions in this world-that we may always find in it something to
comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of
the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and given over looking
out to sea if I could spy a ship-I say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself
to accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I could.
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the side of a rock,
surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables; but I might now rather call it a wall,
for I raised a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick, on the outside; and
after some time (I think it was a year and a half) I raised rafters from it, leaning to the
rock, and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get to
keep out the rain, which I found at some times of the year very violent.
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and into the cave
which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused
heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place; I had no
room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and worked farther in 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 t6 the right again, worked quite out, and made me
a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it was a back way to my tent and to
my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I most
wanted, particularly a chair and a table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few
comforts I had in the world; I could not write, or eat, or do several things, with so much
pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe that as reason is the substance
and original of the mathematics, so by stating and squaring everything by reason, and by
making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time, master of every
mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life; and yet, in time, by labour, appli-


cation, and contrivance, I found, at last, that I wanted nothing but I could have made it,
especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance of things, even without tools;
and some with no more tools than an adze and a hatchet, which, perhaps, were never made
that way before, and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I had
no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either
side with my axe, till I had brought it to be as thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth
with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one board out of a whole
tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I had' for the prodigious
deal of time and labour which it took me up to make a plank or board: but my time or
labour was little worth, and so it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the first place; and
this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought on my raft from the ship. But
when I had wrought out some boards as above, I made large shelves, of the breadth of
a foot and a half, one over another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails,
and iron work on; and, in a word, to separate everything at large into their places that I
might come easily at them; also I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my
guns and all things that would hang up: so that had my cave been to be seen, it looked
like a general magazine of all necessary things; and I had everything so ready at my hand,
that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and especially to find
my stock of all necessaries so great.
And now it was when I began to keep a Journal of every day's employment; for,
indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, and not only an hurry as to labour, but in too
much discomposure of mind; and my Journal would have been full of many dull things:
for example, I must have said thus: Sept. the joth.-After I had got to shore, and had
escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first
vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and
recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore wringing my hands and beating my head
and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out I was undone, undone! till, tired and
faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep, for fear of
being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and had got all I could
out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking
out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship: then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail, please
myself with the hopes of it, and then, after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose
it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having settled my house-
hold stuff and habitation, made me a table and a chair, and all as handsome about me as
I could, I began I say to keep my Journal: of which I shall here give you the copy
(although in it will be told all these particulars over again), as long as it lasted; for at
last, having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.


September 30, 1659.-I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during
a dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which I
called The Island of Despair "; all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and
myself almost dead.
All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal circumstances I was
brought to: viz., I had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and, in,
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 i.-In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship had floated with
the high tide, and was driven on shore again, much nearer the island; which, as it was
some comfort, on one hand (for seeing her set 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 had built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship to have carried
us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing myself
on these things; but at length, seeing the
ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as
near as I could, and then swam on board.
This day also it continued raining, though
with no wind at all.
From the Ist of October to the 24th.-
All these days entirely spent in several voy-
ages 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 weath-
er; but it seems this was
the rainy season.


Oct. 24.-I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it; but being in shoal-
water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide
was out.
Oct. 25.-It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind; during which
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 saved, that the rain might not
spoil them.
Oct. 26.-I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my hab-
itation, greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, I fixed upon a


proper place, under a rock, and marked out a semi-circle for my encampment, which I
resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification, made of double piles, lined
within with cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 3oth, I worked very hard in carrying all my goods to my new
habitation, though some part of the time it rained exceedingly hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gun, to see for some
food, and discover the country; when I killed a she-goat, and the kid followed me home,
which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.
November I.-I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the first night; mak-
ing it as large as I could, with stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2.-I set up all my chests and boards and the pieces of timber which made my
rafts, and with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had marked out
for my fortification.
Nov. 3.-I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks, which were very
good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me a table.
Nov. 4.-This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my
gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion: viz., every morning I walked out with my gun
for two or three hours, if it did not rain; then employed myself to work till about eleven
o'clock; then ate what I had to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the
weather being excessive hot; and then, in the evening, to work again. The working
part of this day and the next were wholly employed in making this table, for I was yet
but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a complete natural
mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do anyone else.
Nov. 5.-This day I went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a wild cat;
her skin pretty soft but her flesh good for nothing. Every creature I killed, I took off
the skins and preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of sea
fowls, which I did not understand; but was surprised and almost frighted, with two or
three seals, which, while I was gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got into the
sea, and escaped me for that time.
Nov. 6.-After my morning walk, I went to work with my table again, and finished *
it, though not to my liking; nor was it long before I learned to mend it.
Nov. 7.-Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, loth, and part
of the 12th (for the IIth was Sunday according to my reckoning), I took wholly up to
make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please
me; and even in making I pulled it to pieces several times.
Note.-I soon neglected keeping Sundays; for, omitting my mark for then on my
post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13.-This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the earth;
but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully
for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate my stock of
powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.
Nov. 14, 15, 16.-These three days I spent in making little square chests, or boxes,
which might hold about a pound, or two pounds at most, of powder; and so, putting the
powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from another as possible. On one
of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I knew not what to call it.
Nov. 17.-This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock, to make room for
my further conveniency.
Note.-Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work: viz., a pick-axe, a shovel,
land 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 the 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, 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 board part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not
last me so long; however, it served well enough for the uses which I had occasion to
put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket, or a wheel-barrow. A basket I could not
make by any means, having no such thing as twigs that would bend to make wicker-
ware-at least, none yet found out; and as to the 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's walk with my gun,
which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also of bringing home something fit to eat.
Nov. 23.-My other work having stood still, because of my making these tools,
when they were finished I went on, and working every day, as my strength and time
allowed, I spent eighteen days entirely in. widening and deepening my cave, that it might
hold my goods commodiously.
Note.-During all this time I worked to make this room, or cave, spacious enough
to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a
cellar. As for a lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet sea-
son of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry, which caused me
afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with long poles, in the form of rafters,
leaning against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees, like a thatch.
December io.-I began now to think my cave or vault 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. I i.-This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got two shores or posts
pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of board across over each post; this I fin-
ished the next day, and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more
I had the roof secured: and the posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to
part of my house.
Dec. 17.-From this day to the 20th I placed shelves, and knocked up nails on
the posts, to hang everything up that could be hung up; and now I began to be in
some order within doors.
Dec. 20.-Now I carried everything into the cave, and began to furnish my house,
and set up some pieces of board like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but board
began to be very scarce with me: also I made me another table.
Dec. 24.-Much rain all night and all day: no stirring out.
Dec. 25.-Rain all day.


Dec. 26-No rain, and the earth much cooler than* before, and pleasanter.
Dec. 27.-Killed a young goat, and lamed another so that I catched it and led it
home in a string; when I had it at home, I bound and splintered up its leg, which
was broke.
N. B.-I took such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well and as strong
as ever; but by nursing it so long it grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my
door, and would not go away. This was the first time that I entertained, a thought of
breeding up some tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot
were all spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30, 3 .-Great heats, and no breeze, so that there was no stirring abroad,
except in the evening for food; this time I spent in putting all my things in order
within doors.
January I.-Very hot still: but I went abroad early and late with my gun, and
lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther into the valleys which lay
towards the centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though exceedingly
shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to
hunt them down.
Jan. 2.-Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog, and set him upon the
goats; but I was'mistaken, for they all faced about upon the dog, and he knew his dan-
ger too well, for he would not come near them.
Jan. 3.-I began my fence, or wall; which, being still jealous of my being attacked
by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and strong.
N. B.-This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was said in the
Journal; it is sufficient to observe that I was no less time than from the 3d of January
to the 14th of April working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it was no more
than about twenty-four yards in length, being a half-circle, from one place in the rock
to another place, about eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre
behind it.
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many days, nay, some-
times weeks together; but I thought I should never be perfectly secure till this wall
was finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour everything was done
with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods, and driving them into the ground;
for I made them much bigger than I needed to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double-fenced, with a turf wall raised
up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any people were to come on shore there, they
would not perceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may be
observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time I made rounds in the woods for game every day, when the rain
permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these walks of something or other to my
advantage; particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as wood-pigeons
in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking some young
ones, I endeavored to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew older they
flew all away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding them, for I had nothing to
give them; however, I frequently found their nests, and got their young ones, which
were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many
things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to make; as, indeed, as to some
of them it was: for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small
runlet or two, as I observed before; but I could never arrive at the capacity of making one
by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, nor join
the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water; so I gave that also over.

(See j. 6r.)


In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles; so that as soon as it was dark, which
was generally by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump of
bees'-wax with which I made candles in my African adventure; but I had none of that
now; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat I saved the tallow, and.
with a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of
some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear steady
light like a candle. In the middle of all my labours it happened that, rummaging my
things, I found a little bag which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the
feeding of poultry-not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came
from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn that had been in the bag was all devoured
by the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have
the bag for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of
the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks of corn out of it on one side of my
fortification, under the 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 any-
thing there, when, about a month after, or thereabouts, I saw some few stalks of some-
thing green shooting upon the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not
seen; but I was surprised and perfectly astonished when, after a little longer time, I saw
about ten or twelve ears come out, which were 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, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had
befallen me, otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God, without
so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in govern -
ing 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 miracuously caused this grain to grow
without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance in
that wild, miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes, and I began to
bless myself that such a prodigy of Nature should happen upon my account; and this
was the more strange to me because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the rock,
some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because
I had seen it grow in Africa, when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these pure productions of Providence for my support, but not
doubting that there was more in the place, I went all over that part of the island where
I had been before, peering in every corner and under every rock, to see for more of it,
but I could not find any. At last it occurred to my thoughts that I had shaken the bag
of chickens' meat out in that place; and the wonder began to cease; and I must confess,
my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too, upon the discovering
that all this was nothing but what was common: though I ought to have been as thankful
for so strange and unforseen providence, as if it had been miraculous; for it was really
the work of Providence as to me, that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains
of corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all the rest, as if it had
been dropped from heaven; as also that I should throw it out in to 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, hop-


ing in time to have some quantity, sufficient to supply me with bread. But it was not
till the fourth year that I would allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and even
then but sparingly, as I shall say afterwards, in its order; for I lost all that I sowed the
first season, by not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just before the dry season,
so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would have done: of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I
preserved with the same care, and whose use was of the same kind, or to the same
purpose, viz., to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up without
baking, though I did that also after some time.
But to return to my Journal:-
I worked excessive hard these three or four months, to get my wall done; and the
I4th of April I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over a wall, by a
ladder, that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
April 16.-I finished the ladder; so I went up the ladder to the top, and then pulled
it up after me, and let it down on the inside: this was a complete enclosure to me; for
within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could
first mount my wall.

The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost had all my labour over-
thrown at once, and myself killed. The case was thus:-As I was busy in the inside of
it, behind my tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened with a
most dreadful surprising thing indeed: for, all on a sudden, I found the earth came tum-
bling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head, and
two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner. I was heartily
scared; but thought nothing of what really was the cause, only thinking that the top of
my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before: and for fear I should be buried in
it, I ran forwards to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my
wall for fear of the pieces of the hill, which I expected might roll down upon me. I was
no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, than I plainly saw it was a terrible earth-
quake; for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes' distance,
with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that could be
supposed to have stood upon the earth; and a great piece of the top of the rock which
stood about half a mile from me, next the sea, fell down with such a terrible noise as I
never heard in all my life. I perceived also the very sea was put into a violent motion
by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.


I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like, or 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 get over my wall again, for fear of being
buried alive, but still sat upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not
knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least serious religious thought;
nothing but the common Lord, have mercy upon me and when it was over, that went
away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and it grow cloudy, as if it would rain;
soon after that, the wind arose by little and little, so that in less than half an hour it blew
a most dreadful hurricane of wind: the sea was, all on a sudden, covered with foam and
froth; the shore was covered with the breach of the water; the trees were torn up by
the roots; and a terrible storm it was. This held about three hours, and then began to
abate; and then in two hours more it was calm, and began to rain very hard. All this
while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and dejected; when on a sudden it came
into my thoughts that these winds and rain being the consequences of the earthquake,
the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again. With
this thought, my spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to persuade me, I
went in and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so violent that my tent was ready to
be beaten down with it; and I was forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid
and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head. This violent rain forced me to a new
work, viz., to cut a hole through my new fortifications, like a sink, to let the water go
out, which would else have drowned my cave. After I had been in my cave some time,
and found still no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be more composed.
And now to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it very much, I went to my little
store, and took a small sup of rum; which, however, I did then and always very
sparingly, knowing I could have no more when that was gone. It continued raining all
that night, and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind
being more composed, I began to think of what I had best to do; concluding that if the
island was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I
must consider of building me some little hut in an open place which I might surround
with a wall, as I had done here, and to make myself secure from wild beasts or men; for
I concluded if I stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to move my tent from the place where it now stood,
which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill; and which, if it should, be
shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent: and I spent the two next days, being
the I9th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation. The
fear of being swallowed up alive made me that I never slept in quiet; and yet the appre-
hensions of lying abroad without any fence were almost equal to it; but still, when
I looked about, and saw how everything was put in order, how pleasantly concealed
I was, and how safe from danger, it made me loth to remove. In the 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, &c., in a circle, as before, and set my tent up in it, when it was finished; but


that I would venture to stay where I was till it was finished, and fit to remove to. This
was the 21st.
April 22.-The next morning I began to consider of means to put this resolve in
execution; but I was at a great loss about my tools. I had three large axes, and abund-
ance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians); but with much
chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches, and dull; and
though I had a grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This cost me as
much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point of politics, or a
judge upon the life and death of a man. At length, I contrived a wheel with a string, to
turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty.
Note.-I had not seen any such things in England, or at least not to take notice how
it was done, though since I have observed it was very common there; besides that, my
grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to bring
it to perfection.
April 28, 29.-These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine
for turning my grindstone performing very well.
April 30.-Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, I now took a sur-
vey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May I.-In the morning, looking towards the sea-side, the tide being low, I saw
something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like a cask; when I came
to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were
driven on shore by the late hurricane; and looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it
seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to do. I examined the barrel which
was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but it had taken
water, and the powder was caked as hard as a stone: however, I rolled it farther on shore
for the present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could to the wreck of the ship,
to look for more.
When I came down to the ship I found it strongly removed. The forecastle, which
lay before buried in sand, was heaved up at least six feet, and the stern, which was broken
to pieces and parted from the rest by the force of the sea soon after I had left rummag-
ing of her, was tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side; and the sand was thrown so
high on that side next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of water before, so
that I could not come within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming, I could
now walk quite up to her when the tide was out. I was surprised with this at first, but
soon concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and as by this violence the ship
was more broken open than formerly, so many things came daily on shore, which the sea
had loosened, and which the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of 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 any-
thing, I resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that
everything I could get from her would be of some use or other to me.
May 3.-I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I thought
held some of the upper part or 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 of which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.


May 5.-Worked on the wreck; cut another beam asunder, and brought three great
fir planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made swim on shore when the
tide of flood came on.
May 6-Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her, and other pieces
of iron-work; worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of
giving it over.
May 7.-Went to the wreck again, with an intent not to work, but found the weight
of the wreck had broken itself down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the ship
seemed to lie loose, and the inside of the hold lay so open that I could see into it; but it
was almost full of water and sand.
May 8.-Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck, which
lay now quite clear of the water or sand. I wrenched open two planks, and brought them
on shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for next 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 a roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to remove.
May o1, I, 12, 13, 14.-Went every day to the wreck; and got a great deal of pieces
of timber, and boards, or planks, and two or three hundredweight of iron.
May 15.-I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a piece off the roll of lead,
by placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a
foot and a half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16.-It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by
the force of the water; but I stayed so long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that
the tide prevented me from going to the wreck that day.
May 17.-1 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 that they were pieces of
the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.
May 24.-Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck; and with hard labour I
loosened some things so much with the crow, that the first flowing tide several casks
floated out, and two of the seamen's chests; but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing
came to land that day but pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork
in it; but the salt water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this work every day
to the I5th of June, except the time necessary to get food, which I always appointed,
during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready
when it was ebbed out; and by this time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work
enough to have built a good boat, if I had known how; and also I got, at several times,
and in several pieces, near one hundredweight of sheet lead.
June 6.--Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tortoise, or turtle. This was the
first I had seen, which, it seems, was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or the
scarcity; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have had hun-
dreds of them everyday, 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 every I tasted in my life,
having had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrible place.
June i8.-Rained all the day, and I stayed within. I thought, at this time, the rain
felt cold, and I was something chilly, which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
June 19.-Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
June 20.-No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and feverish.
June 21.-Very ill; frighted almost to death with the apprehensions of my sad con-
dition-to be sick, and no help : prayed to God, for the first time since the storm off Hull,
but scarce knew what I said or why; my thoughts being all confused.


June 22 -A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of sickness.
June 23.-Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent headache.
June 24.-Much better.
June 25 -An ague, very violent; the fit held me seven hours; cold fit, and hot
with faint sweats after it.
June 26.-Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but found myself
very weak; however, I killed a she-goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and
broiled some of it, and ate. I would fain have stewed
it, and made some broth, but had no pot.
June 27.-The ague again so violent that I lay
a-bed all day and neither ate nor drank. I was ready
to perish for thirst; but so weak I had no strength to
stand up, or to get ,e
myself any water "' : ....
to drink. Prayed k .'. ., .
to God again, but f -
was light-headed;
and when I was
not, I was so igno-
rant that I knew
not what to say;
only I lay and
cried, "Lord, look
upon me! Lord,
pity me! Lord, .


have mercy upon me! I suppose I did nothing else
for two or three hours; till the fit wearing off, I fell
asleep, and did not wake till far in the night. When
I awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak,
and exceeding thirsty; however, as I had no water in
my whole habitation, I was forced to lie till morning,
and went to sleep again. In this second sleep, I had
this terrible dream: I thought that I was sitting on
the ground, on the outside of my wall, where I sat
when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I
saw a man descend from a great black cloud, in a
bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground; he was all over as bright as a flame, so
that I could but just bear to look towards him: his countenance was most expressively
dreadful, impossible for words to describe; when he stepped upon the ground with his
feet, I thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all
the air looked to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with flashes of fire. He was
no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved forwards towards me, with a long spear


or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some dis-
tance, he spoke to me-or I heard a voice so terrible that it is impossible to express the
terror of it. All that I can say I understood was this:-" Seeing all these things have
not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die; "-at which words, I thought he
lifted up the spear that was in his hand to kill me.
No one that shall ever read this account will expect that I should be able to describe
the horrors of my soul at this terrible vision. I mean, that even while it was a dream, I
even dreamed of those horrors. Nor is it any more possible to describe the impression
that remained upon my mind when I awaked, and found it was but a dream.
I had, alas! no divine knowledge. What I had received by the good instruction of
my father was then worn out by an uninterrupted series, for eight years, of sea-faring
wickedness, and a constant conversation with none but such as were, like myself, wicked
and profane to the last degree. I do not remember that I had, in all that time, one
thought that so much as tended even 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 hard-
ened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors can be supposed to be-
not having the least sense, either of the fear of God in dangers, or of thankfulness to God
in deliverances.
In relating of what is already past of my story, this will be the more easily believed
when I shall add, that through all the varieties of miseries that had to this day befallen
me, I never had so much as one thought of its being the hand of God, or that it was a
just punishment for my sins-my rebellious behaviour against my father-or my present
sins, which were great-or so much as a punishment for the general course of my wicked
life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert shores of Africa. I never
had so much as one thought of what would become of me, or one wish to God to direct
me whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which apparently surrounded
me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel savages; but I was merely thoughtless of a
God or a Providence-I acted like a mere brute, from the principles of nature, and by
the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly that. When I was delivered and
taken up at sea by the Portugal captain, well used, and dealt justly and honourably with,
as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness in my thoughts. When, again, I
was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on this island, I was as far from
remorse, or looking on it as a judgment. I only said to myself often that I was an
unfortunate dog, and born to be always miserable.
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's crew drowned, and
myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of 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 began, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, with-
out the least reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the Hand which had pre-
served me, and had singled me out to be preserved when all the rest were destroyed, or
an inquiry why Providence had been thus merciful to me. Even just the same common
sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they have got safe ashore after a shipwreck,
all which they drown in the next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over,
and all the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was afterwards, on due considera-
tion, made sensible of my condition, how I was cast on this dreadful place, out of the
reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption, as soon as I
saw a probability of living, and that I should not starve and perish for hunger, all the
sense of my affliction wore off; and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the works
proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from being afflicted at my
condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the hand of God against me: these were
thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.

"It would have made

a stoic smile to have seen me and my Family

sit down to dinner.'

L '

J ;r
'' "''
'" ~~




The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had, at first, some little
influence upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness, as long as I thought it had
something miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was removed,
all the impression which was raised from it wore off also, as I have noted already. Even
the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible in its nature, or more 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 from the second or third day of my distemper; and in the violence, as well
of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some words from
me like praying to God, though I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with de-
sires or with hopes: it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress. My thoughts
were confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror of dying in such a
miserable condition raised vapours into my head with the mere 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 I! If I should be sick, I
shall certainly die for want of help, and what will become of me ?" Then, the tears burst
out of my eyes, and I could say no more for.a good while. In this interval, the good
advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his prediction, which I mentioned
at the beginning of this story, viz., that if I did take this foolish step, God would not
bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel
when there might be none to assist me in my recovery. "Now," said I aloud, "my dear
father's words are come to pass; God's justice has overtaken me, and I have none to
help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a
posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; but I would neither
see it myself, nor learn to know the blessing of it from my parents. I left them to mourn
over my folly; and now I am left to mourn under the consequences of it. I refused
their help and assistance, who would have lifted me into the world, and would have made
everything easy to me; and now I have difficulties to struggle with too great for even
nature itself to support, and no assistance, no help, no comfort, no advice." Then I cried
out, Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress." This was the first prayer, if I might
call it so, that I had made for many years.
But I return to my Journal:-
June 28.-Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had, and the fit
being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright and terror of my dream was very
great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague would return again the next day, and
now was my time to get something to refresh and support myself when I should be ill: and
the first thing I did, I filled a large square case-bottle with water, and set it upon my table,
in reach of my bed: and to take off the chill or aguish disposition of the water, I put
about a quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together. Then I got me a
piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very little. I walked
about, but was very weak, and withal very sad and heavy-hearted in the sense of my miser-
able 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 ate, as we call it,


in the shell, and this was the first bit of meat I had ever asked God's blessing to, even,
as I could remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten, I tried to walk, but found myself so weak that I could hardly
carry the gun, for I never went out without that; so I went out but a little way, and sat
down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and very
calm and smooth. As I sat here, some thoughts such as these occurred to me:-What
is the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much? Whence is it produced And
what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal ? Whence are
we? Sure we are all made by some secret Power, who formed the earth and sea, the
air and sky. And who is that? Then it followed most naturally-" It is God that has
made it all. Well, but then," it came on strongly, if God has made all these things, He
guides and governs them all, and all things that concern them; for the Being that could
make all things must certainly have power to guide and direct them. If so, nothing can
happen, in the great circuit of His works, either without His knowledge or 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 befall me." Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of
these conclusions, and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force, than it must
needs be that God has appointed all this to befall me; that I was brought to this misera-
able circumstance by His direction, He having the sole power, not of me only, but of
everything that happened in the world. Immediately it followed-" Why has God done
this to me ? What have I done to be thus used ?" My conscience presently checked me
in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me like a voice,
" Wretch, dost thou ask what thou hast done ? Look back upon a dreadful misspent
life, and ask thyself, what thou hast not done ? Ask, why is it that thou wert not long
ago destroyed ? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads ? killed in the fight
when the ship was taken by the Sallee man-of-war? devoured by the wild beasts off the
coast of Africa ? or drowned here, when all the crew perished but thyself? Dost thou ask,
'What have I done?'" I .was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonished,
and had not a word to say-no, not to answer to myself-but rose up pensive and sad,
walked back to my retreat, and went up over my wall, as if I had been going to bed;
but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to sleep; so I sat
down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, as the appre-
hension of the return of my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought
that the Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for almost all distempers, and I had
a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, which was quite cured, and some also
that was green, and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt; for in this chest I found a cure both for soul
and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, viz., the tobacco; and as
the few books I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned
before, and which to this time I had not found leisure, or so much as inclination to look
into. I say I took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, or whether it was
good for it or no; but I tried several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should
heal one way or other. I first took a piece of leaf, and chewed it in my mouth, which
indeed, at first, almost stupefied my brain, the tobacco being green and strong, and that I
had not been much used to it. Then I took some and steeped it an hour or two in
some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down; and, lastly, I burnt some
upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close over the smoke of it as long as I could bear
it, as well for the heat as the virtue of it, and I held it almost to suffocation. In the
interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and began to read; but my head was too


much disturbed with the tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only having
opened the book casually, the words first that occurred to me were these, Call upon Me
in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." These words
were very apt to my case, and made some impression upon my thoughts at the time of
reading them, though not so much as they did afterwards; for, as for being delivered,
the word had no sound, as I may say, to me: the thing was so remote, so impossible in
my apprehension of things, that I began to say, as the children of Israel did when they
were promised flesh to eat, Can God spread a table in the wilderness ? so I began to
say, Can God Himself deliver me from this place ? And as it was not for many years
that any hopes appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts; but, however, the
words made a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It grew
now late, and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much that I inclined to
sleep: so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night,
and went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my
life: I kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon
Him in the day of trouble, He would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect
prayer was over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco, which was so
strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could scarcely get it down; immediately
upon this I went to bed; and I found presently it flew up into my head violently; but
I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more till, by the sun, it must necessarily be near
three o'clock in the afternoon the next day; nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion
that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise,
I know not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it
appeared some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and recross-
ing the line, I should have lost more.than one day; but in my account it was lost, and
I never knew which way. Be that, however, one way or other, when I awaked I found
myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I got up I was
stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I was hungry; and, in
short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the better. This
was the 29th.
The 3oth was my well day, of course, and I went abroad with my gun, but did not
care to travel too far. I killed a sea-fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and
brought them home; but was not very forward to eat them; so I ate some more of the
turtle's eggs, which were very good. This evening I renewed the medicine, which I had
supposed did me good the day before, viz., the tobacco steeped in rum; only I did not take
so much as before, nor did I chew any of the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke;
however, I was not so well the next day, which was the Ist of July, as I hoped I should
have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it was not much.
July 2.-I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and dosed myself with it as at
first, and doubled the quantity which I drank.
July 3.-I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not recover my full strength
for some weeks after. While I was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceed-
ingly upon this scripture, "I will deliver thee;" and the impossibility of my deliverance
lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever expecting it; but as I was discouraging my-
self with such thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my deliver-
ance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliverance I had received, and I
was, as it were, made to ask myself such questions as these, viz., Have I not been
delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness ? from the most distressed condition that
could be, and that was so frightful to me ? and what notice had I taken of it ? Had I done
my part? God had delivered me, but I had not glorified Him; that is to say, I had
not owned and been thankful for that as a deliverance; and how could I expect greater


deliverance?" This touched my heart very much; and immediately I kneeled down, and
gave God thanks aloud for my recovery from my sickness.
July 4.-In the morning, I took the Bible; and beginning at the New Testament, I
began seriously to read it, and imposed upon myself to read awhile every morning and
every night; not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my thoughts
should engage me. It was not long after I set seriously to this work, till I found my
heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.
The impression of my dream revived; and the words, All these things have not brought
thee to repentance," ran seriously in my thoughts. I was earnestly begging of God to
give me repentance, when it happened providentially the very day that, reading the Scrip-
ture, I came to these words: He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance
and to give remission." I threw down the book; and with my heart as well as my hands
lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried- out aloud, "Jesus, thou son of
David! Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour! give me repentance!" This was the
first time I could say, in the true sense of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for now
I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a true scripture view of hope, founded
on the encouragement of the Word of God; and from this time, I may say, I began to
have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, Call on Me, and I will
deliver thee," and in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had
no notion of anything being called deliverance but my being delivered from the captivity
I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly a
prison to me, and that in the worse sense in the world. But now I learned to take it in
another sense; now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins
appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load
of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did
not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of no considera-
tion, in comparison of this. And I added this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it,
that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a
much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.
But, leaving this part, I return to my Journal:-
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as to my way of living,
yet much easier to my mind: and my thoughts being directed, by a constant reading the
Scripture and praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great deal of comfort
within, which, till now, I knew nothing of; also, my health and strength returned, I be-
stirred myself to furnish myself with everything that I wanted, and make my way of
living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the I4th, I was chiefly employed in walking about with my
gun in my hand, a little and a little at a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength
after a fit of sickness: for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to what weak-
ness I was reduced. The application which I made use of was perfectly new, and per-
haps what had never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to anyone to
practise, by this experiment; and though it did carry off the fit, yet it rather contributed
to weaken me; for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time. I
learned from it also this, in particular, that being abroad in the rainy season was the most
pernicious thing to my health that could be, especially in those rains which came attended
with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which came in a dry season was
always most accompanied with such storms, so I found this rain was much more danger-
ous than the rain which fell in September and October.
I had now been in this unhappy island above ten months; all possibility of deliverance
from this condition seemed to be entirely taken from me; and I firmly believed that no


human shape had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured my habitation, as I
thought, fully to my mind, I had a great desire to make a more perfect discovery of the
island, and to see what other productions I might find, which yet
I knew nothing of.
It was the 15th of July that I began to take a more particu-
lar survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first, where,
as I hinted, I brought my rafts onshore. I found, after I came
about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any higher; and
that it was no more than a
little brook of running water,
and very fresh and good: but
this being the dry season,
there was hardly any water in
some parts of it; at least, not
enough to run in any stream,
so as it could be perceived.
On the banks of this brook,
I found many pleasant savan-
nahs or meadows, plain,
smooth, and covered with
grass; and on the rising parts
of them, next to the higher
grounds, where the water, as A
it might be supposed, never
overflowed, I found a great
deal of tobacco, green, and
growing to a great and very
strong stalk; there were div-
ers other plants, which I had
no notion of or understanding
about, and might, perhaps,
have virtues of their own,
which I could not find out.
I searched for the cassava
root, which the Indians in all
that climate make their bread
of, but I could find none. I
saw large plants of aloes, but
did not then understand them.
I saw several sugar- '
canes, but wild, and,
for want of cultiva- .
tion, imperfect. I
contented myself with --
these discoveries for ,-
this time, and came ."'
back, musing with myself "THR FIRST THING I MADE WAS A GREAT CAP" (p. 86).
what course I might take to
knbw the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits of plants which I should discover; but
could bring it to no conclusion: for, in short, I had made so little observation while I was
in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants of the field; at least, very little that might
serve me to any purpose now in my distress. 5


The next day, the I6th, I went up the same way again; and after going something
further than I had gone the day before, I found the brook and savannahs cease, and the
country became more woody than before. In this part I found different fruits, and par-
ticularly I found melons upon the ground, in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees:
the vines had spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters of grapes were just now in
their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising discovery, and I was exceedingly
glad of them; but I was warned by experience to eat sparingly of them, remembering
that, when I was ashore in Barbary, the eating of grapes killed several of our English-
men, who were slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers. But I found an
excellent use for these grapes; and that was, to cure or dry them in the sun, and keep
them as dried grapes or raisins are kept, which I thought would be, as indeed they were,
as wholesome and agreeable to eat when no grapes might be had.
I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation; which, by the
way, was the first night, as I might say, I had lain from home. In the night, I took my
first contrivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well; and the next morning pro-
ceeded upon my discovery, travelling nearly four miles, as I might judge by the length
of the valley, keeping still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north side of
me. At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the country seemed to de-
scend to the west; and a little spring of fresh water, which issued out of the side of the
hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due east; and the country appeared so fresh, so
green, so flourishing, everything being in a constant verdure, or flourish of spring, that
it looked like a planted garden. I descended a little on the side of that delicious valley,
surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure, though mixed with other afflicting thoughts,
to think that this was all my own; that I was king and lord of all this country indefea-
sibly, and had a right of possession; and, if I could convey it, I might have it in inheri-
tance as completely as any lord of a manor in England. I saw here abundance of cocoa-
trees, orange and lemon, and citron-trees; but all wild, and few bearing any fruit, at least
not then. However, the green limes that I gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but
very wholesome; and I mixed their juice afterwards with water, which made it very
wholesome, and very cool and refreshing. I found now I had business enough to gather
and carry home; and I resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes as limes and lemons,
to furnish myself for the wet season, which I knew was approaching. In order to do
this, I gathered a great heap of grapes in one place, a lesser heap in another place, and
a great parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of each with me,
I travelled homeward, and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or what I
could make to carry the rest home. Accordingly, having spent three days in this jour-
ney, I came home (so I must now call my tent and my cave); but before I got thither,
the grapes were spoiled, the richness of the fruit, and the weight of the juice, having
broken them and bruised them, they were good for little or nothing: as to the limes, they
were good, but I could bring but a few.
The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made me two small bags to bring
home my harvest; but I was surprised when, coming to my heap of grapes, which were
so rich and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread abroad, trodden to pieces,
and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this
I concluded there were some wild creatures thereabouts, which had done this; but what
they were I knew not. However, as I found there was no laying them up on heaps, and
no carrying them away in a sack, but that one way they would be destroyed, and the
other way they would be crushed with their own weight, I took another course; for I
gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung them upon the out branches of the
trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I car-
ried as many back as I could well stand under.


When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great pleasure the fruit-
fulness of that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation; the security from storm on
that side of the water, and the wood; and concluded that I had pitched upon a place to
fix my abode which was by far the worst part of the country. Upon the whole, I began
to consider of removing my habitation, and to look out for a place equally safe as where
now I was situate, if possible, in that pleasant, fruitful part of the island.
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding fond of it for some time,
the pleasantness of the place tempting me; but when I came to a nearer view of it, I
considered that I was now by the sea-side, where it was at least possible that something
might happen to my advantage; and that the same ill fate that brought me hither, might
bring some other unhappy wretches to the same place; and though it was scarce probable
that any such thing should ever happen, yet to enclose myself among the hills and woods
in the centre of the island was to anticipate my bondage, and to render such an affair not
only improbable, but impossible; and that therefore I ought not by any means to remove.
However, I was so enamoured with this place that I spent much of my time there for the
whole remaining part of the month of July; and though, upon second thoughts, I
resolved as above not to remove, yet I built me a little kind of a bower, and surrounded
it at a distance with a strong fence, being a double hedge, as high as I could reach, well
staked, and filled between with brushwood; and here I lay very secure, sometimes two
or three nights together, always going over it with a ladder as before; so that I fancied
now I had my country house and my.sea-coast house; and this work took me up to the
beginning of August.
I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labour, but the rains
came on, and made me stick close to my first habitation; for though I had made me a
tent like the other, with a piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I had not the
shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a cave behind me to retreat into when the
rains were extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower, and began to
enjoy myself. The 3rd of August, I found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly
dried, and indeed were excellent good raisins of the sun; so I began to take them down
from the trees, and it was very happy that I did so, for the rains which followed would
have spoiled them, and I had lost the best part of my winter food; for I had above two
hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken them all down, and carried
most of them home to my cave, but it began to rain; and from hence, which was the
14th of August, it rained more or less every day till the middle of October, and some-
times so violently that I could not stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family; I had been
concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had
been dead, and I heard no more tidings of her till, to my astonishment, she came home
about the end of August, with three kittens. This was the more strange to me because,
though I had killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was a quite
different kind from our European cats; but the young cats were the same kind of house-
breed as the old one; and both my cats being females, I thought it very strange. But
from these three cats I afterwards came to be so pestered with cats, that I was forced to kill
them like vermin, or wild beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible.
From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain, so that I could not stir, and
was now very careful not to be much wet. In this confinement, I began to be straitened
for food: but venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat; and the last day, which was
the 26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me, and my food was regulated
thus:-I ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast; a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the
turtle, for my dinner, broiled (for, to my great misfortune, I had no vessel to boil or stew
anything), and two or three of the turtle's eggs for supper.


During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two or three hours
at enlarging my cave, and by degrees worked it on towards one side, till I came to the
outside of the hill, and made a door or way out, which came beyond my fence or wall;
and so I came in and out this way. But I was not perfectly easy at lying so open; for,
as I had managed myself before, I was in a perfect enclosure; whereas now, I thought,
I lay exposed, and yet I could not perceive that there was any living thing to fear; the
biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a goat.
Sept. 3o.-I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my landing. I cast up
the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five
days. I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart for religious exercise, prostrating
myself on the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God,
acknowledging his righteous judgment upon me, and praying to him to have mercy on
me through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted the least refreshment for twelve hours,
even till the going down of the sun, I then ate a biscuit-cake and a bunch of grapes, and
went to bed, finishing the day as I began it. I had all this time observed no Sabbath-
day, for as at first I had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after some time,
omitted to distinguish the weeks by making a longer notch than ordinary for the
Sabbath-day and so did not really know what any of the days were; but now, having
cast up the days as above, I found I had been there a year; so I divided it into weeks,
and set apart every seventh day for a Sabbath; though I found at the end of my account
I had lost a day or two in my reckoning. A little after this my ink began to fail me, and
so I contented myself to use it more sparingly, and to write down only the most
remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily memorandum of other things.
The rainy season and the dry season began to now appear regular to me, and
I learned to divide them so as to provide for them accordingly; but I bought all my
experience before I had it, and this I am going to relate was one of the most discour-
aging experiments that I made at all.
I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which I had
so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of themselves; and I believe there were
about thirty stalks of rice, and about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper
time to sow it, after the rains, the sun being in its southern position, going from me.
Accordingly, I dug up a piece of ground as well as I could with my wooden spade, and
dividing it into two parts, I sowed my grain; but as I was sowing, it casually occurred
to my thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not know when
was the proper time for it, so I sowed about two-thirds of the seed, leaving about a
handful of each. It was a greater comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not
one grain of that I sowed this time came to anything; for the dry months following, the
earth having had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth,
and never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and then it grew as if it had
been newly sown. Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imagined was by
the drought, I sought for a moister piece of ground, to make another trial in, and I dug
up another piece of ground near my new bower, and sewed the rest of my seed in Feb-
ruary, a little before the vernal equinox; and this, having the rainy months of March and
April to water it, sprang up very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop; but having
part of the seed left only, and not daring to sow all that I had got, I had but a small
quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind. But by
this experiment I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when the proper
season was to sow, and that I might expect twc seed-times and two harvests every year.
While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, which was of use to me
afterwards. As soon as the rains were over, and the weather began to settle, which was
about the month of November, I made a visit up the country to my bower, where, though



W -


I had not been some months, I found all things just as I left them. The circle or double
hedge that I had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which I had cut off
of some trees that grew thereabouts were all shot out and grown with long branches, as
much as a willow tiee usually shoots the first year after lopping its head. I could not
tell what tree to call it that these stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very
well pleased, to see the young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them up to grow
as much alike as I could; and it is scarcely credible how beautiful a figure they grew into,
in three years; so that though the hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in
diameter, yet the trees, for such I might now call them, soon covered it, and it was a com-
plete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the dry season. This made me resolve to cut
some more stakes, and make me a hedge like this in a semi-circle round my wall (I mean
that of my first dwelling), which I did; and placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at
about eight yards distance from my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a
fine cover to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence also, as I shall observe
in its order.
I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not into sum-
mer and winter as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were
generally thus:-
The half of February, the whole of March, and the half of April-rainy, the sun
being then on or near the equinox.
The half of April, the whole of May, June, and July, and the half of August-dry,
the sun being then to the north of the line.


The half of August, the whole of September, and the half of October-rainy, the
sun being then come back.
The half of October, the whole of November, December, and January, and the
half of February-dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy seasons sometimes held longer or shorter as the winds happened to blow,
but this was the general observation I made. After I had found, by experience, the ill
consequence of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with provisions
beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out, and I sat within doors as much as
possible during the wet months. In this time I found much employment, and very suit-
able also to the time, for I found great occasion of many things which I had no way to
furnish myself with but by hard labour and constant application; particularly I tried
many ways to make myself a basket, but all the twigs I could get for the purpose proved
so brittle that they would do nothing. It proved of excellent advantage to me now that
when I was a boy I used to take great delight in standing at a basket maker's, in the town
where my father lived, to see them make their wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually
are, very officious to help, and a great observer of the manner how they worked those
things, and sometimes lent a hand, I had by this means so full knowledge of the methods
of it that I wanted nothing but the materials; when it came into my mind that the twigs
of that tree from whence I cut my stakes that grew might possibly be as tough as the
sallows, willows, and osiers in England, and I resolved to try. Accordingly, the next day
I went to my country house, as I called it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found
them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came the next time pre-
pared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found, for there was a great
plenty of them. These I set up to dry within my circle of hedges, and when they were
fit for use, I carried them to my cave; and here, during the next season, I employed my-
self in making, as well as I could, a great many baskets, both to carry earth or to carry
or lay up anything, as I had occasion; and though I did not finish them very hand-
somely, yet I made them sufficiently serviceable for my purpose; and thus, afterwards, I
took care never to be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more,
especially strong, deep baskets to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come
to have any quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about it, I bestirred
myself to see, if possible, how to supply two wants. I had no vessel to hold anything
that was liquid except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and some glass bottles
-some of the common size, and others which were case-bottles, square, for the holding
of water, spirits, &c. I had not so much as a pot to bail anything in except a great
kettle, which I saved out of the ship, and which was too big for such uses as I de-
sired it for-viz., to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing
I fain would have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible for me to make one;
however, I found a contrivance for that, too, at last. I employed myself in plant-
ing my second row of stakes or piles, and in this wicker-work, all the summer of dry
season, when another business took me up more time than it could be imagined I
could spare.
I mentioned before that I had a great mind to see the whole island, and that I
had travelled up the brook, and so on to where I built my bower, and where I
had an opening quite to the sea on the other side of the island. I now resolved to
travel right across to the sea-shore on that side; so, taking my gun, a hatchet, and
my dog, and a larger quantity of powder and shot than usual, with two biscuit-cakes
and a great bunch of raisins in my pouch for my store, I began my journey. When I
had passed the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view of the sea
to the west, and it being a very clear day, I fairly described land-whether an island


or a continent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from the W. to the
W.S.W., at a very great distance; by my guess, it could not be less than fifteen or
twenty leagues off.
I could not tell what part of the world this might be, otherwise than that I knew it
must be part of America, and, as I concluded, by all my observations, must be near the
Spanish dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I should have
landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now; and therefore I acquiesced in
the dispositions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe ordered every-
thing for the best; I say I quieted my mind with this, and left afflicting myself with
fruitless wishes of being there.
Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered that if this land was the
Spanish coast, I should certainly, one time or other, see some vessel pass or repass one
way or other; but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish country and
the Brazils, which were indeed the worst of savages; for they are cannibals, and fail not
to murder and devour all the human bodies that fall into their hands.
With these considerations, I walked very leisurely forward. I found that side of the
island where I now was much pleasanter than mine-the open or savannah fields sweet,
adorned with flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods. I sawabundance of parrots,
and fain would I have caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to
speak to me. I did, after some painstaking, catch a young parrot, for I knocked it down
with a stick, and having recovered it, I brought it home; but it was some years before I
could make him speak; however, at last, I taught him to call me by my name very
familiarly. But the accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in
its place.
I was exceedingly diverted with this journey. I found on the low grounds hares
(as I thought them to be) and foxes; but they differed greatly from all the other kinds I
had met with, nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several. But I had
no need to be venturous, for I had no want of food, and of that which was very good,
too, especially these three sorts, viz., goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise, which, added
to my grapes, Leadenhall Market could not have furnished a table better than I, in pro-
portion to the company; and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great
cause for thankfulness that I was not driven to any extremities for food, but had rather
plenty, even to dainties.
I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in a day, or thereabouts;
but I took so many turns and returns to see what discoveries I could make, that I came
weary enough to the place where I resolved to sit down for all night; and then I either
reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes set upright in the
ground, either from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me with-
out waking me.
As soon as I came to the sea-shore I was surprised to see that I had taken up my
lot on the worst side of the island, for here, indeed, the shore was covered with innumer-
able turtles, whereas on the other side I had found but three in a year and a half. Here
was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds, some of which I had not seen before,
and many of them very good meat, but such as I knew not the names of, except those
called penguins.
I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very sparing of my powder and
shot, and therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed
on; and though there were many goats here, more than on the other side of the island,
yet it was with much more difficulty that I could come near them, the country being flat
and even, and they saw me much sooner than when I was on the hills.
I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine; but yet I had


not the least inclination to remove, for as I was fixed in my habitation it became natural
to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to be as it were upon a journey, and from
home. However, I travelled along the shore of the sea towaids the east, I suppose about
twelve miles, and then setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark, I concluded I
would go home again, and that the next journey I took should be on the other side of
the island east from my dwelling, and so round till I came to my post again, of
which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could easily keep all the
island so much in my view, that I could not miss finding my first dwelling by view-
ing the country; but I found myself mistaken, for, being come about two or three miles,
I found myself descended into a very large valley, but so surrounded with hills, and those
hills covered with wood, that I could not see which was my way by any direction but
that of the sun, nor even then, unless I knew very well the position of the sun at that
time of the day. It happened, to my further misfortune, that the weather proved hazy
for three or four days while I was in this valley, and not being able to see the sun, I
wandered about very uncomfortably, and at last was obliged to find out the sea-side, look
for my post, and come back the same way I went: and then, by easy journeys, I
turned homeward, the weather being exceeding hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet,
and other things, very heavy.
In this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it, and I running
in to take hold of it, caught it, and saved it alive from the dog. I had a great mind
to bring it home if I could, for I had often been musing whether it might not be pos-
sible to get a kid or two, and so raise a breed of tame goats, which might supply me
when my powder and shot should be spent. I made a collar to this little creature, and
with a string, which I made of some rope yarn, which I always carried about me, I led
him along, though with some difficulty, till I came to my bower, and there I enclosed
him and left him, for I was very impatient to be at home, from whence I had been
absent above a month.
I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my old hutch, and lie
down in my hammock-bed. This little wandering journey, without settled place of abode,
had been so unpleasant to me that my own house, as I called it to myself, was a perfect
settlement to me, compared to that; and it rendered everything about me so comfortable,
that I resolved I would never go a great way from it again, while it should be my lot to
stay on the island.
I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long journey; dur-
ing which, most of the time was taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage for my
Poll, who began now to be a mere domestic, and to be mighty well acquainted with me.
Then I began to think of the poor kid which I had pent in within my little circle, and
resolved to go and fetch it home, or give it some food; accordingly I went, and found it
where I had left it, for indeed it could not get out, but was almost starved for want of
food. I went and cut boughs of trees, and branches of such shrubs as I could find, and
threw them over, and having fed it, I tied it as I did before, to lead it away; but it was so
tame with being hungry that I had no need to have tied it, for it followed me like a dog;
and as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving, so gentle, and so fond, that it
became from that time one of my domestics also, and would never leave me afterwards.
The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, and I kept the 3oth of
September in the same solemn manner as before, being the anniversary of my landing on the
island, having now been there for two years, and no more prospect of being delivered
than the first day I came there. I spent the whole day in humble and thankful acknowl-
edgments of the many wonderful mercies which my solitary condition was attended with,
and without which it might have been infinitely more miserable. I gave humble and


hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me that it was possible I might
be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have been in a liberty of society,
and in all the pleasures of the world: that He could fully make up to me the deficiencies
of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by His presence, and the communi-
cation of His grace to my soul; supporting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend
upon His providence here, and hope for His eternal presence hereafter.
It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy the life I now led
was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led

A -


all the past part of my days; and now having changed both my sorrows and my joys, my
very desires altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my delights were perfectly
new from what they were at first coming, or, indeed, for the two years past.
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the
anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very
heart would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and
how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an unin-
habited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composure of my
habited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composure of my

mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring my hands, and
weep like a child: sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work, and I would
immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for an hour or two together;
and this was still worse to me, for if I could burst out into tears, or vent myself by words,
it would go off, and the grief having exhausted itself would abate.
But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of
God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad,
I opened the Bible upon these words, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Imme-
diately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such
a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken
of God and man ? Well, then," said I, if God does not forsake me, of what ill conse-
quence can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all forsake me, seeing on
the other hand, if I had all the world, and should lose the favour and blessing of God,
there would be no comparison in the loss? "
From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be
more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it was probable I should ever have
been in any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give
thanks to God for bringing me to this place. I know not what it was, but something shocked
my mind at that thought, and I durst not speak the words. How canst thou become such
a hypocrite," said I, even audibly, "to pretend to be thankful for a condition which, how-
ever thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, thou wouldst rather pray heartily to be
delivered from ?" So I stopped there: but though I could not say I thanked God for
being there, yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by whatever afflict-
ing providence, to see the former condition of my life, and to mourn for my wickedness,
and repent. I never opened the Bible, or shut it, but my very soul within me blessed God
for directing my friend in England, without any order of mine, to pack it up among my
goods, and for assisting me afterwards to save it out of the wreck of the ship.
Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year; and though I have not
given the reader the trouble of so particular an account of my works this year as the first,
yet in general it may be observed that I was very seldom idle, but having regularly
divided my time according to several daily employment that were before me, such as,
first, my duty to God, and the reading the Scriptures, which I constantly set apart some
time for, thrice every day; secondly, the going abroad with my gun for food, which gen-
erally took up three hours in every morning, when it did not rain; thirdly, the ordering,
curing, preserving, and cooking what I had killed or caught for my supply: these took
up great part of the day; also, it is to be considered that in the middle of the day, when
the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was too great to stir out; so that about
four hours in the evening was all the time I could be supposed to work in, with this ex-
ception, that sometimes I changed my hours of hunting and working, and went to work
in the morning, and abroad with my gun in the afternoon.
To this short time allowed for labour, I desire may be added the exceeding labori-
ousness of my work; the many hours which for want of tools, want of help, and want of
skill, everything I did took up out of my time: for example, I was full two-and-forty days
in making a board for a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave; whereas, two sawyers,
with their tools and a saw-pit, would have cut six of them out of the same tree in half a day.
My case was this: it was to be a large tree which was to be cut down, because my
board was to be a broad one. This treeI was three days in cutting down, and two more
cutting off the boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. With inexpressible
hacking and hewing, I reduced both the sides of it into chips till it began to be light
enough to move; then I turned it, and made one side of it smooth and flat as a board
from end to end; then turning that side downward, cut the other side till I brought the



plank to be about three inches thick, and smooth on both sides. Any one may judge the
labour of my hands in such a piece of work; but labour and patience carried me through
that, and many other things; I only observe this in particular, to show the reason why
so much of my time went away with so little work, viz., that what might be a little to be
done with help and tools, was a vast labour and required a prodigious time to do alone,
and by hand. But notwithstanding this, with patience and labour, I went through many
things, and indeed everything that my circumstances made necessary to me to do, as
will appear by what follows.
I was now in the months of November and December, expecting my crop of barley
and rice. 1 he ground I had manured or dug up for them was not great; for, as I ob-
served, my seed of each was not above the quantity of half a peck, for I had lost one
whole crop by sowing in the dry season: but now my crop promised very well, when on
a sudden I found I was in danger of losing it all again by enemies of several sorts, which
it was scarcely possible to keep from it; as, first, the goats, and wild creatures which I
called hares, which, tasting the sweetness of the blade, lay in it night and day, as soon
as it came up, and ate it so close that it could get no time to shoot up into stalk.
This I saw no remedy for but by making an enclosure about it with a hedge: which
I did with a great deal of toil, and the more because it required a great deal of speed;
the creatures daily spoiling my corn. However, as my arable land was but small, suited
to my crop, I got it totally well fenced in about three weeks' time; and shooting some of
the creatures in the day time, I set my dog to guard it in the night, tying him up to a stake
at the gate, where he would stand and bark all night long; so in a little time the enemies
forsook the place, and the corn grew very strong and well, and began to ripen apace.


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


First, I had no plough to turn up the earth; no spade
S or shovel to dig it. Well, this I conquered by making me a
wooden spade, as I observed before; but this did my work
but in a wooden manner; and though it cost me a great
many days to make it, yet for want of iron, it not only wore
out the sooner, but made my work the harder, and made it be
Performed much worse. However, this I bore with too, and
was content to work it out with patience, and bear with the
badness of the performance. When
a the corn was sown, I had no harrow,
--'i-'\g but was forced to go over it myself,
and drag a great heavy bough of a tree
-j over it, to scratch it, as it may be
S. ' called, rather than rake or harrow it.
SWhen it was growing, or grown, I
Shave observed already how many
.. .T things I wanted to fence it, secure it,
mow or reap it, cure and carry it
? home, thrash, part it from the chaff,
and save it. Then I wanted a mill to
grind it, sieves to dress it, yeast and
Salt to make it into bread, and an
oven to bake it in; and all these
things I did without, as shall be
observed; and yet the corn was an
inestimable comfort and advantage to
me too. But this, as I said, made
"MY COUNTRY SEAT (f. 90). everything laborious and tedious to
me; but that there was no help for.
Neither was my time so much loss to
me, because, as I had divided it, a certain part of it was every day appointed to these
works; and as I had resolved to use none of the corn for bread till I had a greater quan-
tity by me, I had the next six months to apply myself wholly, by labour and invention,
to furnish myself with utensils proper for the performing all the operations necessary for
making the corn, when I had it, fit for my use.
But first I was to prepare more land, for I had now seed enough to sow above an acre
of ground. Before I did this, I had a week's work at least to make me a spade, which,
when it was done, was but a sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required double
labour to work with it. However, I went through that, and sowed my seed in two large
flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could find them to my mind, and fenced them
in with a good hedge, the stakes of which were all cut of that wood which I had set before,
which I knew would grow; so that, in one year's time I knew I should have a quick or
living hedge, that would want but little repair. This work was not so little as to take me
up less than three months, because a great part of that time was of the wet season, when
I could not go abroad.' Withindoor-that is, when it rained and I could not go out-I
found employment in the following occupations, always observing, that all the while I was
at work I diverted myself with talking to my parrot, and teaching him to speak; and I
quickly learnt him to know his own name, and at last to speak it out pretty loud-" Poll,"
which was the first word I ever heard spoken in the island by any mouth but my own.
This, therefore was not my work, but an assistant to my work; for, as I said, I had a great
employment upon my hands, as follows-viz., I had long studied, by some means or other,


to make myself some earthen vessels, which, indeed, I wanted sorely, but knew not where
to come at them. However, considering the heat of the climate, I did not doubt but if I
could find out any clay, I might botch up some such pot as might, being dried by the sun,
be hard enough and strong enough to bear handling, and to hold anything that was dry,
and required to be kept so; and as this was necessary in preparing corn, meal, &c., which
was the thing I was upon, I resolved to make some as large as I could, and fit only to stand
like jars, to hold what should be put into them.
It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, to tell how many awkward
ways I took to raise this paste; what odd, misshapen, ugly things I made; how many of
them fell in, and how many fell out-the clay not being stiff enough to bear its own
weight; how many cracked by the over-violent heat of the sun, being set out too hastily;
and how many fell to pieces with only removing, as well before as after they were dried;
and, in a word, how, after having laboured hard to find the clay-to dig it, to temper it,
bring it home, and work it-I could not make above two large earthen ugly things (I
cannot call them jars) in about two months' labour.
However, as the sun baked these two very dry and hard, I lifted them very gently up,
and set them down again in two great wicker baskets, which I had made on purpose for
them, that they might not break; and as between the pot and the basket there was a
little room to spare, I stuffed it full of the rice and barley straw ; and these two pots being
to stand always dry, I thought would hold my dry corn, and perhaps the meal, when the
corn was bruised.
Though I miscarried so much in my design for large pots, yet I made several smaller
things with better success; such as little round pots, flat dishes, pitchers, and pipkins, and
anything my hand turned to; and the heat of the sun baked them strangely hard.
But all this would not answer my end,which was to get an earthen pot to hold what
was liquid, and bear the fire-which none of these could do. It happened after some
time, making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat, when I went to put it out after I
had done with it, I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels in the fire,
burnt as hard as a stone, and red as a tile. I was agreeably surprised to see it, and said
to myself, that certainly they might be made to burn whole, if they would burn broken.
This set me to study how to order my fire, so as to make it burn me some pots. I
I had no notion of a kiln, such as the potters burn in, or of glazing them with lead, though
I had some lead to do it with; but I placed three large pipkins, and two or three pots, in
a pile, one upon another, and placed my firewood all round it with a great heap of embers
under them. I plied the fire with fresh fuel round the outside and upon the top till I saw
the pots in the inside red-hot quite through, and observed that they did not crack at all.
When I saw them clear red, I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours, till I
found one of them, though it did not crack, did melt or run; for the-sand which was
mixed with the clay melted by the violence of the heat, and would have run into glass if
I had gone on; so I slaked my fire gradually till the pots began to abate of the red
colour; and, watching them all night, that I might not let the fire abate too fast, in the
morning I had three very good (I will not say handsome) pipkins, and two other earthen
pots, as hard burnt as could be desired, and one of them perfectly glazed with the running
of the sand.
After this experiment, I need not say that I wanted no sort of earthenware for my
use; but I must needs say, as to the shapes of them, they were very indifferent, as any
one may suppose, when I had no way of making them but as the children make dirt pies,
or as a woman would make pies that never learned to raise paste.
No joy at a thing of so mean a nature was ever equal to mine, when I found I had
made an earthen pot that would bear the fire, and I had hardly patience to stay till they
were cold before I set one on the fire again, with some water in it, to boil me some meat,


which it did admirably well; and with a piece of a kid I made some very good broth,
though I wanted oatmeal and several other ingredients requisite to make it as good as I
would have had it.
My next concern was to get me a stone mortar to stamp or beat some corn in; for as
to the mill, there was no thought of arriving to that perfection of art with one pair of
hands. To supply this want, I was at a great loss, for, of all the trades in the world, I
was as perfectly unqualified for a stone-cutter as for any whatever, neither had I any tools
to go about it with. I spent many a day to find out a great stone big enough to cut
hollow, and make fit for a mortar, and could find none at all, except what was in the solid
rock, and which I had noway to dig or cut out; nor, indeed, were the rocks in the island
of hardness sufficient, but were all of a sandy, crumbling stone, which would neither bear
the weight of a heavy pestle, nor would break the corn without filling it with sand. So,
after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave it over, and resolved to
look out for a great block of ha- d wood, which I found, indeed, much easier; and getting
one as big as I had strength to stir, I rounded it and formed it on the outside with my axe
and hatchet, and then, with the help of fire and infinite labour, made a hollow place in
it, as the Indians in Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a great heavy pestle,
or beater, of the wood called the iron-wood; and this I prepared and laid by against I
had my next crop of corn, which I proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, my corn
or meal, to make bread.
My next difficulty was to make a sieve, or sierce, to dress my meal, and to part it
from the bran and husk; without which I did not see it possible I could have any bread.
This was a most difficult thing, so much as but to think on; for to be sure I had nothing
like the necessary things to make it with-I mean fine canvas or stuff to sierce the meal
through. And here I was at a full stop for many months, nor did I really know what to
do. Linen I had none left but what was mere rags. I had goats'-hair, but neither knew
I how to weave or spin it; and had I known how, here were no tools to work it with.
All the remedy that I found for this was, that at last I did remember I had, among the sea-
men's clothes which were saved out of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or muslin;
and with some pieces of these I made three small sieves, but proper enough for the work;
and thus I made shift for some years. How I did afterwards I shall show in its place.
The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and how I should make bread
when I came to have corn; for, first, I had no yeast. As to that part, as there was no
supplying the want, so I did not concern myself much about it. But for an oven I was
indeed in great pain. At length I found out an experiment for that also, which was this:
I made some earthen vessels very broad, but not deep; that is to say, about two feet in
diameter and not above nine inches deep; these I burned in the fire as I had done the
other, and laid them by; and when I wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon the hearth,
which I had paved with some square tiles, of my own making and burning also. But I
should not call them square.
When the firewood was burned pretty much into embers, or live coals, I drew them
forward upon this hearth, so as to cover it all over, and there I let them lie till the hearth
was very hot; then sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf or loaves, and
whelming down the earthen pot upon them, drew the embers all round the outside of
the pot, to keep in and add to the heat; and thus, as well as in the best oven in the world, I
baked my barley-loaves, and became in a little time, a good pastrycook into the bargain;
for I made myself several cakes and puddings of the rice. Indeed, I made no pies,
neither had I anything to put into them, supposing I had, except the flesh either of fowls
or goats.
It need not be wondered at if all these things took me up most part of the third year
of my abode here; for, it is to be observed that, in the intervals of these things, I hadmy


new harvest and husbandry to manage; for I reaped my corn in its season, and carried it
home as well as I could, and laid it up in the ear, in my large baskets, till I had time to
rub it out, for I had no floor to thrash it on, or instrument to thrash it with.
And now, indeed, my stock of corn increasing, I really wanted to build my barns,
bigger. I wanted a place to lay it up in, for the increase of the corn now yielded me so'
much that I had of the barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice as much, or more;
insomuch that I now resolved to begin to use it freely, for my bread had been quite gone
a great while; also I resolved to see what quantity would be sufficient for me a whole year,
and to sow but once a year.
Upon the whole, I found that the forty bushels of barley and rice were much more
than I could consume in a year; so I.resolved to sow just the same quantity every year
that I sowed the last, in hopes that such a quantity would fully provide me with bread, &c.
All the time these things were doing, you may be sure my thoughts ran many times
upon the prospect of land which I had seen from the other side of the island; and I was
not without secret wishes that I were on shore there, fancying that, seeing the main-land
and an inhabited country, I might find some way or other to convey myself farther, and
perhaps at last find some means of escape.
But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such a condition and how
I might fall into the hands of savages, and perhaps such as I might have reason to think
far worse than the lions and tigers of Africa; that if I once came into their power I should
run a hazard of more than a thousand to one of being killed, and perhaps of being eaten;
for I had heard that the people of the Carribbean coast were cannibals, or men-eaters, and
I knew by the latitude that I could not be far off from that shore; that, suppose they were
not cannibals, yet they might kill me, as many Europeans who had fallen into their hands
had been served, even when they had been ten or twenty together-much more I, that
was but one, and could make little or no defence. All these things, I say, which I ought
to have considered well of, and I did cast up in my thoughts afterwards, yettook up none
of my apprehensions at first, and my head ran mightily upon the thought of getting over
to that shore.
Now, I wished for my boy Xury, and the long-boat with the shoulder-of-mutton sail,
with which I sailed above a thousand miles on the coast of Africa; but this was in vain.
Then I thought I would go and look at our ship's boat, which, as I have said, was blown
up upon the shore a great way in the storm, when we were first cast away. She lay almost
where she did at first, but not quite; and was turned, by the force of the waves and the
winds, almost bottom upward against a high ridge of beachy, rough sand, but no water
about her as before. If I had had hands to have refitted her, and to have launched her
into the water, the boat would have done well enough, and I might have gone back into
the Brazils with her easily enough; but I might have easily foreseen that I could no more
turn her and set her upright upon her bottom than I could remove the island. However,
I went to the wood, and cut levers and rollers, and brought them to the boat; resolved
to try what I could do, suggesting to myself that if I could but turn her down, I might
easily repair the damage she had received and she would be a very good boat, and I might
go to sea in her very easily.
I spared no pains, indeed, in this piece of fruitless toil, and spent, I think, three or
four weeks about it. At last, finding it impossible to heave it up with my little strength,
I fell to digging away the sand, to undermine it, and so to make it fall down, setting pieces
of wood to thrust and guide it right in the fall.
But when I had done this, I was unable to stir it-up again, or to get under it, much
less to move it forward towards the water; so I was forced to give it over; and yet,
though I gave over the hopes of the boat, my desire to venture over for the main increased,
rather than decreased, as the means for it seemed impossible.


This at length put me upon
thinking whether it was not pos-
sile to make myself a canoe, or
periagua, such as the natives of
those climates make, even with-
out tools, or as I might say,
without hands-viz., of the trunk
of a great tree. This I not only
thought possible, but easy, and
pleased myself extremely with
my thoughts of making it, and i
with my having much more con-
venience for it than any of the
Negroes or Indians: but not at
all considering the particular in-
conveniences which I lay under
more than the Indians did, viz.,
want of hands to move it into
the Water when it was made, a
difficulty much harder for me to "MY GOATS WANTED
surmount than all the consequen- TO BE MILKED" (0. 0io).
ces of want of tools could be to
them. For what was it to me
that when I had chosen a vast
tree in the woods, I might with
great trouble cut it down, if I might be able with my tools to hew and dub the outside
into the proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut out the inside to make it hollow, so as
to make a boat of it-if, after all this, I must leave it just there were I found it, and was
not able to launch it into the water ?
One would have thought I could not have had the least reflection upon my mind
of my circumstances while I was making this boat, but I should have immediately
thought how I should get it into the sea; but my thoughts were so intent upon my
voyage over the sea in it, that I never once considered how I should get it off the land;
and it was really, in its own nature, more easy for me to guide it over forty-five miles of
sea, than about forty-five fathoms of land, where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.
I went to work upon this boat the most like a fool that ever man did, who had any
of his senses awake. I pleased myself with the design, without determining whether I
was ever able to undertake it; not but that the difficulty of launching my boat came
often into my head; but I put a stop to my inquiries into it, by this foolish answer,
which I gave myself: Let me first make it; I warrant I shall find some way or other
to get it along when it is done."
This was a most preposterous method; but the eagerness of my fancy prevailed,
and to work I went, and felled a cedar-tree. I question much whether Solomon ever
had such a one for the building of the Temple of Jerusalem; it was five feet ten inches
diameter at the lower part next the stump, and four feet eleven inches diameter at the
end of twenty-two feet; after which it lessened for a while, and then parted into
branches. It was not without infinite labour that I felled this tree. I was twenty days
hacking and hewing, at it at the bottom ; I was fourteen more getting the branches and
limbs and the vast spreading head of it cut off, which I hacked and hewed through with
axe and hatchet, and inexpressible labour; after this it cost me a month to shape it and
dub it to a proportion, and to something like the bottom of a boat, that it might swim


upright as it ought to do. It cost me near three months more to clear the inside, and
work it out so as to make an exact boat of it; this I did, indeed without fire, by mere
mallet and chisel, and by the dint of hard labour, till I had brought it to be a very hand-
some periagua, and big enough to have carried six-and-twenty-men, and consequently
big enough to have carried me and all my cargo.
When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it. The boat
was really much bigger than ever I saw a canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree,
in my life. Many a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure-for there remained noth-
ing but to get it into the water; and had I gotten it into the water, I make no question
but I should have begun the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed,
that ever was undertaken.
But all my devices to get it into the water failed me; though they cost infinite
labour too. It lay about one hundred yards from the water, and not more; but the first
inconvenience was, it was up-hill towards the creek. Well, to take away this discourage-
ment, I resolved to dig into the surface of the earth, and so make a declivity. This I
began, and it cost me a prodigious deal of pains (but who grudge pains that have their
deliverance in view?); but when this was worked though, and this difficulty managed, it
was still much at one, for I could no more stir the canoe than I could the other boat.
Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a dock or canal, to bring
the water up to the canoe, seeing I could not bring the canoe down to the water.
Well, I began this work; and when I began to enter into it, and calculate how deep it
was to be dug, how broad, how the stuff was to be thrown out, I found that, by the
number of hands I had, being none but my own, it must have been ten or twelve years
before I could have gone through with it; for the shore lay so high, that at the upper
end it must have been at least twenty feet deep; so at length, though with great
reluctancy, I gave this attempt over also.
This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning
a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to
go through with it.
In the middle of this work, I finished my fourth year in this place, and kept my
anniversary with the same devotion, and with as much comfort as ever before; for, by a
constant study and serious application of the Word of God, and by the assistance of His
grace, I gained a different knowledge from what I had before. I entertained different
notions of things. I looked now upon the world as a thing remote, which I had nothing
to do with, no expectation from, and, indeed, no desires about; in a word, I had nothing
indeed to do with it, nor was ever likely to have. So I thought it looked, as we may
perhaps look upon it hereafter, viz., as a place I had lived in, but was come out of it;
and well might I say, as Father Abraham to Dives, "Between me and thee is a great
gulf fixed."
In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of the world here; I had
neither the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, nor the pride of life. I had nothing to
covet, for I had all I was now capable of enjoying; I was lord of the whole manor; or,
if I pleased, I might call myself king or emperor over the whole country which I had
possession of. There were no rivals; I had no competitor, none to dispute sovereignty
or command with me. I might have raised ship-loadings of corn, but I had no use for
it; so I let as little grow as I thought enough for my occasion. I had tortoises or tur-
tles enough, but now and then one was as much as I could put to any use; I had timber
enough to have built a fleet of ships; and I had grapes enough to have made wine, or
to have cured into raisins, to have loaded that fleet when it had been built.
But all I could make use of was all that was valuable ; I had enough to eat and
supply my wants, and what was all the rest to me ? If I killed more flesh than I could


eat, the dog must eat it, or the vermin; if I sowed more corn than I could eat, it must
be spoiled; the trees that I cut down were lying to rot on the ground ; I could make no
more use of them than for fuel, and that I had no occasion for but to dress my food.
In a word, the nature and experience of things dictated to me, upon just reflection,
that all the good things of this world are no further good to us than they are for our
use; and that, whatever we may heap up indeed to give others, we enjoy just as much as
we can use, and no more. The most covetous, griping miser in the world would have
been cured of the vice of covetousness, if he had been in my case; for I possessed infin-
itely more than I knew what to do with. I had no room for desire, except it was of
things which I had not, and they were but trifles, though, indeed, of great use to me. I
had, as I hinted before, a parcel of money, as well gold as silver, about thirty-six pounds
sterling. Alas! there the nasty, sorry, useless stuff lay! I had no manner of business
for it; and often thought with myself, that I would have given a handful of it for a gross
of tobacco-pipes; or for a hand-mill to grind my corn; nay, I would have given it all
for a sixpenny-worth of turnip and carrot seed out of England, or a handful of peas and
beans, and a bottle of ink. As it was, I had not the least advantage by it or benefit from
it; but there it lay in a drawer, and grew mouldy with the damp of the cave in the wet
seasons; and if I had had the drawer full of diamonds, it had been the same case, they
had been of no manner of value to me, because of no use.
I had now brought my state of life to be much easier in itself than it was at first,
and much easier to my mind, as well as to my body. I frequently sat down to meat with
thankfulness, and admired the hand of God's providence, which had thus spread my
table in the wilderness. I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition,
and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I had enjoyed rather than what I
wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them;
and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who
cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see and covet some-
thing that he has not given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to
me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.
Another reflection was of great use to me, and doubtless would be so to anyone
that should fall into such distress as mine was; and this was, to compare my present con-
dition with what I expected it would be; nay, with what it would certainly have been, if the
good providence of God had not wonderfully ordered the ship to be cast up nearer to the
shore, where I not only could come at her, but could bring what I got out of her to the
shore, for my relief and comfort; without which, I had wanted for tools to work, weapons
for defence, and gunpowder and shot for getting my food.
I spent whole hours, I may say whole days, in representing to myself, in the most
lively colours, how I must have acted if I had got nothing out of the ship. How I
could not have so much as got any food, except fish and turtles; and that, as it was long
before I found any of them, I must have perished first; that I should have lived, if I had
not perished, like a mere savage; that if I had killed a goat or a fowl, by any contriv-
ance, I had no way to flay or open it, or part the flesh from the skin and the bowels, or
to cut it up; but must gnaw it with my teeth, and pull it with my claws like a beast.
These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of Providence to me, and
very thankful for my present condition, with all its hardships and misfortunes; and this
part also I cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, in their misery,
to say, Is any affliction like mine?" Let them consider how much worse the cases of
some people are, and their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit.
I had another reflection, which assisted me also to comfort my mind with hopes;
and this was comparing my present situation with what I had deserved, and had therefore
reason to expect from the hand of Providence. I had lived a dreadful life, perfectly des-


titute of the knowledge and fear of God. I had been well instructed by father and
mother; neither had they been wanting to me, in their early endeavours to infuse a re-
ligious awe of God into my mind, a sense of my duty, and what the nature and end of
my being required of me. But, alas! falling early into the seafaring life, which, of all
lives, is the most destitute of the fear of God, though His terrors are always before them
-I say, falling early into seafaring life, and into the seafaring company, all that little sense
of religion which I had entertained was laughed out of me by my messmates; by a hardened
despising of dangers, and the views of death, which grew habitual to me; by my long
absence from all manner of opportunities to converse with anything but what was like my-
self, or to hear anything that was good or tended towards it.
So void was I of everything that was good, or of the least sense of what I was, or
was to be; that, in the greatest deliverances I enjoyed-such as my escape from Sallee;
my being taken up by the Portuguese master of the ship; my being planted so well in the
Brazils; my receiving the cargo from England, and the like-I never once had the words,
"Thank God!" so much as on my mind, or in my mouth; nor in the greatest distress
had I so much thoughts to pray to him, or so much as to say, Lord, have mercy upon
me! no, not to mention the name of God, unless it was to swear by and blaspheme it.
I had terrible reflections upon my mind for many months, as I have already observed,
on the account of my wicked and hardened life past; and when I looked about me, and
considered what particular providence had attended me since my coming into this place,
and how God had dealt bountifully with me-bad not only punished me less than my
iniquity had deserved, but had so plentifully provided for me-this gave me great hopes
that my repentance was accepted, and that God had yet mercies in store for me.
With these reflections, I worked my mind up, not only to a resignation to the will
of God in the present disposition of my circumstances, but even t- a sincere thankfulness
for my condition; and that I, who was yet a living man, ought not to complain, seeing I
had not the due punishment of my sins. That I enjoyed so many mercies which I
had no reason to have expected in that place; that I ought never more to repine at my
-condition, but to rejoice, and to give daily thanks fur that daily bread, which nothing but
a crowd of wonders could have brought; that I ought to consider I had been fed even by a
miracle, even as great as that of feeding Elijah by ravens-nay, by a long series of mir-
acles. And that I could hardly have named a place in the uninhabited part of the world
where I could have been cast more to my advantage; a place where, as I had no society,
which was my affliction on one hand, so I found no ravenous beasts, no furious wolves or
tigers, to threaten my life; no venomous creatures, or poisonous, which I might feed on
to my hurt; no savages to murder and devour me. In a word, as my life was a life of
sorrow one way, so it was a life of mercy another; and I wanted nothing to make it a
life of comfort, but to be able to make any sense of God's goodness to me, and care over
me in this condition, be my daily consolation; and after I made a just improvement of
these things, I went away, and was no more sad. I had now been here so long, that
many things which I brought on shore for my help were either quite gone, or very much
wasted and near spent.
My ink, as I observed, had been gone some time, all but a very little, which I eked
out with water, a little and a little, till it was so pale, it scarce left any appearance of
black upon the paper. As long as it lasted, I made use of it to minute down the days
of the month on which any remarkable thing happened to me; and first, by casting up
times past, I remembered that there was a strange concurrence of days in the various
providence which befell me, and which, if I had been superstitiously inclined to observe
days as fatal or fortunate, I might have had reason to have looked upon with a great
deal of curiosity.
First, I had observed, that the same day that I broke away from my father and my


_. .

4;~~~t -



friends, and ran away to Hull, in order to go to sea, the same day afterwards I was taken
by the Sallee man-of-war, and made a slave; the same day of the year that I escaped out
of the. wreck of that ship in Yarmouth Roads, that same day of the year afterwards I made
my escape from Sallee in a boat; the same day of the year I was born on-viz., the 20th
of September-the same day I had my life so miraculously saved twenty-six years after,
when I was cast on shore in this island; so that my wicked life and solitary life began both
on a day.
The next thing to my ink being wasted, was that of my bread-I mean the biscuit
which I brought out of the ship. This I had husbanded to the last degree, allowing
myself but one cake of bread a day for above a year; and yet I was quite without bread
for a year before I got any corn of my own; and great reason I had to be thankful that I
had any at all, the getting it being, as has been already observed, next to miraculous.
My clothes, too, began to decay mightily; as to linen, I had had none a good while,
except some chequered shirts which I found in the chests of the other seamen, and which
I carefully preserved; because many times I could bear no other clothes on but a shirt;
and it was a very great help to me that I had, among all the men's clothes of the ship,


almost three dozen of shirts. There were also several thick watch-coats of the seamen's
which were left behind, but they were too hot to wear; and though it is true that the
weather was so violently hot that there was no need of clothes, yet I could not go quite
naked-no, though I had been inclined to it, which I was not; nor could I abide the
thoughts of it, though I was alone. One reason why I could not go naked was, I could
not bear the heat of the sun so well when quite naked as with some clothes on; nay, the
very heat frequently blistered my skin; whereas, with a shirt on, the air itself made some
motion, and, whistling under the shirt, was twofold cooler than without it. No more could
I ever bring myself to go out in the heat of the' sun without a cap or a hat; the heat of
the sun, beating with such violence as it does in that place, would give me the headache
presently, by darting so directly on my head, without a hat or cap on, so that I could not
bear it; whereas, if I put on my hat, it would presently go away.
Upon these views, I began to consider about putting the few rags I had, which I
'called clothes, into some order. I had worn out all the waistcoats I had, and my
business was now to try if I could not make jackets out of the great watch-coats which I
had by me, and with such other materials as I had; so I set to work tailoring, or rather,
indeed, botching, for I made most piteous work of it. However, I made shift to make
two or three waistcoats, which I hoped would serve me a great while; as for breeches
or drawers, I made but a very sorry shift indeed till afterwards.
I have mentioned that I saved the skins of all the creatures that I killed-I mean
four-footed ones-and I had them hung up, stretched out with sticks, in the sun, by which
means some of them were so dry and hard that they were fit for little; but others, it seems,
were very useful. The first thing I made of these was a great cap for my head, with the
hair on the outside, to shoot off the rain; and this I performed so well that, after, I made
me a suit of clothes wholly of these skins-that is to say, a waistcoat, and breeches open
at the knees, and both loose, for they were rather wanting to keep me cool than to keep
me warm. I must not omit to acknowledge that they were wretchedly made; for if I was
a bad carpenter, I was a worse tailor. However, they were such as I made very good shift
with, and when I was abroad, if it happened to rain, the hair of the waistcoat and cap being
outermost, I was kept very dry.
After this, I spent a great deal of time and pains to make an umbrella. I was indeed
in great want of one, and had a great mind to make one. I had seen them made in the
Brazils, where they are very useful in the great heats which are there, and I felt the heats
every jot as great here, and greater too, being nearer the equinox; besides, as I was obliged
to be much abroad, it was a most useful thing to me, as well for the rains as the heat. I
took a world of pains at it, and was a great while before I could make anything likely to
hold; nay, after I thought I had hit the way, I spoiled two or three before I made one to
my mind. But at last I made one that answered indifferently well; the main difficulty I
found was to make it to let down. I could make it spread, but if it did not let down too.
and draw in, it would not be portable for me any way but just over my head, which would
not do. However, at last, as I said, I made one to answer. I covered it with skins, the
hair upwards, so that it cast off the rain like a pent-house, and kept off the sun so effectually
that I could walk out in the hottest of the weather with greater advantage than I could
before in the coolest, and when I had no need of it, I could close it, and carry it under
my arm.
Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being entirely composed by resigning
to the will of God, and throwing myself wholly upon the disposal of His providence.
This made my life better than sociable, for when I began to regret the want of conversa-
tion, I would ask myself, whether thus conversing mutually with my own thoughts, and
(as I hope I may say) with even my Maker, by ejaculations and petitions was not better
than the utmost enjoyment of human society in the world ?


I cannot say that, after this, for five years, any extraordinary thing happened to me,
but I lived on in the same course, in the same posture and place, just as before. The
chief thing I was employed in, besides my yearly labour of planting my barley and rice,
and curing my raisins-of both which I always kept up just enough to have sufficient
stock of the year's provision beforehand-I say, besides this yearly labour, and my daily
labour of going out with my gun, I had one labour, to make me a canoe, which at last I
finished; so that, by digging a canal to it of six feet wide and four deep, I brought it into
the creek, almost half a mile. As for the first, which was so vastly big, as I made it
without considering beforehand, as I ought to do, how I should be able to launch it, so,
never being able to bring it into the water, or bring the water to it, I was obliged to let
it lie where it was, as a memorandum to teach me to be wiser the next time. Indeed, the
next time, though I could not get a tree.proper for it, and was in a place where I could
not get the water to it at any less distance than, as I have said, of near half a mile, yet, as
I saw it was practicable at last, I never gave it over; and though I was near two years
about it, yet I never grudged my labour, in hopes of having a boat to go off to sea at last.
However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the size of it was not at all
answerable to the design which I had in view when I made the first-I mean of venturing
over to the terra frma, where it was above forty miles broad. Accordingly, the smallness
of my boat assisted to put an end to that design, and now I thought no more of it. As I
had a boat, my next design was to make a tour round the island; for as I had been on
the other side in one place, crossing, as I have already described it, over the land, so the
discoveries I made in that little journey made me very eager to see other parts of the coast;
and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing round the island.
For this purpose, and that I might do everything with discretion and consideration,
I fitted up a little mast in my boat, and made a sail to it out of some of the pieces of the
ship's sails which lay in store, and of which I had a great store by me. Having fitted
my mast and sail, and tried the boat, I found she would sail very well; then I made little
lockers, or boxes, at each end of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, ammunition, &c.,
into, to be kept dry, either from rain or the spray of the sea; and a little, long, hollow
place I cut in the inside of the boat, where I could lay my gun, making a flap to hang
down over it, to keep it dry.
I fixed my umbrella also in a step at the stern, like a mast, to stand over my head,
and keep the heat of the sun off of me, like an awning. And thus I every now and then
took a little voyage upon the sea; but never went far out, nor far from the little creek.
At last, being eager to view the circumference of my little kingdom, I resolved upon my
tour; and accordingly I victualled my ship for the voyage, putting in two dozen of loaves
(cakes I should rather call them) of barley bread, an earthen pot full of parched rice (a
food I ate a great deal of), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder with shot for
killing more, and two large watch-coats (of those which, as I mentioned before, I had,
saved out of the seamen's chests). These I took, one to lie upon, and the other to cover
me in the night.
It was the 6th of November, in the sixth year of my reign, or my captivity, which
you please, that I set out on this voyage, and I found it much longer than I expected;
for though the island itself was not very large, yet when I came to the east side of it, I
found a great ledge of rocks lie out about two leagues into the sea-some above water,
some under it; and beyond that a shoal of sand, lying dry half a league more, so that I
was obliged to go a great way out to sea to double that point.
When first I discovered them, I was going to give over my enterprise, and come back
again, not knowing how far it might oblige me to go out to sea, and, above all, doubting
how I should get back again, so I came to an anchor; for I had made a kind of an anchor
with a piece of broken grappling which I got out of the ship.


Having secured my boat, I took my gun and went on shore, climbing up a hill, which
seemed to overlook that point where I saw the full extent of it, and resolved to venture.
In my viewing the sea from that hill where I stood, I perceived a strong and, indeed,
a most furious current, which ran to the east, and even came close to the point; and I took
the more notice of it, because I saw there might be some danger, that when I came into
it, I might be carried out to sea by the strength of it, and not be able to make the island
again. And, indeed, had I not got first upon this hill, I believe it would have been so,
for there was the same current on the other side the island, only that it set off at a farther
distance, and I saw there was a strong eddy under the shore; so I had nothing to do but
to get out of the first current, and I should presently be in an eddy.
I lay here, however, two days, because the wind, blowing pretty fresh at E.S.E., and
that being just contrary to the current, made a great breach of the sea upon the point;
so that it was not safe for me to keep too close to the shore for the breach, nor to go too
far off, because of the stream.
The third day, in the morning, the wind having abated overnight, the sea was calm,
and I ventured. But I am a warning-piece to all rash and ignorant pilots, for no sooner
wai I come to the point, when I was not even my boat's length from the shore, but I
found myself in a great depth of water, and a current like the sluice of a mill. It carried
my boat along with it with such violence that all I could do could not keep her so much
as on the edge of it; But I found it hurried me farther and farther out from the eddy,
which was on my left hand. There was no wind stirring to help me, and all that I could
do with my paddles signified nothing. And now I began to give myself over for lost, for
as the current was on both sides of the island, I knew in a few leagues' distance they must
join again, and then I was irrecoverably gone; nor did I see any possibility of avoiding it; so
that I had no prospect before me but of perishing, not by the sea, for that was calm enough,
but of starving from hunger. I had, indeed, found a tortoise on the shore, as big almost
as I could lift, and had tossed it into the boat; and I had a great jar of fresh water-that is
to say, one of my earthen pots; but what was all this to being driven into the vast ocean,
where, to be sure, there was no shore, no main-land or island, for a thousand leagues at least.
And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to make the most miserable
condition that mankind could be in worse. Now I looked back upon my desolate, solitary
island as the most pleasant place in the world, and all the happiness my heart could wish
for was to be there again. I stretched out my hands to it with eager wishes. 0 happy
desert," said I, I shall never see thee more. O miserable creature! whither am I going ?"
Then I reproached myself with my unthankful temper, and how I had repined at my soli-
tary condition; and now what would I give to be on shore there again! Thus, we never
see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how
to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it. It is scarcely possible to imagine the con-
sternation I was now in, being driven from my beloved island (for so it appeared to me
now to be) into the wide ocean, almost two leagues, and in the utmost despair of ever
recovering it again. However, I worked hard till, indeed, my strength was almost
exhausted, and kept my boat as much to the northward-that is, towards the side of the
current which the eddy lay on-as possibly I could; when about noon, as the sun passed
the meridian, I thought I felt a little breeze of wind in my face, springing up from S.S.E.
This cheered my heart a little, and especially when, in about half an hour more, it blew a
pretty small, gentle gale. By this time, I had got at a frightful distance from the island;
and had the least cloudy or hazy weather intervened, I had been undone another way,
too; for I had no compass on board, and should never have known how to have steered
towards the island, if I had but once lost sight of it. But the weather continuing clear,
I applied myself to get up my mast again, and spread my sail, standing away to the north
as much as possible, to get out of the current.

(See f. 107.)

Just as I had set up my mast and sail, and the boat began to stretch away, I saw
even by the clearness of the water some alteration of the water was near; for where
the current was so strong the current was foul; but perceiving the water clear, I found
the current abate; and presently I found to the east, at about half a mile, a breach of the
sea upon some rocks. These rocks, I found, caused the current to part again, and as the
main stress of it ran away more southerly, leaving the rocks to the northeast, so the other
returned by the repulse of the rock, and made a strong eddy, which ran back again to
the north-west, with a very sharp stream.
They who know what it is to have a reprieve brought to them upon the ladder, or to
be rescued from thieves just going to murder them, or who have been in such extremi-
ties, may guess what my present surprise of joy was, and how gladly I put my boat into
the stream of this eddy; and the wind also freshening, how gladly I spread my sail to it,
running cheerfully before the wind, and with a strong tide or eddy under foot.
This eddy carried me about a league in my way back again, directly towards the
island, but about two leagues more towards the northward than the current lay which
carried me away at first; so that when I came near the island, I found myself open to
the northern shore of it-that is to say, the other end of the island, opposite to that
which I went out from.
When I had made something more than a league of way by help of this current or
eddy, I found it was spent, and saved me no farther. However, I found that being between
two great currents-viz., that on the south side, which had hurried me away, and that
on the north, which lay about two leagues on the other side-I say between these two, in
the wake of the island, I found the water at least still, and running no way; and having
still a breeze of wind fair for me, I kept on steering directly for the island, though not
making such fresh way as I did before.
About four o'clock in the evening, being then within about a league of the island, I
found the point of rocks which occasioned this disaster stretching out, as is described
before, to the southward, and casting off the current more southerly, had, of course, made
another eddy to the north; and this I found very strong, but not directly setting the
way my course lay, which was due west, but almost full north. However, having a fresh
gale, I stretched across this eddy, slanting north-west; and in about an hour came within
about a mile of the shore, where, it being smooth water, I soon got to land.
When I was on shore, I fell on my knees, and gave God thanks for my deliverance,
resolving to lay aside all thoughts of my deliverance by my boat; and refreshing myself
with such things as I had, I brought my boat close to the shore, in a little cove that I
had spied under some trees, and laid me down to sleep, being quite spent with the labour
and fatigue of the voyage.
I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my boat! I had run so much
hazard, and knew too much of the case, to think of attempting it by the way I went out;
and what might be at the other side (I mean the west side) I knew not, nor had I any
mind to run any more ventures. So I resolved on the next morning to make my way
westward along the shore, and to see if there was no creek where I might lay up my
frigate in safety, so as to have her again, if I wanted her. In about three miles or there-
abouts, coasting the shore, I came to a very good inlet, or bay, about a mile over, which
narrowed till it came to a very little rivulet or brook, where I found a very convenient
harbour for my boat, and where she lay as if she had been in a little dock made on pur-
pose for her. Here I put in, and having stowed my boat very safe, I went on shore to
look about me, and see where I was.
I soon found I had but little passed by the place where I had been before, when I
had travelled on foot to that shore; so, taking nothing out of my boat but my gun and
umbrella, for it was exceedingly hot, I began my march. The way was comfortable


enough after such a voyage as I had been upon, and I reached my old bower in the
evening, where I found everything standing as I left it; for I always kept it in good
order, being as I said before, my country-house.
I got over the fence, and laid me down in the shade to rest my limbs, for I was very
weary and fell asleep. But judge you, if you can, that read my story, what a surprise I
must be in when I was awaked out of my sleep by a voice, calling me by my name sev-
eral times: Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe! poor Robin Crusoe! Where are you,
Robin Crusoe? Where are you ? Where have you been? "
I was so dead asleep at first, being fatigued with rowing, or paddling, as it is called,
the first part of the day, and walking
the latter part, that I did not awake -
thoroughly, and dozing between sleep- ..
ing and waking, thought I dreamed
that somebody spoke to me; but as
the voice continued to repeat, "Robin
Crusoe! Robin Crusoe!" at last I
began to awake more perfectly, and
was at first dreadfully frightened, and
started up in the utmost consternation.
But no sooner were my eyes open but
I saw my Poll sitting on the top of the
hedge; and immediately knew that it
was he that spoke to me; for just in
such bemoaning language I had used
to talk to him, and teach him; and he
had learned it so perfectly that he
would sit upon my finger, and lay his
bill close to my face, and cry, Poor
Robin Crusoe! Where are you?
Where have you been ? How came
you here ? and such things as I had
taught him.
However, even though I knew it
was the parrot, and that indeed it
could be nobody else, it was a good .
while before I could compose myself. ._
First, I was amazed how the creature ,
got thither; and then, how he should "
just keep about the place, and nowhere .
else; but as I was well satisfied it
could be nobody but honest Poll, I "I TOOK A FIREBRAND, AND IN I RUSHED AGAIN" (s. ix).
got over it; and holding out my hand,
and calling him by his name, Poll," the sociable creature came to me, and sat upon
my thumb, as he used to do, and continued talking to me, Poor Robin Crusoe! and
how did I come here? and where had I been?" just as if he had been overjoyed to see
me again; and so I carried him home along with me.
I had now had enough of rambling to sea for some time, and had enough to do for
many days, to sit still and reflect upon the danger I had been in. I would have been
very glad to have had my boat again on my side of the island; but I knew not how it
was practicable to get it about. As to the east side of the island, which I had gone
round, I knew well enough there was no venturing that way; my very heart would


shrink, and my very blood run chill, but to think of it; and as to the other side of the
island, I did not know how it might be there. But supposing the current ran with the
same force against the shore at the east as it passed by it on the other, I might run the
same risk of being driven down the stream, and carried by the island, as I had
been before of being carried away from it. So with these thoughts I contented myself
to be without any boat, though it had been the product of so many months' labour to
make it, and of so many more to get it into the sea.
In this government of my temper, I remained near a year; and lived a very sedate,
retired life, as you may well suppose; and my thoughts being very much composed, as
to my condition, and fully comforted in resigning myself to the dispositions of Providence,
I thought I lived really very happily in all things, except that of society.
I improved myself in this time in all the mechanic exercises which my necessities put
me upon applying myself to; and I believe I should, upon occasion, have made a very
good carpenter, especially considering how few tools I had.
Besides this, I arrived at an unexpected perfection in my earthenware, and contrived
well enough to make them with a wheel, which I found infinitely easier and better, be-
cause I made things round and shaped, which before were filthy things indeed to look
on. But I think I was never more vain of my own performance, or more joyful for any-
thing I found out, than for my being able to make a tobacco-pipe; and though it was
a very ugly, clumsy thing when it was done, and only burned red, like other earthen-
ware, yet as it was hard and firm, and would draw the smoke, I was exceedingly
comforted with it, for I had been always used to smoke; and there were pipes in the
ship, but I forgot them at first, not thinking that there was tobacco in the island; and
afterwards, when I searched the ship again, I could not come at any pipes.
In my wickerware, also, I improved much, and made abundance of necessary
baskets, as well as my invention showed me; though not very handsome, yet they were
such as were very handy, and convenient for laying things up in, or fetching things home.
For example, if I killed a goat abroad, I could hang it up in a tree, flay it, and dress it,
and cut it in pieces, and bring it home in a basket: and the like by a turtle; I could cut
it up, take out the eggs, and a piece or two of the flesh, which was enough for me, and
bring them home in a basket, and leave the rest behind me. Also, large deep baskets
were my receivers for my corn, which I always rubbed out as soon as it was dry, and
cured, and kept it in great baskets, instead of a granary.
I began now to perceive my powder abated considerably: and this was a want which
it was impossible for me to supply, and I began seriously to consider what I must do
when I should have no more powder; that is to say, how I should do to kill any goats.
I had, as I observed, in the third year of my being here, kept a young kid, and bred her
up tame; I was in hopes of getting a he-kid: but I could not by any means bring it to
pass, till my kid grew an old goat, and as I could never find in my heart to kill her, she
died at last of mere age.
But being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and, as I have said, my
ammunition growing low, I set myself to study some art to trap and snare the goats, to
see whether I could not catch some of them alive; and particularly, I wanted a she-goat
great with young. To this purpose, I made snares to hamper them; and I do believe they
were more than once taken in them; but my tackle was not good, for I had no wire, and
always found them broken, and my bait devoured. At length, I resolved to try a pitfall;
so I dug several large pits in the earth, in places were I had observed the goats used to
feed, and over those pits I placed hurdles, of my own making too, with a great weight
upon them; and several times I put ears of barley and dry rice, without setting the
trap; and I could easily perceive that the goats had gone in and eaten up the corn, for
I could see the marks of their feet. At length, I set three traps in one night, and going

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