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Title: The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808)
Author: Daniel Defoe
Release Date: June 15, 2004 [eBook #12623]
[Most recently updated: October 27, 2022]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Internet Archive; University of Florida; and Charlie Kirschner and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Editorial Note:

Daniel Defoe’s tale of Robinson Crusoe was first published in 1719. Numerous—almost countless—versions were published subsequently. Several are available in Project Gutenberg’s library, including the following e-books:

Various tales have been included in the different versions, usually under the names of “The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,” “The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,” and “Robinson Crusoe’s Vision of the Angelic World.” Even an account of the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, who was marooned for four years on an island in the Pacific Ocean, has been incorporated into some versions of the Robinson Crusoe stories. This e-book, taken from an 1808 edition, includes “The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” and “The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.”

I had one labour to make me a Canoe, which at last I finished.







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[page i]





Daniel De Foe was descended from a respectable family in the county of Northampton, and born in London, about the year 1663. His father, James Foe, was a butcher, in the parish of St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, and a protestant dissenter. Why the subject of this memoir prefixed the De to his family name cannot now be ascertained, nor did he at any period of his life think it necessary to give his reasons to the public. The political scribblers of the day, however, thought proper to remedy this lack of information, and accused him of possessing so little of the amor patriae, as to make the addition in order that he might not be taken for an Englishman; though this idea could have had no other foundation than the circumstance of his having, in consequence of his zeal for King William, attacked the prejudices of his countrymen in his “True-born Englishman.”

After receiving a good education at an academy at Newington, young De Foe, before he had attained his twenty-first year, commenced his career as an author, by writing a pamphlet against a very prevailing sentiment in favour of the Turks who were at that time laying siege to Vienna. This production, being very inferior to those of his maturer years, was very little read, and the indignant author, despairing of success with his pen, had recourse to the sword; or, as he termed it, when boasting of the exploit in his latter years, “displayed his attachment to liberty, and protestantism,” by joining the ill-advised insurrection under the Duke of Monmouth, in the west. On the failure of that unfortunate enterprise, he returned [page ii] again to the metropolis; and it is not improbable, but that the circumstance of his being a native of London, and his person not much known in that part of the kingdom where the rebellion took place, might facilitate his escape, and be the means of preventing his being brought to trial for his share in the transaction. With the professions of a writer and a soldier, Mr. De Foe, in the year 1685, joined that of a trader; he was first engaged as a hosier, in Cornhill, and afterwards as a maker of bricks and pantiles, near Tilbury Fort, in Essex; but in consequence of spending those hours in the hilarity of the tavern which he ought to have employed in the calculations of the counting-house, his commercial schemes proved unsuccessful; and in 1694 he was obliged to abscond from his creditors, not failing to attribute those misfortunes to the war and the severity of the times, which were doubtless owing to his own misconduct. It is much to his credit however, that after having been freed from his debts by composition, and being in prosperous circumstances from King William’s favour, he voluntarily paid most of his creditors both the principal and interest of their claims. This is such an example of honesty as it would be unjust to De Foe and to the world to conceal. The amount of the sums thus paid must have been very considerable, as he afterwards feelingly mentions to Lord Haversham, who had reproached him with covetousness; “With a numerous family, and no helps but my own industry, I have forced my way through a sea of misfortunes, and reduced my debts, exclusive of composition, from seventeen thousand to less than five thousand pounds.”

At the beginning of the year 1700, Mr. De Foe published a satire in verse, which excited very considerable attention, called the “True-born Englishman.” Its purpose was to furnish a reply to those who were continually abusing King William and some of his friends as foreigners, by shewing that the present race of Englishmen was a mixed and heterogeneous brood, scarcely any of which could lay claim to native purity of blood. The satire was in many parts [page iii] very severe; and though it gave high offence, it claimed a considerable share of the public attention. The reader will perhaps be gratified by a specimen of this production, wherein he endeavours to account for—

“What makes this discontented land appear
Less happy now in times of peace, than war;
Why civil feuds disturb the nation more,
Than all our bloody wars had done before:
Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
And men are always honest in disgrace:
The court preferments make men knaves in course,
But they, who would be in them, would be worse.
’Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
The grand contention’s plainly to be seen,
To get some men put out, and some put in.”

It will be immediately perceived that De Foe could have no pretentious to the character of a poet; but he has, notwithstanding, some nervous and well-versified lines, and in choice of subject and moral he is in general excellent. The True-born Englishman concludes thus:

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

For this defence of foreigners De Foe was amply rewarded by King William, who not only ordered him a pension, but as his opponents denominated it, appointed him pamphlet-writer general to the court; an office for which he was peculiarly well calculated, possessing, with a strong mind and a ready wit, that kind of yielding conscience which allowed him to support the measures of his benefactors though convinced [page iv] they were injurious to his country. De Foe now retired to Newington with his family, and for a short time lived at ease; but the death of his royal patron deprived him of a generous protector, and opened a scene of sorrow which probably embittered his future life.

He had always discovered a great inclination to engage in religious controversy, and the furious contest, civil and ecclesiastical, which ensued on the accession of Queen Anne, gave him an opportunity of gratifying his favourite passion. He therefore published a tract entitled “The shortest Way with the Dissenters, or Proposals for the Establishment of the Church,” which contained an ironical recommendation of persecution, but written in so serious a strain, that many persons, particularly Dissenters, at first mistook its real intention. The high church party however saw, and felt the ridicule, and, by their influence, a prosecution was commenced against him, and a proclamation published in the Gazette, offering a reward for his apprehension[1]. When De Foe found with how much rigour himself and his pamphlet were about to be treated, he at first secreted himself; but his printer and bookseller being taken into custody, he surrendered, being resolved, as he expresses it, “to throw himself upon the favour of government, rather than [page v] that others should be ruined for his mistakes.” In July, 1703, he was brought to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned, to stand in the pillory, and to pay a fine of two hundred marks. He underwent the infamous part of the punishment with great fortitude, and it seems to have been generally thought that he was treated with unreasonable severity. So far was he from being ashamed of his fate himself, that he wrote a hymn to the pillory, which thus ends, alluding to his accusers:

Tell them, the men that plac’d him here
Are scandals to the times;
Are at a loss to find his guilt,
And can’t commit his crimes.

Pope, who has thought fit to introduce him in his Dunciad (probably from no other reason than party difference) characterises him in the following line:

Earless on high stood unabash’d De Foe.
[1] St. James’s, January 10, 1702-3. “Whereas Daniel De Foe, alias De Fooe, is charged with writing a scandalous and seditious pamphlet, entitled ‘The shortest Way with the Dissenters:’ he is a middle-sized spare man, about 40 years old, of a brown complexion, and dark-brown coloured hair, but wears a wig, a hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth, was born in London, and for many years was a hose-factor, in Freeman’s Yard, in Cornhill, and now is owner of the brick and pantile works near Tilbury Fort, in Essex; whoever shall discover the said Daniel De Foe, to one of her Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, or any of her Majesty’s Justices of Peace, so as he may be apprehended, shall have a reward of 50l. which her Majesty has ordered immediately to be paid upon such discovery.”

London Gaz. No. 3679.

This is one of those instances of injustice and malignity which so frequently occur in the Dunciad, and which reflect more dishonour on the author than on the parties traduced. De Foe lay friendless and distressed in Newgate, his family ruined, and himself without hopes of deliverance, till Sir Robert Harley, who approved of his principles, and foresaw that during a factious age such a genius could be converted to many uses, represented his unmerited sufferings to the Queen, and at length procured his release. The treasurer, Lord Godolphin, also sent a considerable sum to his wife and family, and to him money to pay his fine and the expense of his discharge. Gratitude and fidelity are inseparable from an honest man; and it was this benevolent act that prompted De Foe to support Harley, with his able and ingenious pen, when Anne lay lifeless, and his benefactor in the vicissitude of party was persecuted by faction, and overpowered, though not conquered, by violence.

The talents and perseverance of De Foe began now to be properly estimated, and as a firm supporter [page vi] of the administration, he was sent by Lord Godolphin to Scotland, on an errand which, as he says, was far from being unfit for a sovereign to direct, or an honest man to perform. His knowledge of commerce and revenue, his powers of insinuation, and above all, his readiness of pen, were deemed of no small utility, in promoting the union of the two kingdoms; of which he wrote an able history, in 1709, with two dedications, one to the Queen, and another to the Duke of Queensbury. Soon afterwards he unhappily, by some equivocal writings, rendered himself suspected by both parties, so that he once more retired to Newington in hopes of spending the remainder of his days in peace. His pension being withdrawn, and wearied with politics, he began to compose works of a different kind.—The year 1715 may therefore be regarded as the period of De Foe’s political life. Faction henceforth found other advocates, and parties procured other writers to disseminate their suggestions, and to propagate their falsehoods.

In 1715 De Foe published the “Family Instructor;” a work inculcating the domestic duties in a lively manner, by narration and dialogue, and displaying much knowledge of life in the middle ranks of society. “Religious Courtship” also appeared soon after, which, like the “Family Instructor,” is eminently religious and moral in its tendency, and strongly impresses on the mind that spirit of sobriety and private devotion for which the dissenters have generally been distinguished. The most celebrated of all his works, “The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,” appeared in 1719. This work has passed through numerous editions, and been translated into almost all modern languages. The great invention which is displayed in it, the variety of incidents and circumstances which it contains, related in the most easy and natural manner, together with the excellency of the moral and religious reflections, render it a performance of very superior and uncommon merit, and one of the most interesting works that ever appeared. It is strongly recommended by Rosseau as a book admirably calculated to promote [page vii] the purposes of natural education; and Dr. Blair says, “No fiction, in any language, was ever better supported than the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. While it is carried on with that appearance of truth and simplicity, which takes a strong hold of the imagination of all readers, it suggests, at the same time, very useful instruction; by shewing how much the native powers of man may be exerted for surmounting the difficulties of any external situation.” It has been pretended, that De Foe surreptitiously appropriated the papers of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch mariner, who lived four years alone on the island of Juan Fernandez, and a sketch of whose story had before appeared in the voyage of Captain Woodes Rogers. But this charge, though repeatedly and confidently brought, appears to be totally destitute of any foundation. De Foe probably took some general hints for his work from the story of Selkirk, but there exists no proof whatever, nor is it reasonable to suppose that he possessed any of his papers or memoirs, which had been published seven years before the appearance of Robinson Crusoe. As a farther proof of De Foe’s innocence, Captain Rogers’s Account of Selkirk may be produced, in which it is said that the latter had neither preserved pen, ink, or paper, and had, in a great measure, lost his language; consequently De Foe could not have received any written assistance, and we have only the assertion of his enemies to prove that he had any verbal.

The great success of Robinson Crusoe induced its author to write a number of other lives and adventures, some of which were popular in their times, though at present nearly forgotten. One of his latest publications was “A Tour through the Island of Great Britain,” a performance of very inferior merit; but De Foe was now the garrulous old man, and his spirit (to use the words of an ingenious biographer) “like a candle struggling in the socket, blazed and sunk, blazed and sunk, till it disappeared at length in total darkness.” His laborious and unfortunate life was finished on the 26th of April, 1731, in the parish of St. Giles’s, Cripplegate.

[page viii]

Daniel De Foe possessed very extraordinary talents; as a commercial writer, he is fairly entitled to stand in the foremost rank among his contemporaries, whatever may be their performances or their fame. His distinguishing characteristics are originality, spirit, and a profound knowledge of his subject, and in these particulars he has seldom been surpassed. As the author of Robinson Crusoe he has a claim, not only to the admiration, but to the gratitude of his countrymen; and so long as we have a regard for supereminent merit, and take an interest in the welfare of the rising generation, that gratitude will not cease to exist. But the opinion of the learned and ingenious Dr. Beattie will be the best eulogium that can be pronounced on that celebrated romance: “Robinson Crusoe,” says the Doctor, “must be allowed by the most rigid moralist, to be one of those novels which one may read, not only with pleasure, but also with profit. It breathes throughout a spirit of piety and benevolence; it sets in a very striking light the importance of the mechanic arts, which they, who know not what it is to be without them, are so apt to undervalue; it fixes in the mind a lively idea of the horrors of solitude, and, consequently, of the sweets of social life, and of the blessings we derive from conversation and mutual aid; and it shews, how, by labouring with one’s own hands, one may secure independence, and open for one’s self many sources of health and amusement. I agree, therefore, with Rosseau, that it is one of the best books that can be put into the hands of children.”


[page 1]





&c. &c.

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 which was lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother did know what was become of me.

Being the third son of the family, and not bred to [page 2] any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts: my father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house education and a country free-school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay the commands of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propension of nature tending directly to the life of misery which was to befal me.

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject: he asked me what reasons more than a mere wandering inclination I had for leaving my father’s house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was for men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind, he told me, I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing, viz. that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born to great [page 3] things, and wish they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.

He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those were, who by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances, on one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet, on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but in easy circumstances sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day’s experience to know it more sensibly.

After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the young man, not to precipitate myself into miseries which nature and the station of life I was born in seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking [page 4] my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life which he had been just recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it, and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warning me against measures which he knew would be to my hurt: in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home as he directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes, as to give me any encouragement to go away: and to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for an example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed; and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel when there might be none to assist in my recovery.

I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to be so himself; I say, I observed the tears run down his face very plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed; and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved, that he broke off the discourse, and told me, his heart was so full he could say no more to me.

I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my father’s desire. But, alas! a few days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my father’s farther importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my first heat of resolution [page 5] prompted, but I took my mother, at a time when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I should never settle to any thing with resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double diligence to recover that time I had lost.

This put my mother into a great passion: she told me, she knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest to give his consent to any such thing so much for my hurt; and that she wondered how I could think of any such thing after such a discourse as I had had with my father, and such kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me; and that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I might depend I should never have their consent to it: that for her part she would not have so much hand in my destruction; and I should never have it to say, that my mother was willing when my father was not.

Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as I have heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, and that my father, after shewing a great concern at it, said to her with a sigh, “That boy might be happy if he would stay at home; but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that was ever born; I can give no consent to it.”

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, and [page 6] frequently expostulating with my father and mother about their being so positively determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement that time; but I say, being there, and one of my companions being going by sea to London, in his father’s ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the common allurement of seafaring men, viz. that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither father or mother any more, not so much as sent them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without asking God’s blessing, or my father’s, without any consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows, on the first of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young adventurer’s misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out of the Humber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father’s house, and abandoning my duty; all the good counsel of my parents, my father’s tears and my mother’s entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has been since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to God and my father.

All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw a few days after: but it was enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never known any thing of the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, [page 7] in the trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and in this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if it would please God here to spare my life this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot upon dry land again I would go directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would take his advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these 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 continued, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was abated, and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inured to it: however, I was very grave for all that day, being also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.

I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so pleasant in so little time after. And now, lest my good resolutions should continue, my companion, who had indeed 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, wa’n’t you, last night, when it blew but a capful of wind?”—“A capful do you call it?” said I; “it was a terrible storm.”—“A storm you fool you,” replied 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 [page 8] 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; do you see what charming weather it is now?” To make short this sad part of my story, we went the old way of all sailors; the punch was made, and I was made drunk with it; and in that one night’s wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions for my future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection, and the serious thoughts did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes; but I shook them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and applying myself to 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 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 anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary, viz. at south-west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came into the same roads, as the common harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.

We had not, however, rid here so long, but should [page 9] have tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh; and after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However, the roads being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our ground tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea; but the eighth day in the morning the wind increased, and we had all hands at work to strike our topmasts, and make every thing snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rid forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet anchor; so that we rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the better end.

By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I began to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say several times, “Lord be merciful to us! we shall be all lost, we shall be all undone!” and the like. During these first hurries I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my temper: I could ill reassume the first penitence which I had so apparently trampled upon, and hardened myself against: I thought the bitterness of death had been past, and that this would be nothing like the first: but when the master himself came by me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted: I got up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw; the sea went mountains high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes: when I could look about, I could see nothing but distress round us: two ships that rid near us, we found, had cut their masts by the board, being deep loaden; and our men [page 10] cried out, that a ship which rid 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 with not a mast standing. The light ships fared the best, as not so much labouring in the sea; but two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running away with only their sprit-sail out before the wind.

Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was very unwilling to do: but the boatswain protesting to him, that if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away also, and make a clear deck.

Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this distance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to the terror of the storm, put me in such a condition, that I can by no words describe it. But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury, that the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never known a worse. We had a good ship, but she was deep loaden, and wallowed in the sea, that the seamen every now and then cried out, she would founder. It was my advantage in one respect, that I did not know what they meant by founder till I inquired. However, the storm was so violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on purpose to see, cried out, we [page 11] had sprang a leak; another said, there was four foot water in the hold. Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very word my heart, as I thought, died within me, and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me, that I that was able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as another; at which I stirred up, and went to the pump and worked very heartily. While this was doing, the master seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that I thought the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing happened. In a word, I was so surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when every body had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me; but another man stept up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came to myself.

We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little; yet as it was not possible she could swim till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing guns for help; and a light ship, who had rid it out just 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 great labour and hazard took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of reaching to their own ship; so [page 12] 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 but 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 that moment they rather put me into the boat, than that I might be said to go in; my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright, partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.

While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at the oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see, when our boat mounting the waves we were able to see the shore, a great many people running along the shore to assist us when we should come near; but we made but slow way towards the shore, nor were we able to reach the shore, till being past the light-house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the wind. Here we got in, and, though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.

Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our blessed Saviour’s parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me; for hearing the ship [page 13] I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any assurance that I was not drowned.

But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret over-ruling decree that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we push upon it with our eyes open. Certainly nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me forward against the calm reasonings and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.

My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master’s son, was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered, and looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, asked me how I did, and telling his father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go farther abroad; his father turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone, “Young man,” says he, “you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man.”—“Why, Sir,” said I, “will you go to sea no more?” “That is another case,” said he; “it is my calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist: perhaps this is all 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 [page 14] that I told him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a strange kind of passion; “What had I done,” says he, “that such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship? I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds.” This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go. However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorted me to go back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin; told me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. “And young man,” said he, “depend upon it, if you do not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments, till your father’s words are fulfilled upon 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 every body else; from whence I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases, viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; nor 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 a while, the remembrance [page 15] of the distress I had been in wore off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.

That evil influence which carried me first away from my father’s house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune; and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even the command of my father: I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea.

It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I had learnt the duty and office of a foremastman; and in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it was always my fate to choose for the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit of a gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship, or learnt to do any.

It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London, which does not always happen to such loose and unguided young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not omitting to lay some snare for them very early: but it was not so with me. I first fell acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the coast of Guinea; and who, having had very good success there, was resolved to go again; and who taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I should be at no expense; I should be his messmate and his companion; and if I could carry any thing with me, I should have all the [page 16] 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 and plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very considerably; for I carried about 40l. in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. This 40l. 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, learnt how to keep an account of the ship’s course, take an observation, and, in short, to understand some things that were needful to be understood by a sailor: for, as he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant: for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London at my return almost 300l. and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have so completed my ruin.

Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particularly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of 15 degrees north even to the line itself.

I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage [page 17] that ever man made; for though I did not carry quite 100l. of my new-gained wealth, so that I had 200l. left, and which I lodged with my friend’s widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz. our ship making her course towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the African shore, was surprised in the grey of the morning by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvass as our yards would spread, or our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight; our ship having twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came up with us, and bringing to by mistake just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in also his small-shot from near 200 men which he had on board. However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the decks and rigging. We plied them with small-shot, half-pikes, powder-cheats, and such like, and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men killed and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.

The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I apprehended; nor was I carried up the country to the emperor’s court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of [page 18] my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father’s prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable, and have none to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to pass, that I could not be worse; that now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption: but, alas! 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 sometime or other be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal 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 be in the cabin to look after the ship.

Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least probability in it: nothing presented to make the supposition of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that would embark with me, no fellow slave, no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotsman there but myself; so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.

After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself, which put the old thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head: my patron lying at home longer than usual without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week, sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship’s pinnace, and go out into the road a-fishing; and as he always took me and a young Maresco with him to row the boat, we made him very merry, and I proved [page 19] very dexterous in catching fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth the Maresco, as they called him, to catch a dish of fish for him.

It happened one time, that going a-fishing in a stark calm morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a league from the shore we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew not whither or which way, we laboured all day, and all the next night, and when the morning came we found we had pulled off to sea instead of pulling in for the shore; and that we were at least two leagues from the shore: however, we got well in again, though with a great deal of labour and some danger; for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but particularly we were all very hungry.

But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of himself for the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of our English ship he had taken, he resolved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass and some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English slave, to build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to steer and hale home the main-sheet; and room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails: she sailed with that we call a shoulder of mutton sail; and the boom gibed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.

We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing, and as I was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily, and had therefore sent on board the boat over-night a [page 20] larger store of provisions than ordinary; and had ordered me to get ready three fuzees with powder and shot, which were on board his ship; for that they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.

I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient and pendants out, and every thing to accommodate his guests; when by and by my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests had put off going, upon some business that fell out, and ordered me with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the boat and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup at his house; and commanded that as soon as I got some fish I should bring it home to his house; all which I prepared to do.

This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship at my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should steer; for any where to get out of that place was my way.

My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron’s bread; he said, that was true: so he brought a large basket of rusk or bisket of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my patron’s case of bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken out of some English prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been there before for our master: I conveyed also a great lump of bees-wax into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of great use to us afterwards, especially the wax to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also; his name [page 21] was Ismael, whom they call Muly or Moley; so I called to him: “Moley,” said I, “our patron’s guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot? It may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner’s stores in the ship.”—“Yes,” says he, “I’ll bring some;” and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch which held about a pound and 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 the port before we haled 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 last reached to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place where I was, and leave the rest to fate.

After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that he might not see them, I said to the Moor, “This will not do; our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off.” He, thinking no harm, agreed, and being in the head of the boat set the sails; and as I had the helm I 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 twist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea; he rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to [page 22] be taken in, told me he would go all over the world with me. He swam so strong after the boat, that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him, and told him, I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none: “But,” said I, “you swim well enough to reach to the shore, and the sea is calm; make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but if you come near the boat I’ll shoot you through the head, for I am resolved to have my liberty:” so he turned himself about, and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.

I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone I turned to the boy, whom they called Xury, and said to him, “Xury, if you will be faithful to me I’ll make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be true to me,” that is, swear by Mahomet and his father’s beard, “I must throw you into the sea too.” The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could not mistrust him; and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.

While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone towards the Straits’ mouth; (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been supposed to do) for who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of Negroes were sure to surround us with the canoes, and destroy us; where we could never once go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind?

But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I [page 23] changed my course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the shore; and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea, I made such sail that I believe by the next day at three o’clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not be less than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco’s dominions, or indeed of any other king thereabouts, for we saw no people.

Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days, and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and come to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard, such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds that the poor 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 [page 24] 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 yellings, that I never indeed heard the like.

Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but we were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous huge and furious beast; Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away: “No,” says I, “Xury; we can slip our cable with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they cannot follow us far.” I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it was) within two oars’ length, which 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 horrible noises, and hideous cries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or report of the gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures had never heard before: this convinced me that there was no going on shore for us in the night upon that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the hands of lions and tigers; at least we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.

Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat; when or where to get 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? [page 25] The boy answered with so much affection, that made me love him ever after. Says he, “If wild mans come, they eat me, you go wey.”—“Well, Xury,” said I, “we will both go, and if the wild mans come, we will kill them, they shall eat neither of us.” So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a dram out of our patron’s case of bottles which I mentioned before; and we haled the boat in as near the shore as we thought was proper, and waded on shore; carrying nothing but our arms, and two jars for water.

I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to it; and by and by I saw him come running towards me. I thought he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I run forward towards him to help him; but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour, and longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but the great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me that 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 not exactly knowing, or at least remembering what latitude they were in, and knew not where to look for [page 26] 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 an hundred miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.

Once or twice in the daytime. I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being the high top of the Mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes of reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little vessel; so I resolved to pursue my first design, and keep along the shore.

Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had left this place; and once in particular, being early in the morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were, calls softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off the shore; “for,” says he, “look yonder lies a dreadful monster on the [page 27] side of that hillock fast asleep.” I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible great lion that lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung as it were a little over him. “Xury,” says I, “you shall go on shore and kill him.” Xury looked frighted, and said, “Me kill! he eat me at one mouth;” one mouthful he meant: however, I said no more to the boy, but had him lie still, and I took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third, for we had three pieces, I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece, to have shot him into the head, but he lay so with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone. He started up growling at first, but finding his leg broke fell down again, and then got up upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the head; however, I look up the second piece immediately, and, though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him into the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and make but little noise, but he struggling for life. Then Xury took Heart, and would have me let him go on shore: “Well, go,” said I; so the boy jumped into the water, and taking a little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him into the head again, which dispatched him quite.

This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I was very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me to give him the hatchet. “For what, Xury?” said I, “Me cut off his head,” said he. However, Xury could [page 28] not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him, and it was a monstrous great one.

I bethought myself however, that perhaps the skin of him might one way or other be of some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed it took us up both the whole day, but at last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.

After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener into the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water: my design in this was, to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to say, any where about the Cape de Verd, where I was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there among the Negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or Brasil, or to the East Indies, made this Cape, or those islands; and in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must meet with some ship, or must perish.

When I had passed 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 the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they run along the shore by me a good way: I observed they had no weapons in their hands, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they would throw, them a great way with good aim; so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I could; and particularly made signs for something to eat; they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this I lowered the top of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than half an hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we neither knew what the one nor the other was: however, we were willing to accept it, but how [page 29] to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for venturing on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us: but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.

We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends; but an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying by the shore came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it) with great fury from the mountains towards the sea; whether it was the male pursuing the female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it was the latter; because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the night; and in the second place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the women. The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not seem to offer to fall upon any of the Negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about as if they had come for their diversion. At last one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible [page 30] expedition, and had Xury load both the others: as soon as he came fairly within my reach I fired, and shot him directly into the head; immediately he sunk down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down as if he was struggling for life; and so indeed he was: he immediately made to the shore; but between the wound, which was his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached the shore.

It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor creatures at the noise and the fire of my gun; some of them were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took heart and came to the shore, and began to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the water, and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave the Negroes to hale, they dragged him on shore, and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted and fine to an admirable degree, and the Negroes held up their hands with admiration to think what it was I had killed him with.

The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came, nor could I at that distance know what it was. I found quickly the Negroes were for eating the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them take it as a favour from me, which, when I made signs to them that they might take him, they were very thankful for. Immediately they fell to work with him, and though they had no knife, yet with a sharpened piece of wood they took off his skin as readily, and much more readily, than we could have done with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh, which I declined, making as if I would give it them, but made signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought me a great deal more of their provision, which, though I did not understand, yet I accepted; then I [page 31] made signs to them for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to shew that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this they set down for me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three. The women were as stark naked as the men.

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and, leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and, the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point: at length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands, called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to do, for if I should be taken with a fresh of wind I might neither reach one nor the 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 what she was, viz. that it was a Portuguese ship, and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea for Negroes. But when I observed the course she steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some other way, and did not design to come any nearer to the shore; upon which I stretched [page 32] out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if possible.

With all the sail I could muster, I found I should not be able to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I could make any signal to them; but after I had crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the help of their perspective-glasses, and that it was some European boat, which, as they supposed, must belong to some ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I was encouraged with this; and as I had my patron’s ancient on board, I made a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both which they saw, for they told me they saw the smoke, though they did not hear the gun: upon these signals they very kindly brought to, and lay by for me, and in about three hours time I came up with them.

They asked me what I was in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French; but I understood none of them; but at last a Scots sailor, who was on board, called to me, and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that I had made my escape out of slavery from the Moors at Sallee. Then they had me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my goods.

It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one would believe that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I was in, and immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a return for my deliverance; but he generously told me, he would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be delivered safe to me when I came to the Brasils; “For,” says he, “I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be glad to be saved myself; and it may one time or other be my lot to be taken up in the same condition: Besides,” said he, “when I carry you to the Brasils, so great a way from your own country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then I only take away that life I [page 33] have given. No, no, Seignor Inglese,” says he, “Mr. Englishman, I will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help you to buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again.”

As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the performance to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen, that none should offer to touch any thing I had: then he took every thing into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them, that I might have them; even so much as my three earthen jars.

As to my boat, it was a very good one, and that he saw, and told me he would buy it of me for the ship’s use, and asked me what I would have for it? I told him, he had been so generous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any price of the boat, but left it entirely to him; upon which he told me he would give me a note of his hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brasil; and when it came there, if any one offered to give more, he would make it up: he offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loath to take; not that I was not willing to let the captain have him, but I was very loath to sell the poor boy’s liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian. Upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.

We had a very good voyage to the Brasils, and arrived in the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints’ Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with myself I was now to consider.

The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never enough remember; he would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the [page 34] leopard’s skin, and forty for the lion’s skin which I had in my boat, and caused every thing I had in the ship to be punctually delivered me; and what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-wax, for I had made candles of the rest; in a word, I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo; and with this stock I went on shore in the Brasils.

I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house of a good honest man like himself, who had an ingeino as they call it; that is, a plantation and a sugarhouse; I lived with him some time, and acquainted myself by that means with the manner of their planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters lived, and how they grew rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get license to settle there, I would turn planter among them, resolving, in the mean time, to find out some way to get my money, which I had left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of a letter of naturalization, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement, and such a one as might be suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from 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 sociable together. My stock was but low, as well as his: and we rather planted for food, than any thing else, for about two years. However, we began to increase, and our land began to come into order; so that the third year we planted some tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready for planting canes in the year to come; but we both wanted help; and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with my boy Xury.

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But, alas! for me to do wrong, that never did right, was no great wonder: I had no remedy but to go on; I was gotten into an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father’s house, and broke through all his good advice; nay, I was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of low life, which my father advised me to before; and which if I resolved to go on with, I might as well have staid at home, and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done; and I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as well in England among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to do it, among strangers and savages in a wilderness, and at such distance, as never to hear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.

In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and then this neighbour; no work to be done, but by the labour of my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. But how just has it been, and how should all men reflect, that, when they compare their present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity, by their experience; I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on in, an island of mere desolation should be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which had I continued, I had in all probability been exceeding prosperous and rich.

I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying on the plantation, before my kind friend the captain of the ship, that took me up at sea, went back; for the ship remained there, in providing his loading, and preparing for his voyage, near three months; when, telling him what little stock I had left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere advice; “Seignor Inglese,” says he, for so he [page 36] always called me, “if you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to me, with orders to the person who has your money in London, to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred pounds sterling, which you say is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that if it come safe, you may order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry, you may have the other half to have recourse to for your supply.”

This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he desired.

I wrote the English captain’s widow a full account of all my adventures, my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portugal captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions for my supply; and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of my story, to a merchant at London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon, she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.

The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in English goods, such as the captain had writ for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to the Brasils; among which, without my direction (for I was too young in my business to think of them) he had taken care to have all sort of tools, iron work, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.

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When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised with joy of it; and my good steward the captain had laid out the five pounds which my friend had sent him for a present for himself, to purchase, and bring me over a servant under bond for six years service, and would not accept of any consideration, except a little tobacco, which I would have him accept, being of my own produce.

Neither was this all; but my goods being all English manufactures, such as cloth, stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell them to a very great advantage; so that I may say, I had more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now 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 neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a hundred weight, were well cured and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon. And now, increasing in business and in wealth, my head began to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are indeed often the ruin of the best heads in business.

Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so earnestly recommended a quiet retired life, and of which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full; 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, [page 38] which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make; all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my duty.

As I had done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health in the 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 Brasils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learnt 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, scissars, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like, not only gold-dust, Guinea grains, elephants teeth, &c. but Negroes for the service of the Brasils in great numbers.

They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads, but especially to that part which related to the buying Negroes, which was a trade at that time not only not far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the Assientos [page 39] for permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public, so that few Negroes were brought, and those excessive dear.

It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly, three of them came to me the next morning, and told me they had been musing very much upon what I had discoursed with them of, the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me; and after enjoining me to secrecy, they told me, that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened for nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade could not be carried on, because they could not publicly sell the Negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but one voyage, to bring the Negroes on shore privately, and divide them among their own plantations; and in a word, the question was, whether I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea? and they offered me that I should have my equal share of the Negroes, without providing any part of the stock.

This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from England, and who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too; for me to think of such a voyage, was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of.

But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer, than I could restrain my first rambling designs, when my father’s good [page 40] counsel was lost upon me. In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it to such as I should direct if I miscarried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings or covenants to do so; and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects, in case of my death, making the captain of the ship that had saved my life as before, my universal heir, but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will, one half of the produce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.

In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects, and keep up my plantation: had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my own interest, and have made a judgment of what I ought to have done, and not to have done, I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards; to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to myself.

But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather than my reason: and accordingly the ship being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st of September, 1650, being the same day eight years that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interest.

Our ship was about one hundred and twenty ton burden, carrying six guns, and fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself; we had on board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the Negroes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissars, hatchets, and the like.

The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward upon our own coast, with [page 41] design to stretch over for the African coast; when they came about 10 or 12 degrees of northern latitude, which it seems was the manner of their course in those days. We had very good weather, only excessive hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we made the height of Cape St. Augustino, from whence keeping farther off at sea we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the isle Fernand de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N. and leaving those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve days time, and were by our last observation in 7 degrees 22 min. northern latitude, when a violent tornado or hurricane took us quite out of our knowledge; it began from the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then settled into the north-east, from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve days together we could do nothing but drive; and scudding away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and during these twelve days, I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up, nor indeed did any in the ship expect to save their lives.

In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men die of the calenture, and one man and the boy washed overboard; about the twelfth day the weather abating a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about 11 degrees north latitude, but that he was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast of Guinea, or the north part of Brasil, beyond the river Amazones, toward that of the river Oronoque, commonly called the Great River, and began to consult with me what course he should take, for the ship was leaky and very much disabled, and he was going directly back to the coast of Brasil.

I was positively against that, and looking over the charts of the sea coasts of America with him we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to have recourse to, till we came within the circle of the [page 42] 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 otherwise determined; for being in the latitude of 12 deg. 18 min. a second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very way of all human commerce, that had all our lives been saved, as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than ever returning to our own country.

In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men early in the morning cried out, Land! and we had no sooner run out of the cabin to look out in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we should all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven into our close quarters to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.

It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like condition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances; we knew nothing where we were, or upon what land it was we were driven, whether an island or the main, whether inhabited or not inhabited; and as the rage of the wind was still great, though rather less than at first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes without breaking in pieces, unless the winds by a kind of miracle should turn immediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon another, and expecting death every moment, and every man acting [page 43] 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 lays hold of the boat, and with the help of the rest of the men they got her slung over the ship’s side, and getting all into her, let go, and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God’s mercy and the wild sea; for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and might well be called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.

And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly, that the sea went so high, that the boat could not live, and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done any thing with it; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all knew, that when the boat came nearer the shore, she would be dashed into 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 [page 44] towards the shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards land.

What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal, we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of expectation, was, if we might happen into some bay or 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 had 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 sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind as well as breath left, that, seeing myself nearer the main land than I expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could, before another wave should return, and take me up again. But I soon found it was 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 [page 45] concern now being, that the sea, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back towards the sea.

The wave that came upon me again, buried me at once twenty or thirty foot deep in its own body; and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath and new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath, and till the water went from me, and then took to my heels, and ran with what strength I had farther towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as before, the shore being very flat.

The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me; for the sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed me against a piece of a rock, and that with such force, as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it 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 [page 46] first, being near land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took I got to the main land, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the clifts of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.

I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank God that my life was saved in a case wherein there was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and transports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave; and I do not wonder now at that custom, viz. that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him: I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart, and overwhelm him:

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands and my whole being, as I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of my deliverance, making a thousand gestures and motions which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.

I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and troth 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 [page 47] part of my condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon found my comforts abate, and that in a word I had a dreadful deliverance; for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor any thing either to eat or drink to comfort me; neither did I see any prospect before me, but that of perishing with hunger, or being devoured by wild beasts; and that which was particularly afflicting to me, was, that I had no weapon either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs; in a word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco pipe, and a little tobacco in a box; this was all my provision, and this threw me into terrible agonies of mind, that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began with a heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that country, 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 drank, and put a little tobacco in my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to place myself so, as that if I should sleep I might not fall; and having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging, and having been excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and found myself the most refreshed with it that I think I ever was on such an occasion.

When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before; but that which surprised me most [page 48] was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the dashing me against it; this being within about a mile from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself on board, that, at least, I might save some necessary things for my use.

When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat, which lay as the wind and the sea had tossed her up upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I could upon the shore to have got to her, but found a neck or inlet of water between me and the boat, which was about half a mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my present subsistence.

A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far out, that I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship; and here I found a fresh renewing of my grief: for I saw evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had been all safe, that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all comfort and company, as I now was. This forced tears from my eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get to the ship; so I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity, and took the water; but when I came to the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know how to get on board; for as she lay 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 spied a small piece of a rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hang down by the fore-chains so low as that with great difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold, but that she [page 49] lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth, and her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low almost to the water: by this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search and to see what was spoiled and what was free; and first I found that all the ship’s provisions were dry and untouched by the water; and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread-room and filled my pockets with bisket, 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 drain, and which I had indeed need enough of to spirit me for what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat to furnish myself with many things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.

It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this extremity roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship; I resolved to fall to work with these, and flung as many of them overboard as I could manage of their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might not drive away. When this was done I went down the ship’s side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast together at both ends as well as I could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light; so I went to work, and with the carpenter’s saw I cut a spare topmast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labour and pains; but hope of furnishing myself with necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to have done upon another occasion.

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight; my next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf [page 50] of the sea; but I was not long considering this: I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I first got three of the seamen’s chests, which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft. The first of these I filled with provisions, viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat’s flesh, which we lived much upon, and a little remainder of European corn which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some cordial waters, and in all above five or six gallons of rack: these I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put them into the chest, nor no room for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide began to flow, though very calm, and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore upon the sand, swim away; as for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings: however, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon; as, first, tools to work with on shore; and it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter’s chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-loading of gold would have been at that time: I got it down to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols: these I secured first, with some powder horns, and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of [page 51] powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water; those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, or rudder, and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.

I had three encouragements: 1. A smooth, calm sea; 2. The tide rising and setting in to the shore; 3. What little wind there was blew me towards the land: and thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and besides the tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer; and with this cargo I put to sea: for a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a little distant from the place where I had landed before, by which I perceived that there was some indraft of the water, and consequently I hoped to find some creek or river there, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.

As I imagined, so it was: there appeared before me a little opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide set into it, so I guided my raft as well as I could to keep in the middle of the stream; but here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily would have broke my heart; for knowing nothing of the coast, my raft run 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 that end that was afloat, and so fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir from the posture I was in, but holding up the chests with all my might, stood in that manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off [page 52] with the oar I had into the channel; and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore; for I was not willing to be driven too high up the river, hoping in time to see some ship at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.

At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which, with great pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so near, as that, reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her directly in; but here I had like to have dipped all my cargo in the sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep, that is to say sloping, there was no place to land, but where one end of the float, if it run on shore, would lie so high, and the other sink lower as before, that it would endanger my cargo again: all that I could do, was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I found water enough, for my raft drew about a foot of water, I thrust her on upon that flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her by sticking my two broken oars into the ground; one on one side near one end, and one on the other side near the other end; and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe on shore.

My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place for my habitation, and where to stow my goods, to secure them from whatever might happen. Where I was I yet knew not; whether on the continent or on an island, whether inhabited or not inhabited, whether in danger of wild beasts or not. There was a hill not above a mile from me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some other hills which, lay as in a ridge from it northward: I took out one of the fowling-pieces, [page 53] and one of the pistols, and an horn of powder, and thus armed I travelled for discovery up to the top of that hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to the top, I saw my fates to my great affliction, viz. that I was in an island environed every way with the sea, no land to be seen, except some rocks which lay a great way off, and two small islands less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west.

I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts, of whom, however, I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither when I killed them could I tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back I shot at a great bird, which I saw sitting upon a tree on the side of a great wood—I believe it was the first gun that had been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no sooner fired, but from all parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number of fowls of many sorts, making a confused screaming, and crying every one according to his usual note; but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but had no talons or claws more than common; its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.

Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of that day; and what to do with myself at night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie down on the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour me; though, as I afterwards found, there was really no need for those fears.

However, as well as I could, I barricadoed myself round with the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, and made a kind of a hut for that night’s lodging. As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three [page 54] creatures like hares run out of the wood where I shot the fowl.

I now began to consider, that I might yet get a great many things out of the ship, which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things as might come to land, and I resolved to make another voyage on board the vessel, if possible; and as I knew that the first storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I resolved to set all other things apart, till I got every thing 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 checked shirt and a pair of linen trowsers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.

I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second raft; and having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenter’s stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone; all these I secured, together with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of musket-bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a large bag full of small shot, and a great roll of sheet lead; but this last was so heavy I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship’s side.

Besides these things, I took all the men’s clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-topsail, hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.

I was under some apprehensions during my absence from the land, that at least my provisions might be [page 55] devoured on shore; but when I came back, I found no sign of any visitor, only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still; she sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me; I presented my gun at her, but as she did not 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 of it, and ate it, and looked, as pleased, for more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more; so she marched off.

Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks, I went to work to make me a little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut for that purpose; and into this tent I brought every thing that I knew would spoil, either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.

When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within; and an empty chest set up an end without, and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy, as the night before I had slept little, and had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch all those things from the ship as to get them on shore.

I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever were laid up, I believe, for one man; but I was not satisfied still; for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought to get every thing out of her that I could; so every day at low water I went [page 56] on board, and brought away something or other; but particularly the third time I went, I brought away as much of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvass, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder; in a word, I brought away all the sails first and last, only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I could; for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere canvass only.

But that which comforted me more still, was, that at last of all, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my meddling with; I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flower; this was surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except what was spoiled by the water: I soon emptied the hogshead of that bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.

The next day I made another voyage; and now, having plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began with the cables; and cutting the great cable into pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and 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 now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy and so overladen, that after I had entered the little cove where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my cargo, it was great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have been of [page 57] great use to me: however, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what I could get.

I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the ship; in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring, though I believe, verily, had the calm weather held, I should have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece; but preparing the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise; however, at low water I went on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually, as that nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissars, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money, some European coin, some Brasil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. “O drug!” said I, aloud, “what art thou good for? thou art not worth to me, no not the taking off of the ground; one of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of use for thee; even remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving.” However, upon second thoughts, I took it away, and wrapping all this in a piece of canvass, 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, [page 58] and swam cross the channel which lay between the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the water, for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.

But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morning when I looked out, behold no more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with this satisfactory reflection, viz. that I had lost no time, nor abated no 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 any thing out of her, except what might drive on shore from her wreck, as indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those things were of small use to me.

My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make; whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth: and, in short, I resolved upon both, the manner and description of which it may not be improper to give an account of.

I soon found the place I was in was not 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: 1st, Health, and fresh water, I just now mentioned, 2dly, Shelter from the heat of the sun. 3dly, Security from ravenous creatures, [page 59] whether man or beast. 4thly, A view to the sea, that, if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish all my expectation yet.

In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come down upon me from the top: on the side of this rock there was a hollow place worn a little way in like the entrance or door of a cave, but there was not really any cave or way into the rock at all.

On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent: this plain was not above an hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green before my door, and at the end of it descended irregularly every way down into the low grounds by the sea-side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabouts, which in those countries is near the setting.

Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its beginning and ending.

In this half circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they stood very firm, like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground about five foot and a half, and sharpened on the top; the two rows did not stand above six inches from one another.

Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows one upon another, within the circle between these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two foot and a half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither man or beast could get into it or over it: this cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut [page 60] 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 afterward, there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.

Into this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the account above; and I made me a large tent, which, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year are very violent there, I made double, viz. one smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it, and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin which I had saved among the sails.

And now I lay no more for awhile in the bed which I had brought on shore, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.

Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and every thing that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open, and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.

When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down, out through my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the nature of a terrace, that so it raised the ground within about a foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave just behind my tent, which served me like a cellar to my house.

It cost me much labour, and many days, before all these things were brought to perfection, and therefore I must go back to some other things which took up [page 61] some of my thoughts. At the same time it happened, after I had laid my scheme for the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning, as I was with a thought which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning itself; O my powder! my very heart sunk within me, when I thought, that at one blast all my powder might be destroyed; on which, not my defence only, but the providing me food, as I thought, entirely depended; I was nothing near so anxious about my own danger; though, had the powder took fire, I had never known who had hurt me.

Such impression did this make upon me, that, after the storm was over, I laid aside all my works, my building, and fortifying, and applied myself to make bags and boxes to separate the powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope, that, whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once, and to keep it so apart, that it should not be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which in all was about two hundred and forty pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to the barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that, so I placed it in my new cave, which in my fancy I called my kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.

In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to see if I could kill any thing 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 [page 62] 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 vallies, though they were upon the rocks, they would run away as in a terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the vallies, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I concluded, that by the position of their optics, their sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily see objects that were above them; so afterward I took this method; I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made among these creatures killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by her which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; but when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her till I came and took her up; and not only so; but when I carried the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to kill it, and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I ate sparingly, and saved my provisions (my bread especially) as much as possibly I could.

Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave, and what conveniencies I made, I shall give a full account of in its place; but I must first give some little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which it may well be supposed were not a few.

I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the [page 63] course of our intended voyage, and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues out of the ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself, why Providence should thus completely ruin his creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.

But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly one day, walking with my gun in my hand by the sea-side, I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when reason, as it were, expostulating with the t’other way, thus: “Well, you are in a desolate condition, ’tis true, but pray remember, where are the rest of you? Did not you come eleven of you into the boat? Where are the ten? Why were they not saved and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it better to be here or there?” And then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attended them.

Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for my subsistence, and what would have been my ease if it had not happened, which was an hundred thousand to one, that the ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so near the shore that I had time to get all these things out of her. What would have been my case, if I had been to have lived in the condition in which I at first came on shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure them? “particularly,” said I, loud (though to myself), “what should I have done without a gun, without ammunition, without any tools to make any thing, or to work with; without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of covering?” and [page 64] that now I had all these to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a manner, as to live without my gun when my ammunition was spent; so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting, without any want, as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning how I should provide for the accidents that might happen, and for the time that was to come, even not only after my ammunition should be spent, but even after my health or strength should decay.

I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition being destroyed at one blast, I mean my powder being blown up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so surprising to me when it lightned and thundered, as I observed just now.

And now, being about to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent life, such perhaps as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September, when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island, when the sun being, to us, in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head, for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north of the line.

After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my thoughts, that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the sabbath days from the working days; but to prevent this, I cut it with my knife upon a large post, in capital letters, and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed, viz. “I came on shore here on the 30th 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 [page 65] the many things which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages, which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several parcels in the captain’s, mate’s, gunner’s, and carpenter’s keeping, three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I huddled together, whether I might want them or no. Also I found three very good Bibles, which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among my things; some Portuguese books also, and among them two or three popish prayer-books, and several other books; all which I carefully secured. And I must not forget, that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have occasion to say something in it’s place; for I carried both the cats with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that he could not do. As I observed before, I found pen, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall shew, that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact; but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.

And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these, this of ink was one, as also spade, pickaxe, and shovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread. As for linen, I soon learnt 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 [page 66] could well lift, were a long time in cutting and preparing in the woods, and more by far in bringing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows, which however, though I found it, yet it made driving those posts or piles very laborious and tedious work.

But what need I have been concerned at the tediousness of any thing I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in? Nor had I any other employment if that had been over, at least that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food, which I did more or less every day.

I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstance I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to come after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated it very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:

[page 67]
Evil. Good.
I am cast upon a horrible But I am alive, and
desolate island, void not drowned, as all my
of all hope of recovery. ship’s company was.
I am singled out and But I am singled out
separated, as it were, too from all the ship’s
from all the world to be crew to be spared from
miserable. death; and He that
  miraculously saved me from
  death, can deliver me
  from this condition.
I am divided from But I am not starved
mankind, a solitaire, one and perishing on a barren
banished from human society. place, affording no sustenance.
I have not clothes to But I am in a hot climate,
cover me. where if I had
  clothes I could hardly wear
I am without any defence But I am cast on an
or means to resist island, where I see no
any violence of man or wild beasts to hurt me,
beast. as I saw on the coast of
  Africa: and what if I
  had been shipwrecked
I have no soul to speak But God wonderfully
to, or relieve me. sent the ship in near
  enough to the shore, that
  I have gotten out so many
  necessary things as will
  either supply my wants,
  or enable me to supply
  myself even as long as I

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony, that there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but there was something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it; and let this stand as a direction from the experience of the most miserable of all conditions in this world, that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of the account.

Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship; 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.

[page 68]

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 foot thick on the outside; and after some time, I think it was a year and half, I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get to keep out the rain, which I found at some times of the year very violent.

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me: but I must observe too that at first this was a confused heap of goods, which as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place: I had no room to turn myself; so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked sideways to the right hand into the rock; and then, turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come out, on the outside of my pale or fortification.

This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a back-way to my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.

And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I most wanted, 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 every thing by reason, and by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be in time master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life, and yet in time, by labour, application, and contrivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could [page 69] 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, and in a word, to separate every thing at large in their places, that I might come easily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that would hang up.

So that, had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary things; and I had every thing so ready at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries so great.

And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day’s employment; for indeed at first I was in too much a hurry; and not only hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of mind, and my journal would have been full of many dull things. For example, I must have said thus: Sept. the 30th, after I got to shore, and had escaped drowning, [page 70] instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first vomited with the great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore, wringing my hands, and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out, I was undone, undone; till tired and faint I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being devoured.

Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea in hopes of seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail; please myself with the hopes of it; and then after looking steadily till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.

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


September 30, 1659.

I poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on this dismal unfortunate island, which I called the Island of Despair; all the rest of the ship’s company being drowned, and myself almost dead.

All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal circumstances I was brought to, viz. I [page 71] had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, or place to fly to, and in despair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me, either that I should be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want of food. At the approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures, but slept soundly, though it rained all night.

October 1. In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again much nearer the island; which as it was some comfort on one hand, for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief; so on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who I imagined, if we had all staid on board, might have saved the ship, or at least that they would not have been all drowned, as they were; and that, had the men been saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship, to have carried us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day also it continued raining, though with no wind at all.

From the 1st of October to the 24th. All these days entirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts. Much rain also in these days, though with some intervals of fair weather: but, it seems, this was the rainy season.

Oct. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got up 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, [page 72] and that only at low water. I spent this day in covering and securing the goods which I had saved, that rain might not spoil them.

Oct. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place under a rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encampment, which I resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification made of double piles, lined within with cable, and without with turf.

From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the time it rained exceeding hard.

The 31st in the morning I went out into the island with my gun, to see for some food, and discover the country; when I killed a she goat, and her kid followed me home, which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.

November 1. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the first night, making it as large as I could with stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.

Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my fortification.

Nov. 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me a table.

Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion; viz. every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three hours, if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till about eleven o’clock, then ate what I had to live on, and from twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessive hot, and then in the evening to work again: the working part of this day and of the next were [page 73] wholly employed in making my table, for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity make me a complete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe it would do any one else.

Nov. 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a wild cat, her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing: every creature I killed I took off the skins and preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore I saw many sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was surprised and almost 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 learnt to mend it.

Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the 11th was Sunday), I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me; and even in the making I pulled it in pieces several times. Note, I soon neglected my keeping Sundays, for omitting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was which.

Nov. 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the earth, but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me dreadfully for fear of my powder: as soon as it was over I resolved to separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.

Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little square chests or boxes, which might hold a pound, or two pound, at most, of powder; and so putting the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as possible. On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I knew not what to call it.

Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent [page 74] into the rock, to make room for my farther conveniency. Note, Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work, viz. a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheel-barrow or basket; so I desisted from my work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make me some tools: as for a pickaxe, I made use of the iron crows, which were proper enough, though heavy; but the next thing was a shovel or spade; this was so absolutely necessary, that indeed I could do nothing effectually without it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.

Nov. 18. The next day in searching the woods I found a tree of that wood, or like it, which in the Brasils they call the iron tree, for its exceeding hardness: of this, with great labour and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home too with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy.

The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other way, made me a long while upon this machine; for I worked it effectually by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade, the handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only that the broad part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me so long; however, it served well enough for the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long a making.

I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheel-barrow; a basket I could not make by any means, having no such things as twigs that would bend to make wicker-ware, at least none yet found out; and as to a wheel-barrow, I fancied I could make; all but the wheel, but that I had no notion of, neither did I know how to go about it; besides, I had no possible way to make the iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in, so I gave it over; and so for carrying away the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod which the labourers carry mortar in, when they serve the bricklayers.

This was not so difficult to me as the making the [page 75] shovel; and yet this, and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain to make a wheel-barrow, took me up no less than four days, I mean always excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I seldom failed; and very seldom failed also bringing home something to eat.

Nov. 23. My other work having now stood still, because of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously.

Note, During all this time, I worked to make this room or cave spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar: as for my lodging, I kept to the tent, except that sometimes in the wet season of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with long poles in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees like a thatch.

Dec. 10. I began now to think my cave or vault finished, when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of earth fell down from the top and one side, so much that in short it frighted me, and not without reason too; for if I had been under it I had never wanted a gravedigger. Upon this disaster I had a great deal of work to do over again; for I had the loose earth to carry out, and, which was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no more would come down.

Dec. 11. This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of boards across over each post; this I finished the next day; and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more I had the roof secured; and the posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to part off my house.

Dec. 17. From this day to the twentieth I placed [page 76] shelves, and knocked up nails on the posts to hang every thing up that could be hung up: and now I began to be in some order within doors.

Dec. 20. Now I carried every thing into the cave, and began to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to be very scarce with me: also I made me another table.

Dec. 24. Much rain all night and all day; no stirring out.

Dec. 25. Rain all day.

Dec. 26. No rain, and the earth much cooler than before and pleasanter.

Dec. 27. Killed a young goat, and lamed another, so that I caught it, and led it home in a string; when I had it 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 was all spent.

Dec. 28, 29, 30. Great heats and no breeze; so that there was no stirring abroad, except in the evening for food. This time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.

January 1. Very hot still, but I went abroad early and late with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther into the vallies which lay towards the centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though exceeding shy and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.

Jan. 2. Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog, and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon the dog; and he knew his danger too well, for he would not come near them.

Jan. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being [page 77] 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, sometimes weeks together; But I thought I should never be perfectly secure until this wall was finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour every thing was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods, and driving them into the ground, for I made them much bigger than I need to have done.

When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced with a turf wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any people were to come on shore there, they would not perceive any thing like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may be observed hereafter upon a very remarkable occasion.

During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game every day, when the rain admitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage; particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, who built not as wood pigeons in a tree, but rather as house pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew older they flew 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 [page 78] thought at first it was impossible for me to make, as indeed as to some of them it was; for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped; I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could never arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, or joint the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water: so I gave that also over.

In the next place, I was at a great loss for candle; so that as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven o’clock, I was obliged to go to bed: I remembered the lump of 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 had been in the bag, was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some other use, I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use, I shook the husks of corn out of it on one side of my fortification under the rock.

It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned, that I threw this stuff away, taking no notice of any thing, and not so much as remembering that I had thrown any thing there; when about a month after, or thereabout, I saw some few stalks of something green shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen; but I was surprised and perfectly astonished, when after a little [page 79] longer time I saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfect green barley of the same kind as our European, nay, as our English barley.

It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my thoughts on this occasion; I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed I had very few notions of religion in my head, or had entertained any sense of any thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or his order in governing events in the world: but after I saw barley grow there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely, and I began to suggest, that God had miraculously caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that wild miserable place.

This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes, and I began to bless myself, that such a prodigy of nature should happen upon my account; and this was the more strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa, when I was ashore there.

I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my support, but not doubting but that there was more in the place, I went all over that part of the island, where I had been before, peeping 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 thought, that I had shook a bag of chicken’s meat out in that place, and then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess, my religious thankfulness to God’s providence began to abate too upon discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a providence as if it had been miraculous; [page 80] for it was really the work of Providence as to me, that should order or appoint ten or twelve grains of corn to remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven: as also, that I should throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas if I had thrown it any were else at that time, it had been burnt up and destroyed.

I carefully saved the ears of corn, you may be sure, in their season, which was about the end of June, and laying up every corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread; but it was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall say afterwards in its order; for I lost all that I sowed the first season, by not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would have done: of which in its place.

Besides this barley there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care, and whose use was of the same kind or to the same purpose, viz. to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up without baking, though I did that also after some time. But to return to my journal.

I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get my wall done; and the 14th of April I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder, that there might be no sign in the outside of my habitation.

April 16. I finished the ladder; so I went up with the ladder to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down 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 [page 81] had almost had all my labour overthrown at once, and myself killed; the case was thus: As I was busy in the inside of it behind my tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frighted with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed; for on a sudden I found the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill, over my head, and two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner: I was heartily scared, but thought nothing of what was really the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before; and for fear I should be buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the hill which I expected might roll down upon me. I was no sooner stept down upon the firm ground, but I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes distance, with three such shocks, as would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock, which stood about half a mile from me next the sea, fell down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life: I perceived also the very sea was put into violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.

I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like, or discoursed with any one that had, that I was like one dead or stupified; 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 stupified 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 [page 82] 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 sat still upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not knowing what to do. All this while I had not the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common “Lord have mercy upon me!” and when it was over, that went away too.

While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, as if it would rain; soon after that the wind rose by little and little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful hurricane: the sea was all on a sudden covered over with foam and froth, the shore was covered with the breach of the water, the trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible storm it was; and this held about three hours, and then began to abate, and in two hours more it was stark calm, and began to rain very hard.

All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and dejected, when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequence of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again: with this thought my spirits began to revive, and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head.

This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole through my new fortification like a sink, to let 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.

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It continued raining all that night, and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best do, concluding, that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building me some little hut in an open place, which I might surround with a wall as I had done here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men: but concluded, if I staid where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.

With these thoughts I resolved to remove my tent from the place where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent. And I spent the two next days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation.

The fear of being swallowed up alive, made me that I never slept in quiet, and yet the apprehension of lying abroad without any fence was almost equal to it; but still, when I looked about and saw how every thing was put in order, how pleasantly concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me very loth to remove.

In the meantime it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal of time for me to do this, and that I must be contented to run the venture where I was, till I had formed a camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it. So with this resolution I composed myself for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, &c. in a circle as before; and set my tent up in it when it was finished, but that I would venture to stay where I was till it was finished and fit to remove to. This was the 21st.

April 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to put this resolve in execution, but I was at a great loss about my tools. I had three large axes and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for [page 84] traffic with the Indians); but with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches and dull; and though I had a grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too: this cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty. Note, I had never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to take notice how it was done, though since I have observed it is very common there; besides that, my grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week’s work to bring it to perfection.

April 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone performing very well.

April 30. Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.

May 1. In the morning, looking towards the 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 strangely removed; the forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was heaved up at least six foot; and the stern, which was broke to pieces, and parted from the rest by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging [page 85] 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 learnt not to despair of any thing, I resolved to pull every thing to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding, that every thing 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.

Way 4. I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long line of some rope yarn, but I had no hooks, yet I frequently caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.

May 5. Worked on the wreck, cut another beam asunder, and brought three great fir planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made swim on shore when the tide of flood came on.

May 6. Worked on the wreck, got several iron [page 86] 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, but with an intent not to work, but found the weight of the wreck had broke itself down, the beams being cut, that several pieces of the ship seemed to lie loose, and the inside of the hold lay so open, that I could see into it, but almost full of water and sand.

May 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water or sand; I wrenched open two planks, and brought them on shore also with the tide: I left the iron crow in the wreck for next day.

May 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with the crow, but could not break them up: I felt also the roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to remove.

May 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Went every day to the wreck, and got a great many pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three hundred weight of iron.

May 15. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.

May 16. It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I staid so long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented me going to the wreck that day.

May 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a great distance, near two miles off me, but resolved to see what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.

May 24. Every day to this day I worked on the wreck, and with hard labour I loosened some things so much with the crow, that the first flowing tide [page 87] 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 Brasil pork in it, but the salt water and the sand had spoiled it.

I continued this work every day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food, which I always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready when it was ebbed out; and by this time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work enough to have built a good boat, if I had known how; and also I got at several times, and in several pieces, near one hundred weight of the sheet-lead.

June 16. Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tortoise or turtle: this was the first I had seen, which it seems was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scarcity; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have had hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards; but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.

June 17. I spent in cooking the turtle; I found in her threescore eggs; and her flesh was to me at that time the most savory and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrid place.

June 18. Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought at this time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly, which I knew was not usual in that latitude.

June 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.

June 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head, and feverish.

June 21. Very ill, frighted almost to death with the apprehensions of my sad condition, to be sick, and no help. Prayed to God for the first time since the storm off Hull, but scarce knew what I said, or why; my thoughts being all confused.

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June 22. A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions of sickness.

June 23. Very bad again, cold and shivering, and then a violent headach.

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 abed all day, and neither ate or drank. I was ready to perish for thirst, but so weak I had not strength to stand up, or to get myself any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was light-headed; and when I was not I was so ignorant, that I knew not what to say; only I lay and cried, “Lord look upon me! Lord pity me! Lord have mercy upon me!” I suppose I did nothing else for two or three hours, till the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night; when I waked, I found myself much refreshed, but weak, and exceeding thirsty: however, as I had no water in my whole habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again. In this second sleep I had this terrible dream.

I thought that I was sitting on the ground on the outside of my wall, where I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a man descend from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground. He was all over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just bear to look towards him; his countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe; when he stepped upon the ground with his feet I thought the earth trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all the air looked to my apprehension as if it had been filled with flashes of fire.

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He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved forward towards me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some distance, he spoke to me, or I heard a voice so terrible, that it is impossible to express the terror of it; all that I can say I understood was this, “Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shall die:” at which words I thought he lifted up the spear that was in his hand to kill me.

No one, that shall ever read this account, will expect that I should be able to describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible vision; I mean, that even while it was a dream, I even dreamed of those horrors; nor is it any more possible to describe the impression that remained upon my mind, when I awaked, and found it was but a dream.

I had, alas! no divine knowledge; what I had received by the good instruction of my father was then worn out by an uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring wickedness, and a constant conversation with nothing but such as were, like myself, wicked and profane to the last degree. I do not remember that I had in all that time one thought that so much as tended either to looking upwards toward God, or inwards towards a reflection upon my own ways. But a certain stupidity of soul, without desire of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely overwhelmed me, and I was all that the most hardened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors can be supposed to be, not having the least sense, either of the fear of God in danger, or of thankfulness to God in deliverances.

In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more easily believed, when I shall add, that through all the variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never had so much as one thought of it being the hand of God, or that it was a just punishment for my sin, my rebellious behaviour against my father, or my present sins, which were [page 90] 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, 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 on my thoughts. When again I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on this island, I was as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment; I only said to myself often, that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always 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 begun, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the Hand which had preserved me, and had singled me out to be preserved, when all the rest were destroyed; or an inquiry why Providence had been thus merciful to me; even just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they have got safe on shore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in the next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over; and all the rest of my life was like it.

Even when I was afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible of my condition, how I was cast on this dreadful place, out of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption, as soon [page 91] as I saw but a prospect of living, and that I should not starve and perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off, and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from being afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the hand of God against me: these were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.

The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had at first some little influence upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness, as long as I thought it had something miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of 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 desires, or with hopes; it was [page 93] 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 in the beginning of this story, viz. that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my recovery. “Now,” said I aloud, “my dear father’s words are come to pass: God’s justice has overtaken me, and I have none to help or hear me: I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself, 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 every thing 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 [page 93] 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 under a sense of my miserable condition, dreading the return of my distemper the next day. At night I made my supper of three of the 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 but a little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me:

What is 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 strangely; 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 [page 94] knows that I am here, and am in a dreadful condition; and if nothing happens without his appointment, he has appointed all this to befal me.

Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of these conclusions; and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force, that it must needs be, that God had appointed all this to befal me; that I was brought to this miserable circumstance by his direction, he having the sole power, not of me only, but of every thing that happened in the world. Immediately it followed,

Why has God done this to me? What have I done to be thus used?

My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed; and methought it spoke to me, like a voice; “Wretch! dost thou ask what thou hast done? look back upon a dreadful misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast not done? ask, why is it that thou wert not long ago destroyed? why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads? killed in the fight when the ship was taken by the Sallee man of war? devoured by the wild beasts on the coast of Africa? or, drowned here, when all the crew perished but thyself? Dost thou ask, What have I done?”

I was struck with these reflections as one astonished, and had not a word to say, no, not to answer to myself: but rose up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went up over my wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no inclination to sleep; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, as the apprehensions of the return of my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought, that the Brasilians 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 [page 95] 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 hit one way or other: I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth, which indeed at first almost stupified 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 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 first words that occurred to me were these: “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver, and thou shalt glorify me.”

The 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 hope appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts: but, however, the words made a very great impression upon me, and I [page 96] 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 that I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want any thing 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 scarce 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 the opinion, that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise I knew not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and recrossing the line, I should have lost more than a day; but in my account it was lost, and I never knew which way.

Be that however one way or other; when I awaked, I found myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I got up, I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better; for I was hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the better: this was the 29th.

The 30th was my well day of course, and I went abroad with my gun, but did not care to travel too far: I killed a sea-fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought them home, but was not very forward to eat them: so I 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; [page 97] only I did not take so much as before, nor did I chew any of the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke; however, I was not so well the next day, which was the 1st of July, as I hoped I should have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it was not much.

July 2. I renewed the medicine all the three ways, and dozed myself with it 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 exceedingly upon this scripture, “I will deliver thee;” and the impossibility of my deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of my ever expecting it: but as I was discouraging myself with such thoughts, it occurred to my mind, that I pored so much upon my deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliverance I had received; and I was, as it were, made to ask myself such questions as these; viz. Have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness? from the most 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 a while every morning and every night, not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my thoughts should engage me. It was not long after I set seriously to this work, but I found my heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life; the impression of my dream revived, and the [page 98] words, “All these things have not brought thee to repentance,” ran seriously in my thoughts: I was earnestly begging of God to give me repentance, when it happened providentially the very day, that, reading the Scripture, I came to these words, “He is exalted a Prince, and a Saviour, to give repentance, and to give remission.” I threw down the book, and with my heart as well as my hand 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 that I could say, in the true sense of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for now I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a true Scripture view of hope, founded on the encouragement of the word of God; and from this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God would hear me.

Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, “Call on me, and I will deliver thee,” in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of any thing being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the captivity I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in the worst sense in the world; but now I learnt to take it in another sense. Now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God, but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of no consideration in comparison of this; and I added this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find 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 [page 99] 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 as my health and strength returned, I bestirred myself to furnish myself with every thing that I wanted, and make my way of living as regular as I could.

From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in walking about with my gun in my hand a little and a little at a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit of sickness; for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to what weakness I was reduced. The application which I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps what had never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it to any one to practise by this experiment; and though it did carry off the fit, yet it rather contributed to weaken me; for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time.

I learnt from it also this in particular, that being abroad in the rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my health that could be, especially in those rains which came attended with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which came in a dry season was always most accompanied with such storms, so I found this rain was much more dangerous than the rain which fell in September and October.

I had been now 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 particular survey of the island itself. I went up the creek first, where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found, after I came about two miles up, that [page 100] 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 into any stream, so as it could be perceived.

On the bank of this brook I found many pleasant savannas or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass; and on the rising parts of them next to the higher grounds, where the water, as it might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a great deal of tobacco, green, and growing to a great and very strong stalk: there were divers other plants which I had no notion of, or understanding about; and might perhaps have virtues of their own, which I could not find out.

I searched for the cassave root, which the Indians in all that climate make their bread of, but I could find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but did not then understand them: I saw several sugar-canes, but wild, and, for want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these discoveries for this time, and came back, musing with myself what course I might take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or plants which I should discover, but could bring it to no conclusion; for, in short, I had made so little observation while I was in the Brasils, that I knew little of the plants of the field, at least very little that might serve me to any purpose now in my distress.

The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and, after going something farther than I had done the day before, I found the brook and the savannas began to cease, and the country became more woody than before. In this part I found different fruits, and particularly I found melons upon the ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees; the vines had spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters of grapes were just now in their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising discovery, and I was exceeding glad of them; but I was warned by my experience to eat sparingly of them, remembering, that [page 101] when I was ashore in Barbary, the eating of grapes killed several of our Englishmen who were slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers: but I found an excellent use for these grapes, and that was to cure or dry them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept, which I thought would be, as indeed they were, as wholesome, and as agreeable to eat, when no grapes might be had.

I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation, which by the way was the first night, as I might say, I had lain from home. In the night I took my first contrivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well, and the next morning proceeded upon my discovery, travelling near four miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley, keeping still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north side of me.

At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the country seemed to descend to the west; and a little spring of fresh water, which issued out of the side of the hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due east; and the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, every thing being in a constant verdure or flourish of spring, that it looked like a planted garden.

I descended a little on the side of that delicious valley, surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure (though mixed with other afflicting thoughts) to think that this was all my own, that I was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and had a right of possession; and if I could convey it, I might have it in inheritance, as completely as any lord of a manor in England. I saw here abundance of cocoa-trees, orange and lemon, and citron-trees, but all wild, and few bearing any fruit; at least, not then: however, the green limes that I gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome; and I mixed their juice afterwards with water, which made it very wholesome, and very cool and refreshing.

I found now I had business enough to gather and carry home; and resolved to lay up a store, as well of [page 102] 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, and a lesser heap in another place, and a great parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of each with me, I travelled homeward, and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or what I could make, to carry the rest home.

Accordingly, having spent three days in this journey, I came home (so I must now call my tent, and my cave;) but before I got thither, the grapes were spoiled; the richness of the fruit, and the weight of the juice, having broken them, and bruised them, they were good for little or nothing: as to the limes, they were good, but I could bring but a few.

The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made me two small bags to bring home my harvest. But I was surprised, when coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread abroad, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I concluded there were some wild creatures thereabouts, which had done this; but what they were I knew not.

However, as I found there was no laying them up on heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack, but that one way they would be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed with their own weight, I took another course; for I gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung them upon the out branches of the trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as I could well stand under.

When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great pleasure on the fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation, the security from storms 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 [page 103] of removing my habitation, and to look out for a place equally safe as where I now was situated, 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, and to consider 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 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 3d of August I found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly dried, and indeed were excellent good raisins [page 104] 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 thence, which was the 14th of August, it rained more or less every day, till the middle of October; and sometimes so violently, that I could not stir out of my cave for several days.

In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family: I had been concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead; and I heard no more tale or 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; yet the young cats were the same kind of house breed like 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 any thing;) 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 [page 105] 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 seen upon the island being a goat.

September the 30th. 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 to a religious exercise, prostrating myself to the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing myself 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 before, 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 of my reckoning.

A little after this my ink began to fail me, and so I contented myself to use it more sparingly, and to write down only the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily memorandum of other things.

The rainy season, and the dry season, began now to [page 106] appear regular to me, and I learnt 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 discouraging 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 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 thought, 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 seeds, leaving about a handful of each.

It was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did so; for not one grain of that I sowed this time came to any thing; for the dry months following, the earth having had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and never came up at all, till the wet season had come again, and then it grew as if it had been newly sown.

Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imagined was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of ground to make another trial in; and I dug up a piece of ground near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in February, a little before the vernal equinox; and this, having the rainy months of March and April to water it, sprung 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 yet, I had but a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind.

But by this experience I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when the proper season [page 107] was to sow; and that I might expect two seed-times, and two harvests, every year.

While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, which was of use to me afterwards. As soon as the rains were over, and the weather began to settle, which was about the month of November, I made a visit up the country to my bower, where though I had not been some months, yet I found all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that I had made, was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which I had cut off of some trees that grew thereabouts, were all shot out, and grown with long branches, as much as a willow tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its head. I could not tell what tree to call it that these stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them up to grow as much alike as I could; and it is scarce credible, how beautiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that though the hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet the trees, for such I might now call them, soon covered it; and it was a, complete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the dry season.

This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make me an hedge like this in a semicircle round my wall, I mean that of my first dwelling, which I did; and placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at above eight yards distance from my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a fine cover to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence also, as I shall observe in its order.

I found now, that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not into summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were generally thus:

[page 108]
Half February,}  Rainy, the sun being then on, or near, the equinox.
Half April,}  
Half April,}  
May,}  Dry, the sun being then to the north of the line.
Half August,}  
Half August,}  
September,} Rain, the sun being then come back.
Half October,}  
Half October,}  
November,} Dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
Half February,}  

The rainy season 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 provision beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out; and I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet months.

In this time I found much employment, (and very suitable also to the time) for I found great occasion of many things which I had no way to furnish myself with, but by hard labour and constant application; particularly, I tried many ways to make myself a basket; but all the twigs I could get for the purpose proved so brittle, that they would do nothing. It proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a boy I used to take great delight in standing at a basket-maker’s in the town where my father lived, to see them make their wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to help, and a great observer of the manner how they worked those things, and sometimes lent an 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 [page 109] sallows, and willows, and osiers, in England; and I resolved to try.

Accordingly the next day I went to my country-house, as I called it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came the next time prepared with an hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found, for there was a great plenty of them: these I set up to dry within my circle or hedges; and when they were fit for use, I carried them to my cave; and here during the next season I employed myself in making (as well as I could) a great many baskets, both to carry earth, or to carry or lay up any thing, as I had occasion; and though I did not finish them very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently serviceable for my purpose; and thus afterwards I took care never to be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed I made more; especially I made 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 vessels to hold any thing that was liquid, except two rundlets, 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 waters, spirits, &c. I had not so much as a pot to boil any thing in, except a great kettle which I saved out of the ship, and which was too big for such uses as I desired it for, viz. to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing I would fain have had, was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible for me to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that too at last.

I employed myself in planting my second rows of stakes of piles, and in this wicker-work, all the summer, or dry season; when another business took me up more time than it could be imagined I could spare.

I mentioned before, that I had a great mind to [page 110] see the whole island, and that I had travelled up the brook, and so on to where I built my bower, and where I had an opening quite to the sea, on the other side of the island. I now resolved to travel quite across to the sea shore on that side. So taking my gun and 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 descried land, whether an island or continent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from the west 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 vessels pass or repass one way or other; but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish country and Brasil, which were indeed the worst of savages; for they are cannibals, or men-eaters, 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 savanna fields sweet, adorned with flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abundance of parrots, and [page 111] fain would I have caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to speak to me. I did, after some painstaking, catch a young parrot; for I knocked it down with a stick, and having recovered it, I brought it home, but it was some years before I could make him speak. However, at last I taught him to call me by my name very familiarly: but the accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its place.

I was exceedingly diverted with this journey: I found in the low grounds, hares, as I thought them to be, and foxes, but they differed greatly from all the other kinds I had met with; nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several: but I had no need to be venturous; for I had no want of food, and of that which was very good too; especially these three sorts, viz. goats, pigeons, and turtle or tortoise; which added to my grapes. Leadenhall-market could not have furnished a better table than I, in proportion to the company: and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause for thankfulness, that I was not driven to any extremities for food; but 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 either reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes set upright in the ground, either from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me without waking me.

As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was surprised to see that I had taken up my lot on the worst side of the island; for here indeed the shore was covered with innumerable turtles, whereas on the other side I had found but three in a year and an half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds, some of which I had not seen before, and many of [page 112] them very good meat; but such as I knew not the names of except those called penguins.

I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very sparing of my powder and shot: and therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed on: and though there were many goats here more than on the other side of the island, yet it was with much more difficulty that I could come near them; the country being flat and even, and they saw me much sooner than when I was on the hills.

I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine, but yet I had not the least inclination to remove; for as I was fixed in my habitation, it became natural to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to be, as it were, upon a journey, and from home: however, I travelled along the shore of the sea towards the east, I suppose, about twelve miles; and then setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark, I concluded I would go home again; and the next journey I took should be on the other side of the island, east from my dwelling, and so round, till I came to my post again: of which in its place.

I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could easily keep all the island so much in my view, that I could not miss finding my first dwelling by viewing the country; but I found myself mistaken; for being come about two or three miles, I found myself descended into a very large valley; but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered with woods, 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 farther 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 [page 113] come back the same way I went; and then by easy journies 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 possible to get a kid or two, and so raise a breed of tame goats, which might supply me when my powder and shot should be spent.

I made a collar for 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 a 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 every thing about me so comfortable, that I resolved I would never go a great way from it again, while it should be my lot to stay on the island.

I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long journey; during which, most of the time was taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage for my Pol, 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, and give it some food; accordingly I went, and found it where I left it; for indeed it could not get out, but was almost starved for want of food; I went and cut boughs of trees and branches of such shrubs as I could find, and threw it over, and [page 114] 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 30th of September in the same solemn manner as before, being the anniversary of my landing on the island, having now been there two years, and no more prospect of being delivered than the first day I came there. I spent the whole day in humble and thankful acknowledgments of the many wonderful mercies which my solitary condition was attended with, and without which it might have been infinitely more miserable. I gave humble and hearty thanks, that God had been pleased to discover to me even that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have been in a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world: that he could fully make up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by his presence, and the communication of his grace to my soul, supporting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon his providence here, and hope for his eternal presence 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 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 gust, 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 [page 115] how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and made 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, never leave thee, nor forsake thee!” Immediately it occurred, that these words were to me, why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? “Well then,” said I, “if God does not forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all forsake me; seeing, on the other hand, if I had all the world, and should lose the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss?”

From this moment I began to conclude in my mind, that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it was probable I should have ever 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 be such an hypocrite,” said I, even audibly, “to pretend to be thankful for a condition, which, however thou mayst endeavour to be contented with, thou wouldst rather pray heartily to be delivered from?” So I stopped there; but though I could [page 116] not say I thanked God for being there, yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by whatever afflicting providences, 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 at the first, yet in general it may be observed, that I was very seldom idle; having regularly divided my time, according to the several daily employments that were before me; such as, first, my duty to God, and reading the Scriptures, which I constantly set apart some time for, thrice, every day: secondly, the going abroad with my gun for food, which generally took me up three hours every morning when it did not rain: thirdly, the ordering, curing, preserving, and cooking what I had killed or catched for my supply; these took up great part of the day: also it is to be considered, that in the middle of the day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was too great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the time I could be supposed to work in; with this exception, that sometimes I changed my hours of hunting and working, and went to work in the morning, and abroad with my gun in the afternoon.

To this short time allowed for labour, I desire may be added the exceeding laboriousness of my work; the many hours, which for want of tools, want of help, and want of skill, every thing that I did, took up out of my time: for example, I was full two-and-forty days making me a board for a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave; whereas two sawyers, with their tools and saw-pit, would have cut six of them out of the same tree in half a day.

[page 117]

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. The tree I was three days a cutting down, and two more cutting off the boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. With 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 shew 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 ever thing that my circumstances made necessary for me to do, as will appear by what follows.

I was now in the months of November and December, expecting my crop of barley and rice. The ground I had manured or dug up for them was not great; for, as I observed, my seed of each, was not above the quantity of half a peck; for I had lost one whole crop by sowing in the dry season; but now my crop promised very well, when on a sudden I found I was in danger of losing it all again by enemies of several sorts, which it was scarce 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 stalks.

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 [page 118] 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, which 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 arose 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 like to be a good crop, if it could be saved.

I stayed by it to load my gun, and then coming away, I could easily see the thieves sitting upon all the trees about me, as if they only waited till I was gone away, and the event proved it to be so; for as I walked off as if I was gone, I was no sooner out of their sight, but they dropped down one by one into the corn again. I was so provoked, that I could not have patience to stay till more came on, knowing that every grain that they ate now was, as it might be said, a peck loaf to me in the consequence; but coming up [page 119] 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 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 a sickle to cut it down, and all I could do was to make one as well as I could out of one of the broad-swords, or cutlasses, which I saved among the arms out of the ship. However, as my crop was but small, I had no great difficulty to cut it down: in short, I reaped it my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and carried it away in a great basket which I had made, and so rubbed it out with my hands: and at the end of all my harvesting I found, that out of my half-peck of seed I had near two bushels of rice, and above two bushels and a half of barley, that is to say, by my guess, for I had no measure at that time.

However, this was a great encouragement to me; and I foresaw, that in time it would please God to supply me with bread: and yet here I was perplexed again; for I neither knew how to grind or make meal of my corn, or indeed how to clean it and part it; nor, if made into meal, how to make bread of it; and if how to make it, yet. I knew not how to bake it. These things being added to my desire of having a good quantity for store, and to secure a constant supply, I resolved not to taste any of this crop, but to preserve it all for seed against the next season, and in the meantime to employ all my study and hours of working to accomplish this great work of providing myself with corn and bread.

[page 120]

It might be truly said, that I now 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 be my daily discouragement, and was made more and more sensible of it every hour, even after I 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 the earth, no spade or shovel to dig it. Well, this I conquered by making a wooden spade, as I observed before; but this did my work but in a wooden manner; and though it cost me a great many days to make it, yet, for want of iron, it not only wore out the sooner, but made my work the harder, and made it be performed much worse.

However, this I bore with too, and was content to work it out with patience, and bear with the badness of the performance. When the corn was sowed, I had no harrow, but was forced to go over it myself, and drag a great heavy bough of a tree over it, to scratch the earth, as it may be called, rather than rake or harrow it.

When it was growing or grown, I have observed already how many things I wanted, to fence it, secure it, mow or reap it, cure or carry it home, thresh, 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 all this, as I said, made every thing laborious and tedious to me, but that there was no help for; neither was my time so much loss to me, because I had divided it; a certain part of it was every day appointed to these works; and as I resolved to use none of the corn for bread till I had a greater [page 121] quantity by me, I had the next six months to apply myself wholly by labour and invention, to furnish myself with utensils proper for the performing all the operations necessary for the 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 a very sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required double labour to work with it; however, I went through that, and sowed my seeds 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 off that wood which I had set before, which I knew would grow; so that in one year’s time I knew I should have a quick or living hedge, that would want but little repair. This work was not so little as to take me up less than three months; because great part of that time was in the wet season, when I could not go abroad.

Within-door, that is, when it rained, and I could not go out, I found employment on the following occasion, 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; at last, to speak it out pretty loud, Pol; which was the first word I ever heard spoken in the island by any mouth but my own. This therefore was not my work, but an assistant to my work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment upon my hands, as follows: viz. I had long studied, by some means or other, to make myself some earthen vessels, which indeed 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 such 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 any [page 122] thing 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, to bring it home, and work it, I could not make above two large earthen ugly things, I cannot call them jars, in about two months 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 any thing 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 [page 123] 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 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 fire-wood all round it with a great heap of embers under them: I piled the fire with fresh fuel round the outside, and upon the top, till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through, and observed that they did not crack at all: when I saw them clear red, I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours, till I found one of them, though it did not crack, did melt or run; for the sand which was mixed with the clay melted by the violence of the heat, and would have run into glass, if I had gone on; so I slacked my fire gradually, till the pots began to abate of the red colour; and watching them all night that I might not let the fire abate too fast, in the morning I had three very good, I will not say handsome pipkins, and two other earthen pots, as hard burnt as could be desired; and one of them perfectly glazed with the running of the sand.

After this experiment I need not say that I wanted no sort of earthenware for my use; but I must needs say, as to the shapes of them, they were very indifferent, as any one may suppose, when I had no way of making them, but as the children make dirt-pies, or as a woman would make pies that never learnt 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 upon the fire again with some water in it, to boil me some meat, which I did admirably well; and with a piece of a kid I made some very good broth, though I [page 124] wanted oatmeal, and several other ingredients requisite to make it so 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 trades in the world I was as perfectly unqualified for a stone-cutter, as for any whatever; neither had I any tools to go about it with. I spent many a day to find out a great stone big enough to cut hollow, and make fit for a mortar, and could find none at all except what was in the solid rock, and which I had no way to dig or cut out; nor indeed were the rocks in the island of hardness sufficient, but were all of a sandy crumbling stone, which would neither bear the weight of an heavy pestle, nor would break the corn without filling it with sand; so, after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave it over, and resolved to look out a great block of hard wood, which I found indeed much easier; and getting one as big as I had strength to stir, I rounded it, and formed it on the outside with my axe and hatchet; and then with the help of fire and infinite labour, made an hollow place in it, as the Indians in Brasil 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, when I proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, my corn or meal to make my bread.

My next difficulty was to make a sieve or searce, to dress my meal, and part it from the bran and the husk, without which I did not see it possible I could have any bread. This was a most difficult thing, so much as but to think on; for to be sure I had nothing like the necessary things to make it with; I mean fine thin canvass, or stuff, to searce 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 goat’s hair, but neither [page 125] knew I how to weave or spin it; and had I known how, here were no tools to work it with. All the remedy that I found for this, was, that at last I did remember I had among the seamen’s clothes which were saved out of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or muslin; and with some pieces of these I made three small sieves, but proper enough for the work; and thus I made shift for some years; how I did afterwards, I shall shew 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, there was no supplying the want, so I did not concern myself much about it. But for an oven, I was indeed in great pain. At length I found out an experiment for that also, which was this; I made some earthen vessels very broad, but not deep; that is to say, about two feet diameter, and not above nine inches deep; these I burnt in the fire, as I had done the other, and laid them by; and when I wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon the hearth, which I had paved with some square tiles of my own making and burning also; but I should not call them square.

When the fire-wood was burnt 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 mere pastry-cook into the bargain; for I made myself several cakes of the rice, and puddings; indeed I made no pies, neither had I any thing 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 [page 126] things I had my new harvest and husbandry to manage: for I reaped my corn in its season, and carried it home as well as I could, and laid it up in the ear, in my large baskets, till I had time to rub it out; for I had no floor to thresh it on, or instrument to thresh it with.

And now indeed my stock of corn increasing, I really wanted to build my barns bigger: I wanted a place to lay it up in; for the increase of the corn now yielded me so much, that I had of the barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice as much, or more; insomuch that I now resolved to begin to use it freely, for my bread had been quite gone a great while; also I resolved to see what quantity would be sufficient for me a whole year, and to sow but once a year.

Upon the whole, I found that the forty bushels of barley and rice were much more than I could consume in a year: so I resolved to sow just the same quantity every year that I sowed the last, in hopes that such a quantity would fully provide me with bread, &c.

All the while these things were doing, you may be sure my thoughts ran many times upon the prospect of land which I had seen from the other side of the island; and I was not without secret wishes, that I was on shore there, fancying that seeing the main land, and an inhabited country, I might find some way or other to convey myself farther, and perhaps at last find some means of escape.

But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such a condition, and how I might fall into the hands of savages, and perhaps such as I might have reason to think far worse than the lions and tigers of Africa: that if I once came into their power, I should run an hazard more than a thousand to one of being killed, and perhaps of being eaten; for I had heard that the people of the Caribean coasts were cannibals, or men-eaters; and I knew by the latitude that I could not be far off from that shore: that, suppose they were not cannibals, yet they might [page 127] kill me, as many Europeans who had fallen into their hands had been served, even when they had been ten or twenty together; much more I that was but one, and could make little or no defence. All these things, I say, which I ought to have considered well of, and I did cast up in my thoughts afterwards, yet took none of my apprehensions at first; and my head ran mightily upon the thoughts 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 on 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 upwards, against the high ridge of a beachy rough sand, but no water about her as before.

If I had had hands to have refitted her, and have launched her into the water, the boat would have done well enough, and I might have gone back into the Brasils with her easy 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, resolving 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 [page 128] forwards 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 set me upon thinking whether it was not possible to make myself a canoe or periagua, such as the natives of those climates make, even without tools, or, as I might say, without hands, viz. of the trunk of a great tree. This I not only thought possible, but easy: and pleased myself extremely with my thoughts of making it, and with my having much more convenience for it than any of the Negroes or Indians; but not at all considering the particular inconveniences which I lay under more than the Indians did, viz. want of hands to move it into the water, when it was made; a difficulty much harder for me to surmount than all the consequences of want of tools could be to them: for what was it to me, that when I had chosen a vast tree in the woods, I might with great trouble cut it down, if after I might be able with my tools to hew and dub the outside into a proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut out the inside to make it hollow, so to make a boat of it, if, after all this, I must leave it just there where I found it, and was not able to launch it into the water?

One would have thought I could not have had the least reflection upon my mind of this circumstance, 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 [page 129] that the difficulty of launching my boat came often into my head; but I put a stop to my own inquiries into it by this foolish answer, which I gave myself; Let me first make it, I’ll warrant I’ll 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 an one for the building the temple at Jerusalem; it was five feet ten inches diameter at the lower part next the stump, and four feet eleven inches diameter at the end of twenty-two feet, after which it lessened for a while, and then parted into branches. It was not without infinite labour that I felled this tree: I was twenty days hacking and hewing at it at the bottom; I was fourteen more getting the branches and limbs, and the vast spreading head of it, cut off, which I hacked and hewed through with my axe and hatchet, with 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 chissel, and by the dint of hard labour; till I had brought it to be a very handsome periagua, and big enough to have carried six-and-twenty men, and consequently big enough to have carried me and all my cargo.

When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it: the boat was really much bigger than I ever saw a canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life; many a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure, for there remained nothing but to get it into the water; and had I gotten it into the water, I make no question but I should have begun the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed, that ever was undertaken.

But all my devices to get it into the water failed [page 130] me, though they cost infinite labour too; it lay about one hundred yards from the water, and not more; but the first inconvenience was, it was up hill towards the creek. Well, to take away this discouragement, I resolved to dig into the surface of the earth, and so make a declivity; this I began, and it cost me a prodigious deal of pains: but who grudge pains, that have their deliverance in view? but when this was worked through, and this difficulty managed, it was still much at one; for I could no more stir the canoe, than I could the other boat.

Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a dock, or canal, to bring the water up to the canoe, seeing I could not bring the canoe down to the water: well, I began this work, and when I began to enter into it, and calculated how deep it was to be dug, how broad, how the stuff 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 should have gone through with it; for the shore lay high, so 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 lightly 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 like 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 [page 131] out of it; and well I might say, as father Abraham to Dives, “Between me and thee there 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, or 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 turtles 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; I had grapes enough to have made wine, or to have cured into raisins, to have loaded that fleet when they had been built.

But all I could make use of, was all that was valuable: I had enough to eat, and to 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 farther good to us, than as they are for our use: and that whatever we may heap up indeed to give to others, we enjoy 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 infinitely 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, [page 132] 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 I often thought with myself, that I would have given an handful of it for a gross of tobacco-pipes, or for an hand-mill to grind my corn; nay, I would have given it all for six-penny-worth of turnip and carrot seed out of England, or for an 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 season; and if I had had the drawer full of diamonds, it had been the same case; and 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 my meat with thankfulness, and admired the hand of God’s providence, which had thus spread my table in the wilderness: I learnt to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side; and to consider what I 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 hath given them, because they see and covet something 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 any one that should fall into such distress as mine was; and this was, to compare my present condition with what I at first expected it should 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 near to the shore, where I not only could come at her, but could bring what I got [page 133] out of her to the shore for my relief and comfort; without which I had wanted tools to work, weapons for defence, or 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 contrivance, I had no way to flay or open them, 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 what 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 condition with what I had deserved, and had therefore reason to expect from the hand of Providence. I had lived a dreadful life, perfectly destitute 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 religious awe of God into my mind, a sense of my duty, and of what the nature and end of my being required of me. But, alas! falling early into the seafaring life, which of all the lives is the most destitute of the fear of God, though his terrors are always before them; I say, falling early into the seafaring life, and into seafaring company, all that little sense of [page 134] religion which I had entertained, was laughed out of me by my messmates; by an 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 any thing but what was like myself, or to hear any thing of what was good, or tended towards it.

So void was I of every thing that was good, or of the least sense of what I was, or was to be, that in the greatest deliverance 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 Brasil, 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 thought as to pray to him; nor 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 providences had attended me, since my coming into this place, and how God had dealt bountifully with me; had not only punished me less than my iniquity 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 resignation to the will of God in the present disposition of my circumstances, but even to a sincere thankfulness of 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, for that daily bread, which nothing but a cloud of wonders could have brought: that I ought to consider [page 135] I had been fed even by a miracle, even as great as that of feeding Elijah by ravens; nay, by a long series of miracles; 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 have fed 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 my 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 for 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 remember that there was a strange concurrence of days, in the various providences which befel 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 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 the ship in Yarmouth Roads, that same day [page 136] of the year afterwards I made my escape from Sallee in the 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, both began on a day.

The next thing to my ink’s 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 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, which were left behind, but they were too hot to wear; and though it is true, that the weather was so violent 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 thought of it, though I was all alone.

One reason why I could not go quite 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 [page 137] place, would give me the headach presently, by darting so directly on my head, without a cap or hat 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 a-tailoring, or rather indeed a-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 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 hung them 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 this I made a suit of clothes wholly of those skins; that is to say, a waistcoat and breeches open at the knees, and both loose; for they were rather wanted 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 a very good shift with; and when I was abroad, if it happened to rain, the hair of the waistcoat and cap being outmost, I was kept very dry.

After this I spent a deal of time and pains to make me 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 Brasils, 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 [page 138] 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 heats. I took a world of pains at it, and was a great while before I could make any thing 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 to 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 penthouse, 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 conversation, 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 provisions 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, six feet wide, and four feet deep, I brought it into the creek, [page 139] almost half a mile. As for the first, that 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 to 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 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 Firma, 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. But 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 journey made me very eager to see the 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 every thing with discretion and consideration, I fitted up a little mast to 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 and boxes at each end of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, and 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.

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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 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; but 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 my 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 this 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 I first 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 me 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 an hill, which seemed to over-look 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, even came close to the [page 141] 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 gotten first upon this hill, I believe it would have been so; for there was the same current on the other side of 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 said 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 over-night, the sea was calm, and I ventured; but I am a warning-piece again to all rash and ignorant pilots; for no sooner was I come to the point, when I was not my boat’s length from the shore, but I found myself in a great depth of water, and a current like a 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 the 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 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 for 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 [page 142] 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; “O happy desert!” said I, “I shall never see thee more! O miserable creature!” said I, “whither am I going!” Then I reproached myself with my unthankful temper, and how I had repined at my solitary 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 scarce possible to imagine the consternation 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 the 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 was gotten at a frightful distance from the island; and, had the least cloud 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.

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Just as I had set my mast and sail, and the boat began to stretch away, I saw even by the clearness of the water, some alteration of the current was near; where the current was so strong, the water 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 north-east, 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 like extremities, 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 the help of this current or eddy, I found it was spent, and served me no farther. However I found, that being between the 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 west 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.

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About four o’clock in the evening, being then within about a league of the island, I found the point of the rocks which occasioned this distance stretching out as is described before, to the southward, and casting off the current more southwardly, had of course made another eddy to the north; and this I found very strong, but 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 espied 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 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 only resolved in the 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 thereabouts, 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 convenient harbour for my boat, and where she lay as if she had been in a little dock made on purpose 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 a little passed by the place where I had been before when I travelled on foot to [page 145] that shore; so taking nothing out of my boat but my gun and my umbrella, for it was exceeding 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 every thing 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 several 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 sleeping 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 frighted, and started up in the utmost consternation: but no sooner were my eyes open, but I saw my Pol sitting on the top of the hedge, and immediately knew that this 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 learnt 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 no where else: but as I was well satisfied it could be nobody but [page 146] honest Poll, I got it over; 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 my self 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 unto the sea.

In this government of my temper, I remained near a year, 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 my self to the dispositions of Providence, I thought I lived really very happily in all things, except that of society.

I improved my self in this time in all the mechanic exercises which my necessities put me upon applying my self to, and I believe could, upon occasion, make a very good carpenter, especially considering how few tools I had.

Besides this, I arrived at an unexpected perfection in my [page 147] earthen ware, and contrived well enough to make them with a wheel, which I found infinitely easier and better; because I made things round and shapeable, 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 tho it was a very ugly clumsy thing, when it was done, and only burnt 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 knowing that there was tobacco in the island; and afterwards, when I searched the ship again, I could not come at any pipes at all.

In my wicker ware also I improved much, and made abundance of necessary baskets, as well as my invention shewed me, tho not very handsome, yet they were such as were very handy and convenient for my laying things up in, or fetching things home in. For example, if I killed a goat abroad, I could hang it up in a tree, flea 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.

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 goat. I had, as is observed in the third year of my being here, kept a young kid, and bred her up tame, and I was in hope of getting a he-goat, but I could not by any means bring it to pass, ’till my kid grew an old goat; and I could never find in my heart to kill her, till she dyed at last of mere age.

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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 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 where I had observed the goats used to feed, and over these 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, that I could see the mark of their feet: at length, I set three traps in one night, and going the next morning, I found them all standing, and yet the bait eaten and gone. This was very discouraging; however, I altered my trap; and, not to trouble you with particulars, going one morning to see my traps, I found in one of them a large old he-goat; and, in one of the other, three kids, a male and two females.

As to the old one, I knew not what to do with him; he was so fierce I durst not go into the pit to him; that is to say, to go about to bring him away alive, which was what I wanted; I could have killed him, but that was not my business, nor would it answer my end; so I e’en let him out, and he ran away as if he had been frightened out of his wits; but I did not then know what I afterwards learnt, that hunger would tame a lion: if I had let him stay there three or four days without food, and then have carried him some water to drink, and then a little corn, he would have been as tame as one of the kids; for they are mighty sagacious tractable creatures, where they are well used.

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However, for the present I let him go, knowing no better at that time; then I went to the three kids; and, taking them one by one, I tied them with strings together; and with some difficulty brought them all home.

It was a good while before they would feed; but throwing them some sweet corn, it tempted them, and they began to be tame: and now I found, that if I expected to supply myself with goat’s flesh, when I had no powder or shot left, breeding some up tame was my only way, when perhaps I might have them about my house like a flock of sheep.

But then it presently occurred to me, that I must keep the tame from the wild, or else they would always run wild when they grew up; and the only way for this was to have some enclosed piece of ground, well fenced either with hedge or pale, to keep them up so effectually, that those within might not break out, or those without break in.

This was a great undertaking for one pair of hands; yet as I saw there was an absolute necessity of doing it, my first piece of work was to find out a proper piece of ground; viz. where there was likely to be herbage for them to eat, water for them to drink, and cover to keep them from the sun.

Those who understand such enclosures, will think I had very little contrivance, when I pitched upon a place very proper for all these, being a plain open piece of meadow-land or savanna (as our people call it in the western colonies) which had two or three little drills of fresh water in it, and at one end was very woody; I say they will smile at my forecast, when I shall tell them I began my enclosing of this piece of ground in such a manner, that my hedge or pale must have been at least two miles about; nor was the madness of it so great as to the compass; for if it was ten miles about, I was like to have time enough to do it in; but I did not consider; that my goats would be as wild in so much compass, as if they had [page 150] had the whole island; and I should have so much room to chase them in, that I should never catch them.

My hedge was begun and carried on, I believe, about fifty yards, when this thought occurred to me; so I presently stopped short, and for the first beginning I resolved to enclose a piece of about one hundred and fifty yards in length, and one hundred yards in breadth, which as it would maintain as many as I should have in any reasonable time, so, as my flock increased, I could add more ground to my enclosure.

This was acting with some prudence, and I went to work with courage. I was about three months hedging in the first piece; and, till I had done it, I tethered the three kids in the best part of it, and used them to feed as near me as possible, to make them familiar; and very often I would go and carry them some ears of barley, or a handful of rice, and feed them out of my hand; so that after my enclosure was finished, and I let them loose, they would follow me up and down, bleating after me for a handful of corn.

This answered my end, and in about a year and a half I had a flock of about twelve goats, kids and all; and in two years more I had three-and-forty, besides several that I took and killed for my food; and after that I enclosed five several pieces of ground to feed them in, with little pens to drive them into, to take them as I wanted them; and gates out of one piece of ground into another.

But this was not all; for now I not only had goat’s flesh to feed on when I pleased, but milk too, a thing which indeed in my beginning I did not so much as think of, and which, when it came into my thoughts, was really an agreeable surprise; for now I set up my dairy, and had sometimes a gallon or two of milk in a day. And as nature, who gives supplies of food to every creature, dictates even naturally how to make use of it; so I, that never milked a cow, much less a goat, or saw butter or cheese made, very readily and handily, though after a great many essays and miscarriages, [page 151] made me both butter and cheese at last, and never wanted it afterwards.

How mercifully can our great Creator treat his creatures, even in those conditions in which they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can he sweeten the bitterest providences, and give us cause to praise him for dungeons and prisons! What a table was here spread for me in a wilderness, where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger!

It would have made a stoic smile, to have seen me and my little family sit down to dinner: there was my majesty, the prince and lord of the whole island; I had the lives of all my subjects at absolute command; I could hang, draw, give life and liberty, and take it away, and no rebels among all my subjects.

Then to see how like a king I dined too, all alone, attended by my servants! Pol, as if he had been my favourite, as the only person permitted to talk to me; my dog, which was now grown very old and crazy, and found no species to multiply his kind upon, sat always at my right hand; and two cats, one on one side the table, and one on the other, expecting now and then a bit from my hand, as a mark of special favour.

But these were not the two cats which I brought on shore at first; for they were both of them dead, and had been interred near my habitation by my own hands; but one of them having multiplied by I know not what kind of creature, these were two which I preserved tame, whereas the rest ran wild into the woods, and became indeed troublesome to me at last; for they would often come into my house, and plunder me too, till at last I was obliged to shoot them, and did kill a great many: at length they left me. With this attendance, and in this plentiful manner, I lived; neither could I be said to want any thing but society, and of that, in some time after this, I was like to have too much.

I was something impatient, as I had observed, to have the use of my boat, though very loath to run any more hazard; and therefore sometimes I sat contriving [page 152] ways to get her about the island, and at other times I sat myself down contented enough without her. But I had a strange uneasiness in my mind to go down to the point of the island, where, as I have said in my last ramble, I went up the hill to see how the shore lay, and how the current set, that I might see what I had to do. This inclination increased upon me every day, and at length I resolved to travel thither by land, and following the edge of the shore, I did so; but had any one in England been to meet such a man as I was, it must either have frighted them, or raised a great deal of laughter; and as I frequently stood still to look at myself, I could not but smile at the notion of my travelling through Yorkshire with such an equipage, and in such a dress. Be pleased to take a sketch of my figure as follows:

I had a great high shapeless cap, made of goat’s skin, with a flap hanging down behind, as well to keep the sun from me, as to shoot the rain off from running into my neck; nothing being so hurtful in these climates, as the rain upon the flesh under the clothes.

I had a short jacket of goat’s skin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of my thighs; and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same; the breeches were made of a skin of an old he-goat, whose hair hung down such a length on either side, that, like pantaloons, it reached to the middle of my legs. Stockings and shoes I had none; but I had made me a pair of something, I scarce knew what to call them, like buskins, to flap over my legs, and lace on either side like spatterdashes; but of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of my clothes.

I had on a broad belt of goat’s skin dried, which I drew together with two thongs of the same, instead of buckles; and in a kind of a frog on either side of this, instead of a sword and dagger, hung a little saw and a hatchet; one on one side, one on the other: I had another belt not so broad, and fastened in the same manner, which hung over my shoulder; and at the end of it, under my left arm, hung two pouches, [page 153] both made of goat’s skin too; in one of which hung my powder, in the other my shot: at my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun, and over my head a great clumsy ugly goat’s skin umbrella; but which, after all, was the most necessary thing I had about me, next to my gun. As for my face, the colour of it was really not so Mulatto-like as one might expect from a man not at all careful of it, and living within nine or ten degrees of the equinox. My beard I had once suffered to grow till it was about a quarter of a yard long; but as I had both scissars and razors sufficient, I had cut it pretty short, except what grew on my upper lip, which I had trimmed into a large pair of Mahometan whiskers, such as I had seen worn by some Turks whom I saw at Sallee; for the Moors did not wear such, though the Turks did: of these mustachios, or whiskers, I will not say they were long enough to hang my hat upon them; but they were of length and shape monstrous enough, and such as in England would have passed for frightful.

But all this is by the by; for as to my figure, I had so few to observe me, that it was of no manner of consequence; so I say no more to that part. In this kind of figure I went my new journey, and was out five or six days. I travelled first along the sea shore, directly to the place where I first brought my boat to an anchor, to get up upon the rocks; and, having no boat now to take care of, I went over the land a nearer way, to the same height that I was upon before; when looking forward to the point of the rock which lay out, and which I was to double with my boat, as I said above, I was surprised to see the sea all smooth and quiet; no rippling, no motion, no current, any more there than in other places.

I was at a strange loss to understand this, and resolved to spend some time in the observing of it, to see if nothing from the sets of the tide had occasioned it: but I was presently convinced how it was; viz. that the tide of ebb setting from the west, and joining [page 154] with the current of waters from some great river on the shore, must be the occasion of this current, and that according as the wind blew more forcible from the west, or from the north, this current came near, or went farther from the shore; for, waiting thereabouts till evening, I went up to the rock again, and then the tide of the ebb being made, I plainly saw the current again as before, only that it ran farther off, being near half a league from the shore; whereas, in my case, it set close upon the shore, and hurried me in my canoe along with it, which at another time it would not have done.

This observation convinced me, that I had nothing to do but to observe the ebbing and the flowing of the tide, and I might very easily bring my boat about the island again: but when I began to think of putting it in practice, I had such a terror upon my spirits at the remembrance of the danger I had been in, that I could not think of it again with any patience; but on the contrary, I took up another resolution, which was more safe, though more laborious; and this was, that I would build, or rather make me another periagua, or canoe; and so have one for one side of the island, and one for the other.

You are to understand, that now I had, as I may call it, two plantations in the island; one my little fortification or tent, with the wall about it under the rock, with the cave behind me, which by this time I had enlarged into several apartments or caves, one within another. One of these, which was the driest and largest, and had a door out beyond my wall or fortification, that is to say, beyond where my wall joined to the rock, was all filled up with large earthen pots, of which I have given an account, and with fourteen or fifteen great baskets, which would hold five or six bushels each, where I laid up my stores of provision, especially my corn, some in the ear cut off short from the straw, and the other rubbed out with my hands.

As for my wall, made as before, with long stakes [page 155] or piles, those piles grew all like trees, and were by this time grown so big, and spread so very much, that there was not the least appearance, to any one’s view, of any habitation behind them.

Near this dwelling of mine, but a little farther within the land, and upon lower ground, lay my two pieces of corn-ground; which I kept duly cultivated and sowed, and which duly yielded me their harvest in its season: and whenever I had occasion for more corn, I had more land adjoining as fit as that.

Besides this I had my country-seat, and I had now a tolerable plantation there also; for first, I had my little bower, as I called it, which I kept in repair; that is to say, I kept the hedge which circled it in constantly fitted up to its usual height, the ladder standing always in the inside; I kept the trees, which at first were no more than my stakes, but were now grown very firm and tall; I kept them always so cut, that they might spread and grow thick and wild, and make the more agreeable shade, which they did effectually to my mind. In the middle of this I had my tent always standing, being a piece of a sail spread over poles set up for that purpose, and which never wanted any repair or renewing; and under this I had made me a squab or couch, with the skins of the creatures I had killed, and with other soft things, and a blanket laid on them, such as belonged to our sea-bedding, which I had saved, and a great watch-coat to cover me; and here, whenever I had occasion to be absent from my chief seat, I took up my country habitation.

Adjoining to this I had my enclosures for my cattle, that is to say, my goats: and as I had taken an inconceivable deal of pains to fence and enclose this ground, I was so uneasy to see it kept entire, lest the goats should break through, that I never left off, till with infinite labour I had stuck the outside of the hedge so full of small stakes, and so near to one another, that it was rather a pale than a hedge, and there was scarce room to put a hand through between them, [page 156] which afterwards, when those stakes grew, as they all did in the next rainy season, made the enclosure strong, like a wall, indeed stronger than any wall.

This will testify for me that I was not idle, and that I spared no pains to bring to pass whatever appeared necessary for my comfortable support; for I considered the keeping up a breed of tame creatures thus at my hand, would be a living magazine of flesh, milk, butter, and cheese, for me as long as I lived in the place, if it were to be forty years; and that keeping them in my reach, depended entirely upon my perfecting my enclosures to such a degree, that I might be sure of keeping them together; which by this method indeed I so effectually secured, that when these little stakes began to grow, I had planted them so very thick, I was forced to pull some of them up again.

In this place also I had my grapes growing, which I principally depended on for my winter store of raisins, and which I never failed to preserve very carefully, as the best and most agreeable dainty of my whole diet; and indeed they were not agreeable only, but physical, wholesome, nourishing, and refreshing to the last degree.

As this was also about half way between my other habitation and the place where I had laid up my boat, I generally staid and lay here in my way thither; for I used frequently to visit my boat, and I kept all things about or belonging to her in very good order: sometimes I went out in her to divert myself, but no more hazardous voyages would I go, nor scarce ever above a stone’s cast or two from the shore, I was so apprehensive of being hurried out of my knowledge again by the currents, or winds, or any other accident. But now I come to a new scene of my life.

It happened one day about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand: I stood like one thunder-struck, or as if I had seen an apparition; I listened, [page 157] I looked round me, I could hear nothing, nor see any thing; I went up to a rising ground to look farther: I went up the shore, and down the shore, but it was all one, I could see no other impression but that one; I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the very print of a foot, toes, heel, and every part of a foot; how it came thither I knew not, nor could in the least imagine. But after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused, and out of myself, I came home to my mortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a man; nor is it possible to describe how many various shapes an affrighted imagination represented things to me in; how many wild ideas were formed every moment in my fancy, and what strange unaccountable whimsies came into my thoughts by the way.

When I came to my castle, for so I think I called it ever after this, I fled into it like one pursued; whether I went over by the ladder, as first contrived, or went in at the hole in the rock, which I called a door, I cannot remember; for never frighted hare fled to cover, or fox to earth, with more terror of mind than I to this retreat.

I had no sleep that night: the farther I was from the occasion of my fright, the greater my apprehensions were; which is something contrary to the nature of such things, and especially to the usual practice of all creatures in fear. But I was so embarrassed with my own frightful ideas of the thing, that I formed nothing but dismal imaginations to myself, even though I was now a great way off it. Sometimes I fancied it must be the devil; and reason joined in with me upon this supposition. For how should any other thing in human shape come into the place? Where was the vessel that brought them? What marks were there of [page 158] any other footsteps? And how was it possible a man should come there? But then to think that Satan should take human shape upon him in such a place where there could be no manner of occasion for it, but to leave the print of his foot behind him, and that even for no purpose too (for he could not be sure I should see it:) this was an amazement the other way: I considered that the devil might have found out abundance of other ways to have terrified me, than this of the single print of a foot; that as I lived quite on the other side of the island, he would never have been so simple to leave a mark in a place where it was ten thousand to one whether I should ever see it or not, and in the sand too, which the first surge of the sea upon an high wind would have defaced entirely. All this seemed inconsistent with the thing itself, and with all notions we usually entertain of the subtlety of the devil.

Abundance of such things as these assisted to argue me out of all apprehensions of its being the devil. And I presently concluded that it must be some more dangerous creature; viz. that it must be some of the savages of the main land over-against me, who had wandered out to sea in their canoes, and, either driven by the currents, or by contrary winds, had made the island, and had been on shore, but were gone away again to sea, being as loath, perhaps, to have staid in this desolate island, as I would have been to have had them.

While these reflections were rolling upon my mind, I was very thankful in my thought, that I was so happy as not to be thereabouts at that time, or that they did not see my boat, by which they would have concluded, that some inhabitants had been in the place, and perhaps have searched farther for me. Then terrible thoughts racked my imaginations about their having found my boat, and that there were people here; and that if so, I should certainly have them come again in greater numbers, and devour me; that if it should happen so that they should not find me, yet they would find my enclosure, destroy all my corn, carry [page 159] away all my flock of tame goats, and I should perish at last for mere want.

Thus my fear banished all my religious hope; all that former confidence in God, which was founded upon such wonderful experience as I had had of his goodness, now vanished; as if he that had fed me by miracle hitherto, could not preserve by his power the provision which he had made for me by his goodness. I reproached myself with my uneasiness, that I would not sow any more corn one year, than would just serve me till the next season, as if no accident could intervene, to prevent my enjoying the crop that was upon the ground. And this I thought so just a reproof, that I resolved for the future to have two or three years corn beforehand, so that, whatever might come, I might not perish for want of bread.

How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the life of man! And by what secret differing springs are the affections hurried about, as differing circumstances present! To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear; nay, even tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me at this time in the most lively manner imaginable; for I, whose only affliction was, that I seemed banished from human society, that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut off from mankind, and condemned to what I call a silent life; that I was as one whom Heaven thought not worthy to be numbered among the living, or to appear among the rest of his creatures; that to have seen one of my own species, would have seemed to me a raising me from death to life, and the greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the supreme blessing of salvation, could bestow; I say, that I should now tremble at the very apprehensions of seeing a man, and was ready to sink into the ground, at but the shadow, or silent appearance of a man’s having set his foot on the island.

Such is the uneven state of human life; and it afforded me a great many curious speculations afterwards, [page 160] when I had a little recovered my first surprise: I considered that this was the station of life the infinitely wise and good providence of God had determined for me; that as I could not foresee what the ends of divine wisdom might be in all this, so I was not to dispute his sovereignty, who, as I was his creature, had an undoubted right by creation to govern and dispose of me absolutely as he thought fit; and who, as I was a creature who had offended him, had likewise a judicial right to condemn me to what punishment he thought fit; and that it was my part to submit to bear his indignation, because I had sinned against him.

I then reflected, that God, who was not only righteous, but omnipotent, as he had thought fit thus to punish and afflict me, so he was able to deliver me; that if he did not think fit to do it, it was my unquestioned duty to resign myself absolutely and entirely to his will; and, on the other hand, it was my duty also to hope in him, pray to him, and quietly to attend the dictates and directions of his daily providence.

These thoughts took me up many hours, days, nay, I may say, weeks and months; and one particular effect of my cogitations on this occasion I cannot omit; viz. one morning early, lying in my bed, and filled with thoughts about my danger from the appearance of savages, I found it discomposed me very much; upon which those words of the Scripture came into my thoughts, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

Upon this, rising cheerfully out of my bed, my heart was not only comforted, but I was guided and encouraged to pray earnestly to God for deliverance. When I had done praying, I took up my Bible, and opening it to read, the first words that presented to me were, “Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and he shall strengthen thy heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord.” It is impossible to express the comfort this gave me; and in return, I thankfully laid down [page 161] the book, and was no more sad, at least, not on that occasion.

In the middle of these cogitations, apprehensions, and reflections, it came into my thoughts one day, that all this might be a mere chimera of my own, and that this foot might be the print of my own foot, when I came on shore from my boat. This cheered me up a little too, and I began to persuade myself it was all a delusion; that it was nothing else but my own foot; and why might not I come that way from the boat, as well as I was going that way to the boat? Again, I considered also, that I could by no means tell for certain where I had trod, and where I had not; and that if at last this was only the print of my own foot, I had played the part of those fools, who strive to make stories of spectres and apparitions, and then are themselves frighted at them more than any body else.

Now I began to take courage, and to peep abroad again; for I had not stirred out of my castle for three days and nights, so that I began to starve for provision; for I had little or nothing within doors, but some barley-cakes and water. Then I knew that my goats wanted to be milked too, which usually was my evening diversion; and the poor creatures were in great pain and inconvenience for want of it; and indeed it almost spoiled some of them, and almost dried up their milk.

Heartening myself therefore with the belief, that this was nothing but the print of one of my own feet (and so I might be truly said to start at my own shadow), I began to go abroad again, and went to my country-house to milk my flock: but to see with what fear I went forward, how often I looked behind me, how I was ready, every now and then, to lay down my basket, and run for my life; it would have made any one have thought I was haunted with an evil conscience, or that I had been lately most terribly frighted; and so indeed I had.

However, as I went down thus two or three days, and having seen nothing, I began to be a little bolder, [page 162] and to think there was really nothing in it but my own imagination; but I could not persuade myself fully of this, till I should go down to the shore again, and see this print of a foot, and measure it by my own, and see if there was any similitude or fitness, that I might be assured it was my own foot. But when I came to the place first, it appeared evidently to me, that when I laid up my boat, I could not possibly be on shore any where thereabouts. Secondly, when I came to measure the mark with my own foot, I found my foot not so large by a great deal. Both these things filled my head with new imaginations, and gave me the vapours again to the highest degree; so that I shook with cold, like one in an ague, and I went home again, filled with the belief, that some man or men had been on shore there; or, in short, that the island was inhabited, and I might be surprised before I was aware; and what course to take for my security, I knew not.

O what ridiculous resolutions men take, when possessed with fear! It deprives them of the use of those means which reason offers for their relief. The first thing I proposed to myself was, to throw down my enclosures, and turn all my tame cattle wild into the woods, that the enemy might not find them, and then frequent the island in prospect of the same, or the like booty; then to the simple thing of digging up my two corn fields, that they might not find such a grain there, and still to be prompted to frequent the island; then to demolish my bower and tent, that they might not see any vestiges of my habitation, and be prompted to look farther, in order to find out the persons inhabiting.

These were the subjects of the first night’s cogitation, after I was come home again, while the apprehensions which had so over-run my mind were fresh upon me, and my head was full of vapours, as above. Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself, when apparent to the eyes; [page 163] and, we find the burden of anxiety greater by much than the evil which we are anxious about; but, which was worse than all this, I had not that relief in this trouble from the resignation I used to practise, that I hoped to have. I looked, I thought, like Saul, who complained not only that the Philistines were upon him, but that God had forsaken him; for I did not now take due ways to compose my mind, by crying to God in my distress, and resting upon his providence, as I had done before, for my defence and deliverance; which if I had done, I had, at least, been more cheerfully supported under this new surprise, and perhaps carried through it with more resolution.

This confusion of my thoughts kept me waking all night; but in the morning I fell asleep, and having by the amusement of my mind been, as it were, tired, and my spirits exhausted, I slept very soundly, and I awaked much better composed than I had ever been before. And now I began to think sedately; and, upon the utmost debate with myself, I concluded, that this island, which was so exceeding pleasant, fruitful, and no farther from the main land than as I had seen, was not so entirely abandoned as I might imagine: that although there were no stated inhabitants who lived on the spot; yet that there might sometimes come boats off from the shore, who either with design, or perhaps never but when they were driven by cross winds, might come to this place.

That I had lived here fifteen years now, and had not met with the least-shadow or figure of any people before; and that if at any time they should be driven here, it was probable they went away again as soon as ever they could, seeing they had never thought fit to fix there upon any occasion, to this time.

That the most I could suggest any danger from, was, from any such casual accidental landing of straggling people from the main, who, as it was likely, if they were driven hither, were here against their wills; so they made no stay here, but went off [page 164] again with all possible speed, seldom staying one night on shore, lest they should not have the help of the tides and daylight back again; and that therefore I had nothing to do but to consider of some safe retreat, in case I should see any savages land upon the spot.

Now I began sorely to repent that I had dug my cave so large, as to bring a door through again, which door, as I said, came out beyond where my fortification joined to the rock. Upon maturely considering this, therefore, I resolved to draw me a second fortification, in the manner of a semicircle, at a distance from my wall, just where I had planted a double row of trees about twelve years before, of which I made mention: these trees having been planted so thick before, there wanted but a few piles to be driven between them, that they should be thicker and stronger, and my wall would be soon finished.

So that I had now a double wall, and my outer wall was thickened with pieces of timber, old cables, and every thing I could think of to make it strong; having in it seven little holes, about as big as I might put my arm out at. In the inside of this I thickened my wall to about ten feet thick, continually bringing earth out of my cave, and laying it at the foot of the wall, and walking upon it; and through the seven holes I contrived to plant the muskets, of which I took notice that I got seven on shore out of the ship; these, I say, I planted like my cannon, and fitted them into frames that held them like a carriage, that so I could fire all the seven guns in two minutes time. This wall I was many a weary month in finishing, and yet never thought myself safe till it was done.

When this was done, I stuck all the ground without my wall, for a great way every way, as full with stakes or sticks of the osier-like wood, which I found so apt to grow, as they could well stand; insomuch that I believe I might set in near twenty thousand of them, leaving a pretty large space between them and [page 165] my wall, that I might have room to see an enemy, and they might have no shelter from the young trees, if they attempted to approach my outer wall.

Thus in two years time I had a thick grove; and in five or six years time I had a wood before my dwelling, grown so monstrous thick and strong, that it was indeed perfectly impassable; and no man of what kind soever would ever imagine that there was any thing beyond it, much less an habitation: as for the way I proposed myself to go in and out (for I left no avenue), it was by setting two ladders; one to a part of the rock which was low, and then broke in, and left room to place another ladder upon that; so when the two ladders were taken down, no man living could come down to me without mischiefing himself; and if they had come down, they were still on the outside of my outer wall.

Thus I took all the measures human prudence could suggest for my own preservation; and it will be seen at length, that they were not altogether without just reason; though I foresaw nothing at that time more than my mere fear suggested.

While this was doing, I was not altogether careless of my other affairs; for I had a great concern upon me for my little herd of goats; they were not only a present supply to me upon every occasion, and began to be sufficient for me, without the expense of powder and shot, but also abated the fatigue of my hunting after the wild ones; and I was loath to lose the advantage of them, and to have them all to nurse up over again.

To this purpose, after long consideration, I could think but of two ways to preserve them: one was to find another convenient place to dig a cave under ground, and to drive them into it every night; and the other was to enclose two or three little bits of land, remote from one another, and as much concealed as I could, where I might keep about half a dozen young goats in each place; so that if any disaster happened to the flock in general, I might be able [page 166] to raise them again with little trouble and time: and this, though it would require a great deal of time and labour, I thought was the most rational design.

Accordingly I spent some time, to find out the most retired parts of the island; and I pitched upon one, which was as private indeed as my heart could wish; for it was a little damp piece of ground in the middle of the hollow and thick woods, where, as is observed, I almost lost myself once before, endeavouring to come back that way from the eastern part of the island: here I found a clear piece of land near three acres, so surrounded with woods, that it was almost an enclosure by nature; at least it did not want near so much labour to make it so, as the other pieces of ground I had worked so hard at.

I immediately went to work with this piece of ground, and in less than a month’s time I had so fenced it round, that my flock or herd, call it which you please, which were not so wild now as at first they might be supposed to be, were well enough secured in it. So without any farther delay, I removed ten she-goats and two he-goats to this piece; and when there, I continued to perfect the fence, till I had made it as secure as the other, which, however, I did at more leisure, and it took me up more time by a great deal.

All this labour I was at the expense of, purely from my apprehensions on the account of the print of a man’s foot which I had seen; for as yet, I never saw any human creature come near the island, and I had now lived two years under these uneasinesses, which indeed made my life much less comfortable than it was before; as may well be imagined, by any who know what it is to live in the constant snare of the fear of man; and this I must observe with grief too, that the discomposure of my mind had too great impressions also upon the religious part of my thoughts; for the dread and terror of falling into the hands of savages and cannibals lay so upon my spirits, that I seldom found myself in a due temper for [page 167] application to my Maker; at least, not with the sedate calmness and resignation of soul which I was wont to do. I rather prayed to God as under great affliction and pressure of mind, surrounded with danger, and in expectation every night of being murdered and devoured before the morning; and I must testify from my experience, that a temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and affection, is much more the proper frame for prayer than that of terror and discomposure; and that under the dread of mischief impending, a man is no more fit for a comforting performance of the duty of praying to God, than he is for repentance on a sick bed; for these discomposures affect the mind as the others do the body; and the discomposure of the mind must necessarily be as great a disability as that of the body, and much greater; praying to God being properly an act of the mind, not of the body.

But to go on: after I had thus secured one part of my little living stock, I went about the whole island, searching for another private place, to make such another deposit; when wandering more to the west point of the island than I had ever done yet, and looking out to sea, I thought I saw a boat upon the sea at a great distance; I had found a perspective glass or two in one of the seamen’s chests, which I saved out of our ship; but I had it not about me, and this was so remote, that I could not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it till my eyes were not able to look any longer: whether it was a boat, or not, I do not know; but as I descended from the hill, I could see no more of it, so I gave it over; only I resolved to go no more without a perspective glass in my pocket.

When I was come down the hill, to the end of the island, where indeed I had never been before, I was presently convinced, that the seeing the print of a man’s foot, was not such a strange thing in the island as I imagined; and, but that it was a special providence that I was cast upon the side of the island where the savages never came, I should easily have known, [page 168] that nothing was more frequent than for the canoes from the main, when, they happened to be a little too far out at sea, to shoot over to that side of the island for harbour; likewise, as they often met, and fought in their canoes, the victors, having taken any prisoners, would bring them over to this shore, where, according to their dreadful customs, being all cannibals, they would kill and eat them: of which hereafter.

When I was come down the hill to the shore, as I said above, being the S.W. point of the island, I was perfectly confounded and amazed; nor is it possible for me to express the horror of my mind, at seeing the shore spread with skulls, hands, feet, and other bones of human bodies; and particularly I observed a place where there had been a fire made, and a circle dug in the earth, like a cock-pit, where it is supposed the savage wretches had sat down to their inhuman feastings upon the bodies of their fellow-creatures.

I was so astonished with the sight of these things, that I entertained no notions of any danger to myself from it, for a long while; all my apprehensions were buried in the thoughts of such a pitch of inhuman, hellish brutality, and the horror of the degeneracy of human nature; which, though I had heard of often, yet I never had so near a view of before: in short, I turned away my face from the horrid spectacle; my stomach grew sick, and I was just at the point of fainting, when nature discharged the disorder from my stomach, and, having vomited with an uncommon violence, I was a little relieved, but could not bear to stay in the place a moment; so I got me up the hill again with all the speed I could, and walked on towards my own habitation.

When I came a little out of that part of the island, I stood still a while as amazed; and then recovering myself, I looked up with the utmost affection of my soul, and, with a flood of tears in my eyes, gave God thanks, that had cast my first lot in a part of the world where I was distinguished from such dreadful creatures as these; and that though I had esteemed [page 169] my present condition very miserable, had yet given me so many comforts in it, that I had still more to give thanks for than to complain of; and this above all, that I had, even in this miserable condition, been comforted with the knowledge of himself, and the hope of his blessing, which was a felicity more than sufficiently equivalent to all the misery which I had suffered, or could suffer.

In this frame of thankfulness I went home to my castle, and began to be much easier now, as to the safety of my circumstances, than ever I was before; for I observed, that these wretches never came to this island in search of what they could get; perhaps not seeking, not wanting, or not expecting, any thing here, and having often, no doubt, been up in the covered woody part of it, without finding any thing to their purpose. I knew I had been here now almost eighteen years, and never saw the least footsteps of a human creature there before; and might be here eighteen more as entirely concealed as I was now, if I did not discover myself to them, which I had no manner of occasion to do, it being my only business to keep myself entirely concealed where I was, unless I found a better sort of creatures than cannibals to make myself known to.

Yet I entertained such an abhorrence of the savage wretches that I have been speaking of, and of the wretched inhuman custom of their devouring and eating one another up, that I continued pensive and sad, and kept close within my own circle for almost two years after this: when I say my own circle, I mean by it my three plantations, viz. my castle, my country-seat, which I called my bower, and my enclosure in the woods; nor did I look after this for any other use than as an enclosure for my goats; for the aversion which nature gave me to these hellish wretches was such, that I was as fearful of seeing them as of seeing, the devil himself; nor did I so much as go to look after my boat in all this time, but began rather to think of [page 170] making me another; for I could not think of ever making any more attempts to bring the other boat round the island to me, lest I should meet with some of those creatures at sea, in which, if I had happened to have fallen into their hands, I knew what would have been my lot.

Time, however, and the satisfaction I had, that I was in no danger of being discovered by these people, began to wear off my uneasiness about them; and I began to live just in the same composed manner as before; only with this difference, that I used more caution, and kept my eyes more about me than I did before, lest I should happen to be seen by any of them; and particularly, I was more cautious of firing my gun, lest any of them on the island should happen to hear it; and it was therefore a very good providence to me, that I had furnished myself with a tame breed of goats, that I had no need to hunt any more about the woods, or shoot at them; and if I did catch any more of them after this, it was by traps and snares, as I had done before; so that for two years after this, I believe I never fired my gun once off, though I never went out without it; and, which was more, as I had saved three pistols out of the ship, I always carried them out with me, or at least two of them, sticking them in my goat-skin belt: I likewise furbished up one of the great cutlasses that I had out of the ship, and made me a belt to put it in also; so that I was now a most formidable fellow to look at when I went abroad, if you add to the former description of myself, the particular of two pistols, and a great broad-sword, hanging at my side in a belt, but without a scabbard.

Things going on thus, as I have said, for some time, I seemed, excepting these cautions, to be reduced to my former calm sedate way of living. All these things tended to shew me more and more how far my condition was from being miserable, compared to some others; nay, to many other particulars of life, which it might have pleased God to have made my [page 171] lot. It put me upon reflecting, how little repining there would be among mankind, at any condition of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that are worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and complainings.

As in my present condition there were not really many things which I wanted, so indeed I thought that the frights I had been in about these savage wretches, and the concern I had been in for my own preservation, had taken off the edge of my invention for my own conveniences, and I had dropped a good design, which I had once bent my thoughts upon; and that was, to try if I could not make some of my barley into malt, and then try to brew myself some beer: this was really a whimsical thought, and I reproved myself often for the simplicity of it; for I presently saw there would be the want of several things necessary to the making my beer, that it would be impossible for me to supply; as, first, casks to preserve it in, which was a thing that, as I have observed already, I could never compass; no, though I spent not many days, but weeks, nay months, in attempting it, but to no purpose. In the next place, I had no hops to make it keep, no yeast to make it work, no copper or kettle to make it boil; and yet, had not all these things intervened, I mean the frights and terrors I was in about the savages, I had undertaken it, and perhaps brought it to pass too; for I seldom gave any thing over without accomplishing it, when I once had it in my head enough to begin it.

But my invention now ran quite another way; for night and day I could think of nothing, but how I might destroy some of these monsters in their cruel bloody entertainment, and, if possible, save the victim they should bring hither to destroy. It would take up a larger volume than this whole work is intended to be, to set down all the contrivances I hatched, or rather brooded upon in my thoughts, for the destroying these creatures, or at least frightening them, so as [page 172] to prevent their coming hither any more; but all was abortive; nothing could be possible to take effect, unless I was to be there to do it myself; and what could one man do among them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty of them together, with their darts, or their bows and arrows, with which they could shoot as true to a mark as I could with my gun?

Sometimes I contrived to dig a hole under the place where they made their fire, and put in five or six pounds of gunpowder, which, when they kindled their fire, would consequently take fire, and blow up all that was near it; but, as in the first place I should be very loath to waste so much powder upon them, my store being now within the quantity of a barrel, so neither could I be sure of its going off at any certain time, when it might surprise them; and, at best, that it would do little more than just blow the fire about their ears, and fright them, but not sufficient to make them forsake the place; so I laid it aside, and then proposed, that I would place myself in ambush in some convenient place, with my three guns all double-loaded, and in the middle of their bloody ceremony let fly at them, when I should be sure to kill or wound perhaps two or three at every shoot; and then falling in upon them with my three pistols, and my sword, I made no doubt but that, if there were twenty, I should kill them all: this fancy pleased my thoughts for some weeks, and I was so full of it that I often dreamed of it; and sometimes, that I was just going to let fly at them in my sleep.

I went so far with it in my indignation, that I employed myself several days to find out proper places to put myself in ambuscade, as I said, to watch for them; and I went frequently to the place itself, which was now grown more familiar to me; and especially while my mind was thus filled with thoughts of revenge, and of a bloody putting twenty or thirty of them to the sword, as I may call it; but the horror I had at the place, and at the signals of the barbarous wretches devouring one another, abated my malice.

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Well, at length I found a place in the side of the hill, where I was satisfied I might securely wait till I saw any of the boats coming, and might then, even before they would be ready to come on shore, convey myself unseen into thickets of trees, in one of which there was an hollow large enough to conceal me entirely; and where I might sit, and observe all their bloody doings, and take my full aim at their heads, when they were so close together, as that it would be next to impossible that I should miss my shoot, or that I could fail wounding three or four of them at the first shoot.

In this place then I resolved to fix my design; and accordingly I prepared two muskets and my ordinary fowling-piece. The two muskets I loaded with a brace of slugs each, and four or five smaller bullets, about the size of pistol-bullets, and the fowling-piece I loaded with near an handful of swan-shot, of the largest size; I also loaded my pistols with about four bullets each: and in this posture, well provided with ammunition for a second and third charge, I prepared myself for my expedition.

After I had thus laid the scheme for my design, and in my imagination put it in practice, I continually made my tour every morning up to the top of the hill, which was from my castle, as I called it, about three miles or more, to see if I could observe any boats upon the sea, coming near the island, or standing over towards it; but I began to tire of this hard duty, after I had for two or three months constantly kept my watch; but came always back without any discovery, there having not in all that time been the least appearance, not only on or near the shore, but not on the whole ocean, so far as my eyes or glasses could reach every way.

As long as I kept up my daily tour to the hill to look out, so long also I kept up the vigour of my design, and my spirits seemed to be all the while in a suitable frame for so outrageous an execution, as the killing twenty or thirty naked savages for an offence, [page 174] which I had not at all entered into a discussion of in my thoughts, any further than my passions were at first fired by the horror I conceived at the unnatural custom of the people of that country, who, it seems, had been suffered by Providence, in his wise disposition of the world, to have no other guide than that of their own abominable and vitiated passions; and consequently were left, and perhaps had been for some ages, to act such horrid things, and receive such dreadful customs, as nothing but nature, entirely abandoned of Heaven, and actuated by some hellish degeneracy, could have run them into; but now, when, as I have said, I began to be weary of the fruitless excursion which I had made so long, and so far, every morning in vain; so my opinion of the action itself began to alter, and I began, with cooler and calmer thoughts, to consider what it was I was going to engage in; what authority or call I had to pretend to be judge and executioner upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven had thought fit for so many ages to suffer, unpunished, to go on, and to be, as it were, the executioners of his judgments upon one another; also, how far these people were offenders against me, and what right I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood, which they shed promiscuously one upon another. I debated this very often with myself thus: How do I know what God himself judges in this particular case? It is certain these people do not commit this as a crime; it is not against their own consciences reproving, or their light reproaching them. They do not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins we commit. They think it no more a crime to kill a captive taken in war, than we do to kill an ox; nor to eat human flesh, than we do to eat mutton.

When I had considered this a little, it followed necessarily, that I was certainly in the wrong in it; that these people were not murderers in the sense that I had before condemned them in my thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers, who often put [page 175] to death the prisoners taken in battle; or more frequently, upon many occasions, put whole troops of men to the sword, without giving quarter, though they threw down their arms and submitted.

In the next place, it occurred to me, that albeit the usage they gave one another was thus brutish and inhuman, yet it was really nothing to me: these people had done me no injury: that if they attempted me, or I saw it necessary for my immediate preservation to fall upon them, something might be said for it; but that I was yet out of their power, and they had really no knowledge of me, and consequently no design upon me; and therefore it could not be just for me to fall upon them: that this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards, in all their barbarities practised in America, where they destroyed millions of these people, who, however they were idolaters and barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous rites in these customs, such as sacrificing human bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent people; and that the rooting them out of the country is spoken of with the utmost abhorrence and detestation, even by the Spaniards themselves, at this time, and by all other Christian nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a bloody and unnatural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or man; and such, as for which the very name of a Spaniard is reckoned to be frightful and terrible to all people of humanity, or of Christian compassion: as if the kingdom of Spain were particularly eminent for the product of a race of men, who were without principles of tenderness, or the common bowels of pity to the miserable, which is reckoned to be a mark of a generous temper in the mind.

These considerations really put me to a pause, and to a kind of a full stop; and I began by little and little to be off of my design, and to conclude I had taken a wrong measure in my resolutions to attack the savages; that it was not my business to meddle with them, unless [page 176] they first attacked me, and this it was my business, if possible, to prevent; but that, if I were discovered and attacked, then I knew my duty.

On the other hand, I argued with myself that this really was the way not to deliver myself, but entirely to ruin and destroy myself; for unless I was sure to kill every one that not only should be on shore at that time, but that should ever come on shore afterwards, if but one of them escaped to tell their country-people what had happened, they would come over again by thousands to revenge the death of their fellows; and I should only bring upon myself a certain destruction, which at present I had no manner of occasion for.

Upon the whole, I concluded, that neither in principles nor in policy, I ought one way or other to concern myself in this affair: that my business was, by all possible means to conceal myself from them, and not to leave the least signal to them to guess by, that there were any living creatures upon the island, I mean of human shape.

Religion joined in with this prudential, and I was convinced now many ways that I was perfectly out of my duty, when I was laying all my bloody schemes for the destruction of innocent creatures, I mean innocent as to me; as to the crimes they were guilty of towards one another, I had nothing to do with them; they were national punishments to make a just retribution for national offences; and to bring public judgments upon those who offend in a public manner, by such ways as best please God.

This appeared so clear to me now, that nothing was a greater satisfaction to me, than that I had not been suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe would have been no less a sin than that of wilful murder, if I had committed it; and I gave most humble thanks on my knees to God, that had thus delivered me from blood-guiltiness; beseeching him to grant me the protection of his Providence, that I might not fall into the hands of barbarians; or that I might not lay my hands upon them, unless I had a [page 177] more clear call from Heaven to do it, in defence of my own life.

In this disposition I continued for near a year after this: and so far was I from desiring an occasion for falling upon these wretches, that in all that time I never once went up the hill to see whether there were any of them in sight, or to know whether any of them had been on shore there, or not; that I might not be tempted to renew any of my contrivances against them, or be provoked, by any advantage which might present itself, to fall upon them; only this I did, I went and removed my boat, which I had on the other side of the island, and carried it down to the east end of the whole island, where I ran it into a little cove which I found under some high rocks, and where I knew, by reason of the currents, the savages durst not, at least would not, come with their boats upon any account whatsoever.

With my boat I carried away every thing that I had left there belonging to her, though not necessary for the bare going thither; viz. a mast and sail, which I had made for her, and a thing like an anchor, but indeed which could not be called either anchor or grappling; however, it was the best I could make of its kind. All these I removed, that there might not be the least shadow of any discovery, or any appearance of any boat, or of any habitation upon the island.

Besides this, I kept myself, as I said, more retired than ever, and seldom went from my cell, other than upon my constant employment, viz. to milk my she-goats, and manage my little flock in the wood, which, as it was quite on the other part of the island, was quite out of danger: for certain it is, that these savage people, who sometimes haunted this island, never came with any thoughts of finding any thing here, and consequently never wandered off from the coast; and I doubt not but they might have been several times on shore, after my apprehensions of them had made me cautious, as well as before; and [page 178] indeed I looked back with some horror upon the thoughts of what my condition would have been, if I had chopped upon them, and been discovered before that, when naked and unarmed, except with one gun, and that loaded often only with small shot. I walked every where, peeping and peering about the island, to see what I could get: what a surprise should I have been in, if, when I discovered the print of a man’s foot, I had instead of that seen fifteen or twenty savages, and found them pursuing me, and, by the swiftness of their running, no possibility of my escaping them!

The thoughts of this sometimes sunk my very soul within me, and distressed my mind so much, that I could not soon recover it; to think what I should have done, and how I not only should not have been able to resist them, but even should not have had presence of mind enough to do what I might have done; much less what now, after so much consideration and preparation, I might be able to do. Indeed, after serious thinking of these things, I would be very melancholy, and sometimes it would last a great while; but I resolved it at last all into thankfulness to that Providence which had delivered me from so many unseen dangers, and had kept me from those mischiefs, which I could no way have been the agent in delivering myself from; because I had not the least notion of any such thing depending, or the least supposition of its being possible.

This renewed a contemplation, which often had come to my thoughts in former time, when first I began to see the merciful dispositions of Heaven, in the dangers we run through in this life; how wonderfully we are delivered when we know nothing of it: how, when we are in a quandary, (as we call it) a doubt or hesitation, whether to go this way, or that way, a secret hint shall direct us this way, when we intended to go another way; nay, when sense, our own inclination, and perhaps business, has called to go the other way, yet a strange impression upon the mind, from we know not what springs, [page 179] and by we know not what power, shall over-rule us to go this way; and it shall afterwards appear, that had we gone that way which we would have gone, and even to our imagination ought to have gone, we should have been ruined and lost; upon these, and many like reflections, I afterwards made it a certain rule with me, that whenever I found those secret hints, or pressings of my mind, to doing or not doing any thing that presented, or to going this way or that way, I never failed to obey the secret dictate; though I knew no other reason for it, than that such a pressure, or such an hint, hung upon my mind: I could give many examples of the success of this conduct in the course of my life; but more especially in the latter part of my inhabiting this unhappy island; besides many occasions which it is very likely I might have taken notice of, if I had seen with the same eyes then that I saw with now: but ’tis never too late to be wise; and I cannot but advise all considering men, whose lives are attended with such extraordinary incidents as mine, or even though not so extraordinary, not to slight such secret intimations of Providence, let them come from what invisible intelligence they will; that I shall not discuss, and perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are a proof of the converse of spirits, and the secret communication between those embodied, and those unembodied; and such a proof as can never be withstood: of which I shall have occasion to give some very remarkable instances, in the remainder of my solitary residence in this dismal place.

I believe the reader of this will not think it strange, if I confess that these anxieties, these constant dangers I lived in, and the concern that was now upon me, put an end to all invention, and to all the contrivances that I had laid for my future accommodations and conveniences. I had the care of my safety more now upon my hands than that of my food. I cared not to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood now, for fear the noise I should make should be heard; much less would I fire a gun, for the same reason; and, above all, I [page 180] was very uneasy at making any fire, lest the smoke, which is visible at a great distance in the day, should betray me; and for this reason I removed that part of my business which required fire, such as burning of pots and pipes, &c. into my new apartment in the wood; where, after I had been some time, I found, to my unspeakable consolation, a mere natural cave in the earth, which went in a vast way, and where, I dare say, no savage, had he been at the mouth of it, would be so hardy as to venture in, nor indeed would any man else, but one who, like me, wanted nothing so much as a safe retreat.

The mouth of this hollow was at the bottom of a great rock, where, by mere accident, (I would say, if I did not see an abundant reason to ascribe all such things now to Providence,) I was cutting down some thick branches of trees to make charcoal; and before I go on, I must observe the reason of my making this charcoal, which was thus:

I was afraid of making a smoke about my habitation, as I said before; and yet I could not live there without baking my bread, cooking my meat, &c.; so I contrived to burn some wood here, as I had seen done in England under turf, till it became chark, or dry coal; and then putting the fire out, I preserved the coal to carry home, and perform the other services, which fire was wanting for at home, without danger or smoke.

But this by the by: while I was cutting down some wood here, I perceived that behind a very thick branch of low brushwood, or underwood, there was a kind of hollow place: I was curious to look into it, and getting with difficulty into the mouth of it, I found it was pretty large, that is to say, sufficient for me to stand upright in it, and perhaps another with me; but I must confess to you, I made more haste out than I did in, when, looking further into the place, which was perfectly dark, I saw two broad shining eyes of some creature, whether devil or man I knew not, which twinkled like two stars, the dim light [page 181] from the cave’s mouth shining directly in and making the reflection.

However, after some pause, I recovered myself, and began to call myself a thousand fools, and tell myself, that he that was afraid to see the devil, was not fit to live twenty years in an island all alone, and that I durst to believe there was nothing in this cave that was more frightful than myself: upon this, plucking up my courage, I took up a large firebrand, and in I rushed again, with the stick flaming in my hand: I had not gone three steps in, but I was almost as much frightened as I was before; for I heard a very loud sigh, like that of a man in some pain; and it was followed by a broken noise, as if of words half-expressed, and then a deep sigh again: I stepped back, and was indeed struck with such a surprise, that it put me into a cold sweat; and if I had had an hat on my head, I will not answer for it that my hair might not have lifted it off. But still plucking up my spirits as well as I could, and encouraging myself a little, with considering that the power and presence of God was every where, and was able to protect me; upon this I stepped forward again, and by the light of the firebrand, holding it up a little over my head, I saw lying on the ground a most monstrous frightful old he-goat, just making his will, as we say, gasping for life, and dying indeed of a mere old age.

I stirred him a little to see if I could get him out, and he essayed to get up, but was not able to raise himself; and I thought with myself, he might even lie there; for if he had frightened me so, he would certainly fright, any of the savages, if any of them should be so hardy as to come in there, while he had any life in him.

I was now recovered from my surprise, and began to look round me, when I found the cave was but very small; that is to say, it might be about twelve feet over, but in no manner of shape, either round or square, no hands having ever been employed in making it but those of mere nature: I observed also, that [page 182] there was a place at the farther side of it that went in farther, but so low, that it required me to creep upon my hands and knees to get into it, and whither it went I knew not; so having no candle, I gave it over for some time, but resolved to come again the next day, provided with candles and a tinder-box, which I had made of the lock of one of the muskets, with some wildfire in the pan.

Accordingly, the next day, I came provided with six large candles of my own making, for I made very good candles now of goats tallow; and going into this low place, I was obliged to creep upon all fours, as I have said, almost ten yards; which, by the way, I thought was a venture bold enough, considering that I knew not how far it might go, or what was beyond it. When I was got through the streight, I found the roof rose higher up, I believe near twenty feet; but never was such a glorious sight seen in the island, I dare say, as it was, to look round the sides and roof of this vault or cave. The walls reflected an hundred thousand lights to me from my two candles; what it was in the rock, whether diamonds, or any other precious stones, or gold, which I rather supposed it to be, I knew not.

The place I was in was a most delightful cavity, or grotto, of its kind, as could be expected, though perfectly dark; the floor was dry and level, and had a sort of small loose gravel upon it; so that there was no nauseous creature to be seen; neither was there any damp or wet on the sides of the roof: the only difficulty in it was the entrance, which, however, as it was a place of security, and such a retreat as I wanted, I thought that was a convenience; so that I was really rejoiced at the discovery, and resolved, without any delay, to bring some of those things which I was most anxious about to this place; particularly, I resolved to bring hither my magazine of powder, and all my spare arms, viz. two fowling-pieces (for I had three in all) and three muskets; (for of them I had eight in all) so I kept at my castle only five, which [page 183] stood ready mounted, like pieces of cannon, on my utmost fence, and were ready also to take out upon any expedition.

Upon this occasion of removing my ammunition, I was obliged to open the barrel of powder which I took up out of the sea, and which had been wet; and I found, that the water had penetrated about three or four inches into the powder on every side, which, caking and growing hard, had preserved the inside like a kernel in a shell; so that I had near sixty pounds of very good powder in the centre of the cask; and this was an agreeable discovery to me at that time; so I carried all away thither, never keeping above two or three pounds of powder with me in my castle, for fear of a surprise of any kind; I also carried thither all the lead I had left for bullets.

I fancied myself now like one of the ancient giants, which were said to live in caves and holes in the rocks, where none could come at them; for I persuaded myself while I was here, if five hundred savages were to hunt me, they could never find me out; or if they did, they would not venture to attack me here.

The old goat, which I found expiring, died in the mouth of the cave the next day after I made this discovery; and I found it much easier to dig a great hole there, and throw him in, and cover him with earth, than to drag him out: so I interred him there, to prevent offence to my nose.

I was now in my twenty-third year of residence in this island, and was so naturalized to the place, and to the manner of living, that could I have but enjoyed the certainty that no savages would come to the place to disturb me, I could have been content to have capitulated for spending the rest of my time there, even to the last moment, till I had laid me down and died, like the old goat, in the cave: I had also arrived to some little diversions and amusements, which made the time pass more pleasantly with me a great deal than it did before; as, first, I had taught my Pol, as I noted before, to speak; and he did it so familiarly, [page 184] and talked so articulately and plain, that it was very pleasant to me; and he lived with me no less than six-and-twenty years: how long he might live afterwards I knew not; though I know they have a notion in the Brasils, that they live an hundred years; perhaps some of my Polls may be alive there still, calling after poor Robin Crusoe to this day; I wish no Englishman the ill luck to come there and hear them; but if he did, he would certainly believe it was the devil. My dog was a very pleasant and loving companion to me for no less than sixteen years of my time, and then died of mere old age; as for my cats, they multiplied, as I have observed, to that degree, that I was obliged to shoot several of them at first, to keep them from devouring me, and all I had; but at length, when the two old ones I brought with me were gone, and after some time continually driving them from me, and letting them have no provision with me, they all ran wild into the woods, except two or three favourites, which I kept tame, and whose young, when they had any, I always drowned, and these were part of my family: besides these, I always kept two or three household kids about me, which I taught to feed out of my hand; and I had also more parrots which talked pretty well, and would all call Robin Crusoe, but none like my first; nor, indeed, did I take the pains with any of them that I had done with him: I had also several tame sea-fowls, whose names I know not, which I caught upon the shore, and cut their wings; and the little stakes, which I had planted before my castle wall, being now grown up to a good thick grove, these fowls all lived among these low trees, and bred there, which was very agreeable to me; so that, as I said above, I began to be very well contented with the life I led, if it might but have been secured from the dread of savages.

But it was otherwise directed; and it might not be amiss for all people who shall meet with my story to make this just observation from it, viz. How frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil, which in itself [page 185] we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into. I could give many examples of this in the course of my unaccountable life; but in nothing was it more particularly remarkable, than in the circumstances of my last years of solitary residence in this island.

It was now the month of December, as I said above, in my twenty-third year; and this being the southern solstice, for winter I cannot call it, was the particular time of my harvest, and required my being pretty much abroad in the fields; when going out pretty early in the morning, even before it was thorough daylight, I was surprised with seeing a light of some fire upon the shore, at a distance from me of about two miles, towards the end of the island, where I had observed some savages had been, as before; but not on the other side; but, to my great affliction, it was on my side of the island.

I was indeed terribly surprised at the sight, and stopped short within my grove, not daring to go out, lest I might be surprised; and yet I had no more peace within, from the apprehensions I had, that if these savages, in rambling over the island, should find my corn standing, or cut, or any of my works and improvements, they would immediately conclude that there were people in the place, and would then never give over till they found me out. In this extremity I went back directly to my castle, pulled up the ladder after me, having made all things without look as wild and natural as I could.

Then I prepared myself within, putting myself in a posture of defence; I loaded all my cannon, as I called them, that is to say, my muskets, which were mounted upon my new fortification, and all my pistols, and resolved to defend myself to the last gasp; not forgetting seriously to recommend myself to the divine protection, and earnestly to pray to God to [page 186] deliver me out of the hands of the barbarians; and in this posture I continued about two hours, but began to be mighty impatient for intelligence abroad, for I had no spies to send out.

After sitting awhile longer, and musing what I should do in this case, I was not able to bear sitting in ignorance longer; so setting up my ladder to the side of the hill, where there was a flat place, as I observed before, and then pulling the ladder up after me, I set it up again, and mounted to the top of the hill; and pulling out my perspective glass, which I had taken on purpose, I laid me down flat on my belly on the ground, and began to look for the place. I presently found there were no less than nine naked savages sitting round a small fire they had made; not to warm them, for they had no need of that, the weather being extreme hot; but, as I supposed, to dress some of their barbarous diet of human flesh which they had brought with them, whether alive or dead I could not know.

They had two canoes with them, which they had haled up upon the shore; and as it was then tide of ebb, they seemed to me to wait the return of the flood to go away again. It is not easy to imagine what confusion this sight put me into, especially seeing them come on my side the island, and so near me too; but when I observed their coming must be always with the current of the ebb, I began afterwards to be more sedate in my mind, being satisfied that I might go abroad with safety all the time of tide of flood, if they were not on shore before; and having made this observation, I went abroad about my harvest work with the more composure.

As I expected, so it proved; for as soon as the tide made to the westward, I saw them all take boat, and row (or paddle, as we call it) all away: I should have observed, that for an hour and more before they went off, they went to dancing, and I could easily discern their postures and gestures by my glasses; I could only perceive, by my nicest observation, that [page 187] they were stark naked, and had not the least covering upon them; but whether they were men or women, that I could not distinguish.

As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took two guns upon my shoulders, and two pistols at my girdle, and my great sword by my side, without a scabbard; and with all the speed I was able to make, I went away to the hill, where I had discovered the first appearance of all. As soon as I got thither, which was not less than two hours, (for I could not go apace, being so loaded with arms as I was,) I perceived there had been three canoes more of savages on that place; and looking out further, I saw they were all at sea together, making over for the main.

This was a dreadful sight to me, especially when, going down to the shore, I could see the marks of horror which the dismal work they had been about had left behind it, viz. the blood, the bones, and part of the flesh of human bodies, eaten and devoured by those wretches with merriment and sport. I was so filled with indignation at the sight, that I began now to premeditate the destruction of the next that I saw there, let them be who or how many soever.

It seemed evident to me, that the visits which they thus made to this island were not very frequent; for it was above fifteen months before any more of them came on shore there again; that is to say, I never saw them, or any footsteps or signals of them, in all that time; for as to the rainy seasons, then they are sure not to come abroad, at least not so far; yet all this while I lived uncomfortably, by reason of the constant apprehensions I was in of their coming upon me by surprise; from whence I observe, that the expectation of evil is more bitter than the suffering, especially if there is no room to shake off that expectation or those apprehensions.

During all this time, I was in the murdering humour; and took up most of my hours, which should have been better employed, in contriving how to circumvent and fall upon them the very next time I [page 188] should see them; especially if they should be divided, as they were the last time, into two parties; nor did I consider at all, that if I killed one party, suppose ten or a dozen, I was still the next day, or week, or month, to kill another, and so another, even ad infinitum, till I should be at length no less a murderer than they were in being men-eaters, and perhaps much more so.

I spent my days now in great perplexity and anxiety of mind, expecting that I should one day or other fall into the hands of those merciless creatures; if I did at any time venture abroad, it was not without looking round me with the greatest care and caution imaginable; and now I found, to my great comfort, how happy it was that I had provided a tame flock or herd of goats; for I durst not, upon any account, fire my gun especially near that side of the island, where they usually came, lest I should alarm the savages; and if they had fled from me now, I was sure to have them come back again, with perhaps two or three hundred canoes with them in a few days, and then I knew what to expect.

However, I wore out a year and three months more before I ever saw any more of the savages, and then I found them again, as I shall soon observe. It is true, they might have been there once or twice, but either they made no stay, or, at least, I did not hear them; but in the month of May, as near as I could calculate, and in my four-and-twentieth year, I had a very strange encounter with them, of which in its place.

The perturbation of my mind, during this fifteen or sixteen months interval, was very great; I slept unquiet, dreamed always frightful dreams, and often started out of my sleep in the night; in the day great troubles overwhelmed my mind; in the night I dreamed often of killing the savages, and the reasons why I might justify the doing of it. But to wave all this for awhile, it was in the middle of May, on the sixteenth day, I think, as well as my poor wooden calendar [page 189] would reckon, for I marked all upon, the post still; I say, it was on the sixteenth of May that it blew a great storm of wind all day, with a great deal of lightning and thunder, and a very foul night was after it: I know not what was the particular occasion of it; but as I was reading in the Bible, and taken up with serious thoughts about my present condition, I was surprised with the noise of a gun, as I thought, fired at sea.

This was, to be sure, a surprise of a quite different nature from any I had met with before; for the notions this put into my thoughts were quite of another kind: I started up in the greatest haste imaginable; and in a trice clapped up my ladder to the middle place of the rock, and pulled it after me, and mounting it the second time, got to the top of the hill; that very moment a flash of fire bade me listen for a second gun, which accordingly in about half a moment I heard, and by the sound knew that it was from that part of the sea where I was driven out with the current in my boat.

I immediately considered that this must be some ship in distress, and that they had some comrade, or some other ship in company, and fired these guns for signals of distress, and to obtain help. I had this presence of mind at that minute as to think, that though I could not help them, it may be they might help me; so I brought together all the dry wood I could get at hand, and making a good handsome pile, I set it on fire upon the hill; the wood was dry, and blazed freely, and though the wind blew very hard, yet it burnt fairly out, so that I was certain, if there was any such thing as a ship, they must need see it, and no doubt they did; for as soon as ever my fire blazed up, I heard another gun, and after that several others, all from the same quarter. I plied my fire all night long, till day broke; and when it was broad day, and the air cleared up, I saw something at a great distance at sea, full east of the island, whether a sail, or an hull, I could not distinguish, no not with my glasses, [page 190] the distance was so great, and the weather still something hazy also; at least it was so out at sea.

I looked frequently at it all that day, and soon perceived that it did not move; so I presently concluded that it was a ship at anchor; and being eager, you may be sure, to be satisfied, I took my gun in my hand, and ran towards the south-east side of the island, to the rocks, where I had been formerly carried away with the current; and getting up there, the weather by this time being perfectly clear, I could plainly see, to my great sorrow, the wreck of a ship cast away in the night upon those concealed rocks which I found when I was out in my boat; and which rocks, as they checked the violence of the stream, and made a kind of counter-stream, or eddy, were the occasion of my recovering then from the most desperate hopeless condition that ever I had been in all my life.

Thus, what is one man’s safety is another man’s destruction; for it seems these men, whoever they were, being out of their knowledge, and the rocks being wholly under water, had been driven upon them in the night, the wind blowing hard at E. and E.N.E. Had they seen the island, as I must necessarily suppose they did not, they must, as I thought, have endeavoured to have saved themselves on shore by the help of their boat; but the firing of their guns for help, especially when they saw, as I imagined, my fire, filled me with many thoughts: first, I imagined, that, upon seeing my light, they might have put themselves into their boat, and have endeavoured to make the shore; but that the sea going very high, they might have been cast away; other times I imagined, that they might have lost their boat before, as might be the case many ways; as particularly, by the breaking of the sea upon their ship, which many times obliges men to stave, or take in pieces their boat; and sometimes to throw it overboard with their own hands; other times I imagined, they had some other ship or ships in company, who, upon the signals of distress they had made, had taken them up, and carried them [page 191] off: other whiles I fancied they were all gone off to sea in their boat, and being hurried away by the current that I had been formerly in, were carried out into the great ocean, where there was nothing but misery and perishing; and that perhaps they might by this time think of starving, and of being in a condition to eat one another.

All these were but conjectures at best, so, in the condition I was in, I could do no more than look upon the misery of the poor men, and pity them; which had still this good effect on my side, that it gave me more and more cause to give thanks to God, who had so happily and comfortably provided for me in my desolate condition; and that of two ships’ companies, who were now cast away upon this part of the world, not one life should be spared but mine. I learnt here again to observe, that it is very rare that the providence of God casts us into any condition of life so low, or any misery so great, but we may see something or other to be thankful for, and may see others in worse circumstances than our own.

Such certainly was the case of these men, of whom I could not so much as see room to suppose any of them were saved; nothing could make it rational, so much as to wish or expect that they did not all perish there, except the possibility only of their being taken up by another ship in company: and this was but mere possibility indeed; for I saw not the least signal or appearance of any such thing.

I cannot explain, by any possible energy of words, what a strange longing, or hankering of desire, I felt in my soul upon this sight; breaking out sometimes thus: “O that there had been but one or two, nay, but one soul saved out of the ship, to have escaped to me, that I might but have had one companion, one fellow-creature to have spoken to me, and to have conversed with!” In all the time of my solitary life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a desire after the society of my fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at want of it.

[page 192]

There are some secret moving springs in the affections, which, when they are set a going by some object in view, or be it some object though not in view, yet rendered present to the mind by the power of imagination, that motion carries out the soul by its impetuosity to such violent eager embracings of the object, that the absence of it is insupportable.

Such were these earnest wishings, “That but one man had been saved! O that it had been but one!” I believe I repeated the words, “O that it had been but one!” a thousand times; and my desires were so moved by it, that when I spoke the words, my hands would clinch together, and my fingers press the palms of my hands, that if I had had any soft thing in my hand, it would have crushed it involuntarily; and my teeth in my head would strike together, and set against one another so strong, that for some time I could not part them again.

Let the naturalists explain these things, and the reason and manner of them: all I can say of them is, to describe the fact, which was ever surprising to me when I found it, though I knew not from what it should proceed; it was doubtless the effect of ardent wishes, and of strong ideas formed in my mind, realizing the comfort which the conversation of one of my fellow-christians would have been to me.

But it was not to be; either their fate, or mine, or both, forbad it; for till the last year of my being on this island, I never knew whether any were saved out of that ship, or no; and had only the affliction some days after to see the corpse of a drowned boy come on shore, at the end of the island which was next the shipwreck: he had on no clothes but a seaman’s waistcoat, a pair of open kneed linen drawers, and a blue linen shirt; but nothing to direct me so much as to guess what nation he was of: he had nothing in his pocket but two pieces of eight, and a tobacco-pipe; the last was to me of ten times more value than the first.

It was now calm, and I had a great mind to venture [page 193] out in my boat to this wreck, not doubting but I might find something on board that might be useful to me; but that did not altogether press me so much, as the possibility that there might be yet some living creature on board, whose life I might not only save, but might, by saving that life, comfort my own to the last degree: and this thought clung so to my heart, that I could not be quiet night nor day, but I must venture out in my boat on board this wreck; and committing the rest to God’s providence, I thought the impression was so strong upon my mind, that it could not be resisted, that it must come from some invisible direction, and that I should be wanting to myself if I did not go.

Under the power of this impression, I hastened back to my castle, prepared every thing for my voyage, took a quantity of bread, a great pot for fresh water, a compass to steer by, a bottle of rum, (for I had still a great deal of that left) a basket full of raisins: and thus loading myself with every thing necessary, I went down to my boat, got the water out of her, and got her afloat, loaded all my cargo in her, and then went home again for more: my second cargo was a great bag full of rice, the umbrella to set up over my head for shade, another large pot full of lush water, and about two dozen of my small loaves, or barley-cakes, more than before, with a bottle of goat’s milk, and a cheese: all which, with great labour and sweat, I brought to my boat; and praying to God to direct my voyage, I put out, and rowing or paddling the canoe along the shore, I came at last to the utmost point of the island, on that side, viz. N.E. And now I was to launch out into the ocean, and either to venture, or not to venture; I looked on the rapid currents which ran constantly on both sides of the island, at a distance, and which were very terrible to me, from the remembrance of the hazard I had been in before, and my heart began to fail me; for I foresaw, that if I was driven into either of those [page 194] currents, I should be carried a vast way out to sea and perhaps out of my reach, or sight of the island again; and that then, as my boat was but small, if any little gale of wind should rise, I should be inevitably lost.

These thoughts so oppressed my mind, that I began to give over my enterprise, and having haled my boat into a little creek on the shore, I stepped out, and sat me down upon a little spot of rising ground, very pensive and anxious, between fear and desire, about my voyage; when, as I was musing, I could perceive that the tide was turned, and the flood came on, upon which my going was for so many hours impracticable: upon this it presently occurred to me, that I should go up to the highest piece of ground I could find, and observe, if I could, how the sets of the tide or currents lay, when the flood came in, that I might judge whether, if I was driven one way out, I might not expect to be driven another way home, with the same rapidness of the currents. This thought was no sooner in my head, but I cast my eye upon a little hill which sufficiently overlooked the sea both ways, and from whence I had a clear view of the currents, or sets of the tide, and which way I was to guide myself in my return: here I found, that as the current of the ebb set out close by the south point of the island, so the current of the flood set in close by the shore of the north side; and that I had nothing to do but to keep to the north of the island in my return, and I should do well enough.

Encouraged with this observation, I resolved the next morning to set out with the first of the tide; and reposing myself for that night in the canoe, under the great watch-coat I mentioned, I launched out. I made first a little out to sea full north, till I began to feel the benefit of the current, which sat eastward, and which carried me at a great rate, and yet did not so hurry me as the southern side current had done before, and so as to take from me all government of the boat; but having a strong steerage with my paddle, I [page 195] went, I say, at a great rate, directly for the wreck, and in less than two hours I came up to it.

It was a dismal sight to look at: the ship, which by its building was Spanish, stuck fast, jambed in between two rocks; all the stern and quarter of her was beaten to pieces with the sea; and as her forecastle, which stuck in the rocks, had run on with great violence, her main-mast and fore-mast were brought by the board, that is to say, broken short off, but her boltsprit was sound, and the head and bow appeared firm. When I came close to her, a dog appeared upon her, which, seeing me coming, yelped and cried, and as soon as I called him, jumped into the sea to come to me: and I took him into the boat, but found him almost dead for hunger and thirst: I gave him a cake of my bread, and he ate like a ravenous wolf that had been starving a fortnight in the snow: I then gave the poor creature some fresh water, with which, if I would have let him, he would have burst himself.

After this I went on board. The first sight I met with was two men drowned in the cook-room, or forecastle of the ship, with their arms fast about one another. I concluded, as is indeed probable, that when the ship struck, it being in a storm, the sea broke so high, and so continually over her, that the men were not able to bear it, and were strangled with the constant rushing in of the water, as much as if they had been under water. Besides the dog, there was nothing left in the ship that had life, nor any goods that I could see, but what were spoiled by the water: there were some casks of liquor, whether wine or brandy I knew not, which lay lower in the hold, and which, the water being ebbed out, I could see; but they were too big to meddle with: I saw several chests, which I believed belonged to some of the seamen, and I got two of them into the boat without examining what was in them.

Had the stern of the ship been fixed, and the fore part broken off, I am persuaded I might have made a good voyage; for by what I found in these two chests, [page 196] I had room to suppose the ship had a great deal of wealth on board; and if I may guess by the course she steered, she must have been bound from the Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata, in the south part of America, beyond the Brasils, to the Havanna, in the Gulf of Mexico, and so perhaps to Spain: she had, no doubt, a great treasure in her, but of no use at that time to any body; and what became of the rest of her people I then knew not.

I found, besides these chests, a little cask full of liquor, of about twenty gallons, which I got into my boat with much difficulty. There were several muskets in a cabin, and a great powder-horn, with about four pounds of powder in it: as for the muskets, I had no occasion for them, so I left them, but took the powder-horn. I took a fire-shovel and tongs, which I wanted extremely; as also two little brass kettles, a copper pot to make chocolate, and a gridiron; and with this cargo, and the dog, I came away, the tide beginning to make home again; and the same evening, about an hour within night, I reached the island again, weary and fatigued to the last degree.

I reposed that night in the boat, and in the morning I resolved to harbour what I had gotten in my new cave, not to carry it home to my castle. After refreshing myself, I got all my cargo on shore, and began to examine the particulars: the cask of liquor I found to be a kind of rum, but not such as we had at the Brasils; and, in a word, not at all good; but when I came to open the chests, I found several things which I wanted: for example, I found in one a fine case of bottles, of an extraordinary kind, and filled with cordial waters, fine, and very good; the bottles held about three pints each, and were tipped with silver: I found two pots of very good succades, or sweetmeats, so fastened also on the top, that the salt water had not hurt them; and two more of the same, which the water had spoiled: I found some very good shirts, which were very welcome to me, and about a dozen and a half of white linen handkerchiefs and coloured [page 197] neckcloths; the former were also very welcome, being exceeding refreshing to wipe my face in a hot day. Besides this, when I came to the till in the chests, I found there three great bags of pieces of eight, which held about eleven hundred pieces in all; and in one of them, wrapt up in a paper, six doubloons of gold, and some small bars or wedges of gold; I suppose they might all weigh near a pound.

The other chest I found had some clothes in it, but of little value; but by the circumstances, it must have belonged to the gunner’s mate, as there was no powder in it, but about two pounds of glazed powder in the three flasks, kept, I suppose, for charging their fowling-pieces on occasion. Upon the whole, I got very little by this voyage that was of much use to me; for, as to the money, I had no manner of occasion for it; it was to me as the dirt under my feet; and I would have given it all for three or four pair of English shoes and stockings, which were things I greatly wanted, but had not had on my feet now for many years: I had, indeed, got two pair of shoes now, which I took off the feet of the two drowned men whom I saw in the wreck; and I found two pair more in one of the chests, which were very welcome to me; but they were not like our English shoes, either for case or service, being rather what we call pumps than shoes. I found in the seaman’s chest about fifty pieces of eight in royals, but no gold: I suppose this belonged to a poorer man than the other, which seemed to belong to some officer.

Well, however, I lugged the money home to my cave, and laid it up, as I had done that before, which I brought from our own ship; but it was great pity, as I said, that the other part of the ship had not come to my share, for I am satisfied I might have loaded my canoe several times over with money, which, if I had ever escaped to England, would have lain here safe enough till I might have come again and fetched it.

Having now brought all my things on shore, and secured them, I went back to my boat, and rowed or [page 198] paddled her along the shore to her old harbour, where I laid her up, and made the best of my way to my old habitation, where I found every thing safe and quiet; so I began to repose myself, live after my old fashion, and take care of my family affairs; and for awhile I lived easy enough; only that I was more vigilant than I used to be, looked out oftener, and did not go abroad so much; and if at any time I did stir with any freedom, it was always to the east part of the island, where I was pretty well satisfied the savages never came, and where I could go without so many precautions, and such a load of arms and ammunition as I always carried with me, if I went the other way.

I lived in this condition near two years more; but my unlucky head, that was always to let me know it was born to make my body miserable, was all these two years filled with projects and designs, how, if it were possible, I might get away from this island; for sometimes I was for making another voyage to the wreck, though my reason told me, that there was nothing left there worth the hazard of my voyage; sometimes for a ramble one way, sometimes another; and I believe verity, if I had had the boat that I went from Sallee in, I should have ventured to sea, bound any where, I knew not whither.

I have been, in all my circumstances, a memento to those who are touched with that general plague of mankind, whence, for aught I know, one half of their miseries flow; I mean, that of not being satisfied with the station wherein God and nature hath placed them; for, not to look back upon my primitive condition, and the excellent advice of my father, the opposition to which was, as I may call it, my original sin, my subsequent mistakes of the same kind have been the means of my coming into this miserable condition; for had that Providence, which so happily had seated me at the Brasils as a planter, blessed me with confined desires, and could I have been contented to have gone on gradually, I might have been by this time, I mean in the time of my being on this island, one of [page 199] the most considerable planters in the Brasils; nay, I am persuaded, that by the improvements I had made in that little time I lived there, and the increase I should probably have made if I had stayed, I might have been worth a hundred thousand moidores; and what business had I to leave a settled fortune, well-stocked plantation, improving and increasing, to turn supercargo to Guinea, to fetch Negroes, when patience and time would have so increased our stock at home, that we could have bought them at our own doors, from those whose business it was to fetch them? And though it had cost us something more, yet the difference of that price was by no means worth saving at so great a hazard.

But as this is ordinarily the fate of young heads, so reflection upon the folly of it is as ordinarily the exercise of more years, or of the dear-bought experience of time; and so it was with me now; and yet, so deep had the mistake taken root in my temper, that I could not satisfy myself in my station, but was continually poring upon the means and possibility of my escape from this place; and that I may, with the greater pleasure to the reader, bring on the remaining part of my story, it may not be improper to give some account of my first conceptions on the subject of this foolish scheme for my escape; and how, and upon what foundation, I acted.

I am now to be supposed to be retired into my castle, after my late voyage to the wreck, my frigate laid up, and secured under water as usual, and my condition restored to what it was before: I had more wealth, indeed, than I had before, but was not at all the richer; for I had no more use for it than the Indians of Peru had before the Spaniards came thither.

It was one of the nights in the rainy season in March, the four-and-twentieth year of my first setting foot in this island of solitariness, I was lying in my bed or hammock, awake, and very well in health, had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness of body, no, nor any uneasiness of mind more than ordinary, but [page 200] could by no means close my eyes, that is, so as to sleep; no, not a wink all night long, otherwise than as follows:

It is as impossible as needless to set down the innumerable crowd of thoughts that whirled through that great thoroughfare of the brain, the memory, in this night’s time: I ran over the whole history of my life in miniature, or by abridgment, as I may call it, to my coming to this island; and also of that part of my life since I came to this island; in my reflections upon the state of my case, since I came on shore on this island; I was comparing the happy posture of my affairs, in the first years of my habitation here, to that course of anxiety, fear, and care, which I had lived in ever since I had seen the print of a foot in the sand; not that I did not believe the savages had frequented the island even all the while, and might have been several hundreds of them at times on the shore there; but as I had never known it, and was incapable of any apprehensions about it, my satisfaction was perfect, though my danger was the same; and I was as happy in not knowing my danger, as if I had never really been exposed to it; this furnished my thoughts with many very profitable reflections, and particularly this one: How infinitely good that Providence is, which has settled in its government of mankind such narrow bounds to his sight and knowledge of things; and though he walks in the midst of so many thousand dangers, the sight of which, if discovered to him, would distract his mind and sink his spirits, he is kept serene and calm, by having the events of things hid from his eyes, and knowing nothing of the dangers which surround him.

After these thoughts had for some time entertained me, I came to reflect seriously upon the real danger I had been in for so many years in this very island; and how I had walked about in the greatest security, and with all possible tranquillity, even perhaps when nothing but a brow on a hill, a great tree, or the casual approach of night, had been between me and the [page 201] worst kind of destruction, viz. that of falling into the hands of cannibals, and savages, who would have seized on me with the same view, as I did of a goat, or a turtle; and have thought it no more a crime to kill and devour me, than I did of a pigeon, or a curlieu: I would unjustly slander my self, if I should say I was not sincerely thankful to my great Preserver, to whose singular protection I acknowledged, with great humility, that all these unknown deliverances were due; and without which, I must inevitably have fallen into their merciless hands.

When these thoughts were over, my head was for some time taken up in considering the nature of these wretched creatures; I mean, the savages; and how it came to pass in the world, that the wise governour of all things should give up any of his creatures to such inhumanity; nay, to something so much below, even brutality it self, as to devour its own kind; but as this ended in some (at that time fruitless) speculations, it occurred to me to enquire, what part of the world these wretches lived in; how far off the coast was from whence they came; what they ventured over so far from home for; what kind of boats they had; and why I might not order my self, and my business so, that I might be as able to go over thither, as they were to come to me.

I never so much as troubled my self to consider what I should do with my self, when I came thither; what would become of me, if I fell into the hands of the savages; or how I should escape from them, if they attempted me; no, nor so much as how it was possible for me to reach the coast, and not be attempted by some or other of them, without any possibility of delivering my self; and if I should not fall into their hands, what I should do for provision, or whither I should bend my course; none of these thoughts, I say, so much as came in my way; but my mind was wholly bent upon the notion of my passing over in my boat, to the main land: I looked back upon my [page 202] present condition as the most miserable that could possibly be; that I was not able to throw myself into any thing but death that could be called worse; that if I reached the shore of the main, I might, perhaps, meet with relief; or I might coast along, as I did on the shore of Africa, till I came to some inhabited country, and where I might find some relief; and after all, perhaps, I might fall in with some Christian ship that might take me in: and if the worst came to the worst, I could but die, which would put an end to all these miseries at once. Pray, note all this was the fruit of a disturbed mind, an impatient temper, made, as it were, desperate by the long continuance of my troubles, and the disappointments I had met in the wreck I had been on board of, and where I had been so near the obtaining of what I so earnestly longed for, viz. somebody to speak to, and to learn some knowledge from of the place where I was, and of the probable means of my deliverance; I say, I was agitated wholly by these thoughts. All my calm of mind in my resignation to Providence, and waiting the issue of the dispositions of Heaven, seemed to be suspended; and I had, as it were, no power to turn my thoughts to any thing but the project of a voyage to the main; which came upon me with such force, and such an impetuosity of desire, that it was not to be resisted.

When this had agitated my thoughts for two hours or more, with such violence that it set my very blood into a ferment, and my pulse beat as high as if I had been in a fever, merely with the extraordinary fervour of my mind about it; nature, as if I had been fatigued and exhausted with the very thought of it, threw me into a sound sleep: one would have thought I should have dreamed of it; but I did not, nor of any thing relating to it; but I dreamed, that as I was going out in the morning, as usual, from my castle, I saw upon the shore two canoes and eleven savages coming to land, and that they brought with them another savage, whom they were going to kill, in order to eat him; when on a sudden, the savage that they [page 203] were going to kill jumped away, and ran for his life: then I thought in my sleep, that he came running into my little thick grove, before my fortification, to hide himself; and that I seeing him alone, and not perceiving that the others sought him that way, shewed myself to him, and, smiling upon him, encouraged him: that he kneeled down to me, seeming to pray me to assist him; upon which I shewed my ladder, made him go up it, and carried him into my cave, and he became my servant; and that as soon as I had got this man, I said to myself, “Now I may certainly venture to the main land; for this fellow will serve me as a pilot, and will tell me what to do, and whither to go for provisions, and whither not to go for fear of being devoured; what places to venture into, and what to escape.” I waked with this thought, and was under such inexpressible impressions of joy at the prospect of my escape in my dream, that the disappointments which I felt upon coming to myself, and finding it was no more than a dream, were equally extravagant the other way, and threw me into a very great dejection of spirit.

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion, that my only way to go about an attempt for an escape, was, if possible, to get a savage in my possession; and, if possible, it should be one of their prisoners whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should bring hither to kill: but these thoughts still were attended with this difficulty, that it was impossible to effect this, without attacking a whole caravan of them, and killing them all; and this was not only a very desperate attempt, and might miscarry; but, on the other hand, I had greatly scrupled the lawfulness of it to me, and my heart trembled at the thoughts of shedding so much blood, though it was for my deliverance: I need not repeat the arguments which occurred to me against this, they being the same mentioned before: but though I had other reasons to offer now, viz. that those men were enemies to my life, and would devour me, if they could; that it was self-preservation, in the [page 204] highest degree, to deliver myself from this death of a life, and was acting in my own defence, as much as if they were actually assaulting me, and the like; I say, though these things argued for it, yet the thoughts of shedding human blood for my deliverance were very terrible to me, and such as I could by no means reconcile myself to a great while.

However, at last, after many secret disputes with myself, and after great perplexities about it, (for all these arguments, one way and another, struggled in my head a long time,) the eager prevailing desire of deliverance at length mastered all the rest, and I resolved, if possible, to get one of these savages into my hands, cost what it would: the next thing then was to contrive how to do it; and this indeed was very difficult to resolve on: but as I could pitch upon no probable means for it, so I resolved to put myself upon the watch to see them when they came on shore, and leave the rest to the event, taking such measures as the opportunity should present, let it be what it would.

With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set myself upon the scout as often as possible, and indeed so often, till I was heartily tired of it; for it was above a year and a half that I waited, and for a great part of that time went out to the west end, and to the south-west corner of the island, almost every day, to see the canoes, but none appeared. This was very discouraging, and began to trouble me much; though I can’t say that it did in this case, as it had done some time before that, viz. wear off the edge of my desire to the thing; but the longer it seemed to be delayed, the more eager I was for it: in a word, I was not at first more careful to shun the sight of these savages, and avoid being seen by them, than I was now eager to be upon them.

Besides, I fancied myself able to manage one, nay, two or three savages, if I had them, so as to make them entirely slaves to me, to do whatever I should direct them, and to prevent their being able, at any time, to do me any hurt. It was a great while that I [page 205] pleased myself with this affair, but nothing still presented; all my fancies and schemes came to nothing, for no savages came near me for a great while.

About a year and a half after I had entertained these notions, and, by long musing, had, as it were, resolved them all into nothing, for want of an occasion to put them in execution, I was surprised one morning early, with seeing no less than five canoes all on shore together, on my side the island, and the people who belonged to them all landed, and out of my sight: the number of them broke all my measures; for seeing so many, and knowing that they always came four, or six, or sometimes more, in a boat, I could not tell what to think of it, or how to take my measures, to attack twenty or thirty men single-handed; so I lay still in my castle, perplexed and discomforted; however, I put myself into all the same postures for an attack that I had formerly provided, and was just ready for action, if any thing had presented. Having waited a good while, listening to hear if they made any noise; at length being very impatient, I set my guns at the foot of my ladder, and clambered up to the top of the hill by my two stages, as usual, standing so, however, that my head did not appear above the hill, so that they could not perceive me by any means. Here I observed, by the help of my perspective glass, that they were no less than thirty in number; that they had a fire kindled, and that they had had meat dressed; how they cooked it, that I knew not, or what it was; but they were all dancing in I know not how many barbarous gestures and figures, their own way, round the fire.

When I was thus looking on them, I perceived by my perspective two miserable wretches dragged from the boats, where, it seems, they were laid by, and were now brought out for the slaughter: I perceived one of them immediately fall, being knocked down, I suppose, with a club or wooden sword, for that was their way; and two or three others were at work immediately, cutting him open for their cookery, while [page 206] the other victim was left standing by himself, till they should be ready for him. In that very moment this poor wretch, seeing himself a little at liberty, nature inspired him with hopes of life, and he started away from them, and ran with incredible swiftness along the sands, directly towards me, I mean towards that part of the coast where my habitation was.

I was dreadfully frighted (that I must acknowledge) when I perceived him to run my way; and especially when, as I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole body; and now I expected that part of my dream was coming to pass, and that he would certainly take shelter in my grove; but I could not depend, by any means, upon my dream for the rest of it, viz. that the other savages would not pursue him thither, and find him there. However, I kept my station, and my spirits began to recover, when I found that there were not above three men that followed him; and still more was I encouraged, when I found that he out-stript them exceedingly in running, and gained ground of them, so that if he could but hold it for half an hour, I saw easily he would fairly get away from them all.

There was between them and my castle the creek, which I mentioned often at the first part of my story, when I landed my cargoes out of the ship; and this I knew he must necessarily swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken there: but when the savage escaping came thither, he made nothing of it, though the tide was then up; but plunging in, swam through in about thirty strokes, or thereabouts, landed, and ran on with exceeding strength and swiftness. When the three pursuers came to the creek, I found that two of them could swim, but the third could not, and that he, standing on the other side, looked at the other, but went no farther; and soon after went softly back again, which, as it happened, was very well for him in the main.

I observed, that the two who swam were yet more than twice as long swimming over the creek than the [page 207] fellow was that fled from them. It came now very warmly upon my thoughts, and indeed irresistibly, that now was my time to get a servant, and perhaps a companion, or assistant, and that I was called plainly by Providence to save this poor creature’s life. I immediately got down the ladders with all possible expedition, fetched my two guns, for they were both at the foot of the ladder, as I observed above; and getting up again with the same haste to the top of the hill, I crossed towards the sea; and having a very short cut, and all down hill, clapped myself in the way between the pursuers and the pursued, hallooing aloud to him that fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps as much frighted at me as at them; but I beckoned with my hand to him to come back; and in the meantime I slowly advanced towards the two that followed; then rushing at once upon the foremost, I knocked him down with the stock of my piece; I was loath to fire, because I would not have the rest hear, though at that distance it would not have been easily heard; and being out of sight of the smoke too, they would not have easily known what to make of it. I having knocked this fellow down, the other who pursued him stopped, as if he had been frightened, and I advanced apace towards him; but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had a bow and arrow, and was fitting it to shoot at me; so I was then necessitated to shoot at him first; which I did, and killed him at the first shot. The poor savage who fled, but had stopped, though he saw both his enemies fallen, and killed, (as he thought) yet was so frighted with the fire and noise of my piece, that he stood stock-still, and neither came forward, nor went backward, though he seemed rather inclined to fly still, than to come on. I hallooed again to him, and made signs to come forward, which he easily understood, and came a little way, then stopped again, and then a little farther, and stopped again; and I could then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had been taken prisoner, and had just been to be killed, as his two enemies were. I beckoned him [page 208] again to come to me, and gave him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of; and he came nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve steps, in token of acknowledgment for saving his life. I smiled at him, and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to come still nearer. At length he came close to me, and then he kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon the ground, and taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his head. This, it seems, was in token of swearing to be my slave for ever. I took him up, and made much of him, and encouraged him all I could. But there was more work to do yet; for I perceived the savage, whom I knocked down, was not killed, but stunned with the blow, and began to come to himself: so I pointed to him, and showed him the savage, that he was not dead: upon this he spoke some words to me; and though I could not understand them, yet I thought they were pleasant to hear, for they were the first sound of a man’s voice that I had heard, my own excepted, for above five-and-twenty years. But there was no time for such reflections now: the savage, who was knocked down, recovered himself so far as to sit up upon the ground; and I perceived that my savage began to be afraid; but when I saw that, I presented my other piece at the man, as if I would shoot him: upon this my savage, for so I call him now, made a motion to me to lend him my sword, which hung naked in a belt by my side: so I did: he no sooner had it, but he runs to his enemy, and at one blow cut off his head so cleverly, no executioner in Germany could have done it sooner or better; which I thought very strange for one, who, I had reason to believe, never saw a sword in his life before, except their own wooden swords: however, it seems, as I learnt afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp, so heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will cut off heads even with them, nay, and arms, and that at one blow too. When he had done this, he comes laughing to me in sign of triumph, and brought me the sword [page 209] again, and, with abundance of gestures, which I did not understand, laid it down, with the head of the savage that he had killed, just before me.

But that which astonished him most was, to know how I had killed the other Indian so far off; so pointing to him, he made signs to me to let him go to him: so I bade him go, as well as I could. When he came to him, he stood like one amazed, looking at him; turned him first on one side, then on t’other; looked at the wound the bullet had made, which it seems was just in his breast, where it had made a hole, and no great quantity of blood had followed; but he had bled inwardly, for he was quite dead. Then he took up his bow and arrows, and came back; so I turned to go away, and beckoned him to follow me, making signs to him that more might come after them.

Upon this he signed to me, that he should bury them with sand, that they might not be seen by the rest, if they followed; and so I made signs again to him to do so. He fell to work, and in an instant he had scraped a hole in the sand with his hands, big enough to bury the first in, and then dragged him into it, and covered him, and did so also by the other; I believe he had buried them both in a quarter of an hour: then calling him away, I carried him not to my castle, but quite away to my cave, on the farther part of the island; so I did not let my dream come to pass in that part; viz. that he came into my grove for shelter.

Here I gave him bread and a bunch of raisins to eat, and a draught of water, which I found he was indeed in great distress for, by his running; and having refreshed him, I made signs for him to go lie down and sleep, pointing to a place where I had laid a great parcel of rice-straw, and a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself sometimes; so the poor creature lay down, and went to sleep.

He was a comely handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with straight long limbs, not too large, tall, and well-shaped, and, as I reckon, about twenty-six [page 210] years of age. He had a very good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed to have something very manly in his face, and yet he had all the sweetness and softness of an European in his countenance too, especially when he smiled: his hair was long and black, not curled like wool; his forehead very high and large, and a great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The colour of his skin was not quite black, but very tawny, and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseous tawny, as the Brasilians and Virginians, and other natives of America are, but of a bright kind of a dun olive colour, that had in it something very agreeable, though not very easy to describe. His face was round and plump, his nose small, not flat like the Negroe’s, a very good mouth, thin lips, and his teeth fine, well-set, and white as ivory. After he had slumbered, rather than slept, about half an hour, he waked again, and comes out of the cave to me, for I had been milking my goats, which I had in the enclosure just by: when he espied me, he came running to me, laying himself down again upon the ground, with all the possible signs of an humble thankful disposition, making many, antic gestures to shew it. At last he lays his head flat upon the ground, close to my foot, and sets my other foot upon his head, as he had done before; and after this, made all the signs to me of subjection, servitude, and submission imaginable, to let me know how much he would serve me as long as he lived. I understood him in many things, and let him know I was very well pleased with him. In a little time I began to speak to him, and teach him to speak to me; and first, I made him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life; and I called him so for the memory of the time; I likewise taught him to say Master, and then let him know that was to be my name; I likewise taught him to say Yes and No, and to know the meaning of them. I gave him some milk in an earthen pot, and let him see me drink it before him, and sop my bread in it; and I gave him a cake [page 211] of bread to do the like, which he quickly complied with, and made signs that it was very good for him.

I kept there with him all that night; but as soon as it was day, I beckoned him to come with me, and let him know I would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, for he was stark-naked. As we went by the place where he had buried the two men, he pointed exactly to the spot, and shewed me the marks that he had made to find them again, making signs to me that we should dig them up again, and eat them: at this I appeared very angry, expressed my abhorrence of it, made as if I would vomit at the thoughts of it, and beckoned with my hand to him to come away, which he did immediately, with great submission. I then led him up to the top of the hill, to see if his enemies were gone, and pulling out my glass, I looked, and saw plainly the place where they had been, but no appearance of them, or of their canoes; so that it was plain that they were gone, and had left their two comrades behind them, without, any search after them.

But I was not content with this discovery; but having now more courage, and consequently more curiosity, I took my man Friday with me, giving him the sword in his hand, with the bow and arrows at his back, which I found he could use very dexterously, making him carry one gun for me, and I two for myself, and away we marched to the place where these creatures had been; for I had a mind now to get some further intelligence of them. When I came to the place, my very blood ran chill in my veins, and my heart sunk within me at the horror of the spectacle: indeed it was a dreadful sight, at least it was so to me, though Friday made nothing of it: the place was covered with human bones, the ground dyed with the blood, great pieces of flesh left here and there, half-eaten, mangled, and scorched; and, in short, all the tokens of the triumphant feast they had been making there, after a victory over their enemies. I saw three skulls, five hands, and the bones of three or four legs [page 212] and feet, and abundance of other parts of the bodies; and Friday, by his signs, made me understand that they brought over four prisoners to feast upon; that three of them were eaten up, and that he, pointing to himself, was the fourth; that there had been a great battle between them and their next king, whose subjects, it seems, he had been one of; and that they had taken a great number of prisoners, all which were carried to several places by those that had taken them in the flight, in order to feast upon them, as was done here by these wretches upon those they brought hither.

I caused Friday to gather all the skulls, bones, flesh, and whatever remained, and lay them together on an heap, and make a great fire upon it, and burn them all to ashes. I found Friday had still a hankering stomach after some of the flesh, and was still a cannibal in his nature; but I discovered so much abhorrence at the very thoughts of it, and at the least appearance of it, that he durst not discover it; for I had, by some means, let him know that I would kill him if he offered it.

When we had done this, we came back to our castle, and there I fell to work for my man Friday; and first of all, I gave him a pair of linen drawers, which I had out of the poor gunner’s chest I mentioned, and which I found in the wreck; and which, with a little alteration, fitted him very well; then I made him a jerkin of goat’s skin as well as my skill would allow, and I was now grown a tolerable good tailor; and I gave him a cap, which I had made of a hare-skin, very convenient, and fashionable enough: and thus he was dressed, for the present, tolerably well, and mighty well was he pleased to see himself almost as well clothed as his master. It is true, he went awkwardly in these things at first; wearing the drawers was very awkward to him, and the sleeves of the waistcoat galled his shoulders and the inside of his arms; but a little easing them, where he complained they hurt him, and using himself to them, at length he took to them very well.

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The next day after I came home to my hutch with him, I began to consider where I should lodge him; and that I might do well for him, and yet be perfectly easy myself, I made a little tent for him in the vacant place between my two fortifications, in the inside of the last, and in the outside of the first: and as there was a door or entrance there into my cave, I made a formal framed door-case, and a door to it of boards, and set it up in the passage, a little within the entrance: and causing the door to open on the inside, I barred it up in the night, taking in my ladders too; so that Friday could no way come at me in the inside of my innermost wall, without making so much noise in getting over, that it must needs awaken me; for my first wall had now a complete roof over it of long poles, covering all my tent, and leaning up to the side of the hill, which was again laid cross with small sticks instead of laths, and then thatched over a great thickness with the rice straw, which was strong like reeds; and at the hole or place which was left to go in or out by the ladder, I had placed a kind of trapdoor, which if it had been attempted on the outside, would not have opened at all, but would have fallen down, and made a great noise; and as to weapons, I took them all in to my side every night.

But I needed none of all this precaution; for never man had a more faithful, loving, sincere servant than Friday was to me; without passions, sullenness, or designs; perfectly obliging and engaging; his very affections were tied to me, like those of a child to a father; and I dare say, he would have sacrificed his life for the saving mine, upon any occasion whatsoever: the many testimonies he gave me of this put it out of doubt; and soon convinced me, that I needed to use no precautions as to my safety on his account.

This frequently gave me occasion to observe, and that with wonder, that, however it had pleased God in his providence, and in the government of the works of his hands, to take from so great a part of the world of his creatures the best uses to which their [page 214] faculties, and the powers of their souls, are adapted; yet that he has bestowed upon them the same powers, the same reason, the same affections, the same sentiments of kindness and obligation, the same passions and resentments of wrongs, the same sense of gratitude, sincerity, fidelity, and all the capacities of doing good, and receiving good, that he has given to us; and that when he pleases to offer them occasions of exerting these, they are as ready, nay more ready, to apply them to the right uses for which they were bestowed, than we are. And this made me very melancholy sometimes, in reflecting, as the several occasions presented, how mean a use we make of all these, even though we have these powers enlightened by the great lamp of instruction, the Spirit of God, and by the knowledge of his word, added to our understanding; and why it has pleased God to hide the life saving knowledge from so many millions of souls, who, if I might judge by this poor savage, would make a much better use of it than we did.

From hence I sometimes was led too far to invade the sovereignty of Providence; and, as it were, arraign the justice of so arbitrary a disposition of things, that should hide that light from some, and reveal it to others, and yet expect a like duty from both: but I shut it up, and checked my thoughts with this conclusion: first, that we do not know by what light and law these should be condemned; but that as God was necessarily, and by the nature of his being, infinitely holy and just, so it could not be, but that if these creatures were all sentenced to absence from himself, it was on account of sinning against that light, which, as the Scripture says, was a law to themselves, and by such rules as their consciences would acknowledge to be just, though the foundation was not discovered to us: and, secondly, that still, as we are all clay in the hand of the potter, no vessel could say to him, “Why hast thou formed me thus?”

But to return to my new companion: I was greatly delighted with him, and made it my business to teach [page 215] him every thing that was proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; but especially to make him speak, and understand me when I spake: and he was the aptest scholar that ever was; and particularly was so merry, so constantly diligent, and so pleased when he could but understand me, or make me understand him, that it was very pleasant to me to talk to him. And now my life began to be so easy, that I began to say to myself, that could I but have been safe from more savages, I cared not if I was never to remove from the place while I lived.

After I had been two or three days returned to my castle, I thought, that, in order to bring Friday off from his horrid way of feeding, and from the relish of a cannibal’s stomach, I ought to let him taste other flesh; so I took him out with me one morning to the woods: I went, indeed, intending to kill a kid out of my own flock, and bring it home and dress it: but as I was going, I saw a she goat lying down in the shade, and two young kids sitting by her. I catched hold of Friday: “Hold,” said I, “stand still;” and made signs to him not to stir. Immediately I presented my piece, shot and killed one of the kids. The poor creature, who had, at a distance indeed, seen me kill the savage his enemy, but did not know, or could imagine how it was done, was sensibly surprised, trembled and shook, and looked so amazed, that I thought he would have sunk down: he did not see the kid I had shot at, or perceive I had killed it, but ripped up his waistcoat to feel if he was not wounded; and, as I found, presently thought I was resolved to kill him: for he came and kneeled down to me, and, embracing my knees, said a great many things I did not understand but I could easily see that his meaning was to pray me not to kill him.

I soon found a way to convince him, that I would do him no harm; and taking him up by the hand, laughed at him, and pointing to the kid which I had killed, beckoned to him to run and fetch it, which he did: and while he was wondering and looking to see [page 216] how the creature was killed, I loaded my gun again, and by and by I saw a great fowl, like a hawk, sit upon a tree within shot; so, to let Friday understand a little what I would do, I called him to me again, pointing at the fowl, which was indeed a parrot, though I thought it had been a hawk: I say, pointing to the parrot, and to my gun, and to the ground under the parrot, to let him see I would make him fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill that bird; accordingly I fired, and bid him look, and immediately he saw the parrot fall; he stood like one frighted again, notwithstanding all that I had said to him; and I found he was the more amazed, because he did not see me put any thing into the gun; but thought there must be some wonderful fund of death and destruction in that thing, able to kill man, beast, bird, or any thing near or far off; for the astonishment this created in him was such, as could not wear off for a long time; and I believe, if I would have let him, he would have worshipped me and my gun; as for the gun itself, he would not so much as touch it for several days over; but would speak to it, and talk to it, as if it had answered him, when he was by himself; which, as I afterwards learnt of him, was to desire it not to kill him.

Well; after his astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to him to run and fetch the bird I had shot, which he did, but staid some time; for the parrot, not being quite dead, had fluttered a good way off from the place where she fell; however, he found her, took her up, and brought her to me; and, as I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, I took this advantage to charge the gun again, and not let him see me do it, that I might be ready for any other mark that might present; but nothing more offered at that time; so I brought home the kid; and the same evening I took the skin off, and cut it out as well as I could, and having a pot for that purpose, I boiled or stewed some of the flesh, and made some very good broth; after I had begun to eat some, I [page 217] gave some to my man, who seemed very glad of it, and liked it very well; but that which was strangest to him, was, to see me eat salt with it. He made a sign to me that the salt was not good to eat; and putting a little into his own month, he seemed to nauseate it, and would spit and sputter at it, washing his mouth with fresh water after it. On the other hand, I took some meat in my mouth without salt, and I pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as fast as he had done at the salt; but it would not do, he would never care for salt with meat, or in his broth; at least, not a great while, and then but a very little.

Having thus fed him with boiled meat and broth, I was resolved to feast him the next day with roasting a piece of the kid: this I did by hanging it before the fire in a string, as I had seen many people do in England, setting two poles up, one on each side the fire, and one cross on the top, and tying the string to the cross stick, letting the meat turn continually: this Friday admired very much; but when he came to taste the flesh, he took so many ways to tell me how well he liked it, that I could not but understand him; and at last he told me he would never eat man’s flesh any more, which I was very glad to hear.

The next day I set him to work to beating some corn out, and sifting it in the manner I used to do, as I observed before; and he soon understood how to do it as well as I, especially after he had seen what the meaning of it was, and that it was to make bread of; for after that I let him see me make my bread, and bake it too; and in a little time Friday was able to do all the work for me, as well as I could do it myself.

I began now to consider, that, having two mouths to feed instead of one, I must provide more ground for my harvest, and plant a larger quantity of corn, than I used to do; so I marked out a larger piece of land, and began the fence in the same manner as before, in which Friday not only worked very willingly and very hard, but did it very cheerfully; and I told [page 218] him what it was for, that it was for corn to make more bread, because he was now with me, and that I might have enough for him and myself too: he appeared very sensible of that part, and let me know, that he thought I had much more labour upon me on his account, than I had for myself, and that he would work the harder for me, if I would tell him what to do.

This was the pleasantest year of all the life I led in this place. Friday began to talk pretty well, and understand the names of almost every thing I had occasion to call for, and of every place I had to send him to, and talk a great deal to me; so that, in short, I began now to have some use for my tongue again, which indeed I had very little occasion for before; that is to say, about speech. Besides the pleasure of talking to him, I had a singular satisfaction in the fellow himself; his simple unfeigned honesty appeared to me more and more every day, and I began really to love the creature; and on his side, I believe, he loved me more than it was possible for him ever to love any thing before.

I had a mind once to try if he had any hankering inclination to his own country again; and having learnt him English so well, that he could answer me almost any questions, I asked him, whether the nation that he belonged to never conquered in battle? At which he smiled, and said, “Yes, yes, we always fight the better;” that is, he meant, always get the better in fight; and so we began the following discourse. “You always fight the better!” said I: “how came you to be taken prisoner then, Friday?”

Friday. My nation beat much for all that.

Master. How beat? if your nation beat them, how came you to be taken?

Friday. They more than my nation in the place where me was; they take one, two, three, and me: my nation over-beat them in the yonder place, where me no was; there my nation take one two great thousand.

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Master. But why did not your side recover you from the hands of your enemies then?

Friday. They run one, two, three, and me, and make go in the canoe; my nation have no canoe that time.

Master. Well, Friday, and what does your nation do with the men they take? Do they carry them away, and eat them as these did?

Friday. Yes, my nation eat mans too, eat all up.

Master. Where do they carry them?

Friday. Go to other place where they think.

Master. Do they come hither?

Friday. Yes, yes, they come hither; come other else place.

Master. Have you been here with them?

Friday. Yes, I been here [points to the N.W. side of the island, which, it seems, was their side.]

By this I understood, that my man Friday had formerly been among the savages, who used to come on shore on the farther part of the island, on the said man eating occasions that he was now brought for; and some time after, when I took the courage to carry him to that side, being the same I formerly mentioned, he presently knew the place, and told me, he was there once when they ate up twenty men, two women, and one child: he could not tell twenty in English, but he numbered them by laying so many stones in a row, and pointing to me to tell them over.

I have told this passage, because it introduces what follows; that after I had had this discourse with him, I asked him, how far it was from our island to the shore, and whether the canoes were not often lost? He told me there was no danger, no canoes ever lost; but that after a little way out to sea, there was a current, and a wind always one way in the morning, the other in the afternoon.

This I understand to be no more than the sets of the tide, as going out, or coming in; but I afterwards understood it was occasioned by the great draught and reflux of the mighty river Oroonoque; in the mouth [page 220] of which river, as I thought afterwards, our island lay; and that this land, which I perceived to the W. and N.W. was the great island Trinidad, on the north point of the mouth of the river. I asked Friday a thousand questions about the country, the inhabitants, the sea, the coast, and what nations were near: he told me all he knew with the greatest openness imaginable. I asked him the names of the several nations of his sort of people, but could get no other name than Caribs; from whence I easily understood, that these were the Caribees, which our maps place on that part of America which reaches from the mouth of the river Oroonoque to Guinea, and onwards to St. Martha. He told me, that up a great way beyond the moon, that was, beyond the setting of the moon, which must be W. from their country, there dwelt white-bearded men, like me, and pointed to my great whiskers, which I mentioned before; and that they had killed much mans, that was his word: by which I understood he meant the Spaniards, whose cruelties in America had been spread over the whole countries, and were remembered by all the nations from father to son.

I inquired if he could tell me how I might come from this island, and get among those white men; he told me, Yes, yes, I might go in two canoe; I could not understand what he meant by two canoe; till at last, with great difficulty, I found he meant, that it must be in a large great boat as big as two canoes.

This part of Friday’s discourse began to relish with me very well; and from this time I entertained some hopes, that one time or other I might find an opportunity to make my escape from this place, and that this poor savage might be a means to help me to do it.

During the long time that Friday had now been with me, and that he began to speak to me, and understand me, I was not wanting to lay a foundation of religious knowledge in his mind; particularly I asked him one time, Who made him? The poor creature [page 221] did not understand me at all, but thought I had asked who was his father: but I took it by another handle, and asked him, Who made the sea, the ground he walked on, and the hills and woods? He told me, it was one old Benamuckee that lived beyond all: he could describe nothing of this great person, but that he was very old; much older, he said, than the sea or the land, than the moon or the stars. I asked him then, if this old person had made all things, why did not all things worship him? He looked very grave, and with a perfect look of innocence said, All things said O! to him. I asked him, if the people who die in his country, went away any where? He said, Yes, they all went to Benamuckee. Then I asked him, whether those they ate up, went thither too? he said, Yes.

From these things I began to instruct him in the knowledge of the true God. I told him, that the great Maker of all things lived there, pointing up towards heaven; that he governs the world by the same power and providence by which he made it; that he was omnipotent, could do every thing for us, give every thing to us, take every thing from us: and thus, by degrees, I opened his eyes. He listened with great attention, and received with pleasure the notion of Jesus Christ being sent to redeem us, and of the manner of making our prayers to God, and his being able to hear us, even into heaven: he told me one day, that if our God could hear us up beyond the sun, he must needs be a greater God than their Benamuckee, who lived but a little way off, and yet could not hear, till they went up to the great mountains, where he dwelt, to speak to him. I asked him, if ever he went thither to speak to him? He said, No, they never went that were young men; none went thither but the old men; whom he called their Oowookakee, that is, as I made him explain it to me, their religious, or clergy; and that they went to say O! (so he called saying prayers,) and then came back, and told them what Benamuckee said. By this I observed, that there [page 222] is priestcraft even amongst the most blinded ignorant Pagans in the world; and the policy of making a secret religion, in order to preserve the veneration of the people to the clergy, is not only to be found in the Roman, but perhaps among all religious in the world, even among the most brutish and barbarous savages.

I endeavoured to clear up this fraud to my man Friday; and told him, that the pretence of their old men going up to the mountains to say O! to their god Benamuckee, was a cheat; and their bringing word from thence what he said, was much more so; that if they met with any answer, or spoke with any one there, it must be with an evil spirit: and then I entered into a long discourse with him about the devil, the original of him, his rebellion against God, his enmity to man, the reason of it, his setting himself up in the dark parts of the world to be worshipped instead of God, and as God, and the many stratagems he made use of, to delude mankind to their ruin; how he had a secret access to our passions and to our affections, to adapt his snares so to our inclinations, as to cause us even to be our own tempters, and to run upon our own destruction by our own choice.

I found it was not so easy to imprint right notions in his mind about the devil, as it was about the being of a God: nature assisted all my arguments to evidence to him even the necessity of a great First Cause, and over-ruling governing Power, a secret directing Providence, and of the equity and justice of paying homage to Him that made us, and the like: but there appeared nothing of all this in the notion of an evil spirit, of his original, his being, his nature, and, above all, of his inclination to do evil, and to draw us in to do so too: and the poor creature puzzled me once in such a manner, by a question merely natural and innocent, that I scarce knew what to say to him. I had been talking a great deal to him of the power of God, his omnipotence, his dreadful aversion to sin, his being a consuming fire to the workers of iniquity; how, as he had made as all, he could destroy us, and [page 223] all the world, in a moment; and he listened with great seriousness to me all the while.

After this, I had been telling; him how the devil was God’s enemy in the hearts of men, and used all his malice and skill to defeat the good designs of Providence, and to ruin the kingdom of Christ in the world, and the like: “Well,” says Friday, “but you say God is so strong, so great, is he not much strong, much might, as the devil?”—“Yes, yes,” said I, Friday, “God is stronger than the devil, God is above the devil, and therefore we pray to God to tread him under our feet, and enable us to resist his temptations, and quench his fiery darts.”—“But,” says he again, “if God much strong, much might, as the devil, why God not kill the devil, so make him no more wicked?”

I was strangely surprised at his question; and after all, though I was now an old man, yet I was but a young doctor, and ill enough qualified for a casuist, or a solver of difficulties: and, at first, I could not tell what to say; so I pretended not to hear him, and asked him what he said; but he was too earnest for an answer to forget his question; so that he repeated it in the very same broken words, as above. By this time I had recovered myself a little, and I said, “God will at last punish him severely; he is reserved for the judgment, and is to be cast into the bottomless pit, to dwell with everlasting fire.” This did not satisfy Friday; but he returns upon me, repeating my words, “Reserve at last! me no understand: but why not kill the devil now, not kill great ago?”—“You may as well ask me,” said I, “why God does not kill you and me, when we do wicked things here that offend him: we are preserved to repent and be pardoned.” He muses awhile at this; “Well, well,” says he, mighty affectionately, “that well; so you I, devil, all wicked, all preserve, repent, God pardon all.” Here I was run down again by him to the last degree, and it was a testimony to me, how the mere notions of nature, though they will guide reasonable creatures to the knowledge of a God, and of a worship or homage [page 224] due to the supreme being of God, as the consequence of our nature; yet nothing but divine revelation can form the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of a redemption purchased for us; of a Mediator; of a new covenant; and of an Intercessor at the footstool of God’s throne; I say, nothing but a revelation from Heaven can form these in the soul; and that therefore the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I mean the word of God, and the Spirit of God, promised for the guide and sanctifier of his people, are the absolutely necessary instructors of the souls of men in the saving knowledge of God, and the means of salvation.

I therefore diverted the present discourse between me and my man, rising up hastily, as upon some sudden occasion of going out; then sending him for some thing a great way off, I seriously prayed to God, that he would enable me to instruct savingly this poor savage, assisting, by his Spirit, the heart of the poor ignorant creature to receive the light of the knowledge of God in Christ, reconciling him to himself, and would guide me to speak so to him from the word of God, as his conscience might be convinced, his eyes opened, and his soul saved. When he came again to me, I entered into a long discourse with him upon the subject of the redemption of man by the Saviour of the world, and of the doctrine of the Gospel preached from Heaven, viz. of the repentance towards God, and faith in our blessed Lord Jesus: I then explained to him, as well as I could, why our blessed Redeemer took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and how, for that reason, the fallen angels had no share in the redemption; that he came only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and the like.

I had, God knows, more sincerity than knowledge, in all the methods I took for this poor creature’s instruction; and must acknowledge, what I believe all that act upon the same principle will find, that in laying things open to him, I really informed and instructed [page 225] myself in many things that either I did not know, or had not fully considered before; but which occurred naturally to my mind, upon my searching into them for the information of this poor savage; and I had more affection in my inquiry after things upon this occasion, than ever I felt before; so that whether this poor wild wretch was the better for me or no, I had great reason to be thankful that ever he came to me: my grief sat lighter upon me, my habitation grew comfortable to me beyond measure; and when I reflected, that in this solitary life, which I had been confined to, I had not only been moved myself to look up to Heaven, and to seek to the Hand that brought me thither, but was now to be made an instrument, under Providence, to save the life, and for aught I knew the soul, of a poor savage, and bring him to the true knowledge of religion, and of the Christian doctrine, that he might know Christ Jesus, to know whom is life eternal; I say, when I reflected upon all these things, a secret joy ran through every part of my soul, and I frequently rejoiced that ever I was brought to this place, which I had often thought the most dreadful of all afflictions that could possibly have befallen me.

In this thankful frame I continued all the remainder of my time; and the conversation which employed the hours between Friday and me was such, as made the three years which we lived there together perfectly and completely happy, if any such thing as complete happiness can be found in a sublunary state. The savage was now a good Christian, a much better than I; though I have reason to hope, and bless God for it, that we were equally penitent, and comforted restored penitents: we had here the Word of God to read, and no farther off from his Spirit to instruct than if we had been in England.

I always applied myself to reading the Scripture, and to let him know as well as I could the meaning of what I read; and he again, by his serious inquiries [page 226] and questions, made me, as I said before, a much better scholar in the Scripture knowledge, than I should ever have been by my own private reading. Another thing I cannot refrain from observing here, also from experience, in this retired part of my life; viz. how infinite and inexpressible a blessing it is, that the knowledge of God, and of the doctrine of salvation by Christ Jesus, is so plainly laid down in the Word of God, so easy to be received and understood, that as the bare reading the Scripture made me capable of understanding enough of my duty to carry me directly on to the great work of sincere repentance for my sins, and laying hold of a Saviour for life and salvation, to a stated reformation in practice, and obedience to all God’s commands, and this without any teacher or instructor (I mean, human); so the plain instruction sufficiently served to the enlightening this savage creature, and bringing him to be such a Christian, as I have known few equal to him in my life.

As to the disputes, wranglings, strife, and contention, which has happened in the world about religion, whether niceties in doctrines, or schemes of church-government, they were all perfectly useless to us, as, for aught I can yet see, they have been to all the rest in the world: we had the sure guide to heaven, viz. the Word of God; and we had, blessed be God! comfortable views of the Spirit of God, teaching and instructing us by his Word, leading us into all truth, and making us both willing and obedient to His instruction of his Word; and I cannot see the least use that the greatest knowledge of the disputed points in religion, which have made such confusions in the world, would have been to us, if we could have obtained it. But I must go on with the historical part of things, and take every part in its order.

After Friday and I became more intimately acquainted, and that he could understand almost all I said to him, and speak fluently, though in broken English, to me, I acquainted him with my own story, or at least so much of it as related to my coming into [page 227] the place, how I had lived there, and how long: I let him into the mystery (for such it was to him) of gunpowder and bullets, and taught him how to shoot: I gave him a knife, which he was wonderfully delighted with; and I made him a belt with a frog hanging to it, such as in England we wear hangers in; and in the frog, instead of a hanger, I gave him a hatchet, which was not only as good a weapon in some cases, but much more useful upon many occasions.

I described to him the countries of Europe, and particularly England, which I came from; how we lived, how we worshipped God, how we behaved to one another, and how we traded in ships to all the parts of the world. I gave him an account of the wreck which I had been on board of, and shewed him as near as I could, the place where she lay; but she was all beaten in pieces long before, and quite gone.

I shewed him the ruins of our boat, which we lost when we escaped, and which I could not stir with my whole strength then, but was now fallen almost all to pieces. Upon seeing this boat, Friday stood musing a great while, and said nothing; I asked him what it was he studied upon? At last, says he, “Me see such boat like come to place at my nation.”

I did not understand him a good while; but at last, when I had examined further into it, I understood by him, that a boat, such as that had been, came on shore upon the country where he lived; that is, as he explained it, was driven thither by stress of weather. I presently imagined, that some European ship must have been cast away upon their coast, and the boat might get loose, and drive ashore; but was so dull, that I never once thought of men making escape from a wreck thither, much less whence they might come; so I only inquired after a description of the boat.

Friday described the boat to me well enough; but brought me better to understand him, when he added, with some warmth, “We save the white mans from drown.” Then I presently asked him, if there, were white mans, as he called them, in the boat? “Yes,” [page 228] he said, “the boat full of white mans.” I asked him, how many! he told upon his fingers seventeen. I asked him then, what became of them? he told me, “They live, they dwell at my nation.”

This put new thoughts into my head again; for I presently imagined, that these might be the men belonging to the ship that was cast away in sight of my island, as I now call it; and who, after the ship was struck on the rock, and they saw her inevitably lost, had saved themselves in their boat, and were landed upon that wild shore among the savages.

Upon this I inquired of him more critically, what was become of them? He assured me they lived still there, that they had been there about four years, that the savages let them alone, and gave them victuals to live. I asked him, how it came to pass they did not kill them, and eat them? He said, “No, they make brother with them:” that is, as I understood him, a truce: and then he added, “They eat no mans but when make the war fight:” that is to say, they never eat any men, but such as come to fight with them, and are taken in battle.

It was after this, some considerable time, that being on the top of the hill, at the east side of the island, from whence, as I have said, I had in a clear day discovered the main or continent of America; Friday, the weather being very serene, looks very earnestly towards the main land, and in a kind of surprise falls a-jumping and dancing, and calls out to me, for I was at some distance from him: I asked him what was the matter? “O joy!” says he, “O glad! there see my country, there my nation!”

I observed an extraordinary sense of pleasure appeared in his face, and his eyes sparkled, and his countenance discovered a strange eagerness, as if he had a mind to be in his own country again; and this observation of mine put a great many thoughts into me; which made me at first not so easy about my new man Friday as I was before; and I made no doubt, but that if Friday could get back to his own nation [page 229] again, he would not only forget all his religion, but all his obligations to me; and would be forward enough to give his countrymen an account of me, and come back, perhaps, with an hundred or two of them, and make a feast upon me, at which he might be as merry as he used to be with those of his enemies, when they were taken in war.

But I wronged the poor honest creature very much, for which I was very sorry afterwards: however, as my jealousy increased, and held me some weeks, I was a little more circumspect, and not so familiar and kind to him as before; in which I was certainly in the wrong too, the honest grateful creature having no thought about it, but what consisted of the best principles, both as a religious Christian and as a grateful friend, as appeared afterwards to my full satisfaction.

Whilst my jealousy of him lasted, you may be sure I was every day pumping him, to see if he would discover any of the new thoughts which I suspected were in him; but I found every thing he said was so honest and so innocent, that I could find nothing to nourish my suspicion; and, in spite of all my uneasiness, he made me at last entirely his own again; nor did he in the least perceive that I was uneasy; and therefore I could not suspect him of deceit.

One day, walking up the same hill, but the weather being hazy at sea, so that we could not see the continent, I called to him, and said, “Friday, do not you wish yourself in your own country, your own nation”—“Yes,” he said, “I be much O glad to be at my own nation.”—“What would you do there?” said I: “would you turn wild again, eat men’s flesh again, and be a savage as you were before?” He looked full of concern, and shaking his head, said, “No, no, Friday tell them to live good; tell them to pray God; tell them to eat corn-bread, cattle-flesh, milk, no eat man again.”—“Why, then,” said I to him, “they will kill you.” He looked grave at that, and then said, “No, they no kill me, they willing love learn:” he meant by this, they would be willing to learn. He [page 230] added, they learnt much of the bearded mans that came in the boat. Then I asked him, if he would go back to them? He smiled at that, and told me he could not swim so far. I told him I would make a canoe for him. He told me he would go, if I would so with him. “I go!” said I, “why, they will eat me if I come there.”—“No, no,” says he, “me make them no eat you, me make they much love you:” he meant he would tell them how I had killed his enemies and saved his life, and so he would make them love me. Then he told me, as well as he could, how kind they were to seventeen white men, or bearded men, as he called them, who came on shore in distress.

From this time, I confess, I had a mind to venture over, and see if I could possibly join with these bearded men, who, I made no doubt, were Spaniards or Portuguese; not doubting but, if I could, we might find some method to escape from thence, being upon the continent, and a good company together, better than I could from an island forty miles off the shore, and alone without help. So, after some days, I took Friday to work again, by way of discourse; and told him, I would give him a boat to go back to his own nation; and accordingly I carried him to my frigate, which lay on the other side of the island; and having cleared it of water (for I always kept it sunk in the water), I brought it out, shewed it him, and we both went into it.

I found he was a most dexterous fellow at managing it, would make it go almost as swift and fast again as I could; so when he was in, I said to him, “Well, now, Friday, shall we go to your nation?” He looked very dull at my saying so, which, it seems, was because he thought the boat too small to go so far. I told him then I had a bigger; so the next day I went to the place where the first boat lay which I had made, but which I could not get into the water; he said that was big enough; but then, as I had taken no care of it, and it had lain two or three and twenty years [page 231] there, the sun had split and dried it, that it was in a manner rotten. Friday told me, such a boat would do very well, and would carry “much enough vittle, drink, bread:” that was his way of talking.

Upon the whole, I was by this time so fixed upon my design of going over with him to the continent, that I told him we would go and make one as big as that, and he should go home in it. He answered not one word, but looked very, grave and sad. I asked him, what was the matter with him? He asked me again thus, “Why you angry mad with Friday? what me done?” I asked him, what he meant? I told him I was not angry with him at all: “No angry! no angry!” says he, repeating the words several times, “why send Friday home away to my nation?”—“Why,” said I, “Friday, did you not say you wished you were there?”—“Yes, yes,” says he, “wish be both there; no wish Friday there, no master there.” In a word, he would not think of going there without me. “I go there, Friday!” said I; “what should I do there?” He turned very quick upon me at this; “You do great deal much good,” says he; “you teach wild mans be good, sober, tame mans; you tell them know God, pray God, and live new life.”—“Alas, Friday,” said I, “thou knowest not what thou sayest; I am but an ignorant man myself.”—“Yes, yes,” says he, “you teechee me good, you teechee them good.”—“No, no, Friday,” said I, “you shall go without me; leave me here to live by myself, as I did before.” He looked confused again at that word, and running to one of the hatchets which he used to wear, he takes it up hastily, and gives it me. “What must I do with this?” said I to him. “You take kill Friday,” says he. “What must I kill you for?” said I again, He returns very quick, “What you send Friday away for? Take kill Friday, no send Friday away.” This he spoke so earnestly, that I saw tears stand in his eyes. In a word, I so plainly discovered the utmost affection in him to me, and a firm resolution in him, that I told him then, and [page 232] often after, that I would never send him away from me, if he was willing to stay with me.

Upon the whole, as I found by all his discourse a settled affection to me, and that nothing should part him from me, so I found all the foundation of his desire to go to his own country was laid in his ardent affection to the people, and his hopes of my doing them good; a thing, which as I had no notion of myself, so I had not the least thought, or intention, or desire of undertaking it. But still I found a strong inclination to my attempting an escape, as above, founded on the supposition gathered from the former discourse; viz. that there were seventeen bearded men there; and therefore, without any delay, I went to work with Friday, to find out a great tree proper to fell, and make a large periagua or canoe, to under take the voyage: there were trees enough in the island to have built a little fleet, not of periaguas and canoes only, but even of good large vessels: but the main thing I looked at, was to get one so near the water, that we might launch it when it was made, to avoid the mistake I committed at first.

At last Friday pitched upon a tree; for I found he knew much better than I what kind of wood was fittest for it; nor can I tell to this day what wood to call the tree we cut down, except that it was very like the tree we call tustick, or between that and the Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same colour and smell. Friday was for burning the hollow or cavity of this tree out, to make it into a boat: but I shewed him how rather to cut it out with tools, which after I shewed him how to use, he did very handily; and in about a month’s hard labour we finished it, and made it very handsome, especially, when, with our axes, which I shewed him how to handle, we cut and hewed the outside into the true shape of a boat; after this, however, it cost us near a fortnight’s time to get her along, as it were inch by inch, upon great rollers, into the water: but when she was in, she would have carried twenty men with great ease.

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When she was in the water, and though she was so big, it amazed me to see with what dexterity and how swift my man Friday could manage her, turn her, and paddle her along; so I asked him if he would, and if we might venture over in her? “Yes,” he said, “he venture over in her very well, though great blow wind.” However, I had a farther design that he knew nothing of, and that was, to make a mast and sail, and to fit her with an anchor and cable. As to a mast, that was easy enough to get; so I pitched upon a straight young cedar-tree, which I found near the place, and which there was a great plenty of in the island; and I set Friday to work to cut it down, and gave him directions how to shape and order it: but as to the sail, that was my particular care; I knew I had old sails, or rather pieces of old sails enough; but as I had had them now twenty-six years by me, and had not been very careful to preserve them, not imagining that I should ever have this kind of use for them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten; and indeed most of them were so; however, I found two pieces which appeared pretty good, and with these I went to work, and with a great deal of pains, and awkward tedious stitching (you may be sure) for want of needles, I at length made a three-cornered ugly thing, like what we call in England a shoulder-of-mutton sail, to go with a boom at bottom, and a little short sprit at the top, such as usually our ships’ long-boats sail with, and such as I best knew how to manage; because it was such a one as I used in the boat in which I made my escape from Barbary, as related in the first part of my story.

I was near two months performing this last work, viz. rigging and fitting my mast and sails; for I finished them very complete, making a small stay, and a sail or foresail to it, to assist, if we should turn to windward; and, which was more than all, I fixed a rudder to the stern of her, to steer with; and though I was but a bungling shipwright, yet as I knew the usefulness, and even necessity of such a thing, I [page 234] applied myself with so much pains to do it, that at last I brought it to pass, though, considering the many dull contrivances I had for it that failed, I think it cost me almost as much labour as making the boat.

After all this was done, I had my man Friday to teach as to what belonged to the navigation of my boat; for though he knew very well how to paddle the canoe, he knew nothing what belonged to a sail and a rudder, and was the more amazed when he saw me work the boat to and again in the sea by the rudder, and how the sail gibed, and filled this way or that way, as the course we sailed changed; I say, when he saw this, he stood like one astonished and amazed: however, with a little use, I made all these things familiar to him, and he became an expert sailor, except that as to the compass I could make him understand very little of that: on the other hand, as there was very little cloudy weather, and seldom or never any fogs in those parts, there was the less occasion for a compass, seeing the stars were always to be seen by night, and the shore by day, except in the rainy seasons; and then nobody cared to stir abroad, either by land or sea.

I was now entered on the seven-and-twentieth year of my captivity in this place; though the three last years that I had this creature with me, ought rather to be left out of the account, my habitation being quite of another kind than in all the rest of my time. I kept the anniversary of my landing here with the same thankfulness to God for his mercies as at first; and if I had such cause of acknowledgment at first, I had much more so now, having such additional testimonies of the care of Providence over me, and the great hopes I had of being effectually and speedily delivered; for I had an invincible impression upon my thoughts, that my deliverance was at hand, and that I should not be another year in this place. However, I went on with my husbandry, digging, planting, and fencing, as usual; I gathered and cured my grapes, and did every necessary thing, as before.

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The rainy season was in the mean time upon me, when I kept more within doors than at other times; so I had stowed our new vessel as secure as we could, bringing her up into the creek, where, as I said in the beginning, I landed my rafts from the ship; and haling her up to the shore, at high water mark, I made my man Friday dig a little dock, just big enough for her to float in; and then, when the tide was out, we made a strong dam cross the end of it, to keep the water out; and so she lay dry, as to the tide, from the sea; and to keep the rain off, we laid a great many boughs of trees so thick, that she was as well thatched as a house; and thus we waited for the months of November and December, in which I designed to make my adventure.

When the settled season began to come in, as the thought of my design returned with the fair weather, I was preparing daily for the voyage; and the first thing I did was to lay up a certain quantity of provision, being the store for the voyage; and intended, in a week or a fortnight’s time, to open the dock, and launch out our boat. I was busy one morning upon something of this kind, when I called to Friday, and bid him go to the sea-shore, and see if he could find a turtle or tortoise, a thing which we generally got once a week, for the sake of the eggs, as well as the flesh. Friday had not been long gone, when he came running back, and flew over my outward wall, or fence, like one that felt not the ground, or the steps he set his feet on; and before I had time to speak to him, he cried out to me, “O master! O master! O sorrow! O bad!”—“What’s the matter, Friday?” said I. “O yonder there,” says he, “one, two, three, canoe! one, two, three!” By this way of speaking I concluded there were six; but on inquiry I found there were but three. “Well, Friday,” said I, “do not be frighted;” so I heartened him up as well as I could. However, I saw the poor fellow most terribly scared; for nothing ran in his head, but that they were come to look for him, and would cut him [page 236] in pieces, and eat him; the poor fellow trembled so, that I scarce knew what to do with him; I comforted him as well as I could, and told him I was in as much danger as he, and that they would eat me as well as him. “But,” said I, “Friday, we must resolve to fight them: can you fight, Friday?” “Me shoot,” says he, “but there come many great number.” “No matter for that,” said I again; “our guns will fright them that we do not kill.” So I asked him, whether, if I resolved to defend him, he would defend me, and stand by me, and do just as I bade him? He said, “Me die, when you bid die, master;” so I went and fetched a good dram of rum, and gave him; for I had been so good a husband of my rum, that I had a great deal left. When he had drank it, I made him take the two fowling-pieces which we always carried, and load them with large swan-shot as big as small pistol bullets; then I took four muskets, and loaded them with two slugs and five small bullets each; and my two pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets each: I hung my great sword, as usual, naked by my side, and gave Friday his hatchet.

When I had thus prepared myself, I took my perspective-glass, and went up to the side of the hill, to see what I could discover; and I found quickly, by my glass, that there were one and twenty savages, three prisoners, and three canoes; and that their whole business seemed to be the triumphant banquet upon these three human bodies; a barbarous feast indeed, but nothing more than as I had observed was usual with them.

I observed also, that they were landed, not where they had done when Friday made his escape, but nearer to my creek, where the shore was low, and where a thick wood came close almost down to the sea: this, with the abhorrence of the inhuman errand these wretches came about, so filled me with indignation, that I came down again to Friday, and told him, I was resolved to go down to them, and kill them all; and asked him if he would stand by me. He [page 237] was now gotten over his fright, and his spirits being a little raised with the dram I had given him, he was very cheerful; and told me, as before, he would die when I bid die.

In this fit of fury, I took first and divided the arms which I had charged, as before, between us: I gave Friday one pistol to stick in his girdle, and three guns upon his shoulder; and I took one pistol, and the other three, myself; and in this posture we marched out. I took a small bottle of rum in my pocket, and gave Friday a large bag with more powder and bullet; and as to orders, I charged him to keep close behind me, and not to stir, shoot, or do any thing till I bid him; and in the mean time, not to speak a word. In this posture I fetched a compass to my right hand of near a mile, as well to get over the creek as to get into the wood; so that I might come within shot of them before I could be discovered, which I had seen by my glass it was easy to do.

While I was making this march, my former thoughts returning, I began to abate my resolution; I do not mean, that I entertained any fear of their number; for as they were naked, unarmed wretches, it is certain I was superior to them; nay, though I had been alone: but it occurred to my thoughts, what call, what occasion, much less what necessity, I was in to go and dip my hands in blood, to attack people who had neither done or intended me any wrong, who, as to me, were innocent, and whose barbarous customs were their own disaster, being in them a token indeed of God’s having left them, with the other nations of that part of the world, to such stupidity and to such inhuman courses; but did not call me to take upon me to be a judge of their actions, much less an executioner of his justice; that whenever he thought fit, he would take the cause into his own hands, and by national vengeance punish them for national crimes; but that in the mean time, it was none of my business; that it was true, Friday might justify it, because he was a declared enemy, and in a state of war with those very [page 238] particular people, and it was lawful for him to attack them; but I could not say the same with respect to me. These things were so warmly pressed upon my thoughts all the way as I went, that I resolved I would only go place myself near them, that I might observe their barbarous feast, and that I would act then as God should direct; but that unless something offered that was more a call to me than yet I knew of, I would not meddle with them.

With this resolution I entered the wood, and with all possible wariness and silence (Friday following close at my heels) I marched till I came to the skirt of the wood, on the side which was next to them; only that one corner of the wood lay between me and them: here I called softly to Friday, and shewing him a great tree, which was just at the corner of the wood, I bade him go to the tree, and bring me word if he could see there plainly what they were doing: he did so, and came immediately back to me, and told me they might be plainly viewed there; that they were all about the fire, eating the flesh of one of their prisoners; and that another lay bound upon the sand, a little from them, whom he said they would kill next, and which fired the very soul within me. He told me, it was not one of their nation, but one of the bearded men whom he had told me of, who came to their country in the boat. I was filled with horror at the very naming the white-bearded man, and, going to the tree, I saw plainly, by my glass, a white man, who lay upon the beach of the sea, with his hands and his feet tied with flags, or things like rushes; and that he was an European, and had clothes on.

There was another tree, and a little thicket beyond it, about fifty yards nearer to them than the place where I was, which, by going a little way about, I saw I might come at undiscovered, and that then I should be within half-shot of them; so I withheld my passion, though I was indeed enraged to the highest degree; and going back about twenty paces, I got behind some bushes, which held all the way till I came [page 239] to the other tree, and then I came to a little rising ground, which gave me a full view of them, at the distance of about eighty yards.

I had now not a moment to lose; for nineteen of the dreadful wretches sat upon the ground all close huddled together, and had just sent the other two to butcher the poor Christian, and bring him, perhaps limb by limb, to their fire; and they were stooped down to untie the bands at his feet. I turned to Friday; “Now, Friday,” said I, “do as I bid thee.” Friday said, he would. “Then, Friday,” said I, “do exactly as you see me do; fail in nothing.” So I set down one of the muskets and the fowling-piece upon the ground, and Friday did the like by his; and with the other musket I took my aim at the savages, bidding him do the like. Then asking him if he was ready, he said, “Yes.” “Then fire at them,” said I; and the same moment I fired also.

Friday took his aim so much better than I, that on the side that he shot, he killed two of them, and wounded three more; and on my side, I killed one, and wounded two. They were, you may be sure, in a dreadful consternation; and all of them, who were not hurt, jumped up upon their feet immediately, but did not know which way to run, or which way to look; for they knew not from whence their destruction came. Friday kept his eyes close upon me, that, as I had bid him, he might observe what I did; so as soon as the first shot was made, I threw down the piece, and took up the fowling-piece, and Friday did the like; he sees me cock, and present; he did the same again. “Are you ready, Friday?” said I. “Yes,” says he. “Let fly then,” said I, “in the name of God;” and with that I fired again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday; and as our pieces were now loaden with what I call swan shot, or small pistol-bullets, we found only two drop; but so many were wounded, that they ran about yelling and screaming like mad creatures, all bloody, and [page 240] miserably wounded most of them; whereof three more fell quickly after, though not quite dead.

“Now, Friday,” said I, laying down the discharged pieces, and taking up the musket, which was yet loaden, “follow me,” said I; which he did, with a deal of courage; upon which I rushed, out of the wood, and shewed myself, and Friday close at my foot: as soon as I perceived they saw me, I shouted as loud as I could, and bade Friday do so too; and running as fast as I could, which by the way was not very fast, being loaded with arms as I was, I made directly towards the poor victim, who was, as I said, lying upon the beach, or shore, between the place where they sat and the sea; the two butchers, who were just going to work with him, had left him, at the surprise of our first fire, and fled in a terrible fright to the sea-side, and had jumped into a canoe, and three more of the rest made the same way: I turned to Friday, and bade him step forwards, and fire at them; he understood me immediately, and running about forty yards to be near them, he shot at them, and I thought he had killed them all; for I saw them all fall on an heap into the boat; though I saw two of them up again quickly: however, he killed two of them, and wounded the third, so that he lay down in the bottom of the boat, as if he had been dead.

While my man Friday fired at them, I pulled out my knife, and cut the flags that bound the poor victim; and loosing his hands and feet I lifted him up, and asked him in the Portuguese tongue, what he was? He answered in Latin, Christianus; but was so weak and faint, that he could scarce stand, or speak; I took my bottle out of my pocket, and gave it him, making signs that he should drink, which he did; and I gave him a piece of bread, which he ate; then I asked him, what countryman he was? and he said, Espagnole; and, being a little recovered, let me know, by all the signs he could possibly make, how much he was in my debt for his deliverance. “Seignior,” [page 241] said I, with as much Spanish as I could make up, “we will talk afterwards, but we must fight now: if you have any strength left, take this pistol and sword, and lay about you.” He took them very thankfully, and no sooner had he the arms in his hands, but as if they had put new vigour into him, he flew upon his murderers like a fury, and had cut two of them in pieces in an instant; for the truth is, as the whole was a surprise to them, so the poor creatures were so much frighted with the noise of our pieces, that they fell down for mere amazement and fear, and had no more power to attempt their own escape, than their flesh had to resist our shot; and that was the case of those five that Friday shot in the boat; for as three of them fell with the hurt they received, so the other two fell with the fright.

I kept my piece in my hand still, without firing, being willing to keep my charge ready, because I had given the Spaniard my pistol and sword; so I called to Friday, and bade him run up to the tree from whence we first fired, and fetch the arms which lay there, that had been discharged, which he did with great swiftness; and then giving him my musket, I sat down myself to load all the rest again, and bade them come to me when they wanted. While I was loading these pieces, there happened a fierce engagement between the Spaniard and one of the savages, who made at him with one of their great wooden swords, the same weapon that was to have killed him before, if I had not prevented it: the Spaniard, who was as bold and as brave as could be imagined, though weak, had fought this Indian a good while, and had cut him two great wounds on his head; but the savage, being a stout lusty fellow, closing in with him, had thrown him down, (being faint) and was wringing my sword out of his hand, when the Spaniard, though undermost, wisely quitting his sword, drew the pistol from his girdle, shot the savage through the [page 242] body, and killed him upon the spot, before I, who was running to help, could come near him.

Friday, being now left at his liberty, pursued the flying wretches with no weapon in his hand but his hatchet; and with that he dispatched those three, who, as I said before, were wounded at first, and fallen, and all the rest he could come up with; and the Spaniard coming to me for a gun, I gave him one of the fowling-pieces, with which he pursued two of the savages, and wounded them both; but as he was not able to run, they both got from him into the wood, where Friday pursued them, and killed one of them; but the other was too nimble for him; and though he was wounded, yet he plunged into the sea, and swam with all his might off to those who were left in the canoe; which three in the canoe, with one wounded, who we know not whether he died or no, were all that escaped our hands of one-and-twenty. The account of the rest is as follows:

  3 Killed at our shot from the tree.
  2 Killed at the next shot.
  2 Killed by Friday in the boat.
  2 Killed by ditto, of those at first wounded.
  1 Killed by ditto, in the wood.
  3 Killed by the Spaniard.
  4 Killed, being found dropt here and there of their
      wounds, or killed by Friday in his chase of
  4 Escaped in the boat, whereof one wounded, if
      not dead.
  21 in all.

Those that were in the canoe worked hard to get out of gun-shot; and though Friday made two or three shot at them, I did not find that he hit any of them: Friday would fain have had me take one of their canoes, and pursue them; and indeed I was very anxious about their escape, lest, carrying the [page 243] news home to their people, they should come back, perhaps, with two or three hundred of their canoes, and devour us by mere multitudes; so I consented to pursue them by sea; and running to one of their canoes, I jumped in, and bade Friday follow me; but when I was in the canoe, I was surprised to find another poor creature lie there alive, bound hand and foot, as the Spaniard was, for the slaughter, and almost dead with fear, not knowing what the matter was; for he had not been able to look up over the side of the boat, he was tied so hard, neck and heels, and had been tied so long, that he had really little life in him.

I immediately cut the twisted flags, or rushes, which they had bound him with, and would have helped him up; but he could not stand, or speak, but groaned most piteously, believing, it seems still, that he was only unbound in order to be killed.

When Friday came to him, I bade him speak to him, and tell him of his deliverance; and pulling out my bottle, made him give the poor wretch a dram, which, with the news of his being delivered, revived him, and he sat up in the boat; but when Friday came to hear him speak, and looked in his face, it would have moved any one to tears, to have seen how Friday kissed him, embraced him, hugged him, cried, laughed, hallooed, jumped about, danced, sung, then cried again, wrung his hands, beat his own face and head, and then sung and jumped about again like a distracted creature. It was a good while before I could make him speak to me, or tell me what was the matter; but when he came a little to himself, he told me that it was his father.

It was not easy for me to express how it moved me, to see what ecstasy and filial affection had worked in this poor savage, at the sight of his father, and of his being delivered from death; nor indeed can I describe half the extravagances of his affection after this; for he went into the boat and out of the boat a great many times: when he went in to him, he would sit down by him, open his breast, and hold his father’s [page 244] head close to his bosom, half an hour together, to nourish it: then he took his arms and ankles, which were numbed and stiff with the binding, and chafed and rubbed them with his hands; and I, perceiving what the case was, gave him some rum out of my bottle to rub them with, which did them a great deal of good.

This action put an end to our pursuit of the canoe with the other savages, who were now gotten almost out of sight; and it was happy for us that we did not; for it blew so hard within two hours after, and before they could be gotten a quarter of their way, and continued blowing so hard all night, and that from the north-west, which was against them, that I could not suppose their boat could live, or that they ever reached to their own coast.

But to return to Friday: he was so busy about his father, that I could not find in my heart to take him off for some time: but after I thought he could leave him a little, I called him to me, and he came jumping and laughing, and pleased to the highest extreme. Then I asked him, if he had given his father any bread? He shook his head, and said, “None: ugly dog eat all up self.” So I gave him a cake of bread out of a little pouch I carried on purpose; I also gave him a dram for himself, but he would not taste it, but carried it to his father: I had in my pocket also two or three bunches of my raisins, so I gave him a handful of them for his father. He had no sooner given his father these raisins, but I saw him come out of the boat, and run away as if he had been bewitched. He ran at such a rate (for he was the swiftest fellow of his feet that ever I saw)—I say, he ran at such a rate, that he was out of sight, as it were, in an instant; and though I called and hallooed too after him, it was all one; away he went, and in a quarter of an hour I saw him come back again, though not so fast as he went; and as he came nearer, I found his pace was slacker, because he had something in his hand.

[page 245]

When he came up to me, I found he had been quite home for an earthen jug, or pot, to bring his father some fresh water; and that he had get two more cakes or loaves of bread. The bread he gave me, but the water he carried to his father: however, as I was very thirsty too, I took a little sip of it: this water revived his father more than all the rum or spirits I had given him; for he was just fainting with thirst.

When his father had drank, I called him, to know if there was any water left? he said, “Yes;” and I bade him give it to the poor Spaniard, who was in as much want of it as his father; and I sent one of the cakes, that Friday brought, to the Spaniard too, who was indeed very weak, and was reposing himself upon a green place, under the shade of a tree, and whose limbs were also very stiff, and very much swelled with the rude bandage he had been tied with: when I saw that, upon Friday’s coming to him with the water, he sat up and drank, and took the bread, and began to eat, I went to him, and gave him a handful of raisins: he looked up in my face with all the tokens of gratitude and thankfulness that could appear in any countenance; but was so weak, notwithstanding he had so exerted himself in the fight, that he could not stand upon his feet; he tried to do it two or three times, but was really not able, his ankles were so swelled and so painful to him; so I bade him sit still, and caused Friday to rub his ankles, and bathe them with rum, as he had done his father’s.

I observed the poor affectionate creature every two minutes, or perhaps less, all the while he was here, turned his head about, to see if his father was in the same place and posture as he left him sitting; and at last he found he was not to be seen; at which he started up, and, without speaking a word, flew with that swiftness to him, that one could scarce perceive his feet to touch the ground as he went: but when he came, he only found he had laid himself down to ease his limbs: so Friday came back to me presently, and I then spoke to the Spaniard to let Friday help him [page 246] up, if he could, and load him to the boat, and then he should carry him to our dwelling, where I would take care of him: but Friday, a lusty young fellow, took the Spaniard quite up upon his back, and carried him away to the boat, and set him down softly upon the side or gunnel of the canoe, with his feet in the inside of it, and then lifted them quite in, and set him close to his father, and presently stepping out again, launched the boat off, and paddled it along the shore faster than I could walk, though the wind blew pretty hard too; so he brought them both safe into our creek; and leaving them in the boat, runs away to fetch the other canoe. As he passed me, I spoke to him, and asked him whither he went? He told me, “Go fetch more boat;” so away he went, like the wind; for sure never man or horse ran like him, and he had the other canoe in the creek almost as soon as I got to it by land; so he wafted me over, and then went to help our new guests out of the boat, which he did; but they were neither of them able to walk; so that poor Friday knew not what to do.

To remedy this, I went to work in my thought, and calling to Friday to bid them sit down on the bank while he came to me, I soon made a kind of hand-barrow to lay them on, and Friday and I carried them up both together upon it between us; but when we got them to the outside of our wall or fortification, we were at a worse loss than before; for it was impossible to get them over; and I was resolved not to break it down: so I set to work again; and Friday and I, in about two hours time, made a very handsome tent, covered with old sails, and above that with boughs of trees, being in the space without our outward fence, and between that and the grove of young wood which I had planted: and here we made two beds of such things as I had; viz. of good rice-straw, with blankets laid upon it to lie on, and another to cover them on each bed.

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection [page 247] which I frequently made, how like a king I looked: first of all, the whole country was my own mere property; so that I had an undoubted right of dominion: 2dly, My people were perfectly subjected: I was absolute lord and lawgiver; they all owed their lives to me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me: it was remarkable too, I had but three subjects, and they were of three different religions. My man Friday was a Protestant, his father a Pagan and a cannibal; and the Spaniard was a Papist: however, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions: but this by the way.

As soon as I had secured my two weak rescued prisoners, and given them shelter, and a place to rest them upon, I began to think of making some provision for them; and the first thing I did, I ordered Friday to take a yearling goat, betwixt a kid and a goat, out of my particular flock, to be killed: then I cut off the hind quarter, and, chopping it into small pieces, I set Friday to work to boiling and stewing, and made them a very good dish, I assure you, of flesh and broth; having put some barley and rice also into the broth; and as I cooked it without doors, (for I made no fire within my inner wall) so I carried it all into the new tent; and having set a table there for them, I sat down and ate my dinner also with them; and, as well as I could, cheered them and encouraged them, Friday being my interpreter, especially to his father, and indeed to the Spaniard too; for the Spaniard spoke the language of the savages pretty well.

After we had dined, or rather supped, I ordered Friday to take one of the canoes, and go and fetch our muskets and other fire-arms, which, for want of time, we had left upon the place of battle; and the next day I ordered him to go and bury the dead bodies of the savages, which lay open to the sun, and, would presently be offensive; and I also ordered him to bury the horrid remains of their barbarous feast, which I knew were pretty much, and which I could not think of doing myself; nay, I could not, bear to [page 248] see them, if I went that way: all which he punctually performed, and defaced the very appearance of the savages being there; so that when I went again, I could scarce know where it was, otherwise than by the corner of the wood pointing to the place.

I then began to enter into a little conversation with my two new subjects; and first I set Friday to inquire of his father, what he thought of the escape of the savages in that canoe? and whether he might expect a return of them with a power too great for us to resist? His first opinion was, that the savages in the boat never could live out the storm which blew that night they went off, but must of necessity be drowned or driven south to those other shores, where they were as sure to be devoured, as they were to be drowned if they were cast away; but as to what they would do if they came safe on shore, he said, he knew not; but it was his opinion, that they were so dreadfully frighted with the manner of being attacked, the noise, and the fire, that he believed they would tell their people they were all killed by thunder and lightning, and not by the hand of man; and that the two which appeared (viz. Friday and I) were two heavenly spirits or furies come down to destroy them, and not men with weapons. This, he said, he knew, because he heard them all cry out so in their language to one another; for it was impossible for them to conceive that a man should dart fire, and speak thunder, and kill at a distance, without lifting up the hand, as was done now. And this old savage was in the right; for, as I understood since by other hands, the savages of that part never attempted to go over to the island afterwards. They were so terrified with the accounts given by these four men, (for it seems they did escape the sea) that they believed, whoever went to that enchanted island, would be destroyed with fire from the gods.

This, however, I knew not, and therefore was under continual apprehensions for a good while, and kept always upon my guard, I and all my army; for as there were now four of us, I would have ventured [page 249] a hundred of them fairly in the open field at any time.

In a little time, however, no more canoes appearing, the fear of their coming wore off, and I began to take my former thoughts of a voyage to the main into consideration, being likewise assured by Friday’s father, that I might depend upon good usage from their nation on his account, if I would go.

But my thoughts were a little suspended, when I had a serious discourse with the Spaniard, and when I understood, that there were sixteen more of his countrymen and Portuguese, who having been cast away, and made their escape to that side, lived there at peace indeed with the savages, but were very sore put to it for necessaries, and indeed for life: I asked him all the particulars of their voyage; and found they were a Spanish ship, bound from the Rio de la Plata to the Havanna, being directed to leave their loading there, which was chiefly hides and silver, and to bring back what European goods they could meet with there; that they had five Portuguese seamen on board, whom they took out of another wreck; that five of their own men were drowned when first the ship was lost; and that these escaped through infinite dangers and hazards, and arrived almost starved on the cannibal coast, where they expected to have been devoured every moment.

He told me, they had some arms with them, but they were perfectly useless, for that they had neither powder nor ball, the washing of the sea having spoiled all their powder, but a little which they used at their first landing to provide themselves some food.

I asked him what he thought would become of them there; and if they had formed no design of making any escape? He said, they had many consultations about it, but that having neither vessel, nor tools to build one, or provisions of any kind, their counsels always ended in tears and despair.

I asked him, how he thought they would receive a [page 250] proposal from me, which might tend towards an escape; and whether, if they were all here, it might not be done? I told him with freedom, I feared mostly their treachery and ill usage of me, if I put my life in their hands; for that gratitude was no inherent virtue in the nature of man; nor did men always square their dealings by the obligations they had received, so much as they did by the advantages they expected: I told him, it would be very hard, that I should be the instrument of their deliverance, and that they should afterwards make me their prisoner in New Spain, where an Englishman was certain to be made a sacrifice, what necessity, or what accident soever, brought him thither; and that I had rather be delivered up to the savages, and be devoured alive, than fall into the merciless claws of the priests, and be carried into the Inquisition. I added, that otherwise I was persuaded, if they were all here, we might, with so many hands, build a bark large enough to carry us all away either to the Brasils southward, or to the islands or Spanish coast northward: but that if in requital they should, when I had put weapons into their hands, carry me by force among their own people, I might be ill used for my kindness to them, and make my case worse than it was before.

He answered, with a great deal of candour and ingenuity, that their condition was so miserable, and they were so sensible of it, that he believed they would abhor the thought of using any man unkindly that should contribute to their deliverance; and that, if I pleased, he would go to them with the old man, and discourse with them about it, and return again, and bring me their answer: that he would make conditions with them upon their solemn oath, that they would be absolutely under my leading, as their commander and captain; and that they should swear upon the holy Sacraments and Gospel, to be true to me, and go to such Christian country as I should agree to, and no other; and to be directed wholly and absolutely by my orders, till they were landed safely in [page 251] such country as I intended; and that he would bring a contract from them under their hands for that purpose.

Then he told me, he would first swear to me himself, that he would never stir from me as long as he lived, till I gave him order; and that he would take my side to the last drop of blood, if there should happen the least breach of faith among his countrymen.

He told me, they were all of them very civil honest men, and they were under the greatest distress imaginable, having neither weapons or clothes, nor any food, but at the mercy and discretion of the savages; out of all hopes of ever returning to their own country: and that he was sure, if I would undertake their relief, they would live and die by me.

Upon these assurances, I resolved to venture to relieve them, if possible, and to send the old savage and the Spaniard over to them to treat: but when he had gotten all things in readiness to go, the Spaniard himself started an objection, which had so much prudence in it on one hand, and so much sincerity on the other hand, that I could not but be very well satisfied in it; and, by his advice, put off the deliverance of his comrades for at least half a year. The case was thus:

He had been with us now about a month; during which time I had let him see in what manner I had provided, with the assistance of Providence, for my support; and he saw evidently what stock of corn and rice I had laid up; which, as it was more, than sufficient for myself, so it was not sufficient, at least without good husbandry, for my family, now it was increased to number four: but much less would it be sufficient, if his countrymen, who were, as he said, fourteen still alive, should come over; and least of all would it be sufficient to victual our vessel, if we should build one, for a voyage to any of the Christian colonies of America. So he told me, he thought it would be more adviseable, to let him and the other two dig and cultivate some more land, as much as I [page 252] could spare seed to sow; and that we should wait another harvest, that we might have a supply of corn for his countrymen when they should come; for want might be a temptation to them to disagree, or not to think themselves delivered, otherwise than out of one difficulty into another: “You know,” says he, “The children of Israel, though they rejoiced at first at their being delivered out of Egypt, yet rebelled even against God himself, that delivered them, when they came to want bread in the wilderness.”

His caution was so seasonable, and his advice so good, that I could not but be very well pleased with his proposal, as well as I was satisfied with his fidelity. So we fell to digging, all four of us, as well as the wooden tools we were furnished with permitted; and in about a month’s time, by the end of which it was seed time, we had gotten as much land cured and trimmed up as we sowed twenty-two bushels of barley on, and sixteen jars of rice, which was, in short, all the seed we had to spare; nor indeed did we leave ourselves barley sufficient for our own food for the six months that we had to expect our crop, that is to say, reckoning from the time we set our seed aside for sowing; for it is not to be supposed it is six months in the ground in that country.

Having now society enough, and our number being sufficient to put us out of fear of the savages, if they had come, unless their number had been very great, we went freely all over the island, wherever we found occasion; and as here we had our escape or deliverance upon our thoughts, it was impossible, at least for me, to have the means of it out of mine; to this purpose, I marked out several trees, which I thought fit for our work, and I set Friday and his father to cutting them down; and then I caused the Spaniard, to whom I imparted my thoughts on that affair, to oversee and direct their work: I showed them with what indefatigable pains I had hewed a large tree into single planks, and I caused them to do the like, till they had about a dozen large planks of good oak, near [page 253] two feet broad, thirty-five feet long, and from two inches to four inches thick: what prodigious labour it took up, any one may imagine.

At the same time I contrived to increase my little flock of tame goats as much as I could; and to this purpose I made Friday and the Spaniard to go out one day, and myself with Friday, the next day, for we took our turns: and by this means we got about twenty young kids to breed up with the rest; for whenever we shot the dam, we saved the kids, and added them to our flock: but above all, the season for curing the grapes coming on, I caused such a prodigious quantity to be hung up in the sun, that I believe, had we been at Alicant, where the raisins of the sun are cured, we should have filled sixty or eighty barrels; and these, with our bread, was a great part of our food, and very good living too, I assure you; for it is an exceeding nourishing food.

It was now harvest, and our crop in good order; it was not the most plentiful increase I had seen in the island, but, however, it was enough to answer our end; for from twenty two bushels of barley, we brought in and threshed out above two hundred and twenty bushels, and the like in proportion of the rice, which was store enough for our food to the next harvest, though all the sixteen Spaniards had been on shore with me; or, if we had been ready for a voyage, it would very plentifully have victualled our ship, to have carried us to any part of the world, that is to say, of America. When we had thus housed and secured our magazine of corn, we fell to work to make more wicker-work; viz., great baskets, in which we kept it; and the Spaniard was very handy and dexterous at this part, and often blamed me, that I did not make some things for defence of this kind of work; but I saw no need of it. And now having a full supply of food for all the guests expected, I gave the Spaniard leave to go over to the main, to see what he could do with those he left behind him there: I gave him a strict charge in writing not to bring any man with [page 254] him, who would not first swear, in the presence of himself and of the old savage, that he would no way injure, fight with, or attack the person he should find in the island, who was so kind to send for them in order to their deliverance; but that they would stand by and defend him against all such attempts; and wherever they went, would be entirely under, and subjected to his command; and that this should be put in writing, and signed with their hands: how we were to have this done, when I knew they had neither pen or ink, that indeed was a question which we never asked.

Under these instructions, the Spaniard, and the old savage, (the father of Friday) went away in one of the canoes, which they might be said to come in, or rather were brought in, when they came as prisoners to be devoured by the savages.

I gave each of them a musket with a firelock on it, and about eight charges of powder and ball, charging them to be very good husbands of both, and not to use either of them but upon urgent occasions.

This was a cheerful work, being the first measures used by me in view of my deliverance for now twenty-seven years and some days. I gave them provisions of bread, and of dried grapes, sufficient for themselves for many days, and sufficient for their countrymen for about eight days time; and wishing them a good voyage, I let them go, agreeing with them about a signal they should hang out at their return, by which I should know them again, when they came back, at a distance, before they came on shore.

They went away with a fair gale on the day that the moon was at the full; by my account in the month of October; but as for the exact reckoning of days, after I had once lost it, I could never recover it again; nor had I kept even the number of years so punctually, as to be sure that I was right, though, as it proved when I afterwards examined my account, I found I had kept a true reckoning of years.

It was no less than eight days I waited for them, [page 255] when a strange and unforeseen accident intervened, of which the like has not, perhaps, been heard of in history. I was fast asleep in my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came running in to me, and called aloud, “Master, master, they are come, they are come.”

I jumped up, and, regardless of danger, I went out as soon as I could get my clothes on, through my little grove, which (by the way) was by this time grown to be a very thick wood; I say, regardless of danger, I went without my arms, which was not my custom to do; but I was surprised, when, turning my eyes to the sea, I presently saw a boat at about a league and a half’s distance, standing in for the shore, with a shoulder of mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing pretty fair to bring them in. Also I observed presently, that they did not come from that side which the shore lay on, but from the southernmost end of the island. Upon this I called Friday in, and bid him be close, for these were not the people we looked for, and that we did not know yet whether they were friends or enemies.

In the next place, I went in to fetch my perspective glass, to see what I could make of them; and having taken the ladder out, I climbed up to the top of the hill, as I used to do when I was apprehensive of any thing, and to take my view the plainer without being discovered.

I had scarce set my foot on the hill, when my eye plainly discovered a ship lying at an anchor, at about two leagues and a half’s distance from me, S.S.E. but not above a league and a half from the shore. By my observation it appeared plainly to be an English ship, and the boat appeared to be an English long-boat.

I cannot express the confusion I was in, though the joy of seeing a ship, and one whom I had reason to believe was manned by my own countrymen, and consequently friends, was such as I cannot describe; but yet I had some secret doubts hung about me, I cannot tell from whence they came, bidding me keep [page 256] upon my guard. In the first place, it occurred to me to consider what business an English ship could have in that part of the world; since it was not the way to or from any part of the world where the English had any traffic; and I knew there had been no storms to drive them in there, as in distress; and that if they were English really, it was most probable that they were here upon no good design; and that I had better continue as I was, than fall into the hands of thieves and murderers.

Let no man despise the secret hints and notices of danger, which sometimes are given him when he may think there is no possibility of its being real. That such hints and notices are given us, I believe few that have made any observation of things can deny; that they are certain discoveries of an invisible world, and a converse of spirits, we cannot doubt; and if the tendency of them seems to be to warn us of danger, why should we not suppose they are from some friendly agent, (whether supreme, or inferior and subordinate, is not the question,) and that they are given for our good?

The present question abundantly confirms me in the justice of this reasoning; for had I not been made cautious by this secret admonition, come from whence it will, I had been undone inevitably, and in a far worse condition than before, as you will see presently.

I had not kept myself long in this posture, but I saw the boat draw near the shore, as if they looked for a creek to thrust in at for the convenience of landing; however, as they did not come quite far enough, they did not see the little inlet where I formerly landed my rafts, but run their boat on shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from me, which was very happy for me; for otherwise they would have landed just, as I may say, at my door, and would have soon beaten me out of my castle, and, perhaps, have plundered me of all I had.

When they were on shore, I was fully satisfied they were Englishmen, at least most of them; one or two [page 257] I thought were Dutch, but it did not prove so. There were in all eleven men, whereof three of them I found were unarmed, and (as I thought) bound; and when the first four or five of them were jumped on shore, they took those three out of the boat as prisoners: one of the three I could perceive using the most passionate gestures of entreaty, affliction, and despair, even to a kind of extravagance; the other two, I could perceive, lifted up their hands sometimes, and appeared concerned indeed, but not to such a degree as the first.

I was perfectly confounded at the sight, and knew not what the meaning of it should be; Friday called out to me in English, as well as he could, “O master! you see English mans eat prisoners as well as savage mans.”—“Why,” said I, “Friday, do you think they are going to eat them then”—“Yes,” says Friday, “they will eat them.”—“No, no,” said I, “Friday; I am afraid they will murder them indeed; but you may be sure they will not eat them.”

All this while I had no thought of what the matter really was, but stood trembling with the horror of the sight, expecting every moment when the three prisoners should be killed; nay, once I saw one of the villains lift up his arm with a great cutlass (as the seamen call it) or sword, to strike one of the poor men; and I expected to see him fall every moment, at which all the blood in my body seemed to run chill in my veins.

I wished heartily now for our Spaniard, and the savage that was gone with him; or that I had any way to have come undiscovered within shot of them, that I might have rescued the three men; for I saw no fire-arms they had among them; but it fell out to my mind another way.

After I had observed the outrageous usage of the three men by the insolent seamen, I observed the fellows ran scattering about the land, as if they wanted to see the country. I observed also, that the three other men had liberty to go where they pleased; but [page 258] they sat down all three upon the ground very pensive, and looked like men in despair.

This put me in mind of the finest time when I came on shore, and began to look about me; how I gave myself over for lost, how wildly I looked round me, what dreadful apprehensions I had, and how I lodged in the tree all night for fear of being devoured by wild beasts.

As I knew nothing that night of the supply I was to receive by the providential driving of the ship nearer the land, by the storms and tides, by which I have since been so long nourished and supported; so these three poor desolate men knew nothing how certain of deliverance and supply they were, how near it was to them, and how effectually and really they were in a condition of safety, at the same time they thought themselves lost, and their case desperate.

So little do we see before us in the world, and so much reason have we to depend cheerfully upon the great Maker of the world, that he does not leave his creatures so absolutely destitute, but that in the worst circumstances they have always something to be thankful for, and sometimes are nearer their deliverance than they imagine; nay, are even brought to their deliverance by the means by which they seem to be brought to their destruction.

It was just at the top of high water when these people came on shore, and while, partly they stood parleying with the prisoners they brought, and partly while they rambled about to see what kind of place they were in, they had carelessly staid till the tide was spent, and the water was ebbed considerably away, leaving their boat aground.

They had left two men in the boat, who, as I found afterwards, having drank a little too much brandy, fell asleep; however, one of them waking sooner than the other, and finding the boat too fast aground for him to stir it, hallooed for the rest who were straggling about, upon which they all soon came to the boat but it was past all their strength to launch her, the [page 259] boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side being a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand.

In this condition, like true seamen, who are, perhaps, the least of all mankind given to fore-thought, they gave it over, and away they strolled about the country again; and I heard one of them say aloud to another, (calling them off from the boat) “Why, let her alone, Jack, can’t ye? she’ll float next tide.” By which I was fully confirmed in the main inquiry, of what countrymen they were.

All this while I kept myself close, not once daring to stir out of my castle, any further than to my place of observation, near the top of the hill; and very glad I was, to think how well it was fortified. I know it was no less then ten hours before the boat could be on float again, and by that time it would be dark and I might be more at liberty to see their motions, and to hear their discourse, if they had any.

In the meantime I fitted myself up for a battle, as before, though with more caution, knowing I had to do with another kind of enemy than I had at first: I ordered Friday also, whom I had made an excellent marksman with his gun, to load himself with arms: I took myself two fowling-pieces, and I gave him three muskets. My figure, indeed, was very fierce; I had my formidable goat-skin coat on, with the great cap I mentioned, a naked sword, two pistols in my belt, and a gun upon each shoulder.

It was my design, as I said above, not to have made any attempt till it was dark; but about two o’clock, being the heat of the day, I found that in short they were all gone straggling into the woods, and, as I thought, were all laid down to sleep. The three poor distressed men, too anxious for their condition to get any sleep, were however set down under the shelter of a great tree, at about a quarter of a mile from me, and, as I thought, out of sight of any of the rest.

Upon this I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn something of their condition. Immediately I marched in the figure above, my man Friday at a [page 260] good distance behind me, as formidable for his arms as I, but not making quite so staring a spectre-like figure as I did.

I came as near them undiscovered as I could, and then before any of them saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, “What are ye gentlemen?”

They started up at the noise, but were ten times more confounded when they saw me, and the uncouth figure that I made. They made no answer at all, but I thought I perceived them just going to fly from me, when I spoke to them in English, “Gentlemen,” said I, “do not be surprized at me; perhaps you may have a friend near you when you did not expect it.”—“He must be sent directly from Heaven then,” said one of them very gravely to me, and pulling off his hat at the same time to me, “for our condition is past the help of man.”—“All help is from Heaven, Sir,” said I: “but can you put a stranger in the way how to help you, for you seem to me to be in some great distress: I saw you when you landed, and when you seemed to make applications to the brutes that came with you, I saw one of them lift up his sword to kill you.”

The poor man with tears running down his face, and trembling, looking like one astonished, returned, “Am I talking to God, or man! Is it a real man, or an angel?”—“Be in no fear about that, Sir,” said I: “if God had sent an angel to relieve you, he would have come better cloathed, and armed after another manner than you see me in; pray lay aside your fears, I am a man, an Englishman, and disposed to assist you, you see; I have one servant only; we have arms and ammunition; tell us freely, can we serve you?—What is your case?”

“Our case,” said he, “Sir, is too long to tell you, while our murtherers are so near; but in short, sir, I was commander of that ship, my men have mutinied against me; they have been hardly prevailed on not to murther me, and at last have set me on shore in this desolate place, with these two men with me; one my mate, the other a [page 261] passenger, where we expected to perish, believing the place to be uninhabited, and know not yet what to think of it.”

“Where are those brutes, your enemies,” said I; “do you know where they are gone?”—“There they are, Sir,” said he, pointing to a thicket of trees; “my heart trembles, for fear they have seen us, and heard you speak, if they have, they will certainly murder us all.”

“Have they any fire-arms?” said I. He answered, “They had only two pieces, and one which they left in the boat.”—“Well then,” said I, “leave the rest to me; I see they are all asleep, it is an easy thing to kill them all; but shall we rather take them prisoners?” He told me there were two desperate villains among them, that it was scarce safe to shew any mercy to; but if they were secured, he believed all the rest would return to their duty. I asked him, which they were? He told me he could not at that distance describe them; but he would obey my orders in any thing I would direct. “Well,” says I, “let us retreat out of their view or hearing, least they awake, and we will resolve further;” so they willingly went back with me, till the woods covered us from them.

“Look you, Sir,” said I, “if I venture upon your deliverance, are you willing to make two conditions with me?” He anticipated my proposals, by telling me, that both he and the ship, if recovered, should be wholly directed and commanded by me in every thing; and if the ship was not recovered, he would live and dye with me in what part of the world soever I would send him; and the two other men said the same.

“Well,” says I, “my conditions are but two. 1. That while you stay on this island with me, you will not pretend to any authority here; and if I put arms into your hands, you will upon all occasions give them up to me, and do no prejudice to me or mine, upon this island, and in the mean time be governed by my orders.

[page 262]

“2. That if the ship is or may be recovered, you will carry me and my man to England, passage free.”

He gave me all the assurance that the invention and faith of a man could devise, that he would comply with these most reasonable demands, and besides would owe his life to me, and acknowledge it upon all occasions as long as he lived.

“Well then,” said I, “here are three muskets for you, with powder and ball; tell me next what you think is proper to be done.” He shewed all the testimony of his gratitude that he was able; but offered to be wholly guided by me: I told him, I thought it was hard venturing any thing, but the best method I could think of, was to fire upon them at once, as they lay; and if any were not killed at the first volley, and offered to submit, we might save them, and so put it wholly upon God’s providence to direct the shot.

He said, very modestly, that he was loath to kill them, if he could help it; but that those two were incorrigible villains, and had been the authors of all the mutiny in the ship; and if they escaped, we should be undone still; for they would go on board, and bring the whole ship’s company, and destroy us all. “Well then,” said I, “necessity legitimates my advice; for it is the only way to save our lives.” However, seeing him still cautious of shedding blood, I told him, they should go themselves, and manage as they found convenient.

In the middle of this discourse we heard some of them awake, and soon after we saw two of them on their feet. I asked him, if either of them were the men who he had said were the heads of the mutiny? He said, No. “Well then,” said I, “you may let them escape, and Providence seems to have wakened them on purpose to save themselves.”—“Now,” said I, “if the rest escape you, it is your fault.”

Animated with this, he took the musket I had given him in his hand, and pistol in his belt, and his two comrades with him, with each man a piece in his hand: the two men, who were with him, going first, [page 263] made some noise, at which one of the seamen, who was awake, turned about, and seeing them coming, cried out to the rest; but it was too late then; for the moment he cried out, they fired, I mean the two men, the captain wisely reserving his own piece: they had so well aimed their shot at the men they knew, that one of them was killed on the spot, and the other very much wounded; but not being dead he started up on his feet, and called eagerly for help to the other; but the captain, stepping to him, told him it was too late to cry for help; he should call upon God to forgive his villany; and with that word knocked him down with the stock of his musket, so that he never spoke more: there were three more in the company, and one of them was also slightly wounded. By this time I was come; and when they saw their danger, and that it was in vain to resist, they begged for mercy. The captain told them, he would spare their lives, if they would give him any assurance of their abhorrence of the treachery they had been guilty of, and would swear to be faithful to him in recovering the ship, and afterwards in carrying her back to Jamaica, from whence they came. They gave him all the protestations of their sincerity that could be desired, and he was willing to believe them, and spare their lives, which I was not against; only I obliged him to keep them bound hand and foot while they were upon the island.

While this was doing, I sent Friday with the captain’s mate to the boat, with orders to secure her, and bring away the oars and sail, which they did; and by and by, three straggling men, that were (happily for them) parted from the rest, came back upon hearing the guns fired; and seeing their captain, who before was their prisoner, now their conqueror, they submitted to be bound also; and so our victory was complete.

It now remained, that the captain and I should inquire into one another’s circumstances: I began first, and told him my whole history, which he heard with [page 264] an attention even to amazement, and particularly at the wonderful manner of my being furnished with provisions and ammunition; and indeed, as my story is a whole collection of wonders, it affected him deeply; but when he reflected from thence upon himself, and how I seemed to have been preserved there on purpose to save his life, the tears ran down his face, and he could not speak a word more.

After this communication was at an end, I carried him and his two men into my apartments, leading them in just where I came out, viz. at the top of the house; where I refreshed them with such provisions as I had, and shewed them all the contrivances I had made during my long, long inhabiting that place.

All I shewed them, all I said to them, was perfectly amazing; but, above all, the captain admired my fortification; and how perfectly I had concealed my retreat with a grove of trees, which, having now been planted near twenty years, and the trees growing much faster than in England, was become a little wood, and so thick, that it was impassable in any part of it, but at that one side where I had reserved my little winding passage into it: this I told him was my castle, and my residence; but that I had a seat in the country, as most princes have, whither I could retreat upon occasion, and I would shew him that too another time; but at present our business was to consider how to recover the ship. He agreed with me as to that; but told me, he was perfectly at a loss what measure to take; for that there were still six-and-twenty hands on board, who having entered into a cursed conspiracy, by which they had all forfeited their lives to the law, would be hardened in it now by desperation; and would carry it on, knowing that, if they were reduced, they should be brought to the gallows as soon as they came to England, or to any of the English colonies; and that therefore there would be no attacking them with so small a number as we were.

I mused for some time upon what he had said, and found it was a very rational conclusion, and that therefore [page 265] something was to be resolved on very speedily, as well to draw the men on board into some snare for their surprise, as to prevent their landing upon us, and destroying us. Upon this it presently occurred to me, that in a little while the ship’s crew, wondering what was become of their comrades, and of the boat, would certainly come on shore in their other boat to see for them; and that then perhaps they might come armed, and be too strong for us: this he allowed was rational.

Upon this I told him, the first thing we had to do was to stave the boat, which lay upon the beach, so that they might not carry her off; and taking every thing out of her, leaving her so far useless as not to be fit to swim; accordingly we went on board, took the arms which were left on board out of her, and whatever else we found there, which was a bottle of brandy, and another of rum, a few biscuit cakes, an horn of powder, and a great lump of sugar in a piece of canvas; the sugar was five or six pounds; all which was very welcome to me, especially the brandy and sugar, of which I had had none left for many years.

When we had carried all these things on shore, (the oars, mast, sail, and rudder of the boat were carried before as above,) we knocked a great hole in her bottom, that if they had come strong enough to master us, yet they could not carry off the boat.

Indeed it was not much in my thoughts, that we could be capable to recover the ship; but my view was, that if they went away without the boat, I did not much question to make her fit again to carry us away to the Leeward Islands, and call upon our friends the Spaniards in my way, for I had them still in my thoughts.

While we were thus preparing our designs, and had first by main strength heaved the boat up upon the beach, so high that the tide would not float her off at high water mark; and, besides, had broken a hole in [page 266] her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and were sat down musing what we should do; we heard the ship fire a gun, and saw her make a waft with her ancient, as a signal for the boat to come on board; but no boat stirred; and they fired several times, making other signals for the boat.

At last, when all their signals and firings proved fruitless, and they found the boat did not stir, we saw them (by the help of our glasses) hoist another boat out, and row towards the shore; and we found, as they approached, that there were no less than ten men in her, and that they had fire-arms with them.

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full view of them as they came, and a plain sight of the men, even of their faces; because the tide having set them a little to the east of the other boat, they rowed up under shore, to come to the same place where the other had landed, and where the boat lay.

By this means, I say, we had a full view of them, and the captain knew the persons and characters of all the men in the boat; of whom he said that there were three very honest fellows, who he was sure were led into this conspiracy by the rest, being overpowered and frighted: but that for the boatswain, who, it seems, was the chief officer among them, and all the rest, they were as outrageous as any of the ship’s crew; and were, no doubt, made desperate in their new enterprise; and terribly apprehensive he was, that they would be too powerful for us.

I smiled at him, and told him, that men in our circumstances were past the operations of fear: that seeing almost every condition that could be was better than that we were supposed to be in, we ought to expect that the consequence, whether death or life, would be sure to be a deliverance: I asked him, what he thought of the circumstances of my life, and whether a deliverance were not worth venturing for? “And where, Sir,” said I, “is your belief of my being preserved here on purpose to save your life, which elevated you a little while ago? For my part,” said I, [page 267] “there seems to be but one thing amiss in all the prospect of it.”—“What’s that?” says he. “Why,” said I, “’tis that as you say, there are three or four honest fellows among them, which should be spared; had they been all of the wicked part of the crew, I should have thought God’s providence had singled them out to deliver them into your hands; for, depend upon it, every man of them that comes ashore, are our own, and shall die or live as they behave to us.”

As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheerful countenance, I found it greatly encouraged him; so we set vigorously to our business. We had, upon the first appearance of the boat’s coming from the ship, considered of separating our prisoners, and had indeed secured them effectually.

Two of them, of whom the captain was less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and one of the three (delivered men) to my cave, where they were remote enough, and out of danger of being heard or discovered, or of finding their way out of the woods, if they could have delivered themselves; here they left them bound, but gave them provisions, and promised them, if they continued there quietly, to give them their liberty in a day or two; but that if they attempted their escape, they should be put to death without mercy. They promised faithfully to bear their confinement with patience, and were very thankful that they had such good usage as to have provisions and a light left them; for Friday gave them candles (such as we made ourselves) for their comfort; and they did not know but that he stood centinel over them at the entrance.

The other prisoners had better usage; two of them were kept pinioned indeed, because the captain was not free to trust them; but the other two were taken into my service upon their captain’s recommendation, and upon their solemnly engaging to live and die with us; so, with them and the three honest men, we were seven men well armed; and I made no doubt we [page 268] should be able to deal well enough with the ten that were a-coming, considering that the captain had said, there were three or four honest men among them also.

As soon as they got to the place where their other boat lay, they ran their boat into the beach, and came all on shore, hauling the boat up after them, which I was glad to see; for I was afraid they would rather have left the boat at an anchor, some distance from the shore, with some hands in her to guard her; and so we should not be able to seize the boat.

Being on shore, the first thing they did, they ran all to the other boat; and it was easy to see they were under a great surprise to find her stripped as above, of all that was in her, and a great hole in her bottom.

After they had mused awhile upon this, they set up two or three great shouts, hallooing with all their might, to try if they could make their companions hear; but all was to no purpose: then they came all close in a ring, and fired a volley of their small arms, which indeed we heard, and the echoes made the woods ring; but it was all one: those in the cave, we were sure, could not hear; and those in our keeping, though they heard it well enough, yet durst give no answer to them.

They were so astonished at the surprise of this, that, as they told us afterwards, they resolved to go all on board again to their ship, and let them know there, that the men were all murdered, and the long-boat staved; accordingly, they immediately launched the boat again, and got all of them on board.

The captain was terribly amazed, and even confounded at this, believing they would go on board the ship again and set sail, giving their comrades up for lost, and so he should still lose the ship, which he was in hopes we should have recovered; but he was quickly as much frighted the other way.

They had not been long put off with the boat, but we perceived them all coming on shore again; but with this new measure in their conduct, which it seems [page 269] they consulted together upon; viz. to leave three men in the boat, and the rest to go on shore, and go up into the country to look for their fellows.

This was a great disappointment to us; for now we were at a loss what to do; for our seizing those seven men on shore would be no advantage to us if we let the boat escape, because they would then row away to the ship; and then the rest of them would be sure to weigh, and set sail, and so our recovering the ship would be lost.

However, we had no remedy but to wait and see what the issue of things might present. The seven men came on shore, and the three who remained in the boat put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to an anchor to wait for them; so that it was impossible for us to come at them in the boat.

Those that came on shore kept close together, marching towards the top of the little hill, under which my habitation lay; and we could see them plainly, though they could not perceive us; we could have been very glad they would have come nearer to us, so that we might have fired at them; or that they would have gone farther off, that we might have come abroad.

But when they were come to the brow of the hill, where they could see a great way in the valley and woods, which lay towards the north-east part, and where the island lay lowest, they shouted and hallooed till they were weary; and not caring, it seems, to venture far from the shore, nor far from one another, they sat down together under a tree, to consider of it: had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the other party of them had done, they had done the job for us; but they were too full of apprehensions of danger, to venture to go to sleep, though they could not tell what the danger was they had to fear neither.

The captain made a very just proposal to me upon this consultation of theirs; viz. that perhaps they would all fire a volley again, to endeavour to make their fellows hear, and that we should all sally upon them, just at the juncture when their pieces were all [page 270] discharged, and they would certainly yield, and we should have them without bloodshed: I liked the proposal, provided it was done while we heard, when they were presently stopped by the creek, where the water being up, they could not get over, and called for the boat to come up, and set them over, as indeed I expected.

When they had set themselves over, I observed, that the boat being gone up a good way into the creek, and as it were, in a harbour within the land, they took one of the three men out of her to go along with them, and left only two in the boat, having fastened her to the stump of a little tree on the shore.

This was what I wished for, and immediately leaving Friday and the captain’s mate to their business, I took the rest with me, and crossing the creek out of their sight, we surprized the two men before they were aware; one of them lying on shore, and the other being in the boat; the fellow on shore, was between sleeping and waking, and going to start up, the captain who was [page 271] foremost, ran in upon him, and knocked him down, and then called out to him in the boat, to yield, or he was a dead man.

There needed very few arguments to persuade a single man to yield, when he saw five men upon him, and his comrade knocked down; besides, this was it seems one of the three who were not so hearty in the mutiny as the rest of the crew, and therefore was easily persuaded, not only to yield, but afterwards to join very sincere with us.

In the mean time, Friday and the captain’s mate so well managed their business with the rest, that they drew them by hollooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them but left them, where they were very sure they could not reach back to the boat, before it was dark; and indeed they were heartily tired themselves also by the time they came back to us.

We had nothing now to do, but to watch for them, [page 272] in the dark, and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them.

It was several hours after Friday came back to me before they came back to their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them, long before they came quite up, calling to those behind to come along; and could also hear them answer, and complain how lame and tired they were, and not being able to come any faster, which was very welcome news to us.

At length they came up to the boat; but it is impossible to express their confusion, when they found the boat fast aground in the creek, the tide ebbed out, and their two men gone: we could hear them call to one another in a most lamentable manner, telling one another they were gotten into an enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered; or else there were devils or spirits in it, and they should be all carried away and devoured.

They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by their names a great many times, but no answer: after some time, we could see them, by the little light there was, run about wringing their hands, like men in despair; and that sometimes they would go and sit down in the boat to rest themselves, then come ashore, and walk about again, and so the same thing over again.

My men would fain have had me given them leave to fall upon them at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some advantage, so to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could; and especially I was unwilling to hazard the killing any of our men, knowing the other men were very well armed: I resolved to wait to see if they did not separate; and therefore, to make sure of them, I drew my ambuscade nearer; and ordered Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands and feet as close to the ground as they could, that they might not be discovered, and get as near them as they could possibly, before they offered to fire.

They had not been long in that posture, till the [page 273] boatswain, who was the principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shewn himself the most dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking towards them with two more of the crew; the captain was so eager, at having the principal rogue so much in his power, that he could hardly have patience to let him come so near as to be sure of him; for they only heard his tongue before: but when they came nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up on their feet, let fly at them.

The boatswain was killed upon the spot; the next man was shot in the body, and fell just by him, though he did not die till an hour or two after; and the third ran for it.

At the noise of the fire, I immediately advanced with my whole army, which was now eight men; viz. myself generalissimo; Friday my lieutenant-general; the captain and his two men, and the three prisoners of war, whom he had trusted with arms.

We came upon them indeed in the dark, so that they could not see our number; and I made the man they had left in the boat, who was now one of us, to call them by name, to try if I could bring them to a parley, and so might perhaps reduce them to terms; which fell out just as we desired: for indeed it was easy to think, as their condition then was, they would be very-willing to capitulate; so he calls out, as loud as he could, to one of them, “Tom Smith, Tom Smith.” Tom Smith answered immediately, “Who’s that? Robinson?” For it seems he knew his voice. The other answered, “Ay, ay; for God’s sake, Tom Smith, throw down your arms, and yield, or you are all dead men this moment.”

“Who must we yield to? where are they?” says Smith again. “Here they are,” says he; “here is our captain and fifty men with him, have been hunting you this two hours; the boatswain is killed, Will Frye is wounded, and I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield, your are all lost.”

[page 274]

“Will they give us quarter then?” says Tom Smith, “and we will yield.”—“I’ll go and ask, if you promise to yield,” says Robinson. So he asked the captain, and the captain himself then calls out, “You Smith, you know my voice, if you lay down your arms immediately, and submit, you shall have your lives, all but Will Atkins.”

Upon this Will Atkins cried out, “For God’s sake, captain, give me quarter: what have I done? they have been all as bad as I,” (which by the way was not true, either; for it seems this Will Atkins was the first man that laid hold of the captain when they first mutinied, and used him barbarously, in tying his hands, and giving him injurious language:) however, the captain told him he must lay down his arms at discretion, and trust to the governor’s mercy, by which he meant me; for they all called me governor.

In a word, they all laid down their arms, and begged their lives; and I sent the man that had parleyed with them, and two more, who bound them all; and then my great army of fifty men, which, particularly with those three, were all but eight, came up and seized upon them all, and upon their boat, only that I kept myself and one more out of sight, for reasons of state.

Our next work was to repair the boat, and to think of seizing the ship; and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley with them, he expostulated with them upon the villany of their practices with him, and at length, upon the farther wickedness of their design; and how certainly it must bring them to misery and distress in the end, and perhaps to the gallows.

They all appeared very penitent, and begged hard for their lives: as for that, he told them they were none of his prisoners, but the commander’s of the island; that they thought they had set him on shore in a barren uninhabited island; but it had pleased God so to direct them, that the island was inhabited, and that the governor was an Englishman: that he might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he [page 275] had given them all quarter, he supposed he would send them to England, to be dealt with there as justice required, except Atkins, whom he was commanded by the governor to advise to prepare for death; for that he would be hanged in the morning.

Though this was all a fiction of his own, yet it had its desired effect. Atkins fell upon his knees to beg the captain to intercede with the governor for his life; and all the rest begged of him for God’s sake, that they might not be sent to England.

It now occurred to me, that the time of our deliverance was come, and that it would be a most easy thing to bring these fellows in to be hearty in getting possession of the ship; so I retired in the dark from them, that they might not see what kind of a governor they had, and called the captain to me: when I called, as at a good distance, one of the men was ordered to speak again, and say to the captain, “Captain, the commander calls for you;” and presently the captain replied, “Tell his excellency I am just a-coming.” This more perfectly amused them; and they all believed that the commander was just by with his fifty men.

Upon the captain’s coming to me, I told him my project for seizing the ship, which he liked wonderfully well, and resolved to put it in execution the next morning.

But, in order to execute it with more art, and to be secure of success, I told him we must divide the prisoners, and that he should go and take Atkins, and two more of the worst of them, and send them pinioned to the cave where the others lay: this was committed to Friday, and the two men who came on shore with the captain.

They conveyed them to the cave, as to a prison; and it was indeed a dismal place, especially to men in their condition.

The others I ordered to my bower, as I called it, of which I have given a full description; and as it was [page 276] fenced in, and they pinioned, the place was secure enough, considering they were upon their behaviour.

To these in the morning I sent the captain, who was to enter into a parley with them; in a word, to try them, and tell me, whether he thought they might be trusted or no, to go on board, and surprise the ship. He talked to them of the injury done him, of the condition they were brought to; and that though the governor had given them quarter for their lives, as to the present action, yet that if they were sent to England, they would all be hanged in chains, to be sure; but that if they would join in such an attempt as to recover the ship, he would have the governor’s engagement for their pardon.

Any one may guess how readily such a proposal would be accepted by men in their condition: they fell down on their knees to the captain, and promised with the deepest imprecations, that they would be faithful to him to the last drop, and that they should owe their lives to him, and would go with him all over the world; that they would own him for a father to them as long as they lived.

“Well,” says the captain, “I must go and tell the governor what you say, and see what I can do to bring him to consent to it.” So he brought me an account of the temper he found them in; and that he verily believed they would be faithful.

However, that we might be very secure, I told him he should go back again, and choose out five of them, and tell them, that they should see that they did not want men; but he would take out those five to be his assistants, and that the governor would keep the other two, and the three that were sent prisoners to the castle, (my cave) as hostages for the fidelity of those five; and that if they proved unfaithful in the execution, the five hostages should be hanged in chains alive upon the shore.

This looked severe, and convinced them that the governor was in earnest; however, they had no way [page 277] left them but to accept it; and it was now the business of the prisoners, as much as of the captain, to persuade the other five to do their duty.

Our strength was now thus ordered for the expedition: 1. The captain, his mate, and passenger. 2. Then the two prisoners of the first gang, to whom, having their characters from the captain, I had given their liberty, and trusted them with arms. 3. The other two whom I kept till now in my bower pinioned; but, upon the captain’s motion, had now released. 4. These five released at last; so that they were twelve in all, besides five we kept prisoners in the cave for hostages.

I asked the captain if he was willing to venture with these hands on board the ship: for, as for me, and my man Friday, I did not think it was proper for us to stir, having seven men left behind; and it was employment enough for us to keep them asunder, and supply them with victuals.

As to the five in the cave, I resolved to keep them fast; but Friday went twice a day to them, to supply them with necessaries; and I made the other two carry provisions to a certain distance, where Friday was to take it.

When I shewed myself to the two hostages, it was with the captain, who told them, I was the person the governor had ordered to look after them, and that it was the governor’s pleasure that they should not stir any where but by my direction; that if they did, they should be fetched into the castle, and be laid in irons; so that as we never suffered them to see me as governor, so I now appeared as another person, and spoke of the governor, the garrison, the castle, and the like, upon all occasions.

The captain now had no difficulty before him, but to furnish his two boats, stop the breach of one, and man them: he made his passenger captain of one, with four other men; and himself, and his mate, and five more, went in the other: and they contrived their business very well; for they came up to the ship [page 278] about midnight. As soon as they came within call of the ship, he made Robinson hail them, and tell them he had brought off the men and the boat, but that it was a long time before they had found them, and the like; holding them in a chat, till they came to the ship’s side; when the captain and the mate, entering first with their arms, immediately knocked down the second mate and carpenter with the but end of their muskets; being very faithfully seconded by their men, they seemed all the rest that were upon the main and quarter decks, and began to fasten the hatches to keep them down who were below; when the other boat and their men, entering at the fore chains, secured the forecastle of the ship, and the skuttle which went down into the cook-room, making three men they found there prisoners.

When this was done, and all safe upon the deck, the captain ordered the mate with three men to break into the round-house, where the new rebel captain lay, and, having taken the alarm, was gotten up, and with two men and a boy had gotten fire arms in their hands; and when the mate with a crow split upon the door, the new captain and his men fired boldly among them, and wounded the mate with a musket-ball, which broke his arm, and wounded two more of the men, but killed nobody.

The mate, calling for help, rushed, however, into the round-house, wounded as he was, and with his pistol shot the new captain through the head, the bullets entering at his mouth, and came out again behind one of his ears; so that he never spoke a word; upon which the rest yielded, and the ship was taken effectually without any more lives being lost.

As soon as the ship was thus secured, the captain ordered seven guns to be fired, which was the signal agreed upon with me, to give me notice of his success; which you may be sure I was very glad to hear, having sat watching upon the shore for it, till near two of the clock in the morning.

Having thus heard the signal plainly, I laid me [page 279] down; and it having been a day of great fatigue to me, I slept very sound, till I was something surprised with the noise of a gun; and presently starting up, I heard a man call me by the name of governor, governor; and presently I knew the captain’s voice; when climbing up to the top of the hill, there he stood, and pointing to the ship, he embraced me in his arms: “My dear friend and deliverer,” says he, “there’s your ship, for she is all yours, and so are we, and all that belong to her.” I cast my eyes to the ship, and there she rode within a little more than half a mile of the shore; for they had weighed her anchor as soon as they were masters of her; and the weather being fair, had brought her to an anchor just against the mouth of a little creek; and the tide being up, the captain had brought the pinnace in near the place where I first landed my rafts, and so landed just at my door.

I was, at first, ready to sink down with the surprise; for I saw my deliverance indeed visibly put into my hands, all things easy, and a large ship just ready to carry me away whither I pleased to go; at first, for some time, I was not able to answer one word; but as he had taken me in his arms, I held fast by him, or I should have fallen to the ground.

He perceived the surprise, and immediately pulled a bottle out of his pocket, and gave me a dram of cordial, which he had brought on purpose for me: after I drank it, I sat down upon the ground, and though it brought me to myself, yet it was a good while before I could speak a word to him.

All this while the poor man was in as great an ecstasy as I, only not under any surprise, as I was; and he said a thousand kind tender things to me, to compose and bring me to myself; but such was the flood of joy in my breast, that it put all my spirits into confusion; at last it broke into tears, and in a little while after I recovered my speech.

Then I took my turn, and embraced him as my deliverer; and we rejoiced together; I told him, I [page 280] looked upon him as a man sent from Heaven to deliver me, and that the whole transaction seemed to be a chain of wonders; that such things as these were the testimonies we had of a secret hand of Providence governing the world, and an evidence, that the eyes of an infinite Power could search into the remotest corner of the world, and send help to the miserable whenever he pleased.

I forgot not to lift up my heart in thankfulness to Heaven; and what heart could forbear to bless Him, who had not only in a miraculous manner provided for one in such a wilderness, and in such a desolate condition, but from whom every deliverance must always be acknowledged to proceed?

When we had talked awhile, the captain told me, he had brought me some little refreshments, such as the ship afforded, and such as the wretches who had been so long his masters, had not plundered him of. Upon this he called aloud to the boat, and bids his men bring the things ashore that were for the governor; and indeed it was a present, as if I had been one, not that I was to be carried along with them, but as if I had been to dwell upon the island still, and they were to go without me.

First, he had brought me a case of bottles full of excellent cordial waters; six large bottles of Madeira wine, the bottles held two quarts apiece; two pounds of excellent good tobacco, twelve good pieces of the ship’s beef, and six pieces of pork, with a bag of peas, and about a hundred weight of biscuit.

He brought me also a box of sugar, a box of flour, a bag full of lemons, and two bottles of lime-juice, and abundance of other things: but besides these, and what was a thousand times more useful to me, he brought me six clean new shirts, six very good neckcloths, two pair of gloves, one pair of shoes, a hat, and one pair of stockings, and a very good suit of clothes of his own, which had been worn but very little. In a word, he clothed me from head to foot.

It was a very kind and agreeable present, as any [page 281] one may imagine, to one in my circumstances; but never was any thing in the world of that kind so unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy, as it was to me to wear such clothes at their first putting on.

After these ceremonies passed, and after all his things were brought into my little apartment, we began to consult what was to be done with the prisoners we had; for it was worth considering whether we might venture to take them away with us or no, especially two of them, whom we knew to be incorrigible and refractory to the last degree; and the captain said, he knew they were such rogues, that there was no obliging them; and if he did carry them away, it must be in irons, as malefactors, to be delivered over to justice at the first English colony he could come at; and I found that the captain himself was very anxious about it.

Upon this, I told him, that, if he desired it, I durst undertake to bring the two men he spoke of to make their own request that he should leave them upon the island; “I should be very glad of that,” says the captain, “with all my heart.”

“Well,” said I, “I will send for them, and talk with them for you:” so I caused Friday and the two hostages, for they were now discharged, their comrades having performed their promise; I say, I caused them to go to the cave, and bring up the five men, pinioned as they were, to the bower, and keep them there till I came.

After some time, I came thither dressed in my new habit, and now I was called governor again. Being all met, and the captain with me, I caused the men to be brought before me, and I told them, I had had a full account of their villanous behaviour to the captain, and how they had run away with the ship, and were preparing to commit farther robberies; but that Providence, had ensnared them in their own ways, and that they were fallen into the pit which they had digged for others.

I let them know, that by my direction the ship had [page 282] been seized, that she lay now in the road, and they might see by and by, that their new captain had received the reward of his villany; for that they might see him hanging at the yard-arm: that as to them, I wanted to know what they had to say, why I should not execute them as pirates taken in the fact, as by my commission they could not doubt I had authority to do.

One of them answered in the name of the rest, that they had nothing to say but this, that when they were taken, the captain promised them their lives, and they humbly implored my mercy: but I told them I knew not what mercy to shew them; for, as for myself, I had resolved to quit the island with all my men, and had taken passage with the captain to go for England: and as for the captain, he could not carry them to England, other than as prisoners in irons to be tried for mutiny, and running away with the ship; the consequence of which they must needs know, would be the gallows; so that I could not tell which was best for them, unless they had a mind to take their fate in the island; if they desired that, I did not care, as I had liberty to leave it; I had some inclination to give them their lives, if they thought they could shift on shore. They seemed very thankful for it; said they would much rather venture to stay there, than to be carried to England to be hanged; so I left it on that issue.

However, the captain seemed to make some difficulty of it, as if he durst not leave them there: upon this I seemed to be a little angry with the captain, and told him, that they were my prisoners, not his; and that seeing I had offered them so much favour, I would be as good as my word; and that if he did not think fit to consent to it, I would set them at liberty as I found them; and if he did not like that, he might take them again if he could catch them.

Upon this they appeared very thankful, and I accordingly set them at liberty, and bade them retire into the woods, to the place whence they came, and I [page 283] would leave them some fire-arms, some ammunition, and some directions how they should live very well, if they thought fit.

Upon this, I prepared to go on board the ship; but told the captain, that I would stay that night to prepare my things; and desired him to go on board in the meantime, and keep all right in the ship, and send the boat on shore the next day for me; ordering him in the meantime to cause the new captain who was killed, to be hanged at the yard-arm, that these men might see him.

When the captain was gone, I sent for the men up to me to my apartment, and entered seriously into discourse with them of their circumstances: I told them, I thought they had made a right choice; that if the captain carried them away, they would certainly be hanged: I shewed them their captain hanging at the yard-arm of the ship, and told them they had nothing less to expect.

When they had all declared their willingness to stay, I then told them, I would let them into the story of my living there, and put them into the way of making it easy to them: accordingly I gave them the whole history of the place, and of my coming to it: shewed them my fortifications, the way I made my bread, planted my corn, cured my grapes; and, in a word, all that was necessary to make them easy. I told them the story of the sixteen Spaniards that were to be expected; for whom I left a letter, and made them promise to treat them in common with themselves.

I left them my fire-arms; viz. five muskets, three fowling-pieces, and three swords: I had about a barrel of powder left; for after the first year or two I used but little, and wasted none. I gave them a description of the way I managed the goats, and directions to milk and fatten them, to make both butter and cheese.

In a word, I gave them every part of my own story; and I told them, I would prevail with the [page 284] captain to leave them two barrels of gunpowder more, and some garden-seed, which I told them I would have been very glad of; also I gave them the bag of peas which the captain had brought me to eat, and bade them be sure to sow and increase them.

Having done all this, I left them the next day, and went on board the ship: we prepared immediately to sail, but did not weigh that night: the next morning early, two of the five men came swimming to the ship’s side, and making a most lamentable complaint of the other three, begged to be taken into the ship for God’s sake, for they should be murdered; and begged the captain to take them on board though he hanged them immediately.

Upon this the captain pretended to have no power without me; but after some difficulty, and after their solemn promises of amendment, they were taken on board, and were some time after soundly whipped and pickled; after which they proved very honest and quiet fellows.

Some time after this, I went with the boat on shore, the tide being up, with the things promised to the men, to which the captain, at my intercession, caused their chests and clothes to be added, which they took, and were very thankful for: I also encouraged them, by telling them, that if it lay in my way to send a vessel to take them in, I would not forget them.

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board for relics the great goat-skin cap I had made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots; also I forgot not to take the money I formerly mentioned, which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for silver, till it had been a little rubbed and handled; and also the money I found in the wreck of the Spanish ship.

And thus I left the island the nineteenth of December, as I found by the ship’s account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days: being delivered from the second captivity the same day of the month that I first [page 285] made my escape in the barco-longo, from among the Moors of Sallee.

In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England the eleventh of June, in the year 1687; having been thirty and five years absent.

When I came to England, I was a perfect stranger to all the world, as if I had never been known there: my benefactor, and faithful steward, whom I had left in trust with my money, was alive, but had had great misfortunes in the world, was become a widow the second time, and very low in the world: I made her easy as to what she owed me, assuring her I would give her no trouble; but on the contrary, in gratitude to her former care and faithfulness to me, I relieved her as my little stock would afford, which at that time would indeed allow me to do but little for her: but I assured her, I would never forget her former kindness to me; nor did I forget her, when I had sufficient to help her; as shall be observed in its place.

I went down afterwards into Yorkshire; but my father was dead, and my mother and all the family extinct; except that I found two sisters, and two of the children of one of my brothers: and as I had been long ago given over for dead, there had been no provision made for me, so that, in a word, I found nothing to relieve or assist me; and that little money I had, would not do much for me as to settling in the world.

I met with one piece of gratitude indeed, which I did not expect; and this was, that the master of the ship, whom I had so happily delivered, and by the same means saved the ship and cargo, having given a very handsome account to the owners, of the manner how I had saved the lives of the men, and the ship, they invited me to meet them and some other merchants concerned, and all together made me a very handsome compliment upon that subject, and a present of almost two hundred pounds sterling.

But after making several reflections upon the circumstances of my life, and how little way this would [page 286] go towards settling me in the world, I resolved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not come by some information of the state of my plantation in the Brasils, and what was become of my partner, who, I had reason to suppose, had some years now given me over for dead.

With this view I took shipping for Lisbon, where I arrived in April following; my man Friday accompanying me very honestly in all these ramblings, and proving a most faithful servant upon all occasions.

When I came to Lisbon, I found out, by inquiry, and to my particular satisfaction, my old friend the captain of the ship, who first took me up at sea, off the shore of Africa: he was now grown old, and had left off the sea, having put his son, who was far from a young man, into his ship; and who still used the Brasil trade. The old man did not know me, and, indeed, I hardly knew him; but I soon brought myself to his remembrance, when I told him who I was.

After some passionate expressions of our old acquaintance, I inquired, you may be sure, after my plantation and my partner; the old man told me, he had not been in the Brasils for about nine years; but that he could assure me, that when he came away, my partner was living; but the trustees, whom I had joined with him, to take cognizance of my part, were both dead; that, however, he believed that I would have a very good account of the improvement of the plantation; for that, upon the general belief of my being cast away and drowned, my trustees had given in the account of the produce of my part of the plantation, to the procurator fiscal; who had appropriated it, in case I never came to claim it, one third to the king, and two thirds to the monastery of St. Augustine, to be expended for the benefit of the poor, and for the conversion of the Indians to the Catholic faith; but that if I appeared, or any one for me, to claim the inheritance, it would be restored; only that the improvement, or annual production, being distributed to charitable uses, could not be restored; but [page 287] he assured me, that the steward of the king’s revenue, (from lands) and the provedore, or steward of the monastery, had taken great care all along, that the incumbent, that is to say, my partner, gave every year a faithful account of the produce, of which they received duly my moiety.

I asked him, if he knew to what height of improvement he had brought the plantation; and whether he thought it might be worth looking after; or whether, on my going thither, I should meet with no obstruction to my possessing my just right in the moiety.

He told me, he could not tell exactly to what degree the plantation was improved; but this he knew, that my partner was growing exceeding rich upon the enjoying but one half of it; and that, to the best of his remembrance, he had heard, that the king’s third of my part, which was, it seems, granted away to some other monastery, or religious house, amounted to above two hundred moidores a year; that, as to my being restored to a quiet possession of it, there was no question to be made of that, my partner being alive to witness my title, and my name being also enrolled in the register of the county. Also he told me, that the survivors of my two trustees were very fair, honest people, and very wealthy, and he believed I would not only have their assistance for putting me in possession, but would find a very considerable sum of money in their hands for my account, being the produce of the farm, while their fathers held the trust, and before it was given up, as above, which, as he remembered, was about twelve years.

I shewed myself a little concerned and uneasy at this account, and inquired of the old captain, how it came to pass, that the trustees should thus dispose of my effects, when he knew that I had made my will, and had made him, the Portuguese captain, my universal heir, &c.

He told me that was true; but that, as there was no proof of my being dead, he could not act as executor, until some certain account should come of my [page 288] death; and that, besides, he was not willing to intermeddle with a thing so remote: that it was true, he had registered my will, and put in his claim; and could he have given any account of my being dead or alive, he would have acted by procuration, and taken possession of the ingenio, (so they called the sugarhouse) and had given his son, who was now at the Brasils, order to do it.

“But,” says the old man, “I have one piece of news to tell you, which perhaps may not be so acceptable to you as the rest; and that is, that believing you were lost, and all the world believing so also, your partner and trustees did offer to account to me in your name, for six or eight of the first years of profit, which I received; but there being at that time,” says he, “great disbursements for increasing the works, building an ingenio and buying slaves, it did not amount to near so much as afterwards it produced: however,” says the old man, “I shall give you a true account of what I have received in all, and how I have disposed of it.”

After a few days farther conference with this ancient friend, he brought me an account of the six first years income of my plantation, signed by my partner, and the merchants’ trustees, being always delivered in goods; viz. tobacco in roll, and sugar in chests, besides rum, molasses, &c. which is the consequence of a sugar-work; and I found by this account, that every year the income considerably increased: but, as above, the disbursement being large, the sum at first was small: however, the old man let me see, that he was debtor to me four hundred and seventy moidores of gold, besides sixty chests of sugar, and fifteen double rolls of tobacco, which were lost in his ship, he having been shipwrecked coming home to Lisbon, about eleven years after my leaving the place.

The good man then began to complain of his misfortunes, and how he had been obliged to make use of my money to recover his losses, and buy him a share in a new ship; “however, my old friend,” says [page 289] he, “you shall not want a supply in your necessity; and as soon as my son returns, you shall be fully satisfied.”

Upon this he pulls out an old pouch, and gives me two hundred Portugal moidores in gold; and giving me the writings of his title to the ship which his son was gone to the Brasils in, of which he was a quarter part owner, and his son another, he puts them both in my hands for security of the rest.

I was too much moved with the honesty and kindness of the poor man, to be able to bear this; and remembering what he had done for me, how he had taken me up at sea, and how generously he had used me on all occasions, and particularly how sincere a friend he was now to me, I could hardly refrain weeping at what he said to me: therefore, first I asked him if his circumstances admitted him to spare so much money at that time, and if it would not straiten him? He told me he could not say but it might straiten him a little; but, however, it was my money, and I might want it more than he.

Every thing the good man said was full of affection, and I could hardly refrain from tears while he spake. In short, I took one hundred of the moidores, and called for a pen and ink to give him a receipt for them; then I returned him the rest, and told him, if ever I had possession of the plantation, I would return the other to him also, as indeed I afterwards did; and then, as to the bill of sale of his part in his son’s ship, I would not take it by any means; but that if I wanted the money, I found he was honest enough to pay me; and if I did not, but came to receive what he gave me reason to expect, I would never have a penny more from him.

When this was past, the old man began to ask me if he should put me in a method to make my claim to my plantation. I told him, I thought to go over to it myself. He said, I might do so if I pleased; but that if I did not, there were ways enough to secure [page 290] my right, and immediately to appropriate the profits to my use; and as there were ships in the river of Lisbon, just ready to go away to Brasil, he made me enter my name in a public register, with his affidavit, affirming upon oath that I was alive, and that I was the same person who took up the land for the planting the said plantation at first.

This being regularly attested by a notary, and the procuration affixed, he directed me to send it with a letter of his writing, to a merchant of his acquaintance at the place; and then proposed my staying with him till an account came of the return.

Never any thing was more honourable than the proceedings upon this procuration; for in less than seven months I received a large packet from the survivors of my trustees, the merchants, on whose account I went to sea, in which were the following particular letters and papers enclosed.

First, There was the account current of the produce of my farm, or plantation, from the year when their fathers had balanced with my old Portugal captain, being for six years; the balance appeared to be 1171 moidores in my favour.

Secondly, There was the account of four years more while they kept the effects in their hands, before the government claimed the administration, as being the effects of a person not to be found, which they call civil-death; and the balance of this, the value of plantation increasing, amounted to 38892 crusadoes, which made 3241 moidores.

Thirdly, There was the prior of the Augustines account, who had received the profits for above fourteen years; but not being able to account for what was disposed to the hospital, very honestly declared he had 872 moidores not distributed, which he acknowledged to my account. As to the king’s part, that refunded nothing.

There was also a letter of my partner’s, congratulating me very affectionately upon my being alive; giving me an account how the estate was improved, [page 291] and what it produced a year, with a particular of the number of squares or acres that it contained; how planted, how many slaves there were upon it, and making two and twenty crosses for blessings, told me he had said so many Ave Marias to thank the Blessed Virgin that I was alive; inviting me very passionately to come over and take possession of my own; and in the mean time to give him orders to whom he should deliver my effects, if I did not come my self; concluding with a hearty tender of his friendship, and that of his family, and sent me, as a present, seven fine leopard’s skins, which he had it seems received from Africa, by some other ship which he had sent thither, and who it seems had made a better voyage than I: he sent me also five chests of excellent sweetmeats, and an hundred pieces of gold uncoined, not quite so large as moidores.

By the same fleet, my two merchant trustees shipped me 1,200 chests of sugar, 800 rolls of tobacco, and the rest of the whole Account in gold.

I might well say, now indeed, that the latter end of Job was better than the beginning. It is impossible to express here the flutterings of my very heart, when I looked over these letters, and especially when I found all my wealth about me; for as the Brasil ships come all in fleets, the same ships which brought my letters, brought my goods; and the effects were safe in the river before the letters came to my hand. In a word, I turned pale, and grew sick; and had not the old man run and fetched me a cordial, I believe the sudden surprize of joy had overset nature, and I had died upon the spot.

Nay after that, I continued very ill, and was so some hours, ’till a physician being sent for, and something of the real cause of my illness being known, he ordered me to be let blood; after which, I had relief, and grew well: but I verily believe, if it had not been eased by a vent given in [page 292] that manner, to the spirits, I should have died.

I was now master, all on a sudden, of above 5000l. sterling in money, and had an estate, as I might well call it, in the Brasils, of above a thousand pounds a year, as sure as an estate of lands in England: and in a word, I was in a condition which I scarce knew how to understand, or how to compose my self, for the enjoyment of it.

The first thing I did, was to recompense my original benefactor, my good old captain, who had been first charitable to me in my distress, kind to me in my beginning, and honest to me at the end: I shewed him all that was sent me, I told him, that next to the Providence of Heaven, which disposes all things, it was owing to him; and that it now lay on me to reward him, which I would do a hundred fold: so I first returned to him the hundred moidores I had received of him, then I sent for a notary, and caused him to draw up a general release or discharge for the 470 moidores, which he had acknowledged he owed me in the fullest and firmest manner possible; after which, I caused a procuration to be drawn, impowering him to be my receiver of the annual profits of my plantation, and appointing my partner to account to him, and make the returns by the usual fleets to him in my name; and a clause in the end, being a grant of 100 moidores a year to him, during his life, out of the effects, and 50 moidores a year to his son after him, for his life: and thus I requited my old man.

I was now to consider which way to steer my course next, and what to do with the estate that Providence had thus put into my hands; and indeed I had more care upon my head now, than I had in my silent state of life in the island, where I wanted nothing but what I had, and had nothing but what I wanted: whereas I had now a great charge upon me, and my business was how to secure it. I had ne’er a cave now to hide my money in, or a place where it might lie without lock or key, ’till it grew mouldy and tarnished before any body [page 293] would meddle with it: on the contrary, I knew not where to put it, or who to trust with it. My old patron, the captain, indeed was honest, and that was the only refuge I had.

In the next place, my interest in the Brasils seemed to summon me thither, but now I could not tell, how to think of going thither, ’till I had settled my affairs, and left my effects in some safe hands behind me. At first I thought of my old friend the widow, who I knew was honest, and would be just to me; but then she was in years, and but poor, and for ought I knew, might be in debt; so that in a word, I had no way but to go back to England my self, and take my effects with me.

It was some months however before I resolved upon this; and therefore, as I had rewarded the old captain fully, and to his satisfaction, who had been my former benefactor, so I began to think of my poor widow, whose husband had been my first benefactor, and she, while it was in her power, my faithful steward and instructor. So the first thing I did, I got a merchant in Lisbon to write to his correspondent in London, not only to pay a bill, but to go find her out, and carry her in money, an hundred pounds from me, and to talk with her, and comfort her in her poverty, by telling her she should, if I lived, have a further supply: at the same time I sent my two sisters in the country, each of them an hundred pounds, they being, though not in want, yet not in very good circumstances; one having been married, and left a widow; and the other having a husband not so kind to her as he should be.

But among all my relations, or acquaintances, I could not yet pitch upon one, to whom I durst commit the gross of my stock, that I might go away to the Brasils, and leave things safe behind me; and this greatly perplexed me.

I had once a mind to have gone to the Brasils, and have settled my self there; for I was, as it were, naturalized to the place; but I had some little scruple in my mind about religion, which insensibly drew me back, of which I shall say more presently. However, [page 294] it was not religion that kept me from going thither for the present; and as I had made no scruple of being openly of the religion of the country, all the while I was among them, so neither did I yet; only that now and then having of late thought more of it than formerly, when I began to think of living and dying among them, I began to regret my having professed myself a Papist, and thought it might not be the best religion to die in.

But, as I have said, this was not the main thing that kept me from going to the Brasils, but that really I did not know with whom to leave my effects behind me; so I resolved at last to go to England with them, where if I arrived, I concluded I should make some acquaintance, or find some relations, that would be faithful to me; and accordingly I prepared to go for England with all my wealth.

In order to prepare things for my going home, I first (the Brasil fleet being just going away) resolved to give answers suitable to the just and faithful account of things I had from thence; and first to the prior of St. Augustine I wrote a letter full of thanks for his just dealings, and the offer of the eight hundred and seventy-two moidores, which was undisposed of, which I desired might be given, five hundred to the monastery, and three hundred and seventy-two to the poor, as the prior should direct, desiring the good Padre’s prayers for me, and the like.

I wrote next a letter of thanks to my two trustees, with all the acknowledgment that so much justice and honesty called for; as for sending them any present, they were far above having any occasion of it.

Lastly, I wrote to my partner, acknowledging his industry in the improving the plantation, and his integrity in increasing the stock of the works, giving him instructions for his future government of my part according to the powers I had left with my old patron, to whom I desired him to send whatever became due to me, till he should hear from me more particularly; assuring him, that it was my intention, not [page 295] only to come to him, but to settle myself there for the remainder of my life. To this I added a very handsome present of some Italian silks for his wife and two daughters, for such the captain’s son informed me he had; with two pieces of fine English broad-cloth, the best I could get in Lisbon, five pieces of black bays, and some Flanders lace of a good value.

Having thus settled my affairs, sold my cargo, and turned all my effects into good bills of exchange, my next difficulty was, which way to go to England. I had been accustomed enough to the sea, and yet I had a strange aversion to go to England by sea at that time; and though I could give no reason for it, yet the difficulty increased upon me so much, that though I had once shipped my baggage in order to go, yet I altered my mind, and that not once, but two or three times.

It is true, I had been very unfortunate by sea, and this might be one of the reasons. But let no man slight the strong impulses of his own thoughts in cases of such moment. Two of the ships which I had singled out to go in, I mean more particularly singled out than any other, that is to say, so as in one of them to put my things on board, and in the other to have agreed with the captain; I say, two of these ships miscarried, viz. one was taken by the Algerines, and the other was cast away on the Start, near Torbay, and all the people drowned except three; so that in either of those vessels I had been made miserable, and in which most, it was hard to say.

Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my old pilot, to whom I communicated every thing, pressed me earnestly not to go to sea; but either to go by land to the Groyne, and cross over the Bay of Biscay to Rochelle, from whence it was but an easy and safe journey by land to Paris, and so to Calais and Dover; or to go up to Madrid, and so all the way by land through France.

In a word, I was so prepossessed against my going by sea at all, except from Calais to Dover, that I [page 296] resolved to travel all the way by land; which, as I was not in haste, and did not value the charge, was by much the pleasanter way; and to make it more so, my old captain brought an English gentleman, the son of a merchant in Lisbon, who was willing to travel with me; after which, we picked up two who were English, and merchants also, and two young Portuguese gentlemen, the last going to Paris only; so that we were in all six of us, and five servants, the two merchants and the two Portuguese contenting themselves with one servant between two, to save the charge; and as for me, I got an English sailor to travel with me as a servant, besides my man Friday, who was too much a stranger to be capable of supplying the place of a servant upon the road.

In this manner I set out from Lisbon; and our company being all very well mounted and armed, we made a little troop whereof they did me the honour to call me captain, as well because I was the oldest man, as because I had two servants, and indeed was the original of the whole journey.

As I have troubled you with none of my sea journals, so shall I trouble you with none of my land journals. But some adventures that happened to us in this tedious and difficult journey, I must not omit.

When we came to Madrid, we, being all of us strangers to Spain, were willing to stay some time to see the court of Spain, and to see what was worth observing; but it being the latter part of the summer, we hastened away, and set out from Madrid about the middle of October. But when we came to the edge of Navarre, we were alarmed at several towns on the way, with an account that so much snow was fallen on the French side of the mountains, that several travellers were obliged to come back to Pampeluna, after having attempted, at an extreme hazard, to pass on.

When we came to Pampeluna itself, we found it so indeed; and to me that had been always used to a hot climate, and indeed to countries where we could scarce bear any clothes on, the cold was insufferable; [page 297] nor, indeed, was it more painful than it was surprising: to come but ten days before out of the Old Castile, where the weather was not only warm, but very hot, and immediately to feel a wind from the Pyrenees mountains, so very keen, so severely cold, as to be intolerable, and to endanger benumbing and perishing of our fingers and toes, was very strange.

Poor Friday was really frighted when he saw the mountains all covered with snow, and felt cold weather, which he had never seen or felt before in his life.

To mend the matter, after we came to Pampeluna, it continued snowing with so much violence, and so long, that the people said, winter was come before its time; and the roads, which were difficult before, were now quite impassable: in a word, the snow lay in some places too thick for us to travel; and being not hard frozen, as is the case in northern countries, there was no going without being in danger of being buried alive every step. We staid no less than twenty days at Pampeluna; when (seeing the winter coming on, and no likelihood of its being better, for it was the severest winter all over Europe that had been known in many years) proposed that we should all go away to Fontarabia, and there take shipping for Boardeaux, which was a very little voyage.

But while we were considering this, there came in four French gentlemen, who, having been stopped on the French side of the passes, as we were on the Spanish, had found out a guide, who traversing the country near the head of Languedoc, had brought them over the mountains by such ways, that they were not much incommoded with the snow; and where they met with snow in any quantity, they said it was frozen hard enough to bear them and their horses.

We sent for this guide, who told us, he would undertake to carry us the same way, with no hazard from the snow, provided we were armed sufficiently to protect us from wild beasts: for he said, upon these [page 298] great snows, it was frequent for some wolves to show themselves at the foot of the mountains, being made ravenous for want of food, the ground being covered with snow. We told him we were well enough prepared for such creatures as they were, if he would ensure us from a kind of two-legged wolves, which we were told we were in most danger from, especially on the French side of the mountains.

He satisfied us there was no danger of that kind in the way that we were to go: so we readily agreed to follow him; as did also twelve other gentlemen, with their servants, some French, some Spanish, who, as I said, had attempted to go, and were obliged to come back again.

Accordingly we all set out from Pampeluna, with our guide, on the fifteenth of November; and indeed I was surprised, when, instead of going forward, he came directly back with us, on the same road that we came from Madrid, above twenty miles; when having passed two rivers, and come into the plain country, we found ourselves in a warm climate again, where the country was pleasant, and no snow to be seen; but on a sudden, turning to the left, he approached the mountains another way; and though it is true, the hills and the precipices looked dreadfully, yet he made so many tours, such meanders, and led us by such winding ways, we insensibly passed the height of the mountains, without being much encumbered with the snow; and all on a sudden he shewed us the pleasant fruitful provinces of Languedoc and Gascoigne, all green and flourishing; though indeed they were at a great distance, and we had some rough way to pass yet.

We were a little uneasy, however, when we found it snowed one whole day and a night, so fast, that we could not travel; but he bid us be easy, we should soon be past it all: we found, indeed, that we began to descend every day, and to come more north than before; and so, depending upon our guide, we went on.

[page 299]

It was about two hours before night, when our guide being something before us, and not just in sight, out rushed three monstrous wolves, and after them a bear, out of a hollow way, adjoining to a thick wood. Two of the wolves flew upon the guide, and had he been half a mile before us, he had been devoured indeed, before we could have helped him; one of them fastened upon his horse, and the other attacked the man with that violence, that he had not time, or not presence of mind enough, to draw his pistol, but hallooed and cried out to us most lustily. My man Friday being next to me, I bid him ride up, and see what was the matter. As soon as Friday came in sight of the man, he hallooed, as loud as the other, “O master’ O master!” But, like a bold fellow, rode directly up to the man, and with his pistol shot the wolf that attacked him in the head.

It was happy for the poor man that it was my man Friday; for he, having been used to that kind of creature in his country, had no fear upon him, but went close up to him, and shot him as above; whereas any of us would have fired at a farther distance, and have perhaps either missed the wolf, or endangered shooting the man.

But it was enough to have terrified a bolder man than I, and indeed it alarmed all our company, when, with the noise of Friday’s pistol, we heard on both sides the dismallest howlings of wolves, and the noise redoubled by the echo of the mountains, that it was to us as if there had been a prodigious multitude of them; and perhaps indeed there was not such a few, as that we had no cause of apprehensions.

However, as Friday had killed this wolf, the other, that had fastened upon the horse, left him immediately, and fled, having happily fastened upon his head, where the bosses of the bridle had stuck in his teeth, so that he had not done him much hurt; the man, indeed, was most hurt; for the raging creature had bit him twice, once on the arm, and the other time a little above his knee; and he was just as it were tumbling [page 300] down by the disorder of the horse, when Friday came up and shot the wolf.

It is easy to suppose, that at the noise of Friday’s pistol we all mended our pace, and rid up as fast as the way (which was very difficult) would give us leave, to see what was the matter. As soon as we came clear of the trees which blinded us before, we saw plainly what had been the case, and how Friday had disengaged the poor guide; though we did not presently discern what kind of creature it was he had killed.

But never was a fight managed so hardily, and in such a surprising manner, as that which followed between Friday and the bear, which gave us all (though at first we were surprised and afraid for him) the greatest diversion imaginable. As the bear is a heavy, clumsy creature, and does not gallop as the wolf does, which is swift and light; so he has two particular qualities, which generally are the rule of his actions: first, as to men, who are not his proper prey, I say not his proper prey, because though I can’t say what excessive hunger might do, which was now their case, the ground being all covered with snow; yet as to men, he does not usually attempt them, unless they first attack him; on the contrary, if you meet him in the woods, if you don’t meddle with him, he won’t meddle with you; yet then you must take care to be very civil to him, and give him the road; for he is a very nice gentleman, he won’t go a step out of the way for a prince; nay, if you are really afraid, your best way is to look another way, and keep going on; for sometimes, if you stop, and stand still, and look steadfastly at him, he takes it for an affront; and if you throw or toss any thing at him, and it hits him, though it were but a bit of stick as big as your finger, he takes it for an affront, and sets all other business aside to pursue his revenge; for he will have satisfaction in point of honour, and this is his first quality; the next is, that if he be once affronted, he will never leave you, night or day, till he has his revenge, but follow at a good round rate till he overtakes you.

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My man Friday had delivered our guide, and when we came up to him, he was helping him off from his horse; for the man was both hurt and frighted, and indeed the last more than the first; when, on a sudden, we espied the bear come out of the wood, and a very monstrous one it was, the biggest by far that ever I saw: we were all a little surprised when we saw him; but when Friday saw him, it was easy to see joy and courage in the fellow’s countenance: “O! O! O!” says Friday, three times, pointing to him, “O master! you give me te leave, me shakee te hand with him, me makee you good laugh.”

I was surprised to see the fellow so pleased: “You fool you,” said I, “he will eat you up.”—“Eatee me up! eatee me up!” says Friday, twice over again; “me eatee him up; me make you good laugh; you all stay here, me shew you good laugh.” So down he sits and gets his boots off in a moment, and put on a pair of pumps, (as we call the flat shoes they wear) and which he had in his pocket, and gives my other servant his horse, and with his gun away he flew, swift like the wind.

The bear was walking softly on, and offered to meddle with nobody, till Friday coming pretty near, calls to him, as if the bear could understand him: “Hark ye, hark ye,” says Friday, “me speakee wit you,” We followed at a distance; for now being come down to the Gascoigne side of the mountains, we were entered a vast great forest, where the country was plain, and pretty open, though many trees in it scattered here and there.

Friday, who had, as we say, the heels of the bear, came up with him quickly, and takes up a great stone, and throws at him, and hit him just on the head; but did him no more harm than if he had thrown it against a wall; but it answered Friday’s end; for the rogue was so void of fear, that he did it purely to make the bear follow him, and shew us some laugh, as he called it.

As soon as the bear felt the stone, and saw him, he [page 302] turns about, and comes after him, taking devilish long strides, and strolling along at a strange rate, so as he would put a horse to a middling gallop. Away runs Friday, and takes his course, as if he ran towards us for help; so we all resolved to fire at once upon the bear, and deliver my man; though I was angry at him heartily for bringing the bear back upon us, when he was going about his own business another way; and especially I was angry that he had turned the bear upon us, and then run away; and I called out, “You dog,” said I, “is this your making us laugh? Come away, and take your horse, that we may shoot the creature.” He hears me, and cries out, “No shoot, no shoot, stand still, you get much laugh;” and as the nimble creature ran two feet for the beast’s one, he turned on a sudden, on one side of us, and seeing a great oak tree, fit for his purpose, he beckoned us to follow, and doubling his pace, he gets nimbly up the tree, laying his gun down upon the ground, at about five or six yards from the bottom of the tree.

The bear soon came to the tree, and we followed at a distance. The first thing he did, he stopped at the gun, smelt to it, but let it lie, and up he scrambles into the tree, climbing like a cat, though so monstrous heavy. I was amazed at the folly, as I thought it, of my man, and could not for my life see any thing to laugh at yet, till seeing the bear get up the tree, we all rode nearer to him.

When we came to the tree, there was Friday got out to the small of a large limb of the tree, and the bear got about half way to him. As soon as the bear got out to that part where the limb of the tree was weaker, “Ha,” says he to us, “now you see me teachee the bear dance;” so he falls a-jumping, and shaking the bough, at which the bear began to totter, but stood still, and began to look behind him, to see how he should get back; then indeed we did laugh heartily. But Friday had not done with him by a great deal: when he sees him stand still, he calls out to him again, as if he had supposed the bear could [page 303] speak English, “What, you come no farther? Pray you come farther.” So he left jumping and shaking the bough; and the bear, just as if he understood what he said, did come a little farther; then he fell a-jumping again, and the bear stopped again.

We thought now was a good time to knock him on the head, and called to Friday to stand still, and we would shoot the bear; but he cried out earnestly, “O pray! O pray! no shoot, me shoot by and then;” he would have said by and by. However, to shorten the story, Friday danced so much, and the bear stood so ticklish, that we had laughing enough indeed, but still could not imagine what the fellow would do; for first we thought he depended upon shaking the bear off; and we found the bear was too cunning for that too; for he would not get out far enough to be thrown down, but clings fast with his great broad claws and feet, so that we could not imagine what would be the end of it, and where the jest would be at last.

But Friday put us out of doubt quickly; for seeing the bear cling fast to the bough, and that he would not be persuaded to come any farther; “Well, well,” said Friday, “you no come farther, me go, me go; you no come to me, me come to you;” and upon this he goes out to the smallest end of the bough, where it would bend with his weight, and gently lets himself down by it, sliding down the bough, till he came near enough to jump down on his feet; and away he ran to his gun, takes it up, and stands still.

“Well,” said I to him, “Friday, what will you do now? Why don’t you shoot him?”—“No shoot,” says Friday, “no yet; me shoot now me no kill; me stay, give you one more laugh;” and indeed so he did, as you will see presently; for when the bear saw his enemy gone, he comes back from the bough where he stood, but did it mighty leisurely, looking behind him every step, and coming backward till he got into the body of the tree; then with the same hinder end foremost, he came down the tree; grasping it with his claws, and moving one foot at a time, [page 304] very leisurely. At this juncture, and just before he could set his hind feet upon the ground, Friday stepped close to him, clapped the muzzle of his piece into his ear, and shot him as dead as a stone.

Then the rogue turned about to see if we did not laugh; and when he saw we were pleased by our looks, he falls a-laughing himself very loud; “So we kill bear in my country,” says Friday. “So you kill them?” said I; “why, you have no guns.”—“No,” says he, “no guns, but shoot great much long arrow.”

This was, indeed, a good diversion to us; but we were still in a wild place, and our guide very much hurt, and what to do we hardly knew: the howling of wolves ran much in my head; and indeed except the noise I once heard on the shore of Africa, of which I have said something already, I never heard any thing that filled me with so much horror.

These things, and the approach of night, called us off, or else, as Friday would have had us, we should certainly have taken the skin of this monstrous creature off, which was worth saving; but we had three leagues to go, and our guide hastened us; so we left him, and went forward on our journey.

The ground was still covered with snow, though not so deep and dangerous as on the mountains; and the ravenous creatures, as we heard afterwards, were come down into the forest and plain country, pressed by hunger, to seek for food, and had done a great deal of mischief in the villages, where they surprised the country-people, killed a great many of their sheep and horses, and some people too.

We had one dangerous place to pass, of which our guide told us, if there were any more wolves in the country, we should find them there; and this was a small plain, surrounded with woods on every side, and a long narrow defile or lane, which we were to pass to get through the wood, and then we should come to the village where we were to lodge.

It was within half an hour of sunset when we entered the first wood; and a little after sunset, when [page 305] we came into the plain. We met with nothing in the first wood, except that in a little plain within the wood, which was not above two furlongs over, we saw five great wolves cross the road, full speed one after another, as if they had been in chase of some prey, and had it in view: they took no notice of us, and were gone and out of sight in a few moments.

Upon this our guide, who, by the way, was a wretched faint-hearted fellow, bade us keep in a ready posture; for he believed there were more wolves a-coming.

We kept our arms ready, and our eyes about us; but we saw no more wolves till we came through that wood, which was near half a league, and entered the plain: as soon as we came into the plain, we had occasion enough to look about us. The first object we met with was a dead horse, that is to say, a poor horse which the wolves had killed, and at least a dozen of them at work; we could not say eating of him, but picking of his bones rather; for they had eaten up all the flesh before.

We did not think fit to disturb them at their feast, neither did they take much notice of us: Friday would have let fly at them, but I would not suffer him by any means; for I found we were like to have more business upon our hands than we were aware of. We were not half gone over the plain, but we began to hear the wolves howl in the woods, on our left, in a frightful manner; and presently after we saw about a hundred coming on directly towards us, all in a body, and most of them in a line, as regularly as an army drawn up by experienced officers. I scarce knew in what manner to receive them; but found to draw ourselves in a close line was the only way; so we formed in a moment; but, that we might not have too much interval, I ordered, that only every other man should fire; and that the others, who had not fired, should stand ready to give them a second volley immediately, if they continued to advance upon us; and that then those who had fired at first, should not pretend to [page 306] load their fusils again, but stand ready, with every one a pistol, for we were all armed with a fusil and a pair of pistols each man; so we were, by this method, able to fire six vollies, half of us at a time; however, at present we had no necessity; for, upon firing the first volley, the enemy made a full stop, being terrified, as well with the noise as with the fire; four of them being shot in the head, dropped; several others were wounded, and went bleeding off, as we could see by the snow. I found they stopped, but did not immediately retreat; whereupon, remembering that I had been told, that the fiercest creatures were terrified at the voice of a man, I caused all our company to halloo as loud as we could, and I found the notion not altogether mistaken; for upon our shout, they began to retire, and turn about; then I ordered a second volley to be fired in their rear, which put them to the gallop, and away they went to the woods.

This gave us leisure to charge our pieces again, and that we might lose no time, we kept doing; but we had but little more than loaded our fusils, and put ourselves into a readiness, when we heard a terrible noise in the same wood on our left; only that it was farther onward the same way we were to go.

The night was coming on, and the night began to be dusky, which made it the worse on our side; but, the noise increasing, we could easily perceive that it was the howling and yelling of those hellish creatures; and, on a sudden, we perceived two or three troops of wolves on our left, one behind us, and one on our front, so that we seemed to be surrounded with them; however, as they did not fall upon us, we kept our way forward, as fast as we could make our horses go, which, the way being very rough, was only a good large trot; and in this manner we only came in view of the entrance of the wood through which we were to pass, at the farther side of the plain; but we were greatly surprised, when, coming near the lane, or pass, we saw a confused number of wolves standing just at the entrance.

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On a sudden, at another opening of the wood, we heard the noise of a gun; and, looking that way, out rushed a horse, with a saddle and a bridle on him, flying like the wind, and sixteen or seventeen wolves after him full speed: indeed the horse had the heels of them; but as we supposed that he could not hold it at that rate, we doubted not but they would get up with him at last; and no question but they did.

Here we had a most horrible sight; for, riding up to the entrance where the horse came out, we found the carcass of another horse, and of two men devoured by these ravenous creatures, and of one the man was no doubt the same whom we heard fire a gun, for there lay a gun just by him fired off; but as to the man, his head, and the upper part of his body, were eaten up.

This filled us with horror, and we knew not what course to take; but the creatures resolved us soon, for they gathered about us presently, in hopes of prey; and I verily believe there were three hundred of them. It happened very much to our advantage, that at the entrance into the wood, but a little way from it, there by some large timber trees, which had been cut down the summer before, and I suppose lay there for carriage: I drew my little troop in among these trees, and placing ourselves in a line behind one long tree, I advised them all to alight, and keeping that tree before us for a breastwork, to stand in a triangle, or three fronts, enclosing our horses in the centre.

We did so, and it was well we did; for never was a more furious charge than the creatures made upon us in this place; they came on us with a growling kind of a noise, and mounted the piece of timber (which, as I said, was our breastwork,) as if they were only rushing upon their prey; and this fury of theirs, it seems, was principally occasioned by their seeing our horses behind us, which was the prey they aimed at. I ordered our men to fire as before, every man; and they took their aim so sure, that indeed they killed several of the wolves at the first volley; but there was a [page 308] necessity to keep a continual firing, for they came on like devils, those behind pushing on those before.

When we had fired our second volley of fusils, we thought they stopped a little, and I hoped they would have gone off, but it was but a moment, for others came forward again; so we fired our vollies of pistols; and I believe in these four firings we killed seventeen or eighteen of them, and lamed twice as many; yet they came on again.

I was loath to spend our last shot too hastily; so I called my servant, not my man Friday, for he was better employed; for, with the greatest dexterity imaginable, he charged my fusil and his own, while we were engaged; but, as I said, I called my other man; and giving him a horn of powder, I bade him lay a train all along the piece of timber, and let it be a large train; he did so, and had but time to get away, when the wolves came up to it, and some were got up upon it; when I, snapping an uncharged pistol close to the powder, set it on fire; and those that were upon the timber were scorched with it, and six or seven of them fell, or rather jumped in among us, with the force and fright of the fire; we dispatched these in an instant, and the rest were so frighted with the light, which the night, for now it was very near dark, made more terrible, that they drew back a little.

Upon which I ordered our last pistols to be fired off in one volley, and after that we gave a shout; upon this the wolves turned tail, and we sallied immediately upon near twenty lame ones, which we found struggling on the ground, and fell a-cutting them with our swords, which answered our expectation; for the crying and howling they made were better understood by their fellows; so that they fled and left us.

We had, first and last, killed about three score of them; and had it been daylight, we had killed many more. The field of battle being thus cleared, we made forward again; for we had still near a league to go. We heard the ravenous creatures howl and yell in the woods as we went, several times; and sometimes we [page 309] fancied we saw some of them, but the snow dazzling our eyes, we were not certain; so in about an hour more we came to the town, where we were to lodge, which we found in a terrible fright, and all in arms; for it seems, that, the night before, the wolves and some bears had broken into that village, and put them in a terrible fright; and they were obliged to keep guard night and day, but especially in the night, to preserve their cattle, and indeed their people.

The next morning our guide was so ill, and his limbs so swelled with the rankling of his two wounds, that he could go no farther; so we were obliged to take a new guide there, and go to Tholouse, where we found a warm climate, a fruitful pleasant country, and no snow, no wolves, or any thing like them; but when we told our story at Tholouse, they told us it was nothing but what was ordinary in the great forest at the foot of the mountains, especially when the snow lay on the ground; but they inquired much what kind of a guide we had gotten, that would venture to bring us that way in such a severe season; and told us, it was very much we were not all devoured. When we told them how we placed ourselves, and the horses in the middle, they blamed us exceedingly, and told us it was fifty to one but we had been all destroyed; for it was the sight of the horses that made the wolves so furious, seeing their prey; and that at other times they are really afraid of a gun; but they being excessive hungry, and raging on that account, the eagerness to come at the horses had made them senseless of danger; and that if we had not by the continued fire, and at last by the stratagem of the train of powder, mastered them, it had been great odds but that we had been torn to pieces; whereas, had we been content to have sat still on horseback, and fired as horsemen, they would not have taken the horses so much for their own, when men were on their backs, as otherwise; and withal they told us, that at last, if we had stood all together, and left our horses, they would have been so eager to have devoured them, that we might have [page 310] come off safe, especially having our fire-arms in our hands, and being so many in number.

For my part, I was never so sensible of danger in my life; for seeing above three hundred devils come roaring and open-mouthed to devour us, and having nothing to shelter us, or retreat to, I gave myself over for lost; and as it was, I believe, I shall never care to cross those mountains again; I think I would much rather go a thousand leagues by sea, though I were sure to meet with a storm once a week.

I have nothing uncommon to take notice of in my passage through France; nothing but what other travellers have given an account of, with much more advantage than I can. I travelled from Tholouse to Paris, and without any considerable stay came to Calais, and landed safe at Dover, the fourteenth of January, after having had a severe cold season to travel in.

I was now come to the centre of my travels, and had in a little time all my new-discovered estate safe about me, the bills of exchange, which I brought with me, having been very currently paid.

My principal guide and privy-counsellor was my good ancient widow, who, in gratitude for the money I had sent her, thought no pains too much, or care too great, to employ for me; and I trusted her so entirely with every thing, that I was perfectly easy as to the security of my effects; and indeed I was very happy from my beginning, and now to the end, in the unspotted integrity of this good gentlewoman.

And now I began to think of leaving my effects with this woman, and setting out for Lisbon, and so to the Brasils. But now another scruple came in the way, and that was religion; for as I had entertained some doubts about the Roman religion, even while I was abroad, especially in my state of solitude; so I knew there was no going to the Brasils for me, much less going to settle there, unless I resolved to embrace the Roman Catholic religion, without any reserve; except on the other hand I resolved to be a sacrifice to [page 311] my principles, be a martyr for religion, and die in the Inquisition: so I resolved to stay at home, and, if I could find means for it, to dispose of my plantation.

To this purpose I wrote to my old friend at Lisbon, who in return gave me notice, that he could easily dispose of it there: but that if I thought fit to give him leave to offer it in my name to the two merchants, the survivors of my trustees, who lived in the Brasils, who must fully understand the value of it, who lived just upon the spot, and who I knew to be very rich, so that he believed they would be fond of buying it; he did not doubt, but I should make 4 or 5000 pieces of eight the more of it.

Accordingly I agreed, gave him orders to offer it to them, and he did so; and in about eight months more, the ship being then returned, he sent me an account, that they had accepted the offer, and had remitted 33,000 pieces of eight to a correspondent of theirs at Lisbon, to pay for it.

In return, I signed the instrument of sale in the form which they sent from Lisbon, and sent it to my old man, who sent me the bills of exchange for 32,800 pieces of eight for the estate; reserving the payment of 100 moidores a year, to him (the old man) during his life, and 50 moidores afterwards to his son for his life, which I had promised them; and which the plantation was to make good as a rent charge. And thus I have given the first part of a life of fortune and adventure, a life of Providence’s chequer-work, and of a variety which the world will seldom be able to shew the like of: beginning foolishly, but closing much more happily than any part of it ever gave me leave to much as to hope for.

Any one would think, that in this state of complicated good fortune, I was past running any more hazards, and so indeed I had been, if other circumstances had concurred: but I was inured to a wandering life, had no family, nor many relations; nor, however rich, had I contracted much acquaintance; and though I had sold my estate in the Brasils, yet I [page 312] could not keep that country out of my head, and had a great mind to be upon the wing again; especially I could not resist the strong inclination I had to see my island, and to know if the poor Spaniards were in being there; and how the rogues I left there had used them.

My true friend the widow earnestly dissuaded me from it, and so far prevailed with me, that almost for seven years she prevented my running abroad; during which time I took my two nephews, the children of one of my brothers, into my care: the eldest having something of his own, I bred up as a gentleman and gave him a settlement of some addition to his estate, after my decease; the other I put out to a captain of a ship; and after five years, finding him a sensible, bold, enterprising young fellow, I put him into a good ship, and sent him to sea: and this young fellow afterwards drew me in, as old as I was, to farther adventures myself.

In the meantime, I in part settled myself here; for, first of all, I married, and that not either to my disadvantage or dissatisfaction; and had three children, two sons and one daughter: but my wife dying, and my nephew coming home with good success from a voyage to Spain, my inclination to go abroad, and his importunity, prevailed, and engaged me to go in his ship as a private trader to the East Indies. This in the year 1694.

In this voyage I visited my new colony in the island, saw my successors the Spaniards, had the whole story of their lives, and of the villains I left there; how at first they insulted the poor Spaniards, how they afterwards agreed, disagreed, united, separated, and how at last the Spaniards were obliged to use violence with them; how they were subjected to the Spaniards; how honestly the Spaniards used them; an history, if it were entered into, as full of variety and wonderful accidents as my own part: particularly also as to their battles with the Caribbeans, who landed several times upon the island, and as to the improvement they made [page 313] upon the island itself; and how five of them made an attempt upon the main land, and brought away eleven men and five women prisoners; by which, at my coming, I found about twenty young children on the island.

Here I stayed about twenty days; left them supplies of all necessary things, and particularly of arms, powder, shot, clothes, tools, and two workmen, which I brought from England with me; viz. a carpenter and a smith.

Besides this, I shared the lands into parts with them, reserved to myself the property of the whole, but gave them such parts respectively, as they agreed on; and, having settled all things with them, and engaged them not to leave the place, I left them there.

From thence I touched at the Brasils, from whence I sent a bark, which I bought there, with more people to the island; and in it, besides other supplies, I sent seven women, being such as I found proper for service, or for wives to such as would take them. As for the Englishmen, I promised them to send them some women from England, with a good cargo of necessaries, if they would apply themselves to planting; which I afterwards could not perform: the fellows proved very honest and diligent, after they were mastered, and had their properties set apart for them, I sent them also from the Brasils five cows, three of them being big with calf, some sheep, and some hogs, which, when I came again, were considerably increased.

But all these things, with an account how three hundred Caribbees came and invaded them, and ruined their plantations, and how they fought with that whole number twice, and were at first defeated and some of them killed; but at last a storm destroying their enemies’ canoes, they famished or destroyed almost all the rest, and renewed and recovered the possession of their plantation, and still lived upon the island:—

All these things, with some very surprising incidents [page 314] in some new adventures of my own, for ten years more I may, perhaps, give a further account of hereafter.

That homely proverb used on so many occasions in England, viz. “That what is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh,” was never more verified than in the story of my Life. Any one would think, that after thirty-five years affliction, and a variety of unhappy circumstances, which few men, if any, ever went through before, and after near seven years of peace and enjoyment in the fulness of all things; grown old, and when, if ever, it might be allowed me to have had experience of every state of middle life, and to know which was most adapted to make a man completely happy; I say, after all this, any one would have thought that the native propensity to rambling, which I gave an account of in my first setting out into the world to have been so predominant in my thoughts, should be worn out, the volatile part be fully evacuated, or at least condensed, and I might at sixty-one years of age have been a little inclined to stay at home, and have done venturing life and fortune any more.

Nay farther, the common motive of foreign adventures was taken away in me; for I had no fortune to make, I had nothing to seek: if I had gained ten thousand pounds, I had been no richer; for I had already sufficient for me, and for those I had to leave it to, and that I had was visibly increasing; for having no great family, I could not spend the income of what I had, unless I would set up for an expensive way of living, such as a great family, servants, equipage, gaiety, and the like, which were things I had no notion of, or inclination to; so that I had nothing indeed to do, but to sit still, and fully enjoy what I had got, and see it increase daily upon my hands.

Yet all these things, had no effect upon me, or at least not enough to resist the strong inclination I had to go abroad again, which hung about me like a chronical distemper; particularly the desire of seeing my [page 315] new plantation in the island, and the colony I left there, ran in my head continually. I dreamed of it all night, and my imagination ran upon it all day; it was uppermost in all my thoughts, and my fancy worked so steadily and strongly upon it, that I talked of it in my sleep; in short, nothing could remove it out of my mind; it even broke so violently into all my discourses, that it made my conversation tiresome; for I could talk of nothing else, all my discourse ran into it, even to impertinence, and I saw it myself.

I have often heard persons of good judgment say, that all the stir people make in the world about ghosts and apparitions, is owing to the strength of imagination, and the powerful operation of fancy in their minds; that there is no such thing as a spirit appearing, or a ghost walking, and the like; that people’s poring affectionately upon the past conversation of their deceased friends so realizes it to them, that they are capable of fancying upon some extraordinary circumstances that they see them, talk to them, and are answered by them, when, in truth, there is nothing but shadow and vapour in the thing; and they really know nothing of the matter.

For my part, I know not to this hour whether there are any such things as real apparitions, spectres, or walking of people after they are dead, or whether there is any thing in the stories they tell us of that kind, more than the product of vapours, sick minds, and wandering fancies. But this I know, that my imagination worked up to such a height, and brought me into such excess of vapours, or what else I may call it, that I actually supposed myself oftentimes upon the spot, at my old castle behind the trees, saw my old Spaniard, Friday’s father, and the reprobate sailors whom I left upon the island; nay, I fancied I talked with them, and looked at them so steadily, though I was broad awake, as at persons just before me; and this I did till I often frightened myself with the images my fancy represented to me: one time in my sleep I had the villany of the three pirate sailors so [page 316] lively related to me, by the first Spaniard and Friday’s father, that it was surprising; they told me how they barbarously attempted to murder all the Spaniards, and that they set fire to the provisions they had laid up, on purpose to distress and starve them; things that I had never heard of, and that were yet all of them true in fact; but it was so warm in my imagination, and so realized to me, that to the hour I saw them, I could not be persuaded but that it was or would be true; also how I resented it when the Spaniard complained to me, and how I brought them to justice, tried them before me, and ordered them all three to be hanged. What there was really in this, shall be seen in its place; for however I came to form such things in my dream, and what secret converse of spirits injected it, yet there was, I say, very much of it true. I own, that this dream had nothing literally and specifically true; but the general part was so true, the base and villanous behaviour of these three hardened rogues was such, and had been so much worse than all I can describe, that the dream had too much similitude of the fact; and as I would afterwards have punished them severely, so if I had hanged them all, I had been much in the right, and should have been justifiable both by the laws of God and man.

But to return to my story.—In this kind of temper I had lived some years, I had no enjoyment of my life, no pleasant hours, no agreeable diversion but what had something or other of this in it; so that my wife, who saw my mind so wholly bent upon it, told me very seriously one night, that she believed there was some secret powerful impulse of Providence upon me, which had determined me to go thither again; and that she found nothing hindered my going, but my being engaged to a wife and children. She told me, that it was true she could not think of parting with me; but as she was assured, that if she was dead it would be the first thing I would do; so, as it seemed to her that the thing was determined above, she would not be the only obstruction; for if I [page 317] thought fit, and resolved to go—Here she found me very intent upon her words, and that I looked very earnestly at her; so that it a little disordered her, and she stopped. I asked her why she did not go on, and say out what she was going to say? But I perceived her heart was too full, and some tears stood in her eyes: “Speak out, my dear,” said I; “are you willing I should go?”—“No,” says she, very affectionately, “I am far from willing: but if you are resolved to go,” says she, “and rather than I will be the only hindrance, I will go with you; for though I think it a preposterous thing for one of your years, and in your condition, yet if it must be,” said she again, weeping, “I won’t leave you; for if it be of Heaven, you must do it; there is no resisting it; and if Heaven makes it your duty to go, he will also make it mine to go with you, or otherwise dispose of me, that I may not obstruct it.”

This affectionate behaviour of my wife brought me a little out of the vapours, and I began to consider what I was doing; I corrected my wandering fancy, and began to argue with myself sedately, what business I had, after threescore years, and after such a life of tedious sufferings and disasters, and closed in so happy and easy a manner, I say, what business had I to rush into new hazards, and put myself upon adventures, fit only for youth and poverty to run into?

With those thoughts, I considered my new engagement; that I had a wife, one child born, and my wife then great with child of another; that I had all the world could give me and had no need to seek hazards for gain; that I was declining in years, and ought to think rather of leaving what I had gained, than of seeking to increase it; that as to what my wife had said, of its being an impulse from Heaven, and that it should be my duty to go, I had no notion of that; so after many of these cogitations, I struggled with the power of my imagination, reasoned myself out of it, as I believe people may always do in like cases, if they will; and, in a word, I conquered it; [page 318] composed myself with such arguments as occurred to my thoughts, and which my present condition furnished me plentifully with; and particularly, as the most effectual method, I resolved to divert myself with other things, and to engage in some business that might effectually tie me up from any more excursions of this kind; for I found the thing return upon me chiefly when I was idle, had nothing to do, or any thing of moment immediately before me.

To this purpose I bought a little farm in the county of Bedford, and resolved to remove myself thither. I had a little convenient house upon it, and the land about it I found was capable of great improvement, and that it was many ways suited to my inclination, which delighted in cultivating, managing, planting, and improving of land; and particularly, being an inland country, I was removed from conversing among ships, sailors, and things relating to the remote part of the world.

In a word, I went down to my farm, settled my family, bought me ploughs, harrows, a cart, waggon, horses, cows, sheep; and setting seriously to work, became in one half year a mere country gentleman; my thoughts were entirely taken up in managing my servants, cultivating the ground, enclosing, planting, &c.; and I lived, as I thought, the most agreeable life that nature was capable of directing, or that a man always bred to misfortunes was capable of being retreated to.

I farmed upon my own land, I had no rent to pay, was limited by no articles; I could pull up or cut down as I pleased; what I planted was for myself, and what I improved, was for my family; and having thus left off the thoughts of wandering, I had not the least discomfort in any part of my life, as to this world. Now I thought indeed, that I enjoyed the middle state of life which my father so earnestly recommended to me, a kind of heavenly life, something like what is described by the poet upon the subject of a country life:

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Free from vices, free from care,
Age has no pains, and youth no snare.

But in the middle of all this felicity, one blow from unforeseen Providence unhinged me at once; and not only made a breach upon me, inevitable and incurable, but drove me, by its consequence, upon a deep relapse into the wandering disposition; which, as I may say, being born in my very blood, soon recovered its hold of me, and, like the returns of a violent distemper, came on with an irresistible force upon me; so that nothing could make any more impression upon me. This blow was the loss of my wife.

It is not my business here to write an elegy upon my wife, to give a character of her particular virtues, and make my court to the sex by the flattery of a funeral sermon. She was, in a few words, the stay of all my affairs, the centre of all my enterprises, the engine that by her prudence reduced me to that happy compass I was in, from the most extravagant and ruinous project that fluttered in my head as above; and did more to guide my rambling genius, than a mother’s tears, a father’s instructions, a friend’s counsel, or all my own reasoning powers could do. I was happy in listening to her tears, and in being moved by her entreaties, and to the last degree desolate and dislocated in the world by the loss of her.

When she was gone the world looked awkwardly round me, I was as much a stranger in it in my thoughts as I was in the Brasils when I went first on shore there; and as much alone, except as to the assistance of servants, as I was in my island. I knew neither what to do, or what not to do; I saw the world busy round me, one part labouring for bread, and the other part squandering in vile excesses or empty pleasures, equally miserable, because the end they proposed still fled from them; for the men of pleasure every day surfeited of their vice, and heaped up work for sorrow and repentance, and the men of labour spent their strength in daily strugglings for bread to maintain the vital strength they laboured with; so living in [page 320] a daily circulation of sorrow, living but to work, and working but to live, as if daily bread were the only end of a wearisome life, and a wearisome life the only occasion of daily bread.

This put me in mind of the life I lived in my kingdom the island, where I suffered no more corn to grow, because I did not want it; and bred no more goats, because I had no more use for them; where the money lay in the drawer till it grew mildewed, and had scarce the favour to be looked upon in twenty years.

All these things, had I improved them as I ought to have done, and as reason and religion had dictated to me, would have taught me to search farther than human enjoyments for a full felicity, and that there was something which certainly was the reason and end of life, superior to all these things, and which was either to be possessed, or at least hoped for, on this side the grave.

But my sage counsellor was gone, I was like a ship without a pilot, that could only run before the wind; my thoughts run all away again into the old affair, my head was quite turned with the whimsies of foreign adventures; and all the pleasing innocent amusements of my farm and my garden, my cattle and my family, which before entirely possessed me, were nothing to me, had no relish, and were like music to one that has no ear, or food to one that has no taste: in a word, I resolved to leave off housekeeping, let my farm, and return to London; and in a few months after I did so.

When I came to London I was still as uneasy as before; I had no relish to the place, no employment in it, nothing to do but to saunter about like an idle person, of whom it may be said, he is perfectly useless in God’s creation, and it is not one farthing matter to the rest of his kind whether he be dead or alive. This also was the thing which of all circumstances of life was the most my aversion, who had been all my days used to an active life; and I would often say to myself, [page 321] “A state of idleness is the very dregs of life;” and indeed I thought I was much more suitably employed when I was twenty-six days making me a deal board.

It was now the beginning of the year 1693, when my nephew, whom, as I have observed before, I had brought up to the sea, and had made him commander of a ship, was come home from a short voyage to Bilboa, being the first he had made; he came to me, and told me, that some merchants of his acquaintance had been proposing to him to go a voyage for them to the East Indies and to China, as private traders; “And now, uncle,” says he, “if you will go to sea with me, I’ll engage to land you upon your old habitation in the island, for we are to touch at the Brasils.”

Nothing can be a greater demonstration of a future state, and of the existence of an invisible world, than the concurrence of second causes with the ideas of things which we form in our minds, perfectly reserved, and not communicated to any in the world.

My nephew knew nothing how far my distemper of wandering was returned upon me, and I knew nothing of what he had in his thoughts to say, when that very morning, before he came to me, I had, in a great deal of confusion of thought, and revolving every part of my circumstances in my mind, come to this resolution, viz. that I would go to Lisbon, and consult with my old sea-captain; and so, if it was rational and practicable, I would go and see the island again, and see what was become of my people there. I had pleased myself also with the thoughts of peopling the place, and carrying inhabitants from hence, getting a patent for the possession, and I know not what; when in the middle of all this, in comes my nephew, as I have said, with his project of carrying me thither, in his way to the East Indies.

I paused awhile at his words, and looking steadily at him, “What devil,” said I, “sent you of this unlucky errand?” My nephew startled, as if he had been frighted at first; but perceiving I was not much [page 322] displeased with the proposal, he recovered himself. “I hope it may not be an unlucky proposal, Sir,” says he; “I dare say you would be pleased to see your new colony there, where you once reigned with more felicity than most of your brother-monarchs in the world.”

In a word, the scheme hit so exactly with my temper, that is to say, with the prepossession I was under, and of which I have said so much, that I told him, in a few words, if he agreed with the merchants I would go with him: but I told him I would not promise to go any farther than my own island. “Why, Sir,” says he, “you don’t want to be left there again, I hope?”—“Why,” said I, “can you not take me up again in your return?” He told me, it could not be possible that the merchants would allow him to come that way with a loaden ship of such value, it being a month’s sail out of his way, and might be three or four: “Besides, Sir, if I should miscarry,” said he, “and not return at all, then you would be just reduced to the condition you were in before.”

This was very rational; but we both found out a remedy for it, which was to carry a framed sloop on board the ship, which, being taken in pieces and shipped on board the ship, might, by the help of some carpenters, whom we agreed to carry with us, be set up again in the island, and finished, fit to go to sea in a few days.

I was not long resolving; for indeed the importunities of my nephew joined in so effectually with my inclination, that nothing could oppose me: on the other hand, my wife being dead, I had nobody concerned themselves so much for me, as to persuade me one way or other, except my ancient good friend the widow, who earnestly struggled with me to consider my years, my easy circumstances, and the needless hazard of a long voyage; and, above all, my young children: but it was all to no purpose; I had an irresistible desire to the voyage; and I told her I thought there was something so uncommon in the impressions [page 323] I had upon my mind for the voyage, that it would be a kind of resisting Providence, if I should attempt to stay at home; after which she ceased her expostulations, and joined with me, not only in making provision for my voyage, but also in settling my family affairs in my absence, and providing for the education of my children.

In order to this I made my will, and settled the estate I had in such a manner for my children, and placed in such hands, that I was perfectly easy and satisfied they would have justice done them, whatever might befal me; and for their education, I left it wholly to my widow, with a sufficient maintenance to herself for her care: all which she richly deserved; for no mother could have taken more care in their education, or understood it better; and as she lived till I came home, I also lived to thank her for it.

My nephew was ready to sail about the beginning of January 1694—5, and I with my man Friday went on board in the Downs the 8th, having, besides that sloop which I mentioned above, a very considerable cargo of all kinds of necessary things for my colony, which if I did not find in good condition, I resolved to leave so.

First, I carried with me some servants, whom I purposed to place there as inhabitants, or at least to set on work there upon my own account while I stayed, and either to leave them there, or carry them forward, as they should appear willing; particularly, I carried two carpenters, a smith, and a very handy, ingenious fellow, who was a cooper by trade, but was also a general mechanic; for he was dexterous at making wheels, and hand-mills to grind corn, was a good turner, and a good potmaker; he also made any thing that was proper to make of earth, or of wood; in a word, we called him our Jack of all Trades.

With these I carried a tailor, who had offered himself to go passenger to the East Indies with my nephew, but afterwards consented to stay on our new plantation, and proved a most necessary handy fellow [page 324] as could be desired, in many other businesses besides that of this trade; for, as I observed formerly, necessity arms us for all employments.

My cargo, as near as I can recollect, for I have not kept an account of the particulars, consisted of a sufficient quantity of linen, and some thin English stuffs for clothing the Spaniards that I expected to find there, and enough of them as by my calculation might comfortably supply them for seven years: if I remember right, the materials which I carried for clothing them, with gloves, hats, shoes, stockings, and all such things as they could want for wearing, amounted to above two hundred pounds, including some beds, bedding, and household-stuff, particularly kitchen utensils, with pots, kettles, pewter, brass, &c. besides near a hundred pounds more in iron-work, nails, tools of every kind, staples, hooks, hinges, and every necessary thing I could think of.

I carried also a hundred spare arms, muskets, and fuzees, besides some pistols, a considerable quantity of shot of all sizes, three or four tons of lead, and two pieces of brass cannon; and because I knew not what time and what extremities I was providing for, I carried an hundred barrels of powder, besides swords, cutlasses, and the iron part of some pikes and halberts; so that, in short, we had a large magazine of all sorts of stores; and I made my nephew carry two small quarter-deck guns more than he wanted for his ship, to leave behind if there was occasion; that when they came there we might build a fort, and man it against all sorts of enemies: and indeed I at first thought there would be need enough of it all, and much more, if we hoped to maintain our possession of the island, as shall be seen in the course of the story.

I had not such bad luck in this voyage as I had been used to meet with; and therefore shall have the less occasion to interrupt the reader, who perhaps may be impatient to hear how matters went with my colony; yet some odd accidents, cross winds, and bad weather happened on this first setting out, which made the voyage longer than I expected it at first; and I, who had never made but one voyage, viz. my first [page 325] voyage to Guinea, in which I might be said to come back again as the voyage was at first designed, began to think the same ill fate still attended me; and that I was born to be never contented with being on shore, and yet to be always unfortunate at sea.

Contrary winds first put us to the northward, and we were obliged to put in at Galway, in Ireland, where we lay wind bound two-and-thirty days; but we had this satisfaction with the disaster, that provisions were here, exceeding cheap, and in the utmost plenty; so that while we lay here we never touched the ship’s stores, but rather added to them: here also I took several hogs, and two cows with their calves, which I resolved, if I had a good passage, to put on shore in my island; but we found occasion to dispose otherwise of them.

We set out the 5th of February from Ireland, and had a very fair gale of wind for some days; as I remember, it might be about the 20th of February in the evening late, when the mate having the watch, came into the round-house, and told us he saw a flash of fire, and heard a gun fired; and while he was telling us of it, a boy came in, and told us the boatswain heard another. This made us all run out upon the quarter-deck, where for a while we heard nothing, but in a few minutes we saw a very great light, and found that there was some very terrible fire at a distance. Immediately we had recourse to our reckonings, in which we all agreed that there could be no land that way in which the fire shewed itself, no, not for five hundred leagues, for it appeared at W.N.W. Upon this we concluded it must be some ship on fire at sea; and as by our hearing the noise of guns just before, we concluded it could not be far off, we stood directly towards it, and were presently satisfied we should discover it, because the farther we sailed the greater the light appeared, though the weather being hazy we could not perceive any thing but the light for a while; [page 326] in about half an hour’s sailing, the wind being fair for us, though not much of it, and the weather clearing up a little, we could plainly discern that it was a great ship on fire in the middle of the sea.

I was most sensibly touched with this disaster, though not at all acquainted with the persons engaged in it; I presently recollected my former circumstances, in what condition I was in when taken up by the Portugal captain; and how much more deplorable the circumstances of the poor creatures belonging to this ship must be if they had no other ship in company with them: upon this I immediately ordered that five guns should be fired, one soon after another, that, if possible, we might give notice to them that there was help for them at hand, and that they might endeavour to save themselves in their boat; for though we could see the flame in the ship, yet they, it being night, could see nothing of us.

We lay by some time upon this, only driving as the burning ship drove, waiting for daylight; when on a sudden, to our great terror, though we had reason to expect it, the ship blew up in the air, and immediately sunk. This was terrible, and indeed an afflicting sight, for the sake of the poor men, who, I concluded, must be either all destroyed in the ship, or be in the utmost distress in their boats in the middle of the ocean, which, at present, by reason it was dark, I could not see: however, to direct them as well as I could, I caused lights to be hung out in all the parts of the ship where we could, and which we had lanterns for, and kept firing guns all the night long; letting them know by this, that there was a ship not far off.

About eight o’clock in the morning we discovered the ship’s boats, by the help of our perspective-glasses; and found there were two of them, both thronged with people, and deep in the water; we perceived they rowed, the wind being against them; that they saw our ship, and did the utmost to make us see them.

We immediately spread our ancient, to let them [page 327] know we saw them; and hung a waft out, as a signal for them to come on board; and then made more sail, standing directly to them. In a little more than half an hour we came up with them, and in a word took them all in, being no less than sixty-four men, women, and children; for there were a great many passengers.

Upon the whole, we found it was a French merchant-ship of three hundred tons, homeward-bound from Quebec, in the river of Canada. The master gave us a long account of the distress of his ship, how the fire began in the steerage by the negligence of the steersman; but, on his crying out for help, was, as everybody thought, entirely put out: but they soon found that some sparks of the first fire had gotten into some part of the ship, so difficult to come at, that they could not effectually quench it; and afterwards getting in between the timbers, and within the ceiling of the ship, it proceeded into the hold, and mastered all the skill and all the application they were able to exert.

They had no more to do then but to get into their boats, which, to their great comfort, were pretty large; being their long-boat, and a great shallop, besides a small skiff, which was of no great service to them, other than to get some fresh water and provisions into her, after they had secured themselves from the fire. They had indeed small hope of their lives by getting into these boats at that distance from any land; only, as they said well, that they were escaped from the fire, and had a possibility, that some ship might happen to be at sea, and might take them in. They had sails, oars, and a compass; and were preparing to make the best of their way to Newfoundland, the wind blowing pretty fair; for it blew an easy gale at S.E. by E. They had as much provisions and water, as, with sparing it so as to be next door to starving, might support them about twelve days; in which, if they had no bad weather, and no contrary winds, the captain said, he hoped he might get to the [page 328] banks of Newfoundland, and might perhaps take some fish to sustain them till they might go on shore. But there were so many chances against them in all these cases; such as storms to overset and founder them; rains and cold to benumb and perish their limbs; contrary winds to keep them out and starve them; that it must have been next to miraculous if they had escaped.

In the midst of their consultations, every one being hopeless, and ready to despair, the captain with tears in his eyes told me, they were on a sudden surprised with the joy of hearing a gun fire, and after that four more; these were the five guns which I caused to be fired at first seeing the light: this revived their hearts, and gave them the notice which, as above, I designed it should, viz. that there was a ship at hand for their help.

It was upon the hearing these guns, that they took down their masts and sails; and the sound coming from the windward, they resolved to lie by till morning. Some time after this, hearing no more guns, they fired three muskets, one a considerable while after another; but these, the wind being contrary, we never heard.

Some time after that again, they were still more agreeably surprised with seeing our lights, and hearing the guns, which, as I have said, I caused to be fired all the rest of the night: this set them to work with their oars to keep their boats ahead, at least that we might the sooner come up with them; and at last, to their inexpressible joy, they found we saw them.

It is impossible for me to express the several gestures, the strange ecstasies, the variety of postures, which these poor delivered people ran into, to express the joy of their souls at so unexpected a deliverance; grief and fear are easily described; sighs, tears, groans, and a very few motions of head and hands, make up the sum of its variety: but an excess of joy, a surprise of joy, has a thousand extravagances in it; there were some in tears, some raging and tearing themselves, [page 329] as if they had been in the greatest agonies of sorrow; some stark raving and downright lunatic; some ran about the ship stamping with their feet, others wringing their hands; some were dancing, several singing, some laughing, more crying; many quite dumb, not able to speak a word; others sick and vomiting, several swooning, and ready to faint; and a few were crossing themselves and giving God thanks.

I would not wrong them neither; there might be many that were thankful afterward; but the passion was too strong for them at first, and they were not able to master it; they were thrown into ecstasies and a kind of frenzy, and so there were but a very few who were composed and serious in their joy.

Perhaps also the case may have some addition to it, from the particular circumstance of the nation they belonged to; I mean the French, whose temper is allowed to be more volatile, more passionate, and more sprightly, and their spirits more fluid, than of other nations. I am not philosopher to determine the cause, but nothing I had ever seen before came up to it: the ecstasies poor Friday, my trusty savage, was in, when he found his father in the boat, came the nearest to it; and the surprise of the master, and his two companions, whom I delivered from the two villains that set them on shore in the island, came a little way towards it; but nothing was to compare to this, either that I saw in Friday, or any where else in my life.

It is farther observable, that these extravagances did not shew themselves in that different manner I have mentioned, in different persons only: but all the variety would appear in a short succession of moments, in one and the same person. A man that we saw this minute dumb, and, as it were, stupid and confounded, should the next minute be dancing and hallooing like an antic; and the next moment a-tearing his hair, or pulling his clothes to pieces, and stamping them under his feet like a madman; a few minutes after that, we should have him all in tears, then sick, then swooning; and had not immediate help been [page 330] had, would in a few moments more have been dead; and thus it was, not with one or two, or ten or twenty, but with the greatest part of them; and, if I remember right, our surgeon was obliged to let above thirty of them blood.

There were two priests among them, one an old man, and the other a young man; and that which was strangest was, that the oldest man was the worst.

As soon as he set his foot on board our ship, and saw himself safe, he dropped down stone dead, to all appearance; not the least sign of life could be perceived in him; our surgeon immediately applied proper remedies to recover him; and was the only man in the ship that believed he was not dead: and at length he opened a vein in his arm, having first chafed and rubbed the part, so as to warm it as much as possible: upon this the blood, which only dropped at first, flowed something freely; in three minutes after the man opened his eyes; and about a quarter of an hour after that he spoke, grew better, and, in a little time, quite well; after the blood was stopped he walked about, told us he was perfectly well, took a dram of cordial which the surgeon gave him, and was, what we called, come to himself; about a quarter of an hour after this they came running into the cabin to the surgeon, who was bleeding a French woman that had fainted, and told him the priest was gone stark mad. It seems he had begun to revolve the change of his circumstances in his mind, and this put him into an ecstasy of joy: his spirits whirled about faster than the vessels could convey them; the blood grew hot and feverish; and the man was as fit for Bedlam as any creature that ever was in it; the surgeon would not bleed him again in that condition, but gave him something to doze and put him to sleep, which, after some time, operated upon him, and he waked next morning perfectly composed and well.

The younger priest behaved himself with great command of his passion, and was really an example of a serious, well-governed mind; at his first coming on [page 331] board the ship, he threw himself flat on his face, prostrating himself in thankfulness for his deliverance; in which I unhappily and unseasonably disturbed him, really thinking he had been in a swoon: but he spoke calmly; thanked me; told me he was giving God thanks for his deliverance; begged me to leave him a few moments, and that next to his Maker he would give me thanks also.

I was heartily sorry that I disturbed him, and not only left him, but kept others from interrupting him also; he continued in that posture about three minutes, or a little more, after I left him, then came to me, as he had said he would, and with a great deal of seriousness and affection, but with tears in his eyes, thanked me that had, under God, given him and so many miserable creatures their lives: I told him, I had no room to move him to thank God for it rather than me; for I had seen that he had done that already: but I added, that it was nothing but what reason and humanity dictated to all men, and that we had as much reason as he to give thanks to God, who had blessed us so far as to make us the instruments of his mercy to so many of his creatures.

After this the young priest applied himself to his country-folks; laboured to compose them; persuaded, entreated, argued, reasoned with them, and did his utmost to keep them within the exercise of their reason; and with some he had success, though others were, for a time, out of all government of themselves.

I cannot help committing this to writing, as perhaps it may be useful to those into whose hands it may fall, in the guiding themselves in all the extravagances of their passions; for if an excess of joy can carry men out to such a length beyond the reach of their reason, what will not the extravagances of anger, rage, and a provoked mind, carry us to? And, indeed, here I saw reason for keeping an exceeding watch over our passions of every kind, as well those of joy and satisfaction, as those of sorrow and anger.

We were something disordered by these [page 332] extravagances among our new guests for the first day; but when they had been retired, lodgings provided for them as well as our ship would allow, and they had slept heartily, as most of them did, being fatigued and frightened, they were quite another sort of people the next day.

Nothing of good manners, or civil acknowledgments for the kindness shown them, was wanting; the French, it is known, are naturally apt enough to exceed that way. The captain and one of the priests came to me the next day; and, desiring to speak with me and my nephew, the commander, began to consult with us what should be done with them; and first they told us, that as we had saved their lives, so all they had was little enough for a return to us for the kindness received. The captain said, they had saved some money, and some things of value in their boats, catched hastily out of the flames: and if we would accept it, they were ordered to make an offer of it all to us; they only desired to be set on shore somewhere in our way, where, if possible, they might get a passage to France.

My nephew was for accepting their money at first word, and to consider what to do with them afterwards; but I overruled him in that part; for I knew what it was to be set on shore in a strange country; and if the Portugal captain that took me up at sea had served me so, and took all I had for my deliverance, I must have starved, or have been as much a slave at the Brasils as I had been at Barbary, the being sold to a Mahometan only excepted; and perhaps a Portuguese is not a much better master than a Turk, if not, in some cases, a much worse.

I therefore told the French captain that we had taken them up in their distress, it was true; but that it was our duty to do so, as we were fellow-creatures, and as we would desire to be so delivered, if we were in the like or any other extremity; that we had done nothing for them but what we believed they would have done for us if we had been in their case and they [page 333] in ours; but that we took them up to serve them, not to plunder them; and that it would be a most barbarous thing, to take that little from them which they had saved out of the fire, and then set them on shore and leave them; that this would be first to save them from death and then kill them ourselves; save them from drowning and then abandon them to starving; and therefore I would not let the least thing be taken from them: as to setting them on shore, I told them indeed that was an exceeding difficulty to us, for that the ship was bound to the East Indies; and though we were driven out of our course to the westward a very great way, which perhaps was directed by Heaven on purpose for their deliverance, yet it was impossible for us wilfully to change our voyage on this particular account; nor could my nephew, the captain, answer it to the freighters, with whom he was under charter-party to pursue his voyage by the way of Brasil; and all I knew he could do for them was, to put ourselves in the way of meeting with other ships homeward-bound from the West Indies, and get them passage, if possible, to England or France.

The first part of the proposal was so generous and kind, they could not but be very thankful for it; but they were in a great consternation, especially the passengers, at the notion of being carried away to the East Indies: they then entreated me, that seeing I was driven so far to the westward before I met with them, I would at least keep on the same course to the banks of Newfoundland, where it was possible I might meet some ship or sloop that they might hire to carry them back to Canada, from whence they came.

I thought this was but a reasonable request on their part, and therefore I inclined to agree to it; for indeed I considered, that to carry this whole company to the East Indies would not only be an intolerable severity to the poor people, but would be ruining our voyage by devouring all our provisions; so I thought it no breach of charter-party, but what an unforeseen accident made absolutely necessary to us; [page 334] and in which no one could say we were to blame; for the laws of God and nature would have forbid, that we should refuse to take up two boats full of people in such a distressed condition; and the nature of the thing, as well respecting ourselves as the poor people, obliged us to see them on shore somewhere or other, for their deliverance; so I consented that we would carry them to Newfoundland, if wind and weather would permit; and, if not, that I would carry them to Martinico in the West Indies.

The wind continued fresh easterly, but the weather pretty good; and as it had blowed continually in the points between N.E. and S.E. a long time, we missed several opportunities of sending them to France; for we met several ships bound to Europe, whereof two were French, from St. Christopher’s; but they had been so long beating up against the wind, that they durst take in no passengers for fear of wanting provisions for the voyage, as well for themselves as for those they should take in; so we were obliged to go on. It was about a week after this, that we made the banks of Newfoundland, where, to shorten my story, we put all our French people on board a bark, which they hired at sea there, to put them on shore, and afterwards to carry them to France, if they could get provisions to victual themselves with: when, I say, all the French went on shore, I should remember that the young priest I spoke of, hearing we were bound to the East Indies, desired to go the voyage with us, and to be set on shore on the coast of Coromandel: I readily agreed to that; for I wonderfully liked the man, and had very good reason, as will appear afterwards; also four of the seamen entered themselves in our ship, and proved very useful fellows.

From hence we directed our course for the West Indies, steering away S. and S. by E. for about twenty days together, sometimes little or no wind at all, when we met with another subject for our humanity to work upon, almost as deplorable as that before.

It was in the latitude of 27 degrees 5 minutes N. [page 335] and the 19th day of March 1684—5, when we espied a sail, our course S.E. and by S. We soon perceived it was a large vessel, and that she bore up to us; but could not at first know what to make of her, till, after coming a little nearer, we found she had lost her main-topmast, fore-mast, and bowsprit; and presently she fires a gun as a signal of distress. The weather was pretty good, wind at N.N.W. a fresh gale, and we soon came to speak with her.

We found her a ship of Bristol bound home from Barbadoes, but had been blown out of the road at Barbadoes, a few days before she was ready to sail, by a terrible hurricane, while the captain and chief mate were both gone on shore; so that beside the terror of the storm, they were but in an indifferent case for good artists to bring the ship home; they had been already nine weeks at sea, and had met with another terrible storm after the hurricane was over, which had blown them quite out of their knowledge to the westward, and in which they had lost their masts, as above; they told us, they expected to have seen the Bahama Islands, but were then driven away again to the south-east by a strong gale of wind at N.N.W. the same that blew now, and having no sails to work the ship with, but a main-course, and a kind of square sail upon a jury-foremast, which they had set up, they could not lie near the wind, but were endeavouring to stand away for the Canaries.

But that which was worst of all, was, that they were almost starved for want of provisions, besides the fatigues they had undergone; their bread and flesh was quite gone, they had not an ounce left in the ship, and had had none for eleven days; the only relief they had, was, their water was not all spent, and they had about half a barrel of flour left; they had sugar enough; some succades or sweetmeats they had at first, but they were devoured; and they had seven casks of rum.

There was a youth and his mother, and a maid-servant, on board, who were going passengers, and [page 336] thinking the ship was ready to sail, unhappily came on board the evening before the hurricane began; and having no provisions of their own left, they were in a more deplorable condition than the rest; for the seamen, being reduced to such an extreme necessity themselves, had no compassion, we may be sure, for the poor passengers; and they were indeed in a condition that their misery is very hard to describe.

I had perhaps not known this part, if my curiosity had not led me, the weather being fair, and the wind abated, to go on board the ship: the second mate, who upon this occasion commanded the ship, had been on board our ship; and he told me indeed, that they had three passengers in the great cabin, that they were in a deplorable condition; “Nay,” says he, “I believe they are dead, for I have heard nothing of them for above two days; and I was afraid to inquire after them,” said he, “for I had nothing to relieve them with.”

We immediately applied ourselves to give them what relief we could spare; and indeed I had so far overruled things with my nephew, that I would have victualled them, though we had gone away to Virginia, or any part of the coast of America, to have supplied ourselves; but there was no necessity for that.

But now they were in a new danger, for they were afraid of eating too much, even of that little we gave them. The mate or commander brought six men with him in his boat, but these poor wretches looked like skeletons, and were so weak they could hardly sit to their oars; the mate himself was very ill, and half-starved, for he declared he had reserved nothing from the men, and went share and share alike with them in every bit they ate.

I cautioned him to eat sparingly, but set meat before him immediately, and he had not eaten three mouthfuls before he began to be sick, and out of order; so he stopped awhile, and our surgeon mixed him up something with some broth, which he said would be to him both food and physic; and after he [page 337] had taken it, he grew better: in the meantime I forgot not the men; I ordered victuals to be given them, and the poor creatures rather devoured than ate it; they were so exceeding hungry, that they were in a manner ravenous, and had no command of themselves; and two of them ate with so much greediness, that they were in danger of their lives the next morning.

The sight of these people’s distress was very moving to me, and brought to mind what I had a terrible respect of at my first coming on shore in my island, where I had not the least mouthful of food, or any hopes of procuring it; besides the hourly apprehension I had of being made the food of other creatures. But all the while the mate was thus relating to me the miserable condition of the ship’s company, I could not put out of my thought the story he had told me of the three poor creatures in the great cabin; viz. the mother, her son, and the maid-servant, whom he had heard nothing of for two or three days; and whom he seemed to confess they had wholly neglected, their own extremities being so great; by which I understood that they had really given them no food at all; and that therefore they must be perished, and be all lying dead perhaps on the floor or deck of the cabin.

As I therefore kept the mate, whom we then called captain, on board with his men to refresh them, so I also forgot not the starving crew that were left on board, but ordered my own boat to go on board the ship and with my mate and twelve men to carry them a sack of bread, and four or five pieces of beef to boil. Our surgeon charged the men to cause the meat to be boiled while they stayed, and to keep guard in the cook-room, to prevent the men’s taking it to eat raw, or taking it out of the pot before it was well boiled, and then to give every man but a little at a time; and by this caution he preserved the men, who would otherwise have killed themselves with that very [page 338] food that was given them on purpose to save their lives.

At the same time I ordered the mate to go into the great cabin, and see what condition the poor passengers were in, and, if they were alive, to comfort them and give them what refreshment was proper; and the surgeon gave him a large pitcher with some of the prepared broth which he had given the mate that was on board, and which he did not question would restore them gradually.

I was not satisfied with this; but, as I said above, having a great mind to see the scene of misery, which I knew the ship itself would present me with, in a more lively manner than I could have it by report, I took the captain of the ship, as we now called him, with me, and went myself a little after in their boat.

I found the poor men on board almost in a tumult to get the victuals out of the boiler before it was ready; but my mate observed his order, and kept a good guard at the cook-room door; and the man he placed there, after using all possible persuasion to have patience, kept them off by force: however, he caused some biscuit cakes to be dipped in the pot, and softened them with the liquor of the meat, which they call brewis, and gave every one one, to stay their stomachs, and told them it was for their own safety that he was obliged to give them but little at a time. But it was all in vain, and had I not come on board, and their own commander and officers with me, and with good words, and some threats also of giving them no more, I believe they would have broke into the cook-room by force, and torn the meat out of the furnace; for words indeed are of a very small force to an hungry belly: however, we pacified them, and fed them gradually and cautiously for the first time, and the next time gave them more, and at last filled their bellies, and the men did well enough.

But the misery of the poor passengers in the cabin was of another nature, and far beyond the rest; for [page 339] as, first, the ship’s company had so little for themselves, it was but too true, that they had at first kept them very low, and at last totally neglected them; so that for six or seven days, it might be said, they had really had no food at all, and for several days before, very little.

The poor mother, who, as the first mate reported, was a woman of good sense and good breeding, had spared all she could get so affectionately for her son, that at last she entirely sunk under it; and when the mate of our ship went in, she sat upon the floor or deck, with her back up against the sides, between two chairs, which were lashed fast, and her head sunk in between her shoulders, like a corpse, though not quite dead. My mate said all he could to revive and encourage her, and with a spoon put some broth into her mouth; she opened her lips, and lifted up one hand, but could not speak: yet she understood what he said, and made signs to him, intimating, that it was too late for her; but pointed to her child, as if she would have said, they should take care of him.

However, the mate, who was exceedingly moved with the sight, endeavoured to get some of the broth into her mouth; and, as he said, got two or three spoonfuls down, though I question whether he could be sure of it or not; but it was too late, and she died the same night.

The youth, who was preserved at the price of his most affectionate mother’s life, was not so far gone; yet he lay in a cabin-bed as one stretched out, with hardly any life left in him; he had a piece of an old glove in his mouth, having eaten up the rest of it; however, being young, and having more strength than his mother, the mate got something down his throat, and he began sensibly to revive, though, by giving him some time after but two or three spoonfuls extraordinary, he was very sick, and brought it up again.

But the next care was the poor maid; she lay all along upon the deck hard by her mistress, and just like one that had fallen down with an apoplexy, and [page 340] struggled for life: her limbs were distorted, one of her hands was clasped round the frame of one chair, and she griped it so hard, that we could not easily make her let it go; her other arm lay over her head, and her feet lay both together, set fast against the frame of the cabin-table; in short, she lay just like one in the last agonies of death; and yet she was alive too.

The poor creature was not only starved with hunger, and terrified with the thoughts of death, but, as the men told us afterwards, was broken-hearted for her mistress, whom she saw dying two or three days before, and whom she loved most tenderly.

We knew not what to do with this poor girl; for when our surgeon, who was a man of very great knowledge and experience, and with great application recovered her as to life, he had her upon his hand as to her senses, for she was little less than distracted for a considerable time after; as shall appear presently.

Whoever shall read these memorandums, must be desired to consider, that visits at sea are not like a journey into the country, where sometimes people stay a week or a fortnight at a place. Our business was to relieve this distressed ship’s crew, but not lie by for them; and though they were willing to steer the same course with us for some days, yet we could carry no sail to keep pace with a ship that had no masts: however, as their captain begged of us to help him to set up a main-topmast, and a kind of topmast to his jury-foremast, we did, as it were, lie by him for three or four days, and then having given him five barrels of beef and pork, two hogsheads of biscuit, and a proportion of peas, flour, and what other things we could spare; and taking three casks of sugar and some rum, and some pieces of eight of them for satisfaction, we left them, taking on board with us, at their own earnest request, the youth and the maid, and all their goods.

The young lad was about seventeen years of age, a pretty, well-bred, modest, and sensible youth; greatly dejected with the loss of his mother, and, as it happened [page 341] had lost his father but a few months before at Barbados. He begged of the surgeon to speak to me, to take him out of the ship; for he said, the cruel fellows had murdered his mother; and indeed so they had, that is to say, passively; for they might have spared a small sustenance to the poor helpless widow, that might have preserved her life, though it had been just to keep her alive. But hunger knows no friend, no relation, no justice, no right; and therefore is remorseless, and capable of no compassion.

The surgeon told him how far we were going, and how it would carry him away from all his friends, and put him perhaps in as bad circumstance, almost, as we found them in; that is to say, starving in the world. He said it mattered not whither he went, if he was but delivered from the terrible crew that he was among: that the captain (by which he meant me, for he could know nothing of my nephew) had saved his life, and he was sure would not hurt him; and as for the maid, he was sure, if she came to herself, she would be very thankful for it, let us carry them whither we would. The surgeon represented the case so affectionately to me, that I yielded, and we took them both on board with all their goods, except eleven hogsheads of sugar, which could not be removed, or come at; and as the youth had a bill of lading for them, I made his commander sign a writing, obliging him to go, as soon as he came to Bristol, to one Mr. Rogers, a merchant there, to whom the youth said he was related, and to deliver a letter which I wrote to him, and all the goods he had belonging to the deceased widow; which I suppose was not done; for I could never learn that the ship came to Bristol; but was, as is most probable, lost at sea, being in so disabled a condition, and so far from any land, that I am of opinion, the first storm she met with afterwards she might founder in the sea; for she was leaky, and had damage in her hold when I met with her.

I was now in the latitude of 19 deg. 32 min. and had hitherto had a tolerable voyage as to weather, [page 342] though at first the winds had been contrary. I shall trouble nobody with the little incidents of wind, weather, currents, &c. on the rest of our voyage; but, shortening my story for the sake of what is to follow, shall observe, that I came to my old habitation, the island, on the 10th of April, 1695. It was with no small difficulty that I found the place; for as I came to it, and went from it before, on the south and east side of the island, as coming from the Brasils; so now coming in between the main and the island, and having no chart for the coast, nor any land-mark, I did not know it when I saw it, or know whether I saw it or no.

We beat about a great while, and went on shore on several islands in the mouth of the great river Oroonoque, but none for my purpose: only this I learnt by my coasting the shore, that I was under one great mistake before, viz. that the continent which I thought I saw from the island I lived in, was really no continent, but a long island, or rather a ridge of islands reaching from one to the other side of the extended mouth of that great river; and that the savages who came to my island, were not properly those which we call Caribbees, but islanders, and other barbarians of the same kind, who inhabited something nearer to our side than the rest.

In short, I visited several of the islands to no purpose; some I found were inhabited, and some were not. On one of them I found some Spaniards, and thought they had lived there; but speaking with them, found they had a sloop lay in a small creek hard by, and that they came thither to make salt, and catch some pearl-muscles, if they could; but they belonged to the Isle de Trinidad, which lay farther north, in the latitude of 10 and 11 degrees.

Thus coasting from one island to another, sometimes with the ship, sometimes with the Frenchman’s shallop (which we had found a convenient boat, and therefore kept her with their very good will,) at length I came fair on the south side of my island, and I [page 343] presently knew the very countenance of the place; so I brought the ship safe to an anchor broadside with the little creek where was my old habitation.

As soon as I saw the place, I called for Friday, and asked him, if he knew where he was? He looked about a little, and presently clapping his hands, cried, “O yes, O there, O yes, O there!” pointing to our old habitation, and fell a-dancing and capering like a mad fellow; and I had much ado to keep him from jumping into the sea, to swim ashore to the place.

“Well, Friday,” said I, “do you think we shall find any body here, or no? and what do you think, shall we see your father?” The fellow stood mute as a stock a good while; but when I named his father, the poor affectionate creature looked dejected; and I could see the tears run down his face very plentifully. “What is the matter, Friday?” said I; “are you troubled because you may see your father”—“No, no,” says he, shaking his head, “no see him more, no ever more see again.”—“Why so,” said I, “Friday? how do you know that?”—“O no, O no,” says Friday, “he long ago die; long ago, he much old man.”—“Well, well,” said I, “Friday, you don’t know; but shall we see any one else then?” The fellow, it seems, had better eyes than I, and he points just to the hill above my old house; and though we lay half a league off, he cries out, “Me see! me see! yes, yes, me see much man there, and there, and there.” I looked, but I could see nobody, no, not with a perspective-glass; which was, I suppose, because I could not hit the place; for the fellow was right, as I found upon inquiry the next day, and there were five or six men all together stood to look at the ship, not knowing what to think of us.

As soon as Friday had told me he saw people, I caused the English ancient to be spread, and fired three guns, to give them notice we were friends; and about half a quarter of an hour after, we perceived a smoke rise from the side of the creek; so I immediately ordered a boat out, taking Friday with me; and [page 344] hanging out a white flag, or a flag of truce, I went directly on shore, taking with me the young friar I mentioned, to whom I had told the whole story of living there, and the manner of it, and every particular both of myself and those that I left there, and who was on that account extremely desirous to go with me, We had besides about sixteen men very well armed, if we had found any new guest there which we did not know of; but we had no need of weapons.

As we went on shore upon the tide of flood near high water, we rowed directly into the creek; and the first man I fixed my eye upon was the Spaniard whose life I had saved, and whom I knew by his face perfectly well; as to his habit, I shall describe it afterwards. I ordered nobody to go on shore at first but myself; but there was no keeping Friday in the boat; for the affectionate creature had spied his father at a distance, a good way off of the Spaniards, where indeed I saw nothing of him; and if they had not let him go on shore he would have jumped into the sea. He was no sooner on shore, but he flew away to his father like an arrow out of a bow. It would have made any man shed tears in spite of the firmest resolution to have seen the first transports of this poor fellow’s joy, when he came to his father; how he embraced him, kissed him, stroked his face, took him in his arms, set him down upon a tree, and lay down by him; then stood and looked at him as any one would look at a strange picture, for a quarter of an hour together; then lay down upon the ground, and stroked his legs, and kissed them, and then got up again, and stared at him; one would have thought the fellow bewitched: but it would have made a dog laugh to see how the next day his passion run out another way: in the morning he walked along the shore to and again, with his father, several hours, always leading him by the hand as if he had been a lady and every now and then would come to fetch something or other for him from the boat, either a lump of sugar, or a dram, a biscuit, or something or other that [page 345] was good. In the afternoon his frolics ran another way; for then he would set the old man down upon the ground, and dance about him, and made a thousand antic postures and gestures; and all the while he did this he would be talking to him, and telling him one story or another of his travels, and of what had happened to him abroad, to divert him. In short, if the same filial affection was to be found in Christians to their parents in our parts of the world, one would be tempted to say there hardly would have been any need of the fifth commandment.

But this is a digression; I return to my landing. It would be endless to take notice of all the ceremonies and civilities that the Spaniards received me with. The first Spaniard whom, as I said, I knew very well, was he whose life I saved; he came towards the boat attended by one more, carrying a flag of truce also; and he did not only not know me at first, but he had no thoughts, no notion, of its being me that was come til I spoke to him. “Seignior,” said I, in Portuguese, “do you not know me?” At which he spoke not a word; but giving his musket to the man that was with him, threw his arms abroad, and saying something in Spanish that I did not perfectly hear, came forward, and embraced me, telling me, he was inexcusable not to know that face again that he had once seen, as of an angel from Heaven sent to save his life: he said abundance of very handsome things, as a well-bred Spaniard always knows how: and then beckoning to the person that attended him, bade him go and call out his comrades. He then asked me if I would walk to my old habitation, where he would give me possession of my own house again, and where I should see there, had been but mean improvements; so I walked along with him; but alas! I could no more find the place again than if I had never been there; for they had planted so many trees, and placed them in such a posture, so thick and close to one another, in ten years time they were grown so big, that, in [page 346] short, the place was inaccessible, except by such windings and blind ways as they themselves only who made them could find.

I asked them, what put them upon all these fortifications? He told me, I would say there was need enough of it, when they had given an account how they had passed their time since their arriving in the island, especially after they had the misfortune to find that I was gone: he told me he could not but have some satisfaction in my good fortune, when he heard that I was gone in a good ship, and to my satisfaction; and that he had oftentimes a strong persuasion that one time or other he should see me again: but nothing that ever befel him in his life, he said, was so surprising and afflicting to him at first, as the disappointment he was under when he came back to the island, and found I was not there.

As to the three barbarians (so he called them) that were left behind, and of whom he said he had a long story to tell me; the Spaniards all thought themselves much better among the savages, only that their number was so small. “And,” says he, “had they been strong enough, we had been all long ago in purgatory,” and with that he crossed himself upon the breast. But, Sir,” says he, “I hope you will not be displeased, when I shall tell you how, forced by necessity, we were obliged, for our own preservation, to disarm them, and making them our subjects, who would not be content with being moderately our masters, but would be our murderers.” I answered, I was heartily afraid of it when I left them there; and nothing troubled me at my parting from the island, but that they were not come back, that I might have put them in possession of every thing first, and left the other in a state of subjection, as they deserved; but if they had reduced them to it, I was very glad, and should be very far from finding any fault with it; for I knew they were a parcel of refractory, ungovernable villains, and were fit for any manner of mischief.

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While I was saying this came the man whom he had sent back, and with him eleven men more: in the dress they were in, it was impossible to guess what nation they were of; but he made all clear both to them and to me. First he turned to me, and pointing to them, said, “These, Sir, are some of the gentlemen who owe their lives to you;” and then turning to them, and pointing to me, he let them know who I was; upon which they all came up one by one, not as if they had been sailors, and ordinary fellows, and I the like, but really as if they had been ambassadors or noblemen, and I a monarch or a great conqueror: their behaviour was to the last degree obliging and courteous, and yet mixed with a manly majestic gravity, which very well became them; and, in short, they had so much more manners than I, that I scarce knew how to receive their civilities, much less how to return them in kind.

The history of their coming to, and conduct in the island after my going away, is so remarkable, and has so many incidents, which the former part of my relation will help to understand, and which will, in most of the particulars, refer to that account I have already given, that I cannot but commit them with great delight to the reading of those that come after me.

I shall no longer trouble the story with a relation in the first person, which will put me to the expense of ten thousand Said I’s, and Said he’s, and He told me’s, and I told him’s, and the like; but I shall collect the facts historically as near as I can gather them out of my memory from what they related to me, and from what I met with in my conversing with them, and with the place.

In order to do this succinctly, and as intelligibly as I can, I must go back to the circumstance in which I left the island, and which the persons were in of whom I am to speak. At first it is necessary to repeat, that I had sent away Friday’s father and the Spaniard, the two whose lives I had rescued from the savages; I say, I had sent them away in a large canoe to the [page 348] main, as I then thought it, to fetch over the Spaniard’s companions whom he had left behind him, in order to save them from the like calamity that he had been in, and in order to succour them for the present, and that, if possible, we might together find some way for our deliverance afterward.

When I sent them away, I had no visible appearance of, or the least room to hope for, my own deliverance, any more than I had twenty years before; much less had I any foreknowledge of what after happened, I mean of an English ship coming on shore there to fetch them off; and it could not but be a very great surprise to them when they came back, not only to find that I was gone, but to find three strangers left on the spot, possessed of all that I had left behind me, which would otherwise have been their own.

The first thing, however, which I inquired into, that I might begin where I left off, was of their own part; and I desired he would give me a particular account of his voyage back to his countrymen with the boat, when I sent him to fetch them over. He told me there was little variety in that part; for nothing remarkable happened to them on the way, they having very calm weather and a smooth sea; for his countrymen it could not be doubted, he said, but that they were overjoyed to see him (it seems he was the principal man among them, the captain of the vessel they had been shipwrecked in having been dead some time:) they were, he said, the more surprised to see him, because they knew that he was fallen into the hands of savages, who, they were satisfied, would devour him, as they did all the rest of their prisoners; that when he told them the story of the deliverance, and in what manner he was furnished for carrying them away, it was like a dream to them; and their astonishment, they said, was something like that of Joseph’s brethren, when he told them who he was, and told them the story of his exaltation in Pharaoh’s court; but when he shewed them the arms, the powder, the ball, and the provisions that he brought them for [page 349] their journey or voyage, they were restored to themselves, took a just share of the joy of their deliverance, and immediately prepared to come away with him.

Their first business was to get canoes; and in this they were obliged not to stick so much upon the honest part of it, but to trespass upon their friendly savages, and to borrow two large canoes or periaguas, on pretence of going out a-fishing, or for pleasure.

In these they came away the next morning; it seems they wanted no time to get themselves ready, for they had no baggage, neither clothes, or provisions, or any thing in the world, but what they had on them, and a few roots to eat, of which they used to make their bread.

They were in all three weeks absent, and in that time, unluckily for them, I had the occasion offered for my escape, as I mentioned in my other part, and to get off from the island; leaving three of the most impudent, hardened, ungoverned, disagreeable villains behind me that any man could desire to meet with, to the poor Spaniards’ great grief and disappointment you may be sure.

The only just thing the rogues did, was, that when the Spaniards came on shore, they gave my letter to them, and gave them provisions and other relief, as I had ordered them to do; also they gave them the long paper of directions, which I had left with them, containing the particular methods which I took for managing every part of my life there; the way how I baked my bread, bred up my tame goats, and planted my corn; how I cured my grapes, made my pots, and, in a word, every thing I did; all this being written down, they gave to the Spaniards, two of whom understood English well enough; nor did they refuse to accommodate the Spaniards with any thing else, for they agreed very well for some time; they gave them an equal admission into the house, or cave, and they began to live very sociably; and the head [page 350] Spaniard, who had seen pretty much of my method, and Friday’s father together, managed all their affairs; for as for the Englishmen, they did nothing but ramble about the island, shoot parrots, and catch tortoises, and when they came home at night, the Spaniards provided their suppers for them.

The Spaniards would have been satisfied with this would the other but have left them alone; which however, they could not find in their hearts to do long; but, like the dog in the manger, they would not eat themselves, and would not let others eat neither: the differences, nevertheless, were at first but trivial and such as are not worth relating: but at last it broke out into open war, and it began with all the rudeness and insolence that can be imagined, without reason, without provocation, contrary to nature, and indeed to common sense; and though, it is true, the first relation of it came from the Spaniards themselves, whom I may call the accusers, yet when I came to examine the fellows, they could not deny a word of it.

But before I come to the particulars of this part, I must supply a defect in my former relation; and this was, that I forgot to set down among the rest, that just as we were weighing the anchor to set sail, there happened a little quarrel on board our ship, which I was afraid once would turn to a second mutiny; nor was it appeased till the captain, rousing up his courage, and taking us all to his assistance, parted them by force, and making two of the most refractory fellows prisoners, he laid them in irons; and as they had been active in the former disorders, and let fall some ugly dangerous words the second time, he threatened to carry them in irons to England, and have them hanged there for mutiny, and running away with the ship.

This, it seems, though the captain did not intend to do it, frighted some other men in the ship; and some of them had put it in the heads of the rest, that the captain only gave them good words for the present till [page 351] they should come to some English port, and that then they should be all put into a gaol, and tried for their lives.

The mate got intelligence of this, and acquainted us with it; upon which it was desired that I, who still passed for a great man among them, should go down with the mate and satisfy the men, and tell them, that they might be assured, if they behaved well the rest of the voyage, all they had done for the time past should be pardoned. So I went, and after passing my honour’s word to them they appeared easy, and the more so, when I caused the two men who were in irons to be released and forgiven.

But this mutiny had brought us to an anchor for that night, the wind also falling calm. Next morning we found that our two men who had been laid in irons, had stole each of them a musket and some other weapons; what powder or shot they had we knew not; and had taken the ship’s pinnace, which was not yet haled up, and run away with her to their companions in roguery on shore.

As soon as we found this, I ordered the long-boat on shore, with twelve men and the mate, and away they went to seek the rogues; but they could neither find them, nor any of the rest; for they all fled into the woods when they saw the boat coming on shore. The mate was once resolved, in justice to their roguery, to have destroyed their plantations, burnt all their household stuff and furniture, and left them to shift without it; but having no order, he let all alone, left every thing as they found it, and bringing the pinnace away, came on board without them.

These two men made their number five: but the other three villains were so much wickeder than these, that after they had been two or three days together, they turned their two new-comers out of doors to shift for themselves, and would have nothing to do with them; nor could they, for a good while, be persuaded to give them any food: as for the Spaniards, they were not yet come.

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When the Spaniards came first on shore, the business began to go forward; the Spaniards would have persuaded the three English brutes to have taken in their two countrymen again, that, as they said, they might be all one family; but they would not hear of it: so the two poor fellows lived by themselves, and finding nothing but industry and application would make them live comfortable, they pitched their tents on the north shore of the island, but a little more to the west, to be out of the danger of the savages, who always landed on the east parts of the island.

Here they built two huts, one to lodge in, and the other to lay up their magazines and stores in; and the Spaniards having given them some corn for seed, and especially some of the peas which I had left them, they dug and planted, and enclosed, after the pattern I had set for them all, and began to live pretty well; their first crop of corn was on the ground, and though it was but a little bit of land which they had dug up at first, having had but a little time, yet it was enough to relieve them, and find them with bread or other eatables; and one of the fellows, being the cook’s mate of the ship, was very ready at making soup, puddings, and such other preparations, as the rice and the milk, and such little flesh as they got, furnished him to do.

They were going on in a little thriving posture, when the three unnatural rogues, their own countrymen too, in mere humour, and to insult them, came and bullied them, and told them the island was theirs; that the governor, meaning me, had given them possession of it, and nobody else had any right to it; and, damn them, they should build no houses upon their ground, unless they would pay them rent for them.

The two men thought they had jested at first, and asked them to come and sit down, and see what fine houses they were that they had built, and tell them what rent they demanded: and one of them merrily told them, if they were ground-landlords, he hoped if they built tenements upon the land and made improvements, [page 353] they would, according to the custom of all landlords, grant them a long lease; and bid them go fetch a scrivener to draw the writings. One of the three, damning and raging, told them they should see they were not in jest; and going to a little place at a distance, where the honest men had made a fire to dress their victuals, he takes a firebrand and claps it to the outside of their hut, and very fairly set it on fire; and it would have been all burnt down in a few minutes, if one of the two had not run to the fellow, thrust him away, and trod the fire out with his feet, and that not without some difficulty too.

The fellow was in such a rage at the honest man’s thrusting him away, that he turned upon him with a pole he had in his hand; and had not the man avoided the blow very nimbly, and run into the hut, he had ended his days at once. His comrade, seeing the danger they were both in, ran in after him, and immediately they came both out with their muskets; and the man that was first struck at with the pole knocked the fellow down who began the quarrel with the stock of his musket, and that before the other two could come to help him; and then seeing the rest come at them, they stood together, and presenting the other ends of their pieces to them, bade them stand off.

The others had fire-arms with them too; but one of the two honest men, bolder than his comrade, and made desperate by his danger, told them if they offered to move hand or foot they were all dead men, and boldly commanded them to lay down their arms. They did not indeed lay down their arms; but seeing him resolute, it brought them to a parley, and they consented to take their wounded man with them, and be gone; and, indeed, it seems the fellow was wounded sufficiently with the blow: however, they were much in the wrong, since they had the advantage, that they did not disarm them effectually, as they might have done, and have gone immediately to the Spaniards, and given them an account how the rogues treated them; for the three villains studied [page 354] nothing but revenge, and every day gave them some intimation that they did so.

But not to crowd this part with an account of the lesser part of their rogueries, such as treading down their corn, shooting three young kids and a she-goat, which the poor men had got to breed up tame for their store; and in a word, plaguing them night and day in this manner, it forced the two men to such a desperation, that they resolved to fight them all three the first time they had a fair opportunity. In order to this they resolved to go to the castle, as they called it, that was my old dwelling, where the three rogues and the Spaniards all lived together at that time, intending to have a fair battle, and the Spaniards should stand by to see fair play. So they got up in the morning before day, and came to the place, and called the Englishmen by their names, telling a Spaniard that answered, that they wanted to speak with them.

It happened that the day before two of the Spaniards, having been in the woods, had seen one of the two Englishmen, whom, for distinction, I call the honest men; and he had made a sad complaint to the Spaniards, of the barbarous usage they had met with from their three countrymen, and how they had ruined their plantation, and destroyed their corn, that they had laboured so hard to bring forward, and killed the milch-goat, and their three kids, which was all they had provided for their sustenance; and that if he and his friends, meaning the Spaniards, did not assist them again, they should be starved. When the Spaniards came home at night, and they were all at supper, he took the freedom to reprove the three Englishmen, though in gentle and mannerly terms, and asked them, how they could be so cruel, they being harmless inoffensive fellows, and that they were putting themselves in a way to subsist by their labour, and that it had cost them a great deal of pains to bring things to such perfection as they had?

One of the Englishmen returned very briskly, “What had they to do there? That they came on shore without [page 355] leave, and that they should not plant or build upon the island; it was none of their ground.”—“Why,” says the Spaniard, very calmly, “Seignior Inglese, they must not starve.” The Englishman replied, like a true rough-hewn tarpaulin, “they might starve and be d—ed, they should not plant nor build in that place.”—“But what must they do then, Seignior?” says the Spaniard. Another of the brutes returned, “Do! d—n them, they should be servants, and work for them.”—“But how can you expect that of them? They are not bought with your money; you have no right to make them servants.” The Englishman answered, “The island was theirs, the governor had given it to them, and no man had any thing to do there but themselves;” and with that swore by his Maker, that he would go and burn all their new huts; they should build none upon their land.

“Why, Seignior,” says the Spaniard, “by the same rule, we must be your servants too.”—“Ay,” says the bold dog, “and so you shall too, before we have done with you;” mixing two or three G—d d—mme’s in the proper intervals of his speech. The Spaniard only smiled at that, and made him no answer. However, this little discourse had heated them; and starting up, one says to the other, I think it was he they called Will Atkins, “Come, Jack, let us go and have the other brush with them; we will demolish their castle, I will warrant you; they shall plant no colony in our dominions.”

Upon this they were all trooping away, with every man a gun, a pistol, and a sword, and muttered some insolent things among themselves, of what they would do to the Spaniards too, when opportunity offered; but the Spaniards, it seems, did not so perfectly understand them as to know all the particulars; only that, in general, they threatened them hard for taking the two Englishmen’s part.

Whither they went, or how they bestowed their time that evening, the Spaniards said they did not know; but it seems they wandered about the country part of [page 356] the night; and then lying down in the place which I used to call my bower, they were weary, and overslept themselves. The case was this: they had resolved to stay till midnight, and so to take the poor men when they were asleep; and they acknowledged it afterwards, intending to set fire to their huts while they were in them, and either burn them in them, or murder them as they came out: and, as malice seldom sleeps very sound, it was very strange they should not have been kept waking.

However, as the two men had also a design upon them, as I have said, though a much fairer one than that of burning and murdering, it happened, and very luckily for them all, that they were up, and gone abroad, before the bloody-minded rogues came to their huts.

When they came thither, and found the men gone, Atkins, who it seems was the forwardest man, called out to his comrades, “Ha! Jack, here’s the nest; but d—n them, the birds are flown.” They mused awhile to think what should be the occasion of their being gone abroad so soon, and suggested presently, that the Spaniards had given them notice of it; and with that they shook hands, and swore to one another, that they would be revenged of the Spaniards. As soon as they had made this bloody bargain, they fell to work with the poor men’s habitation; they did not set fire indeed to any thing, but they pulled down both their houses, and pulled them so limb from limb, that they left not the least stick standing, or scarce any sign on the ground where they stood; they tore all their little collected household-stuff in pieces, and threw every thing about in such a manner, that the poor men found, afterwards, some of their things a mile off from their habitation.

When they had done this, they pulled up all the young trees which the poor men had planted; pulled up the enclosure they had made to secure their cattle and their corn; and, in a word, sacked and plundered every thing, as completely as a herd of Tartars would have done.

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The two men were at this juncture gone to find them out, and had resolved to fight them wherever they had been, though they were but two to three; so that, had they met, there certainly would have been bloodshed among them; for they were all very stout, resolute fellows, to give them their due.

But Providence took more care to keep them asunder, than they themselves could do to meet; for, as they had dogged one another, when the three were gone thither, the two were here; and afterwards, when the two went back to find them, the three were come to the old habitation again: we shall see their differing conduct presently. When the three came back, like furious creatures, flushed with the rage which the work they had been about put them into, they came up to the Spaniards, and told them what they had done, by way of scoff and bravado; and one of them stepping up to one of the Spaniards, as if they had been a couple of boys at play, takes hold of his hat, as it was upon his head, and giving it a twirl about, jeering in his face, says he to him, “And you, Seignior Jack Spaniard, shall have the same sauce, if you do not mend your manners.” The Spaniard, who, though quite a civil man, was as brave as a man could desire to be, and withal a strong well-made man, looked steadily at him for a good while; and then, having no weapon in his hand, stepped gravely up to him, and with one blow of his fist knocked him down, as an ox is felled with a pole-axe; at which one of the rogues, insolent as the first, fixed his pistol at the Spaniard immediately; he missed his body indeed, for the bullets went through his hair, but one of them touched the tip of his ear, and he bled pretty much. The blood made the Spaniard believe he was more hurt than he really was, and that put him into some heat, for before he acted all in a perfect calm; but now resolving to go through with his work, he stooped and took the fellow’s musket whom he had knocked down, and was just going to shoot the man who had fired at him; when the rest of the Spaniards, being in [page 358] the cave, came out, and calling to him not to shoot, they stepped in, secured the other two, and took their arms from them.

When they were thus disarmed, and found they had made all the Spaniards their enemies, as well as their own countrymen, they began to cool; and giving the Spaniards better words, would have had their arms again; but the Spaniards, considering the feud that was between them and the other two Englishmen, and that it would be the best method they could take to keep them from one another, told them they would do them no harm; and if they would live peaceably they would be very willing to assist and associate with them, as they did before; but that they could not think of giving them their arms again, while they appeared so resolved to do mischief with them to their own countrymen, and had even threatened them all to make them their servants.

The rogues were now more capable to hear reason than to act reason; but being refused their arms, they went raving away, and raging like madmen, threatening what they would do, though they had no fire-arms: but the Spaniards, despising their threatening, told them they should take care how they offered any injury to their plantation or cattle; for if they did, they would shoot them, as they would do ravenous beasts, wherever they found them; and if they fell into their hands alive, they would certainly be hanged. However, this was far from cooling them; but away they went, swearing and raging like furies of hell. As soon as they were gone, came back the two men in passion and rage enough also, though of another kind; for, having been at their plantation, and finding it all demolished and destroyed, as above, it will easily be supposed they had provocation enough; they could scarce have room to tell their tale, the Spaniards were so eager to tell them theirs; and it was strange enough to find, that three men should thus bully nineteen, and receive no punishment at all.

The Spaniards indeed despised them, and especially [page 359] having thus disarmed them, made light of their threatenings; but the two Englishmen resolved to have their remedy against them, what pains soever it cost to find them out.

But the Spaniards interposed here too, and told them, that they were already disarmed: they could not consent that they (the two) should pursue them with fire-arms, and perhaps kill them: “But,” said the grave Spaniard, who was their governor, “we will endeavour to make them do you justice, if you will leave it to us; for, as there is no doubt but they will come to us again when their passion is over, being not able to subsist without our assistance, we promise you to make no peace with them, without having full satisfaction for you; and upon this condition we hope you will promise to use no violence with them, other than in your defence.”

The two Englishmen; yielded to this very awkwardly and with great reluctance; but the Spaniards protested, they did it only to keep them from bloodshed, and to make all easy at last; “For,” said they, “we are not so many of us; here is room enough for us all, and it is great pity we should not be all good friends.” At length they did consent, and waited for the issue of the thing, living for some days with the Spaniards; for their own habitation was destroyed.

In about five days time the three vagrants, tired with wandering, and almost starved with hunger, having chiefly lived on turtles’ eggs all that while, came back to the grove: and finding my Spaniard, who, as I have said, was the governor, and two more with him, walking by the side of the creek; they came up in a very submissive humble manner, and begged to be received again into the family. The Spaniards used them civilly, but told them, they had acted so unnaturally by their countrymen, and so very grossly by them, (the Spaniards) that they could not come to any conclusion without consulting the two Englishmen, and the rest; but however they would go to [page 360] them and discourse about it, and they should know in half-an-hour. It may be guessed that they were very hard put to it; for, as they were to wait this half-hour for an answer, they begged they would send them out some bread in the meantime, which they did, sending at the same time a large piece of goat’s flesh and a boiled parrot, which they ate very eagerly.

After half-an-hour’s consultation they were called in, and a long debate ensued, their two countrymen charging them with the ruin of all their labour, and a design to murder them; all which they owned before, and therefore could not deny now. Upon the whole, the Spaniards acted the moderators between them; and as they had obliged the two Englishmen not to hurt the three while they were naked and unarmed, so they now obliged the three to go and rebuild their fellows’ two huts, one to be of the same and the other of larger dimensions than they were before; to fence their ground again, plant trees in the room of those pulled up, dig up the land again for planting corn, and, in a word, to restore everything to the same state as they found it, that is, as near as they could.

Well, they submitted to all this; and as they had plenty of provisions given them all the while, they grew very orderly, and the whole society began to live pleasantly and agreeably together again; only that these three fellows could never be persuaded to work—I mean for themselves—except now and then a little, just as they pleased. However, the Spaniards told them plainly that if they would but live sociably and friendly together, and study the good of the whole plantation, they would be content to work for them, and let them walk [page 361] about and be as idle as they pleased; and thus, having lived pretty well together for a month or two, the Spaniards let them have arms again, and gave them liberty to go abroad with them as before.

It was not above a week after they had these arms, and went abroad, before the ungrateful creatures began to be as insolent and troublesome as ever. However, an accident happened presently upon this, which endangered the safety of them all, and they were obliged to lay by all private resentments, and look to the preservation of their lives.

It happened one night that the governor, the Spaniard whose life I had saved, who was now the governor of the rest, found himself very uneasy in the night, and could by no means get any sleep: he was perfectly well in body, only found his thoughts tumultuous; his mind ran upon men fighting and killing one another; but he was broad awake, and could not by any means get any sleep; in short, he lay a great while, but growing more and more uneasy, he resolved to rise. As they lay, being so many of them, on goat-skins laid thick upon such couches and pads as they made for themselves, so they had little to do, when they were willing to rise, but to get upon their feet, and perhaps put on a coat, such as it was, and their pumps, and they were ready for going any way that their thoughts guided them. Being thus got up, he looked out; but being dark, he could see little or nothing, and besides, the trees which I had planted, and which were now grown tall, intercepted his sight, so that he could only look up, and see that it was a starlight night, and hearing no noise, he returned and lay down again; but to no purpose; he could not compose himself to anything like rest; but his thoughts were to the last degree uneasy, and he knew not for what.

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Having made some noise with rising and walking about, going out and coming in, another of them waked, and, calling, asked who it was that was up? The governor told him how it had been with him. “Say you so?” says the other Spaniard; “such things are not to be slighted, I assure you; there is certainly some mischief working,” says he, “near us;” and presently he asked him, “Where are the Englishmen?” “They are all in their huts,” says he, “safe enough.” It seems, the Spaniards had kept possession of the main apartment, and had made a place, where the three Englishmen, since their last mutiny, always quartered by themselves, and could not come at the rest. “Well,” says the Spaniard, “there is something in it, I am persuaded from my own experience; I am satisfied our spirits embodied have converse with, and receive intelligence from, the spirits unembodied, and inhabiting the invisible world; and this friendly notice is given for our advantage, if we know how to make use of it. Come,” says he, “let us go out and look abroad; and if we find nothing at all in it to justify our trouble, I’ll tell you a story of the purpose, that shall convince you of the justice of my proposing it.”

In a word, they went out to go to the top of the hill, where I used to go; but they, being strong, and in good company, nor alone, as I was, used none of my cautions to go up by the ladder, and then pulling it up after them, to go up a second stage to the top but were going round through the grove unconcerned and unwary, when they were surprised with seeing a light as of fire, a very little way off from them, and hearing the voices of men, not of one or two, but of a great number.

In all the discoveries I had made of the savage landing on the island, it was my constant care to prevent them making the least discovery of there being any inhabitant upon the place; and when by any necessity they came to know it, they felt it so effectively, that they that got away, were scarce able to give [page 363] any account of it, for we disappeared as soon as possible, nor did ever any that had seen me, escape to tell any one else, except it were the three savages in our last encounter, who jumped into the boat, of whom I mentioned that I was afraid they should go home, and bring more help.

Whether it was the consequence of the escape of those men, that so great a number came now together; or whether they came ignorantly, and by accident, on their usual bloody errand, the Spaniards could not, it seems, understand: but whatever it was, it had been their business, either to have: concealed themselves, and not have seen them at all; much less to have let the savages have seen, that there were any inhabitants in the place; but to have fallen upon them so effectually, as that not a man of them should have escaped, which could only have been by getting in between them and their boats: but this presence of mind was wanting to them; which was the ruin of their tranquillity for a great while.

We need not doubt but that the governor, and the man with him, surprised with this sight, ran back immediately, and raised their fellows, giving them an account of the imminent danger they were all in; and they again as readily took the alarm, but it was impossible to persuade them to stay close within where they were, but that they must all run out to see how things stood.

While it was dark indeed, they were well enough, and they had opportunity enough, for some hours, to view them by the light of three fires they had made at some distance from one another; what they were doing they knew not, and what to do themselves they knew not; for, first, the enemy were too many; and, secondly, they did not keep together, but were divided into several parties, and were on shore in several places.

The Spaniards were in no small consternation at this sight; and as they found that the fellows ran straggling all over the shore, they made no doubt, but, [page 364] first or last, some of them would chop in upon their habitation, or upon some other place, where they would see the tokens of inhabitants; and they were in great perplexity also for fear of their flock of goats, which would have been little less than starving them, if they should have been destroyed; so the first thing they resolved upon, was to dispatch three men away before it was light, viz. two Spaniards and one Englishman, to drive all the goats away to the great valley where the cave was, and, if need were, to drive them into the very cave itself.

Could they have seen the savages all together in one body, and at a distance from their canoes, they resolved, if there had been an hundred of them, to have attacked them; but that could not be obtained, for there were some of them two miles off from the other, and, as it appeared afterwards, were of two different nations.

After having mused a great while on the course they should take, and beaten their brains in considering their present circumstances, they resolved, at last while it was dark, to send the old savage (Friday’s father) out as a spy, to learn if possible something concerning them, as what they came for, and what they intended to do, and the like. The old man readily undertook it, and stripping himself quite naked, as most of the savages were, away he went. After he had been gone an hour or two, he brings word that he had been among them undiscovered, that he found they were two parties, and of two several nations who had war with one another, and had had a great battle in their own country, and that both sides having had several prisoners taken in the fight, they were by mere chance landed in the same island for the devouring their prisoners, and making merry; but this coming so by chance to the same place had spoiled all their mirth; that they were in a great rage at one another, and were so near, that he believed they would fight again as soon as daylight began to appear; he did not perceive that they had any notion of anybody’s [page 365] being on the island but themselves. He had hardly made an end of telling the story, when they could perceive, by the unusual noise they made, that the two little armies were engaged in a bloody fight.

Friday’s father used all the arguments he could to persuade our people to lie close, and not be seen; he told them their safety consisted in it, and that they had nothing to do but to lie still, and the savages would kill one another to their hands, and the rest would go away; and it was so to a tittle. But it was impossible to prevail, especially upon the Englishmen, their curiosity was so importunate upon their prudentials, that they must run out and see the battle; however, they used some caution, viz. they did not go openly just by their own dwelling, but went farther into the woods, and placed themselves to advantage, where they might securely see them manage the fight, and, as they thought, not to be seen by them; but it seems the savages did see them, as we shall find hereafter.

The battle was very fierce, and if I might believe the Englishmen, one of them said he could perceive that some of them were men of great bravery, of invincible spirits, and of great policy in guiding the fight. The battle, they said, held two hours before they could guess which party would be beaten; but then that party which was nearest our people’s habitation began to appear weakest, and, after some time more, some of them began to fly; and this put our men again into a great consternation, lest any of those that fled should run into the grove before their dwelling for shelter, and thereby involuntarily discover the place, and that by consequence the pursuers should do the like in search for them. Upon this they resolved, that they would stand armed within the wall, and whoever came into the grove they should sally out over the wall, and kill them, so that if possible not one should return to give an account of it; they ordered also, that it should be done with their swords, or by knocking them down with the stock of the [page 366] musket, not by shooting them, for fear of raising an alarm by the noise.

As they expected it fell out: three of the routed army fled for life, and crossing the creek ran directly into the place, not in the least knowing whither they went, but running as into a thick wood for shelter. The scout they kept to look abroad gave notice of this within, with this addition to our men’s great satisfaction, viz. that the conquerors had not pursued them, or seen which way they were gone. Upon this the Spaniard governor, a man of humanity, would not suffer them to kill the three fugitives; but sending three men out by the top of the hill, ordered them to go round and come in behind them, surprise and take them prisoners; which was done: the residue of the conquered people fled to their canoes, and got off to sea; the victors retired, and made no pursuit, or very little, but drawing themselves into a body together, gave two great screaming shouts, which they suppose were by way of triumph, and so the fight ended; and the same day, about three o’clock in the afternoon, they also marched to their canoes. And thus the Spaniards had their island again free to themselves, their fright was over, and they saw no savages in several years after.

After they were all gone, the Spaniards came out of their den, and viewing the field of battle, they found about two-and-thirty dead men upon the spot; some were killed with great long arrows, several of which were found sticking in their bodies, but most of them were killed with their great wooden swords, sixteen or seventeen of which they found in the field of battle, and as many bows, with a great many arrows. These swords were great unwieldy things, and they must be very strong men that used them; most of those men that were killed with them had their heads mashed to pieces, as we may say, or, as we call it in English, their brains knocked out, and several of their arms and legs broken; so that it is evident they fight with inexpressible rage and fury. They found not one [page 367] wounded man that was not stone dead; for either they stay by their enemy till they have quite killed them, or they carry all the wounded men, that are not quite dead, away with them.

This deliverance tamed our Englishmen for a great while; the sight had filled them with horror, and the consequence appeared terrible to the last degree; especially upon supposing that some time or other they should fall into the hands of those creatures, who would not only kill them as enemies, but kill them for food as we kill our cattle. And they professed to me, that the thoughts of being eaten up like beef or mutton, though it was supposed it was not to be till they were dead, had something in it so horrible that it nauseated their very stomachs, made them sick when they thought of it, and filled their minds with unusual terror, that they were not themselves for some weeks after.

This, as I said, tamed even the three English brutes I have been speaking of, and for a great while after they were very tractable, and went about the common business of the whole society well enough; planted, sowed, reaped, and began to be all naturalized to the country; but some time after this they fell all into such simple measures again as brought them into a great deal of trouble.

They had taken three prisoners, as I had observed; and these three being lusty stout young fellows, they made them servants, and taught them to work for them; and as slaves they did well enough; but they did not take their measures with them as I did by my man Friday, viz. to begin with them upon the principle of having saved their lives, and then instructed them in the rational principles of life, much less of religion, civilizing and reducing them by kind usage and affectionate arguings; but as they gave them their food every day, so they gave them their work too, and kept them fully employed in drudgery enough; but they failed in this by it, that they never had them to assist them and fight for them as I had my man Friday, [page 368] who was as true to me as the very flesh upon my bones.

But to come to the family part: Being all now good friends (for common danger, as I said above, had effectually reconciled them,) they began to consider their general circumstances; and the first thing that came under their consideration was, whether, seeing the savages particularly haunted that side of the island, and that there were more remote and retired parts of it equally adapted to their way of living, and manifestly to their advantage, they should not rather remove their habitation, and plant in some more proper place for their safety, and especially for the security of their cattle and corn.

Upon this, after long debate, it was conceived that they should not remove their habitation, because that some time or other they thought they might hear from their governor again, meaning me; and if I should send any one to seek them, I would be sure to direct them on that side, where if they should find the place demolished they would conclude the savages had killed us all, and we were gone, and so our supply would go away too.

But as to their corn and cattle, they agreed to remove them into the valley where my cave was, where the land was as proper to both, and where indeed there was land enough; however, upon second thoughts they altered one part of that resolution too, and resolved only to remove part of their cattle thither, and plant part of their corn there; and so, if one part was destroyed, the other might be saved; and one piece of prudence they used, which it was very well they did; viz. that they never trusted these three savages, which they had taken prisoners, with knowing any thing of the plantation they had made in that valley, or of any cattle they had there; much less of the cave there, which they kept in case of necessity as a safe retreat; and thither they carried also the two barrels of powder which I had left them at my coming away.

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But however they resolved not to change their habitation; yet they agreed, that as I had carefully covered it first with a wall and fortification, and then with a grove of trees; so seeing their safety consisted entirely in their being concealed, of which they were now fully convinced, they set to work to cover and conceal the place yet more effectually than before: to this purpose, as I had planted trees (or rather thrust in stakes which in time all grew to be trees) for some good distance before the entrance into my apartment, they went on in the same manner, and filled up the rest of that whole space of ground, from the trees I had set quite down to the side of the creek, where, as I said, I landed my floats, and even into the very ooze where the tide flowed, not so much as leaving any place to land, or any sign that there had been any landing thereabout. These stakes also being of a wood very forward to grow, as I had noted formerly, they took care to have generally very much larger and taller than those which I had planted, and placed them so very thick and close, that when they had been three or four years grown there was no piercing with the eye any considerable way into the plantation. As for that part which I had planted, the trees were grown as thick as a man’s thigh; and among them they placed so many other short ones, and so thick, that, in a word, it stood like a palisado a quarter of a mile thick, and it was next to impossible to penetrate it but with a little army to cut it all down; for a little dog could hardly get between the trees, they stood so close.

But this was not all; for they did the same by all the ground to the right hand, and to the left, and round even to the top of the hill, leaving no way, not so much as for themselves to come out, but by the ladder placed up to the side of the hill, and then lifted up and placed again from the first stage up to the top; which ladder, when it was taken down, nothing but what had wings or witchcraft to assist it, could come at them.

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This was excellently well contrived, nor was it less than what they afterwards found occasion for; which served to convince me, that as human prudence has authority of Providence to justify it, so it has, doubtless, the direction of Providence to set it to work, and, would we listen carefully to the voice of it, I am fully persuaded we might prevent many of the disasters which our lives are now by our own negligence subjected to: but this by the way.

I return to the story: They lived two years after this in perfect retirement, and had no more visits from the savages; they had indeed an alarm given them one morning, which put them in a great consternation for some of the Spaniards being out early one morning on the west side, or rather end of the island which, by the way, was that end where I never went, for fear of being discovered, they were surprised with seeing above twenty canoes of Indians just coming on shore.

They made the best of their way home in hurry enough, and, giving the alarm to their comrades, they kept close all that day and the next, going out only at night to make observation; but they had the good luck to be mistaken, for wherever the savages went, they did not land at that time on the island, but pursued some other design.

And now they had another broil with the three Englishmen, one of which, a most turbulent fellow, being in a rage at one of the three slaves which I mentioned they had taken, because the fellow had not done something right which he bid him do, and seemed a little untractable in his shewing him, drew a hatchet out of a frog-belt, in which he bore it by his side, and fell upon him, the poor savage, not to correct him but to kill him. One of the Spaniards who was by, seeing him give the fellow a barbarous cut with the hatchet which he aimed at his head, but struck into his shoulder, so that he thought he had cut the poor creature’s arm off, ran to him, and entreating him not to [page 371] murder the poor man, clapt in between him and the savage to prevent the mischief.

The fellow being enraged the more at this, struck at the Spaniard with his hatchet, and swore he would serve him as he intended to serve the savage; which the Spaniard perceiving, avoided the blow, and with a shovel which he had in his hand (for they were working in the field about the corn-land) knocked the brute down; another of the Englishmen running at the same time to help his comrade, knocked the Spaniard down, and then two Spaniards more came to help their man, and a third Englishman fell upon them. They had none of them any fire-arms, or any other weapons but hatchets and other tools, except the third Englishman; he had one of my old rusty cutlasses, with which he made at the last Spaniards, and wounded them both. This fray set the whole family in an uproar, and more help coming in, they took the three Englishmen prisoners. The next question was, what should be done with them? they had been so often mutinous, and were so furious, so desperate, and so idle withal, that they knew not what course to take with them, for they were mischievous to the highest degree, and valued not what hurt they did any man; so that, in short, it was not safe to live with them.

The Spaniard who was governor, told them in so many words, that if they had been his own countrymen he would have hanged them all; for all laws and all governors were to preserve society, and those who were dangerous to the society ought to be expelled out of it; but as they were Englishmen, and that it was to the generous kindness of an Englishman that they all owed their preservation and deliverance, he would use them with all possible lenity, and would leave them to the judgment of the other two Englishmen, who were their countrymen.

One of the two honest Englishmen stood up, and said they desired it might not be left to them; “For,” says he, “I am sure we ought to sentence them to the gallows,” and with that gives an account how Will [page 372] Atkins, one of the three, had proposed to have all the five Englishmen join together, and murder all the Spaniards when they were in their sleep.

When the Spanish governor heard this, he calls to Will Atkins: “How, Seignior Atkins,” says he, “will you murder us all? What have you to say to that?” That hardened villain was so far from denying it, that he said it was true, and G-d d-mn him they would do it still before they had done with them. “Well, but Seignior Atkins,” said the Spaniard, “what have we done to you that you will kill us? And what would you get by killing us? And what must we do to prevent your killing us? Must we kill you, or will you kill us? Why will you put us to the necessity of this, Seignior Atkins?” says the Spaniard very calmly and smiling.

Seignior Atkins was in such a rage at the Spaniard’s making a jest of it, that had he not been held by three men, and withal had no weapons with him, it was thought he would have attempted to have killed the Spaniard in the middle of all the company.

This harebrained carriage obliged them to consider seriously what was to be done. The two Englishmen and the Spaniard who saved the poor savage, were of the opinion that they should hang one of the three for an example to the rest; and that particularly it should be he that had twice attempted to commit murder with his hatchet; and indeed there was some reason to believe he had done it, for the poor savage was in such a miserable condition with the wound he had received, that it was thought he could not live.

But the governor Spaniard still said, no, it was an Englishman that had saved all their lives, and he would never consent to put an Englishman to death though he had murdered half of them; nay, he said if he had been killed himself by an Englishman, and had time left to speak, it should be that they should pardon him.

This was so positively insisted on by the governor Spaniard, that there was no gainsaying it; and as [page 373] merciful counsels are most apt to prevail, where they are so earnestly pressed, so they all came into it; but then it was to be considered what should be done to keep them from the mischief they designed; for all agreed, governor and all, that means were to be used for preserving the society from danger. After a long debate it was agreed, first, that they should be disarmed, and not permitted to have either gun, or powder, or shot, or sword, or any weapon, and should be turned out of the society, and left to live where they would, and how they could by themselves; but that none of the rest, either Spaniards or English, should converse with them, speak with them, or have any thing to do with them; that they should be forbid to come within a certain distance of the place where the rest dwelt; and that if they offered to commit any disorder, so as to spoil, burn, kill, or destroy any of the corn, plantings, buildings, fences, or cattle belonging to the society, that they should die without mercy, and would shoot them wherever they could find them.

The governor, a man of great humanity, musing upon the sentence, considered a little upon it, and turning to the two honest Englishmen, said, “Hold, you must reflect, that it will be long ere they can raise corn and cattle of their own, and they must not starve; we must therefore allow them provisions.” So he caused to be added, that they should have a proportion of corn given them to last them eight months, and for seed to sow, by which time they might be supposed to raise some of their own; that they should have six milch-goats, four he-goats, and six kids given them, as well for present subsistence as for a store; and that they should have tools given them for their work in the field; such as six hatchets, an axe, a saw, and the like: but they should have none of these tools or provisions unless they would swear solemnly that they would not hurt or injure any of the Spaniards with them, or of their fellow Englishmen.

Thus they dismissed them the society, and turned them out to shift for themselves. They went away [page 374] sullen and refractory, as neither contented to go away or to stay; but as there was no remedy they went, pretending to go and choose a place where they should settle themselves, to plant and live by themselves; and some provisions were given, but no weapons.

About four or five days after they came again for some victuals, and gave the governor an account where they had pitched their tents, and marked themselves out an habitation or plantation: it was a very convenient place indeed, on the remotest part of the island, N.E. much about the place where I providentially landed in my first voyage when I was driven out to sea, the Lord alone knows whither, in my foolish attempt to surround the island.

Here they built themselves two handsome huts, and contrived them in a manner like my first habitation being close under the side of a hill, having some trees growing already to the three sides of it; so that by planting others it would be very easily covered from the sight, unless narrowly searched for. They desired some dry goat-skins for beds and covering, which were given them; and upon their giving their words that they would not disturb the rest, or injure any of their plantations, they gave them hatchets, and what other tools they could spare; some peas, barley, and rice, for sowing, and, in a word, any thing they wanted but arms and ammunition.

They lived in this separate condition about six months, and had got in their first harvest, though the quantity was but small, the parcel of land they had planted being but little; for indeed having all their plantation to form, they had a great deal of work upon their hands; and when they came to make boards, and pots, and such things, they were quite out of their element, and could make nothing of it; and when the rainy season came on, for want of a cave in the earth, they could not keep their grain dry, and it was in great danger of spoiling: and this humbled them much; so they came and begged the Spaniards to help them, which they very readily did; and in four days [page 375] worked a great hole in the side of the hill for them, big enough to secure their corn and other things from the rain: but it was but a poor place at best compared to mine; and especially as mine was then; for the Spaniards had greatly enlarged it, and made several new apartments in it.

About three quarters of a year after this separation a new frolic took these rogues, which, together with the former villany they had committed, brought mischief enough upon them, and had very near been the ruin of the whole colony. The three new associates began, it seems, to be weary of the laborious life they led, and that without hope of bettering their circumstances; and a whim took them that they would make a voyage to the continent from whence the savages came, and would try if they could not seize upon some prisoners among the natives there, and bring them home, so as to make them do the laborious part of the work for them.

The project was not so preposterous if they had gone no farther; but they did nothing and proposed nothing but had either mischief in the design or mischief in the event; and if I may give my opinion, they seemed to be under a blast from Heaven; for if we will not allow a visible curse to pursue visible crimes, how shall we reconcile the events of things with divine justice? It was certainly an apparent vengeance on their crime of mutiny and piracy that brought them to the state they were in; and as they shewed not the least remorse for the crime, but added new villanies to it, such as particularly that piece of monstrous cruelty of wounding a poor slave because he did not, or perhaps could not understand to do what he was directed, and to wound him in such a manner as, no question, made him a cripple all his life, and in a place where no surgeon or medicine could be had for his cure; and what was still worse, the murderous intent, or, to do justice to the crime, the intentional murder, for such to be sure it was, as was afterwards [page 376] the formed design they all laid to murder the Spaniards in cold blood, and in their sleep.

But I leave observing, and return to the story: The three fellows came down to the Spaniards one morning, and in very humble terms desired to be admitted to speak with them; the Spaniards very readily heard what they had to say, which was this, that they were tired of living in the manner they did, that they were not handy enough to make the necessaries they wanted; and that, having no help, they found they should be starved; but if the Spaniards would give them leave to take one of the canoes which they came over in, and give them arms and ammunition proportioned for their defence, they would go over to the main, and seek their fortune, and so deliver them from the trouble of supplying them with any other provisions.

The Spaniards were glad enough to be rid of them; but yet very honestly represented to them the certain destruction they were running into; told them they had suffered such hardships upon that very spot, that they could, without any spirit of prophecy, tell them that they would be starved or murdered, and bade them consider of it.

The men replied audaciously, they should be starved if they stayed here, for they could not work, and would not work; and they could but be starved abroad; and if they were murdered, there was an end of them, they had no wives or children to cry after them; and, in short, insisted importunately upon their demand, declaring that they would go, whether they would give them any arms or no.

The Spaniards told them with great kindness, that if they were resolved to go, they should not go like naked men, and be in no condition to defend themselves, and that though they could ill spare their fire-arms, having not enough for themselves, yet they would let them have two muskets, a pistol, and a cutlass, and each man a hatchet, which they thought sufficient for them.

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In a word, they accepted the offer, and having baked them bread enough to serve them a month, and given them as much goat’s flesh as they could eat while it was sweet, and a great basket full of dried grapes, a pot full of fresh water, and a young kid alive to kill, they boldly set out in a canoe for a voyage over the sea, where it was at least forty miles broad.

The boat was indeed a large one, and would have very well carried fifteen or twenty men, and therefore was rather too big for them to manage; but as they had a fair breeze and the flood-tide with them, they did well enough; they had made a mast of a long pole, and a sail of four large goat-skins dried, which they had sewed or laced together; and away they went merrily enough; the Spaniards called after them, “Bon veajo;” and no man ever thought of seeing them any more.

The Spaniards would often say to one another, and the two honest Englishmen who remained behind, how quietly and comfortably they lived now those three turbulent fellows were gone; as for their ever coming again, that was the remotest thing from their thoughts could be imagined; when, behold, after twenty-two days absence, one of the Englishmen being abroad upon his planting work, sees three strange men coming towards him at a distance, two of them with guns upon their shoulders.

Away runs the Englishman, as if he was bewitched, and became frighted and amazed, to the governor Spaniard, and tells him they were all undone, for there were strangers landed upon the island, he could not tell who. The Spaniard pausing a while, says to him, “How do you mean, you cannot tell who? They are savages to be sure.”—“No, no,” says the Englishman, “they are men in clothes, with arms.”—“Nay then,” says the Spaniard, “why are you concerned? If they are not savages, they must be friends; for there is no Christian nation upon earth but will do us good rather than harm.”

While they were debating thus, came the three [page 378] Englishmen, and standing without the wood which was new-planted, hallooed to them; they presently knew their voices, and so all the wonder of that kind ceased. But now the admiration was turned upon another question, viz. What could be the matter, and what made them come back again?

It was not long before they brought the men in; and inquiring where they had been, and what they had been doing? they gave them a full account of their voyage in a few words, viz. that they reached the land in two days, or something less, but finding the people alarmed at their coming, and preparing with bows and arrows to fight them, they durst not go on shore, but sailed on to the northward six or seven hours, till they came to a great opening, by which they perceived that the land they saw from our island was not the main, but an island: that entering that opening of the sea, they saw another island on the right hand north, and several more west; and being resolved to land somewhere, they put over to one of the islands which lay west, and went boldly on shore; that they found the people were courteous and friendly to them, and they gave them several roots, and some dried fish, and appeared very sociable: and the women, as well as the men, were very forward to supply them with any thing they could get for them to eat, and brought it to them a great way upon their heads.

They continued here four days, and inquired, as well as they could of them by signs, what nations were this way, and that way; and were told of several fierce and terrible people, that lived almost every way; who, as they made known by signs to them, used to eat men; but as for themselves, they said, that they never ate men or women, except only such as they took in the wars; and then they owned that they made a great feast, and ate their prisoners.

The Englishmen inquired when they had a feast of that kind, and they told them two moons ago, pointing to the moon, and then to two-fingers; and that their great king had two hundred prisoners now [page 379] which he had taken in his war, and they were feeding them to make them fat for the next feast. The Englishmen seemed mighty desirous to see those prisoners, but the others mistaking them, thought they were desirous to have some of them to carry away for their own eating. So they beckoned to them, pointing to the setting of the sun, and then to the rising; which was to signify, that the next morning at sun-rising they would bring some for them; and accordingly the next morning they brought down five women and eleven men, and gave them to the Englishmen to carry with them on their voyage, just as we would bring so many cows and oxen down to a sea-port town to victual a ship.

As brutish and barbarous as these fellows were at home, their stomachs turned at this sight, and they did not know what to do; to refuse the prisoners would have been the highest affront to the savage gentry that offered them; and what to do with them they knew not; however, upon some debate, they resolved to accept of them; and in return they gave the savages that brought them one of their hatchets, an old key, a knife, and six or seven of their bullets, which, though they did not understand, they seemed extremely pleased with; and then tying the poor creatures’ hands behind them, they (the people) dragged the prisoners into the boat for our men.

The Englishmen were obliged to come away as soon as they had them, or else they that gave them this noble present would certainly have expected that they should have gone to work with them, have killed two or three of them the next morning, and perhaps have invited the donors to dinner.

But having taken their leave with all the respect and thanks that could well pass between people, where, on either side, they understood not one word they could say, they put off with their boat, and came back towards the first island, where when they arrived, they set eight of their prisoners at liberty, there being too many of them for their occasion.

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In their voyage they endeavoured to have some communication with their prisoners, but it was impossible to make them understand any thing; nothing they could say to them, or give them, or do for them, but was looked upon as going about to murder them: they first of all unbound them, but the poor creatures screamed at that, especially the women, as if they had just felt the knife at their throats; for they immediately concluded they were unbound on purpose to be killed.

If they gave them any thing to eat, it was the same thing; then they concluded it was for fear they should sink in flesh, and so not be fat enough to kill; if they looked at one of them more particularly, the party presently concluded it was to see whether he or she was fattest and fittest to kill first; nay, after they had brought them quite over, and began to use them kindly and treat them well, still they expected every day to make a dinner or supper for their new masters.

When the three wanderers had given this unaccountable history or journal of their voyage, the Spaniard asked them where their new family was? And being told that they had brought them on shore, and put them into one of their huts, and were come to beg some victuals for them; they (the Spaniards) and the other two Englishmen, that is to say, the whole colony, resolved to go all down to the place and see them, and did so, and Friday’s father with them.

When they came into the hut, there they sat all bound; for when they had brought them on shore they bound their hands, that they might not take the boat and make their escape; there, I say, they sat all of them stark naked. First, there were three men, lusty, comely fellows, well shaped, straight and fair limbs, about thirty or thirty-five years of age, and five women; whereof two might be from thirty to forty, two more not above twenty-four or twenty-five, and the fifth, a tall, comely maiden, about sixteen or seventeen. The women were well-favoured, agreeable persons, both in shape and features, only tawny; and [page 381] two of them, had they been perfect white, would have passed for handsome women, even in London itself, having very pleasant, agreeable countenances, and of a very modest behaviour, especially when they came afterwards to be clothed, and dressed, as they called it, though that dress was very indifferent it must be confessed, of which hereafter.

The sight, you may be sure, was something uncouth to our Spaniards, who were (to give them a just character) men of the best behaviour, of the most calm, sedate tempers, and perfect good humour that ever I met with; and, in particular, of the most modesty, as will presently appear: I say the sight was very uncouth, to see three naked men and five naked women, all together bound, and in the most miserable circumstances that human nature could be supposed to be, viz. to be expecting every moment to be dragged out, and have their brains knocked out, and then to be eaten up like a calf that is killed for a dainty.

The first thing they did was to cause the old Indian, Friday’s father, to go in and see first if he knew any of them, and then if he understood any of their speech. As soon as the old man came in, he looked seriously at them, but knew none of them; neither could any of them understand a word he said, or a sign he could make, except one of the women.

However, this was enough to answer the end, which was to satisfy them, that the men into whose hands they were fallen were Christians; that they abhorred eating of men or women, and that they might be sure they would not be killed. As soon as they were assured of this, they discovered such a joy, and by such awkward and several ways as is hard to describe, for it seems they were of several nations.

The woman who was their interpreter was bid, in the next place, to ask them if they were willing to be servants, and to work for the men who had brought them away to save their lives? At which they all fell a dancing; and presently one fell to taking up this, and another that, any thing that lay next, to carry on [page 382] their shoulders, to intimate that they were willing to work.

The governor, who found that the having women among them would presently be attended with some inconveniency, and might occasion some strife, and perhaps blood, asked the three men what they intended to do with these women, and how they intended to use them, whether as servants or as women? One of the Englishmen answered very boldly and readily, that they would use them as both. To which the governor said, “I am not going to restrain you from it; you are your own masters as to that: but this I think is but just, for avoiding disorders and quarrels among you, and I desire it of you for that reason only, viz. that you will all engage, that if any of you take any of these women as a woman, or wife, he shall take but one; and that, having taken one, none else should touch her; for though we cannot marry any of you, yet it is but reasonable that while you stay here, the woman any of you takes should be maintained by the man that takes her, and should be his wife; I mean,” says he, “while he continues here; and that none else should have any thing to do with her.” All this appeared so just, that every one agreed to it without any difficulty.

Then the Englishmen asked the Spaniards if they designed to take any of them? But every one answered, “No;” some of them said they had wives in Spain; and the others did not like women that were not Christians; and all together declared, that they would not touch one of them; which was an instance of such virtue as I have not met with in all my travels. On the other hand, to be short, the five Englishmen took them every one a wife; that is to say, a temporary wife; and so they set up a new form of living; for the Spaniards and Friday’s father lived in my old habitation, which they had enlarged exceedingly within; the three servants, which they had taken in the late battle of the savages, lived with them; and these carried on the main part of the colony, supplying [page 383] all the rest with food, and assisting them in any thing as they could, or as they found necessity required.

But the wonder of this story was, how five such refractory, ill-matched fellows should agree about these women, and that two of them should not pitch upon the same woman, especially seeing two or three of them were, without comparison, more agreeable than the others: but they took a good way enough to prevent quarrelling among themselves; for they set the five women by themselves in one of their huts, and they went all into the other hut, and drew lots among them who should choose first.

He that drew to choose first, went away by himself to the hut where the poor naked creatures were, and fetched out her he chose; and it was worth observing that he that chose first took her that was reckoned the homeliest and the oldest of the five, which made mirth enough among the rest; and even the Spaniards laughed at it; but the fellow considered better than any of them, that it was application and business that they were to expect assistance in as much as any thing else, and she proved the best wife in the parcel.

When the poor women saw themselves in a row thus, and fetched out one by one, the terrors of their condition returned upon them again, and they firmly believed that they were now going to be devoured: accordingly, when the English sailor came in and fetched out one of them, the rest set up a most lamentable cry, and hung about her, and took their leave of her with such agonies and such affection as would have grieved the hardest heart in the world; nor was it possible for the Englishmen to satisfy them that they were not to be immediately murdered, till they fetched the old man, Friday’s father, who instantly let them know, that the five men who had fetched them out one by one, had chosen them for their wives.

When they had done this, and the fright the women were in was a little over, the men went to work, [page 384] and the Spaniards came and helped them; and in a few hours they had built them every one a new hut or tent for their lodging apart; for those they had already were crowded with their tools, household stuff, and provisions. The three wicked ones had pitched farthest off, and the two honest ones nearer, but both on the north shore of the island, so that they continued separate as before: and thus my island was peopled in three places, and, as I might say, three towns were begun to be planted.

And here it is very well worth observing, that as it often happens in the world, (what the wise ends of God’s providences are in such a disposition of things I cannot say) the two honest fellows had the two worst wives; and the three reprobates, that were scarce worth hanging, that were fit for nothing, and neither seemed born to do themselves good, or any one else, had three clever, diligent, careful, and ingenious wives, not that the two first were ill wives as to their temper or humour; for all the five were most willing, quiet, passive, and subjected creatures, rather like slaves than wives; but my meaning is, they were not alike, capable, ingenious, or industrious, or alike cleanly and neat.

Another observation I must make, to the honour of a diligent application on the one hand, and to the disgrace of a slothful, negligent, idle temper on the other, that when I came to the place, and viewed the several improvements, planting, and management of the several little colonies, the two men had so far out-gone the three, that there was no comparison; they had indeed both of them as much ground laid out for corn as they wanted; and the reason was, because according to my rule, nature dictated, that it was to no purpose to sow more corn than they wanted; but the difference of the cultivation, of the planting, of the fences, and indeed every thing else, was easy to be seen at first view.

The two men had innumerable young trees planted about their huts, that when you came to the place nothing [page 385] was to be seen but a wood; and though they had their plantation twice demolished, once by their own countrymen, and once by the enemy, as shall be shewn in its place; yet they had restored all again, and every thing was flourishing and thriving about them: they had grapes planted in order, and managed like a vineyard, though they had themselves never seen any thing of that kind; and by their good ordering their vines their grapes were as good again as any of the others. They had also formed themselves a retreat in the thickest part of the woods, where, though there was not a natural cave, as I had found, yet they made one with incessant labour of their hands, and where, when the mischief which followed happened, they secured their wives and children so as they could never be found; they having, by sticking innumerable stakes and poles of the wood, which, as I said, grow so easily, made a grove impassable except in one place, where they climbed up to get over the outside part, and then went in by ways of their own leaving.

As to the three reprobates, as I justly call them, though they were much civilized by their new settlement compared to what they were before, and were not so quarrelsome, having not the same opportunity, yet one of the certain companions of a profligate mind never left them, and that was their idleness. It is true, they planted corn and made fences; but Solomon’s words were never better verified than in them: “I went by the vineyard of the slothful, and it was overgrown with thorns;” for when the Spaniards came to view their crop, they could not see it in some places for weeds; the hedge had several gaps in it, where the wild goats had gotten in and eaten up the corn; perhaps here and there a dead bush was crammed in to stop them out for the present, but it was only shutting the stable door after the steed was stolen; whereas, when they looked on the colony of the other two, here was the very face of industry and success upon all they did; there was not a weed to be seen in all [page 386] their corn, or a gap in any of their hedges; and they, on the other hand, verified Solomon’s words in another place: “The diligent hand maketh rich;” for every thing grew and thrived, and they had plenty within and without; they had more tame cattle than the others, more utensils and necessaries within doors, and yet more pleasure and diversion too.

It is true, the wives of the three were very handy and cleanly within doors; and having learnt the English ways of dressing and cooking from one of the other Englishmen, who, as I said, was a cook’s mate on board the ship, they dressed their husbands’ victuals very nicely; whereas the other could not be brought to understand it; but then the husband, who as I said, had been cook’s mate, did it himself; but as for the husbands of the three wives, they loitered about, fetched turtles’ eggs, and caught fish and birds; in a word, any thing but labour, and they fared accordingly. The diligent lived well and comfortably and the slothful lived hard and beggarly; and so I believe, generally speaking, it is all over the world.

But now I come to a scene different from all that had happened before, either to them or me; and the origin of the story was this:

Early one morning there came on shore five or six canoes of Indians, or savages, call them which you please; and there is no room to doubt that they came upon the old errand of feeding upon their slaves; but that part was now so familiar to the Spaniards, and to our men too, that they did not concern themselves about it as I did; but having been made sensible by their experience, that their only business was to lie concealed, and that, if they were not seen by any of the savages, they would go off again quietly when the business was done, having as yet not the least notion of there being any inhabitants in the island; I say having been made sensible of this, they had nothing to do but to give notice to all the three plantations to keep within doors, and not to shew themselves; only [page 387] placing a scout in a proper place, to give notice when the boats went off to sea again.

This was, without doubt, very right; but a disaster spoiled all these measures, and made it known among the savages that there were inhabitants there, which was, in the end, the desolation of almost the whole colony. After the canoes with the savages were gone off, the Spaniards peeped abroad again, and some of them had the curiosity to go to the place where they had been, to see what they had been doing. Here, to their great surprise, they found three savages left behind, and lying fast asleep upon the ground; it was supposed they had either been so gorged with their inhuman feast, that, like beasts, they were asleep, and would not stir when the others went, or they were wandered into the woods, and did not come back in time to be taken in.

The Spaniards were greatly surprised at this sight, and perfectly at a loss what to do; the Spaniard governor, as it happened, was with them, and his advice was asked; but he professed he knew not what to do; as for slaves, they had enough already; and as to killing them, they were none of them inclined to that. The Spaniard governor told me they could not think of shedding innocent blood; for as to them, the poor creatures had done no wrong, invaded none of their property; and they thought they had no just quarrel against them to take away their lives.

And here I must, in justice to these Spaniards, observe, that let all the accounts of Spanish cruelty in Mexico and Peru be what they will, I never met with seventeen men, of any nation whatsoever, in any foreign country, who were so universally modest, temperate, virtuous, so very good-humoured, and so courteous as these Spaniards; and, as to cruelty, they had nothing of it in their very nature; no inhumanity, no barbarity, no outrageous passions, and yet all of them men of great courage and spirit.

Their temper and calmness had appeared in their bearing the insufferable usage of the three Englishmen; [page 388] and their justice and humanity appeared now in the case of the savages as above. After some consultation they resolved upon this, that they would lie still a while longer, till, if possible, these three men might be gone; but then the governor Spaniard recollected that the three savages had no boat; and that if they were left to rove about the island, they would certainly discover that there were inhabitants in it, and so they should be undone that way.

Upon this they went back again, and there lay the fellows fast asleep still; so they resolved to awaken them, and take them prisoners; and they did so. The poor fellows were strangely frighted when they were seized upon and bound, and afraid, like the women, that they should be murdered and eaten; for it seems those people think all the world do as they do, eating mens’ flesh; but they were soon made easy as to that: and away they carried them.

It was very happy for them that they did not carry them home to their castle; I mean to my palace under the hill; but they carried them first to the bower, where was the chief of their country work; such as the keeping the goats, the planting the corn, &c.; and afterwards they carried them to the habitation of the two Englishmen.

Here they were set to work, though it was not much, they had for them to do; and whether it was by negligence in guarding them, or that they thought the fellows could not mend themselves, I know not, but one of them ran away, and taking into the woods, they could never hear of him more.

They had good reason to believe he got home again soon after in some other boats or canoes of savages, who came on shore three or four weeks afterwards, and who, carrying on their revels as usual, went off again in two days time. This thought terrified them exceedingly; for they concluded, and that not without good cause indeed, that if this fellow got safe home among his comrades, he would certainly give them an account that there were people in the island, as also [page 389] how weak and few they were; for this savage, as I observed before, had never been told, as it was very happy he had not, how many they were, or where they lived, nor had he ever seen or heard the fire of any of their guns, much less had they shewn him any other of their retired places, such as the cave in the valley, or the new retreat which the two Englishmen had made, and the like.

The first testimony they had that this fellow had given intelligence of them was, that about two months after this, six canoes of savages, with about seven or eight, or ten men in a canoe, came rowing along the north side of the island, where they never used to come before, and landed about an hour after sunrise, at a convenient place, about a mile from the habitation of the two Englishmen, where this escaped man had been kept. As the Spaniard governor said, had they been all there the damage would not have been so much, for not a man of them would have escaped: but the case differed now very much; for two men to fifty were too much odds. The two men had the happiness to discover them about a league off, so that it was about an hour before they landed, and as they landed about a mile from their huts, it was some time before they could come at them. Now having great reason to believe that they were betrayed, the first thing they did was to bind the slaves which were left, and cause two of the three men whom they brought with the women, who, it seems, proved very faithful to them, to lead them with their two wives, and whatever they could carry away with them, to their retired place in the woods, which I have spoken of above, and there to bind the two fellows hand and foot till they heard farther.

In the next place, seeing the savages were all come on shore, and that they bent their course directly that way, they opened the fences where their milch-goats were kept, and drove them all out, leaving their goats to straggle into the wood, whither they pleased, that the savages might think they were all bred wild; but [page 390] the rogue who came with them was too cunning for that, and gave them an account of it all, for they went directly to the place.

When the poor frighted men had secured their wives and goods, they sent the other slave they had of the three, who came with the women, and who was at their place by accident, away to the Spaniards with all speed, to give them the alarm, and desire speedy help; and in the mean time they took their arms, and what ammunition they had, and retreated towards the place in the wood where their wives were sent, keeping at a distance; yet so that they might see, if possible, which way the savages took.

They had not gone far but that, from a rising ground, they could see the little army of their enemies come on directly to their habitation, and in a moment more could see all their huts and household-stuff flaming up together, to their great grief and mortification; for they had a very great loss, and to them irretrievable, at least for some time. They kept their station for a while, till they found the savages, like wild beasts, spread themselves all over the place, rummaging every way, and every place they could think of, in search for prey, and in particular for the people, of whom it plainly appeared they had intelligence.

The two Englishmen, seeing this, thinking themselves not secure where they stood, as it was likely some of the wild people might come that way, so they might come too many together, thought it proper to make another retreat about half a mile farther, believing, as it afterwards happened, that the farther they strolled, the fewer would be together.

The next halt was at the entrance into a very thick grown part of the woods, and where an old trunk of a tree stood, which was hollow, and vastly large; and in this tree they both took their standing, resolving to see what might offer.

They had not stood there long, but two of the savages appeared running directly that way, as if they had already notice where they stood, and were coming [page 391] up to attack them; and a little way farther they espied three more coming after them, and five more beyond them, all coming the same way; besides which, they saw seven or eight more at a distance, running another way; for, in a word, they ran every way, like sportsmen beating for their game.

The poor men were now in great perplexity, whether they should stand and keep their posture, or fly; but after a very short debate with themselves, they considered that if the savages ranged the country thus before help came, they might, perhaps, find out their retreat in the woods, and then all would be lost; so they resolved to stand them there; and if there were too many to deal with, then they would get to the top of the tree, from whence they doubted not to defend themselves, fire excepted, as long as their ammunition lasted, though all the savages that were landed, which were near fifty, were to attack them.

Having resolved upon this, they next considered whether they should fire at the two first, or wait for the three, and so take the middle party, by which the two and the five that followed would be separated: at length they resolved to let the two first pass by, unless they should spy them in the tree, and come to attack them. The two first savages also confirmed them in this resolution, by turning a little from them towards another part of the wood; but the three, and the five after them, came forwards directly to the tree, as if they had known the Englishmen were there.

Seeing them come so straight towards them, they resolved to take them in a line as they came; and as they resolved to fire but one at a time, perhaps the first shot might hit them all three; to which purpose, the man who was to fire put three or four bullets into his piece, and having a fair loop-hole, as it were, from a broken hole in the tree, he took a sure aim, without being seen, waiting till they were within about thirty yards of the tree, so that he could not miss.

While they were thus waiting, and the savages came on, they plainly saw, that one of the three was the [page 392] runaway savage that had escaped from them; and they both knew him distinctly, and resolved that, if possible, he should not escape, though they should both fire; so the other stood ready with his piece, that if he did not drop at the first shot, he should be sure to have a second. But the first was too good a marksman to miss his aim; for as the savages kept near one another, a little behind in a line, he fired, and hit two of them directly; the foremost was killed outright, being shot in the head; the second, which was the runaway Indian, was shot through the body, and fell, but was not quite dead; and the third had a little scratch in the shoulder, perhaps by the same ball that went through the body of the second; and being dreadfully frightened, though not so much hurt, sat down upon the ground, screaming and yelling in a hideous manner.

The five that were behind, more frightened with the noise than sensible of the danger, stood still at first; for the woods made the sound a thousand times bigger than it really was, the echoes rattling from one side to another, and the fowls rising from all parts, screaming, and every sort making a different noise, according to their kind; just as it was when I fired the first gun that perhaps was ever shot off in the island.

However, all being silent again, and they not knowing what the matter was, came on unconcerned, till they came to the place where their companions lay in a condition miserable enough. Here the poor ignorant creatures, not sensible that they were within reach of the same mischief, stood all together over the wounded man, talking, and, as may be supposed, inquiring of him how he came to be hurt; and who, it is very rational to believe, told them that a flash of fire first, and immediately after that thunder from their gods, had killed those two and [page 393] wounded him. This, I say, is rational; for nothing is more certain than that, as they saw no man near them, so they had never heard a gun in all their lives, nor so much as heard of a gun; neither knew they anything of killing and wounding at a distance with fire and bullets: if they had, one might reasonably believe they would not have stood so unconcerned to view the fate of their fellows, without some apprehensions of their own.

Our two men, as they confessed to me, were grieved to be obliged to kill so many poor creatures, who had no notion of their danger; yet, having them all thus in their power, and the first having loaded his piece again, resolved to let fly both together among them; and singling out, by agreement, which to aim at, they shot together, and killed, or very much wounded, four of them; the fifth, frightened even to death, though not hurt, fell with the rest; so that our men, seeing them all fall together, thought they had killed them all.

The belief that the savages were all killed made our two men come boldly out from the tree before they had charged their guns, which was a wrong step; and they were under some surprise when they came to the place, and found no less than four of them alive, and of them two very little hurt, and one not at all. This obliged them to fall upon them with the stocks of their muskets; and first they made sure of the runaway savage, that had been the cause of all the mischief, and of another that was hurt in the knee, and put them out of their pain; then the man that was not hurt at all came and kneeled down to them, with his two hands held up, and made piteous moans to them, by gestures and signs, for his life, but could not say one word to them that they could understand. However, they made signs to him to sit down at the foot of a tree hard by; and one of the Englishmen, with a piece of rope-yarn, which he had by great chance in his pocket, tied his two hands behind him, and there they left him; and with what speed they could made after the other two, which were gone before, fearing they, or any more of [page 394] them, should find the way to their covered place in the woods, where their wives, and the few goods they had left, lay. They came once in sight of the two men, but it was at a great distance; however, they had the satisfaction to see them cross over a valley towards the sea, the quite contrary way from that which led to their retreat, which they were afraid of; and being satisfied with that, they went back to the tree where they left their prisoner, who as they supposed was delivered by his comrades; for he was gone, and the two pieces of rope-yarn with which they had bound him, lay just at the foot of the tree.

They were now in as great a concern as before, not knowing what course to take, or how near the enemy might be, or in what numbers; so they resolved to go away to the place where their wives were, to see if all was well there, and to make them easy, who were in fright enough to be sure; for though the savages were their own country-folks, yet they were most terribly afraid of them, and perhaps the more, for the knowledge they had of them.

When they came thither, they found the savages had been in the wood, and very near the place, but had not found it; for indeed it was inaccessible, by the trees standing so thick, as before, unless the persons seeking it had been directed by those that knew it, which these were not; they found, therefore, every thing very safe, only the women in a terrible fright. While they were here they had the comfort of seven of the Spaniards coming to their assistance: the other ten with their servants, and old Friday, I mean Friday’s father, were gone in a body to defend their bower, and the corn and cattle that were kept there, in case the savages should have roved over to that side of the country; but they did not spread so far. With the seven Spaniards came one of the savages, who, as I said, were their prisoners formerly, and with them also came the savage whom the Englishmen had left bound hand and foot at the tree; for it seems they came that way, saw the slaughter of the seven [page 395] men, and unbound the eighth, and brought him along with them, where, however, they were obliged to bind him again, as they had done the two others, who were left when the third run away.

The prisoners began now to be a burden to them; and they were so afraid of their escaping, that they thought they were under an absolute necessity to kill them for their own preservation: however, the Spaniard governor would not consent to it; but ordered, that they should be sent out of the way to my old cave in the valley, and be kept there, with two Spaniards to guard them and give them food; which was done; and they were bound there hand and foot for that night.

When the Spaniards came, the two Englishmen were so encouraged, that they could not satisfy themselves to stay any longer there; but taking five of the Spaniards, and themselves, with four muskets and a pistol among them, and two stout quarter-staves, away they went in quest of the savages. And first, they came to the tree where the men lay that had been killed; but it was easy to see that some more of the savages had been there; for they attempted to carry their dead men away, and had dragged two of them a good way, but had given it over; from thence they advanced to the first rising ground, where they had stood and seen their camp destroyed, and where they had the mortification still to see some of the smoke; but neither could they here see any of the savages: they then resolved, though with all possible caution, to go forward towards their ruined plantation; but a little before they came thither, coming in sight of the sea-shore, they saw plainly the savages all embarking again in their canoes, in order to be gone.

They seemed sorry at first that there was no way to come at them to give them a parting blow; but upon the whole were very well satisfied to be rid of them.

The poor Englishmen being now twice ruined, and all their improvements destroyed, the rest all agreed to come and help them to rebuild, and to assist them [page 396] with needful supplies. Their three countrymen, who were not yet noted for having the least inclination to do any thing good, yet, as soon as they heard of it (for they, living remote, knew nothing till all was over), came and offered their help and assistance, and did very friendly work for several days to restore their habitations and make necessaries for them; and thus in a little time they were set upon their legs again.

About two days after this they had the farther satisfaction of seeing three of the savages’ canoes come driving onshore, and at some distance from them, with two drowned men; by which they had reason to believe that they had met with a storm at sea, which had overset some of them, for it blew very hard the night after they went off.

However, as some might miscarry, so on the other hand enough of them escaped to inform the rest, as well of what they had done, as of what happened to them; and to whet them on to another enterprise of the same nature, which they, it seems, resolved to attempt, with sufficient force to carry all before them; for except what the first man told them of inhabitants, they could say little to it of their own knowledge; for they never saw one man, and the fellow being killed that had affirmed it, they had no other witness to confirm it to them.

It was five or six months after this before they heard any more of the savages, in which time our men were in hopes they had not forgot their former bad luck, or had given over the hopes of better; when on a sudden they were invaded with a most formidable fleet of no less than twenty-eight canoes, full of savages, armed with bows and arrows, great clubs, wooden swords, and such-like engines of war; and they brought such numbers with them, that in short it put all our people into the utmost consternation.

As they came on shore in the evening, and at the easternmost side of the island, our men had that night to consult and consider what to do; and in the first place, knowing that their being entirely concealed was [page 397] their only safety before, and would much more be so now, while the number of their enemies was so great, they therefore resolved, first of all, to take down the huts which were built for the two Englishmen, and drive away their goats to the old cave; because they supposed the savages would go directly thither as soon as it was day, to play the old game over again, though they did not now land within two leagues of it.

In the next place, they drove away all the flock of goats they had at the old bower, as I called it, which belonged to the Spaniards; and, in short, left as little appearance of inhabitants any where as possible; and the next morning early they posted themselves with all their force at the plantation of the two men, waiting for their coming. As they guessed, so it happened: these new invaders, leaving their canoes at the east end of the island, came ranging along the shore, directly towards the place, to the number of two hundred and fifty, as near as our men could judge. Our army was but small indeed; but that which was worse, they had not arms for all their number neither: the whole account, it seems, stood thus:—first, as to men:

17 Spaniards.
 5 Englishmen.
 1 Old Friday, or Friday’s father.
 3 Slaves, taken with the women, who proved very
 3 Other slaves who lived with the Spaniards.

      To arm these they had:
11 Muskets.
 5 Pistols.
 3 Fowling-pieces.
 5 Muskets, or fowling-pieces, which were taken by
      me from the mutinous seamen whom I reduced.
 2 Swords.
 3 Old halberts.

[page 398]

To their slaves they did not give either musket or fusil, but they had every one an halbert, or a long staff, like a quarter-staff, with a great spike of iron fastened into each end of it, and by his side a hatchet; also every one of our men had hatchets. Two of the women could not be prevailed upon but they would come into the fight, and they had bows and arrows, which the Spaniards had taken from the savages when the first action happened, which I have spoken of, where the Indians fought with one another; and the women had hatchets too.

The Spaniard governor, whom I have described so often, commanded the whole; and William Atkins, who, though a dreadful fellow for wickedness, was a most daring, bold fellow, commanded under him. The savages came forward like lions, and our men, which was the worst of their fate, had no advantage in their situation; only that Will Atkins, who now proved a most useful fellow, with six men, was planted just behind a small thicket of bushes, as an advanced guard, with orders to let the first of them pass by, and then fire into the middle of them; and as soon as he had fired to make his retreat, as nimbly as he could, round a part of the wood, and so come in behind the Spaniards where they stood, having a thicket of trees all before them.

When the savages came on, they ran straggling about every way in heaps, out of all manner of order, and Will Atkins let about fifty of them pass by him; then seeing the rest come in a very thick throng, he orders three of his men to fire, having loaded their muskets with six or seven bullets apiece, about as big as large pistol-bullets. How many they killed or wounded they knew not; but the consternation and surprise was inexpressible among the savages, who were frighted to the last degree, to hear such a dreadful noise, and see their men killed, and others hurt, but see nobody that did it. When in the middle of their fright, William Atkins and his other three let fly again among the [page 399] thickest of them and in less than a minute the first three, being loaded again, gave them a third volley.

Had William Atkins and his men retired immediately, as soon as they had fired, as they were ordered to do; or had the rest of the body been at hand to have poured in their shot continually, the savages had been effectually routed; for the terror that was among them came principally from this; viz. that they were killed by the gods with thunder and lightning, and could see nobody that hurt them: but William Atkins staying to load again, discovered the cheat; some of the savages who were at a distance, spying them, came upon them behind; and though Atkins and his men fired at them also, two or three times, and killed above twenty, retiring as fast as they could, yet they wounded Atkins himself, and killed one of his fellow Englishmen with their arrows, as they did afterwards one Spaniard, and one of the Indian slaves who came with the women. This slave was a most gallant fellow, and fought most desperately, killing five of them with his own hand, having no weapon but one of the armed staves and a hatchet.

Our men being thus hard laid at, Atkins wounded, and two other men killed, retreated to a rising ground in the wood; and the Spaniards, after firing three vollies upon them, retreated also; for their number was so great, and they were so desperate, that though above fifty of them were killed, and more than so many wounded, yet they came on in the teeth of our men, fearless of danger, and shot their arrows like a cloud; and it was observed, that their wounded men, who were not quite disabled, were made outrageous by their wounds, and fought like madmen.

When our men retreated, they left the Spaniard and the Englishman that were killed behind them; and the savages, when they came up to them, killed them over again in a wretched manner, breaking their arms, legs, and heads, with their clubs and wooden swords, like true savages. But finding our men were gone, they did not seem inclined to pursue them, but drew [page 400] themselves up in a kind of ring, which is, it seems, their custom, and shouted twice in token of their victory; after which, they had the mortification to see several of their wounded men fall, dying with the mere loss of blood.

The Spaniard governor having drawn his little body up together upon a rising ground, Atkins, though he was wounded, would have had him march, and charge them again all together at once: but the Spaniard replied, “Seignior Atkins, you see how their wounded men fight; let them alone till morning; all these wounded men will be stiff and sore with their wounds, and faint with the loss of blood, and so we shall have the fewer to engage.”

The advice was good; but Will Atkins replied merrily, “That’s true, Seignior, and so shall I too; and that’s the reason I would go on while I am warm.”—“Well, Seignior Atkins,” says the Spaniard, “you have behaved gallantly, and done your part; we will fight for you, if you cannot come on; but I think it best to stay till morning:” so they waited.

But as it was a clear moonlight night, and they found the savages in great disorder about their dead and wounded men, and a great hurry and noise among them where they lay, they afterwards resolved to fall upon them in the night, especially if they could come to give them but one volley before they were discovered. This they had a fair opportunity to do; for one of the two Englishmen, in whose quarter it was where the fight began, led them round between the woods and the sea-side, westward, and turning short south, they came so near where the thickest of them lay, that before they were seen or heard, eight of them fired in among them, and did dreadful execution upon them; in half a minute more eight others fired after them, pouring in their small shot in such a quantity, that abundance were killed and wounded; and all this while they were not able to see who hurt them, or which way to fly.

The Spaniards charged again with the utmost expedition, [page 401] and then divided themselves into three bodies, and resolved to fall in among them all together. They had in each body eight persons; that is to say, twenty-four, whereof were twenty-two men, and the two women, who, by the way, fought desperately.

They divided the fire-arms equally in each party, and so of the halberts and staves. They would have had the women keep back; but they said they were resolved to die with their husbands. Having thus formed their little army, they marched out from among the trees, and came up to the teeth of the enemy, shouting and hallooing as loud as they could. The savages stood all together, but were in the utmost confusion, hearing the noise of our men shouting from three quarters together; they would have fought if they had seen us; and as soon as we came near enough to be seen, some arrows were shot, and poor old Friday was wounded, though not dangerously. But our men gave them no time, but running up to them, fired among them three ways, and then fell in with the butt ends of their muskets, their swords, armed staves, and hatchets; and laid about them so well, that in a word they set up a dismal screaming and howling, flying to save their lives which way soever they could.

Our men were tired with the execution; and killed, or mortally wounded, in the two fights, about one hundred and eighty of them: the rest, being frighted out of their wits, scoured through the woods and over the hills, with all the speed that fear and nimble feet could help them to do; and as we did not trouble ourselves much to pursue them, they got all together to the sea-side, where they landed, and where their canoes lay. But their disaster was not at an end yet, for it blew a terrible storm of wind that evening from the seaward, so that it was impossible for them to put off; nay, the storm continuing all night, when the tide came up their canoes were most of them driven by the surge of the sea so high upon the shore, that it required infinite toil to get them off; and some of them [page 402] were even dashed to pieces against the beach, or against one another.

Our men, though glad of their victory, yet got little rest that night; but having refreshed themselves as well as they could, they resolved to march to that part of the island where the savages were fled, and see what posture they were in. This necessarily led them over the place where the fight had been, and where they found several of the poor creatures not quite dead, and yet past recovering life; a sight disagreeable enough to generous minds; for a truly great man, though obliged by the law of battle to destroy his enemy, takes no delight in his misery.

However, there was no need to give any order in this case; for their own savages, who were their servants, dispatched those poor creatures with their hatchets.

At length they came in view of the place where the more miserable remains of the savages’ army lay, where there appeared about one hundred still: their posture was generally sitting upon the ground, with their knees up towards their mouth, and the head put between the hands, leaning down upon the knees.

When our men came within two musket-shot of them, the Spaniard governor ordered two muskets to be fired without ball, to alarm them; this he did, that by their countenance he might know what to expect, viz. whether they were still in heart to fight, or were so heartily beaten, as to be dispirited and discouraged, and so he might manage accordingly.

This stratagem took; for as soon as the savages heard the first gun, and saw the flash of the second, they started up upon their feet in the greatest consternation imaginable; and as our men advanced swiftly towards them, they all ran screaming and yawling away, with a kind of an howling noise, which our men did not understand, and had never heard before; and thus they ran up the hills into the country.

At first our men had much rather the weather had [page 403] been calm, and they had all gone away to sea; but they did not then consider, that this might probably have been the occasion of their coming again in such multitudes as not to be resisted; or, at least, to come so many and so often, as would quite desolate the island and starve them. Will Atkins therefore, who, notwithstanding his wound, kept always with them, proved the best counsellor in this case. His advice was, to take the advantage that offered, and clap in between them and their boats, and so deprive them of the capacity of ever returning any more to plague the island.

They consulted long about this, and some were against it, for fear of making the wretches fly into the woods, and live there desperate; and so they should have them to hunt like wild beasts, be afraid to stir about their business, and have their plantation continually rifled, all their tame goats destroyed, and, in short, be reduced to a life of continual distress.

Will Atkins told them they had better have to do with one hundred men than with one hundred nations; that as they must destroy their boats, so they must destroy the men, or be all of them destroyed themselves. In a word, he shewed them the necessity of it so plainly, that they all came into it; so they went to work immediately with the boats, and getting some dry wood together from a dead tree, they tried to set some of them on fire; but they were so wet that they would scarce burn. However, the fire so burned the upper part, that it soon made them unfit for swimming in the sea as boats. When the Indians saw what they were about, some of them came running out of the woods, and coming as near as they could to our men, kneeled down and cried, Oa, Oa, Waramokoa, and some other words of their language, which none of the others understood any thing of; but as they made pitiful gestures and strange noises, it was easy to understand they begged to have their boats spared, and that they would be gone, and never return thither again.

[page 404]

But our men were now satisfied, that they had no way to preserve themselves or to save their colony, but effectually to prevent any of these people from ever going home again; depending upon this, that if ever so much as one of them got back into their country to tell the story, the colony was undone; so that letting them know that they should not have any mercy, they fell to work with their canoes, and destroyed them, every one that the storm had not destroyed before; at the sight of which the savages raised a hideous cry in the woods, which our people heard plain enough; after which they ran about the island like distracted men; so that, in a word, our men did not really know at first what to do with them.

Nor did the Spaniards, with all their prudence, consider that while they made those people thus desperate, they ought to have kept good guard at the same time upon their plantations; for though it is true they had driven away their cattle, and the Indians did not find their main retreat, I mean my old castle at the hill, nor the cave in the valley; yet they found out my plantation at the bower, and pulled it all to pieces, and all the fences and planting about it; trod all the corn under foot; tore up the vines and grapes, being just then almost ripe, and did our men an inestimable damage, though to themselves not one farthing’s-worth of service.

Though our men were able to fight them upon all occasions, yet they were in no condition to pursue them, or hunt them up and down; for as they were too nimble of foot for our men when they found them single, so our men durst not go about single for fear of being surrounded with their numbers: the best was, they had no weapons; for though they had bows they had no arrows left, nor any materials to make any, nor had they any edged tool or weapon among them. The extremity and distress they were reduced to was great, and indeed deplorable, but at the same time our men were also brought to very hard circumstances by them; for though their retreats were preserved, [page 405] yet their provision was destroyed, and their harvest spoiled; and what to do or which way to turn themselves, they knew not; the only refuge they had now was the stock of cattle they had in the valley by the cave, and some little corn which grew there. The three Englishmen, William Atkins and his comrades, were now reduced to two, one of them being killed by an arrow, which struck him on the side of his head, just under the temples, so that he never spoke more; and it was very remarkable, that this was the same barbarous fellow who cut the poor savage slave with his hatchet, and who afterwards intended to have murdered the Spaniards.

I look upon their case to have been worse at this time than mine was at any time after I first discovered the grains of barley and rice, and got into the method of planting and raising my corn, and my tame cattle; for now they had, as I may say, an hundred wolves upon the island, which would devour every thing they could come at, yet could be very hardly come at themselves.

The first thing they concluded when they saw what their circumstances were, was, that they would, if possible, drive them up to the farther part of the island, south-east, that if any more savages came on shore, they might not find one another; then that they would daily hunt and harass them, and kill as many of them as they could come at, till they had reduced the number; and if they could at last tame them, and bring them to any thing, they would give them corn, and teach them how to plant, and live upon their daily Labour.

In order to this they followed them, and so terrified them with their guns, that in a few days, if any of them fired a gun at an Indian, if he did not hit him, yet he would fall down for fear; and so dreadfully frighted they were, that they kept out of sight farther and farther, till at last our men following them, and every day almost killing and wounding some of them, they kept up in the woods and hollow places so much, [page 406] that it reduced them to the utmost misery for want of food; and many were afterwards found dead in the woods, without any hurt, but merely starved to death.

When our men found this, it made their hearts relent, and pity moved them; especially the Spaniard governor, who was the most gentleman-like, generous-minded man that ever I met with in my life; and he proposed, if possible, to take one of them alive, and bring him to understand what they meant, so far as to be able to act as interpreter, and to go among them, and see if they might be brought to some conditions that might be depended upon, to save their lives, and do us no spoil.

It was some time before any of them could be taken; but being weak, and half-starved, one of them was at last surprised, and made a prisoner: he was sullen at first, and would neither eat nor drink; but finding himself kindly used, and victuals given him, and no violence offered him, he at last grew tractable, and came to himself.

They brought old Friday to him, who talked often with him, and told him how kind the others would be to them all: that they would not only save their lives, but would give them a part of the island to live in, provided they would give satisfaction; that they should keep in their own bounds, and not come beyond them, to injure or prejudice others; and that they should have corn given them, to plant and make it grow for their bread, and some bread given them for their present subsistence; and old Friday bade the fellow go and talk with the rest of his countrymen, and hear what they said to it, assuring them that if they did not agree immediately they should all be destroyed.

The poor wretches, thoroughly humbled, and reduced in number to about thirty-seven, closed with the proposal at the first offer, and begged to have some food given them; upon which twelve Spaniards and two Englishmen, well armed, and three Indian slaves, and old Friday, marched to the place where they [page 407] were; the three Indian slaves carried them a large quantity of bread, and some rice boiled up to cakes, and dried in the sun, and three live goats; and they were ordered to go to the side of an hill, where they sat down, ate the provisions very thankfully, and were the most faithful fellows to their words that could be thought of; for except when they came to beg victuals and directions they never came out of their bounds; and there they lived when I came to the island, and I went to see them.

They had taught them both to plant corn, make bread, breed tame goats, and milk them; they wanted nothing but wives, and they soon would have been a nation: they were confined to a neck of land surrounded with high rocks behind them, and lying plain towards the sea before them, on the south-east corner of the island; they had land enough, and it was very good and fruitful; for they had a piece of land about a mile and a half broad, and three or four miles in length.

Our men taught them to make wooden spades, such as I made for myself; and gave among them twelve hatchets, and three or four knives; and there they lived, the most subjected innocent creatures that were ever heard of.

After this the colony enjoyed a perfect tranquillity with respect to the savages, till I came to revisit them, which was in about two years. Not but that now and then some canoes of savages came on shore for their triumphal, unnatural feasts; but as they were of several nations, and, perhaps, had never heard of those that came before, or the reason of it, they did not make any search or inquiry after their countrymen; and if they had, it would have been very hard for them to have found them out.

Thus, I think, I have given a full account of all that happened to them to my return, at least that was worth notice. The Indians, or savages, were wonderfully civilized by them, and they frequently went among them; but forbid, on pain of death, any of the Indians [page 408] coming to them, because they would not have their settlement betrayed again.

One thing was very remarkable, viz. that they taught the savages to make wicker-work, or baskets; but they soon outdid their masters; for they made abundance of most ingenious things in wicker-work; particularly all sorts of baskets, sieves, bird-cages, cupboards, &c. as also chairs to sit on, stools, beds, couches, and abundance of other things, being very ingenious at such work when they were once put in the way of it.

My coming was a particular relief to these people, because we furnished them with knives, scissars, spades, shovels, pickaxes, and all things of that kind which they could want.

With the help of these tools they were so very handy, that they came at last to build up their huts, or houses, very handsomely; raddling, or working it up like basket-work all the way round, which was a very extraordinary piece of ingenuity, and looked very odd; but was an exceeding good fence, as well against heat, as against all sorts of vermin; and our men were so taken with it, that they got the wild savages to come and do the like for them; so that when I came to see the two Englishmen’s colonies, they looked, at a distance, as if they lived all like bees in a hive; and as for Will Atkins, who was now become a very industrious, necessary, and sober fellow, he had made himself such a tent of basket work as I believe was never seen. It was one hundred and twenty paces round on the outside, as I measured by my steps; the walls were as close worked as a basket, in pannels or squares, thirty-two in number, and very strong, standing about seven feet high: in the middle was another not above twenty-two paces round, but built stronger, being eight-square in its form, and in the eight corners stood eight very strong posts, round the top of which he laid strong pieces, joined together with wooden pins, from which he raised a pyramid before the roof of eight rafters, very handsome I assure you, and joined together very well, though he had no nails, and [page 409] only a few iron spikes, which he had made himself too, out of the old iron that I had left there; and indeed this fellow shewed abundance of ingenuity in several things which he had no knowledge of; he made himself a forge, with a pair of wooden bellows to blow the fire; he made himself charcoal for his work, and he formed out of one of the iron crows a middling good anvil to hammer upon; in this manner he made many things, but especially hooks, staples and spikes, bolts and hinges. But to return to the house: after he pitched the roof of his innermost tent, he worked it up between the rafters with basket-work, so firm, and thatched that over again so ingeniously with rice-straw, and over that a large leaf of a tree, which covered the top, that his house was as dry as if it had been tiled or slated. Indeed he owned that the savages made the basket-work for him.

The outer circuit was covered, as a lean-to, all round his inner, apartment, and long rafters lay from the thirty two angles to the top posts of the inner house, being about twenty feet distant; so that there was a space like a walk within the outer wicker wall, and without the inner, near twenty feet wide.

The inner place he partitioned off with the same wicker work, but much fairer, and divided into six apartments, for that he had six rooms on a floor, and out of every one of these there was a door: first, into the entry, or coming into the main tent; and another door into the space or walk that was round it; so that this walk was also divided into six equal parts, which served not only for a retreat, but to store up any necessaries which the family had occasion for. These six spaces not taking up the whole circumference, what other apartments the outer circle had, were thus ordered: as soon as you were in at the door of the outer circle, you had a short passage straight before you to the door of the inner house; but on either side was a wicker partition, and a door in it, by which you went first into a large room or storehouse, twenty feet wide, [page 410] and about thirty feet long, and through that into another not quite so long: so that in the outer circle were ten handsome rooms, six of which were only to be come at through the apartments of the inner tent, and served as closets or retired rooms to the respective chambers of the inner circle; and four large warehouses or barns, or what you please to call them, which went in through one another, two on either hand of the passage that led through the outer door to the inner tent.

Such a piece of basket-work, I believe, was never seen in the world; nor an house or tent so neatly contrived, much less so built. In this great beehive lived the three families; that is to say, Will Atkins and his companions; the third was killed, but his wife remained with three children; for she was, it seems, big with child when he died, and the other two were not at all backward to give the widow her full share of every thing, I mean as to their corn, milk, grapes, &c. and when they killed a kid, or found a turtle on the shore; so that they all lived well enough, though it was true, they were not so industrious as the other two, as has been observed already.

One thing, however, cannot be omitted, viz. that, as for religion, I don’t know that there was any thing of that kind among them; they pretty often indeed put one another in mind that there was a God, by the very common method of seamen, viz. swearing by his name; nor were their poor, ignorant, savage wives much the better for having been married to Christians as we must call them; for as they knew very little of God themselves, so they were utterly incapable of entering into any discourse with their wives about a God or to talk any thing to them concerning religion.

The utmost of all the improvement which I can say the wives had made from them, was, that they had taught them to speak English pretty well; and all the children they had, which were near twenty in all were taught to speak English too, from their first learning to speak, though they at first spoke it in a very [page 411] broken manner, like their mothers. There were none of those children above six years old when I came thither; for it was not much above seven years that they had fetched these five savage ladies over, but they had all been pretty fruitful, for they had all children, more or less: I think the cook’s mate’s wife was big of her sixth child; and the mothers were all a good sort of well-governed, quiet, laborious women, modest and decent, helpful to one another, mighty observant and subject to their masters, I cannot call them husbands; and wanted nothing but to be well instructed in the Christian religion, and to be legally married; both which were happily brought about afterwards by my means, or at least by the consequence of my coming among them.

Having thus given an account of the colony in general, and pretty much of my five runagate Englishmen, I must say something of the Spaniards, who were the main body of the family, and in whose story there are some incidents also remarkable enough.

I had a great many discourses with them about their circumstances when they were among the savages; they told me readily, that they had no instances to give of their application or ingenuity in that country; that they were a poor, miserable, dejected handful of people; that if means had been put into their hands, they had yet so abandoned themselves to despair, and so sunk under the weight of their misfortunes, that they thought of nothing but starving. One of them, a grave and very sensible man, told me he was convinced they were in the wrong; that it was not the part of wise men to give up themselves to their misery, but always to take hold of the helps which reason offered, as well for present support, as for future deliverance; he told me that grief was the most senseless insignificant passion in the world, for that it regarded only things past, which were generally impossible to be recalled or to be remedied, but had no view to things to come, and had no share in any thing that looked like deliverance, but rather added to the affliction [page 412] than proposed a remedy; and upon this he repeated a Spanish proverb, which though I cannot repeat in just the same words that he spoke it, yet I remember I made it into an English proverb of my own, thus;

In trouble to be troubled,
Is to have your trouble doubled.

He then ran on in remarks upon all the little improvements I had made in my solitude; my unwearied application, as he called it, and how I had made a condition, which in its circumstances was at first much worse than theirs, a thousand times more happy than theirs was, even now when they were all together. He told me it was remarkable that Englishmen had a greater presence of mind in their distress than any people that ever he met with; that their unhappy nation, and the Portuguese, were the worst men in the world to struggle with misfortunes; for that their first step in dangers, after common efforts are over, was always to despair, lie down under it and die, without rousing their thoughts up to proper remedies for escape.

I told him their case and mine differed exceedingly; that they were cast upon the shore without necessaries, without supply of food, or of present sustenance, till they could provide it; that it is true, I had this disadvantage and discomfort, that I was alone; but then the supplies I had providentially thrown into my hands, by the unexpected driving of the ship on shore, was such a help as would have encouraged any creature in the world to have applied himself as I had done. “Seignior,” says the Spaniard, “had we poor Spaniards been in your case we should never have gotten half those things out of the ship as you did.” “Nay,” says he, “we should never have found means to have gotten a raft to carry them, or to have gotten a raft on shore without boat or sail; and how much less should we have done,” said he, “if any of us had been alone!” Well, I desired him to abate his [page 413] compliment, and go on with the history of their coming on shore, where they landed. He told me they unhappily landed at a place where there were people without provisions; whereas, had they had the common sense to have put off to sea again, and gone to another island a little farther, they had found provisions though without people; there being an island that way, as they had been told, where there were provisions though no people; that is to say, that the Spaniards of Trinidad had frequently been there, and filled the island with goats and hogs at several times, where they have bred in such multitudes, and where turtle and sea-fowls were in such plenty, that they could have been in no want of flesh though they had found no bread; whereas here they were only sustained with a few roots and herbs, which they understood not, and which had no substance in them, and which the inhabitants gave them sparingly enough, and who could treat them no better unless they would turn cannibals, and eat men’s flesh, which was the great dainty of the country.

They gave me an account how many ways they strove to civilize the savages they were with, and to teach them rational customs in the ordinary way of living, but in vain; and how they retorted it upon them as unjust, that they, who came thither for assistance and support, should attempt to set up for instructors of those that gave them bread; intimating, it seems, that none should set up for the instructors of others but those who could live without them.

They gave me dismal accounts of the extremities they were driven to; how sometimes they were many days without any food at all, the island they were upon being inhabited by a sort of savages that lived more indolent, and for that reason were less supplied with the necessaries of life than they had reason to believe others were in the same part of the world; and yet they found that these savages were less ravenous and voracious than those who had better supplies of food.

[page 414]

Also they added, that they could not but see with what demonstrations of wisdom and goodness the governing providence of God directs the event of things in the world, which they said appeared in their circumstances; for if, pressed by the hardships they were under, and the barrenness of the country where they were, they had searched after a better place to live in, they had then been out of the way of the relief that happened to them by my means.

Then they gave me an account how the savages whom they lived among expected them to go out with them into their wars; and it was true, that as they had fire-arms with them, had they not had the disaster to lose their ammunition, they should not have been serviceable only to their friends, but have made themselves terrible both to friends and enemies; but being without powder and shot, and in a condition that they could not in reason deny to go out with their landlords to their wars; when they came in the field of battle they were in a worse condition than the savages themselves, for they neither had bows nor arrows, nor could they use those the savages gave them, so that they could do nothing but stand still and be wounded with arrows, till they came up to the teeth of their enemy; and then indeed the three halberts they had were of use to them, and they would often drive a whole little army before them with those halberts and sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their muskets: but that for all this, they were sometimes surrounded with multitudes, and in great danger from their arrows; till at last they found the way to make themselves large targets of wood, which they covered with skins of wild beasts, whose names they knew not, and these covered them from the arrows of the savages; that notwithstanding these, they were sometimes in great danger, and were once five of them knocked down together with the clubs of the savages, which was the time when one of them was taken prisoner, that is to say, the Spaniard whom I had relieved; that at first they thought he had been [page 415] killed, but when afterwards they heard he was taken prisoner, they were under the greatest grief imaginable, and would willingly have all ventured their lives to have rescued him.

They told me, that when they were so knocked down, the rest of their company rescued them, and stood over them fighting till they were come to themselves, all but he who they thought had been dead; and then they made their way with their halberts and pieces, standing close together in a line, through a body of above a thousand savages, beating down all that came in their way, got the victory over their enemies, but to their great sorrow, because it was with the loss of their friend; whom the other party, finding him alive, carried off with some others, as I gave an account in my former.

They described, most affectionately, how they were surprised with joy at the return of their friend and companion in misery, who they thought had been devoured by wild beasts of the worst kind, viz. by wild men; and yet how more and more they were surprised with the account he gave them of his errand, and that there was a Christian in a place near, much more one that was able, and had humanity enough to contribute to their deliverance.

They described how they were astonished at the sight of the relief I sent them, and at the appearance of loaves of bread, things they had not seen since their coming to that miserable place; how often they crossed it, and blessed it as bread sent from heaven; and what a reviving cordial it was to their spirits to taste it, as also of the other things I had sent for their supply. And, after all, they would have told me something of the joy they were in at the sight of a boat and pilots to carry them away to the person and place from whence all these new comforts came; but they told me it was impossible to express it by words, for their excessive joy driving them to unbecoming extravagancies, they had no way to describe them but by telling me that they bordered upon lunacy, having [page 416] no way to give vent to their passion suitable to the sense that was upon them; that in some it worked one way, and in some another; and that some of them, through a surprise of joy, would burst out into tears; others be half mad, and others immediately faint. This discourse extremely affected me, and called to my mind Friday’s ecstasy when he met his father, and the poor people’s ecstasy when I took them up at sea, after their ship was on fire; the mate of the ship’s joy, when he found himself delivered in the place where he expected to perish; and my own joy, when after twenty-eight years captivity I found a good ship ready to carry me to my own country. All these things made me more sensible of the relation of these poor men, and more affected with it.

Having thus given a view of the state of things as I found them, I must relate the heads of what I did for these people, and the condition in which I left them. It was their opinion, and mine too, that they would be troubled no more with the savages; or that, if they were, they would be able to cut them off, if they were twice as many as before; so that they had no concern about that. Then I entered into a serious discourse with the Spaniard whom I called governor, about their stay in the island; for as I was not come to carry any of them off, so it would not be just to carry off some and leave others, who perhaps would be unwilling to stay if their strength was diminished.

On the other hand I told them, I came to establish them there, not to remove them; and then I let them know that I had brought with me relief of sundry kinds for them; that I had been at a great charge to supply them with all things necessary, as well for their convenience as their defence; and that I had such particular persons with me, as well to increase and recruit their number, as by the particular necessary employments which they were bred to, being artificers, to assist them in those things in which at present they were to seek.

They were all together when I talked thus to them; [page 417] and before I delivered to them the stores I had brought, I asked them, one by one, if they had entirely forgot and buried the first animosities that had been among them, and could shake hands with one another, and engage in a strict friendship and union of interest, so that there might be no more misunderstandings or jealousies.

William Atkins, with abundance of frankness and good humour, said, they had met with afflictions enough to make them all sober, and enemies enough to make them all friends: that for his part he would live and die with them; and was so far from designing any thing against the Spaniards, that he owned they had done nothing to him but what his own bad humour made necessary, and what he would have done, and perhaps much worse, in their case; and that he would ask them pardon, if I desired it, for the foolish and brutish things he had done to them; and was very willing and desirous of living on terms of entire friendship and union with them; and would do any thing that lay in his power, to convince them of it: and as for going to England, he cared not if he did not go thither these twenty years.

The Spaniards said, they had indeed at first disarmed and excluded William Atkins and his two countrymen, for their ill conduct, as they had let me know; and they appealed to me for the necessity they were under to do so; but that William Atkins had behaved himself so bravely in the great fight they had with the savages, and on several occasions since, and had shewed himself so faithful to, and concerned for the general interest of them all, that they had forgotten all that was past, and thought he merited as much to be trusted with arms, and supplied with necessaries, as any of them; and that they had testified their satisfaction in him, by committing the command to him, next to the governor himself; and as they had an entire confidence in him and all his countrymen, so they acknowledged they had merited that confidence by [page 418] all the methods that honest men could merit to be valued and trusted; and they most heartily embraced the occasion of giving me this assurance, that they would never have any interest separate from one another.

Upon these frank and open declarations of friendship, we appointed the next day to dine all together, and indeed we made a splendid feast. I caused the ship’s cook and his mate to come on shore and dress our dinner, and the old cook’s mate we had on shore assisted. We brought on shore six pieces of good beef, and four pieces of pork, out of the ship’s provision, with our punch-bowl, and materials to fill it; and, in particular, I gave them ten bottles of French claret, and ten bottles of English beer, things that neither the Spaniards nor the Englishmen had tasted for many years; and which it may be supposed they were exceeding glad of.

The Spaniards added to our feast five whole kids, which the cooks roasted; and three of them were sent, covered up close, on board our ship to the seamen, that they might feast on fresh meat from on shore, as we did with their salt meal from on board.

After this feast, at which we were very innocently merry, I brought out my cargo of goods, wherein, that there might be no dispute about dividing, I shewed them that there was sufficient for them all; and desired that they might all take an equal quantity of the goods that were for wearing; that is to say, equal when made up. As first, I distributed linen sufficient to make every one of them four shirts; and, at the Spaniards’ request, afterwards made them up six; these were exceeding comfortable to them, having been what, as I may say, they had long since forgot the use of, or what it was to wear them.

I allotted the thin English stuffs, which I mentioned before, to make every one a light coat like a frock, which I judged fittest for the heat of the season, cool and loose; and ordered, that whenever they decayed, [page 419] they should make more, as they thought fit. The like for pumps, shoes, stockings, and hats, &c.

I cannot express what pleasure, what satisfaction, sat upon the countenances of all these poor men when they saw the care I had taken of them, and how well I had furnished them; they told me I was a father to them; and that having such a correspondent as I was, in so remote a part of the world, it would make them forget that they were left in a desolate place; and they all voluntarily engaged to me not to leave the place without my consent.

Then I presented to them the people I had brought with me, particularly the tailor, the smith, and the two carpenters, all of them most necessary people; but above all, my general artificer, than whom they could not name any thing that was more needful to them; and the tailor, to shew his concern for them, went to work immediately, and, with my leave, made them every one a shirt the first thing he did; and, which was still more, he taught the women not only how to sew and stitch, and use the needle, but made them assist to make the shirts for their husbands and for all the rest.

As for the carpenters, I scarce need mention how useful they were, for they took in pieces all my clumsy unhandy things, and made them clever convenient tables, stools, bedsteads, cupboards, lockers, shelves, and every thing they wanted of that kind.

But to let them see how nature made artificers at first, I carried the carpenters to see William Atkins’s basket house, as I called it, and they both owned they never saw an instance of such natural ingenuity before, nor any thing so regular and so handily built, at least of its kind; and one of them, when he saw it, after musing a good while, turning about to me, “I am sure,” says he, “that man has no need of us; you need do nothing but give him tools.”

Then I brought them out all my store of tools, and gave every man a digging spade, a shovel, and a rake, for we had no harrows or ploughs; and to every [page 420] separate place a pickaxe, a crow, a broadaxe, and a saw; always appointing, that as often as any were broken, or worn out, they should be supplied, without grudging, out of the general stores that I left behind.

Nails, staples, hinges, hammers, chisels, knives, scissors, and all sorts of tools and iron-work, they had without tale as they required; for no man would care to take more than he wanted, and he must be a fool that would waste or spoil them on any account whatever. And for the use of the smith I left two tons of unwrought iron for a supply.

My magazine of powder and arms which I brought them, was such, even to profusion, that they could not but rejoice at them; for now they could march, as I used to do, with a musket upon each shoulder, if there was occasion; and were able to fight a thousand savages, if they had but some little advantages of situation, which also they could not miss of if they had occasion.

I carried on shore with me the young man whose mother was starved to death, and the maid also: she was a sober, well-educated, religious young woman, and behaved so inoffensively, that every one gave her a good word. She had, indeed, an unhappy life with us, there being no woman in the ship but herself; but she bore it with patience. After a while, seeing things so well ordered, and in so fine a way of thriving upon my island, and considering that they had neither business nor acquaintance in the East Indies, or reason for taking so long a voyage; I say, considering all this, both of them came to me, and desired I would give them leave to remain on the island, and be entered among my family, as they called it.

I agreed to it readily, and they had a little plot of ground allotted to them, where they had three tents or houses set up, surrounded with a basket-work, palisaded like Atkins’s, and adjoining to his plantation. Their tents were contrived so, that they had each of them a room, a part to lodge in, and a middle tent, like a great storehouse, to lay all their goods in, and [page 421] to eat and drink in. And now the other two Englishmen moved their habitation to the same place, and so the island was divided into three colonies, and no more; viz. the Spaniards, with old Friday, and the first servants, at my old habitation under the hill, which was, in a word, the capital city, and where they had so enlarged and extended their works, as well under as on the outside of the hill, that they lived, though perfectly concealed, yet full at large. Never was there such a little city in a wood, and so hid, I believe, in any part of the world; for I verily believe a thousand men might have ranged the island a month, and if they had not known there was such a thing, and looked on purpose for it, they would not have found it; for the trees stood so thick and so close, and grew so fast matted into one another, that nothing but cutting them down first, could discover the place, except the two narrow entrances where they went in and out, could be found, which was not very easy. One of them was just down at the water’s edge, on the side of the creek; and it was afterwards above two hundred yards to the place; and the other was up the ladder at twice, as I have already formerly described it; and they had a large wood, thick planted, also on the top of the hill, which contained above an acre, which grew apace, and covered the place from all discovery there, with only one narrow place between two trees, not easy to be discovered, to enter on that side.

The other colony was that of Will Atkins, where there were four families of Englishmen, I mean those I had left there, with their wives and children; three savages that were slaves; the widow and children of the Englishman that was killed; the young man and the maid; and by the way, we made a wife of her also before we went away. There were also the two carpenters and the tailor, whom I brought with me for them; also the smith, who was a very necessary man to them, especially as the gunsmith, to take care of their arms; and my other man, whom I called [page 422] Jack of all Trades, who was himself as good almost as twenty men, for he was not only a very ingenious fellow, but a very merry fellow; and before I went away we married him to the honest maid that came with the youth in the ship, whom I mentioned before.

And now I speak of marrying, it brings me naturally to say something of the French ecclesiastic that I had brought with me out of the ship’s crew whom I took at sea. It is true, this man was a Roman, and perhaps it may give offence to some hereafter, if I leave any thing extraordinary upon record of a man, whom, before I begin, I must (to set him out in just colours) represent in terms very much to his disadvantage in the account of Protestants; as, first, that he was a Papist; secondly, a Popish priest; and thirdly, a French Popish priest.

But justice demands of me to give him a due character; and I must say, he was a grave, sober, pious, and most religious person; exact in his life, extensive in his charity, and exemplary in almost every thing he did. What then can any one say against my being very sensible of the value of such a man, notwithstanding his profession? though it may be my opinion, perhaps as well as the opinion of others who shall read this, that he was mistaken.

The first hour that I began to converse with him, after he had agreed to go with me to the East Indies, I found reason to delight exceedingly in his conversation; and he first began with me about religion, in the most obliging manner imaginable.

“Sir,” says he, “you have not only, under God” (and at that he crossed his breast), “saved my life, but you have admitted me to go this voyage in your ship, and by your obliging civility have taken me into your family, giving me an opportunity of free conversation. Now, Sir,” says he, “you see by my habit what my profession is, and I guess by your nation what yours is. I may think it is my duty, and doubtless it is so, to use my utmost endeavours on all occasions to bring all the souls that I can to the knowledge [page 423] of the truth, and to embrace the Catholic doctrine; but as I am here under your permission, and in your family, I am bound in justice to your kindness, as well as in decency and good manners, to be under your government; and therefore I shall not, without your leave, enter into any debates on the points of religion, in which we may not agree, farther than you shall give me leave.”

I told him his carriage was so modest that I could not but acknowledge it; that it was true, we were such people as they call heretics, but that he was not the first Catholic that I had conversed with without falling into any inconveniencies, or carrying the questions to any height in debate; that he should not find himself the worse used for being of a different opinion from us; and if we did not converse without any dislike on either side, upon that score, it would be his fault, not ours.

He replied, that he thought our conversation might be easily separated from disputes; that it was not his business to cap principles with every man he discoursed with; and that he rather desired me to converse with him as a gentleman than as a religieux; that if I would give him leave at any time to discourse upon religious subjects, he would readily comply with it; and that then he did not doubt but I would allow him also to defend his own opinions as well as he could; but that without my leave he would not break in upon me with any such thing.

He told me farther, that he would not cease to do all that became him in his office as a priest, as well as a private Christian, to procure the good of the ship, and the safety of all that was in her; and though perhaps we would not join with him, and he could not pray with us, he hoped he might pray for us, which he would do upon all occasions. In this manner we conversed; and as he was of a most obliging gentleman-like behaviour, so he was, if I may be allowed to say so, a man of good sense, and, as I believe, of great learning.

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He gave me a most diverting account of his life, and of the many extraordinary events of it; of many adventures which had befallen him in the few years that he had been abroad in the world, and particularly this was very remarkable; viz. that during the voyage he was now engaged in he had the misfortune to be five times shipped and unshipped, and never to go to the place whither any of the ships he was in were at first designed: that his first intent was to have gone to Martinico, and that he went on board a ship bound thither at St. Maloes; but being forced into Lisbon in bad weather, the ship received some damage by running aground in the mouth of the river Tagus, and was obliged to unload her cargo there: that finding a Portuguese ship there, bound to the Madeiras, and ready to sail, and supposing he should easily meet with a vessel there bound to Martinico, he went on board in order to sail to the Madeiras; but the master of the Portuguese ship being but an indifferent mariner, had been out in his reckoning, and they drove to Fyal; where, however, he happened to find a very good market for his cargo, which was corn, and therefore resolved not to go to the Madeiras, but to load salt at the isle of May, to go away to Newfoundland. He had no remedy in the exigence but to go with the ship, and had a pretty good voyage as far as the Banks, (so they call the place where they catch the fish) where meeting with a French ship bound from France to Quebec, in the river of Canada, and from thence to Martinico, to carry provisions, he thought he should have an opportunity to complete his first design. But when he came to Quebec the master of the ship died, and the ship proceeded no farther. So the next voyage he shipped himself for France, in the ship that was burnt, when we took them up at sea, and then shipped them with us for the East Indies, as I have already said. Thus he had been disappointed in five voyages, all, as I may call it, in one voyage, besides what I shall have occasion to mention farther of the same person.

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But I shall not make digressions into other men’s stories which have no relation to my own. I return to what concerns our affair in the island. He came to me one morning, for he lodged among us all the while we were upon the island, and it happened to be just when I was going to visit the Englishmen’s colony at the farthest part of the island; I say, he came to me, and told me with a very grave countenance, that he had for two or three days desired an opportunity of some discourse with me, which he hoped would not be displeasing to me, because he thought it might in some measure correspond with my general design, which was the prosperity of my new colony, and perhaps might put it at least more than he yet thought it was in the way of God’s blessing.

I looked a little surprised at the last part of his discourse, and turning a little short, “How, Sir,” said I, “can it be said, that we are not in the way of God’s blessing, after such visible assistances and wonderful deliverances as we have seen here, and of which I have given you a large account?”

“If you had pleased, Sir,” said he, with a world of modesty, and yet with great readiness, “to have heard me, you would have found no room to have been displeased, much less to think so hard of me, that I should suggest, that you have not had wonderful assistances and deliverances; and I hope, on your behalf, that you are in the way of God’s blessing, and your design is exceeding good, and will prosper. But, Sir,” said he, “though it were more so than is even possible to you, yet there may be some among you that are not equally right in their actions; and you know that in the story of Israel, one Achan, in the camp, removed God’s blessing from them, and turned his hand so against them, that thirty-six of them, though not concerned in the crime, were the objects of divine vengeance, and bore the weight of that punishment.”

I was sensibly touched with this discourse, and told him his inference was so just, and the whole design [page 426] seemed so sincere, and was really so religious in its own nature, that I was very sorry I had interrupted him, and begged him to go on; and in the meantime, because it seemed that what we had both to say might take up some time, I told him I was going to the Englishmens’ plantation, and asked him to go with me, and we might discourse of it by the way. He told me he would more willingly wait on me thither, because there, partly, the thing was acted which he desired to speak to me about. So we walked on, and I pressed him to be free and plain with me in what he had to say.

“Why then, Sir,” says he, “be pleased to give me leave to lay down a few propositions as the foundation of what I have to say, that we may not differ in the general principles, though we may be of some differing opinions in the practice of particulars. First, Sir, though we differ in some of the doctrinal articles of religion, and it is very unhappy that it is so, especially in the case before us, as I shall shew afterwards, yet there are some general principles in which we both agree; viz. first, that there is a God, and that this God, having given us some stated general rules for our service and obedience, we ought not willingly and knowingly to offend him, either by neglecting to do what he has commanded, or by doing what he has expressly forbidden; and let our different religions be what they will, this general principle is readily owned by us all, that the blessing of God does not ordinarily follow a presumptuous sinning against his command; and every good Christian will be affectionately concerned to prevent any that are under his care, living in a total neglect of God and his commands. It is not your men being Protestants, whatever my opinion may be of such, that discharges me from being concerned for their souls, and from endeavouring, if it lies before me, that they should live in as little distance from and enmity with their Maker as possible; especially if you give me leave to meddle so far in your circuit.”

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I could not yet imagine, what he aimed at, and told him I granted all he had said; and thanked him that he would so far concern himself for us; and begged he would explain the particulars of what he had observed, that, like Joshua, (to take his own parable) I might put away the accursed thing from us.

“Why then, Sir,” says he, “I will take the liberty you give me; and there are three things which, if I am right, must stand in the way of God’s blessing upon your endeavours here, and which I should rejoice, for your sake, and their own, to see removed. And, Sir,” says he, “I promise myself that you will fully agree with me in them all as soon as I name them; especially because I shall convince you that every one of them may with great ease, and very much to your satisfaction, be remedied.”

He gave me no leave to put in any more civilities, but went on: “First, Sir,” says he, “you have here four Englishmen, who have fetched women from among the savages, and have taken them as their wives, and have had many children by them all, and yet are not married to them after any stated legal manner, as the laws of God and man require; and therefore are yet, in the sense of both, no less than adulterers, and living in adultery. To this, Sir,” says he, “I know you will object, that there was no clergyman or priest of any kind, or of any profession, to perform the ceremony; nor any pen and ink, or paper, to write down a contract of marriage, and have it signed between them. And I know also, Sir, what the Spaniard governor has told you; I mean of the agreement that he obliged them to make when they took these women, viz. that they should choose them out by consent, and keep separately to them; which, by the way, is nothing of a marriage, no agreement with the women as wives, but only an agreement among themselves, to keep them from quarrelling.

“But, Sir, the essence of the sacrament of matrimony (so he called it, being a Roman) consists not only in the mutual consent of the parties to take one [page 428] another as man and wife, but in the formal and legal obligation that there is in the contract to compel the man and woman at all times to own and acknowledge each other; obliging the man to abstain from all other women, to engage in no other contract while these subsist; and on all occasions, as ability allows, to provide honestly for them and their children; and to oblige the women to the same, on like conditions, mutatis mutandis, on their side.

“Now, Sir,” says he, “these men may, when they please, or when occasion presents, abandon these women, disown their children, leave them to perish, and take other women and marry them whilst these are living.” And here he added, with some warmth, “How, Sir, is God honoured in this unlawful liberty? And how shall a blessing succeed your endeavours in this place, however good in themselves, and however sincere in your design, while these men, who at present are your subjects, under your absolute government and dominion, are allowed by you to live in open adultery?”

I confess I was struck at the thing itself, but much more with the convincing arguments he supported it with. For it was certainly true, that though they had no clergyman on the spot, yet a formal contract on both sides, made before witnesses, and confirmed by any token which they had all agreed to be bound by, though it had been but the breaking a stick between them, engaging the men to own these women for their wives upon all occasions, and never to abandon them or their children, and the women to the same with their husbands, had been an effectual lawful marriage in the sight of God, and it was a great neglect that it was not done.

But I thought to have gotten off with my young priest by telling him, that all that part was done when I was not here; and they had lived so many years with them now, that if it was adultery it was past remedy, they could do nothing in it now.

“Sir,” says he, “asking your pardon for such freedom, [page 429] you are right in this; that it being done in your absence, you could not be charged with that part of the crime. But I beseech you, matter not yourself that you are not therefore under an obligation to do your uttermost now to put an end to it. How can you think, but that, let the time past lie on whom it will, all the guilt for the future will lie entirely upon you? Because it is certainly in your power now to put an end to it, and in nobody’s power but yours.”

I was so dull still, that I did not take him right, but I imagined that by putting an end to it he meant that I should part them, and not suffer them to live together any longer; and I said to him I could not do that by any means, for that it would put the whole island in confusion. He seemed surprised that I should so far mistake him. “No, Sir,” says he, “I do not mean that you should separate them, but legally and effectually marry them now. And, Sir, as my way of marrying may not be so easy to reconcile them to, though it will be as effectual even by your own laws; so your way may be as well before God, and as valid among men; I mean by a written contract signed by both man and woman, and by all the witnesses present; which all the laws of Europe would decree to be valid.”

I was amazed to see so much true piety, and so much sincerity of zeal, besides the unusual impartiality in his discourse, as to his own party or church, and such a true warmth for the preserving people that he had no knowledge of or relation to; I say, for preserving them from transgressing the laws of God; the like of which I had indeed not met with any where. But recollecting what he had said of marrying them by a written contract, which I knew would stand too, I returned it back upon him, and told him I granted [page 430] all that he had said to be just, and on his part very kind; that I would discourse with the men upon the point now when I came to them. And I knew no reason why they should scruple to let him marry them all; which I knew well enough would be granted to be as authentic and valid in England as if they were married by one of our own clergymen. What was afterwards done in this matter I shall speak of by itself.

I then pressed him to tell me what was the second complaint which he had to make, acknowledging I was very much his debtor for the first, and thanked him heartily for it. He told me he would use the same freedom and plainness in the second, and hoped I would take it as well; and this was, that notwithstanding these English subjects of mine, as he called them, had lived with these women for almost seven years, and had taught them to speak English, and even to read it, and that they were, as he perceived, women of tolerable understanding and capable of instruction; yet they had not, to this hour taught them any thing of the Christian religion; no not so much as to know that there was a God, or a worship, or in what manner God was to be served; or that their own idolatry, and worshipping they knew not who, was false and absurd.

This, he said, was an unaccountable neglect, and what God would certainly call them to an account for; and perhaps at last take the work out of their hands. He spoke this very affectionately and warmly. “I am persuaded,” says he, “had those men lived in the savage country whence their wives came, the savages would have taken more pains to have brought them to be idolaters, and to worship the devil, than any of these men, so far as I can see, has taken with them to teach them the knowledge of the true God. Now, Sir,” said he, “though I do not acknowledge your religion, or you mine, yet we should be all glad to see the devil’s servants, and the subjects of his kingdom, taught to know the general principles of the Christian religion; that they might at least hear of God, and of a Redeemer, and of the resurrection, and of a future state, things which we all believe; they [page 431] had at least been so much nearer coming into the bosom of the true church, than they are now in the public profession of idolatry and devil-worship.”

I could hold no longer; I took him in my arms, and embraced him with an excess of passion. “How far,” said I to him, “have I been from understanding the most essential part of a Christian, viz. to love the interest of the Christian church, and the good of other men’s souls! I scarce have known what belongs to being a Christian.”—“O, Sir, do not say so,” replied he; “this thing is not your fault.”—“No,” said I; “but why did I never lay it to heart as well as you?”—“It is not too late yet,” said he; “be not too forward to condemn yourself.”—“But what can be done now?” said I; “you see I am going away.”—“Will you give me leave,” said he, “to talk with these poor men about it?”—“Yes, with all my heart,” said I, “and I will oblige them to give heed to what you say too.”—“As to that,” said he, “we must leave them to the mercy of Christ; but it is our business to assist them, encourage them, and instruct them; and if you will give me leave, and God his blessing, I do not doubt but the poor ignorant souls shall be brought home into the great circle of Christianity, if not into the particular faith that we all embrace; and that even while you stay here.” Upon this I said, “I shall not only give you leave, but give you a thousand thanks for it.” What followed on this account I shall mention also again in its place.

I now pressed him for the third article in which we were to blame. “Why really,” says he, “it is of the same nature, and I will proceed (asking your leave) with the same plainness as before; it is about your poor savages yonder, who are, as I may say, your conquered subjects. It is a maxim, Sir, that is, or ought to be received among all Christians, of what church, or pretended church soever, viz. that Christian knowledge ought to be propagated by all possible means, and on all possible occasions. It is on this principle that our church sends missionaries into Persia, [page 432] India, and China; and that our clergy, even of the superior sort, willingly engage in the most hazardous voyages, and the most dangerous residence among murderers and barbarians, to teach them the knowledge of the true God, and to bring them over to embrace the Christian faith. Now, Sir, you have an opportunity here to have six or seven-and-thirty poor savages brought over from idolatry to the knowledge of God, their Maker and Redeemer, that I wonder how you can pass by such an occasion of doing good, which is really worth the expense of a man’s whole life.”

I was now struck dumb indeed, and had not one word to say; I had here a spirit of true Christian zeal for God and religion before me, let his particular principles be of what kind soever. As for me, I had not so much as entertained a thought of this in my heart before, and I believe should not have thought of it; for I looked upon these savages as slaves, and people whom, had we any work for them to do, we would have used as such, or would have been glad to have transported them to any other part of the world; for our business was to get rid of them, and we would all have been satisfied if they had been sent to any country, so they had never seen their own. But to the case: I say I was confounded at his discourse, and knew not what answer to make him. He looked earnestly at me, seeing me in some disorder; “Sir,” said he, “I shall be very sorry, if what I have said gives you any offence.”—“No, no,” said I, “I am offended with nobody but myself; but I am perfectly confounded, not only to think that I should never take any notice of this before, but with reflecting what notice I am able to take of it now. You know, Sir,” said I, “what circumstances I am in; I am bound to the East Indies, in a ship freighted by merchants, and to whom it would be an insufferable piece of injustice to detain their ship here, the men lying all this while at victuals and wages upon the owners’ account. It is true, I agreed to be allowed twelve days here, and if [page 433] I stay more I must pay 32 sterling per diem demurrage; nor can I stay upon demurrage above eight days more, and I have been here thirteen days already; so that I am perfectly unable to engage in this work; unless I would suffer myself to be left behind here again; in which case, if this single ship should miscarry in any part of her voyage, I should be just in the same condition that I was left in here at first, and from which I have been so wonderfully delivered.”

He owned the case was very hard upon me as to my voyage, but laid it home upon my conscience, whether the blessing of saving seven-and-thirty souls was not worth my venturing all I had in the world for. I was not so sensible of that as he was, and I returned upon him thus: “Why, Sir, it is a valuable thing indeed to be an instrument in God’s hand to convert seven-and-thirty heathens to the knowledge of Christ: but as you are an ecclesiastic, and are given over to that work, so that it seems naturally to fall into the way of your profession, how is it then that you do not rather offer yourself to undertake it, than press me to it!”

Upon this he faced about, just before me, as he walked along, and pulling me to a full stop, made me a very low bow: “I most heartily thank God, and you, Sir,” says he, “for giving me so evident a call to so blessed a work; and if you think yourself discharged from it, and desire me to undertake it, I will most readily do it, and think it a happy reward for all of the hazards and difficulties of such a broken disappointed voyage as I have met with, that I have dropped at last into so glorious a work.”

I discovered a kind of rapture in his face while he spoke this to me; his eyes sparkled like fire, his face bowed, and his colour came and went as if he had been falling into fits; in a word, he was tired with the agony of being embarked in such a work. I paused a considerable while before I could tell what to say to him, for I was really surprised to find a man of such [page 434] sincerity and zeal, and carried out in his zeal beyond the ordinary rate of men, not of his profession only, but even of any profession whatsoever. But after I had considered it awhile, I asked him seriously if he was in earnest, and that he would venture on the single consideration of an attempt on those poor people, to be locked up in an unplanted island for perhaps his life, and at last might not know whether he should be able to do them any good or not?

He turned short upon me, and asked me what I called a venture? “Pray, Sir,” said he, “what do you think I consented to go in your ship to the East Indies for?”—“Nay,” said I, “that I know not, unless it was to preach to the Indians.”—“Doubtless it was,” said he; “and do you think if I can convert these seven-and-thirty men to the faith of Christ, it is not worth my time, though I should never be fetched off the island again? Nay, is it not infinitely of more worth to save so many souls than my life is, or the life of twenty more of the same profession? Yes, Sir,” says he, “I would give Christ and the Blessed Virgin thanks all my days, if I could be made the least happy instrument of saving the souls of these poor men though I was never to set my foot off this island, or see my native country any more. But since you will honour me,” says he, “with putting me into this work, (for which I will pray for you all the days of my life) I have one humble petition to you,” said he “besides.”—“What is that?” said I. “Why,” says he, “it is, that you will leave your man Friday with me, to be my interpreter to them, and to assist me for without some help I cannot speak to them, or they to me.”

I was sensibly troubled at his requesting Friday, because I could not think of parting with him, and that for many reasons. He had been the companion of my travels; he was not only faithful to me, but sincerely affectionate to the last degree; and I had resolved to do something considerable for him if he out-lived [page 435] me, as it was probable he would. Then I knew that as I had bred Friday up to be a Protestant, it would quite confound him to bring him to embrace another profession; and he would never, while his eyes were open, believe that his old master was a heretic, and would be damned; and this might in the end ruin the poor fellow’s principles, and so turn him back again to his first idolatry.

However, a sudden thought relieved me in this strait, and it was this: I told him I could not say that I was willing to part with Friday on any account whatever; though a work that to him was of more value than his life, ought to me to be of much more value than the keeping or parting with a servant. But on the other hand, I was persuaded, that Friday would by no means consent to part with me; and then to force him to it without his consent would be manifest injustice, because I had promised I would never put him away, and he had promised and engaged to me that he would never leave me unless I put him away.

He seemed very much concerned at it; for he had no rational access to these poor people, seeing he did not understand one word of their language, nor they one word of his. To remove this difficulty, I told him Friday’s father had learnt Spanish, which I found he also understood, and he should serve him for an interpreter; so he was much better satisfied, and nothing could persuade him but he would stay to endeavour to convert them; but Providence gave another and very happy turn to all this.

I come back now to the first part of his objections. When we came to the Englishmen I sent for them all together; and after some accounts given them of what I had done for them, viz. what necessary things I had provided for them, and how they were distributed, which they were sensible of, and very thankful for; I began to talk to them of the scandalous life they led, and gave them a full account of the notice the clergyman had already taken of it; and arguing how unchristian and irreligious a life it was, I first asked them [page 436] if they were married men or bachelors? They soon explained their condition to me, and shewed me that two of them were widowers, and the other three were single men or bachelors. I asked them with what conscience they could take these women, and lie with them as they had done, call them their wives, and have so many children by them, and not be married lawfully to them?

They all gave me the answer that I expected, viz. that there was nobody to marry them; that they agreed before the governor to keep them as their wives; and to keep them and own them as their wives; and they thought, as things stood with them, they were as legally married as if they had been married by a parson, and with all the formalities in the world.

I told them that no doubt they were married in the sight of God, and were bound in conscience to keep them as their wives; but that the laws of men being otherwise, they might pretend they were not married, and so desert the poor women and children hereafter; and that their wives, being poor, desolate women, friendless and moneyless, would have no way to help themselves: I therefore told them, that unless I was assured of their honest intent, I could do nothing for them; but would take care that what I did should be for the women and children without them; and that unless they would give some assurances that they would marry the women, I could not think it was convenient they should continue together as man and wife; for that it was both scandalous to men and offensive to God, who they could not think would bless them if they went on thus.

All this passed as I expected; and they told me, especially Will Atkins, who seemed now to speak for the rest, that they loved their wives as well as if they had been born in their own native country, and would not leave them upon any account whatever; and they did verily believe their wives were as virtuous and as modest, and did to the utmost of their skill as much [page 437] for them and for their children as any women could possibly do, and they would not part with them on any account: and Will Atkins for his own particular added, if any man would take him away, and offer to carry him home to England, and to make him captain of the best man of war in the navy, he would not go with him if he might not carry his wife and children with him; and if there was a clergyman in the ship, he would be married to her now with all his heart.

This was just as I would have it. The priest was not with me at that moment, but was not far off. So to try him farther, I told him I had a clergyman with me, and if he was sincere I would have him married the next morning, and bade him consider of it, and talk with the rest. He said, as for himself, he need not consider of it at all, for he was very ready to do it, and was glad I had a minister with me; and he believed they would be all willing also. I then told him that my friend the minister was a Frenchman, and could not speak English, but that I would act the clerk between them. He never so much as asked me whether he was a Papist or Protestant, which was indeed what I was afraid of. But I say they never inquired about it. So we parted; I went back to my clergyman, and Will Atkins went in to talk with his companions. I desired the French gentleman not to say any thing to them till the business was thorough ripe, and I told him what answer the men had given me.

Before I went from their quarter they all came to me, and told me, they had been considering what I had said; that they were very glad to hear I had a clergyman in my company; and they were very willing to give me the satisfaction I desired, and to be formally married as soon as I pleased; for they were far from desiring to part from their wives; and that they meant nothing but what was very honest when they chose them. So I appointed them to meet me the next morning, and that in the mean time they [page 438] should let their wives know the meaning of the marriage law; and that it was not only to prevent any scandal, but also to oblige them that they should not forsake them, whatever might happen.

The women were easily made sensible of the meaning of the thing, and were very well satisfied with it, as indeed they had reason to be; so they failed not to attend all together at my apartment next morning, where I brought out my clergyman: and though he had not on a minister’s gown, after the manner of England, or the habit of a priest, after the manner of France; yet having a black vest, something like a cassock, with a sash round it, he did not look very unlike a minister; and as for his language I was interpreter.

But the seriousness of his behaviour to them, and the scruple he made of marrying the women because they were not baptized, and professed Christians, gave them an exceeding reverence for his person; and there was no need after that to inquire whether he was a clergyman or no.

Indeed I was afraid his scruple would have been carried so far as that he would not have married them at all: nay, notwithstanding all I was able to say to him, he resisted me, though modestly, yet very steadily; and at last refused absolutely to marry them, unless he had first talked with the men and the women too; and though at first I was a little backward to it, yet at last I agreed to it with a good will, perceiving the sincerity of his design.

When he came to them, he let them know that I had acquainted him with their circumstances, and with the present design; that he was very willing to perform that part of his function, and marry them as I had desired; but that before he could do it, he must take the liberty to talk with them. He told them that in the sight of all different men, and in the sense of the laws of society, they had lived all this while in an open adultery; and that it was true that nothing but the consenting to marry, or effectually separating them [page 439] from one another now, could put an end to it; but there was a difficulty in it too, with respect to the laws of Christian matrimony, which he was not fully satisfied about, viz. that of marrying one that is a professed Christian to a savage, an idolater, and a heathen, one that is not baptized; and yet that he did not see that there was time left for it to endeavour to persuade the women to be baptized, or to profess the name of Christ, whom they had, he doubted, heard nothing of, and without which they could not be baptized.

He told me he doubted they were but indifferent Christians themselves; that they had but little knowledge of God or his ways, and therefore he could not expect that they had said much to their wives on that head yet; but that unless they would promise him to use their endeavours with their wives to persuade them to become Christians, and would as well as they could instruct them in the knowledge and belief of God that made them, and to worship Jesus Christ that redeemed them, he could not marry them; for he would have no hand in joining Christians with savages; nor was it consistent with the principles of the Christian religion, and was indeed expressly forbidden in God’s law.

They heard all this very attentively, and I delivered it very faithfully to them from his mouth, as near his own words as I could, only sometimes adding something of my own, to convince them how just it was, and how I was of his mind: and I always very faithfully distinguished between what I said from myself and what were the clergyman’s words. They told me it was very true what the gentleman had said, that they were but very indifferent Christians themselves, and that they had never talked to their wives about religion.—“Lord, Sir,” says Will Atkins, “how should we teach them religion? Why, we know nothing ourselves; and besides, Sir,” said he, “should we go to talk to them of God, and Jesus Christ, and heaven and hell, it would be to make them laugh at us, and ask us what we believe ourselves? and if we should tell [page 440] them we believe all the things that we speak of to them, such as of good people going to heaven, and wicked people to the devil, they would ask us, where we intended to go ourselves who believe all this, and yet are such wicked fellows, as we indeed are: why, Sir,” said Will, “’tis enough to give them a surfeit of religion, at that hearing: folks must have some religion themselves before they pretend to teach other people.”—“Will Atkins,” said I to him, “though I am afraid what you say has too much truth in it, yet can you not tell your wife that she is in the wrong; that there is a God, and a religion better than her own; that her gods are idols; that they can neither hear nor speak; that there is a great Being that made all things, and that can destroy all that he has made; that he rewards the good, and punishes the bad; that we are to be judged by him, at last, for all we do here? You are not so ignorant but even nature itself will teach you that all this is true; and I am satisfied you know it all to be true, and believe it yourself.”

“That’s true, Sir,” said Atkins; “but with what face can I say any thing to my wife of all this, when she will tell me immediately it cannot be true?”

“Not true!” said I; “what do you mean by that?”—“Why, Sir,” said he, “she will tell me it cannot be true: that this God (I shall tell her of) can be just, or can punish or reward, since I am not punished and sent to the devil, that have been such a wicked creature as she knows I have been, even to her, and to every body else; and that I should be suffered to live, that have been always acting so contrary to what I must tell her is good, and to what I ought to have done.”

“Why truly, Atkins,” said I, “I am afraid thou speakest too much truth;” and with that I let the clergyman know what Atkins had said, for he was impatient to know. “O!” said the priest, “tell him there is one thing will make him the best minister in the world to his wife, and that is repentance; for none teach repentance like true penitents. He wants nothing [page 441] but to repent, and then he will be so much the better qualified to instruct his wife; he will then be able to tell her, that there is not only a God, and that he is the just rewarder of good and evil; but that he is a merciful Being, and, with infinite goodness and long-suffering, forbears to punish those that offend; waiting to be gracious, and willing not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should return and live; that he often suffers wicked men to go on a long time, and even reserves damnation to the general day of retribution: that it is a clear evidence of God, and of a future state, that righteous men receive not their reward, or wicked men their punishment, till they come into another world; and this will lend him to teach his wife the doctrine of the resurrection, and of the last judgment: let him but repent for himself, he will be an excellent preacher of repentance to his wife.”

I repeated all this to Atkins, who looked very serious all the while, and who, we could easily perceive, was more than ordinarily affected with it: when being eager, and hardly suffering me to make an end—“I know all this, master,” says he, “and a great deal more; but I han’t the impudence to talk thus to my wife, when God and my own conscience knows, and my wife will be an undeniable evidence against me, that I have lived as if I never heard of God, or a future state, or any thing about it; and to talk of my repenting, alas! (and with that he fetched a deep sigh; and I could see that tears stood in his eyes,) ’tis past all that with me.”—“Past it, Atkins!” said I; “what dost thou mean by that?”—“I know well enough what I mean, Sir,” says he; “I mean ’tis too late; and that is too true.”

I told my clergyman word for word what he said. The poor zealous priest (I must call him so; for, be his opinion what it will, he had certainly a most singular affection for the good of other men’s souls; and it would be hard to think he had not the like for his own)—I say, this zealous, affectionate man could not [page 442] refrain tears also: but recovering himself, he said to me, “Ask him but one question: Is he easy that it is too late, or is he troubled, and wishes it were not so?” I put the question fairly to Atkins; and he answered with a great deal of passion, “How could any man be easy in a condition that certainly must end in eternal destruction?” That he was far from being easy; but that, on the contrary, he believed it would one time or the other ruin him.

“What do you mean by that?” said I.—“Why,” he said, “he believed he should, one time or another, cut his own throat to put an end to the terror of it.”

The clergyman shook his head, with a great concern in his face, when I told him all this; but turning quick to me upon it, said, “If that be his case, you may assure him it is not too late; Christ will give him repentance. But pray,” says he, “explain this to him, that as no man is saved but by Christ, and the merit of his passion, procuring divine mercy for him, how can it be too late for any man to receive mercy? Does he think he is able to sin beyond the power or reach of divine mercy? Pray tell him, there may be a time when provoked mercy will no longer strive, and when God may refuse to hear; but that ’tis never too late for men to ask mercy; and we that are Christ’s servants are commanded to preach mercy at all times, in the name of Jesus Christ, to all those that sincerely repent: so that ’tis never too late to repent.”

I told Atkins all this, and he heard me with great earnestness; but it seemed as if he turned off the discourse to the rest; for he said to me he would go and have some talk with his wife: so he went out awhile, and we talked to the rest. I perceived they were all stupidly ignorant as to matters of religion; much as I was when I went rambling away from my father; and yet that there were none of them backward to hear what had been said; and all of them seriously promised that they would talk with their wives about it, and do their endeavour to persuade them to turn Christians.

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The clergyman smiled upon me when I reported what answer they gave, but said nothing a good while; but at last shaking his head, “We that are Christ’s servants,” says he, “can go no farther than to exhort and instruct; and when men comply, submit to the reproof, and promise what we ask, ’tis all we can do; we are bound to accept their good words; but believe me, Sir,” said he, “whatever you may have known of the life of that man you call William Atkins, I believe he is the only sincere convert among them; I take that man to be a true penitent; I won’t despair of the rest; but that man is perfectly struck with the sense of his past life; and I doubt not but when he comes to talk of religion to his wife, he will talk himself effectually into it; for attempting to teach others is sometimes the best way of teaching ourselves. I knew a man,” added he, “who having nothing but a summary notion of religion himself, and being wicked and profligate to the last degree in his life, made a thorough reformation in himself by labouring to convert a Jew: and if that poor Atkins begins but once to talk seriously of Jesus Christ to his wife, my life for it he talks himself into a thorough convert, makes himself a penitent; and who knows what may follow?”

Upon this discourse, however, and their promising as above to endeavour to persuade their wives to embrace Christianity, he married the other three couple; but Will Atkins and his wife were not yet come in. After this, my clergyman waiting awhile, was curious to know where Atkins was gone; and turning to me, says he, “I entreat you, Sir, let us walk out of your labyrinth here and look; I dare say we shall find this poor man somewhere or other, talking seriously with his wife, and teaching her already something of religion.” I began to be of the same mind; so we went out together, and I carried him a way which none knew but myself, and where the trees were so thick set, as that it was not easy to see through the thicket of leaves, and far harder to see in than to see [page 444] out; when coming to the edge of the wood I saw Atkins, and his tawny savage wife, sitting under the shade of a bush, very eager in discourse. I stopped short till my clergyman came up to me, and then having shewed him where they were, we stood and looked very steadily at them a good while.

We observed him very earnest with her, pointing up to the sun, and to every quarter of the heavens; then down to the earth, then out to the sea, then to himself, then to her, to the woods, to the trees. “Now,” says my clergyman, “you see my words are made good; the man preaches to her; mark him; now he is telling her that our God has made him, and her, and the heavens, the earth, the sea, the woods, the trees, &c.”—“I believe he is,” said I. Immediately we perceived Will Atkins start up upon his feet, fall down upon his knees, and lift up both his hands; we supposed he said something, but we could not hear him; it was too far off for that: he did not continue kneeling half a minute, but comes and sits down again by his wife, and talks to her again. We perceived then the woman very attentive, but whether she said any thing or no we could not tell. While the poor fellow was upon his knees, I could see the tears run plentifully down my clergyman’s cheeks; and I could hardly forbear myself; but it was a great affliction to us both, that we were not near enough to hear any thing that passed between them.

Well, however, we could come no nearer for fear of disturbing them; so we resolved to see an end of this piece of still conversation, and it spoke loud enough to us without the help of voice. He sat down again, as I have said, close by her, and talked again earnestly to her, and two or three times we could see him embrace her passionately; another time we saw him take out his handkerchief and wipe her eyes, and then kiss her again, with a kind of transport very unusual; and after several of these things, we saw him on a sudden jump up again and lend her his hand to help her up, when immediately leading her by the [page 445] hand a step or two, they both kneeled down together, and continued so about two minutes.

My friend could bear it no longer, but cries out aloud, “St. Paul, St. Paul, behold he prayeth!”—I was afraid Atkins would hear him; therefore I entreated him to withhold himself awhile, that we might see an end of the scene, which to me, I must confess, was the most affecting, and yet the most agreeable, that ever I saw in my life. Well, he strove with himself, and contained himself for awhile, but was in such raptures of joy to think that the poor heathen woman was become a Christian, that he was not able to contain himself; he wept several times: then throwing up his hands, and crossing his breast, said over several things ejaculatory, and by way of giving God thanks for so miraculous a testimony of the success of our endeavours: some he spoke softly, and I could not well hear; others audibly; some in Latin, some in French; then two or three times the tears of joy would interrupt him, that he could not speak at all. But I begged that he would compose himself, and let us more narrowly and fully observe what was before us, which he did for a time, and the scene was not ended there yet; for after the poor man and his wife were risen again from their knees, we observed he stood talking still eagerly to her; and we observed by her motion that she was greatly affected with what he said, by her frequent lifting up her hands, laying her hand to her breast, and such other postures as usually express the greatest seriousness and attention. This continued about half a quarter of an hour, and then they walked away too; so that we could see no more of them in that situation.

I took this interval to talk with my clergyman: and first I told him, I was glad to see the particulars we had both been witnesses to; that though I was hard enough of belief in such cases, yet that I began to think it was all very sincere here, both in the man and his wife, however ignorant they both might be; and I hoped such a beginning would have yet a more [page 446] happy end: “And who knows,” said I, “but these two may in time, by instruction and example, work upon some of the others?”—“Some of them!” said he, turning quick upon me, “ay, upon all of them: depend upon it, if those two savages (for he has been but little better as you relate it) should embrace Jesus Christ, they will never leave till they work upon all the rest; for true religion is naturally communicative, and he that is once made a Christian will never leave a Pagan behind him if he can help it,” I owned it was a most Christian principle to think so, and a testimony of a true zeal, as well as a generous heart in him. “But, my friend,” said I, “will you give me liberty to start one difficulty here? I cannot tell how to object the least thing against that affectionate concern which you shew for the turning the poor people from their Paganism to the Christian religion; but how does this comfort you, while these people are, in your account, out of the pale of the Catholic church, without which, you believe, there is no salvation; so that you esteem these but heretics still; and, for other reasons, as effectually lost as the Pagans themselves?”

To this he answered with abundance of candour and Christian charity, thus: “Sir, I am a Catholic of the Roman church, and a priest of the order of St. Benedict, and I embrace all the principles of the Roman faith. But yet, if you will believe me, and this I do not speak in compliment to you, or in respect to my circumstances and your civilities; I say, nevertheless, I do not look upon you, who call yourselves reformed, without some charity: I dare not say, though I know it is our opinion in general, yet I dare not say, that you cannot be saved; I will by no means limit the mercy of Christ, so far as to think that he cannot receive you into the bosom of his church, in a manner to us imperceivable, and which it is impossible for us to know; and I hope you have the same charity for us. I pray daily for your being all restored to Christ’s church, by whatsoever methods he, who is all-wise, is pleased to direct. In the mean time, sure you will allow it to consist with me, as a Roman, [page 447] to distinguish far between a Protestant and a Pagan; between him that calls on Jesus Christ, though in a way which I do not think is according to the true faith; and a savage, a barbarian, that knows no God, no Christ, no Redeemer at all; and if you are not within the pale of the Catholic church, we hope you are nearer being restored to it than those that know nothing at all of God or his church. I rejoice, therefore, when I see this poor man, who, you say, has been a profligate, and almost a murderer, kneel down and pray to Jesus Christ, as we suppose he did, though not fully enlightened; believing that God, from whom every such work proceeds, will sensibly touch his heart, and bring him to the further knowledge of the truth in his own time; and if God shall influence this poor man to convert and instruct the ignorant savage his wife, I can never believe that he shall be cast away himself; and have I not reason then to rejoice, the nearer any are brought to the knowledge of Christ, though they may not be brought quite home into the bosom of the Catholic church, just at the time when I may desire it; leaving it to the goodness of Christ to perfect his work in his own time, and his own way? Certainly I would rejoice if all the savages in America were brought, like this poor woman, to pray to God, though they were to be all Protestants at first, rather than they should continue pagans and heathens; firmly believing, that He who had bestowed that first light upon them, would farther illuminate them with a beam of his heavenly grace, and bring them into the pale of his church, when he should see good.”

I was astonished at the sincerity and temper of this truly pious Papist, as much as I was oppressed by the power of his reasoning; and it presently occurred to my thoughts, that if such a temper was universal, we might be all Catholic Christians, whatever church or particular profession we were joined to, or joined in; that a spirit of charity would soon work us all up into right principles; and, in a word, as he thought that [page 448] the like charity would make us all Catholics, as I told him, I believed had all the members of his church the like moderation they would soon be all Protestants; and there we left that part, for we never disputed at all.

However, I talked to him another way; and taking him by the hand, “My friend,” said I, “I wish all the clergy of the Roman church were blessed with such moderation, and an equal share of your charity. I am entirely of your opinion; but I must tell you, that if you should preach such doctrine in Spain or Italy, they would put you into the Inquisition.”

“It may be so,” said he; “I know not what they might do in Spain and Italy; but I will not say they would be the better Christians for that severity; for I am sure there is no heresy in too much charity.”

Well, as Will Atkins and his wife were gone, our business there was over; so we went back our own way; and when we came back we found them waiting to be called in. Observing this, I asked my clergyman if we should discover to him that we had seen him under the bush, or no; and it was his opinion we should not; but that we should talk to him first, and hear what he would say to us: so we called him in alone, nobody being in the place but ourselves; and I began with him thus:

“Will Atkins,” said I, “pr’ythee what education had you? What was your father?”

W.A. A better man than ever I shall be. Sir, my father was a clergyman.

R.C. What education did he give you?

W.A. He would have taught me well, Sir; but I despised all education, instruction, or correction, like a beast as I was.

R.C. It is true, Solomon says, “He that despiseth reproof is brutish.”

W.A. Ay, Sir, I was brutish indeed; I murdered my father; for God’s sake, Sir, talk no more about that, Sir; I murdered my poor father.

Priest. Ha! a murderer?

[page 449]
[Here the priest started (for I interpreted every word as he spoke it), and looked pale: it seems he believed that Will had really killed his own father.]

R.C. No, no, Sir, I do not understand him so. Will Atkins, explain yourself: you did not kill your father, did you, with your own hands?

W.A. No, Sir; I did not cut his throat; but I cut the thread of all his comforts, and shortened his days; I broke his heart by the most ungrateful, unnatural return for the most tender, affectionate treatment that ever father gave, or child could receive.

R.C. Well, I did not ask you about your father to extort this confession; I pray God give you repentance for it, and forgive you that and all your other sins; but I asked you, because I see that, though you have not much learning, yet you are not so ignorant as some are in things that are good; that you have known more of religion a great deal than you have practised.

W.A. Though you, Sir, did not extort the confession that I make about my father, conscience does; and whenever we come to look back upon our lives, the sins against our indulgent parents are certainly the first that touch us; the wounds they make lie deepest; and the weight they leave will lie heaviest upon the mind of all the sins we can commit.

R.C. You talk too feelingly and sensible for me, Atkins; I cannot bear it.

W.A. You bear it, master! I dare say you know nothing of it.

R.C. Yes, Atkins, every shore, every hill, nay, I may say every tree in this island, is witness to the anguish of my soul for my ingratitude and base usage of a good tender father; a father much like yours by your description; and I murdered my father as well as you, Will Atkins; but think for all that, my repentance is short of yours too, by a great deal.

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[I would have said more, if I could have restrained my passions; but I thought this poor man’s repentance was so much sincerer than mine, that I was going to leave off the discourse and retire, for I was surprised with what he said, and thought, that, instead of my going about to teach and instruct him, the man was made a teacher and instructor to me, in a most surprising and unexpected manner.]

I laid all this before the young clergyman, who was greatly affected with it, and said to me, “Did I not say, Sir, that when this man was converted he would preach to us all? I tell you, Sir, if this one man be made a true penitent, here will be no need of me, he will make Christians of all in the island.” But having a little composed myself I renewed my discourse with Will Atkins.

“But, Will,” said I, “how comes the sense of this matter to touch you just now?”

W.A. Sir, you have set me about a work that has struck a dart through my very soul; I have been talking about God and religion to my wife, in order, as you directed me, to make a Christian of her; and she has preached such a sermon to me as I shall never forget while I live.

R.C. No, no; it is not your wife has preached to you; but when you were moving religious arguments to her, conscience has flung them back upon you.

W.A. Ay, Sir, with such a force as is not to be resisted.

R.C. Pray, Will, let us know what passed between you and your wife; for I know something of it already.

W.A. Sir, it is impossible to give you a full account of it: I am too full to hold it, and yet have no tongue to express it: but let her have said what she will, and though I cannot give you an account of it, this I can tell you of it, that I resolve to amend and reform my life.

R.C. But tell us some of it. How did you begin Will? for this has been an extraordinary case, that is certain; she has preached a sermon indeed, if she has wrought this upon you.

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W.A. Why, I first told her the nature of our laws about marriage, and what the reasons were that men and women were obliged to enter into such compacts as it was neither in the power of one or other to break; that otherwise, order and justice could not be maintained, and men would run from their wives and abandon their children, mix confusedly with one another, and neither families be kept entire, or inheritances be settled by a legal descent.

R.C. You talk like a civilian, Will. Could you make her understand what you meant by inheritance and families? They know no such thing among the savages, but marry any how, without any regard to relation, consanguinity, or family; brother and sister, nay, as I have been told, even the father and daughter, and the son and the mother.

W.A. I believe, Sir, you are misinformed;—my wife assures me of the contrary, and that they abhor it. Perhaps for any further relations they may not be so exact as we are; but she tells me they never touch one another in the near relations you speak of.

R.C. Well, what did she say to what you told her?

W.A. She said she liked it very well; and it was much better than in her country.

R.C. But did you tell her what marriage was?

W.A. Ay, ay, there began all our dialogue. I asked her, if she would be married to me our way? She asked me, what way that was? I told her marriage was appointed of God; and here we had a strange talk together indeed, as ever man and wife had, I believe.

[N.B. This dialogue between W. Atkins and his wife, as I took it down in writing just after he told it me, was as follows:]

Wife. Appointed by your God! Why, have you a God in your country?

W.A. Yes, my dear; God is in every country.

Wife. No your God in my country; my country have the great old Benamuckee God.

W.A. Child, I am very unfit to shew you who God [page 452] is; God is in heaven, and made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is.

Wife. No makee de earth; no you God makee de earth; no make my country.

[W.A. laughed a little at her expression of God not making her country.]

Wife. No laugh: why laugh me? This no ting to laugh.

[He was justly reproved by his wife, for she was more serious than he at first.]

W.A. That’s true, indeed; I will not laugh any more, my dear.

Wife. Why you say, you God make all?

W.A. Yes, child, our God made the whole world, and you, and me, and all things; for he is the only true God; there is no God but he; he lives for ever in heaven.

Wife. Why you no tell me long ago?

W.A. That’s true, indeed; but I have been a wicked wretch, and have not only forgotten to acquaint thee with any thing before, but have lived without God in the world myself.

Wife. What have you de great God in your country, you no know him? No say O to him? No do good ting for him? That no impossible!

W.A. It is too true though, for all that: we live as if there was no God in heaven, or that he had no power on earth.

Wife. But why God let you do so? Why he no makee you good live!

W.A. It is all our own fault.

Wife. But you say me he is great, much great, have much great power; can make kill when he will: why he no make kill when you no serve him? no say O to him? no be good mans?

W.A. That is true; he might strike me dead, and I ought to expect it; for I have been a wicked wretch, that is true: but God is merciful, and does not deal with us as we deserve.

[page 453]

Wife. But then do not you tell God tankee for that too?

W.A. No, Indeed; I have not thanked God for his mercy, any more than I have feared God for his power.

Wife. Then you God no God; me no tink, believe he be such one, great much power, strong; no makee kill you, though you makee him much angry!

W.A. What! will my wicked life hinder you from believing in God! What a dreadful creature am I! And what a sad truth is it, that the horrid lives of Christians hinder the conversion of heathens!

Wife. Now me tink you have great much God up there, (she points up to heaven) and yet no do well, no do good ting? Can he tell? Sure he no tell what you do.

W.A. Yes, yes, he knows and sees all things; he hears us speak, sees what we do, knows what we think, though we do not speak.

Wife What! he no hear you swear, curse, speak the great damn?

W.A. Yes, yes, he hears it all.

Wife. Where be then the muchee great power strong?

W.A. He is merciful; that is all we can say for it; and this proves him to be the true God: he is God, and not man; and therefore we are not consumed.

[Here Will Atkins told us he was struck with horror to think how he could tell his wife so clearly that God sees, and hears, and knows the secret thoughts of the heart, and all that we do; and yet that he had dared to do all the vile things he had done.]

Wife. Merciful! what you call dat?

W.A. He is our father and maker; and he pities and spares us.

Wife. So then he never makee kill, never angry when you do wicked; then he no good himself, or no great able.

W.A. Yes, yes, my dear; he is infinitely good, [page 454] and infinitely great, and able to punish too; and some times, to shew his justice and vengeance, he lets fly his anger to destroy sinners and make examples; many are cut off in their sins.

Wife. But no makee kill you yet; then he tell you, may be, that he no makee you kill, so you make de bargain with him, you do bad ting, he no be angry at you, when he be angry at other mans?

W.A. No, indeed, my sins are all presumptions upon his goodness; and he would be infinitely just if he destroyed me as he has done other men.

Wife. Well, and yet no kill, no makee you dead! What you say to him for that? You no tell him tankee for all that too!

W.A. I am an unthankful, ungrateful dog, that is true.

Wife. Why he no makee you much good better? You say he makee you.

W.A.. He made me as he made all the world; ’tis I have deformed myself, and abused his goodness, and have made myself an abominable wretch.

Wife. I wish you makee God know me; I no makee him angry; I no do bad wicked ting.

[Here Will Atkins said his heart sunk within him, to hear a poor, untaught creature desire to be taught to know God, and he such a wicked wretch that he could not say one word to her about God, but what the reproach of his own carriage would make most irrational to her to believe; nay, that already she could not believe in God, because he that was so wicked was not destroyed.]

W.A. My dear, you mean you wish I could teach you to know God, not God to know you, for he knows you already, and every thought in your heart.

Wife. Why then he know what I say to you now; he know me wish to know him; how shall me know who makee me?

W.A. Poor creature, he must teach thee, I cannot teach thee; I’ll pray to him to teach thee to know [page 455] him; and to forgive me that I am unworthy to teach thee.

[The poor fellow was in such an agony at her desiring him to make her know God, and her wishing to know him, that he said he fell down on his knees before her, and prayed to God to enlighten her mind with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to pardon his sins, and accept of his being the unworthy instrument of instructing her in the principles of religion; after which he sat down by her again, and their dialogue went on.]

N.B. This was the time when we saw him kneel down and lift up his hands.

Wife. What you put down the knee for? What you hold up the hand for? What you say? Who you speak to? What is that?

W.A. My dear, I bow my knees in token of my submission to Him that made me: I said O to him, as you call it, and as you say your old men do to their idol Benamuckee; that is, I prayed to him.

Wife. What you say O to him for?

W.A. I prayed to him to open your eyes and your understanding, that you may know him, and be accepted by him.

Wife. Can he do that too?

W.A. Yes, he can; he can do all things.

Wife. But he no hear what you say?

W.A. Yes, he has bid us pray to him; and promised to hear us.

Wife. Bid you pray? When he bid you? How he bid you? What you hear him speak?

W.A. No, we do not hear him speak; but he has revealed himself many ways to us.

[Here he was at a great loss to make her understand that God had revealed himself to us by his word; and what his word was; but at last he told it her thus:]

W.A. God has spoken to some good men in former days, even from heaven, by plain words; and God [page 456] has inspired good men by his Spirit; and they have written all his laws down in a book.

Wife. Me no understand that: where is book?

W.A.. Alas! my poor creature, I have not this book; but I hope I shall, one time or other, get it for you to read it.

[Here he embraced her with great affection; but with inexpressible grief, that he had not a Bible.]

Wife. But how you makee me know that God teachee them to write that book?

W.A. By the same rule that we know him to be God.

Wife. What rule? what way you know?

W.A. Because he teaches and commands nothing but what is good, righteous, and holy, and tends to make us perfectly good, as well as perfectly happy; and because he forbids, and commands us to avoid, all that is wicked, that is evil in itself, or evil in its consequences.

Wife. That me would understand, that me fain see; if he reward all good thing, punish all wicked thing, he teachee all good thing, forbid all wicked thing, he makee all thing, he give all thing; he hear me when I say O to him, as you go to do just now; he makee me good if I wish be good; he spare me, no makee kill me when I no be good; all this you say he do: yes, he be great God; me take, think, believe him be great God; me say O to him too with you, my dear.

Here the poor man said he could forbear no longer; but, raising her up, made her kneel by him; and he prayed to God aloud to instruct her in the knowledge of himself by his Spirit; and that by some good providence, if possible, she might some time or other come to have a Bible, that she might read the word of God, and be taught by him to know him.

[This was the time that we saw him lift her up by the hand, and saw him kneel down by her, as above.]

They had several other discourses, it seems, after [page 457] this, too long to set down here; and particularly she made him promise, that, since he confessed his own life had been a wicked, abominable course of provocation against God, he would reform it, and not make God angry any more, lest he should make him dead, as she called it, and then she should be left alone, and never be taught to know this God better; and lest he should be miserable, as he told her wicked men should be after death.

This was a strange account, and very affecting to us both, but particularly the young clergyman; he was indeed wonderfully surprised with it; but under the greatest affliction imaginable that he could not talk to her; that he could not speak English to make her understand him; and as she spoke but very broken English he could not understand her. However, he turned himself to me, and told me, that he believed there must be more to do with this woman than to marry her. I did not understand him at first, but at length he explained himself, viz. that she ought to be baptized.

I agreed with him in that part readily, and was for going about it presently: “No, no; hold, Sir,” said he; “though I would have her baptized by all means, yet I must observe, that Will Atkins, her husband, has indeed brought her, in a wonderful manner, to be willing to embrace a religious life; and has given her just ideas of the being of a God, of his power, justice, and mercy; yet I desire to know of him, if he has said any thing to her of Jesus Christ, and of the salvation of sinners; of the nature of faith in him, and the redemption by him; of the Holy Spirit, the Resurrection, the last judgment, and a future state.”

I called Will Atkins again, and asked him; but the poor fellow fell immediately into tears, and told us he had said something to her of all those things, but that he was himself so wicked a creature, and his own conscience so reproached him with his horrid, ungodly life, that he trembled at the apprehensions, that her [page 458] knowledge of him should lessen the attention she should give to those things, and make her rather contemn religion than receive it: but he was assured, he said, that her mind was so disposed to receive due impressions of all those things, that, if I would but discourse with her, she would make it appear to my satisfaction that my labour would not be lost upon her.

Accordingly I called her in, and placing myself as interpreter between my religious priest and the woman, I entreated him to begin with her. But sure such a sermon was never preached by a popish priest in these latter ages of the world: and, as I told him, I thought he had all the zeal, all the knowledge, all the sincerity of a Christian, without the errors of a Roman Catholic; and that I took him to be such a clergyman as the Roman bishops were before the church of Rome assumed spiritual sovereignty over the consciences of men.

In a word, he brought the poor woman to embrace the knowledge of Christ, and of redemption by him, not with wonder and astonishment only, as she did the first notions of a God, but with joy and faith, with an affection, and a surprising degree of understanding, scarce to be imagined, much less to be expressed; and at her own request she was baptized.

When he was preparing to baptize her, I entreated him that he would perform that office with some caution, that the man might not perceive he was of the Roman church, if possible; because of other ill consequences which might attend a difference among us in that very religion which we were instructing the other in. He told me, that as he had no consecrated chapel, nor proper things for the office, I should see he would do it in a manner that I should not know by it that he was a Roman Catholic himself if I had not known it before, and so he did; for saying only some words over to himself in Latin, which I could not understand, he poured a whole dishfull of water upon the woman’s head, pronouncing in French very loud Mary (which was the name her husband desired me [page 459] to give her, for I was her godfather,) I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; so that none could know any thing by it what religion he was of: he gave the benediction afterwards in Latin; but either Will Atkins did not know but it was in French, or else did not take notice of it at that time.

As soon as this was over, he married them; and after the marriage was over, he turned himself to Will Atkins, and in a very affectionate manner exhorted him not only to persevere in that good disposition he was in, but to support the convictions that were upon him by a resolution to reform his life; told him it was in vain to say he repented if he did not forsake his crimes; represented to him, how God had honoured him with being the instrument of bringing his wife to the knowledge of the Christian religion; and that he should be careful he did not dishonour the grace of God; and that if he did, he would see the heathen a better Christian than himself; the savage converted, and the instrument cast away!

He said a great many good things to them both, and then recommended them, in a few words, to God’s goodness; gave them the benediction again, I repeating every thing to them in English: and thus ended the ceremony. I think it was the most pleasant, agreeable day to me that ever I passed in my whole life.

But my clergyman had not done yet; his thoughts hung continually upon the conversion of the thirty-seven savages, and fain he would have staid upon the island to have undertaken it; but I convinced him, first, that his undertaking was impracticable in itself; and secondly, that, perhaps, I could put it into a way of being done, in his absence, to his satisfaction; of which by and by.

Having thus brought the affair of the island to a narrow compass, I was preparing to go on board the ship when the young man, whom I had taken out of the famished ship’s company, came to me, and told me, he understood I had a clergyman with me, and [page 460] that I had caused the Englishmen to be married to the savages whom they called wives; that he had a match too, which he desired might be finished before I went, between two Christians, which he hoped would not be disagreeable to me.

I knew this must be the young woman who was his mother’s servant, for there was no other Christian woman on the island. So I began to persuade him not to do any thing of that kind rashly, or because he found himself in this solitary circumstance. I represented that he had some considerable substance in the world, and good friends, as I understood by himself, and by his maid also; that the maid was not only poor, and a servant, but was unequal to him, she being twenty-six or twenty-seven years old, and he not above seventeen or eighteen; that he might very probably, with my assistance, make a remove from this wilderness, and come into his own country again, and that then it would be a thousand to one but he would repent his choice, and the dislike of that circumstance might be disadvantageous to both. I was going to say more, but he interrupted me, smiling; and told me, with a great deal of modesty, that I mistook in my guesses; that he had nothing of that kind in his thoughts, his present circumstances being melancholy and disconsolate enough; and he was very glad to hear that I had some thoughts of putting them in a way to see their own country again; and that nothing should have set him upon staying there, but that the voyage I was going was so exceeding long and hazardous, and would carry him quite out of the reach of all his friends; that he had nothing to desire of me, but that I would settle him in some little property of the island where he was; give him a servant or two, and some few necessaries, and he would settle himself here like a planter, waiting the good time when, if ever I returned to England, I would redeem him, and hoped I would not be unmindful of him when I came to England; that he would give me some letters to his friends in London, to let them know how good I had [page 461] been to him, and what part of the world, and what circumstances I had left him in; and he promised me, that whenever I redeemed him, the plantation, and all the improvements he had made upon it, let the value be what it would, should be wholly mine.

His discourse was very prettily delivered, considering his youth, and was the more agreeable to me, because he told me positively the match was not for himself. I gave him all possible assurances, that, if I lived to come safe to England, I would deliver his letters, and do his business effectually, and that he might depend I would never forget the circumstances I left him in. But still I was impatient to know who was the person to be married; upon which he told me it was my Jack of all Trades and his maid Susan.

I was most agreeably surprised when he named the match; for indeed I had thought it very suitable. The character of that man I have given already; and as for the maid, she was a very honest, modest, sober, and religious young woman; had a very good share of sense; was agreeable enough in her person; spoke very handsomely, and to the purpose; always with decency and good manners, and not backward to speak when any thing required it, or impertinently forward to speak when it was not her business; very handy and housewifely in any thing that was before her; an excellent manager, and fit indeed to have been governess to the whole island; she knew very well how to behave herself to all kind of folks she had about her, and to better if she had found any there.

The match being proposed in this manner, we married them the same day: and as I was father at the altar, as I may say, and gave her away, so I gave her a portion, for I appointed her and her husband a handsome large space of ground for their plantation; and indeed this match, and the proposal the young gentleman made to me, to give him a small property in the island, put me upon parcelling it out among them, that they might not quarrel afterwards about their situation.

[page 462]

This sharing out the land to them I left to Will Atkins, who indeed was now grown a most sober, grave, managing fellow, perfectly reformed, exceeding pious and religious, and as far as I may be allowed to speak positively in such a case, I verily believe was a true sincere penitent.

He divided things so justly, and so much to every one’s satisfaction, that they only desired one general writing under my hand for the whole, which I caused to be drawn up, and signed and sealed to them, setting out the bounds and situation of every man’s plantation, and testifying that I gave them thereby, severally, a right to the whole possession and inheritance of the respective plantations or farms, with their improvements, to them and their heirs; reserving all the rest of the island as my own property, and a certain rent for every particular plantation after eleven years, if I or any one from me, or in my name, came to demand it, producing an attested copy of the same writing.

As to the government and laws among them, I told them, I was not capable of giving them better rules than they were able to give themselves; only made them promise me to live in love and good neighbourhood with one another: and so I prepared to leave them.

One thing I must not omit, and that is, that being now settled in a kind of commonwealth among themselves, and having much business in hand, it was but odd to have seven-and-thirty Indians live in a nook of the island, independent, and indeed unemployed; for excepting the providing themselves food, which they had difficulty enough in doing sometimes, they had no manner of business or property to manage: I proposed therefore to the governor Spaniard, that he should go to them with Friday’s father, and propose to them to remove, and either plant for themselves, or take them into their several families as servants, to be maintained for their labour, but without being absolute slaves, for I would not admit them to make them slaves by force by any means, because they had their liberty given by [page 463] capitulation, and as it were articles of surrender, which they ought not to break.

They most willingly embraced the proposal, and came all very cheerfully along with him; so we allotted them land and plantations, which three or four accepted of, but all the rest chose to be employed as servants in the several families we had settled; and thus my colony was in a manner settled as follows: The Spaniards possessed my original habitation, which was the capital city, and extended their plantation all along the side of the brook which made the creek that I have so often described, as far as my bower; and as they increased their culture, it went always eastward. The English lived in the north-east part, where Will Atkins and his comrades began, and came on southward and south-west, towards the back part of the Spaniards; and every plantation had a great addition of land to take in, if they found occasion, so that they need not jostle one another for want of room.

All the west end of the island was left uninhabited, that, if any of the savages should come on shore there, only for their usual customary barbarities, they might come and go; if they disturbed nobody, nobody would disturb them; and no doubt but they were often ashore, and went away again, for I never heard that the planters were ever attacked and disturbed any more.

It now came into my thoughts that I had hinted to my friend the clergyman that the work of converting the savages might perhaps be set on foot in his absence to his satisfaction; and I told him, that now I thought it was put in a fair way, for the savages being thus divided among the Christians, if they would but every one of them do their part with those which came under their hands, I hoped it might have a very good effect.

He agreed presently in that; “if,” said he, “they will do their part; but how,” says he, “shall we obtain that of them?” I told him we would call them all together, and leave it in charge with them, or go to [page 464] them one by one, which he thought best; so we divided it—he to speak to the Spaniards, who were all Papists, and I to the English, who were all Protestants; and we recommended it earnestly to them, and made them promise that they would never make any distinction of Papist or Protestant in their exhorting the savages to turn Christians, but teach them the general knowledge of the true God, and of their Saviour Jesus Christ; and they likewise promised us that they would never have any differences or disputes one with another about religion.

When I came to Will Atkins’s house, (I may call it so, for such a house, or such a piece of basket-work, I believe was not standing in the world again!) I say, when I came thither I found the young woman I have mentioned above, and William Atkins’s wife, were become intimates; and this prudent and religious young woman had perfected the work Will Atkins had begun; and though it was not above four days after what I have related, yet the new-baptized savage woman was made such a Christian as I have seldom heard of any like her, in all my observation or conversation in the world.

It came next into my mind in the morning, before I went to them, that among all the needful things I had to leave with them, I had not left a Bible; in which I shewed myself less considering for them than my good friend the widow was for me, when she sent me the cargo of 100l. from Lisbon, where she packed up three Bibles and a Prayer-book. However, the good woman’s charity had a greater extent than ever she imagined, for they were reserved for the comfort and instruction of those that made much better use of them than I had done.

I took one of the Bibles in my pocket; and when I came to William Atkins’s tent, or house, I found the young woman and Atkins’s baptized wife had been discoursing of religion together (for William Atkins told it me with a great deal of joy.) I asked if they were together now? And he said yes; so I [page 465] went into the house, and he with me, and we found them together, very earnest in discourse: “O Sir,” says William Atkins, “when God has sinners to reconcile to himself, and aliens to bring home, he never wants a messenger: my wife has got a new instructor—I knew I was unworthy, as I was incapable of that work—that young woman has been sent hither from Heaven—she is enough to convert a whole island of savages.” The young woman blushed, and rose up to go away, but I desired her to sit still; I told her she had a good work upon her hands, and I hoped God would bless her in it.

We talked a little, and I did not perceive they had any book among them, though I did not ask, but I put my hand in my pocket, and pulled out my Bible. “Here,” said I to Atkins, “I have brought you an assistant, that perhaps you had not before.” The man was so confounded, that he was not able to speak for some time; but recovering himself, he takes it with both hands, and turning to his wife, “Here, my dear,” says he, “did not I tell you our God, though he lives above, could hear what we said? Here is the book I prayed for when you and I kneeled down under the bush; now God has heard us, and sent it.” When he had said thus, the man fell in such transports of a passionate joy, that between the joy of having it, and giving God thanks for it, the tears ran down his face like a child that was crying.

The woman was surprised, and was like to have run into a mistake that none of us were aware of; for she firmly believed God had sent the book upon her husband’s petition: it is true that providentially it was so, and might be taken so in a consequent sense; but I believed it would have been no difficult matter at that time to have persuaded the poor woman to have believed that an express messenger came from Heaven on purpose to bring that individual book; but it was too serious a matter to suffer any delusion to take place: so I turned to the young woman, and [page 466] told her we did not desire to impose upon the convert in her first and more ignorant understanding of things, and begged her to explain to her that God may be very properly said to answer our petitions, when in the course of his providence such things are in a particular manner brought to pass as we petitioned for; but we do not expect returns from Heaven in a miraculous and particular manner; and that it is our mercy it is not so.

This the young woman did afterwards effectually; so that there was, I assure you, no priestcraft used here; and I should have thought it one of the most unjustifiable frauds in the world to have had it so: but the surprise of joy upon Will Atkins is really not to be expressed; and there we may be sure was no delusion. Sure no man was ever more thankful in the world for any thing of its kind than he was for this Bible; and I believe never any man was glad of a Bible from a better principle; and though he had been a most profligate creature, desperate, headstrong, outrageous, furious, and wicked to a great degree, yet this man is a standing rule to us all for the well instructing children, viz. that parents should never give over to teach and instruct, or ever despair of the success of their endeavours, let the children be ever so obstinate, refractory, or to appearance insensible of instruction; for if ever God in his providence touches the consciences of such, the force of their education returns upon them, and the early instruction of parents is not lost, though it may have been many years laid asleep, but some time or other they may find the benefit of it.

Thus it was with this poor man. However ignorant he was, or divested of religion and Christian knowledge, he found he had some to do with now more ignorant than himself; and that the least part of the instruction of his good father that could now come to his mind was of use to him.

Among the rest it occurred to him, he said, how his father used to insist much upon the inexpressible [page 467] value of the Bible, the privilege and blessing of it to nations, families, and persons; but he never entertained the least notion of the worth of it till now, when being to talk to heathens, savages, and barbarians, he wanted the help of the written oracle for his assistance.

The young woman was very glad of it also for the present occasion, though she had one, and so had the youth, on board our ship among the goods which were not yet brought on shore. And now, having said so many things of this young woman, I cannot omit telling one story more of her and myself, which has something in it very informing and remarkable.

I have related to what extremity the poor young woman was reduced; how her mistress was starved to death, and did die on board that unhappy ship we met at sea; and how the whole ship’s company being reduced to the last extremity, the gentlewoman and her son, and this maid, were first hardly used as to provisions, and at last totally neglected and starved; that is to say, brought to the last extremity of hunger.

One day being discoursing with her upon the extremities they suffered, I asked her if she could describe by what she felt what it was to starve, and how it appeared? She told me she believed she could, and she told her tale very distinctly thus:

“First, Sir,” said she, “we had for some days fared exceeding hard, and suffered very great hunger, but now at last we were wholly without food of any kind except sugar, and a little wine, and a little water. The first day after I had received no food at all, I found myself, towards evening, first empty and sickish at my stomach, and nearer night mightily inclined to yawning, and sleepy; I lay down on a couch in the great cabin to sleep, and slept about three hours, and awaked a little refreshed, having taken a glass of wine when I lay down. After being about three hours awake, it being about five o’clock in the morning, I found myself empty, and my stomach sickish again, and lay down again, but could not sleep at all, being very faint and ill; and thus I continued all the second [page 468] day with a strange variety—first hungry, then sick again, with retchings to vomit. The second night, being obliged to go to bed again without any food more than a draught of fair water, and being asleep, I dreamed I was at Barbadoes, and that the market was mightily stocked with provisions, that I bought some for my mistress, and went and dined very heartily.

“I thought my stomach was full after this, as it would have been after or at a good dinner; but when I waked, I was exceedingly sunk in my spirits to find myself in the extremity of famine; the last glass of wine we had I drank, and put sugar into it, because of its having some spirit to supply nourishment; but there being no substance in the stomach for the digesting office to work upon, I found the only effect of the wine was to raise disagreeable fumes from the stomach into the head; and I lay, as they told me, stupid and senseless as one drunk for some time.

“The third day in the morning, after a night of strange and confused inconsistent dreams, and rather dozing than sleeping, I awaked ravenous and furious with hunger; and I question, had not my understanding returned and conquered it, I say, I question whether, if I had been a mother, and had had a little child with me, its life would have been safe or no.

“This lasted about three hours, during which time I was twice raging mad as any creature in Bedlam, as my young master told me, and as he can now inform you.

“In one of these fits of lunacy or distraction, whether by the motion of the ship or some slip of my foot I know not, I fell down, and struck my face against the corner of a pallet-bed, in which my mistress lay, and with the blow the blood gushed out of my nose, and the cabin-boy bringing me a little basin, I sat down and bled into it a great deal, and as the blood ran from me I came to myself, and the violence of the flame or the fever I was in abated, and so did the ravenous part of the hunger.

[page 469]

“Then I grew sick, and retched to vomit, but could not, for I had nothing in my stomach to bring up. After I had bled some time I swooned, and they all believed I was dead; but I came to myself soon after, and then had a most dreadful pain in my stomach, not to be described, not like the colic, but a gnawing eager pain for food, and towards night it went off with a kind of earnest wishing or longing for food, something like, as I suppose, the longing of a woman with child. I took another draught of water with sugar in it, but my stomach loathed the sugar, and brought it all up again; then I took a draught of water without sugar, and that stayed with me, and I laid me down upon the bed, praying most heartily that it would please God to take me away; and composing my mind in hopes of it, I slumbered awhile; and then waking, thought myself dying, being light with vapours from an empty stomach: I recommended my soul to God, and earnestly wished that somebody would throw me into the sea.

“All this while my mistress lay by me just, as I thought, expiring, but bore it with much more patience than I, and gave the last bit of bread she had to her child, my young master, who would not have taken it, but she obliged him to eat it, and I believe it saved his life.

“Towards the morning I slept again, and first when I awaked I fell into a violent passion of crying, and after that had a second fit of violent hunger, so that I got up ravenous, and in a most dreadful condition. Had my mistress been dead, so much as I loved her, I am certain I should have eaten a piece of her flesh with as much relish and as unconcerned as ever I did the flesh of any creature appointed for food; and once or twice I was going to bite my own arm. At last I saw the basin in which was the blood had bled at my nose the day before; I ran to it, and swallowed it with such haste, and such a greedy appetite, as if I had wondered nobody had taken it before, and afraid it should be taken from me now.

[page 470]

“Though after it was down the thoughts of it filled me with horror, yet it checked the fit of hunger, and I drank a draught of fair water, and was composed and refreshed for some hours, after it. This was the fourth day; and thus I held it till towards night, when, within the compass of three hours, I had all these several circumstances over again, one after another, viz. sick, sleepy, eagerly hungry, pain in the stomach, then ravenous again, then sick again, then lunatic, then crying, then ravenous again, and so every quarter of an hour; and my strength wasted exceedingly. At night I laid me down, having no comfort but in the hope that I should die before morning.

“All this night I had no sleep, but the hunger was now turned into a disease, and I had a terrible colic and griping, wind instead of food having found its way into my bowels; and in this condition I lay till morning, when I was surprised a little with the cries and lamentations of my young master, who called out to me that his mother was dead. I lifted myself up a little, for I had not strength to rise, but found she was not dead, though she was able to give very little signs of life.

“I had then such convulsions in my stomach for want of some sustenance, that I cannot describe them, with such frequent throes and pangs of appetite that nothing but the tortures of death can imitate; and this condition I was in when I heard the seamen above cry out ‘A sail! a sail!’ and halloo and jump about as if they were distracted.

“I was not able to get off from the bed, and my mistress much less; and my master was so sick that I thought he had been expiring; so we could not open the cabin-door, or get any account what it was that occasioned such a combustion; nor had we any conversation with the ship’s company for two days, they having told us they had not a mouthful of any thing to eat in the ship; and they told us afterwards they thought we had been dead.

“It was this dreadful condition we were in when [page 471] you were sent to save our lives; and how you found us, Sir, you know as well as I, and better too.”

This was her own relation, and is such a distinct account of starving to death as I confess I never met with, and was exceeding entertaining to me: I am the rather apt to believe it to be a true account, because the youth gave me an account of a good part of it; though I must own not so distinct and so feelingly as his maid, and the rather because it seems his mother fed him at the price of her own life: but the poor maid, though her constitution being stronger than that of her mistress, who was in years, and a weakly woman too, she might struggle harder with it; I say, the poor maid might be supposed to feel the extremity something sooner than her mistress, who might be allowed to keep the last bits something longer than she parted with any to relieve the maid. No question, as the case is here related, if our ship, or some other, had not so providentially met them, a few days more would have ended all their lives, unless they had prevented it by eating one another; and even that, as their case stood, would have served them but a little while, they being five hundred leagues from any land, or any possibility of relief, other than in the miraculous manner it happened.—But this is by the way; I return to my disposition of things among the people.

And first, it is to be observed here, that for many reasons I did not think fit to let them know any thing of the sloop I had framed, and which I thought of setting up among them; for I found, at least at my first coming, such seeds of division among them, that I saw it plainly, had I set up the sloop, and left it among them, they would, upon very light disgust, have separated, and gone away from one another; or perhaps have turned pirates, and so made the island a den of thieves, instead of a plantation of sober and religious people, as I intended it to be; nor did I leave the two pieces of brass cannon that I had on board, or the two quarter-deck guns, that my nephew took extraordinary, for the same reason: I thought they [page 472] had enough to qualify them for a defensive war, against any that should invade them; but I was not to set them up for an offensive war, or to encourage them to go abroad to attack others, which, in the end, would only bring ruin and destruction upon themselves and all their undertakings: I reserved the sloop, therefore, and the guns, for their service another way, as I shall observe in its place.

I have now done with the island: I left them all in good circumstances, and in a flourishing condition, and went on board my ship again the fifth day of May, having been five and twenty days among them; and, as they were all resolved to stay upon the island till I came to remove them, I promised to send some further relief from the Brasils, if I could possibly find an opportunity; and particularly I promised to send them some cattle; such as sheep, hogs, and cows; for as to the two cows and calves which I brought from England, we had been obliged, by the length of our voyage, to kill them at sea, for want of hay to feed them.

The next day, giving them a salute of five guns at parting, we set sail, and arrived at the bay of All Saints, in the Brasils, in about twenty-two days; meeting nothing remarkable in our passage but this, that about three days after we sailed, being becalmed, and the current setting strong to the N.N.E. running, as it were, into a bay or gulf on the land side, we were driven something out of our course; and once or twice our men cried Land, to the westward; but whether it was the continent, or islands, we could not tell by any means.

But the third day, towards evening, the sea smooth and the weather calm, we saw the sea, as it were, covered towards the land, with something very black, not being able to discover what it was; but, after some time, our chief mate going up the main shrouds a little way, and looking at them with a perspective, cried out, it was an army. I could not imagine what he meant by an army, and spoke a little hastily, calling [page 473] the fellow a fool, or some such word: “Nay, Sir,” says he, “don’t be angry, for it is an army, and a fleet too; for I believe there are a thousand canoes, and you may see them paddle along, and they are coming towards us too apace, and full of men.”

I was a little surprised then, indeed, and so was my nephew the captain; for he had heard such terrible stories of them in the island, and having never been in those seas before, that he could not tell what to think of it, but said two or three times, we should all be devoured. I must confess, considering we were becalmed, and the current set strong towards the shore, I liked it the worse; however, I bade him not be afraid, but bring the ship to an anchor, as soon as we came so near as to know that we must engage them.

The weather continued calm, and they came on apace towards us; so I gave orders to come to an anchor, and furl all our sails. As for the savages, I told them they had nothing to fear from them but fire; and therefore they should get their boats out, and fasten them, one close by the head, and the other by the stern, and man them both well, and wait the issue in that posture: this I did, that the men in the boats might be ready, with sheet and buckets, to put out any fire these savages might endeavour to fix upon the outside of the ship.

In this posture we lay by for them, and in a little while they came up with us; but never was such a horrid sight seen by Christians; my mate was much mistaken in his calculation of their number, I mean of a thousand canoes; the most we could make of them when they came up, being about 126; and a great many of them too; for some of them had sixteen or seventeen men in them, some more, and the least six or seven.

When they came nearer to us, they seemed to be struck with wonder and astonishment, as at a sight which they had, doubtless, never seen before; nor could they, at first, as we afterwards understood, know what to make of us. They came boldly up however, [page 474] very near to us, and seemed to go about to row round us; but we called to our men in the boats not to let them come too near them. This very order brought us to an engagement with them, without our designing it; for five or six of the large canoes came so near our long-boat, that our men beckoned with their hands to keep them back, which they understood very well, and went back: but at their retreat about fifty arrows came on board us from those boats, and one of our men in the long-boat was very much wounded. However, I called to them not to fire by any means; but we handed down some deal boards into the boat, and the carpenter presently set up a kind of fence, like waste boards, to cover them from the arrows of the savages, if they should shoot again.

About half-an-hour afterwards they all came up in a body astern of us, and so near that we could easily discern what they were, though we could not tell their design; and I easily found they were some of my old friends, the same sort of savages that I had been used to engage with. In a short time more they rowed a little farther out to sea, till they came directly broadside with us, and then rowed down straight upon us, till they came so near that they could hear us speak; upon this, I ordered all my men to keep close, lest they should shoot any more arrows, and made all our guns ready; but being so near as to be within hearing, I made Friday go out upon the deck, and call out aloud to them in his language, to know what they meant. Whether they understood him or not, that I knew not; but as soon as he had called to them, six of them, who were in the foremost or nearest boat to us, turned their canoes from us, and stooping down, showed us their naked backs; whether this was a defiance or challenge we knew not, or whether it was done in mere contempt, or as a signal to the rest; but immediately Friday cried out they were going to shoot, and, unhappily for him, poor [page 475] fellow, they let fly about three hundred of their arrows, and to my inexpressible grief, killed poor Friday, no other man being in their sight. The poor fellow was shot with no less than three arrows, and about three more fell very near him; such unlucky marksmen they were!

I was so annoyed at the loss of my old trusty servant and companion, that I immediately ordered five guns to be loaded with small shot, and four with great, and gave them such a broadside as they had never heard in their lives before. They were not above half a cable’s length off when we fired; and our gunners took their aim so well, that three or four of their canoes were overset, as we had reason to believe, by one shot only. The ill manners of turning up their bare backs to us gave us no great offence; neither did I know for certain whether that which would pass for the greatest contempt among us might be understood so by them or not; therefore, in return, I had only resolved to have fired four or five guns at them with powder only, which I knew would frighten them sufficiently: but when they shot at us directly with all the fury they were capable of, and especially as they had killed my poor Friday, whom I so entirely loved and valued, and who, indeed, so well deserved it, I thought myself not only justifiable before God and man, but would have been very glad if I could have overset every canoe there, and drowned every one of them.

I can neither tell how many we killed nor how many we wounded at this broadside, but sure such a fright and hurry never were seen among such a multitude; there were thirteen or fourteen of their canoes split and overset in all, and the men all set a-swimming: the rest, frightened out of their wits, scoured away as fast as they could, taking but little care to save those whose boats were split or spoiled with our shot; so I suppose that many of them were lost; and our [page 476] men took up one poor fellow swimming for his life; above an hour after they were all gone.

Our small shot from our cannon must needs kill and wound a great many; but, in short, we never knew any thing how it went with them; for they fled so fast that, in three hours, or thereabouts, we could not see above three or four straggling canoes; nor did we ever see the rest any more; for a breeze of wind springing up the same evening, we weighed and set sail for the Brasils.

We had a prisoner indeed, but the creature was so sullen, that he would neither eat nor speak; and we all fancied he would starve himself to death; but I took a way to cure him; for I made them take him, and turn him into the long-boat, and make him believe they would toss him into the sea again, and so leave him where they found him, if he would not speak: nor would that do, but they really did throw him into the sea, and came away from him; and then he followed them, for he swam like a cork, and called to them in his tongue, though they knew not one word of what he said. However, at last, they took him in again, and then he began to be more tractable; nor did I ever design they should drown him.

We were now under sail again; but I was the most disconsolate creature alive, for want of my man Friday, and would have been very glad to have gone back to the island, to have taken one of the rest from thence for my occasion, but it could not be; so we went on. We had one prisoner, as I have said; and it was a long while before we could make him understand any thing; but in time, our men taught him some English, and he began to be a little tractable: afterwards we inquired what country he came from, but could make nothing of what he said; for his speech was so odd, all gutturals, and spoken in the throat, in such a hollow and odd manner, that we could never form a word from him; and we were all of opinion that they might speak that language as well if they were gagged, as otherwise; nor could we [page 477] perceive that they had any occasion either for teeth, tongue, lips, or palate; but formed their words just as a hunting-horn forms a tune, with an open throat: he told us, however, some time after, when we had taught him to speak a little English, that they were going, with their kings, to fight a great battle. When he said kings, we asked him, how many kings? He said, there were five nation (we could not make him understand the plural s,) and that they all joined to go against two nation. We asked him, What made them come up to us? He said, “To makee te great wonder look.”—Where it is to be observed, that all those natives, as also those of Africa, when they learn English, they always add two e’s at the end of the words where we use one, and place the accent upon the last of them; as makee, takee, and the like; and we could not break them of it; nay, I could hardly make Friday leave it off, though at last he did.

And now I name the poor fellow once more, I must take my last leave of him; poor honest Friday! We buried him with all decency and solemnity possible, by putting him into a coffin, and throwing him into the sea; and I caused them to fire eleven guns for him: and so ended the life of the most grateful, faithful, honest, and most affectionate servant that ever man had.

We now went away with a fair wind for Brasil, and, in about twelve days time, we made land in the latitude of five degrees south of the line, being the north-easternmost land of all that part of America. We kept on S. by E. in sight of the shore four days, when we made the Cape St. Augustine, and in three days came to an anchor off the bay of All Saints, the old place of my deliverance, from whence came both my good and evil fate.

Never did a ship come to this part that had less business than I had; and yet it was with great difficulty that we were admitted to hold the least correspondence on shore. Not my partner himself, who was alive, and made a great figure among them, not my [page 478] two merchant trustees, nor the fame of my wonderful preservation in the island, could obtain me that favour; but my partner remembering that I had given five hundred moidores to the prior of the monastery of the Augustines, and three hundred and seventy-two to the poor, went to the monastery, and obliged the prior that then was, to go to the governor, and beg leave for me presently, with the captain, and one more, besides eight seamen, to come on shore, and no more; and this upon condition absolutely capitulated for, that we should not offer to land any goods out of the ship, or to carry any person away without licence.

They were so strict with us, as to landing any goods, that it was with extreme difficulty that I got on shore three bales of English goods, such as fine broad-cloths, stuffs, and some linen, which I had brought for a present to my partner.

He was a very generous, broad-hearted man, though (like me) he came from little at first; and though he knew not that I had the least design of giving him any thing, he sent me on board a present of fresh provisions, wine, and sweetmeats, worth above thirty moidores, including some tobacco, and three or four fine medals in gold. But I was even with him in my present, which, as I have said, consisted of fine broad-cloth, English stuffs, lace, and fine Hollands. Also, I delivered him about the value of 100l. sterling, in the same goods, for other uses: and I obliged him to set up the sloop which I had brought with me from England, as I have said, for the use of my colony, in order to send the refreshments I intended to my plantation.

Accordingly he got hands, and finished the sloop in a very few days, for she was already framed; and I gave the master of her such instruction as he could not miss the place; nor did he miss it, as I had an account from my partner afterwards. I got him soon loaded with the small cargo I had sent them; and one of our seamen, that had been on shore with me there, offered to go with the sloop, and settle there, upon my [page 479] letter to the governor Spaniard, to allot him a sufficient quantity of land for a plantation; and giving him some clothes, and tools for his planting work, which he said he understood, having been an old planter in Maryland, and a buccaneer into the bargain.

I encouraged the fellow by granting all he desired; and, as an addition, I gave him the savage which we had taken prisoner of war, to be his slave, and ordered the governor Spaniard to give him his share of everything he wanted, with the rest.

When we came to fit this man out, my old partner told me, there was a certain very honest fellow, a Brasil planter of his acquaintance, who had fallen into the displeasure of the church: “I know not what the matter is with him,” says he, “but, on my conscience, I think he is a heretic in his heart; and he has been obliged to conceal himself for fear of the Inquisition;” that he would be very glad of such an opportunity to make his escape, with his wife and two daughters; and if I would let them go to the island, and allot them a plantation, he would give them a small stock to begin with; for the officers of the Inquisition had seized all his effects and estate, and he had nothing left but a little household stuff, and two slaves; “And,” adds he, “though I hate his principles, yet I would not have him fall into their hands, for he will assuredly be burnt alive if he does.”

I granted this presently, and joined my Englishman with them; and we concealed the man, and his wife and daughters, on board our ship, till the sloop put out to go to sea; and then (having put all their goods on board the sloop some time before) we put them on board the sloop, after she was got out of the bay.

Our seaman was mightily pleased with this new partner; and their stock, indeed, was much alike, rich in tools, and in preparations, for a farm; but nothing to begin with, but as above. However, they carried over with them (which was worth all the rest) some materials for planting sugar-canes, with some plants of [page 480] canes; which he (I mean the Portugal man) understood very well.

Among the rest of the supplies sent my tenants in the island, I sent them, by this sloop, three milch-cows and five calves, about twenty-two hogs, among them, three sows big with pig, two mares, and a stone-horse.

For my Spaniards, according to my promise, I engaged three Portugal women to go; and recommended it to them to marry them, and use them kindly. I could have procured more women, but I remembered that the poor persecuted man had two daughters, and there were but five of the Spaniards that wanted; the rest had wives of their own, though in another country.

All this cargo arrived safe, and, as you may easily suppose, very welcome to my old inhabitants, who were now (with this addition) between sixty and seventy people, besides little children; of which there were a great many: I found letters at London from them all, by way of Lisbon, when I came back to England, being sent back to the Brasils by this sloop; of which I shall take some notice in its place.

I have now done with my island, and all manner of discourse about it; and whoever reads the rest of my memorandums, would do well to turn his thoughts entirely from it, and expect to read only of the follies of an old man, not warned by his own harms, much less by those of other men, to beware of the like; not cooled by almost forty years misery and disappointments; not satisfied with prosperity beyond expectation; not made cautious by affliction and distress beyond irritation.

I had no more business to go to the East Indies, than a man at full liberty, and having committed no crime, has to go to the turnkey at Newgate, and desire him to lock him up among the prisoners there, and starve him. Had I taken a small vessel from England, and gone directly to the island; had I loaded her, as I did the other vessel, with all the necessaries for the plantation, and for my people; took a patent from the [page 481] government here, to have secured my property, in subjection only to that of England, which, to be sure, I might have obtained; had I carried over cannon and ammunition, servants, and people to plant, and, taking possession of the place, fortified and strengthened it in the name of England, and increased it with people, as I might easily have done; had I then settled myself there, and sent the ship back, loaded with good rice, as I might also have done in six months time, and ordered my friends to have fitted her out again for our supply; had I done this, and staid there myself, I had, at least, acted like a man of common sense; but I was possessed with a wandering spirit, scorned all advantages, pleased myself with being the patron of these people I had placed there, and doing for them in a kind of haughty majestic way, like an old patriarchal monarch; providing for them, as if I had been father of the whole family, as well as of the plantation: but I never so much as pretended to plant in the name of any government or nation, or to acknowledge any prince, or to call my people subjects to any one nation more than another; nay, I never so much as gave the place a name; but left it as I found it, belonging to no man; and the people under no discipline or government but my own; who, though I had an influence over them as father and benefactor, had no authority or power to act or command one way or other, farther than voluntary consent moved them to comply: yet even this, had I staid there, would have done well enough; but as I rambled from them, and came thither no more, the last letters I had from any of them, were by my partner’s means, who afterwards sent another sloop to the place; and who sent me word, though I had not the letter till five years after it was written, that they went on but poorly, were malecontent with their long stay there; that Will Atkins was dead; that five of the Spaniards were come away; and that though they had not been much molested by the savages, yet they had had some [page 482] skirmishes with them; that they begged of him to write to me to think of the promise I had made to fetch them away, that they might see their own country again before they died.

But I was gone a wild-goose chase indeed, and they who will have any more of me, must be content to follow me through a new variety of follies, hardships, and wild adventures; wherein the justice of Providence may be duly observed, and we may see how easily Heaven can gorge us with our own desires, make the strongest of our wishes to be our affliction and punish us most severely with those very things which we think it would be our utmost happiness to be allowed in.

Let no wise man flatter himself with the strength of his own judgment, as if he was able to choose any particular station of life for himself. Man is a short-sighted creature, sees but a very little way before him; and as his passions are none of his best friends, so his particular affections are generally his worst counsellors.

I say this with respect to the impetuous desire I had from a youth to wander into the world, and how evident it now was that this principle was preserved in me for my punishment. How it came on, the manner, the circumstance, and the conclusion of it, it is easy to give you historically, and with its utmost variety of particulars. But the secret ends of Divine Providence, in thus permitting us to be hurried down the stream of our own desires, are only to be understood of those who can listen to the voice of Providence, and draw religious consequences from God’s justice and their own mistakes.

Be it had I business or no business, away I went. It is no time now to enlarge any farther upon the reason or absurdity of my own conduct; but to come to the history—I was embarked for the voyage, and the voyage I went.

I shall only add here, that my honest and truly pious clergyman left me here; a ship being ready to go to Lisbon, he asked me leave to go thither; being still [page 483] as he observed, bound never to finish any voyage he began. How happy had it been for me if I had gone with him!

But it was too late now; all things Heaven appoints are best. Had I gone with him, I had never had so many things to be thankful for, and you had never heard of the Second Part of the Travels and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; so I must leave here the fruitless exclaiming at myself, and go on with my voyage.

From the Brasils we made directly away over the Atlantic sea to the Cape de Bonne Esperance, or, as we call it, the Cape of Good Hope; and had a tolerable good voyage, our course generally south-east; now and then a storm, and some contrary winds. But my disasters at sea were at an end; my future rubs and cross events were to befal me on shore; that it might appear the land was as well prepared to be our scourge as the sea, when Heaven, who directs the circumstances of things, pleases to appoint it to be so.

Our ship was on a trading voyage, and had a supercargo on board, who was to direct all her motions after she arrived at the Cape; only being limited to a certain number of days for stay, by charter-party, at the several ports she was to go to. This was none of my business, neither did I meddle with it at all; my nephew the captain, and the supercargo, adjusting all those things between them as they thought fit.

We made no stay at the Cape longer than was needful to take in fresh water, but made the best of our way for the coast of Coromandel; we were indeed informed that a French man of war of fifty guns and two large merchant-ships were gone for the Indies; and as I knew we were at war with France, I had some apprehensions of them; but they went their own way, and we heard no more of them.

I shall not pester my account, or the reader, with descriptions of places, journals of our voyages, variations of the compass, latitudes, meridian distances, trade-winds, situation of ports, and the like; such as [page 484] almost all the histories of long navigation are full of, and which make the reading tiresome enough, and are perfectly unprofitable to all that read, except only to those who are to go to those places themselves.

It is enough to name the ports and places which we touched at, and what occurred to us upon our passing from one to another. We touched first at the island of Madagascar, where, though the people are fierce and treacherous, and, in particular, very well armed with lances and bows, which they use with inconceivable dexterity, yet we fared very well with them awhile; they treated us very civilly; and for some trifles which we gave them, such as knives, scissors, &c. they brought us eleven good fat bullocks, middling in size, but very good in flesh, which we took in, partly for fresh provisions for our present spending, and the rest to salt for the ship’s use.

We were obliged to stay here for some time after we had furnished ourselves with provisions; and I that was always too curious to look into every nook of the world wherever I came, was for going on shore as often as I could. It was on the east side of the island that we went on shore one evening, and the people, who by the way are very numerous, came thronging about us, and stood gazing at us at a distance; as we had traded freely with them, and had been kindly used, we thought ourselves in no danger; but when we saw the people we cut three boughs out of a tree, and stuck them up at a distance from us, which, it seems, is a mark in the country not only of truce and friendship, but when it is accepted, the other side set up three poles or boughs also, which is a signal that they accept the truce too; but then this is a known condition of the truce, that you are not to pass beyond their three poles towards them, nor they come past your three poles or boughs towards you; so that you are perfectly secure within the three poles, and all the space between your poles and theirs is allowed like a market for free converse, traffic, and commerce. When you go thither you must not carry your weapons [page 485] with you; and if they come into that space they stick up their javelins and lances all at the first poles, and come on unarmed; but if any violence is offered them, and the truce thereby broken, away they run to the poles and lay hold of their weapons, and then the truce is at an end.

It happened one evening when we went on shore, that a greater number of their people came down than usual, but all was very friendly and civil. They brought with them several kinds of provisions, for which we satisfied them with such toys as we had; their women also brought us milk and roots, and several things very acceptable to us, and all was quiet; and we made us a little tent or hut, of some boughs of trees, and lay on shore all that night.

I know not what was the occasion, but I was not so well satisfied to lie on shore as the rest; and the boat lying at an anchor about a stone’s cast from the land, with two men in her to take care of her, I made one of them come on shore, and getting some boughs of trees to cover us also in the boat, I spread the sail on the bottom of the boat, and lay on board, under the cover of the branches of the trees, all night.

About two o’clock in the morning we heard one of our men make a terrible noise on the shore, calling out for God’s sake to bring the boat in, and come and help them, for they were all like to be murdered; at the same time I heard the firing of five muskets, which was the number of the guns they had, and that three times over; for, it seems, the natives here were not so easily frighted with guns as the savages were in America, where I had to do with them.

All this while I knew not what was the matter; but rousing immediately from sleep with the noise, I caused the boat to be thrust in, and resolved, with three fusils we had on board, to land and assist our men.

We got the boat soon to the shore; but our men were in too much haste; for being come to the shore, they plunged into the water to get to the boat with all [page 486] the expedition they could, being pursued by between three and four hundred men. Our men were but nine in all, and only five of them had fusils with them; the rest, indeed, had pistols and swords, but they were of small use to them.

We took up seven of our men, and with difficulty enough too, three of them being very ill wounded; and that which was still worse was, that while we stood in the boat to take our men in, we were in as much danger as they were in on shore; for they poured their arrows in upon us so thick, that we were fain to barricade the side of the boat up with the benches and two or three loose boards, which to our great satisfaction we had by mere accident, or providence rather, in the boat.

And yet had it been daylight, they are, it seems, such exact marksmen, that if they could have seen but the least part of any of us, they would have been sure of us. We had, by the light of the moon, a little sight of them as they stood pelting us from the shore with darts and arrows, and having got ready our fire-arms, we gave them a volley, and we could hear by the cries of some of them, that we had wounded several; however, they stood thus in battle array on the shore till break of day, which we suppose was that they might see the better to take their aim at us.

In this condition we lay, and could not tell how to weigh our anchor, or set up our sail, because we must needs stand up in the boat, and they were as sure to hit us as we were to hit a bird in a tree with small shot. We made signals of distress to the ship, which though she rode a league off, yet my nephew, the captain, hearing our firing, and by glasses perceiving the posture we lay in, and that we fired towards the shore, pretty well understood us; and weighing anchor with all speed, he stood as near the shore as he durst with the ship, and then sent another boat with ten hands in her to assist us; but we called to them not to come too near, telling them what condition we were in; however, they stood in nearer to us; and [page 487] one of the men taking the end of a tow-line in his hand, and keeping our boat between him and the enemy, so that they could not perfectly see him, swam on board us, and made the line fast to the boat, upon which we slipt our little cable, and leaving our anchor behind, they towed us out of the reach of the arrows, we all the while lying close behind the barricade we had made.

As soon as we were got from between the ship and the shore, that she could lay her side to the shore, we ran along just by them, and we poured in a broadside among them, loaded with pieces of iron and lead, small bullets, and such stuff, besides the great shot, which made a terrible havoc among them.

When we were got on board and out of danger, we had time to examine into the occasion of this fray; and indeed our supercargo, who had been often in those parts, put me upon it; for he said he was sure the inhabitants would not have touched us after we had made a truce, if we had not done something to provoke them to it. At length it came out, viz. that an old woman, who had come to sell us some milk, had brought it within our poles, with a young woman with her, who also brought some roots or herbs; and while the old woman (whether she was mother to the young woman or no they could not tell) was selling us the milk, one of our men offered some rudeness to the wench that was with her, at which the old woman made a great noise. However, the seaman would not quit his prize, but carried her out of the old woman’s sight, among the trees, it being almost dark. The old woman went away without her, and, as we suppose, made an outcry among the people she came from; who, upon notice, raised this great army upon us in three or four hours; and it was great odds but we had been all destroyed.

One of our men was killed with a lance that was thrown at him, just at the beginning of the attack, as he sallied out of the tent we had made; the rest came off free, all but the fellow who was the occasion of [page 488] all the mischief, who paid dear enough for his black mistress, for we could not hear what became of him a great while. We lay upon the shore two days after, though the wind presented, and made signals for him; made our boat sail up shore and down shore several leagues, but in vain; so we were obliged to give him over; and if he alone had suffered for it, the loss had been the less.

I could not satisfy myself, however, without venturing on shore once more, to try if I could learn any thing of him or them. It was the third night after the action that I had a great mind to learn, if I could by any means, what mischief he had done, and how the game stood on the Indian side. I was careful to do it in the dark, lest we should be attacked again; but I ought indeed to have been sure that the men I went with had been under my command before I engaged in a thing so hazardous and mischievous, as I was brought into it without my knowledge or desire.

We took twenty stout fellows with us as any in the ship, besides the supercargo and myself; and we landed two hours before midnight, at the same place where the Indians stood drawn up the evening before. I landed here, because my design, as I have said, was chiefly to see if they had quitted the field, and if they had left any marks behind them, or of the mischief we had done them; and I thought if we could surprise one or two of them, perhaps we might get our man again by way of exchange.

We landed without any noise, and divided our men into two companies, whereof the boatswain commanded one, and I the other. We neither could hear nor see any body stir when we landed; so we marched up, one body at a distance from the other, to the field of battle. At first we could see nothing, it being very dark; but by and by our boatswain, that led the first party, stumbled and fell over a dead body. This made them halt there awhile; for knowing by the circumstances that they were at the place where the Indians [page 489] had stood, they waited for my coming up. Here we concluded to halt till the moon began to rise, which we knew would be in less than an hour, and then we could easily discern the havoc we had made among them. We told two-and-thirty bodies upon the ground, whereof two were not quite dead. Some had an arm, and some a leg, shot off, and one his head; those that were wounded we supposed they had carried away.

When we had made, as I thought, a full discovery of all we could come at the knowledge of, I was for going on board again; but the boatswain and his party often sent me word, that they were resolved to make a visit to the Indian town, where these dogs, as they called them, dwelt, and desired me to go along with them, and if they could find them, as they still fancied they should, they did not doubt, they said, getting a good booty, and it might be they might find Thomas Jeffrys there, that was the man’s name we had lost.

Had they sent to ask my leave to go, I knew well enough what answer to have given them; for I would have commanded them instantly on board, knowing it was not a hazard fit for us to run who had a ship and a ship’s loading in our charge, and a voyage to make, which depended very much upon the lives of the men; but as they sent me word they were resolved to go, and only asked me and my company to go along with them, I positively refused it, and