Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family,
though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen,
who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise,
and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from whence he
had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very
good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson
Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we
are now called - nay we call ourselves and write our name - Crusoe;
and so my companions always called me.

I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an
English 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 knew what became of me.

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

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and 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 father's house and my native country, where I might be well
introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application
and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was
men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior
fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by
enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature
out of the common road; that these things were all either too far
above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or
what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the
most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and
hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of
mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and
envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the
happiness of this state by this one thing - viz. that this was the
state of life which all other people envied; that kings have
frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born to
great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the
two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man
gave his testimony to this, as the standard of felicity, when he
prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.

He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities
of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind, but
that the middle station had the fewest 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 the one hand, or by hard
labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the
other hand, bring distemper upon themselves by the natural
consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of
life was calculated for all kind of virtue 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 a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed
with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the
body of rest, nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret
burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy
circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly
tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they
are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more

After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate
manner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate myself into
miseries which nature, and the station of life I was born in,
seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of
seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to
enter me fairly into the station of life which he had just been
recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in
the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it;
and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus
discharged his duty in 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 should have
leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel when
there might be none to assist in my recovery.

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

I was sincerely affected with this discourse, and, indeed, who
could be otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going abroad any
more, but to settle at home according to my father's desire. But
alas! a few days wore it all off; and, in short, to prevent any of
my father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved
to run quite away from him. However, I did not act quite so
hastily as the first heat of my resolution prompted; but I took my
mother at a time when I thought her a little more pleasant than
ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon
seeing the world that I should never settle to anything with
resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better
give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now
eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade
or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure if I did I should never
serve out my time, but I should certainly run away from my master
before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my
father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and
did not like it, I would go no more; and I would promise, by a
double diligence, to recover the time that I had lost.

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

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

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though, in the meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulated with
my father and mother about their being so positively determined
against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being
one day at Hull, where I went casually, and without any purpose of
making an elopement at that time; but, I say, being there, and one
of my companions being about to sail to London in his father's
ship, and prompting me to go with them with the common allurement
of seafaring men, that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I
consulted neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent
them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might,
without asking God's blessing or my father's, without any
consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour,
God knows, on the 1st 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 out of the Humber than the wind began to blow and the sea
to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea
before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body and terrified in
mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and
how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked
leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty. All the good
counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's
entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which
was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has since,
reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my
duty to God and my father.

All this while the storm increased, and the sea went very high,
though nothing like what I have seen many times since; no, nor what
I saw a few days after; but it was enough to affect me then, who
was but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the matter.
I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every
time the ship fell down, as I thought it did, in the trough or
hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; in this agony of
mind, I made many vows and resolutions that if it would please God
to spare my life in this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot
upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father, and
never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would take his
advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these any more.
Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about the middle
station of life, how easy, how comfortably he had lived all his
days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea or troubles on
shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal,
go home to my father.

These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm
lasted, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was
abated, and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inured to
it; however, I was very grave for all that day, being also a little
sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind
was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun went
down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and having
little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the
sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.

I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but
very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough
and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so pleasant
in so little a time after. And now, lest my good resolutions
should continue, my companion, who had enticed me away, comes to
me; "Well, Bob," says he, clapping me upon the shoulder, "how do
you do after it? I warrant you were frighted, wer'n't you, last
night, when it blew but a capful of wind?" "A capful d'you call
it?" said I; "'twas a terrible storm." "A storm, you fool you,"
replies he; "do you call that a storm? why, it was nothing at all;
give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such
a squall of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob.
Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that; d'ye
see what charming weather 'tis now?" To make short this sad part
of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch was made and
I was made half drunk with it: and in that one night's wickedness I
drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct,
all my resolutions for the future. In a word, as the sea was
returned to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the
abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my
fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being
forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I
entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress.
I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection; and the serious
thoughts did, as it were, 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 of.

The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the
wind having been contrary and the weather calm, we had made but
little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to come to an
anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary - viz. at
south-west - for seven or eight days, during which time a great
many ships from Newcastle came into the same Roads, as the common
harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.

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

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

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

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

We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent
that the ship would founder; and though the storm began to abate a
little, yet it was not possible she could swim till we might run
into any port; so the master continued firing guns for help; and a
light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat
out to help us. It was with the utmost hazard the boat came near
us; but it was impossible for us to get on board, or for the boat
to lie near the ship's side, till at last the men rowing very
heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them
a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a
great length, which they, after much labour and hazard, took hold
of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all into
their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in
the boat, to think of reaching their own ship; so all agreed to let
her drive, and only to pull her in towards shore as much as we
could; and our master promised them, that if the boat was staved
upon shore, he would make it good to their master: so partly rowing
and partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping
towards the shore almost as far as Winterton Ness.

We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship
till we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time what
was meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I must acknowledge I
had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me she was sinking;
for from the moment that they rather put me into the boat than that
I might be said to go in, my heart was, as it were, dead within me,
partly with fright, partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of
what was yet before me.

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

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

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

My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the
master's son, was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke
to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or three
days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters; I say,
the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered; and,
looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, he asked me how I
did, and telling his father who I was, and how I had come this
voyage only for a trial, in order to go further 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 on trial, you see what a taste
Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist.
Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the
ship of Tarshish. Pray," continues he, "what are you; and on what
account did you go to sea?" Upon that I told him some of my story;
at the end of which he burst out into a strange kind of passion:
"What had I done," says he, "that such an unhappy wretch should
come into my ship? I would not set my foot in the same ship with
thee again for a thousand pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an
excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of
his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go.
However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorting me to
go back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin, telling
me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. "And, young
man," said he, "depend upon it, if you do not go back, wherever you
go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments,
till your father's words are fulfilled upon you."

We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I saw him
no more; which way he went I knew not. As for me, having some
money in my pocket, I travelled to London by land; and there, as
well as on the road, had many struggles with myself what course of
life I should take, and whether I should go home or to sea.

As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my
thoughts, and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed
at among the neighbours, and should be ashamed to see, not my
father and mother only, but even everybody else; from whence I have
since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common
temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which
ought to guide them in such cases - viz. that they are not ashamed
to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action
for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed
of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.

In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain
what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An
irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I stayed
away a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore
off, and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to
return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the
thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.


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

It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not
ship myself as a sailor; when, though I might indeed have worked a
little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I should have
learnt the duty and office of a fore-mast man, and in time might
have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a
master. But as it was always my fate to choose for the worse, so I
did here; for having money in my pocket and good clothes upon my
back, I would always go on board in the habit of a gentleman; and
so I neither had any business in the ship, nor learned to do any.

It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in
London, which does not always happen to such loose and misguided
young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not omitting to
lay some snare for them very early; but it was not so with me. I
first got acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the
coast of Guinea; and who, having had very good success there, was
resolved to go again. This captain taking a fancy to my
conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time,
hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go
the voyage with him I should be at no expense; I should be his
messmate and his companion; and if I could carry anything with me,
I should have all the advantage of it that the trade would admit;
and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.

I embraced the offer; and entering into a strict friendship with
this captain, who was an honest, plain-dealing man, I went the
voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me, which, by
the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased
very considerably; for I carried about 40 pounds in such toys and
trifles as the captain directed me to buy. These 40 pounds 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, which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my friend
the captain; under whom also I got a competent knowledge of the
mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned how to keep an
account of the ship's course, take an observation, and, in short,
to understand some things that were needful to be understood by a
sailor; for, as he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to
learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a
merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust
for my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return, almost
300 pounds; and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which
have since so completed my ruin.

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

I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great
misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same
voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one who was
his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the command of the
ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made; for
though I did not carry quite 100 pounds of my new-gained wealth, so
that I had 200 pounds left, which I had lodged with my friend's
widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible
misfortunes. The first was this: our ship making her course
towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the
African shore, was surprised in the grey of the morning by a
Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the sail she
could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our yards would
spread, or our masts carry, to get 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 two hundred men which he had on board.
However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close. He
prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves. But
laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered
sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and
hacking the sails and rigging. We plied them with small shot,
half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and cleared our deck of
them twice. However, to cut short this melancholy part of our
story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men killed, and
eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were carried all
prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.

The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I
apprehended; nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's
court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain of
the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being young and
nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of my
circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was
perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's
prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable and have none
to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to
pass that I could not be worse; for now the hand of Heaven had
overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption; but, alas! this
was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear
in the sequel of this story.

As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I
was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea
again, believing that it would some time or other be his fate to be
taken by a Spanish or 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 lie in
the cabin to look after the ship.

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

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

It happened one time, that going a-fishing in a 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 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 longboat of
our English ship that he had taken, he resolved he would not go a-
fishing any more without a compass and some provision; so he
ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English slave,
to build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long-
boat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to
steer, and haul home the main-sheet; the room before for a hand or
two to stand and work the sails. She sailed with what we call a
shoulder-of-mutton sail; and the boom jibed over the top of the
cabin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to
lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small
lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to
drink; and his bread, rice, and coffee.

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

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

This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my
thoughts, for now I found I was likely to have a little ship at my
command; and my master being gone, I prepared to 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 -
anywhere to get out of that place was my desire.

My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor,
to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told him we
must not presume to eat of our patron's bread. He said that was
true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit, and three
jars of fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my patron's case
of bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken out
of some English prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the
Moor was on shore, as if they had been there before for our master.
I conveyed also a great lump of beeswax into the boat, which
weighed about half a hundred-weight, with a parcel of twine or
thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great
use to us afterwards, especially the wax, to make candles. Another
trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also: his
name was Ismael, which they call Muley, or Moely; so I called to
him - "Moely," said I, "our patron's guns are on board the boat;
can you not get a little powder and shot? It may be we may kill
some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know
he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship." "Yes," says he, "I'll
bring some;" and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch,
which held a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and
another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets,
and put all into the boat. At the same time I had found some
powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which I filled one
of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring
what was in it into another; and thus furnished with everything
needful, we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is
at the entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took no notice
of us; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we
hauled in our sail and set us down to fish. The wind blew from the
N.N.E., which was contrary to my desire, for had it blown southerly
I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at least
reached to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which
way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place where I was,
and leave the rest to fate.

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

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

While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out
directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that
they might think me gone towards the Straits' mouth (as indeed any
one that had been in their wits must have been supposed to do): for
who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward, to the
truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure to
surround us with their canoes and destroy us; where we could not go
on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more
merciless savages of human kind.

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

Yet such was the fright I had taken of the Moors, and the dreadful
apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I would not
stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing
fair till I had sailed in that manner five days; and then the wind
shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our
vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give over; so I
ventured to make to the coast, and came to an anchor in the mouth
of a little river, I knew not what, nor where, neither what
latitude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw,
nor desired to see any people; the principal thing I wanted was
fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving to
swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country; but
as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the
barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not
what kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and
begged of me not to go on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I,
"then I won't; but it may be that we may see men by day, who will
be as bad to us as those lions." "Then we give them the shoot
gun," says Xury, laughing, "make them run wey." Such English Xury
spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to see
the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's
case of bottles) to cheer him up. After all, Xury's advice was
good, and I took it; we dropped our little anchor, and lay still
all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three
hours we saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them)
of many sorts, come down to the sea-shore and run into the water,
wallowing and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling
themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and 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 horrid noises, and hideous
cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon the edge of the
shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or report of the
gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures had
never heard before: this convinced me that there was no going on
shore for us in the night on that coast, and how to venture on
shore in the day was another question too; for to have fallen into
the hands of any of the savages had been as bad as to have fallen
into the hands of the lions and tigers; at least we were equally
apprehensive of the 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 and
where to get to it was the point. Xury said, if I would let him go
on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there was any
water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he would go? why I
should not go, and he stay in the boat? The boy answered with so
much affection as made me love him ever after. Says he, "If wild
mans come, they eat me, you go wey." "Well, Xury," said I, "we
will both go and if the wild mans come, we will kill them, they
shall eat neither of us." So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to
eat, and a dram out of our patron's case of bottles which I
mentioned before; and we hauled the boat in as near the shore as we
thought was proper, and so waded on shore, carrying nothing but our
arms and two jars for water.

I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming
of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy seeing a low
place about a mile up the country, rambled to it, and by-and-by I
saw him come running towards me. I thought he was pursued by some
savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I ran forward towards
him to help him; but when I came nearer to him I saw something
hanging over his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot,
like a hare, but different in colour, and longer legs; however, we
were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but the great joy
that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water
and seen no wild mans.

But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water,
for a little higher up the creek where we were we found the water
fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but a little way up; so
we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare he 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 Verde Islands
also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no instruments
to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and not
exactly knowing, or at least remembering, what latitude they were
in, I knew not where to look for them, or when to stand off to sea
towards them; otherwise I might now easily have found some of these
islands. But my hope was, that if I stood along this coast till I
came to that part where the English traded, 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 number of tigers, lions, leopards, and
other furious creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors use
it for their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three
thousand men at a time; and indeed for near a hundred miles
together upon this coast we saw nothing but a waste, uninhabited
country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roaring of wild
beasts by 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 morning, we
came to an anchor under a little point of land, which was pretty
high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go farther
in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were,
calls softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off
the shore; "For," says he, "look, yonder lies a dreadful monster on
the side of that hillock, fast asleep." I looked where he pointed,
and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible, great
lion that lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece
of the hill that hung as it were a little over him. "Xury," says
I, "you shall on shore and kill him." Xury, looked frighted, and
said, "Me kill! he eat me at one mouth!" - one mouthful he meant.
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still, and I
took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded it
with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down;
then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third (for we
had three pieces) I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the
best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him in the head,
but he lay so with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the
slugs hit his leg about the knee and broke the bone. He started
up, growling at first, but finding his leg broken, fell down again;
and then got upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that
ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on
the head; however, I took up the second piece immediately, and
though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him in the head,
and had the pleasure to see him drop and make but little noise, but
lie struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and would have me
let him go on shore. "Well, go," said I: so the boy jumped into
the water and 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 in the head again, which
despatched him quite.

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

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


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

When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have
said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or
three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore
to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite black and
naked. I was once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but Xury
was my better counsellor, and said to me, "No go, no go." However,
I hauled in nearer the shore that I might talk to them, and I found
they ran along the shore by me a good way. I observed they had no
weapons in their hand, except one, who had a long slender stick,
which Xury said was a lance, and that they could throw them a great
way with good aim; so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by
signs as well as I could; and particularly made signs for something
to eat: they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and they would fetch
me some meat. Upon this I lowered the top of my sail and lay by,
and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than half-an-
hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dried flesh and
some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we neither
knew what the one or the other was; however, we were willing to
accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I would
not venture on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us;
but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the
shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way off till we
fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.

We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them
amends; but an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them
wonderfully; for while we were lying 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 offer to fall upon any of the
negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if
they had come for their diversion; at last one of them began to
come nearer our boat than at first I expected; but I lay ready for
him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade
Xury load both the others. As soon as he came fairly within my
reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head; immediately he
sank down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and
down, as if he were struggling for life, and so indeed he was; he
immediately made to the shore; but between the wound, which was his
mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before
he reached the shore.

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

The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise
of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains
from whence they came; nor could I, at that distance, know what it
was. I found quickly the negroes wished to eat 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, pointing out that I would give it them; but made
signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought me
a great deal more of their provisions, which, though I did not
understand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them for some
water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom
upward, to show that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it
filled. They called immediately to some of their friends, and
there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth, and
burnt, as I supposed, in the sun, this they set down to me, as
before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all
three. The women were as naked as the men.

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water;
and leaving my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven
days more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the
land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance of
four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept
a large offing to make this point. At length, doubling the point,
at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on the other
side, to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most certain indeed,
that this was the Cape de Verde, and those the islands called, from
thence, Cape de Verde Islands. However, they were at a great
distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to do; for if I
should be taken with a fresh of wind, I might neither reach one or

In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin
and sat down, Xury having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy
cried out, "Master, master, a ship with a sail!" and the foolish
boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some of
his master's ships sent to pursue us, but I knew we were far enough
out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately
saw, not only the ship, but that it was a Portuguese ship; and, as
I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea, for negroes. But,
when I observed the course she steered, I was soon convinced they
were bound some other way, and did not design to come any nearer to
the shore; upon which I stretched out to sea as much as I could,
resolving to speak with them if possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had not been long here before I was recommended to the house of a
good honest man like himself, who had an INGENIO, as they call it
(that is, a plantation and a sugar-house). I lived with him some
time, and acquainted myself by that means with the manner of
planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters
lived, and how they got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a
licence to settle there, I would turn planter among them: resolving
in the meantime to find out some way to get my money, which I had
left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of
letter of naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured
as my money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and
settlement; such a one as might be suitable to the stock which I
proposed to myself to receive from England.

I had a neighbour, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English
parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I
was. I call him my neighbour, because his plantation lay next to
mine, and we went on very sociably together. My stock was but low,
as well as his; and we rather planted for food than anything else,
for about two years. However, we began to increase, and our land
began to come into order; so that the third year we planted some
tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready for
planting canes in the year to come. But we both wanted help; and
now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with my
boy Xury.

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

In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost
regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and then this
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 lading and preparing for his voyage, nearly three months - when
telling him what little stock I had left behind me in London, he
gave me this friendly and sincere advice:- "Seignior Inglese," says
he (for so he always called me), "if you will give me letters, and
a procuration in form to me, with orders to the person who has your
money in London to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as
I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I
will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but,
since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I
would have you give orders but for one hundred pounds sterling,
which, you say, is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for
the first; so that, if it come safe, you may order the rest the
same way, and, if it miscarry, you may have the other half to have
recourse to for your supply."

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

I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my
adventures - my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the
Portuguese 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 in
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 written for, sent them directly to
him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to the Brazils;
among which, without my direction (for I was too young in my
business to think of them), he had taken care to have all sorts of
tools, ironwork, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and
which were of great use to me.

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

Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture,
such as cloths, stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and
desirable in the country, I found means to sell them to a very
great advantage; so that I might say I had more than four times the
value of my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor
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 it was with me. I went on the next year
with great success in my plantation: I raised fifty great rolls of
tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed of for
necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each
of above a hundredweight, were well cured, and laid by against the
return of the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing in business and
wealth, my head began to be full of projects and undertakings
beyond my reach; such as are, indeed, often the ruin of the best
heads in business. Had I continued in the station I was now in, I
had room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me for which
my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and of
which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to be
full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the
wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly, to increase
my fault, and double the reflections upon myself, which in my
future sorrows I should have leisure to make, all these
miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my
foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that
inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself
good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects, and those
measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present
me with, and to make my duty.

As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so I
could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I
had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only to
pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than the
nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again
into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or
perhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health in the

To come, then, by the just degrees to the particulars of this part
of my story. You may suppose, that having now lived almost four
years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well
upon my plantation, I had not only learned the language, but had
contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as
well as among the merchants at St. Salvador, which was our port;
and that, in my discourses among them, I had frequently given them
an account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea: the manner of
trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase
upon the coast for trifles - such as beads, toys, knives, scissors,
hatchets, bits of glass, and the like - not only gold-dust, Guinea
grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes, for the service of the
Brazils, in great numbers.

They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these
heads, but especially to that part which related to the buying of
negroes, which was a trade at that time, not only not far entered
into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by assientos, or
permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the
public stock: so that few negroes were bought, and these
excessively dear.

It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters of
my acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly, three
of them came to me 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 that could not be carried on, because they could not publicly
sell the negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but
one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide
them among their own plantations; and, in a word, the question was
whether I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the
trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I
should have my equal share of the negroes, without providing any
part of the stock.

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

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

In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects and to
keep up my plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have
looked into my own interest, and have made a judgment of what I
ought to have done and not to have done, I had 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
September 1659, being the same day eight years that I went from my
father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their
authority, and the fool to my own interests.

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

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

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

I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the
sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited
country for us to have recourse to till we came within the circle
of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore resolved to stand away for
Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of
the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped, in
about fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make our
voyage to the coast of Africa without some assistance both to our
ship and to ourselves.

With this design we changed our course, and steered away N.W. by
W., in order to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped
for relief. But our voyage was otherwise determined; for, being in
the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen minutes, a second storm
came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity
westward, and drove us so out of the way of all human commerce,
that, had all our lives been saved as to the sea, we were rather in
danger of being devoured by savages than ever returning to our own

In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men
early in the morning cried out, "Land!" and we had no sooner run
out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the
world we were, than the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment
her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a
manner that we expected we should all have perished immediately;
and we were 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. As the rage of the wind was still
great, though rather less than at first, we could not so much as
hope to have the ship hold many minutes without breaking into
pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle, should turn
immediately about. In a word, we sat looking upon one another, and
expecting death every moment, and every man, accordingly, preparing
for another world; for there was little or nothing more for us to
do in this. That which was our present comfort, and all the
comfort we had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship did
not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.

Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the
ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us
to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition indeed,
and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as well as
we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the storm, but
she was first staved by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in
the next place she broke away, and either sunk or was driven off to
sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another boat on board,
but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing. However,
there was no time to debate, for we fancied that the ship would
break in pieces every minute, and some told us she was actually
broken already.

In this distress the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat, and
with the help of the rest of the men got her slung over the ship's
side; and getting all into her, let go, and committed ourselves,
being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild sea; for though
the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea ran dreadfully high
upon the shore, and might be well called DEN WILD ZEE, as the Dutch
call the sea in a storm.

And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly
that the sea went so high that the boat could not live, and that we
should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor
if we had could we have done anything with it; so we worked at the
oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to
execution; for we all knew that when the boat came near the shore
she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea.
However, we committed our souls to God in the most earnest manner;
and the wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our
destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards

What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal,
we knew not. The only hope that could rationally give us the least
shadow of expectation was, if we might find some bay or gulf, or
the mouth of some river, where by great chance we might have run
our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made
smooth water. But there was nothing like this appeared; but as we
made nearer and nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful
than the sea.

After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a half, as
we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern
of us, and plainly bade us expect the COUP DE GRACE. 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 no time to
say, "O God!" for we were all swallowed up in a moment.

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I
sank into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not
deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath, till that wave
having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on towards the
shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the
land almost dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so
much presence of mind, as well as breath left, that seeing myself
nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet, and
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 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

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

The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me, for the
sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed
me, against a piece of rock, and that with such force, that it left
me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for
the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were
quite out of my body; and had it returned again immediately, I must
have been strangled in the water; but I recovered a little before
the return of the waves, and seeing I should be covered again with
the water, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so
to hold my breath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now, as
the waves were not so high as at first, being nearer land, I held
my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run, which
brought me so near the shore that the next wave, though it went
over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the
next run I took, I got to the mainland, where, to my great comfort,
I clambered up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon the
grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of the water.

I was now landed and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank
God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there was some
minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible
to express, to the life, what the ecstasies and transports of the
soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave:
and I do not wonder now at the custom, when a malefactor, who has
the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned
off, and has a reprieve brought to him - I say, I do not wonder
that they bring a surgeon with it, to let 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, wrapped up in a contemplation of my
deliverance; making a thousand gestures and motions, which I cannot
describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned, and
that there should not be one soul saved but 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 eye to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of
the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far of; and
considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on shore

After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my
condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of place I
was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon found my comforts
abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful deliverance; for I was
wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything either to eat or
drink to comfort me; neither did I see any prospect before me but
that of perishing with hunger or being devoured by wild beasts; and
that which was particularly afflicting to me was, that I had no
weapon, either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or
to defend myself against any other creature that might desire to
kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife,
a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. This was all my
provisions; and this threw me into such terrible agonies of mind,
that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me,
I began with a heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if
there were any ravenous beasts in that country, as at night they
always come abroad for their prey.

All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was to get
up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew near
me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the next
day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life.
I walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any
fresh water to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and having
drank, and put a little tobacco into my mouth to prevent hunger, I
went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to place
myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut
me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my
lodging; and having been excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep,
and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my
condition, and found myself more refreshed with it than, I think, I
ever was on such an occasion.


WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm
abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before. But that
which surprised me most was, that the ship was lifted off in the
night from the sand where she lay by the swelling of the tide, and
was driven up almost as far as the rock which I at first mentioned,
where I had been so bruised by the wave dashing 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 entirety destitute of all comfort and
company as I now was. This forced tears to my eyes again; but as
there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get to
the ship; so I pulled off my clothes - for the weather was hot to
extremity - and took the water. But when I came to the ship my
difficulty was still greater to know how to get on board; for, as
she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was nothing
within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the
second time I spied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did
not see at first, hung down by the fore-chains so low, as that with
great difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope I
got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold, but that she
lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or, rather earth, that
her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low, almost to
the water. By this means all her quarter was free, and all that
was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to
search, and to see what was spoiled and what was free. And, first,
I found that all the ship's provisions were dry and untouched by
the water, and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread
room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about
other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in
the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had,
indeed, need enough of to spirit me for what was before me. Now I
wanted nothing but a boat to furnish myself with many things which
I foresaw would be very necessary to me.

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

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

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very
good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I
secured first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and
two old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in
the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with
much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had
taken water. Those two I got to my raft with the arms. And now I
thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I
should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor
rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all my

I had three encouragements - 1st, a smooth, calm sea; 2ndly, the
tide rising, and setting in to the shore; 3rdly, what little wind
there was blew me towards the land. And thus, having found two or
three broken oars belonging to the boat - and, besides the tools
which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer;
with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile or thereabouts my raft
went very well, only that I found it drive a little distant from
the place where I had landed before; by which I perceived that
there was some 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 broken my heart; for, knowing
nothing of the coast, my raft ran aground at one end of it upon a
shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it wanted but a
little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the end that was
afloat, and to fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting
my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could
not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir
from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my
might, I stood in that manner near half-an-hour, in which time the
rising of the water brought me a little more upon a level; and a
little after, the water still-rising, my raft floated again, and I
thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then
driving up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a
little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current of tide
running up. I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to
shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high up the river:
hoping in time to see some ships at sea, and therefore resolved to
place myself as near the coast as I could.

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

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, and one of the
pistols, and a horn of powder; and thus armed, I travelled for
discovery up to the top of that hill, where, after I had with great
labour and difficulty got to the top, I saw any fate, to my great
affliction - viz. that I was in an island environed every way with
the sea: no land to be seen except some rocks, which lay a great
way off; and two small islands, less than this, which lay about
three leagues to the west.

I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw
good reason to believe, uninhabited except by wild beasts, of whom,
however, I saw none. Yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not
their kinds; neither when I killed them could I tell what was fit
for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot at a great bird
which I saw sitting upon a tree on the side of a great wood. I
believe it was the first gun that had been fired there since the
creation of the world. I had no sooner fired, than from all parts
of the wood there arose an innumerable number of fowls, of many
sorts, making a confused screaming and crying, and every one
according to his usual note, but not one of them of any kind that I
knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of
hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no talons or
claws more than common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for

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

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

I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things
out of the ship which would be useful to me, and 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 had got everything out of the ship that I could
get. Then I called a council - that is to say in my thoughts -
whether I should take back the raft; but this appeared
impracticable: so I resolved to go as before, when the tide was
down; and I did so, only that I stripped before I went from my hut,
having nothing on but my chequered shirt, a pair of linen drawers,
and a pair of pumps on my feet.

I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and,
having had experience of the first, I neither made this so
unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several
things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenters 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,
another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a
large bagful of small shot, and a great roll of sheet-lead; but
this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get it over the
ship's side.

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

I was under some apprehension, during my absence from the land,
that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore: but when I
came back I found no sign of any visitor; only there sat a creature
like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I came towards
it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very
composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had
a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented my gun 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 at it, and ate it, and looked (as if pleased) for more;
but I thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched off.

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

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

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

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

The next day I made another voyage, and now, having plundered the
ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began with the
cables. Cutting the great cable into pieces, such as I could move,
I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the ironwork I
could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizzen-
yard, and everything I could, to make a large raft, I loaded it
with all these heavy goods, and came away. But my good luck began
now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen,
that, after I 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 a great part of it lost,
especially the iron, which I expected would have been of great use
to me; however, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of
the 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 that nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a
locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three
razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of
good knives and forks: in another I found about thirty-six pounds
value in money - some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces of
eight, some gold, and some silver.

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: "O drug!" said I,
aloud, "what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me - no, not
the taking off the ground; one of those knives is worth all this
heap; I have no manner of use for thee - e'en remain where thou
art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth
saying." However, upon second thoughts I took it away; and
wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to think of making
another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky
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
offshore; and that it was my business to be gone before the tide of
flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at
all. Accordingly, I let myself down into the water, and swam
across the channel, which lay between the ship and the sands, and
even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the
things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the water; for
the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it
blew a storm.

But I had got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my
wealth about me, very secure. It blew very hard all 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 the
satisfactory reflection that I had lost no time, nor abated any
diligence, to get everything out of her that could be useful to me;
and that, indeed, there was little left in her that I was able to
bring away, if I had had more time.

I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything out
of her, except what might drive on shore from her wreck; as,
indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those things were
of small use to me.

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

I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement,
because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near the sea, and I
believed it 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 he
proper for me: 1st, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned;
2ndly, shelter from the heat of the sun; 3rdly, security from
ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; 4thly, a view to the sea,
that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage
for my deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish 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 one side of the rock there was a hollow place,
worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of a cave but there
was not really any cave or way into the rock at all.

On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved
to pitch my tent. This plain was not above a hundred yards broad,
and about twice as long, and lay like a green before my door; and,
at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down into the low
ground by the seaside. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill; so
that it was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to a W.
and by S. sun, or 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

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 above five feet and a half, and
sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six inches
from one another.

Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and
laid them in rows, one upon another, within the circle, between
these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in
the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither
man nor beast could get into it or over it. This cost me a great
deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods,
bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.

The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a
short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I
lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in and
fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept
secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though,
as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this caution
from the enemies that I apprehended danger 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 a large tent, which to preserve
me from the rains that in one part of the year are very violent
there, I made double - one smaller tent within, and one larger tent
above it; and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin, which I
had saved among the sails.

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

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

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

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

Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm was
over I laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying, and
applied myself to make bags and boxes, to separate the powder, and
to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in the 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 anything fit for food; and, as near as I could, to
acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first time I
went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in the
island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it was
attended with this misfortune to me - viz. that they were so shy,
so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult
thing in the world to come at them; but I was not discouraged at
this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon
happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid wait
in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me in the valleys,
though they were upon the rocks, they would run away, as in a
terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was
upon the rocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I concluded
that, by the position of their optics, their sight was so directed
downward that they did not readily see objects that were above
them; so afterwards I took this method - I always climbed the rocks
first, to get above them, and then had frequently a fair mark.

The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat,
which had a little kid by her, which she gave suck to, which
grieved me heartily; for when the old one fell, the kid stood stock
still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only so, but
when I carried the old one with me, upon my shoulders, the kid
followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which I laid down the dam,
and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes
to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to
kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a
great while, for I ate sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread
especially, as much as possibly I could.

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

I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away
upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent
storm, quite out of the course of our intended voyage, and a great
way, viz. some hundreds of leagues, out of the ordinary course of
the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a
determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this
desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears would run
plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and
sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence should
thus completely ruin 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 seaside, I was very pensive upon the
subject of my present condition, when reason, as it were,
expostulated with me the other way, thus: "Well, you are in a
desolate condition, it is true; but, pray remember, where are the
rest of you? Did not you come, eleven of you in 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 attends them.

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

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

And now being 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 over
my head; for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the
latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north of the line.

After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my
thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books,
and pen and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath days; but to
prevent this, I cut with my knife upon a large post, in capital
letters - and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the
shore where I first landed - "I came on shore here on the 30th
September 1659."

Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my
knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and
every first day of the month as long again as that long one; and
thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning
of time.

In the next place, we are to observe that among the many things
which I brought out of the ship, in the several voyages which, as
above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of less value,
but not at all less useful to me, which I omitted setting down
before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several parcels in
the captain's, mate's, gunner's and carpenter's keeping; three or
four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspectives,
charts, and books of navigation, all which I huddled together,
whether I might want them or no; also, I found three very good
Bibles, which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had
packed up among my things; some Portuguese books also; and among
them two or three Popish prayer-books, and several other books, all
which I carefully secured. And I must not forget that we had in
the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have
occasion to say something in its place; for I carried both the cats
with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself,
and swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore with my first
cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years; I wanted nothing
that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to
me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that would not do.
As I observed before, I found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded
them to the utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I
kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I
could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.

And this put me in mind that I wanted many things notwithstanding
all that I had amassed together; and of these, ink was one; as also
a spade, pickaxe, and shovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles,
pins, and thread; as for linen, I soon learned to want that without
much difficulty.

This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was
near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or
surrounded my habitation. The piles, or stakes, which were as
heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and
preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in 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, made driving those posts or piles very laborious and
tedious work. But what need I have been concerned at the
tediousness of anything I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do
it in? nor had I any other employment, if that had been over, at
least that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek
for food, which I did, more or less, every day.

I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the
circumstances I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my
affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to
come after me - for I was likely to have but few heirs - as to
deliver my thoughts from daily poring over 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 very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the
comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:-

Evil: I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope
of recovery.

Good: But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship's company

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

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

Evil: I am divided from mankind - a solitaire; one banished from
human society.

Good: But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place,
affording no sustenance.

Evil: I have no clothes to cover me.

Good: But I am in a hot climate, where, if I had clothes, I could
hardly wear them.

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

Good: But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts to hurt
me, as I saw on the coast of Africa; and what if I had been
shipwrecked there?

Evil: I have no soul to speak to or relieve me.

Good: But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the
shore, that I have got out as many necessary things as will either
supply my wants or 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 begun to apply myself to arrange
my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I could.

I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the
side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables:
but I might now rather call it a wall, for I raised a kind of wall
up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the outside; and
after some time (I think it was a year and a half) I raised rafters
from it, leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with
boughs of trees, and such things as I could get, to keep out the
rain; which I found at some times of the year very violent.

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale,
and into the cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe,
too, that at first this was a confused heap of goods, which, as
they lay in no order, so they took up all my place; I had no room
to turn myself: so I set myself to 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 was a back way to my tent and to my storehouse, but
gave me room to store my goods.

And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I
found I most wanted, particularly a chair and a table; for without
these I was not able to enjoy the few 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 origin of the
mathematics, so by stating and squaring everything by reason, and
by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be,
in time, master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool
in my life; and yet, in time, by labour, application, and
contrivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have
made it, especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance
of things, even without tools; and some with no more tools than an
adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before,
and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I
had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before
me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I brought it
to be thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is
true, by this method I could make but one board out of a whole
tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I
had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took me up
to make a plank or board: but my time or labour was little worth,
and so it was as well employed one way as another.

However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the
first place; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that
I brought on my raft from the ship. But when I had wrought out
some boards as above, I made large shelves, of the breadth of a
foot and a half, one over another all along one side of my cave, to
lay all my tools, nails and ironwork on; and, in a word, to
separate everything at large into their places, that I might come
easily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang
my guns and all things that would hang up; so that, had my cave
been to be seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary
things; and had everything so ready at my hand, that it was a great
pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and especially to
find my stock of all necessaries so great.

And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day's
employment; for, indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, and not
only hurry as to 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: "30TH. - After I had got to shore, and escaped
drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance,
having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which
had got into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran
about the shore wringing my hands and beating my head and face,
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 staff and habitation, made me a table and a
chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to keep my
journal; of which I shall here give you the copy (though in it will
be told all these particulars over again) as long as it lasted; for
having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.


SEPTEMBER 30, 1659. - I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being
shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on
this dismal, unfortunate island, which I called "The Island of
Despair"; all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and
myself almost dead.

All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal
circumstances I was brought to - viz. I had neither food, house,
clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and in despair of any relief,
saw nothing but death before me - either that I should be devoured
by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want
of food. At the approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of
wild creatures; but slept soundly, though it rained all night.

OCTOBER 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 set upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if
the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and
necessaries out of her for my relief - so, on the other hand, it
renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who, I imagined, if we
had all stayed on board, might have saved the ship, or, at least,
that they would not have been all drowned as they were; and that,
had the men been saved, we might perhaps 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 the days, though with some intervals of fair weather; but
it seems this was the rainy season.

OCT. 20. - I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it;
but, being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I
recovered many of them when the tide was out.

OCT. 25. - It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of
wind; during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing
a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen, except the
wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent this day in
covering and securing the goods which I had saved, that the rain
might not spoil them.

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

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

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

NOVEMBER 1. - I set up my tent 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 eat what I had to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down
to sleep, the weather being excessively hot; and then, in the
evening, to work again. The working part of this day and of the
next were wholly employed in making my table, for I was yet but a
very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a complete
natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do any one

NOV. 5. - This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a
wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing;
every creature that I killed I took of the skins and preserved
them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of sea-fowls,
which I did not understand; but was surprised, and almost
frightened, with two or three seals, which, while I was gazing at,
not well knowing what they were, got into the sea, and escaped me
for that time.

NOV. 6. - After my morning walk I went to work with my table again,
and finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it long before I
learned 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 frightened me dreadfully, for fear of my powder.
As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate my stock of powder
into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in

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

NOV. 17. - This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock, to
make room for my further conveniency.

NOTE. - Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work - viz. a
pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow or basket; so I desisted from
my work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make me
some tools. As for the pickaxe, I made use of the iron crows,
which were proper enough, though heavy; but the next thing was a
shovel or spade; this was so absolutely necessary, that, indeed, I
could do nothing effectually without it; but what kind of one to
make I knew not.

NOV. 18. - The next day, in searching the woods, I found a tree of
that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call the iron-
tree, for its exceeding hardness. Of this, with great labour, and
almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home, too,
with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy. The excessive
hardness of the wood, and my having no other way, made me a long
while upon this machine, for I worked it effectually by little and
little into the form of a shovel or spade; the handle exactly
shaped like ours in England, only that the board part having no
iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me so long; however,
it served well enough for the uses which I had occasion to put it
to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or
so long in making.

I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbarrow. A
basket I could not make by any means, having no such things as
twigs that would bend to make wicker-ware - at least, none yet
found out; and as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied I could make all but
the wheel; but that I had no notion of; neither did I know how to
go about it; besides, I had no possible way to make the iron
gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in; so I gave
it over, and so, for carrying away the earth which I dug out of the
cave, I made me a thing like a hod which the labourers carry mortar
in when they serve the bricklayers. This was not so difficult to
me as the making the shovel: and yet this and the shovel, and the
attempt which I made in vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no
less than four days - I mean always excepting my morning walk with
my gun, which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also bringing
home something fit to eat.

NOV. 23. - My other work having now stood still, because of my
making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and 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.

DECEMBER 10. - I began now to think my cave or vault finished, when
on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of
earth fell down from the top on 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. I had now a great deal
of work to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out;
and, which was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so
that I might be sure no more would come down.

DEC. 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 the house.

DEC. 17. - From this day to the 20th I placed shelves, and knocked
up nails on the posts, to hang everything up that could be hung up;
and now I began to be in some order within doors.

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

DEC. 24. - Much rain all night and all day. No stirring out.

DEC. 25. - Rain all day.

DEC. 26. - No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, and

DEC. 27. - Killed a young goat, and lamed another, so that I caught
it and led it home in a string; when I had it at home, I bound and
splintered up its leg, which was broke.

N.B. - I took such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well
and as strong as ever; but, by my nursing it so long, it grew tame,
and fed upon the little green at my door, and would not go away.
This was the first time that I entertained a thought of breeding up
some tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot
was all spent.

DEC. 28,29,30,31. - Great heats, and no breeze, so that there was
no stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food; this time I
spent in putting all my things in order within doors.

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

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

JAN. 3. - I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous of
my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and

N.B. - This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was
said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe, that I was no
less time than from the 2nd 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 till this wall was finished; and it is scarce
credible what inexpressible labour everything was done with,
especially the bringing piles out of the woods and driving them
into the ground; for I made them much bigger than I needed to have

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

During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game every day
when the rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these
walks of something or other to my advantage; particularly, I found
a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as wood-pigeons in a tree,
but rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking
some young ones, I 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 thought at
first it was impossible for me to make; as, indeed, with some of
them it was: for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped.
I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before; but I could
never arrive at the capacity of making one by them, though I spent
many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, or join the
staves so true to one another as to make them hold water; so I gave
that also over. In the next place, I was at a great loss for
candles; so that as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally
by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the
lump of beeswax with which I made 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. The little remainder of corn that
had been in the bag was all devoured by the rats, and I saw nothing
in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag
for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I divided
it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks
of corn out of it on one side of my fortification, under the rock.

It was a little before the great rains just now mentioned that I
threw this stuff away, taking no notice, and not so much as
remembering that I had thrown anything there, when, about a month
after, or thereabouts, I saw some few stalks of something green
shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I
had not seen; but I was surprised, and perfectly astonished, when,
after a little longer time, I saw about ten or twelve ears come
out, which were 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, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen
me otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases
God, without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in
these things, or His order in governing events for 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 His grain to grow without any help of seed
sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that
wild, miserable place.

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

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

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

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

But to return to my Journal.

I worked 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 on the outside of my habitation.

APRIL 16. - I finished the ladder; so I went up the ladder to the
top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in the inside.
This was a complete enclosure to me; for within I had room enough,
and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first
mount my wall.

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

I was so much amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the
like, nor discoursed with any one that had, that I was like one
dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my stomach
sick, like one that was tossed at sea; but the noise of the falling
of the rock awakened me, as it were, and rousing me from the
stupefied condition I was in, filled me with horror; and I thought
of nothing then but the hill falling upon my tent and all my
household goods, and burying all at once; and this sunk my very
soul within me a second time.

After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time, I
began to take courage; and yet I had not heart enough to go over my
wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat still upon the
ground greatly cast down and disconsolate, not knowing what to do.
All this while I had not the least serious religious thought;
nothing but the common "Lord have mercy upon me!" and when it was
over that went away too.

While I sat thus, I found the air overcast and grow cloudy, as if
it would rain. Soon after that the wind arose by little and
little, so that in less than half-an-hour it blew a most dreadful
hurricane; the sea was all on a sudden covered over with foam and
froth; the shore was covered with the breach of the water, the
trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible storm it was. This
held about three hours, and then began to abate; and in two hours
more it was quite calm, and began to rain very hard. All this
while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and dejected; when
on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain
being the consequences of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was
spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again. With this
thought my spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to
persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent. But the rain was
so violent that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I
was forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy,
for fear it should fall on my head. This violent rain forced me to
a new work - viz. to cut a hole through my new fortification, like
a sink, to let the water go out, which would else have flooded my
cave. After I had been in my cave for some time, and found still
no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be more
composed. And now, to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it
very much, I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum;
which, however, I did then and always very sparingly, knowing I
could have no more when that was gone. It continued raining all
that night and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir
abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began to think of what I
had best do; concluding that if the island was subject to these
earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must
consider of building a little hut in an open place which I might
surround with a wall, as I had done here, and so make myself secure
from wild beasts or men; for I concluded, if I stayed where I was,
I should certainly one time or other be buried alive.

With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the place
where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the
hill; and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall
upon my tent; and I spent the two next days, being the 19th and
20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation.
The fear of being swallowed up alive made me that I never slept in
quiet; and yet the apprehension of lying abroad without any fence
was almost equal to it; but still, when I looked about, and saw how
everything was put in order, how pleasantly concealed I was, and
how safe from danger, it made me very loath to remove. In the
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 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. This was the 21st.

APRIL 22. - The next morning I begin to consider of means to put
this resolve into execution; but I was at a great loss about my
tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we
carried the hatchets for traffic with the 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


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 feet, and the stern, which was broke in pieces and parted from
the rest by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging
her, was tossed as it were up, and cast on one side; and the sand
was thrown so high on that side next her stern, that whereas there
was a great place of water before, so that I could not come within
a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming I could now walk
quite up to her when the tide was out. I was surprised with this
at first, but soon concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and
as by this violence the ship was more broke 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 all the inside of the
ship was choked up with sand. However, as I had learned not to
despair of anything, I resolved to pull everything to pieces that I
could of the ship, concluding that everything I could get from her
would be of some use or other to me.

MAY 3. - I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through,
which I thought held some of the upper part or quarter-deck
together, and when I had cut it through, I cleared away the sand as
well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the tide
coming in, I was obliged to give over for that time.

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

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

MAY 6. - Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her and
other pieces of ironwork. Worked very hard, and came home very
much tired, and had thoughts of giving it over.

MAY 7. - Went to the wreck again, not with an intent to work, but
found the weight of the wreck had broke itself down, the beams
being cut; that several pieces of the ship seemed to lie loose, and
the inside of the hold lay so open that I could see into it; but it
was almost full of water and sand.

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

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

MAY 10-14. - Went every day to the wreck; and got a great many
pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three
hundredweight of iron.

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

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

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

MAY 24. - Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck; and with
hard labour I loosened some things so much with the crow, that the
first flowing tide several casks floated out, and two of the
seamen's chests; but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing came
to land that day but pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had
some Brazil pork in it; but the salt water and the sand had spoiled
it. I continued this work every day to the 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 got
timber and plank and ironwork enough to have built a good boat, if
I had known how; and also I got, at several times and in several
pieces, near one hundredweight of the sheet lead.

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

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

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

JUNE 19. - Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been

JUNE 20. - No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and

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.

JUNE 22. - A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of

JUNE 22. - Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent

JUNE 24. - Much better.

JUNE 25. - An ague very violent; the fit held me seven hours; cold
fit and hot, with faint sweats after it.

JUNE 26. - Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but
found myself very weak. However, I killed a she-goat, and with
much difficulty got it home, and broiled some of it, and ate, I
would fain have stewed it, and made some broth, but had no pot.

JUNE 27. - The ague again so violent that I lay a-bed all day, and
neither ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for thirst; but so
weak, I had not strength to stand up, or to get myself any water to
drink. Prayed to God again, but was light-headed; and when I was
not, I was so ignorant that I knew not what to say; only I lay and
cried, "Lord, look upon me! Lord, pity me! Lord, have mercy upon
me!" I suppose I did nothing else for two or three hours; till,
the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in
the night. When I awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak,
and exceeding thirsty. However, as I had no water in my
habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep
again. In this second sleep I had this terrible dream: I thought
that I was sitting on the ground, on the outside of my wall, where
I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a
man descend from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of fire,
and light upon the ground. He was all over as bright as a flame,
so that I could but just bear to look towards him; his countenance
was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe.
When he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I thought the earth
trembled, just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all the
air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had been filled with
flashes of fire. He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he
moved forward towards me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand,
to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some distance,
he spoke to me - or I heard a voice so terrible that it is
impossible to express the terror of it. All that I can say I
understood was this: "Seeing all these things have not brought thee
to repentance, now thou shalt die;" at which words, I thought he
lifted up the spear that was in his hand to kill me.

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

I had, alas! 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 none but such as were, like myself, wicked and
profane to the last degree. I do not remember that I had, in all
that time, one thought that so much as tended either to looking
upwards towards God, or inwards towards a reflection upon my own
ways; but a certain stupidity of soul, without desire of good, or
conscience of evil, had entirely 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

In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the
more easily believed when I shall add, that through all the variety
of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never had so much
as one thought of it being the hand of God, or that it was a just
punishment for my sin - my rebellious behaviour against my father -
or my present sins, which were great - or so much as a punishment
for the general course of my wicked life. When I was on the
desperate expedition on the desert shores of Africa, I never had so
much as one thought of what would become of me, or one wish to God
to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger
which 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 in my thoughts. When,
again, I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on this
island, I was as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment.
I only said to myself often, that I was an unfortunate dog, and
born to be always miserable.

It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's
crew drowned and myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of
ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the grace of God
assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness; but it ended
where it began, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say,
being glad I was alive, without the least reflection upon the
distinguished goodness of the hand which had preserved me, and had
singled me out to be preserved when all the rest were destroyed, or
an inquiry why Providence had been thus merciful unto me. Even
just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally have, after
they are got safe ashore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in
the next bowl of punch, and forget almost as soon as it is over;
and all the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was
afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible of my condition,
how I was cast on this dreadful place, out of the reach of human
kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption, as soon
as I saw but a prospect of living and that I should not starve and
perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off; and I
began to be very easy, applied myself to the works proper for my
preservation and supply, and was far enough from being afflicted at
my condition, as a judgment from heaven, or as the hand of God
against me: these were thoughts which very seldom entered my head.

The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had at
first some little influence upon me, and began to affect me with
seriousness, as long as I thought it had something miraculous in
it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was removed, all
the impression that was raised from it wore off also, as I have
noted already. Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more
terrible in its nature, or more immediately directing to the
invisible Power which alone directs such things, yet no sooner was
the first fright over, but the impression it had made went off
also. I had no more sense of God or His judgments - much less of
the present affliction of my circumstances being from His hand -
than if I had been in the most prosperous condition of life. But
now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the miseries
of death came to place itself before me; when my spirits began to
sink under the burden of a strong distemper, and nature was
exhausted with the violence of the fever; conscience, that had
slept so long, began to awake, and I began to reproach myself with
my past life, in which I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness,
provoked the justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and
to deal with me in so vindictive a manner. These reflections
oppressed me for the second or third day of my distemper; and in
the violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of
my conscience, extorted some words from me like praying to God,
though I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with desires
or with hopes: it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress.
My thoughts were confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and
the horror of dying in such a miserable condition raised vapours
into my head with the mere apprehensions; and in these hurries of
my soul I knew not what my tongue might express. But it was rather
exclamation, such as, "Lord, what a miserable creature am I! If I
should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help; and what
will become of me!" Then the tears burst out of my eyes, and I
could say no more for a good while. In this interval the good
advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his prediction,
which I mentioned at the beginning of this story - viz. that if I
did take this foolish step, God would not bless me, and I would
have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel
when there might be none to assist 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 abused their help
and assistance, who would have lifted me in the world, and would
have made everything easy to me; and now I have difficulties to
struggle with, too great for even nature itself to support, and no
assistance, no help, no comfort, no advice." Then I cried out,
"Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress." This was the first
prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made for many years.

But to return to my Journal.

JUNE 28. - Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had,
and the fit being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright and
terror of my dream was very great, yet I considered that the fit of
the ague would return again the next day, and now was my time to
get something to refresh and support myself when I should be ill;
and the first thing I did, I filled a large square case-bottle with
water, and set it upon my table, in reach of my bed; and to take
off the chill or aguish disposition of the water, I put about a
quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together. Then I
got me a piece of the goat's flesh and broiled it on the coals, but
could eat very little. I walked about, but was very weak, and
withal very sad and heavy-hearted 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,
that I could remember, in my whole life. After I had eaten I tried
to walk, but found myself so weak that I could hardly carry a gun,
for I never went out without that; so I went but a little way, and
sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just
before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat here some such
thoughts as these occurred to me: What is this earth and sea, of
which I have seen so much? Whence is it produced? And what am I,
and all the other creatures wild and tame, human and brutal?
Whence are we? Sure we are all made by some secret Power, who
formed the earth and sea, the air and sky. And who is that? Then
it followed most naturally, it is God that has made all. Well, but
then it came on strangely, if God has made all these things, He
guides and governs them all, and all things that concern them; for
the Power that could make all things must certainly have power to
guide and direct them. If so, nothing can happen in the great
circuit of His works, either without His knowledge or appointment.

And if nothing happens without His knowledge, He knows that I am
here, and am in this dreadful condition; and if nothing happens
without His appointment, He has appointed all this to befall me.
Nothing occurred to my thought 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
befall me; that I was brought into this miserable circumstance by
His direction, He having the sole power, not of me only, but of
everything that happened in the world. Immediately it followed:
Why has God done this to me? What have I done to be thus used? My
conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had
blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me like a voice: "Wretch!
dost THOU ask what thou hast done? Look back upon a dreadful
misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast NOT done? Ask, why
is it that thou wert not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not
drowned in Yarmouth Roads; killed in the fight when the ship was
taken by the Sallee man-of-war; devoured by the wild beasts on the
coast of Africa; or drowned HERE, when all the crew perished but
thyself? Dost THOU ask, what have I done?" I was struck dumb with
these reflections, as one astonished, and had not a word to say -
no, not to answer to myself, but rose up pensive and sad, walked
back to my retreat, and went up over my wall, as if I had been
going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no
inclination to sleep; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my
lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, as the apprehension of the
return of my distemper terrified me very much, it occurred to my
thought that the Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco for
almost all distempers, and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in
one of the chests, which was quite cured, and some also that was
green, and not quite cured.

I went, directed by Heaven no doubt; for in this chest I found a
cure both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and found what I
looked for, the tobacco; and as the few books I had saved lay there
too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before, and
which to this time I had not found leisure or inclination to look
into. I say, I took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco
with me to the table. What use to make of the tobacco I knew not,
in my distemper, or whether it was good for it or no: but I tried
several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should hit one
way or other. I first took a piece of leaf, and chewed it in my
mouth, which, indeed, at first almost stupefied my brain, the
tobacco being green and strong, and that I had not been much used
to. Then I took some and steeped it an hour or two in some rum,
and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down; and lastly., I
burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close over the
smoke of it as long as I could bear it, as well for the heat as
almost for suffocation. In the interval of this operation I took
up the Bible and began to read; but my head was too much disturbed
with the tobacco to bear reading, at least at 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 thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." These words were very
apt to my case, and made some impression upon my thoughts at the
time of reading them, though not so much as they did afterwards;
for, as for being DELIVERED, the word had no sound, as I may say,
to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension of
things, that I began to say, as the children of Israel did when
they were promised flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the
wilderness?" so I began to say, "Can God Himself deliver me from
this place?" And as it was not for many years that any hopes
appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts; but, however,
the words made a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them
very often. It grew now late, and the tobacco had, as I said,
dozed my head so much that I inclined to sleep; so I left my lamp
burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night, and
went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in
all my life - I kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfil the
promise to me, that if I called upon Him in the day of trouble, He
would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was over, I
drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco, which was so
strong and rank of the tobacco that I could scarcely get it down;
immediately upon this I went to bed. I found presently it flew up
into my head violently; but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no
more till, by the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in
the afternoon the next day - nay, to this hour I am partly of
opinion that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost
three the day after; for otherwise I know not how I should lose a
day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared
some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and
recrossing the line, I should have lost more than one day; but
certainly I lost a day in my account, and never knew which way. Be
that, however, one way or the other, when I awaked I found myself
exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I
got up I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach
better, for I was hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day,
but continued much altered for the better. This was the 29th.

The 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 brandgoose, 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 - the tobacco steeped in
rum; only I did not take so much as before, nor did I chew any of
the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke; however, I was not so
well the next day, which was the first of July, as I hoped I should
have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it was not

JULY 2. - I renewed the medicine all the three ways; and dosed
myself with it as at first, and doubled the quantity which I drank.

JULY 3. - I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not
recover my full strength for some weeks after. While I was thus
gathering strength, my thoughts ran 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 knelt 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 long as my thoughts should engage me. It
was not long after I set seriously to this work till I found my
heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my
past life. The impression of my dream revived; and the words, "All
these things have not brought thee to repentance," ran seriously
through 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 hands lifted
up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried out aloud,
"Jesus, thou son of David! Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour!
give me repentance!" This was the first time I could say, in the
true sense of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for now I
prayed with a sense of my condition, and 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 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 anything being called
DELIVERANCE, but my being delivered from the captivity I was in;
for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was
certainly a prison to me, and that in the worse sense in the world.
But now I learned to take it in another sense: now I looked back
upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so
dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from
the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my
solitary life, it was nothing. I did not so much as pray to be
delivered from it or think of it; it was all of no consideration in
comparison to this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever
shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things,
they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than
deliverance from affliction.

But, leaving this part, I return to my Journal.

My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as to my
way of living, yet much easier to my mind: and my thoughts being
directed, by a constant reading the Scripture and praying to God,
to things of a higher nature, I had a great deal of comfort within,
which till now I knew nothing of; also, my health and strength
returned, I bestirred myself to furnish myself with everything that
I wanted, and make my way of living as regular as I could.

From the 4th of July to the 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 which had never cured an ague before; neither can
I recommend it to any to practise, by this experiment: and though
it did carry off the fit, yet it rather contributed to weakening
me; for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some
time. I learned from it also this, in particular, that being
abroad in the rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my
health that could be, especially in those rains which came attended
with storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which came in
the dry season was almost always accompanied with such storms, so I
found that rain was much more dangerous than the rain which fell in
September and October.


I HAD now been in this unhappy island above ten months. All
possibility of deliverance from this condition seemed to be
entirely taken from me; and I firmly believe that no human shape
had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured my
habitation, as I thought, fully to my mind, I had a great desire to
make a more perfect discovery of the island, and to see what other
productions I might find, which I yet knew nothing of.

It was on the 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 the tide did not flow any higher, and that it
was no more than a little brook of running water, very fresh and
good; but this being the dry season, there was hardly any water in
some parts of it - at least not enough to run in any stream, so as
it could be perceived. On the banks of this brook I found many
pleasant savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with
grass; and on the rising parts of them, next to the higher grounds,
where the water, as might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a
great deal of tobacco, green, and growing to a great and very
strong stalk. There were divers other plants, which I had no
notion of or understanding about, that might, perhaps, have virtues
of their own, which I could not find out. I searched for the
cassava root, which the Indians, in all that climate, make their
bread of, but I could find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but
did not understand them. I saw several sugar-canes, but wild, and,
for want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these
discoveries for this time, and came back, musing with myself what
course I might take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the
fruits or plants which I should discover, but could bring it to no
conclusion; for, in short, I had made so little observation while I
was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants in the field;
at least, very little that might serve to any purpose now in my

The next day, the sixteenth, I went up the same way again; and
after going something further than I had gone the day before, I
found the brook and the savannahs cease, and the country become
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 when I was ashore in Barbary,
the eating of grapes killed several of our Englishmen, who were
slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers. But I found
an excellent use for these grapes; and that was, to cure or dry
them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept,
which I thought would be, as indeed they were, wholesome and
agreeable to eat when no grapes could be had.

I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation;
which, by the way, was the first night, as I might say, I had lain
from home. In the night, I took my first contrivance, and got up
in a tree, where I slept well; and the next morning proceeded upon
my discovery; travelling nearly four miles, as I might judge by the
length of the valley, keeping still due north, with a ridge of
hills on the south and north side of me. At the end of this march
I came to an opening where the country seemed to descend to the
west; and a little spring of fresh water, which issued out of the
side of the hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due east; and
the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, everything
being in a constant verdure or flourish of spring that it looked
like a planted garden. I descended a little on the side of that
delicious vale, surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure, though
mixed with my other afflicting thoughts, to think that this was all
my own; that I was king and lord of all this country indefensibly,
and had a right of possession; and if I could convey it, I might
have it in inheritance as completely as any lord of a manor in
England. I saw here abundance of cocoa trees, orange, and lemon,
and citron trees; but all wild, and very few bearing any fruit, at
least not then. However, the green limes that I gathered were not
only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome; and I mixed their juice
afterwards with water, which made it very wholesome, and very cool
and refreshing. I found now I had business enough to gather and
carry home; and I resolved to lay up a store as well of grapes as
limes and lemons, to furnish myself for the wet season, which I
knew was approaching. In order to do this, I gathered a great heap
of grapes in one place, a lesser heap in another place, and a great
parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of
each with me, I travelled homewards; resolving 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 nineteenth, 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, to find them all spread about, 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 trees, that they might cure and dry in
the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as
I could well stand under.

When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great
pleasure the fruitfulness of that valley, and the 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 of removing my habitation, and looking
out for a place equally safe as where now I was situate, if
possible, in that pleasant, fruitful part of the island.

This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding fond of it
for some time, the pleasantness of the place tempting me; but when
I came to a nearer view of it, I considered that I was now by the
seaside, where it was at least possible that something might happen
to my advantage, and, by the same ill fate that brought me hither
might bring some other unhappy wretches to the same place; and
though it was 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 of this place, that I spent much of my time there for the
whole of the remaining part of the month of July; and though upon
second thoughts, I resolved not to remove, yet I built me a little
kind of a bower, and surrounded it at a distance with a strong
fence, being a double hedge, as high as I could reach, well staked
and filled between with brushwood; and here I lay very secure,
sometimes two or three nights together; always going over it with a
ladder; so that I fancied now I had my country house and my sea-
coast house; and this work took me up to the beginning of August.

I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labour,
when the rains came on, and made me stick close to my first
habitation; for though I had made me a tent like the other, with a
piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I had not the shelter
of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a cave behind me to retreat
into when the rains were extraordinary.

About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower,
and began to enjoy myself. The 3rd of August, I found the grapes I
had hung up perfectly dried, and, indeed, were excellent good
raisins of the sun; so I began to take them down from the trees,
and it was very happy that I did so, for the rains which followed
would have 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 the most of them home to my
cave, than it began to rain; and from hence, which was the 14th of
August, it rained, more or less, every day till the middle of
October; and sometimes so violently, that I could not stir out of
my cave for several days.

In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family;
I had been concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away
from me, or, as I thought, had been dead, and I heard no more
tidings of her till, to my astonishment, she came home about the
end of August with three kittens. This was the more strange to me
because, though I had killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my
gun, yet I thought it was quite a different kind from our European
cats; but the young cats were the same kind of house-breed as the
old one; and both my cats being females, I thought it very strange.
But from these three cats I afterwards came to be so pestered with
cats that I was forced to kill them like vermin or wild beasts, and
to drive them from my house as much as possible.

From the 14th of August to the 26th, incessant rain, so that I
could not stir, and was now very careful not to be much wet. In
this confinement, I began to be straitened for food: but venturing
out twice, I one day killed a goat; and the last day, which was the
26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me, and my
food was regulated thus: I ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast;
a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the turtle, for my dinner,
broiled - for, to my great misfortune, I had no vessel to boil or
stew anything; and two or three of the turtle's eggs for my supper.

During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two
or three hours at enlarging my cave, and by degrees worked it on
towards one side, till I came to the outside of the hill, and made
a 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 open for
anything to come in upon me; and yet I could not perceive that
there was any living thing to fear, the biggest creature that I had
yet seen upon the island being a goat.

SEPT. 30. - I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my
landing. I cast up the notches on my post, and found I had been on
shore three hundred and sixty-five days. I kept this day as a
solemn fast, setting it apart for religious exercise, prostrating
myself on the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing
my sins to God, acknowledging His righteous judgments upon me, and
praying to Him to have mercy on me through Jesus Christ; and not
having tasted the least refreshment for twelve hours, even till the
going down of the sun, I then ate a biscuit-cake and a bunch of
grapes, and went to bed, finishing the day as I began it. I had
all this time observed no Sabbath day; for as at first I had no
sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after some time, omitted to
distinguish the weeks, by making a longer notch than ordinary for
the Sabbath day, and so did not really know what any of the days
were; but now, having cast up the days as above, I found I had been
there a year; so I divided it into weeks, and set apart every
seventh day for a Sabbath; though I found at the end of my account
I had lost a day or two in my reckoning. A little after this, my
ink began to fail me, and so I contented myself to use it more
sparingly, and to write down only the most remarkable events of my
life, without continuing a daily memorandum of other things.

The rainy season and the dry season began now to appear regular to
me, and I learned to divide them so as to provide for them
accordingly; but I bought all my experience before I had it, and
this I am going to relate was one of the most discouraging
experiments that I made.

I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice,
which I had so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of
themselves, and I believe there were about thirty stalks of rice,
and about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper time to
sow it, after the rains, the sun being in its southern position,
going from me. Accordingly, I dug up a piece of ground as well as
I could with my wooden spade, and dividing it into two parts, I
sowed my grain; but as I was sowing, it casually occurred to my
thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not
know when was the proper time for it, so I sowed about two-thirds
of the seed, leaving about a handful of each. It was a great
comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not one grain of what I
sowed this time came to anything: for the dry months following, the
earth having had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no
moisture to assist its growth, and never came up at all till the
wet season had come again, and then it grew as if it had been but
newly sown. Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily
imagined was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of ground
to make another trial in, and I dug up a piece of ground near my
new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in February, a little
before the vernal equinox; and this having the rainy months of
March and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, and yielded
a very good crop; but having part of the seed left only, and not
daring to sow all that I had, I had but a small quantity at last,
my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each kind. But
by this experiment I was made master of my business, and knew
exactly when the proper season was to sow, and that I might expect
two seed-times and two 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 out of some trees that grew
thereabouts were all shot out and grown with long branches, as much
as a willow-tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its
head. I could not tell what tree to call it that these stakes were
cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the
young trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them up to grow as
much alike as I could; and it is scarce credible how beautiful a
figure they grew into in three years; so that though the 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 a hedge like this, in
a semi-circle round my wall (I mean that of my first dwelling),
which I did; and placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at
about eight yards distance from my first fence, they grew
presently, and were at first a fine cover to my habitation, and
afterwards served for a defence also, as I shall observe in its

I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be
divided, not into summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the
rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were generally thus:- The
half of February, the whole of March, and the half of April -
rainy, the sun being then on or near the equinox.

The half of April, the whole of May, June, and July, and the half
of August - dry, the sun being then to the north of the line.

The half of August, the whole of September, and the half of October
- rainy, the sun being then come back.

The half of October, the whole of November, December, and January,
and the half of February - dry, the sun being then to the south of
the line.

The rainy seasons sometimes held longer or shorter as the winds
happened to blow, but this was the general observation I made.
After I had found by experience the ill consequences of being
abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with provisions
beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out, and I sat within
doors as much as possible during the wet months. This time I found
much employment, and very suitable also to the time, for I found
great occasion for 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 in which they worked those things, and
sometimes lending a hand, I had by these means full knowledge of
the methods of it, and I wanted nothing but the materials, when it
came into my mind that the twigs of that tree from whence I cut my
stakes that grew might possibly be as tough as the sallows,
willows, and osiers in England, and I resolved to try.
Accordingly, the next day I went to my country house, as I called
it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my
purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came the next time
prepared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found,
for there was great plenty of them. These I set up to dry within
my circle or hedge, 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 anything, as I had occasion; and though
I did not finish them very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently
serviceable for my purpose; thus, afterwards, I took care never to
be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more,
especially strong, deep baskets to place my corn in, instead of
sacks, when I should come to have any quantity of it.

Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about
it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to supply two
wants. I had no vessels to hold anything that was liquid, except
two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and some glass bottles
- some of the common size, and others which were case bottles,
square, for the holding of water, spirits, &c. I had not so much
as a pot to boil anything, except a great kettle, which I saved out
of the ship, and which was too big for such as I desired it - viz.
to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing
I fain would have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible to
me to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that, too, at
last. I employed myself in planting my second rows of stakes or
piles, and in this wicker-working 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 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, a hatchet, and my dog,
and a larger quantity of powder and shot than usual, with two
biscuit-cakes and a great bunch of raisins in my pouch for my
store, I began my journey. When I had passed the vale where my
bower stood, as above, I came within view of the sea to the west,
and it being a very clear day, I fairly descried land - whether an
island or a continent I could not tell; but it lay very high,
extending from the W. to the W.S.W. at a very great distance; by my
guess it could not be less than fifteen or twenty leagues off.

I could not tell what part of the world this might be, otherwise
than that I knew it must be part of America, and, as I concluded by
all my observations, must be near the Spanish dominions, and
perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I had 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 everything for the best; I say I quieted
my mind with this, and left off afflicting myself with fruitless
wishes of being there.

Besides, after some thought upon this affair, I considered that if
this land was the Spanish coast, I should certainly, one time or
other, see some vessel pass or repass one way or other; but if not,
then it was the savage coast between the Spanish country and
Brazils, where are found 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 savannah fields sweet, adorned with flowers and
grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abundance of parrots,
and fain I would 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 name very familiarly. But the accident that
followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its

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 table better 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 had rather plenty, even to

I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in a
day, or thereabouts; but I took so many turns and re-turns to see
what discoveries I could make, that I came weary enough to the
place where I resolved to sit down all night; and then I either
reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes
set upright in the ground, either from one tree to another, or so
as no wild creature could come at me 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 a half. Here
was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds, some which I
had seen, and some which I had not seen before, and many of them
very good meat, but such as I knew not the names of, except those
called penguins.

I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very sparing of my
powder and shot, and therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat if
I could, which I could better feed on; and though there were many
goats here, more than on my side 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 that the next journey I took should be on the other side of the
island east from my dwelling, and so round till I came to my post

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 wood, that I could not see
which was my way by any direction but that of the sun, nor even
then, unless I knew very well the position of the sun at that time
of the day. It happened, to my further misfortune, that the
weather proved hazy for three or four days while I was in the
valley, and not being able to see the sun, I wandered about very
uncomfortably, and at last was obliged to find the seaside, look
for my post, and come back the same way I went: and then, by easy
journeys, I turned homeward, the weather being exceeding hot, and
my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other things very heavy.

In this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it;
and I, running in to take hold of it, caught it, and saved it alive
from the dog. I had a great mind to bring it home if I could, for
I had often been musing whether it might not be 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 all spent. I made a collar
for this little creature, and with a string, which I made of some
rope-yam, which I always carried about me, I led him along, though
with some difficulty, till I came to my bower, and there I enclosed
him and left him, for I was very impatient to be at home, from
whence I had been absent above a month.

I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my
old hutch, and lie down in my hammock-bed. This little wandering
journey, without settled place of abode, had been so unpleasant to
me, that my own house, as I called it to myself, was a perfect
settlement to me compared to that; and it rendered everything about
me so comfortable, that I resolved I would never go a great way
from it again while it should be my lot to stay on the island.

I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my
long journey; during which most of the time was taken up in the
weighty affair of making a cage for my Poll, who began now to be a
mere domestic, and to be well acquainted with me. Then I began to
think of the poor kid which I had penned in within my little
circle, and resolved to go and fetch it home, or give it some food;
accordingly I went, and found it where I 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 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 that it was possible I might
be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have been in
the 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
communications 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 this
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 I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires
altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my delights were
perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or, indeed,
for the two years past.

Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the
country, the anguish of my soul at my condition would break out
upon me on a sudden, and my very heart would die within me, to
think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I
was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the
ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the
midst of the greatest composure of my mind, this would break out
upon me like a storm, and make me wring my hands and weep like a
child. Sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work, and I
would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for
an hour or two together; and this was still worse to me, for if I
could burst out into tears, or vent myself by words, it would go
off, and the grief, having exhausted itself, would abate.

But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts: I daily read
the word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present
state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these
words, "I will never, 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 ever have been in any other
particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to
give thanks to God for bringing me to this place. I know not what
it was, but something shocked my mind at that thought, and I durst
not speak the words. "How canst thou become such a hypocrite,"
said I, even audibly, "to pretend to be thankful for a condition
which, however thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, thou
wouldst rather pray heartily to be delivered from?" So I stopped
there; but though I could not say I thanked God for being there,
yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by whatever
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 the first, yet in general it may
be observed that I was very seldom idle, but having regularly
divided my time according to the several daily employments that
were before me, such as: first, my duty to God, and the reading the
Scriptures, which I constantly set apart some time for thrice every
day; secondly, the going abroad with my gun for food, which
generally took me up three hours in every morning, when it did not
rain; thirdly, the ordering, cutting, preserving, and cooking what
I had killed or caught for my supply; these took up great part of
the day. Also, it is to be considered, that in the middle of the
day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was
too great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was
all the time I could be supposed to work in, with this 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, everything I did took up
out of my time. For example, I was full two and forty days in
making a board for a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave;
whereas, two sawyers, with their tools and a saw-pit, would have
cut six of them out of the same tree in half a day.

My case was this: it was to be a large tree which was to be cut
down, because my board was to be a broad one. This tree I was
three days in cutting down, and two more cutting off the boughs,
and reducing it to a log or piece of timber. With inexpressible
hacking and hewing I reduced both the sides of it into chips till
it began to be light enough to move; then I turned it, and made one
side of it smooth and flat as a board from end to end; then,
turning that side downward, cut the other side til I brought the
plank to be about three inches thick, and smooth on both sides.
Any one may judge the labour of my hands in such a piece of work;
but labour and patience carried me through that, and many other
things. I only observe this in particular, to show the reason why
so much of my time went away with so little work - viz. that what
might be a little to be done with help and tools, was a vast labour
and required a prodigious time to do alone, and by hand. But
notwithstanding this, with patience and labour I got through
everything that my circumstances made necessary to me to do, as
will appear by what follows.

I was now, in the months of November and December, expecting my
crop of barley and rice. The ground I had manured and 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 scarcely possible to keep
from it; as, first, the goats, and wild creatures which I called
hares, who, tasting the sweetness of the blade, lay in it night and
day, as soon as it came up, and eat it so close, that it could get
no time to shoot up into stalk.

This I saw no remedy for but by making an enclosure about it with a
hedge; which I did with a great deal of toil, and the more, because
it required speed. 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 daytime, I
set my dog to guard it in the night, tying him up to a stake at the
gate, where he would stand and bark all night long; so in a little
time the enemies forsook the place, and the corn grew very strong
and well, and began to ripen apace.

But as the beasts ruined me before, while my corn was in the blade,
so the birds were as likely to ruin me now, when it was in the ear;
for, going along by the place to see how it throve, I saw my little
crop surrounded with fowls, of I know not how many sorts, who
stood, as it were, watching till I should be gone. I immediately
let fly among them, for I always had my gun with me. I had no
sooner shot, but there rose up a little cloud of fowls, which I had
not seen at all, from among the corn itself.

This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that in a few days they
would devour all my hopes; that I should be starved, and never be
able to raise a crop at all; and what to do I could not tell;
however, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible, though I
should watch it night and day. In the first place, I went among it
to see what damage was already done, and found they had spoiled a
good deal of it; but that as it was yet too green for them, the
loss was not so great but that the remainder was likely 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 than 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 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 - hanged them in chains, for a terror
to of them. It is impossible to imagine 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 sickle to cut it down, and
all I could do was to make one, as well as I could, out of one of
the broadswords, or cutlasses, which I saved among the arms out of
the ship. However, as my first crop was but small, I had no great
difficulty to cut it down; in short, I reaped it in my way, for I
cut nothing off but the ears, and carried it away in a great basket
which I had made, and so rubbed it out with my hands; and at the
end of all my harvesting, I found that out of my half-peck of seed
I had near two bushels of rice, and about two bushels and a half of
barley; that is to say, by my guess, for I had no measure at that

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.

It might be truly said, that now I worked for my bread. I believe
few people have thought much upon the strange multitude of little
things necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing,
making, and finishing this one article of bread.

I, that was reduced to a mere state of nature, found this to my
daily discouragement; and was made more sensible of it every hour,
even after I had got the first handful of seed-corn, which, as I
have said, came up unexpectedly, and indeed to a surprise.

First, I had no plough to turn up the earth - no spade or shovel to
dig it. Well, this I conquered by making me a wooden spade, as I
observed before; but this did my work but in a wooden manner; and
though it cost me a great many days to make it, yet, for want of
iron, it not only wore out soon, but made my work the harder, and
made it be performed much worse. However, this I bore with, and
was content to work it out with patience, and bear with the badness
of the performance. When the corn was sown, 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 it, as it may be called, rather than rake
or harrow it. When it was growing, and grown, I have observed
already how many things I wanted to fence it, secure it, mow or
reap it, cure and carry it home, thrash, part it from the chaff,
and save it. Then I wanted a mill to grind it sieves to dress it,
yeast and salt to make it into bread, and an oven to bake it; but
all these things I did without, as shall be observed; and yet the
corn was an inestimable comfort and advantage to me too. All this,
as I said, made everything laborious and tedious to me; but that
there was no help for. Neither was my time so much loss to me,
because, as I had divided it, a certain part of it was every day
appointed to these works; and as I had resolved to use none of the
corn for bread till I had a greater 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 making the corn, when I had it, fit for my


BUT first I was to prepare more land, for I had now seed enough to
sow above an acre of ground. Before I did this, I had a week's
work at least to make me a spade, which, when it was done, was but
a sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required double labour to
work with it. However, I got through that, and sowed my seed in
two large flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could find
them to my mind, and fenced them in with a good hedge, the stakes
of which were all cut off that wood which I had set before, and
knew it would grow; so that, in a year's time, I knew I should have
a quick or living hedge, that would want but little repair. This
work did not take me up less than three months, because a great
part of that time was the wet season, when I could not go abroad.
Within-doors, that is when it rained and I could not go out, I
found employment in the following occupations - always observing,
that all the while I was at work I diverted myself with talking to
my parrot, and teaching him to speak; and I quickly taught him to
know his own name, and at last to speak it out pretty loud, "Poll,"
which was the first word I ever heard spoken in the island by any
mouth but my own. This, therefore, was not my work, but an
assistance to my work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment
upon my hands, as follows: I had long studied to make, by some
means or other, some earthen vessels, which, indeed, I wanted
sorely, but knew not where to come at them. However, considering
the heat of the climate, I did not doubt but if I could find out
any clay, I might make some pots that might, being dried in the
sun, be hard enough and strong enough to bear handling, and to hold
anything that was dry, and required to be kept so; and as this was
necessary in the preparing corn, meal, &c., which was the thing I
was doing, 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 in 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 things my hand
turned to; and the heat of the sun baked them quite hard.

But all this would not answer my end, which was to get an earthen
pot to hold what was liquid, and bear the fire, which none of these
could do. It happened after some time, making a pretty large fire
for cooking my meat, when I went to put it out after I had done
with it, I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels in
the fire, burnt as hard as a stone, and red as a tile. I was
agreeably surprised to see it, and said to myself, that certainly
they might be made to burn whole, if they would burn broken.

This set me to study how to order my fire, so as to make it burn
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 firewood all round it, with a great
heap of embers under them. I plied the fire with fresh fuel round
the outside and upon the top, till I saw the pots in the inside
red-hot quite through, and observed that they did not crack at all.
When I saw them clear red, I let them stand in that heat about five
or six hours, till I found one of them, though it did not crack,
did melt or run; for the sand which was mixed with the clay melted
by the violence of the heat, and would have run into glass if I had
gone on; so I 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 learned to raise paste.

No joy at a thing of so mean a nature was ever equal to mine, when
I found I had made an earthen pot that would bear the fire; and I
had hardly patience to stay till they were cold before I set one on
the fire again with some water in it to boil me some meat, which it
did admirably well; and with a piece of a kid I made some very good
broth, though I wanted oatmeal, and several other ingredients
requisite to make it as good as I would have had it been.

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 at
that perfection of art with one pair of hands. To supply this
want, I was at a great loss; for, of all the trades in the world, I
was as perfectly unqualified for a stone-cutter as for any
whatever; neither had I any tools to go about it with. I spent
many a day to find out a great stone big enough to cut hollow, and
make fit for a mortar, and could find none at all, except what was
in the solid rock, and which I had 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 neither would bear the
weight of a heavy pestle, nor would break the corn without filling
it with sand. So, after a great deal of time lost in searching for
a stone, I gave it over, and resolved to look out for a great block
of 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 a hollow place in it, as the Indians in
Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a great heavy pestle
or beater of the wood called the iron-wood; and this I prepared and
laid by against I had my next crop of corn, which I proposed to
myself to grind, or rather pound into meal to make bread.

My next difficulty was to make a sieve or searce, to dress my meal,
and to 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 even to think on, for to be sure I had nothing like the
necessary thing to make it - I mean fine thin canvas 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 knew how to
weave it 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 proper enough
for the work; and thus I made shift for some years: how I did
afterwards, I shall show in its place.

The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and how I
should make bread when I came to have corn; for first, I had no
yeast. As to that part, 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 burned in the fire, as I had done the other,
and laid them by; and when I wanted to bake, I made a great fire
upon my hearth, which I had paved with some square tiles of my own
baking and burning also; but I should not call them square.

When the firewood was burned pretty much into embers or live coals,
I drew them forward upon this hearth, so as to cover it all over,
and there I let them lie till the hearth was very hot. Then
sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf or loaves, and
whelming down the earthen pot upon them, drew the embers all round
the outside of the pot, to keep in and add to the heat; and thus as
well as in the best oven in the world, I baked my barley-loaves,
and became in little time a good pastrycook into the bargain; for I
made myself several cakes and puddings of the rice; but I made no
pies, neither had I anything to put into them supposing I had,
except the flesh either of fowls or goats.

It need not be wondered at if all these things took me up most part
of the third year of my abode here; for it is to be observed that
in the intervals of these things I 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 thrash it on,
or instrument to thrash it with.

And now, indeed, my stock of corn increasing, I really wanted to
build my barns bigger; I wanted a place to lay it up in, for the
increase of the corn now yielded me so much, that I had of the
barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice as much or more;
insomuch that now I 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 were on shore there, fancying that, seeing the mainland, and an
inhabited country, I might find some way or other to convey myself
further, and perhaps at last find some means of escape.

But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such an
undertaking, 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 in their power, I
should run a hazard of more than a thousand to one of being killed,
and perhaps of being eaten; for I had heard that the people of the
Caribbean coast were cannibals or man-eaters, and I knew by the
latitude that I could not be far from that shore. Then, supposing
they were not cannibals, yet they might kill me, as many Europeans
who had fallen into their hands had been served, even when they had
been ten or twenty together - much more I, that was but one, and
could make little or no defence; all these things, I say, which I
ought to have considered well; and did come into my thoughts
afterwards, yet gave me no apprehensions at first, and my head ran
mightily upon the thought of getting over to the shore.

Now I wished for my boy Xury, and the long-boat with shoulder-of-
mutton sail, with which I sailed above a thousand miles on the
coast of Africa; but this was in vain: then I thought I would go
and look at our ship's boat, which, as I have said, was blown up
upon the shore a great way, in the storm, when we were first cast
away. She lay almost where she did at first, but not quite; and
was turned, by the force of the waves and the winds, almost bottom
upward, against a high ridge of beachy, rough sand, but no water
about her. If I had had hands to have refitted her, and to have
launched her into the water, the boat would have done well enough,
and I might have gone back into the Brazils with her easily enough;
but I might have 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 woods, 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 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

But when I had done this, I was unable to stir it up again, or to
get under it, much less to move it forward towards the water; so I
was forced to give it over; and yet, though I gave over the hopes
of the boat, my desire to venture over for the main increased,
rather than decreased, as the means for it seemed impossible.

This at length put me upon thinking whether it was not 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, of the trunk of a great tree. This I not only thought
possible, but easy, and pleased myself extremely with the 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, when it was made, into the
water - 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, if when I had chosen a vast tree in the woods, and with much
trouble cut it down, if I had been able with my tools to hew and
dub the outside into the proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut
out the inside to make it hollow, so as to make a boat of it - if,
after all this, I must leave it just there where I found it, and
not be able to launch it into the water?

One would have thought I could not have had the least reflection
upon my mind of my circumstances while I was making this boat, but
I should have immediately thought how I should get it into the sea;
but my thoughts were so intent upon my voyage over the sea in it,
that I never once considered how I should get it off the land: and
it was really, in its own nature, more easy for me to guide it over
forty-five miles of sea than about forty-five fathoms of land,
where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.

I went to work upon this boat the most like a fool that ever man
did who had any of his senses awake. I pleased myself with the
design, without determining whether I was ever able to undertake
it; not but that the difficulty of launching my boat came often
into my head; but I put a stop to my inquiries into it by this
foolish answer which I gave myself - "Let me first make it; I
warrant I will find some way or other to get it along when it is

This was a most preposterous method; but the eagerness of my fancy
prevailed, and to work I went. I felled a cedar-tree, and I
question much whether Solomon ever had such a one for the building
of the Temple of Jerusalem; it was five feet ten inches diameter at
the lower part next the stump, and four feet eleven inches diameter
at the end of twenty-two feet; after which it lessened for a while,
and then parted into branches. It was not without infinite labour
that I felled this tree; I was twenty days hacking and hewing at it
at the bottom; I was fourteen more getting the branches and limbs
and the vast spreading head cut off, which I hacked and hewed
through with axe and hatchet, and inexpressible labour; after this,
it cost me a month to shape it and dub it to a proportion, and to
something like the bottom of a boat, that it might swim upright as
it ought to do. It cost me near three months more to clear the
inside, and work it out so as to make an exact boat of it; this I
did, indeed, without fire, by mere mallet and chisel, and by the
dint of hard labour, till I had brought it to be a very 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 ever I saw a canoe or
periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life. Many a weary
stroke it had cost, you may be sure; 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

But all my devices to get it into the water failed me; though they
cost me 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 who have their deliverance in view?); but
when this was worked through, and this difficulty managed, it was
still much the same, 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 upon it, and calculate
how deep it was to be dug, how broad, how the stuff was to be
thrown out, I found that, by the number of hands I had, being none
but my own, it must have been ten or twelve years before I could
have gone through with it; for the shore lay so high, that at the
upper end it must have been at least twenty feet deep; so at
length, though with great reluctancy, I gave this attempt over

This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, the folly
of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge
rightly of our own strength to go through with it.

In the middle of this work I finished my fourth year in this place,
and kept my anniversary with the same devotion, and with as much
comfort as ever before; for, by a constant study and serious
application to 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
expectations from, and, indeed, no desires about: in a word, I had
nothing indeed to do with it, nor was ever likely to have, so I
thought it looked, as we may perhaps look upon it hereafter - viz.
as a place I had lived in, but was come out of it; and well might I
say, as Father Abraham to Dives, "Between me and thee is a great
gulf fixed."

In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of the
world here; I had neither the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the
eye, nor the pride of life. I had nothing to covet, for I had all
that 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
tortoise or turtle enough, but now and then one was as much as I
could put to any use: I had timber enough to have built a fleet of
ships; and I had grapes enough to have made wine, or to have cured
into raisins, to have loaded that fleet when it had been built.

But all I could make use of was all that was valuable: I had enough
to eat and supply my wants, and what was all the rest to me? If I
killed more flesh than I could eat, the dog must eat it, or 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 but 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 they are for our use; and that, whatever we
may heap up to give others, we enjoy just as much as we can use,
and no more. The most covetous, griping miser in the world would
have been cured of the vice of covetousness if he had been in my
case; for I possessed 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, 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 sorry, useless
stuff lay; I had no more manner of business for it; and often
thought with myself that I would have given a handful of it for a
gross of tobacco-pipes; or for a hand-mill to grind my corn; nay, I
would have given it all for a sixpenny-worth of turnip and carrot
seed out of England, or for a handful of peas and beans, and a
bottle of ink. As it was, I had not the least advantage by it or
benefit from it; but there it lay in a drawer, and grew mouldy with
the damp of the cave in the wet seasons; and if I had had the
drawer full of diamonds, it had been the same case - they had been
of no manner of value to me, because of no use.

I had now brought my state of life to be much easier in itself than
it was at first, and much easier to my mind, as well as to my body.
I frequently sat down to meat with thankfulness, and admired the
hand of God's providence, which had thus spread my table in the
wilderness. I learned to look more upon the bright side of my
condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I
enjoyed rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such
secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take
notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who
cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see
and covet 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 would be; nay, with what it would certainly have been,
if the good providence of God had not wonderfully ordered the ship
to be cast up nearer to the shore, where I not only could come at
her, but could bring what I got out of her to the shore, for my
relief and comfort; without which, I had wanted for tools to work,
weapons for defence, and gunpowder and shot for getting my food.

I spent whole hours, I may say whole days, in representing to
myself, in the most lively colours, how I must have acted if I had
got nothing out of the ship. How I could not have so much as got
any food, except fish and turtles; and that, as it was long before
I found any of them, I must have perished first; that I should have
lived, if I had not perished, like a mere savage; that if I had
killed a goat or a fowl, by any contrivance, I had no way to flay
or open it, or part the flesh from the skin and the bowels, or to
cut it up; but must gnaw it with my teeth, and pull it with my
claws, like a beast.

These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of
Providence to me, and very thankful for my present condition, with
all its hardships and misfortunes; and this part also I cannot but
recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, in their misery,
to say, "Is any affliction like mine?" Let them consider how much
worse the cases of some people are, and their case might have been,
if Providence had thought fit.

I had another reflection, which assisted me also to comfort my mind
with hopes; and this was comparing my present situation with what I
had deserved, and had therefore reason to expect from the hand of
Providence. I had lived a dreadful life, perfectly 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 what the nature and end of my being required
of me. But, alas! falling early into the seafaring life, which of
all lives is the most destitute of the fear of God, though His
terrors are always before them; I say, falling early into the
seafaring life, and into seafaring company, all that little sense
of religion which I had entertained was laughed out of me by my
messmates; by a hardened despising of dangers, and the views of
death, which grew habitual to me by my long absence from all manner
of opportunities to converse with anything but what was like
myself, or to hear anything that was good or tended towards it.

So void was I of everything that was good, or the least sense of
what I was, or was to be, that, in the greatest deliverances I
enjoyed - such as my escape from Sallee; my being taken up by the
Portuguese master of the ship; my being planted so well in the
Brazils; my receiving the cargo from England, and the like - I
never had once the words "Thank God!" so much as on my mind, or in
my mouth; nor in the greatest distress had I so much as a thought
to pray to Him, or so much as to say, "Lord, have mercy upon me!"
no, nor 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 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 had deserved, but had so plentifully provided
for me - this gave me great hopes that my repentance was accepted,
and that God had yet mercy in store for me.

With these reflections I worked my mind up, not only to a
resignation to the will of God in the present disposition of my
circumstances, but even to a sincere thankfulness for my condition;
and that I, who was yet a living man, ought not to complain, seeing
I had not the due punishment of my sins; that I enjoyed so many
mercies which I had no reason to have expected in that place; that
I ought never more to repine at my condition, but to rejoice, and
to give daily thanks for that daily bread, which nothing but a
crowd of wonders could have brought; that I ought to consider I had
been fed even by a miracle, even as great as that of feeding Elijah
by ravens, nay, by a long series of miracles; and that I could
hardly have named a place in the uninhabitable 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 poisons, which I might feed on
to my hurt; no savages to murder and devour me. In a word, as my
life was a life of sorrow one way, so it was a life of mercy
another; and I wanted nothing to make it a life of comfort but to
be able to make my sense of God's goodness to me, and care over me
in this condition, be my daily consolation; and after I did make a
just improvement on these things, I went away, and was no more sad.
I had now been here so long that many things which I had brought on
shore for my help were either quite gone, or very much wasted and
near spent.

My ink, as I observed, had been gone some time, all but a very
little, which I eked out with water, a little and a little, till it
was so pale, it scarce left any appearance of black upon the paper.
As long as it lasted I made use of it to minute down the days of
the month on which any remarkable thing happened to me; and first,
by casting up times past, I remembered that there was a strange
concurrence of days in the various providences which befell me, and
which, if I had been superstitiously inclined to observe days as
fatal or fortunate, I might have had reason to have looked upon
with a great deal of curiosity.

First, I had observed that the same day that I broke away from my
father and friends and ran away to Hull, in order to go to sea, the
same day afterwards I was taken by the Sallee man-of-war, and made
a slave; the same day of the year that I escaped out of the wreck
of that ship in Yarmouth Roads, that same day-year afterwards I
made my escape from Sallee in a boat; the same day of the year I
was born on - viz. the 30th of September, that 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 my solitary
life began both on a day.

The next thing to my ink being wasted was that of my bread - I mean
the biscuit which I brought out of the ship; this I had husbanded
to the last degree, allowing myself but one cake of bread a-day for
above a year; and yet I was quite without bread for near 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; as to linen, I had had none a good
while, except some chequered shirts which I found in the chests of
the other seamen, and which I carefully preserved; because many
times I could bear no other clothes on but a shirt; and it was a
very great help to me that I had, among all the men's clothes of
the ship, almost three dozen of shirts. There were also, indeed,
several thick watch-coats of the seamen's which were left, but they
were too hot to wear; and though it is true that the weather was so
violently hot that there was no need of clothes, yet I could not go
quite naked - no, though I had been inclined to it, which I was not
- nor could I abide the thought of it, though I was alone. The
reason why I could not go naked was, I could not bear the heat of
the sun so well when quite naked as with some clothes on; nay, the
very heat frequently blistered my skin: whereas, with a shirt on,
the air itself made some motion, and whistling under the shirt, was
twofold cooler than without it. No more could I ever bring myself
to go out in the heat of the sun without a cap or a hat; the heat
of the sun, beating with such violence as it does in that place,
would give me the headache presently, by darting so directly on my
head, without a 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, tailoring, or
rather, indeed, botching, for I made most piteous work of it.
However, I made shift to make two or three new waistcoats, which I
hoped would serve me a great while: as for breeches or drawers, I
made but a very sorry shift indeed till afterwards.

I have mentioned that I saved the skins of all the creatures that I
killed, I mean four-footed ones, and I had them hung up, stretched
out with sticks in the sun, by which means some of them were so dry
and hard that they were fit for little, but others were very
useful. The first thing I made of these was a great cap for my
head, with the hair on the outside, to shoot off the rain; and this
I performed so well, that after I made me a suit of clothes wholly
of these skins - that is to say, a waistcoat, and breeches open at
the knees, and both loose, for they were rather wanting to keep me
cool than to keep me warm. I must not omit to acknowledge that
they were wretchedly made; for if I was a bad carpenter, I was a
worse tailor. However, they were such as I made very good shift
with, and when I was out, if it happened to rain, the hair of my
waistcoat and cap being outermost, I was kept very dry.

After this, I spent a great deal of time and pains to make an
umbrella; I was, indeed, in great want of one, and had a great mind
to make one; I had seen them made in the Brazils, where they are
very useful in the great heats there, and I felt the heats every
jot as great here, and greater too, being nearer the equinox;
besides, as I was obliged to be much abroad, it was a most useful
thing to me, as well for the rains as the heats. I took a world of
pains with it, and was a great while before I could make anything
likely to hold: nay, after I had 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 let down. I could make it spread, but if it
did not let down too, and draw in, it was not 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, and covered it with skins, the
hair upwards, so that it cast off the rain like a pent-house, and
kept off the sun so effectually, that I could walk out in the
hottest of the weather with greater advantage than I could before
in the coolest, and when I had no need of it could close it, and
carry it under my arm

Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being entirely composed by
resigning myself 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 God Himself, by
ejaculations, 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, as before; the chief things 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 one year's provisions beforehand; I say,
besides this yearly labour, and my daily pursuit of going out with
my gun, I had one labour, to make a canoe, which at last I
finished: so that, by digging a canal to it of six feet wide and
four feet deep, I brought it into the creek, almost half a mile.
As for the first, which was so vastly big, for I made it without
considering beforehand, as I ought to have done, how I should be
able to launch it, so, never being able to bring it into the water,
or bring the water to it, I was obliged to let it lie where it was
as a memorandum to teach me to be wiser the next time: indeed, the
next time, though I could not get a tree proper for it, and was in
a place where I could not get the water to it at any less distance
than, as I have said, 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. As I had a boat, my next design was to make a cruise
round the island; for as I had been on the other side in one place,
crossing, as I have already described it, over the land, so the
discoveries I made in that little journey made me very eager to see
other parts of the coast; and now I had a boat, I thought of
nothing but sailing round the island.

For this purpose, that I might do everything with discretion and
consideration, I fitted up a little mast in my boat, and made a
sail too out of some of the pieces of the ship's sails which lay in
store, and of which I had a great stock by me. Having fitted my
mast and sail, and tried the boat, I found she would sail very
well; then I made little lockers or boxes at each end of my boat,
to put provisions, necessaries, ammunition, &c., into, to be kept
dry, either from rain or the spray of the sea; and a little, long,
hollow place I cut in the inside of the boat, where I could lay my
gun, making a flap to hang down over it to keep it dry.

I fixed my umbrella also in the 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. At
last, being eager to view the circumference of my little kingdom, I
resolved upon my cruise; and accordingly I victualled my ship for
the voyage, putting in two dozen of loaves (cakes I should call
them) of barley-bread, an earthen pot full of parched rice (a food
I ate a good deal of), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and
powder and shot for killing more, and two large watch-coats, of
those which, as I mentioned before, I had saved out of the seamen's
chests; these I took, one to lie upon, and the other to cover me in
the night.

It was the 6th of November, in the sixth year of my reign - or my
captivity, which you please - that I set out on this voyage, and I
found it much longer than I expected; for though the island itself
was not very large, yet when I came to the east side of it, I found
a great ledge of rocks lie out about two leagues into the sea, some
above water, some under it; and beyond that a shoal of sand, lying
dry half a league more, so that I was obliged to go a great way out
to sea to double the 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 a kind of an
anchor with a piece of a broken grappling which I got out of the

Having secured my boat, I took my gun and went on shore, climbing
up a hill, which seemed to overlook that point where I saw the full
extent of it, and resolved to venture.

In my viewing the sea from that hill where I stood, I perceived a
strong, and indeed a most furious current, which ran to the east,
and even came close to the point; and I took the more notice of it
because I saw there might be some danger that when I came into it I
might be carried out to sea by the strength of it, and not be able
to make the island again; and indeed, had I not got first upon this
hill, I believe it would have been so; for there was the same
current on the other side the island, only that it set off at a
further 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 ESE., and that being just contrary to the current, made a
great breach of the sea upon the point: so that it was not safe for
me to keep too close to the shore for the breach, nor to go too far
off, because of the stream.

The third day, in the morning, the wind having abated overnight,
the sea was calm, and I ventured: but I am a warning to all rash
and ignorant pilots; for no sooner was I come to the point, when I
was not even my boat's length from the shore, but I found myself in
a great depth of water, and a current like the sluice of a mill; it
carried my boat along with it with such violence that all I could
do could not keep her so much as on the edge of it; but I found it
hurried me farther and farther out from the eddy, which was on my
left hand. There was no wind stirring to help me, and all I could
do with my paddles signified nothing: and now I began to give
myself over for lost; for as the current was on both sides of the
island, I knew in a few leagues distance they must join again, and
then I was irrecoverably gone; nor did I see any possibility of
avoiding it; so that I had no prospect before me but of perishing,
not by the sea, for that was calm enough, but of starving from
hunger. I had, indeed, found a tortoise on the shore, as big
almost as I could lift, and had tossed it into the boat; and I had
a great jar of fresh water, that is to say, one of my earthen pots;
but what was all this to being driven into the vast ocean, where,
to be sure, there was no shore, no mainland or island, for a
thousand leagues at least?

And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to make
even the most miserable condition of mankind 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 but 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! whither am going?" Then I reproached myself
with my unthankful temper, and that 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 scarcely 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 SSE.
This cheered my heart a little, and especially when, in about half-
an-hour more, it blew a pretty gentle gale. By this time I had got
at a frightful distance from the island, and had the least cloudy
or hazy weather intervened, I had been undone another way, too; for
I had no compass on board, and should never have known how to have
steered towards the island, if I had but once lost sight of it; but
the weather continuing clear, I applied myself to get up my mast
again, and spread my sail, standing away to the north as much as
possible, to get out of the current.

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; for 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 rocks, 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 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 underfoot.

This eddy carried me about a league on my way back again, directly
towards the island, but about two leagues more to the northward
than the current 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
further. However, I found that being between two great currents -
viz. that on the south side, which had hurried me away, and that on
the north, which lay about a league on the other side; I say,
between these two, in the wake of the island, I found the water at
least still, and running no way; and having still a breeze of wind
fair for me, I kept on steering directly for the island, though not
making such fresh way as I did before.

About four o'clock in the evening, being then within a league of
the island, I found the point of the rocks which occasioned this
disaster stretching out, as is described before, to the southward,
and casting off the current more southerly, had, of course, made
another eddy to the north; and this I found very strong, but not
directly setting the way my course lay, which was due west, but
almost full north. However, having a fresh gale, I stretched
across this eddy, slanting north-west; and in about an hour came
within about a mile of the shore, where, it being smooth water, I
soon got to land.

When I was on shore, God I fell on my knees and gave God thanks
for my deliverance, resolving to lay aside all thoughts of my
deliverance by my boat; and refreshing myself with such things as
I had, I brought my boat close to the shore, in a little cove that
I had spied under some trees, and laid me down to sleep, being
quite spent with the labour and fatigue of the voyage.

I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my boat! I
had run so much hazard, and knew too much of the case, to think of
attempting it by the way I went out; and what might be at the other
side (I mean the west side) I knew not, nor had I any mind to run
any more ventures; so I resolved on the next morning to make my way
westward along the shore, and to see if there was no creek where I
might lay up my frigate in safety, so as to have her again if I
wanted her. In about three miles or 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 very 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 that shore; so taking
nothing out of my boat but my gun and umbrella, for it was
exceedingly hot, I began my march. The way was comfortable enough
after such a voyage as I had been upon, and I reached my old bower
in the evening, where I found everything standing as I left it; for
I always kept it in good order, being, as I said before, my country

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 part
of the day, and with walking the latter part, that I did not wake
thoroughly; but dozing thought I dreamed that somebody spoke to me;
but as the voice continued to repeat, "Robin Crusoe, Robin Crusoe,"
at last I began to wake more perfectly, and was at first dreadfully
frightened, and started up in the utmost consternation; but no
sooner were my eyes open, but I saw my Poll sitting on the top of
the hedge; and immediately knew that it was he that spoke to me;
for just in such bemoaning language I had used to talk to him and
teach him; and he had learned it so perfectly that he would sit
upon my finger, and lay his bill close to my face and cry, "Poor
Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Where have you been? How came you
here?" and such things as I had taught him.

However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that indeed it
could be nobody else, it was a good while before I could compose
myself. First, I was amazed how the creature got thither; and
then, how he should just keep about the place, and nowhere else;
but as I was well satisfied it could be nobody but honest Poll, I
got over it; and holding out my hand, and calling him by his name,
"Poll," the sociable creature came to me, and sat upon my thumb, as
he used to do, and continued talking to me, "Poor Robin Crusoe! and
how did I come here? and where had I been?" just as if he had been
overjoyed to see me again; and so I carried him home along with me.

I had now had enough of rambling to sea for some time, and had
enough to do for many days to sit still and reflect upon the danger
I had been in. I would have been very glad to have had my boat
again on my side of the island; but I knew not how it was
practicable to get it about. As to the east side of the island,
which I had gone round, I knew well enough there was no venturing
that way; my very heart would shrink, and my very blood run chill,
but to think of it; and as to the other side of the island, I did
not know how it might be there; but supposing the current ran with
the same force against the shore at the east as it passed by it on
the other, I might run the same risk of being driven down the
stream, and carried by the island, as I had been before of being
carried away from it: so with these thoughts, I contented myself to
be without any boat, though it had been the product of so many
months' labour to make it, and of so many more to get it into the

In this government of my temper I remained near a year; and lived a
very sedate, retired life, as you may well suppose; and my thoughts
being very much composed as to my condition, and fully comforted in
resigning myself to the dispositions of Providence, I thought I
lived really very happily in all things except that of society.

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

Besides this, I arrived at an unexpected perfection in my
earthenware, and contrived well enough to make them with a wheel,
which I found infinitely easier and better; because I made things
round and shaped, which before were filthy things indeed to look
on. But I think I was never more vain of my own performance, or
more joyful for anything I found out, than for my being able to
make a tobacco-pipe; and though it was a very ugly, clumsy thing
when it was done, and only burned red, like other earthenware, yet
as it was hard and firm, and would draw the smoke, I was
exceedingly comforted with it, for I had been always used to smoke;
and there were pipes in the ship, but I forgot them at first, not
thinking there was tobacco in the island; and afterwards, when I
searched the ship again, I could not come at any pipes.

In my wicker-ware also I improved much, and made abundance of
necessary baskets, as well as my invention showed me; though not
very handsome, yet they were such as were very handy and convenient
for laying things up in, or fetching things home. For example, if
I killed a goat abroad, I could hang it up in a tree, flay it,
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 the receivers of 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; 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 kill any goats. 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 hopes of getting a he-goat; but I
could not by any means bring it to pass, till my kid grew an old
goat; and as I could never find in my heart to kill her, she died
at last of mere age.

But being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and, as I have
said, my ammunition growing low, I set myself to study some art to
trap and snare the goats, to see whether I could not catch some of
them alive; and particularly I wanted a she-goat great with young.
For this purpose I made snares to hamper them; and I do believe
they were more than once taken in them; but my tackle was not good,
for I had no wire, and I 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 those pits I placed hurdles of my own making
too, with a great weight upon them; and several times I put ears of
barley and dry rice without setting the trap; and I could easily
perceive that the goats had gone in and eaten up the corn, for I
could see the marks of their feet. At length I set three traps in
one night, and going the next morning I found them, all standing,
and yet the bait eaten and gone; this was very discouraging.
However, I altered my traps; 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 others 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 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 even 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 learned, that
hunger will tame a lion. If I had let him stay 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.

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 goats' 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 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 in 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 for doing it, my first work was to
find out a proper piece of ground, 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 savannah, 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 by enclosing 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 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 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 stock 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. After that, I enclosed five several pieces of ground to feed
them in, with little pens to drive them to take them as I wanted,
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 the
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 had never
milked a cow, much less a goat, or seen butter or cheese made only
when I was a boy, after a great many essays and miscarriages, made
both butter and cheese at last, also salt (though I found it partly
made to my hand by the heat of the sun upon some of the rocks of
the sea), and never wanted it afterwards. How mercifully can our
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 the
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 my
absolute command; I could hang, draw, give 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! Poll, as if
he had been my favourite, was the only person permitted to talk to
me. My dog, who was now grown old and crazy, and had found no
species to multiply his kind upon, sat always at my right hand; and
two cats, one on one side of the table and one on the other,
expecting now and then a bit from my hand, as a mark of especial

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 hand; but one of them having multiplied by I
know not what kind of creature, these were two which I had
preserved tame; whereas the rest ran wild in 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 anything but society; and of that, some time after
this, I was likely to have too much.

I was something impatient, as I have observed, to have the use of
my boat, though very loath to run any more hazards; and therefore
sometimes I sat contriving 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, following the edge
of the shore. I did so; but had any one in England met such a man
as I was, it must either have frightened him, 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 a 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

I had a short jacket of goat's skin, the skirts coming down to
about the middle of the thighs, and a pair of open-kneed breeches
of the same; the breeches were made of the 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 had made me a pair of somethings, 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 and 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, 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, and 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
scissors 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 at
Sallee, for the Moors did not wear such, though the Turks did; of
these moustachios, or whiskers, I will not say they were long
enough to hang my hat upon them, but they were of a length and
shape monstrous enough, and such as in England would have passed
for frightful.

But all this is by-the-bye; 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 of that. In this kind of dress 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 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 points of the rocks which lay
out, and which I was obliged to double with my boat, as is 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 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 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 forcibly from the west or from the north, this
current came nearer or went farther from the shore; for, waiting
thereabouts till evening, I went up to the rock again, and then the
tide of 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 and 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 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 the 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 provisions,
especially my corn, some in the ear, cut off short from the straw,
and the other rubbed out with my hand.

As for my wall, made, as before, with long stakes 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 land, 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 encircled 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 stakes, but were now grown
very firm and tall, always cut, so 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

Adjoining to this I had my enclosures for my cattle, that is to say
my goats, and I had taken an inconceivable deal of pains to fence
and enclose this ground. I was so anxious 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; 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 that 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 only agreeable,
but medicinal, wholesome, nourishing, and refreshing to the last

As this was also about half-way between my other habitation and the
place where I had laid up my boat, I generally stayed 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, scarcely 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 on the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I
had seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, but I could
hear nothing, nor see anything; 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 print of a foot - toes, heel, and every part of a foot.
How it came thither I knew not, nor could I in the least imagine;
but after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly
confused and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, 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 my
affrighted imagination represented things to me in, how many wild
ideas were found 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 had called a door, I cannot remember; no, nor could I
remember the next morning, for never frightened hare fled to cover,
or fox to earth, with more terror of mind than I to this retreat.

I slept none 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.
Sometimes I fancied it must be the devil, and reason joined in with
me in 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 any other footstep? 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 amusement 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 as 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 a high wind,
would have defaced entirely. All this seemed inconsistent with the
thing itself and with all the 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
then that it must be some more dangerous creature - viz. that it
must be some of the savages of the mainland opposite 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 stayed in this desolate island as I would have been to have
had them.

While these reflections were rolling in my mind, I was very
thankful in my thoughts 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 imagination about their having found out 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 that they should not find me, yet they
would find my enclosure, destroy all my corn, and carry 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; 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
laziness, that 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 different springs are the affections hurried about, as
different 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
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 having set
his foot in the island.

Such is the uneven state of human life; and it afforded me a great
many curious speculations afterwards, 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 that 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 as God, who was not only
righteous but omnipotent, 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 so, 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 to
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. One morning early, lying in my bed, and
filled with thoughts about my danger from the appearances of
savages, I found it discomposed me very much; upon which these
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. In answer, I thankfully laid down the
book, and was no more sad, at least 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 I not 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 try to make stories of spectres and apparitions,
and then are frightened at them more than anybody.

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 provisions; 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. Encouraging myself, therefore, with the
belief that this was nothing but the print of one of my own feet,
and that 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 frightened; and so, indeed, I had. However, I went down
thus two or three days, and having seen nothing, I began to be a
little bolder, 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 anywhere
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.

Oh, 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, lest the enemy should find them, and then frequent the
island in prospect of the same or the like booty: then the simple
thing of digging up my two corn-fields, lest they should find such
a grain there, and still be prompted to frequent the island: then
to demolish my bower and tent, that they might not see any vestiges
of habitation, and be prompted to look farther, in order to find
out the persons inhabiting.

These were the subject of the first night's cogitations after I was
come home again, while the apprehensions which had so overrun my
mind were fresh upon me, and my head was full of vapours. Thus,
fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger
itself, when apparent to the eyes; and we find the burden of
anxiety greater, by much, than the evil which we are anxious about:
and what was worse than all this, I had not that relief in this
trouble that from the resignation I used to practise 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 awake 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 waked much better composed than I had ever been
before. And now I began to think sedately; and, upon debate with
myself, I concluded that this island (which was so exceedingly
pleasant, fruitful, and no farther from the mainland 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 there
fifteen years now and had not met with the least shadow or figure
of any people yet; 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 here upon any
occasion; that the most I could suggest any danger from was from
any 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 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, they wanted but few piles to be driven
between them, that they might 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
everything 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 with
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 had
got seven on shore out of the ship; these I planted like my cannon,
and fitted them into frames, that held them like a carriage, so
that 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 length 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 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, growing so monstrously
thick and strong that it was indeed perfectly impassable: and no
men, of what kind soever, could ever imagine that there was
anything beyond it, much less a habitation. As for the way which I
proposed to 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 doing himself mischief; 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 to me.


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 ready supply to me on every occasion,
and began to be sufficient for me, without the expense of powder
and shot, but also without the fatigue of 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.

For this purpose, after long consideration, I could think of but
two ways to preserve them: one was, to find another convenient
place to dig a cave underground, 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 to raise them again with little trouble and time: and this
though it would require a good 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: 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 piece 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 further delay, I removed ten young she-goats and
two he-goats to this piece, and when they were 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 account of the print of a man's foot; for as
yet I had never seen any human creature come near the island; and I
had now lived two years under this uneasiness, which, indeed, made
my life much less comfortable than it was before, as may be well
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 great impression 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 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
morning; and I must testify, from my experience, that a temper of
peace, thankfulness, love, and affection, is much the more 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
a 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 hold 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 out 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 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 SW. 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
cockpit, where I supposed the savage wretches had sat down to their
human 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 it 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 uncommon violence, I was a
little relieved, but could not bear to stay in the place a moment;
so I got 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
awhile, 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 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 anything here; and having often, no
doubt, been up the covered, woody part of it without finding
anything to their purpose. I knew I had been here now almost
eighteen years, and never saw the least footsteps of human creature
there before; and I might be eighteen years 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 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. I did not so much as
go to look after my boat all this time, but began rather to think
of making 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 these creatures at sea; in which case, 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, being on the
island, should happen to hear it. It was, therefore, a very good
providence to me that I had furnished myself with a tame breed of
goats, and that I had no need to hunt any more about the woods, or
shoot at them; and if I did catch any 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 what 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 also furbished up one
of the great cutlasses that I had out of the ship, and made me a
belt to hang it on 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 broadsword 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 show 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 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
were worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them
with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and

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 only 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 made it work, no
copper or kettle to make it boil; and yet with all these things
wanting, I verily believe, had not the frights and terrors I was in
about the savages intervened, I had undertaken it, and perhaps
brought it to pass too; for I seldom gave anything over without
accomplishing it, when once I had it in my head to began 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 the 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
to prevent their coming hither any more: but all this 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 thought if digging a hole under the place where they
made their fire, and putting 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 unwilling to waste so much powder upon them, my store
being now within the quantity of one 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 shot; 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 imagination 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; but while my mind was thus filled with thoughts of revenge
and a bloody putting twenty or thirty of them to the sword, as I
may call it, the horror I had at the place, and at the signals of
the barbarous wretches devouring one another, abetted my malice.
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 their boats
coming; and might then, even before they would be ready to come on
shore, convey myself unseen into some thickets of trees, in one of
which there was a hollow large enough to conceal me entirely; and
there 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 shot, or that
I could fail wounding three or four of them at the first shot. In
this place, then, I resolved to fulfil 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 a 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 of my design, and in my
imagination put it in practice, I continually made my tour every
morning 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 on the whole
ocean, so far as my eye or glass could reach every way.

As long as I kept 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 which I
had not at all entered into any discussion of in my thoughts, any
farther 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 so for some ages, to act such horrid things,
and receive such dreadful customs, as nothing but nature, entirely
abandoned by 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 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
one upon another; 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 upon one 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; or to eat
human flesh than we do to eat mutton."

When I considered this a little, it followed necessarily that I was
certainly in the wrong; 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 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 although 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, 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 really had 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
idolators and barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous
rites in their 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 by even 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 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 produce 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 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 my design,
and to conclude I had taken wrong measures in my resolution to
attack the savages; and that it was not my business to meddle with
them, unless they first attacked me; and this it was my business,
if possible, to prevent: but that, if I were discovered and
attacked by them, 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 I ought, neither in principle nor in policy, 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 sign for them to guess by that there were any living
creatures upon the island - I mean of human shape. Religion joined
in with this prudential resolution; 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, and
I ought to leave them to the justice of God, who is the Governor of
nations, and knows how, by 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 Him. 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 He 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 the barbarians, or that I might not lay my hands upon them,
unless I had a 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 that 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 whatever. With my boat I carried away everything 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 which, indeed, could not be called
either anchor or grapnel; however, it was the best I could make of
its kind: all these I removed, that there might not be the least
shadow for discovery, or appearance of any boat, or of any human
habitation upon the island. Besides this, I kept myself, as I
said, more retired than ever, and seldom went from my cell except
upon my constant employment, 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 out of danger; for certain, it is that these
savage people, who sometimes haunted this island, never came with
any thoughts of finding anything 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. 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 everywhere, 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 sank 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 should not
only have been unable 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 melancholy, and sometimes it would last a great while; but
I resolved it all at last into thankfulness to that Providence
which had delivered me from so many unseen dangers, and had kept me
from those mischiefs which I could have no way 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 into
my thoughts in former times, 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 that way: nay, when sense, our own
inclination, and perhaps business has called us to go the other
way, yet a strange impression upon the mind, from we know not what
springs, and by we know not what power, shall overrule us to go
this way; and it shall afterwards appear that had we gone that way,
which we should 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 mind to
doing or not doing anything that presented, or going this way or
that way, I never failed to obey the secret dictate; though I knew
no other reason for it than such a pressure or such a 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 see with now. But it is 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 a 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 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 might make should be heard:
much less would I fire a gun for the same reason: and above all I
was intolerably uneasy at making any fire, lest the smoke, which is
visible at a great distance in the day, should betray me. 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 woods; 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 daresay, 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 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 this - 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 for which fire was wanting, without
danger of smoke. But this is by-the-bye. 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 in 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 that I made more haste out than I did in, when
looking farther into the place, and 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 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 to think that he that was afraid to
see the devil was not fit to live twenty years in an island all
alone; and that I might well think there was nothing in this cave
that was more frightful than myself. Upon this, plucking up my
courage, I took up a firebrand, and in I rushed again, with the
stick flaming in my hand: I had not gone three steps in before I
was almost as frightened as 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 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 a 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 everywhere, and was able to protect me, 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 monstrous, frightful old
he-goat, just making his will, as we say, and gasping for life,
and, dying, indeed, of 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, neither round
nor square, no hands having ever been employed in making it but
those of mere Nature. I observed also that there was a place at
the farther side of it that went in further, but was so low that it
required me to creep upon my hands and knees to go into it, and
whither it went I knew not; so, having no candle, I gave it over
for that time, but resolved to go 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 goat's tallow,
but was hard set for candle-wick, using sometimes rags or rope-
yarn, and sometimes the dried rind of a weed like nettles); 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, nor what was beyond it. When I had got through the strait, I
found the roof rose higher up, I believe near twenty feet; but
never was such a glorious sight seen in the island, I daresay, as
it was to look round the sides and roof of this vault or cave - the
wall reflected a 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, though
perfectly dark; the floor was dry and level, and had a sort of a
small loose gravel upon it, so that there was no nauseous or
venomous creature to be seen, neither was there any damp or wet on
the sides or 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 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 in my castle only five, which stood ready mounted like
pieces of cannon on my outmost fence, and were ready also to take
out upon any expedition. Upon this occasion of removing my
ammunition I happened 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 the shell, so that I had near sixty pounds of very good
powder in the centre of the cask. This was a very 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 who 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, that 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 whom 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


I WAS now in the twenty-third year of my residence in this island,
and was so naturalised to the place and the manner of living, that,
could I but have 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 a great deal more pleasantly
with me than it did before - first, I had taught my Poll, as I
noted before, to speak; and he did it so familiarly, 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
have lived afterwards I know not, though I know they have a notion
in the Brazils that they live a hundred years. My dog was a
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, whom I taught to feed out of my hand; and
I had two 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 name I knew not, that 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 he very well contented with the life I led, if I could
have been secured from the dread of the savages. But it was
otherwise directed; and it may not be amiss for all people who
shall meet with my story to make this just observation from it: How
frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil which in itself 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 me to be pretty much abroad in the fields, when, going out
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, toward that part of the island
where I had observed some savages had been, as before, and 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 or improvements, they
would immediately conclude that there were people in the place, and
would then never rest till they had found me out. In this
extremity I went back directly to my castle, pulled up the ladder
after me, and made all things without look as wild and natural as I

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 commend myself to the Divine
protection, and earnestly to pray to God to deliver me out of the
hands of the barbarians. I continued in this posture about two
hours, and began to be impatient for intelligence abroad, for I had
no spies to send out. After sitting a while 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 after me, I set it up again and mounted 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 extremely 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 tell.

They had two canoes with them, which they had hauled up upon the
shore; and as it was then ebb of tide, they seemed to me to wait
for 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 of the island, and so near to me; but when I
considered 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 the flood of
tide, if they were not on shore before; and having made this
observation, I went abroad about my harvest work with the more

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)
away. I should have observed, that for an hour or more before they
went off they were dancing, and I could easily discern their
postures and gestures by my glass. I could not perceive, by my
nicest observation, but that they were stark naked, and had not the
least covering upon them; but whether they were men or women I
could not distinguish.

As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took two guns upon my
shoulders, and two pistols in my girdle, and my great sword by my
side without a scabbard, and with all the speed I was able to make
went away to the hill where I had discovered the first appearance
of all; and as soon as I get thither, which was not in less than
two hours (for I could not go quickly, being so loaded with arms as
I was), I perceived there had been three canoes more of the savages
at that place; and looking out farther, I saw they were all at sea
together, making over for the main. This was a dreadful sight to
me, especially as, 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 now
began to premeditate the destruction of the next that I saw there,
let them be whom or how many soever. It seemed evident to me that
the visits which they made thus 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 neither saw them nor
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 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 a murdering humour, and spent most of
my hours, which should have been better employed, in contriving how
to circumvent and fall upon them the very next time I 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 man-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 these merciless creatures;
and if I did at any time venture abroad, it was not without looking
around 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 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 see
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 unquietly, dreamed always
frightful dreams, and often started out of my sleep in the night.
In the day great troubles overwhelmed my mind; and in the night I
dreamed often of killing the savages and of the reasons why I might
justify doing it.

But to waive all this for a while. It was in the middle of May, on
the sixteenth day, I think, as well as my poor wooden calendar
would reckon, for I marked all upon the post still; I say, it was
on the sixteenth of May that it blew a very great storm of wind all
day, with a great deal of lightning and thunder, and; a very foul
night it was after it. I knew not what was the particular occasion
of it, but as I was reading in the Bible, and taken up with very
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 quite of a 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 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 the very moment that a flash of fire bid me listen
for a second gun, which, accordingly, in about half a minute I
heard; and by the sound, knew that it was from that part of the sea
where I was driven down 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
for signals of distress, and to obtain help. I had the presence of
mind at that minute to think, that though I could not help them, it
might be that 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 burned fairly out; so that I
was certain, if there was any such thing as a ship, they must needs
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 daybreak:
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 a hull I could not distinguish - no, not with my glass: 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 side of the island to
the rocks where I had formerly been carried away by 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 from the most desperate,
hopeless condition that ever I had been in 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 ENE. 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 their firing off 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 endeavoured to make the shore: but
that the sea running 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; particularly by the breaking of the
sea upon their ship, which many times obliged 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 made,
had taken them up, and carried them off. Other times 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.

As all these were but conjectures at best, so, in the condition I
was in, I could do no more than look on upon the misery of the poor
men, and pity them; which had still this good effect upon 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 learned here again to observe, that it is very rare that
the providence of God casts us into any condition 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 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 sign or appearance of any such thing. I cannot explain,
by any possible energy of words, what a strange longing I felt in
my soul upon this sight, breaking out sometimes thus: "Oh that
there had been but one or two, nay, or but one soul saved out of
this 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 the want of it.

There are some secret springs in the affections which, when they
are set a-going by some object in view, or, 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. I believe I repeated the words, "Oh 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 would press the palms of my hands, so that if I had had
any soft thing in my hand I should have crushed it involuntarily;
and the 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 do is to describe the fact, which was even
surprising to me when I found it, though I knew not from whence it
proceeded; it was doubtless the effect of ardent wishes, and of
strong ideas formed in my mind, realising 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, forbade
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 no clothes on 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 pockets 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 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 or
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 everything for my voyage, took a quantity of bread, a
great pot of fresh water, a compass to steer by, a bottle of rum
(for I had still a great deal of that left), and a basket of
raisins; and thus, loading myself with everything necessary. I
went down to my boat, got the water out of her, got her afloat,
loaded all my cargo in her, and then went home again for more. My
second cargo was a great bag of rice, the umbrella to set up over
my head for a shade, another large pot of water, and about two
dozen of 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 carried to my boat; and praying to God to direct my voyage,
I put out, and rowing or paddling the canoe along the shore, came
at last to the utmost point of the island on the north-east side.
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 currents, I should be carried
a great 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 hauled my boat into a little creek on the
shore, I stepped out, and sat down upon a rising bit of 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 come on; upon which my going was impracticable for so
many hours. Upon this, presently it 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
rapidity of the currents. This thought was no sooner in my head
than 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 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 side of the island in my return, and
I should do well enough.

Encouraged by this observation, I resolved the next morning to set
out with the first of the tide; and reposing myself for the night
in my canoe, under the watch-coat I mentioned, I launched out. I
first made a little out to sea, full north, till I began to feel
the benefit of the current, which set eastward, and which carried
me at a great rate; and yet did not so hurry me as the current on
the south side had done before, so as to take from me all
government of the boat; but having a strong steerage with my
paddle, I went 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, jammed in
between two rocks. All the stern and quarter of her were beaten to
pieces by the sea; and as her forecastle, which stuck in the rocks,
had run on with great violence, her mainmast and foremast were
brought by the board - that is to say, broken short off; but her
bowsprit was sound, and the head and bow appeared firm. When I
came close to her, a dog appeared upon her, who, seeing me coming,
yelped and cried; and as soon as I called him, jumped into the sea
to come to me. I took him into the boat, but found him almost dead
with hunger and thirst. I gave him a cake of my bread, and he
devoured it 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; but 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 believe 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 forepart broken off, I am
persuaded I might have made a good voyage; for by what I found in
those two chests I had room to suppose the ship had a great deal of
wealth on board; and, if I may guess from the course she steered,
she must have been bound from Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata,
in the south part of America, beyond the Brazils to the Havannah,
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 anybody;
and what became of the crew 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 the 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 got in my new cave,
and not 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 Brazils; and, in a word, not at all good; but when I came to
open the chests, I found several things of great use to me - 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 neckcloths; the former
were also very welcome, being exceedingly refreshing to wipe my
face in a hot day. Besides this, when I came to the till in the
chest, I found there three great bags of pieces of eight, which
held about eleven hundred pieces in all; and in one of them,
wrapped 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. In
the other chest were some clothes, but of little value; but, by the
circumstances, it must have belonged to the gunner's mate; though
there was no powder in it, except two pounds of fine glazed powder,
in 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 any 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 had none on
my feet for many years. I had, indeed, got two pair of shoes now,
which I took off the feet of 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 ease or service, being rather what we call pumps than
shoes. I found in this seaman's chest about fifty pieces of eight,
in rials, but no gold: I supposed this belonged to a poorer man
than the other, which seemed to belong to some officer. Well,
however, I lugged this money home to my cave, and laid it up, as I
had done that before which I had brought from our own ship; but it
was a great pity, as I said, that the other part of this ship had
not come to my share: for I am satisfied I might have loaded my
canoe several times over with money; and, thought I, if I ever
escape to England, it might lie here safe enough till I come again
and fetch it.


HAVING now brought all my things on shore and secured them, I went
back to my boat, and rowed or 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 everything safe and quiet. I began
now to repose myself, live after my old fashion, and take care of
my family affairs; and for a while 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
verily, if I had had the boat that I went from Sallee in, I should
have ventured to sea, bound anywhere, I knew not whither. I have
been, in all my circumstances, a memento to those who are touched
with the 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 had been the
means of my coming into this miserable condition; for had that
Providence which so happily seated me at the Brazils as a planter
blessed me with confined desires, and I could have been contented
to have gone on gradually, I might have been by this time - I mean
in the time of my being in this island - one of the most
considerable planters in the Brazils - 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 remained, I might
have been worth a hundred thousand moidores - and what business had
I to leave a settled fortune, a 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 door 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 usually the fate of young heads, so
reflection upon the folly of it is as commonly the exercise of more
years, or of the dear-bought experience of time - 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 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 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 there.

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
solitude, I was lying in my bed or hammock, awake, very well in
health, had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness of body, nor any
uneasiness of mind more than ordinary, but 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 impossible 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, with the life 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 shore there; but 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 provided, 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 when
perhaps nothing but the brow of a hill, a great tree, or the casual
approach of night, had been between me and the 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 would
on a goat or turtle; and have thought it no more crime to kill and
devour me than I did of a pigeon or a curlew. I would unjustly
slander myself if I should say I was not sincerely thankful to my
great Preserver, to whose singular protection I acknowledged, with
great humanity, all these unknown deliverances were due, and
without which I must inevitably have fallen into their merciless

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
Governor of all things should give up any of His creatures to such
inhumanity - nay, to something so much below even brutality itself
- as to devour its own kind: but as this ended in some (at that
time) fruitless speculations, it occurred to me to inquire 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 myself
and my business so that I might be able to go over thither, as they
were to come to me?

I never so much as troubled myself to consider what I should do
with myself when I went thither; what would become of me if I fell
into the hands of these savages; or how I should escape them if
they attacked me; no, nor so much as how it was possible for me to
reach the coast, and not to be attacked by some or other of them,
without any possibility of delivering myself: 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 mainland. I looked upon my present
condition as the most miserable that could possibly be; that I was
not able to throw myself into anything but death, that could be
called worse; and if I reached the shore of the main I might
perhaps meet with relief, or I might coast along, as I did on the
African shore, 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 desperate, as it were, 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
obtaining what I so earnestly longed for - somebody to speak to,
and to learn some knowledge from them of the place where I was, and
of the probable means of my deliverance. 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 anything but to 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 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 thoughts of it - threw me into a sound
sleep. One would have thought I should have dreamed of it, but I
did not, nor of anything 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 were
going to kill jumped away, and ran for his life; and 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, showed 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 showed him my
ladder, made him go up, 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 mainland, 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 shun." 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
that it was no more than a dream, were equally extravagant the
other way, and threw me into a very great dejection of spirits.

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion: that my only way to go
about to attempt an escape was, to endeavour to get a savage into
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 myself;
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 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 for 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. My next thing 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 what would be.

With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set myself upon the scout
as often as possible, and indeed so often that I was heartily tired
of it; for it was above a year and a half that I waited; and for
great part of that time went out to the west end, and to the south-
west corner of the island almost every day, to look for canoes, but
none appeared. This was very discouraging, and began to trouble me
much, though I cannot say that it did in this case (as it had done
some time before) 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 so careful to shun the sight of these
savages, and avoid being seen by them, as 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 pleased myself with this affair; but nothing still presented
itself; 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 entertained these notions (and by
long musing had, as it were, resolved them all into nothing, for
want of an occasion to put them into execution), I was surprised
one morning by 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 lay still in my castle, perplexed and
discomforted. However, I put myself into the same position for an
attack that I had formerly provided, and was just ready for action,
if anything 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 meat dressed. How
they had cooked it 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.

While 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 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 and unbound, 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 frightened, I must acknowledge, when I perceived him
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, 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 was not above three men that followed him; and still
more was I encouraged, when I found that he outstripped them
exceedingly in running, and gained ground on them; so that, if he
could but hold out 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 in the first part of my story, where I landed my cargoes out
of the ship; and this I saw plainly 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 with exceeding strength and swiftness.
When the three persons came to the creek, I found that two of them
could swim, but the third could not, and that, standing on the
other side, he looked at the others, but went no farther, and soon
after went softly back again; which, as it happened, was very well
for him in the end. I observed that the two who swam were yet more
than twice as strong swimming over the creek as the fellow was that
fled from them. It came very warmly upon my thoughts, and indeed
irresistibly, that now was the time to get me a servant, and,
perhaps, a companion or assistant; and that I was plainly called by
Providence to save this poor creature's life. I immediately ran
down the ladders with all possible expedition, fetched my two guns,
for they were both at the foot of the ladders, as I observed
before, 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, placed myself in the way between the pursuers and
the pursued, hallowing aloud to him that fled, who, looking back,
was at first perhaps as much frightened 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 known
what to make of it. Having knocked this fellow down, the other who
pursued him stopped, as if he had been frightened, and I advanced
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
obliged 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
frightened 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 still to fly 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 to him 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
had 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 twenty-five 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,
which 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
learned afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp, so
heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will even cut off heads
with them, ay, 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 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 killed the other Indian so far off; so, pointing to him,
he made signs to me to let him go to him; and I bade him go, as
well as I could. When he came to him, he stood like one amazed,
looking at him, turning him first on one side, then on the 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. 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 made signs 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 to him again 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 by the other also;
I believe he had him buried them both in a quarter of an hour.
Then, calling 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, 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, from his running: and having refreshed him, I made signs for
him to go and lie down to sleep, showing him a place where I had
laid some rice-straw, and a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep
upon myself sometimes; so the poor creature lay down, and went to

He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with
straight, strong limbs, not too large; tall, and well-shaped; and,
as I reckon, about twenty-six 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 a 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 an ugly, yellow, nauseous tawny, as the
Brazilians 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 negroes; a very good
mouth, thin lips, and his fine teeth well set, and as white as

After he had slumbered, rather than slept, about half-an-hour, he
awoke again, and came 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 a
great many antic gestures to show 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 he would serve me so 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 let him know his name should be Friday,
which was the day I saved his life: 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 gave him a cake 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 to 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 place, and showed 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 their canoes; so that it was
plain 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 their blood, and
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
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, of whose subjects,
it seems, he had been one, and that they had taken a great number
of prisoners; all which were carried to several places by those who
had taken them in the fight, 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 in a 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 showed 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 he 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, which I found in the wreck, and which, with a little
alteration, fitted him very well; and then I made him a jerkin of
goat's skin, as well as my skill would allow (for I was now grown a
tolerably good tailor); and I gave him a cap which I made of hare's
skin, very convenient, and fashionable enough; and thus he was
clothed, for the present, tolerably well, and was mighty well
pleased to see himself almost as well clothed as his master. It is
true he went awkwardly in these clothes 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, he took to them at length very well.

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. 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 in 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 across with smaller 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 trap-
door, 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 - as to weapons, I took them all into 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 obliged and engaged;
his very affections were tied to me, like those of a child to a
father; and I daresay he would have sacrificed his life to save
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 for 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
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. 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 like 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 sight 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 did
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 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 all are the clay in the hand of
the potter, no vessel could say to him, "Why hast thou formed me

But to return to my new companion. I was greatly delighted with
him, and made it my business to teach him everything that was
proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; but especially to
make him speak, and understand me when I spoke; 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 for me to
talk to him. 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 where 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, nor 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 shot at, or perceive I
had killed it, but ripped up his waistcoat to feel whether 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 the 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 how the
creature was killed, I loaded my gun again. By-and-by I saw a
great fowl, like a hawk, sitting upon a tree within shot; so, to
let Friday understand a little what I would do, I called him to me
again, pointed 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 it fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill
that bird; accordingly, I fired, and bade him look, and immediately
he saw the parrot fall. He stood like one frightened again,
notwithstanding all I had said to him; and I found he was the more
amazed, because he did not see me put anything into the gun, but
thought that there must be some wonderful fund of death and
destruction in that thing, able to kill man, beast, bird, or
anything near or far off; and 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
after; but he would speak to it and talk to it, as if it had
answered him, when he was by himself; which, as I afterwards
learned 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 stayed some time; for
the parrot, not being quite dead, had fluttered away a good
distance 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 to 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 fit
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 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 mouth, 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 into my mouth without salt, and I
pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as much 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 for 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 by roasting a piece of the kid: this I did
by hanging it before the fire on a string, as I had seen many
people do in England, setting two poles up, one on each side of the
fire, and one across 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, as well as he could, he would never eat
man's flesh any more, which I was very glad to hear.

The next day I set him to work 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 worked not only very willingly and very hard, but did it
very cheerfully: and I told 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 everything I had occasion to call for, and of every place I
had to send him to, and talked 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. 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 anything before.

I had a mind once to try if he had any inclination for his own
country again; and having taught him English so well that he could
answer me almost any question, 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

MASTER. - You always fight the better; 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

FRIDAY. - They more many 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

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 have been here (points to the NW. 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 same man-eating occasions 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 this discourse I had 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 wind,
always one way in the morning, the other in the afternoon. This I
understood 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 draft and reflux of the mighty river Orinoco, in the mouth or
gulf of which river, as I found afterwards, our island lay; and
that this land, which I perceived to be W. and NW., 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 Caribbees, which our maps place on
the part of America which reaches from the mouth of the river
Orinoco to Guiana, 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 west 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
all which I understood he meant the Spaniards, whose cruelties in
America had been spread over the whole country, and were remembered
by all the nations from father to son.

I inquired if he could tell me how I might go from this island, and
get among those white men. He told me, "Yes, yes, you may go in
two canoe." I could not understand what he meant, or make him
describe to me what he meant by two canoe, till at last, with great
difficulty, I found he meant it must be in a large boat, as big as
two canoes. This part of Friday's discourse I began to relish 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.

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 creature did not understand me at
all, but thought I had asked who was his father - but I took it up
by another handle, and asked him who made the sea, the ground we
walked on, and the hills and woods. He told me, "It was one
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 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 say O to him." I asked him if the
people who die in his country went away anywhere? He said, "Yes;
they all went to Benamuckee." Then I asked him whether those they
eat 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 up
there, pointing up towards heaven; that He governed the world by
the same power and providence by which He made it; that He was
omnipotent, and could do everything for us, give everything to us,
take everything 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
in 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
them. 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 Oowokakee; that is, as I
made him explain 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 is
priestcraft even among the most blinded, ignorant pagans in the
world; and the policy of making a secret of religion, in order to
preserve the veneration of the people to the clergy, not only to be
found in the Roman, but, perhaps, among all religions 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 spake 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 origin 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, and to
adapt his snares to our inclinations, so as to cause us even to be
our own tempters, and run upon our 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, an overruling, 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 this kind in the notion of an evil spirit, of his
origin, 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 aversion to sin, His being a consuming fire to the workers of
iniquity; how, as He had made us all, He could destroy us and 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," says I, "Friday; God is stronger
than the devil - God is above the devil, and therefore we pray to
God to tread him down under our feet, and enable us to resist his
temptations and quench his fiery darts." "But," says he again, "if
God much stronger, much might as the wicked devil, why God no kill
the devil, so make him no more do wicked?" I was strangely
surprised at this question; and, after all, though I was now an old
man, yet I was but a young doctor, and ill 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 or me, when we do wicked
things here that offend Him - we are preserved to repent and be
pardoned." He mused some time on 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 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 redemption purchased for us; of a Mediator of the 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 something a good 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 so to speak to him from the Word
of God that 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 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
myself in many things that either I did not know or had not fully
considered before, but which occurred naturally to my mind upon
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
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 have been confined to, I had not only been
moved to look up to heaven myself, and to seek the Hand that had
brought me here, 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, in 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 so
often thought the most dreadful of all afflictions that could
possibly have befallen me.

I continued in this thankful frame 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 formed in a sublunary state. This 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, in reading the
Scripture, to let him know, as well as I could, the meaning of what
I read; and he again, by his serious inquiries and questionings,
made me, as I said before, a much better scholar in the Scripture
knowledge than I should ever have been by my own mere 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 same 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 all the disputes, wrangling, strife, and contention which
have happened in the world about religion, whether niceties in
doctrines or schemes of church government, they were all perfectly
useless to us, and, for aught I can yet see, they have been so to
the rest of 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 by His word, leading us into
all truth, and making us both willing and obedient to the
instruction of His word. And I cannot see the least use that the
greatest knowledge of the disputed points of religion, which have
made such confusion 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 pretty
fluently, though in broken English, to me, I acquainted him with my
own history, or at least so much of it as related to my coming to
this place: how I had lived there, and how long; I let him into the
mystery, for such it was to him, of gunpowder and bullet, 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 other

I described to him the country of Europe, 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 parts of
the world. I gave him an account of the wreck which I had been on
board of, and showed him, as near as I could, the place where she
lay; but she was all beaten in pieces before, and gone. I showed
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 their 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 if there were any
white mans, as he called them, in the boat. "Yes," 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; for I presently imagined that
these might be the men belonging to the ship that was cast away in
the sight of my island, as I now called 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 left
them alone, and gave them victuals to live on. 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 no eat 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 upon 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 mainland, 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. "Oh, joy!"
says he; "Oh, 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.
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 again, he would not only forget all his religion but
all his obligation to me, and would be forward enough to give his
countrymen an account of me, and come back, perhaps with a 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 some weeks, I was a little more circumspect,
and not so familiar and kind to him as before: in which I was
certainly wrong too; the honest, grateful creature having no
thought about it but what consisted with the best principles, both
as a religious Christian and as a grateful friend, as appeared
afterwards to my full satisfaction.

While 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 everything 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, no, they no kill me, they willing love
learn." He meant by this, they would be willing to learn. He
added, they learned 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 that 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 go with him.
"I go!" says I; "why, they will eat me if I come there." "No, no,"
says he, "me make they 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 there in distress.

From this time, I confess, I had a mind to venture over, and see if
I could possibly join with those bearded men, who I made no doubt
were Spaniards and 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, alone and 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 water), I brought it out, showed it him, and
we both went into it. I found he was a most dexterous fellow at
managing it, and would make it go almost as swift 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 was too small to go so far.
I then told him 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 there, the sun had so split and dried it, that it was rotten.
Friday told me such a boat would do very well, and would carry
"much enough vittle, drink, bread;" this 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, "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!" says he, repeating the
words several times; "why send Friday home away to my nation?"
"Why," says I, "Friday, did not you say you wished you were there?"
"Yes, yes," says he, "wish we 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?" says I; "what shall 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!"
says I, "thou knowest not what thou sayest; I am but an ignorant
man myself." "Yes, yes," says he, "you teachee me good, you
teachee them good." "No, no, Friday," says 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 to me. "What must I do with this?" says I to him. "You take
kill Friday," says he. "What must 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 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 could 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 attempting my escape, founded on
the supposition gathered from the discourse, that there were
seventeen bearded men there; and therefore, without any more delay,
I went to work with Friday to find out a great tree proper to fell,
and make a large periagua, or canoe, to undertake the voyage.
There were trees enough in the island to have built a little fleet,
not of periaguas or canoes, 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 fustic, or
between that and the Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same
colour and smell. Friday wished to burn the hollow or cavity of
this tree out, to make it for a boat, but I showed him how to cut
it with tools; which, after I had showed 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
showed 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.

When she was in the water, 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, "we venture
over in her very well, though great blow wind." However I had a
further design that he knew nothing of, and that was, to make a
mast and a 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
were 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
six-and-twenty 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 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, as it was such a one as I had to the boat in which I
made my escape from Barbary, as related in the first part of my

I was near two months performing this last work, viz. rigging and
fitting my masts 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, what was more than all, I fixed a
rudder to the stern of her to steer with. I was but a bungling
shipwright, yet as I knew the usefulness and even necessity of such
a thing, I 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; though he knew very well how
to paddle a canoe, he knew nothing of what belonged to a sail and a
rudder; and was the most amazed when he saw me work the boat to and
again in the sea by the rudder, and how the sail jibed, 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 of the compass I could make him
understand very little. 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 the 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.
I went on, however, with my husbandry; digging, planting, and
fencing as usual. I gathered and cured my grapes, and did every
necessary thing as before.

The rainy season was in the meantime upon me, when I kept more
within doors than at other times. We 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 hauling
her up to the shore at high-water mark, I made my man Friday dig a
little dock, just big enough to hold her, and just deep enough to
give her water enough to float in; and then, when the tide was out,
we made a strong dam across 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 by a certain
quantity of provisions, being the stores for our 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 to go to the sea-shore
and see if he could find a turtle or a 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 outer wall or fence, like one that felt not the
ground or the steps he set his foot on; and before I had time to
speak to him he cries out to me, "O master! O master! O sorrow! O
bad!" - "What's the matter, Friday?" says I. "O yonder there,"
says he, "one, two, three canoes; one, two, three!" By this way of
speaking I concluded there were six; but on inquiry I found there
were but three. "Well, Friday," says I, "do not be frightened."
So I heartened him up as well as I could. However, I saw the poor
fellow was most terribly scared, for nothing ran in his head but
that they were come to look for him, and would cut him in pieces
and eat him; and the poor fellow trembled so that I scarcely 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," says 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 bid 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 we had drunk it, I made him take the two fowling-
pieces, which we always carried, and loaded 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 had
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 almost close down to the sea. This, with the abhorrence of
the inhuman errand these wretches came about, filled me with such
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 had now got 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 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 guns 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 bullets; and as to orders, I charged him
to keep close behind me, and not to stir, or shoot, or do anything
till I bid him, and in the meantime 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 could
come within shot of them before I should 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 as a
people for national crimes, but that, in the meantime, 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
particular people, and it was lawful for him to attack them - but I
could not say the same with regard to myself. These things were so
warmly pressed upon my thoughts all the way as I went, that I
resolved I would only go and 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 skirts 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 showing 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 their 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 this fired the very soul within me. He told me it
was not one of their nation, but one of the bearded men he had told
me of, that came to their country in the boat. I was filled with
horror at the very naming of 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

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 a 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 to the other tree, and then 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 stooping 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," says 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 to do the like; then asking
him if he was ready, he said, "Yes." "Then fire at them," said I;
and at 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 that were not hurt jumped
upon their feet, but did not immediately 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 saw me cock and present; he did the same
again. "Are you ready, Friday?" said I. "Yes," says he. "Let
fly, then," says 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 loaded 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
most of them miserably wounded; whereof three more fell quickly
after, though not quite dead.

"Now, Friday," says I, laying down the discharged pieces, and
taking up the musket which was yet loaded, "follow me," which he
did with a great deal of courage; upon which I rushed out of the
wood and showed 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 seaside, 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 nearer them, he shot at them; and
I thought he had killed them all, for I saw them all fall of a 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, Espagniole; 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," 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 frightened 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 at 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 weapon that was to have killed him before,
if I had not prevented it. The Spaniard, who was as bold and brave
as could be imagined, though weak, had fought the Indian a good
while, and had cut 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 the sword, drew the
pistol from his girdle, shot the savage through the body, and
killed him upon the spot, before I, who was running to help him,
could come near him.

Friday, being now left to his liberty, pursued the flying wretches,
with no weapon in his hand but his hatchet: and with that he
despatched 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
had plunged himself into the sea, and swam with all his might off
to those two who were left in the canoe; which three in the canoe,
with one wounded, that we knew not whether he died or no, were all
that escaped our hands of one-and-twenty. The account of the whole
is as follows: Three killed at our first shot from the tree; two
killed at the next shot; two killed by Friday in the boat; two
killed by Friday of those at first wounded; one killed by Friday in
the wood; three killed by the Spaniard; four killed, being found
dropped here and there, of the wounds, or killed by Friday in his
chase of them; four escaped in the boat, whereof one wounded, if
not dead - twenty-one in all.

Those that were in the canoe worked hard to get out of gun-shot,
and though Friday made two or three shots 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 news home to their people, they
should come back perhaps with two or three hundred of the canoes
and devour us by mere multitude; 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, bound hand and foot, as the
Spaniard was, for the slaughter, and almost dead with fear, not
knowing what was the matter; 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 but 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 look 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, sang; then cried again, wrung his hands, beat
his own face and head; and then sang 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 is 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 head close to his bosom for many
minutes 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 affair put an end to our pursuit of the canoe with the other
savages, who were now 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 got 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 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." I then 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 two or three bunches of
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, for he was the
swiftest fellow on 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 out 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 slacker, because he had something in his hand. 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 got 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 of it. The water revived his father more than all
the rum or spirits I had given him, for he was fainting with

When his father had drunk, I called to 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 up 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, turn 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
then I spoke to the Spaniard to let Friday help him up if he could,
and lead him to the boat, and then he should carry him to our
dwelling, where I would take care of him. But Friday, a lusty,
strong fellow, took the Spaniard 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 lifting
him quite in, he 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, ran 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

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
both up 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 them 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, which I frequently made,
how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country was my
own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion.
Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected - I was absolutely
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 was a Pagan and a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist.
However, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions.
But this is 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; when I cut off the
hinder-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; 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 own dinner also with them, and, as well as I could,
cheered them and encouraged them. Friday was 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 firearms,
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. I also ordered him to bury the horrid remains of their
barbarous feast, which I could not think of doing myself; nay, I
could not bear to see them if I went that way; all which he
punctually performed, and effaced 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 we
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 frightened with the manner of
their being attacked, the noise, and the fire, that he believed
they would tell the people they were all killed by thunder and
lightning, 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, one
to another; for it was impossible for them to conceive that a man
could 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
never attempted to go over to the island afterwards, they were so
terrified with the accounts given by those 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, with
all my army: for, as there were now four of us, I would have
ventured upon a hundred of them, fairly in the open field, at any


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 with some food.

I asked him what he thought would become of them there, and if they
had formed any design of making their escape. He said they had
many consultations about it; but that having neither vessel nor
tools to build one, nor provisions of any kind, their councils
always ended in tears and despair. I asked him how he thought they
would receive a 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 made 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 barque large enough to carry us all away,
either to the Brazils 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 ingenuousness, that
their condition was so miserable, and that 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
should be absolutely under my direction as their commander and
captain; and 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 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 orders; and that he would take my side to the last
drop of his 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 nor 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 this Spaniard over to them
to treat. But when we had got 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, though it was more
than sufficient for myself, yet it was not sufficient, without good
husbandry, for my family, now it was increased to four; but much
less would it be sufficient if his countrymen, who were, as he
said, sixteen, 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 advisable to let him and the
other two dig and cultivate some more land, as much as I 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 for 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 got as much land cured and trimmed up as we sowed two-and-
twenty bushels of barley on, and sixteen jars of rice, which was,
in short, all the seed we had to spare: indeed, we left ourselves
barely 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 numbers 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,
whenever we found occasion; and as 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. For this purpose I marked out several
trees, which I thought fit for our work, and I set Friday and his
father to cut 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 made about a dozen large planks, of good oak, near two
feet broad, thirty-five feet long, and from two inches to four
inches thick: what prodigious labour it took up any one may

At the same time I contrived to increase my little flock of tame
goats as much as I could; and for this purpose I made Friday and
the Spaniard 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 could have
filled sixty or eighty barrels; and these, with our bread, formed a
great part of our food - very good living too, I assure you, for
they are exceedingly nourishing.

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 thrashed 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, any part of America.
When we had thus housed and secured our magazine of corn, we fell
to work to make more wicker-ware, 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 I
expected, I gave the Spaniard leave to go over to the main, to see
what he could do with those he had left behind him there. I gave
him a strict charge not to bring any man who would not first swear
in the presence of himself and the old savage that he would in no
way injure, fight with, or attack the person he should find in the
island, who was so kind as to send for them in order to their
deliverance; but that they would stand by him 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 in their hands. How they were to have done
this, when I knew they had neither pen nor ink, 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 have 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 all the Spaniards -
for about eight days' time; and wishing them a good voyage, I saw
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 full, by my
account in the month of October; but as for an 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 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 had waited for them, 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, 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 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 bade him lie close, for these were not the
people we looked for, and that we might 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 anything, and to take my view
the plainer without being discovered. I had scarce set my foot
upon the hill when my eye plainly discovered a ship lying at
anchor, at about two leagues and a half distance from me, SSE., 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 that 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 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 in
distress; and that if they were really English 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

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 it from whence it will, I had been done
inevitably, and in a far worse condition than before, as you will
see presently. I had not kept myself long in this posture till 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 ran 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 at my door, as I may say,
and would soon have 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 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 prisoner
as well as savage mans." "Why, Friday," says I, "do you think they
are going to eat them, then?" "Yes," says Friday, "they will eat
them." "No no," says 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
the Spaniard, and the savage that had gone with him, or that I had
any way to have come undiscovered within shot of them, that I might
have secured the three men, for I saw no firearms 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 run scattering about the island, as if they
wanted to see the country. I observed that the three other men had
liberty to go also where they pleased; but they sat down all three
upon the ground, very pensive, and looked like men in despair.
This put me in mind of the first 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 tide, 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 that 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
deliverance than they imagine; nay, are even brought to their
deliverance by the means by which they seem to be brought to their

It was just at high-water when these people came on shore; and
while they rambled about to see what kind of a place they were in,
they had carelessly stayed 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 drunk
a little too much brandy, fell asleep; however, one of them waking
a little sooner than the other and finding the boat too fast
aground for him to stir it, hallooed out 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 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 forethought, 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 you? 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 very close, not
once daring to stir out of my castle any farther 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 knew it was no less than ten
hours before the boat could float again, and by that time it would
be dark, and I might be at more 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 have
mentioned, a naked sword by my side, 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 they were all gone straggling into the woods, and, as
I thought, laid down to sleep. The three poor distressed men, too
anxious for their condition to get any sleep, had, however, sat
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 as above, my
man Friday at a 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 surprised at me; perhaps you may
have a friend near 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 to help you? for you seem to
be in some great distress. I saw you when you landed; and when you
seemed to make application 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 clothed, and armed after another manner than you see
me; 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, sir," said he, "is too long to tell you
while our murderers are so near us; but, in short, sir, I was
commander of that ship - my men have mutinied against me; they have
been hardly prevailed on not to murder 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 passenger - where we expected to perish,
believing the place to be uninhabited, and know not yet what to
think of it." "Where are these brutes, your enemies?" said I; "do
you know where they are gone? There they lie, 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 firearms?" said I. He answered,
"They had only two pieces, one of 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 show 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 distinguish them, but he would obey my orders in
anything I would direct. "Well," says I, "let us retreat out of
their view or hearing, lest 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 everything; and if
the ship was not recovered, he would live and die 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; first,
that while you stay in this island with me, you will not pretend to
any authority here; and if I put arms in 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 meantime be governed by my
orders; secondly, 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 assurances that the invention or faith of 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 showed all the
testimonies of his gratitude that he was able, but offered to be
wholly guided by me. I told him I thought it was very hard
venturing anything; but the best method I could think of was to
fire on 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," says 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 heads of the mutiny? He said, "No." "Well,
then," said I, "you may let them escape; and Providence seems to
have awakened them on purpose to save themselves. Now," says 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 a pistol in his
belt, and his two comrades with him, with each a piece in his hand;
the two men who were with him going first made some noise, at which
one of the seamen who was awake turned about, and seeing them
coming, cried out to the rest; but 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 villainy, 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 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 an 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 that I obliged him to keep them bound hand and foot
while they were on 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 sails,
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 the captain, who was before 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 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 apartment,
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
showed them all the contrivances I had made during my long, long
inhabiting that place.

All I showed 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 been
now planted nearly twenty years, and the trees growing much faster
than in England, was become a little wood, 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. I told him this 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 show 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 measures 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
subdued they would 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 on what he had said, and found it was a very
rational conclusion, and that therefore something was to be
resolved on 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 look for them, and that then, perhaps, they might
come armed, and be too strong for us: this he allowed to be
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 of, and taking everything out of her, leave 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, a 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 away before), 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 able to recover the ship;
but my view was, that if they went away without the boat, I did not
much question to make her again fit to carry as 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 upon the beach, so high that the tide
would not float her off at high-water mark, and besides, had broke
a hole in her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and were set
down musing what we should do, we heard the ship fire a gun, and
make a waft with her ensign 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
firing proved fruitless, and they found the boat did not stir, we
saw them, by the help of my 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 firearms with

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full
view of them as the came, and a plain sight 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, there were
three very honest fellows, who, he was sure, were led into this
conspiracy by the rest, being over-powered and frightened; but that
as 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 operation of fear; that seeing almost
every condition that could be was better than that which 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, "there seems to be but one thing amiss in all the prospect
of it." "What is that?" say she. "Why," said I, "it is, 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 that
comes ashore is 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

We had, upon the first appearance of the boat's coming from the
ship, considered of separating our prisoners; and we 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 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 sentinel over them
at the entrance.

The other prisoners had better usage; two of them were kept
pinioned, indeed, because the captain was not able to trust them;
but the other two were taken into my service, upon the 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 should be able to deal well
enough with the ten that were 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 their 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 a
while 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 that the men were all murdered, and
the long-boat staved; accordingly, they immediately launched their
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 over 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 frightened the other way.

They had not been long put off with the boat, when we perceived
them all coming on shore again; but with this new measure in their
conduct, which it seems 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, as our
seizing those seven men on shore would be no advantage to us if we
let the boat escape; because they would 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 should have been very glad if they would have come nearer us, so
that we might have fired at them, or that they would have gone
farther off, that we might come abroad. But when they were come to
the brow of the hill where they could see a great way into the
valleys 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 it. Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as
the other part 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

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
discharged, and they would certainly yield, and we should have them
without bloodshed. I liked this proposal, provided it was done
while we were near enough to come up to them before they could load
their pieces again. But this event did not happen; and we lay
still a long time, very irresolute what course to take. At length
I told them there would be nothing done, in my opinion, till night;
and then, if they did not return to the boat, perhaps we might find
a way to get between them and the shore, and so might use some
stratagem with them in the boat to get them on shore. We waited a
great while, though very impatient for their removing; and were
very uneasy when, after long consultation, we saw them all start up
and march down towards the sea; it seems they had such dreadful
apprehensions of the danger of the place that they resolved to go
on board the ship again, give their companions over for lost, and
so go on with their intended voyage with the ship.

As soon as I perceived them go towards the shore, I imagined it to
be as it really was that they had given over their search, and were
going back again; and the captain, as soon as I told him my
thoughts, was ready to sink at the apprehensions of it; but I
presently thought of a stratagem to fetch them back again, and
which answered my end to a tittle. I ordered Friday and the
captain's mate to go over the little creek westward, towards the
place where the savages came on shore, when Friday was rescued, and
so soon as they came to a little rising round, at about half a mile
distant, I bid them halloo out, as loud as they could, and wait
till they found the seamen heard them; that as soon as ever they
heard the seamen answer them, they should return it again; and
then, keeping out of sight, take a round, always answering when the
others hallooed, to draw them as far into the island and among the
woods as possible, and then wheel about again to me by such ways as
I directed them.

They were just going into the boat when Friday and the mate
hallooed; and they presently heard them, and answering, ran along
the shore westward, towards the voice they heard, when they were
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 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 surprised the two men
before they were aware - one of them lying on the 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 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. They 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 sincerely with us. In the meantime,
Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their business with
the rest that they drew them, by hallooing 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 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 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 one to another in a most lamentable manner, telling one
another they were got into an enchanted island; that either there
were inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered, or else
there were devils and 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 sometimes they
would go and sit down in the boat to rest themselves: then come
ashore again, and walk about again, and so the same thing over
again. My men would fain have had me give them leave to fall upon
them at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some
advantage, so as to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could;
and especially I was unwilling to hazard the killing of any of our
men, knowing the others 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 when the boatswain, who was
the principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shown 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 this 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 we 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 perhaps might 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, "Is that
Robinson?" for it seems he knew the 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's our captain and fifty men with him, have been hunting you
these two hours; the boatswain is killed; Will Fry is wounded, and
I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield you are all lost." "Will
they give us quarter, then?" says Tom Smith, "and we will yield."
"I'll go and ask, if you promise to yield," said 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 all been as bad as I:" which,
by the way, was not true; 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, with those three, were in
all but eight, came up and seized upon them, and upon their boat;
only that I kept myself and one more out of sight for reasons of

Our next work was to repair the boat, and think of seizing the
ship: and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley with
them, he expostulated with them upon the villainy of their
practices with him, and upon the further 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 not 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
it was inhabited, and that the governor was an Englishman; that he
might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he 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 but 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, 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 coming." This more
perfectly amazed them, and they all believed that the commander was
just by, with his fifty men. Upon the captain 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 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 not 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; but that if they would join in so just an attempt as to
recover the ship, he would have the governor's engagement for their

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 as 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
those five, and tell them, that they might see he did not want men,
that 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 on the shore.
This looked severe, and convinced them that the governor was in
earnest; however, they had no way 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: first, the
captain, his mate, and passenger; second, the two prisoners of the
first gang, to whom, having their character from the captain, I had
given their liberty, and trusted them with arms; third, the other
two that I had kept till now in my bower, pinioned, but on the
captain's motion had now released; fourth, these five released at
last; so that there 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; but 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 in 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 them.

When I showed 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 they should not
stir anywhere but by my direction; that if they did, they would be
fetched into the castle, and be laid in irons: so that as we never
suffered them to see me as governor, 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 of the men; and himself, his
mate, and five more, went in the other; and they contrived their
business very well, for they came up to the ship about midnight.
As soon as they came within call of the ship, he made Robinson hail
them, and tell them they 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 butt-end of
their muskets, being very faithfully seconded by their men; they
secured all the rest that were upon the main and quarter decks, and
began to fasten the hatches, to keep them down that were below;
when the other boat and their men, entering at the forechains,
secured the forecastle of the ship, and the scuttle which went down
into the cook-room, making three men they found there prisoners.
When this was done, and all safe upon deck, the captain ordered the
mate, with three men, to break into the round-house, where the new
rebel captain lay, who, having taken the alarm, had got up, and
with two men and a boy had got firearms in their hands; and when
the mate, with a crow, split open 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 bullet entering at his mouth, and
came out again behind one of his ears, so that he never spoke a
word more: upon which the rest yielded, and the ship was taken
effectually, without any more lives 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
o'clock in the morning. Having thus heard the signal plainly, I
laid me down; and it having been a day of great fatigue to me, I
slept very sound, till I was 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 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 the little creek; and the tide
being up, the captain had brought the pinnace in near the place
where I had 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 him 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 had drunk
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 time 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 and 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 out into tears, and in a little while
after I recovered my speech; I then took my turn, and embraced him
as my deliverer, and we rejoiced together. I told him I looked
upon him as a man sent by 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 eye 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 me
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 a while, the captain told me he had brought me
some little refreshment, such as the ship afforded, and such as the
wretches that had been so long his masters had not plundered him
of. Upon this, he called aloud to the boat, and bade his men bring
the things ashore that were for the governor; and, indeed, it was a
present as if I had been one that was not to be carried away with
them, but as if I had been to dwell upon the island still. 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 each), 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 also brought me 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
new clean shirts, six very good neckcloths, two pair of gloves, one
pair of shoes, a hat, and one pair of stockings, with 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 one may imagine, to one in my
circumstances, but never was anything in the world of that kind so
unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy as it was to me to wear such
clothes at first.

After these ceremonies were past, and after all his good 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 with us or no, especially two
of them, whom he 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 to; and I found that the captain
himself was very anxious about it. Upon this, I told him that, if
he desired it, I would undertake to bring the two men he spoke of
to make it 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," says I, "I will send for them up 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 got a full account of their villainous behaviour to
the captain, and how they had run away with the ship, and were
preparing to commit further robberies, but that Providence had
ensnared them in their own ways, and that they were fallen into the
pit which they had dug for others. I let them know that by my
direction the ship had 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 villainy, and that they would 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 but I had authority so 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 show 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 to 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 what was best for them, unless they had a mind to take
their fate in the island. If they desired that, as I had liberty
to leave the island, I had some inclination to give them their
lives, if they thought they could shift on shore. They seemed very
thankful for it, and said they would much rather venture to stay
there than 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 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
it 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 would leave them some firearms, 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
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 next day for me; ordering him, at all events, 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 on their
circumstances. I told them I thought they had made a right choice;
that if the captain had carried them away they would certainly be
hanged. I showed them the new 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; showed
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 also of the seventeen Spaniards
that were to be expected, for whom I left a letter, and made them
promise to treat them in common with themselves. Here it may be
noted that the captain, who had ink on board, was greatly surprised
that I never hit upon a way of making ink of charcoal and water, or
of something else, as I had done things much more difficult.

I left them my firearms - viz. five muskets, three fowling-pieces,
and three swords. I had above a barrel and a half 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, and to make both butter and
cheese. In a word, I gave them every part of my own story; and
told them I should prevail with the captain to leave them two
barrels of gunpowder more, and some garden-seeds, 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 the 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, the boat was ordered 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 power to send any 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, as also the money I found in the wreck
of the Spanish ship. And thus I left the island, the 19th 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 this second captivity the same day of
the month that I first made my escape in the long-boat from among
the Moors of Sallee. In this vessel, after a long voyage, I
arrived in England the 11th of June, in the year 1687, having been
thirty-five years absent.

When I came to England I was as perfect a stranger to all the world
as if I had never been known there. My benefactor and faithful
steward, whom I had left my money in trust with, 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 very easy as to what
she owed me, assuring her I would give her no trouble; but, on the
contrary, in gratitude for 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
proper 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 the 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 the subject, and a present of almost
200 pounds sterling.

But after making several reflections upon the circumstances of my
life, and how little way this would go towards settling me in the
world, I resolved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not come at
some information of the state of my plantation in the Brazils, and
of what was become of my partner, who, I had reason to suppose, had
some years past 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
going to sea, having put his son, who was far from a young man,
into his ship, and who still used the Brazil trade. The old man
did not know me, and indeed I hardly knew him. But I soon brought
him to my remembrance, and as soon brought myself to his
remembrance, when I told him who I was.

After some passionate expressions of the old acquaintance between
us, I inquired, you may he sure, after my plantation and my
partner. The old man told me he had not been in the Brazils 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 cognisance of my part were both dead: that, however, he
believed 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 he assured me that the
steward of the king's revenue from lands, and the providore, 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 had duly received 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 any
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 grown exceeding
rich upon the enjoying his part 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 country; 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
for about twelve years.

I showed 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,

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 death; and, 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 call the
sugar-house), and have given his son, who was now at the Brazils,
orders 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, believing you were lost, and all the world
believing so also, your partner and trustees did offer to account
with me, in your name, for the first six or eight years' profits,
which I received. There being at that time 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' further conference with this ancient friend, he
brought me an account of the first six years' income of my
plantation, signed by my partner and the merchant-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 disbursements 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 having 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 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 one hundred and sixty Portugal moidores in
gold; and giving the writings of his title to the ship, which his
son was gone to the Brazils in, of which he was quarter-part owner,
and his son another, he puts them both into 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 had said to me;
therefore 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.

Everything the good man said was full of affection, and I could
hardly refrain from tears while he spoke; 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 that 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 asked me if he should put me into 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 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 Brazil, 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 a
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

Never was anything 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, for 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 one thousand one hundred and seventy-four 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 called civil death; and the balance of this, the value
of the plantation increasing, amounted to nineteen thousand four
hundred and forty-six crusadoes, being about three thousand two
hundred and forty moidores.

Thirdly, there was the Prior of St. Augustine's account, who had
received the profits for above fourteen years; but not being able
to account for what was disposed of by the hospital, very honestly
declared he had eight hundred and seventy-two moidores not
distributed, which he acknowledged to my account: as to the king's
part, that refunded nothing.

There was a letter of my partner's, congratulating me very
affectionately upon my being alive, giving me an account how the
estate was improved, and what it produced a year; with the
particulars 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 meantime to give him orders to whom he should deliver my
effects if I did not come myself; concluding with a hearty tender
of his friendship, and that of his family; and sent me as a present
seven fine leopards' skins, which he had, it seems, received from
Africa, by some other ship that he had sent thither, and which, it
seems, had made a better voyage than I. He sent me also five
chests of excellent sweetmeats, and a hundred pieces of gold
uncoined, not quite so large as moidores. By the same fleet my two
merchant-trustees shipped me one thousand two hundred chests of
sugar, eight hundred 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 the flutterings of
my very heart when I found all my wealth about me; for as the
Brazil 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 surprise 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 verify
believe, if I had not been eased by a vent given in that manner to
the spirits, I should have died.

I was now master, all on a sudden, of above five thousand pounds
sterling in money, and had an estate, as I might well call it, in
the Brazils, 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 myself 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 showed him all that was sent to me; I
told him that, next to the providence of Heaven, which disposed 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
from the four hundred and seventy moidores, which he had
acknowledged he owed me, in the fullest and firmest manner
possible. After which I caused a procuration to be drawn,
empowering him to be the receiver of the annual profits of my
plantation: and appointing my partner to account with him, and make
the returns, by the usual fleets, to him in my name; and by a
clause in the end, made a grant of one hundred moidores a year to
him during his life, out of the effects, and fifty moidores a year
to his son after him, for his life: and thus I requited my old man.

I had 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
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 not 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 anybody would
meddle with it; on the contrary, I knew not where to put it, or
whom 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 Brazils 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 aught I knew, might be in debt: so that, in a word, I had
no way but to go back to England myself and take my effects with

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 the 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, a 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 a
hundred pounds each, 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 Brazils, and leave things safe behind me; and this
greatly perplexed me.

I had once a mind to have gone to the Brazils and have settled
myself there, for I was, as it were, naturalised to the place; but
I had some little scruple in my mind about religion, which
insensibly drew me back. However, it was not religion that kept me
from going there 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 having professed
myself a Papist, and thought it might not be the best religion to
die with.

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

In order to prepare things for my going home, I first (the Brazil
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 were 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 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
broadcloth, the best I could get in Lisbon, five pieces of black
baize, 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 the sea at that
time, and yet 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, having put my things on board one of them, and in the
other having agreed with the captain; I say two of these ships
miscarried. One was taken by the Algerines, and the other was lost
on the Start, near Torbay, and all the people drowned except three;
so that in either of those vessels I had been made miserable.

Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my old pilot, to whom I
communicated everything, pressed me earnestly not to go by 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 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 more
English merchants also, and two young Portuguese gentlemen, the
last going to Paris only; so that in all there were 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 on the road.

In this manner I set out from Lisbon; and our company being 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 origin of
the whole journey.

As I have troubled you with none of my sea journals, so I shall
trouble you now 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 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
falling 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 to countries where
I could scarce bear any clothes on, the cold was insufferable; nor,
indeed, was it more painful than surprising to come but ten days
before out of Old Castile, where the weather was not only warm but
very hot, and immediately to feel a wind from the Pyrenean
Mountains so very keen, so severely cold, as to be intolerable and
to endanger benumbing and perishing of our fingers and toes.

Poor Friday was really frightened 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, when 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; for,
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 the northern
countries, there was no going without being in danger of being
buried alive every step. We stayed 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 the memory of man) I proposed that we should
go away to Fontarabia, and there take shipping for Bordeaux, which
was a very little voyage. But, while I was 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; for 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 ourselves from wild
beasts; for, he said, in these 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 insure 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 that 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 set out from Pampeluna with our guide on the 15th
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, about 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 his left, he approached the
mountains another way; and though it is true the hills and
precipices looked dreadful, yet he made so many tours, such
meanders, and led us by such winding ways, that we insensibly
passed the height of the mountains without being much encumbered
with the snow; and all on a sudden he showed us the pleasant and
fruitful provinces of Languedoc and Gascony, all green and
flourishing, though at a great distance, and we had some rough way
to pass still.

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.

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, from a hollow way adjoining to a
thick wood; two of the wolves made at the guide, and had he been
far before us, he would have been devoured before we could have
helped him; one of them fastened upon his horse, and the other
attacked the man with such violence, that he had not time, or
presence of mind enough, to draw his pistol, but hallooed and cried
out to us most lustily. My man Friday being next me, I bade him
ride up and see what was the matter. As soon as Friday came in
sight of the man, he hallooed out as loud as the other, "O master!
O master!" but like a bold fellow, rode directly up to the poor
man, and with his pistol shot the wolf in the head that attacked

It was happy for the poor man that it was my man Friday; for,
having been used to such creatures in his country, he had no fear
upon him, but went close up to him and shot him; whereas, any other
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 most dismal howling of
wolves; and the noise, redoubled by the echo of the mountains,
appeared to us as if there had been a prodigious number of them;
and perhaps there was not such a few as that we had no cause of
apprehension: however, as Friday had killed this wolf, the other
that had fastened upon the horse left him immediately, and fled,
without doing him any damage, having happily fastened upon his
head, where the bosses of the bridle had stuck in his teeth. But
the man was most hurt; for the raging creature had bit him twice,
once in the arm, and the other time a little above his knee; and
though he had made some defence, he was just tumbling down by the
disorder of his 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 rode 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
clearly 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, who 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
(he does not usually attempt them, except they first attack him,
unless he be excessively hungry, which it is probable might now be
the case, the ground being covered with snow), if you do not meddle
with him, he will not meddle with you; but then you must take care
to be very civil to him, and give him the road, for he is a very
nice gentleman; he will not go a step out of his 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; but if you
throw or toss anything at him, though it were but a bit of stick as
big as your finger, he thinks himself abused, and sets all other
business aside to pursue his revenge, and will have satisfaction in
point of honour - that is his first quality: the next is, if he be
once affronted, he will never leave you, night or day, till he has
his revenge, but follows at a good round rate till he overtakes

My man Friday had delivered our guide, and when we came up to him
he was helping him off his horse, for the man was both hurt and
frightened, when on a sudden we espied the bear come out of the
wood; and a 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 well pleased. "You fool,"
says I, "he will eat you up." - "Eatee me up! eatee me up!" says
Friday, twice over again; "me eatee him up; me makee you good
laugh; you all stay here, me show you good laugh." So down he
sits, and gets off his boots in a moment, and puts on a pair of
pumps (as we call the flat shoes they wear, and which he had in his
pocket), 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 with
you." We followed at a distance, for now being down on the Gascony
side of the mountains, we were entered a vast forest, where the
country was plain and pretty open, though it had 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 took up a great stone, and
threw it 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 show us some laugh as he
called it. As soon as the bear felt the blow, and saw him, he
turns about and comes after him, taking very long strides, and
shuffling on at a strange rate, so as would have put a horse to a
middling gallop; away reins 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 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 ran away; and I called out, "You dog! is
this your making us laugh? Come away, and take your horse, that we
may shoot the creature." He heard me, and cried out, "No shoot, no
shoot; stand still, and you get much laugh:" and as the nimble
creature ran two feet for the bear's one, he turned on a sudden on
one side of us, and seeing a great oak-tree fit for his purpose, he
beckoned to us to follow; and doubling his pace, he got 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 at 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 anything to laugh at, till seeing the bear get up the tree, we
all rode near to him.

When we came to the tree, there was Friday got out to the small end
of a large branch, 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 began 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
seeing him stand still, he called out to him again, as if he had
supposed the bear could speak English, "What, you come no farther?
pray you come farther;" so he left jumping and shaking the tree;
and the bear, just as if he understood what he said, did come a
little farther; then he began jumping again, and the bear stopped
again. We thought now was a good time to knock him in the head,
and called to Friday to stand still and we should shoot the bear:
but he cried out earnestly, "Oh, pray! Oh, 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, 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 go out far enough to be thrown down, but
clung fast with his great broad claws and feet, so that we could
not imagine what would be the end of it, and what 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," says Friday, "you no come farther,
me go; you no come to me, me come to you;" and upon this he went
out to the smaller end, where it would bend with his weight, and
gently let 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,
took it up, and stood 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; for when the bear saw his
enemy gone, he came back from the bough, where he stood, but did it
very cautiously, 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, very leisurely. At this juncture,
and just before he could set his hind foot on the ground, Friday
stepped up close to him, clapped the muzzle of his piece into his
ear, and shot him dead. Then the rogue turned about to see if we
did not laugh; and when he saw we were pleased by our looks, he
began to laugh very loud. "So we kill bear in my country," says
Friday. "So you kill them?" says I; "why, you have no guns." -
"No," says he, "no gun, but shoot great much long arrow." This was
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 anything 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
near 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, and our guide told us if there
were 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
wood, and a little after sunset when 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 out of sight in a few moments. Upon
this, our guide, who, by the way, was but a fainthearted fellow,
bid 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 him, but picking 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 had not gone half over the plain
when we began to hear the wolves howl in the wood 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 then that those that had
fired at first should not pretend to load their fusees again, but
stand ready, every one with a pistol, for we were all armed with a
fusee and a pair of pistols each man; so we were, by this method,
able to fire six volleys, 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 the
company to halloo as loud as they could; and I found the notion not
altogether mistaken; for upon our shout they began to retire and
turn about. I then 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 going; but we had but little more
than loaded our fusees, and put ourselves in 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 light began to be dusky, which
made it 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 three troops of
wolves, one on our left, one behind us, and one in 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 hard
trot. In this manner, we came in view of the entrance of a wood,
through which we were to pass, at the farther side of the plain;
but we were greatly surprised, when coming nearer the lane or pass,
we saw a confused number of wolves standing just at the entrance.
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: the horse had the advantage 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: no question but
they did.

But here we had a most horrible sight; for riding up to the
entrance where the horse came out, we found the carcasses of
another horse and of two men, devoured by the ravenous creatures;
and one of the men was no doubt the same whom we heard fire the
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 was 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 lay 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
those 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 with a growling kind of 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. I ordered our men to fire as before, every other man; and they
took their aim so sure that they killed several of the wolves at
the first volley; but there was a necessity to keep a continual
firing, for they came on like devils, those behind pushing on those

When we had fired a second volley of our fusees, 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 two
volleys of our pistols; and I believe in these four firings we had
killed seventeen or eighteen of them, and lamed twice as many, yet
they came on again. I was loth to spend our shot too hastily; so I
called my servant, not my man Friday, for he was better employed,
for, with the greatest dexterity imaginable, he had charged my
fusee and his own while we were engaged - but, as I said, I called
my other man, and giving him a horn of powder, I had him lay a
train all along the piece of timber, and let it be a large train.
He did so, and had but just time to get away, when the wolves came
up to it, and some got upon it, when I, snapping an unchanged
pistol close to the powder, set it on fire; 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
despatched these in an instant, and the rest were so frightened
with the light, which the night - for it was now 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 that we found
struggling on the ground, and fell to cutting them with our swords,
which answered our expectation, for the crying and howling they
made was better understood by their fellows; so that they all fled
and left us.

We had, first and last, killed about threescore 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 fancied we saw some of
them; but the snow dazzling our eyes, we were not certain. 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,
the night before the wolves and some bears had broken into the
village, and put them in such terror that 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 swelled so
much with the rankling of his two wounds, that he could go no
farther; so we were obliged to take a new guide here, and go to
Toulouse, where we found a warm climate, a fruitful, pleasant
country, and no snow, no wolves, nor anything like them; but when
we told our story at Toulouse, 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 guide we had got who would venture to bring us that
way in such a severe season, and told us it was surprising 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 which made the wolves so furious, seeing their
prey, and that at other times they are really afraid of a gun; but
being excessively 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 continual 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 altogether, and left our horses, they would have been so
eager to have devoured them, that we might have come off safe,
especially having our firearms in our hands, 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 was 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 Toulouse to
Paris, and without any considerable stay came to Calais, and landed
safe at Dover the 14th 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 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 nor care too great to employ for me; and I trusted her so
entirely that I was perfectly easy as to the security of my
effects; and, indeed, I was very happy from the beginning, and now
to the end, in the unspotted integrity of this good gentlewoman.

And now, having resolved to dispose of my plantation in the
Brazils, I wrote to my old friend at Lisbon, who, having offered it
to the two merchants, the survivors of my trustees, who lived in
the Brazils, they accepted the offer, and remitted thirty-three
thousand 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 thirty-two thousand eight hundred pieces of eight
for the estate, reserving the payment of one hundred moidores a
year to him (the old man) during his life, and fifty 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 show the like of; beginning foolishly, but
closing much more happily than any part of it ever gave me leave so
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 fresh acquaintance; and though I had sold my
estate in the Brazils, yet I 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. My true friend,
the widow, earnestly dissuaded me from it, and so far prevailed
with me, that for almost 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 placed
with the 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 further 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 was in the year 1694.

In this voyage I visited my new colony in the island, saw my
successors the Spaniards, had the old 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 - a 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 upon the island itself, and how five of them made an
attempt upon the mainland, 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 had 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 Brazils, 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 to
the Englishmen, I promised 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
Brazils, 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 one 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 in some new
adventures of my own, for ten years more, I shall give a farther
account of in the Second Part of my Story.

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Główna Czytelnia Literatura Lektury na filologie Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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