OF YORK, MARINER.
WHO LIVED EIGHT AND TWENTY YEARS IN AN UNINHABITED ISLAND, ON THE COAST OF AMERICA, NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE GREAT RIVER OROONOQUE,
Including an Account of
HIS DELIVERANCE THENCE, AND HIS AFTER SURPRISING ADVENTURES.
HIS VISION OF THE ANGELIC WORLD.
AN IMPROVED EDITION,
Illustrated with eight Engravings, from Original designs.
To which is annexed,
THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF
Who lived four years and four months in a state of Solitude, on the Island of Juan Fernandez, in the Pacific Ocean,
If ever the story of any private man's adventures in the world were worth making public, and were acceptable when published, the Editor of this account thinks this will be so.
The wonders of this man's life exceed all that (he thinks) is to be found extant; the life of one man being scarce capable of a greater variety.
The story is told with modesty, with seriousness, and with a religious application of events to the uses to which wise men always apply them, viz. to the instruction of others by this example, and to justify and honour the wisdom of Providence in all the variety of our circumstances, let them happen how they will.
The editor believes this narrative to be a just history of fact; neither is their any appearance of fiction in it: and though he is well aware there are many, who on account of the very singular preservations the author met with, will give it the name of romance; yet in which ever of these lights it shall be viewed, he imagines, that the improvement of it, as well as the diversion, as to the instruction of the reader, will be the same; and as such, he thinks, without farther compliment to the world, he does them a great service in the publication.
LIFE AND ADVENTURES
I was born at York, in the year 1632, of a reputable family. My father was a native of Bremen, who by merchandizing at Hull for some time, gained a very plentiful fortune. He married my mother at York, who received her first breath in that country: and as her maiden name was Robinson, I was called Robinson Kreutznaer: which not being easily pronounced in the English tongue, we are commonly known by the name of Crusoe.
I was the youngest of three brothers. The eldest was a lieutenant colonel in Lochart's regiment, but slain by the Spaniards: what became of the other, I could never learn.
No charge or pains were wanting in my education.—My father designed me for the law; yet nothing would serve me but I must go to sea, both against the will of my father, the tears of my mother, and the entreaties of friends. One morning my father expostulated very warmly with me: What reason, says he, have you to leave your native country, where there must be a more certain prospect of content and happiness, to enter into a wandering condition of uneasiness and uncertainty? He recommended to me Augur's wish, "Neither to desire poverty nor riches:" that a middle state of life was the most happy, and that the high towering thoughts of raising our condition by wandering abroad, were surrounded with misery and danger, and often ended with confusion and disappointment. I entreat you, nay, I command you, (says he) to desist from these intentions. Consider your elder brother, who laid down his life for his honour, or rather lost it for his disobedience to my will. If you will go (added he) my prayers shall however be offered for your preservation; but a time may come, when, desolate, oppressed, or forsaken, you may wish you had taken your poor despised father's counsel.—He pronounced these words with such a moving and paternal eloquence, while floods of tears ran down his aged cheeks, that it seemed to stem the torrent of my resolutions. But this soon wore, off, and a little after I informed my mother, that I could not settle to any business, my resolutions were so strong to see the world; and begged she would gain my father's consent only to go one voyage; which, if I did not prove prosperous, I would never attempt a second. But my desire was as vain as my folly in making. My mother passionately expressed her dislike of this, proposal, telling me, "That as she saw I was bent upon my own destruction, contrary to their will and my duty, she would say no more; but leave me to do whatever I pleased."
I was then, I think, nineteen years old, when one time being Hull; I met a school-fellow of mine, going along with his father, who was master of a ship, to London; and acquainted him with my wandering desires; he assured me of a free passage, and a plentiful share of what was necessary. Thus, without imploring a blessing, or taking farewell of my parents, I took shipping on the first of September 1651. We set sail soon after, and our ship had scarce left the Humber astern, when there arose so violent a storm, that, being extremely sea-sick, I concluded the judgment of God deservedly followed me for my disobedience to my dear parents. It was then I called to mind, the good advice of my father; how easy and comfortable was a middle state of life; and I firmly resolved, if it pleased God to set me on dry land once more, I would return to my parents, implore their forgiveness, and bid a final adieu to my wandering inclinations.
Such were my thoughts while the storm continued: but these good resolutions decreased with the danger; more especially when my companion came to me, clapping me on the shoulder: "What, Bob!" said he, "sure you was not frightened last night with scarce a capful of wind?"—"And do you" cried I, "call such a violent storm a capful of wind?"—"A storm, you fool you," said he, "this is nothing; a good ship and sea-room always baffles such a foolish squall of wind as that: But you're a fresh water sailor: Come boy, turn out, see what fine weather we have now, and a good bowl of punch will drown all your past sorrows." In short, the punch was made, I was drunk and in one night's time drowned both my repentance and my good resolutions, forgetting entirely the vows and promises I made in my distress: and whenever any reflections would return on me, what by company, and what by drinking, I soon mastered those fits, as I deridingly called them. But this only made way for another trial, whereby I could not but see how much I was beholden to kind Providence.
Upon the sixth day we came to an anchor in Harwich road, where we lay wind bound with some Newcastle ships; and there being good anchorage, and our cables found, the seamen forgot their late toil and danger, and spent the time as merry as if they had been on shore. But on the eight day there arose a brisk gale of wind, which prevented our tiding it up the river; and still increasing, our ship rode forecastle in, and shipped several large seas.
It was not long before horror seized the seamen themselves, and I heard the master express this melancholy ejaculation, "Lord have mercy upon us, we shall be all, lost and undone!" For my part, sick unto death, I kept my cabin till the universal and terribly dreadful apprehensions of our speedy fate made me get upon deck; and there I was affrighted indeed. The sea went mountains high: I could see nothing but distress around us; two ships had cut their masts on board, and another was foundered; two more that had lost their anchors, were forced out to the mercy of the ocean; and to save our lives we were forced to cut our foremast and mainmast quite away.
Who is their so ignorant as not to judge of my dreadful condition? I was but a fresh-water sailor and therefore it seemed more terrible. Our ship was very good, but over-loaded; which made the sailors often cry out, "She would founder!" Words I then was ignorant of. All this while the storm continuing, and rather increasing, the master and the most sober part of his men went to prayers, expecting death every moment. In the middle of the night one cried out, "We had sprung a leak;" another, "That there was four feet water in the hold." I was just ready to expire with fear, when immediately all hands were called to the pump; and the men forced me also in that extremity to share with them in their labour. While thus employed, the master espying some light colliers, fired a gun as a signal of distress; and I, not understanding what it meant, and thinking that either the ship broke, or some dreadful thing happened, fell into a swoon. Even in that common condition of woe, nobody minded me, excepting to thrust me aside with their feet, thinking me dead, and it was a great while before I recovered.
Happy it was for us, when, upon the signal given, they ventured out their boats to save our lives. All our pumping had been in vain, and vain had all our attempts been, had they not come to our ship's side, and our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, which after great labour they got hold of, and we hauling them up to us got into their boat, and left our ship which we perceived sink within less than a quarter of an hour; and thus I learned what was meant by foundering at sea. And now the men incessantly laboured to recover their, own ship; but the sea ran so high, and the wind blew so hard, that they thought it convenient to hale within shore; which, with great difficulty and danger, at last we happily effected landing at a place called Cromer, not far from Winterton lighthouse; from whence we all walked to Yarmouth, where, as objects of pity, many good people furnished us with necessaries to carry us either to Hull or London.
Strange, after all this, like the prodigal son, I did not return to my father; who hearing of the ship's calamity, for a long time thought me entombed in the deep. No doubt but I should have shared on his fatted calf, as the scripture expresseth it; but my ill fate still pusheth me on, in spite of the powerful convictions of reason and conscience.
When we had been at Yarmouth three days, I met my old companion, who had given me the invitation to go on board along with his father. His behaviour and speech were altered, and in a melancholy manner asked me how I did, telling his father who I was, & how I had made this voyage only for a trial to proceed further abroad. Upon which the old gentleman turning to me gravely, said, "Young man, you ought never to go to sea any more, but to take this for a certain sign that you never will prosper in a sea-faring condition." "Sir" answered I, "will you take the same resolution?" "It is a different case," said he, "it is my calling, and consequently my duty; but as you have made this voyage for a trial, you see what ill success heaven has set before your eyes; and perhaps our miseries have been on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. But pray what are you, and on what account did you go to sea?" Upon which I very freely declared my whole story: at the end of which he made this exclamation: "Ye sacred powers: what had I committed, that such a wretch should enter into my ship to heap upon me such a deluge of miseries!" But soon recollecting his passion, "Young man" said he, "if you do not go back, depend upon it, wherever you go, you will meet with disasters and disappointments till your father's words are fulfilled upon you." And so we parted.
I thought at first to return home; but shame opposed that good motion, as thinking I should be laughed at by my neighbours and acquaintance. So strange is the nature of youth, who are not ashamed to sin, but yet ashamed to repent; and so far from being ashamed of those actions for which they may be acounted fools, they think it folly to return to their duty, which is the principal mark of wisdom. In short I travelled up to London, resolving upon a voyage, and a voyage I soon heard of, by my acquaintance with a captain who took a fancy to me, to go to the coast of Guinea. Having some money, and appearing like a gentleman, I went on board, not as a common sailor or foremast man; nay, the commander agreed I should go that voyage with him without any expence; that I should be his messmate and companion, and I was very welcome to carry any thing with me, and make the best merchandise I could.
I blessed my happy fortune, and humbly thanked my captain for this offer; and acquainting my friends in Yorkshire, forty pounds were sent me, the greatest part of which my dear father and mother contributed to, with which I bought toys and trifles, as the captain directed me. My captain also taught me navigation, how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an observation, and led me into the knowledge of several useful branches of the mathematics. And indeed 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 produced, at my return to London, almost three hundred pounds. But in this voyage I was extremely sick, being thrown into a violent calenture through the excessive heat, trading upon the coast from the latitude of fifteen degrees north, even to the line itself.
But alas! my dear friend the captain soon departed this life after his arrival. This was a sensible grief to me; yet I resolved to go another with his mate, who had now got command of the ship. This proved a very unsuccessful one; for though I did not carry quite a hundred pounds of my late acquired wealth, (so that I had two hundred pounds left, which I reposed with the captain's widow, who was an honest gentlewoman) yet my misfortunes in this unhappy voyage were very great. For our ship sailing towards the Canary islands, we were chased by a Salee rover; and in spite of all the haste we could make by crowding as much canvas as our yards could spread, or our masts carry, the pirate gained upon us, to that we prepared ourselves to fight. They had eighteen guns, and we had but twelve. About three in the afternoon there was a desperate engagement, wherein many were killed and wounded on both sides; but finding ourselves overpowered with numbers, our ship disabled and ourselves too impotent to have the least hopes of success, we were forced to surrender; and accordingly were all carried prisoners into the port of Salee. Our men were sent to the Emperor's court to be sold there, but the pirate captain taking notice of me, kept me to be his own slave.
In this condition, I thought myself the most miserable creature on earth, and the prophecy of my father came afresh into my thoughts. However, my condition was better than I thought it to be, as will soon appear. Some hopes indeed I had that my new patron would go to sea again, where he might be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese man of war, and then I should be set at liberty. But in this I was mistaken; for he never took me with him, but left me to look after his little garden, and do the drudgery of his house, and when he returned from sea, would make, me lie in the cabin, and look after the ship. I had no one that I could communicate my thoughts to, which were continually meditating my escape; no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotchman here but myself; and for two years I could see nothing practicable, but only pleased myself with the imagination.
After some length of time, my patron, as I found, grew; so poor that he could not fit out his ship as usual; and then he used constantly, once or twice a week, if the weather was fair, to go out a fishing, taking me and a young Moresco Boy to row the boat; and to much pleased was he with me for my dexterity in catching the fish, that he would often send me with a Moor, who was one of his kinsemen, and the Moresco youth, to catch a dish of fish for him.
One morning, as we were at the sport, there arose such a thick fog that we lost sight of the shore; and rowing we knew not which way, we laboured all the night, and in the morning found ourselves in the ocean, two leagues from land. However, we attained there at length, and made the greater haste, because our stomachs were exceedingly sharp and hungry. In order to prevent such disasters for the future, my patron ordered a carpenter to build a little state room or cabin in the middle of the long-boat, with a place behind it to steer and hale home the main-sheet, with other conveniences to keep him from the weather, as also lockers to put in all manner of provisions, with a handsome shoulder of mutton sail, gibing over the cabin.
In this he frequently took us out a fishing: and one time inviting two or three persons of distinction to go with him, made provision extraordinary, providing also three fusees with powder and shot, that they might have some sport at fowling along the sea-coast. The next morning the boat was made clean, her ancient and pendants on, and every thing ready: but their minds altering, my patron ordered us to go a fishing, for that his guests would certainly sup with him that night.
And now I began to think of my deliverance indeed. In order to this I persuaded to Moor to get some provisions on board, as not daring to meddle with our patron's: and he taking my advice, we stored ourselves with rusk biscuit, and three jars of water. Besides, I privately conveyed into the boat a bottle or brandy, some twine, thread, a hammer, hatchet, and a saw; and, in particular, some bees wax, which was a great comfort to me, and served to make candles. I then persuaded Muley (for so was the Moor called) to procure some powder and shot, pretending to kill sea curlues, which he innocently and readily agreed to. In short, being provided with all things necessary, we sailed out, resolving for my own part to make my escape, though it should cost me my life.
When we had passed the castle, we fell a fishing; but though I knew there was a bite, I dissembled the matter, in order to put out further to sea. Accordingly we ran a league further; when giving the boy the helm, and pretending to stoop for something, I seized Muley by surprise and threw him overboard. As he was an excellent swimmer, he soon arose and made towards the boat; upon which I took out a fusee, and presented at him: "Muley" said I, "I never yet designed to do you any harm, and seek nothing now but my redemption. I know you are able enough to swim to shore, and save your life: but if you are resolved to follow me to the endangering of mine, the very moment you proceed, I will shoot you through the head." The harmless creature at these words, turned himself from me, and I make no doubt got safe to land. Them turning to the boy Xury, I perceived he trembled at the action: but I put him out of all fear, telling him, that if he would be true and faithful to me, I would do well by him. "And therefore," said I, "you must stroke your face to be faithful: and, as the Turks have learned you, swear by Mahomet, and the beard of your father, or else I will throw you into the sea also." So innocent did the child then look, and with such an obliging smile consented, that I readily believed him, and from that day forward began to love him entirely.
We then pursued our voyage: and least they should think me gone to the Straits' mouth, I kept to the southward to the truly Barbarian coast; but in the dusk of the evening, I changed my course, and steering directly S. and by E. that I might keep near the shore: and, having a fresh gale of wind, with a pleasant smooth sea, by three o'clock next day I was one hundred and fifty miles beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions. Yet still having the dreadful apprehensions of being retaken, I continued sailing for five days successively, till such time as the wind shifting to the southward, made me conclude, that if any vessel was in the chase of me, they would proceed no farther. After so much fatigue and thought, I anchored at the mouth of a little river, I knew not what or where: neither did I then see, any people. What I principally wanted was fresh water; and I was resolved about dusk to swim ashore. But no sooner did the gloomy clouds of night begin to succeed the declining day, when we heard such barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, that one might have thought the very strongest monsters of nature, or infernal spirits had their residence there. Poor Xury, almost dead with fear, entreated me not to go on shore that night. "Supposing I don't, Xury," said I, "and in the morning we should see men who are worse than those we fear, what then?" "O den we may give dem de shoot gun," replied Xury, laughing, "and de gun make dem all run away."
The wit and broken English which the boy had learned among the captives of our nation, pleased me entirely: and, to add to his cheerfulness I gave him a dram of the bottle: we could get but little sleep all the night for those terrible howlings they made; and, indeed, we were both very much affrighted, when, by the rollings of the water, and other tokens, we justly concluded one of these monsters made towards our boat. I could not see till it came within two oars length, when taking my fusee, I let fly at him. Whether I hit him or no, I cannot tell; but he made towards the shore, and the noise of my gun increased the stupendious noise of the monsters.
The next morning I was resolved to go on shore to get fresh water, and venture my life among the beasts or savages should either attack me. Xury said, he would take one of the jars and bring me some. I asked him why he would go and not I? The poor boy answered, "If wild mans come they eat me, you go away." A mind scarcely now to be imitated, so contrary to self-preservation, the most powerful law of Nature. This indeed increased my affection to the child. "Well, dear Xury," said I, we will both go ashore, both kill wild mans, and they "shall eat neither of us." So giving Xury a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram, we waded ashore, carrying nothing with us but our arms, and two jars for water. I did not go out of sight of the boat, as dreading the savages coming down the river in their canoes; but the boy seeing a low descent or vale about a mile in the country, he wandered to it: and then running back to me with great precipitation, I thought he was pursued by some savage or wild beast; upon which I approached, resolving to perish or protect him from danger. As he came nearer to me, I saw something hanging over his shoulders, which was a creature he had shot like a hare, but different in colour, and longer legs; however, we were glad of it, for it proved wholesome, and nourishing meat: but what added to our joy was, my boy assured me there was plenty of water, and that he see no wild mans. And greater still was our comfort when we found fresh water in the creek where we were when the tide was out, without going so far up into the country.
In this place I began to consider that the Canary and Cape de Verde islands lay not for off: but having no instrument, I knew not what latitude, or when to stand off to sea for them; yet my hopes were, I should meet some of the English trading vessels, who would relieve and take us in.
The place I was in was no doubt that wild country, inhabited only by a few, that lies between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the Negroes. It is filled with wild beasts and the Moors use it for hunting chiefly.—From this place I thought I saw the top of the mountain Teneriff in the Canaries: which made me try twice to attain it: but as often was I drove back, and so forced to pursue my fortune along shore.
Early one morning we came to an anchor under a little point of land, but pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay ready to go further in—But Xury, whose youthful and penetrating eyes were sharper then mine, in a soft tone, desired me to keep far from land, lest we should be devoured, "For look yonder, mayter," said he, "and see de dreadful monster fast asleep on de side of de hill." Accordingly looking where he pointed, I espied a fearful monster indeed. It was a terrible great lion that lay on shore, covered as it were by a shade of a piece of the hill. "Xury," said I, "you shall go on shore and kill him." But the boy looked amazed: "Me kill him!" says he, "he eat me at one mouth:" meaning one mouthful. Upon which I bid him lie still, and charging my biggest gun with two slugs, and a good charge of powder, I took the best aim I could to shoot him through the head, but his leg lying over his nose, the slug broke his knee-bone. The lion awaking with the pain, got up, but soon fell down, giving the most hideous groan I ever heard: but taking my second piece, I shot him through the head, and then he lay struggling for life. Upon this Xury took heart and desired my leave to go on shore. "Go then," said I. Upon which taking a little gun in one hand, he swam to shore with the other, and coming close to the lion, put a period to his life, by shooting him again through the head.
But this was spending our ammunition in vain, the flesh not being good to eat. Xury was like a champion, and comes on board for a hatchet, to cut of the head of his enemy: but not having strength to perform it, he cut off and brought me a foot. I bethought me, however, that his skin would be of use. This work cost Xury and me a whole day: when spreading it on the top of our cabin, the hot beams of the sun effectually dried it in two days time, and it afterwards served me for a bed to lie on.
And now we sailed southerly, living sparingly on our provisions, and went no oftener on shore than we were obliged for fresh water. My design was to make the river Gambia or Senegal, or any where about the Cape de Verde, in hopes to meet some European ship. If Providence did not so favour me, my next course was to seek for the islands, or lose my life among the Negroes. And in a word, I put my whole stress upon this, "Either that I must meet with some ship or certainly perish."
One day as we were sailing along, we saw people stand on the shore looking at us: we could also perceive they were black and stark naked. I was inclined to go on shore, but Xury cried, "No, no:" however, I approached nearer, and I found they run along the shore by me a good way. They had no weapons in their hands, except one, who held a long stick, which Xury told me was a lance, with which they could kill at a great distance. I talked to them by signs and made them sensible I wanted something to eat: they beckoned to me to stop my boat, while 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, which we kindly accepted; and to prevent any fears on either side, they brought the food to the shore, laid it down, then went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.
But while we were returning thanks to them, being all we could afford, two mighty creatures came from the mountains: one as it were pursuing the other with great fury, which we were the rather inclined to believe as they seldom appear but in the night: and both these swiftly passing by the Negroes, jumped into the sea, wantonly swimming about, as tho' the diversion of the waters had put a stop to their fierceness. At last one of them coming nearer to my boat than I expected or desired, I shot him directly through the head; upon which he sunk immediately, and yet rising again, would have willingly made the shore: but between the wound and the strangling of the water, he died before he could reach it.
It is impossible to express the consternation the poor Negroes were in at the firing of my gun; much less can I mention their surprise, when they perceived the creature to be slain by it. I made signs to them to draw near it with a rope, and then gave it them to hale on shore. It was a beautiful leopard, which made me desire its skin: and the Negroes seeming to covet the carcase, I freely gave it to them. As for the other leopard, it made to shore, and ran with prodigious swiftness out of sight. The Negroes having kindly furnished me with water, and with what roots and grains their country afforded, I took my leave, and, after eleven days sail, came in sight of the Cape de Verde, and those islands called by its name. But the great distance I was from it, and fearing contrary winds would prevent my reaching them, I began to grow melancholy and dejected, when, upon a sudden, Xury cried out, "Master! Master! a ship with a sail!" and looked as affrighted as if it was his master's ship sent in search of us. But I soon discovered she was a Portuguese ship, as I thought bound to the coast of Guinea for Negroes. Upon which I strove for life to come up to them. But vain had it been, if through their perspective glasses they had not perceived me and shortened their sail to let me come up. Encouraged at this, I set up my patron's ancient, and fired a gun, both as signals of distress; upon which they very kindly lay to, so that in three hours time I came up with them. They spoke to me in Portuguese, Spanish, and French, but neither of these did I understand; till at length a Scots sailor called, and then I told him I was an Englishman, who had escaped from the Moors at Sallee: upon which they took me kindly on board, with all my effects.
Surely none can express the inconceivable joy I felt at this happy deliverance! who from being a late miserable and forlorn creature was not only relieved, but in favour with the master of the ship, to whom, in return for my deliverance, I offered all I had. "God forbid," said he, "that I should take any thing from you. Every thing shall be delivered to you when you come to Brazil. If I have saved your life it is no more than I should expect to receive myself from any other, when in the same circumstances I should happen to meet the like deliverance. And should I take from you what you have, and leave you at Brazil, why, this would be only taking away a life I had given. My charity teaches me better. Those effects you have will support you there, and provide you a passage home again." And, indeed, he acted with the strictest justice in what he did, taking my things into his possession, and giving me an exact inventory, even to my earthen jars. He bought my boat of me for the ship's use, giving me a note of eighty pieces of eight, payable at Brazil; and if any body offered more, he would make it up. He also gave me 60 pieces for my boy Xury. It way with great reluctance I was prevailed upon to sell the child's liberty, who had served me so faithfully; but the boy was willing himself; and it was agreed, that after ten years he should be made free, upon his renouncing Mahometanism, and embracing Christianity.
Having a pleasant voyage to the Brazils, we arrived in the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints Bay, in twenty-two days after. And here I cannot forget the generous treatment of the captain. He would take nothing for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and thirty for the lion's. Every thing he caused to be delivered, and what I would sell he bought. In short I made about 220 pieces of my cargo; and with this stock I entered once more, as I may say into the scene of life.
Being recommended to an honest planter, I lived with him till such time as I was informed of the manner of their planting and making sugar; and seeing how well they lived, and how suddenly they grew rich, I was filled with a desire to settle among them, and resolved to get my money remitted to me, and to purchase a plantation.
To be brief, I bought a settlement next door to an honest and kind neighbour, born at Lisbon, of English parents, whose plantation joining to mine, we improved it very amicably together. Both our stocks were low, and for two years we planted only for food: but the third year we planted some tobacco, and each of us dressed a large piece of ground the ensuing year for planting canes. But now I found how much I wanted assistance, and repented the loss of my dear boy Xury.
Having none to assist me, my father's words came into my mind; and I used to ask myself, if what I sought was only a middle station of life, why could it not as well be obtained in England as here? When I pondered on this with regret, the thoughts of my late deliverance forsook me. I had none to converse with but my neighbour; no work to be done but by my own hands; it often made me say, my condition was like to that of a man cast upon a desolate island. So unhappy are we in our reflections, so forgetful of what good things we receive ourselves, and so unthankful for our deliverance from these calamities that others endure.
I, was in some measure settled, before the captain who took me up departed from the Brazils. One day I went to him, and told him what stock I had in London, desiring his assistance in getting it remitted; to which the good gentleman readily consented, but would only have me send for half my money, lest it should miscarry; which, if it did, I might still have the remainder to support me: and so taking letters of procuration of me, bid me trouble myself no farther about it.
And indeed wonderful was his kindness towards me; for he not only procured the money I had drawn for upon my captain's widow, but sent me over a servant with a cargo proportionable to my condition. He also sent me over tools of all sorts, iron-work, and utensils necessary for my plantation, which proved to be of the greatest use to me in my business.
Wealth now accumulating on me, and uncommon success crowning my prosperous labours, I might have rested happy in that middle state of life my father had so often recommended, yet nothing would content me, such was my evil genius, but I must leave this happy station, for a foolish ambition in rising; and thus, once more, I cast myself into the greatest gulph of misery that ever poor creature fell into. Having lived four years in Brazil, I had net only learned the language, but contracted acquaintance with the most eminent planters, and even the merchants of St. Salvadore; to whom, once, by way of discourse, having given account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea and the manner of trading there for mere trifles, by which we furnish our plantations with Negroes, they gave such attention to what I said, that three of them came one morning to me, and told me they had a secret proposal to make. After enjoining me to secrecy (it being an infringement on the powers of the Kings of Portugal and Spain) they told me they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea, in order to stock the plantation with Negroes, which as they could not be publicly sold, they would divide among them: and if I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading part, I should have ah equal share of the Negroes, without providing any stock. The thing indeed was fair enough, had I been in another condition. But I, born to be my own destroyer, could not resist the proposal, but accepted the offer upon condition of their looking after my plantation. So making a formal will, I bequeathed my effects to my good friend the captain, as my universal heir; but obliged him to dispose of my effects as directed, one half of the produce to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
The ship being fitted out, and all things ready, we set sail the first of September, 1659, being the same day eight-years I left my father and, mother in Yorkshire. We sailed northward upon the coast, in order to gain Africa, till we made Cape Augustine; from whence going farther into the ocean, out of sight of land, we steered as though we were bound for the isle Fernand de Norenba, leaving the islands on the east; and then it was that we met with a terrible tempest, which continued for twelve days successively, so that the wind carried us wheresoever they pleased. In this perplexity one of our men died, and one man and a boy were washed overboard. When the weather cleared up a little, we found ourselves eleven degrees north latitude, upon the coast of Guinea. Upon this the captain gave reasons for returning; which I opposed, counselling him to stand away for Barbadoes, which as I supposed, might be attained in fifteen days. So altering our course, we sailed north-west and by west, in order to reach the Leeward Islands; but a second storm succeeding, drove us to the westward; so that we were justly afraid of falling into the hands of cruel savages, or the paws of devouring beasts of prey.
In this great distress, one of our men, early in the morning cried out, Land, land! which he had no sooner cried out, but our ship struck upon a sand bank, and in a moment the sea broke over her in such a manner that we expected we should all have perished immediately. We knew nothing where we were, or upon what land we were driven; whether an island or the main, inhabited or not inhabited; and we could not so much as hope that the ship would hold out many minutes, without breaking in pieces, except the wind by a miracle should turn about immediately. While we stood looking at one another, expecting death every moment, the mate lay a hold of the boat, and with the help of the rest got her flung over the ship's side, and getting all into her, being eleven of us, committed ourselves to God's mercy and the wild sea. And now we saw that this last effort would not be a sufficient protection from death; so high did the sea rise, that it was impossible the boat should live. As to making sail, we had none; neither if we had, could we make use of any. So that when we had rowed, or rather were driven about a league and a half, a raging wave, like a lofty mountain, came rolling astern of us, and took us with such fury, that at once it overset the boat. Thus being swallowed up in a moment, we had hardly time to call upon the tremendous name of God; much less to implore, in dying ejaculations, his infinite mercy to receive our departing souls.
Men are generally counted insensible, when struggling in the pangs of death; but while I was overwhelmed with water, I had the most dreadful apprehensions imaginable. For the joys of heaven and the torments of hell, seemed to present themselves before me in these dying agonies, and even small space of time, as it were, between life and death. I was going I thought I knew not whither, into a dismal gulf unknown, and as yet unperceived, never to behold my friends, nor the light of this world any more! Could I even have thought of annihilation, or a total dissolution of soul as well as body, the gloomy thoughts of having no further being, no knowledge of what we hoped for, but an eternal quietus, without life or sense: even that, I say, would have been enough to strike me with horror and confusion! I strove, however, to the last extremity, while all my companions were overpowered and entombed in the deep: and it was with great difficulty I kept my breath till the wave spent itself, and retiring back, left me on the shore half dead with the water I had taken in. As soon as I got on my feet, I ran as fast as I could, lest another wave should pursue me, and carry me back again. But for all the haste I made, I could not avoid it: for the sea came after me like a high mountain, or furious enemy; so that my business was to hold my breath, and by raising myself on the water, preserve it by swimming. The next dreadful wave buried me at once twenty or thirty feet deep, but at the same time carried me with a mighty force and swiftness toward the shore: when raising myself, I held out as well as possible, till at length the water having spent itself, began to return, at which I struck forward, and feeling ground with my feet, I took to my heels again. Thus being served twice more, I was at length dashed against a piece of a rock, in such a manner as left me senseless; but recovering a little before the return of the wave, which, no doubt, would then have overwhelmed me, I held fast by the rock till those succeeding waves abated; and then fetching another run, was overtaken by a small wave, which was soon conquered. But before any more could overtake me, I reached the main land, where clambering up the cliffs of the shore, tired and almost spent I sat down on the grass, free from the dangers of the foaming ocean.
No tongue can express the ecstasies and transports that my soul felt at the happy deliverance. It was like a reprieve to a dying malefactor, with a halter about his neck, and ready to be turned off. I was wrapt up in contemplation and often lifted up my hands, with the profoundest humility, to the Divine Powers, for saving, my life, when the rest of my companions were all drowned. And now I began to cast my eyes around, to behold what place I was in and what I had next to do. I could see no house nor people; I was wet, yet had no clothes to shift me; hungry and thirsty, yet had nothing to eat or drink; no weapon to destroy any creature for my sustenance; nor defend myself against devouring beasts; in short, I had nothing but a knife, a tobacco pipe, and a box half filled with tobacco. The darksome night coming on upon me, increased my fears of being devoured by wild creatures; my mind was plunged in despair, and having no prospect, as I thought, of life before me, I prepared for another kind of death then what I had lately escaped. I walked about a furlong to see if I could find any fresh water, which I did, to my great joy: and taking a quid of tobacco to prevent hunger, I got up into a thick bushy tree, and seating myself so that I could not fall, a deep sleep overtook me, and for that night buried my sorrows in a quiet repose.
It was broad day the next morning before I awaked; when I not only perceived the tempest was ceased, but law the ship driven almost as far as the rock before-mentioned, which the waves had dashed me against, and which was about a mile from the place where I was. When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I perceived the ship's boat two miles distant on my right-hand, lying on shore, as the waves had cast her. I thought to have got to her; but there being an inlet of water of about half a mile's breadth between it and me, I returned again towards the ship, as hoping to find something for my more immediate subsistence. About noon, when the sea was calm, that I could come within a quarter of a mile of her, it was to my grief I perceived, that, if we had kept on board all our lives had been saved. These thoughts, and my solitude drew tears from my eyes, though all in vain. So resolving to get to the ship, I stripped and leapt into the water, when swimming round her, I was afraid I should not get any thing to lay hold of; but it was my good fortune to espy a small piece of rope hang down by the fore chains, so low that, by the help of it, though with great difficulty, I got into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold: her stern was lifted up against a bank, and her head almost to the water. All her quarter and what was there, was free and dry. The provisions I found in good order, with which I crammed my pockets, and losing no time, ate while I was doing other things: I also found some rum, of which I took a hearty dram: and now I wanted for nothing except a boat, which indeed was all, to carry away what was needful for me.
Necessity occasions quickness of thought. We had several spare yards, a spare topmast or two, and two or three large spars of wood. With these I fell to work, and flung as many of them overboard as I could manage, tying every one of them with a rope, that they might not drive away. This done, I went down to the ship's side, and tyed four of them fast together at both ends, in form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them crosswise, I found it would bear me, but not any considerable weight. Upon which I went to work again, cutting a spare topmast into three lengths, adding them to my raft with a great deal of labour and pains. I then considered what I should load it with, it being not able to bear a ponderous burden. And this I soon thought of, first laying upon it all the planks and boards I could get; next I lowered down three of the seamen's chests, after I had filled them with bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh, and some European corn, what little the rats had spared: and for liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some cordial waters, and four or five gallons of rack, which I stowed by themselves. By this time the tide beginning to flow, I perceived my coat, waistcoat, and shirt, swim away, which I had left on the shore; as for my linen breeches and stockings, I swam with them to the ship; but I soon found clothes enough, though I took no more than I wanted for the present. My eyes were chiefly on tools to work with; and after a long search, I found out the carpenter's chest, which I got safe down on my raft. I then looked for arms and ammunition, and in the great cabin found two good fowling pieces, two pistols, several powder horns filled, a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I likewise found three barrels of powder, two of which were good, but the third had taken water, also two or three broken oars, two saws, an ax, and a hammer. I then put to sea, and in getting to shore had three encouragements. 1. A smooth calm sea. 2. The tide rising and letting in to shore. 3. The little wind there was blew towards the land. After I had sailed about a mile, I found the raft to drive a little distance from the place where I first landed; and then I perceived a little opening of the land, with a strong current of the tide running into it: upon which I kept the middle of the stream. But great was my concern, when on a sudden the fore part of my raft ran a ground, so that had I not, with great difficulty, for near half an hour, kept my back straining against the chests to keep my effects in their places, all I had would have gone into the sea. But after some time, the rising of the water caused the raft to float again, and coming up a little river with land on both sides, I landed in a little cove, as near the mouth as possible, the better to discover a sail, if any such providentially passed that way.
Not far off, I espied a hill of stupendous height, surounded with lesser hills about it, and thither I was resolved to go and view the country that I might see what part was best, to fix my habitation. Accordingly, arming myself with a pistol a fowling piece, powder and ball, I ascended the mountain. There I perceived I was in an island, encompassed by the sea; no distant lands to be seen but scattering rocks that lay to the west: that it seemed to be a barren place, and, as I thought, inhabited only by wild beasts. I perceived abundance of fowls, but ignorant of what kind, or whether good for nourishment; I shot one of them at my return, which occasioned a confused screaming among the other birds, and I found it, by its colours and beak, to be a kind of a hawk, but its flesh was perfect carrion.
When I came to my raft, I brought my effects on shore, which work spent that day entirely; and fearing that some cruel beasts might devour me in the night time while I slept, I made a kind of hut or barricade with the chests and boards I had brought onshore. That night I slept very comfortably; and the next morning my thoughts were employed to make a further attempt on the ship, and bring away what necessaries I could find, before another storm should break her to pieces. Accordingly I got on board as before, and prepared a second raft far more nice then the first, upon which I brought away the carpenter's stores, two or three bags full of nails, a great jack-screw, a dozen or two of hatchets, and a grind-stone. I also took away several things that belonged to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, two barels of musket-bullets, another fowling-piece, a small quantity of powder, and a large bagful of small shot. Besides these, I took all the men's clothes I could find, a spare fore topsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and thus completing my second cargo, I made all the haste to shore I could, fearing some wild beast might destroy what I had there already. But I only found a little wild cat sitting on one of the chests, which seeming not to fear me or the gun that I presented at her, I threw her a piece of biscuit, which she instantly ate, and departed.
When I had gotten these effects on shore, I went to work in order to make me a little tent with the sail and some poles which I had cut for that purpose; and having finished it, what things might be damaged by the weather I brought in, piling all the empty chests and calks in a circle, the better to fortify it against any sudden attempt of man or beast. After this, I blocked up the doors with some boards, and an empty chest, turned the long way out. I then charged my gun and pistol, and laying my bed on the ground, slept as comfortably, till next morning, as though I had been in a christian country.
Now, though I had enough to subsist me a long time, yet despairing of a sudden deliverance, or that both ammunition and provision might be spent before such a thing happened, I coveted as much as I could; and so long as the ship remained in that condition, I daily brought away one necessary or other; particularly the rigging, sails, and cordage, some twine, a barrel of wet powder, some sugar, a barrel of meal, 3 calks of rum, &, what indeed was most welcome to me, a whole hogshead of bread.
The next time I went I cut the cables in pieces, carried off a hawser whole, with a great deal of iron work, and made another raft with the mizen and sprit-sail-yard; but this being so unwieldy, by the too heavy burden I had upon it, and not being able so dextrously to guide it, as the former, both my cargo and I were overturned. For my part, all the damage I sustained was a wet skin; and, at low water, after much labour in diving, I got most of the cables, and some pieces of iron.
Thirteen days I had now been in the island, and eleven times on board, bringing away all that was possible, and, I believe, had the weather been calm, I should have brought away the whole ship piece by piece. As I was going the twelfth time, the wind began to rise; however, I ventured at low water, and rummaging the cabin, in a locker I found several razors, scissors, and some dozens of knives and forks; and in another thirty-six pounds in pieces of eight, silver and gold. Ah! simple vanity said I whom this world so much dotes on, where is now thy virtue, thy excellency to me? You cannot procure me one thing needful, nor remove me from this desolate island to a place of plenty. One of these knives, so meanly esteemed, is to me more preferable than all this heap. E'en therefore remain where thou art to sink in the deep as unregarded, even as a creature whose life is not worth preserving. Yet, after all this exclamation, I wrapt it up in a piece of canvas, and began to think of making another raft, but I soon perceived the wind began to arise, a fresh gale blowing from the shore, and the sky overcast with clouds and darkness; so thinking a a raft to be in yaw, I let myself into the water with what things I had about me, and it was with much difficulty I got ashore, when soon after it blew a fearful storm.
That night I slept very contentedly in my little tent, surrounded with all my effects; but when I looked out in the morning no more ship was to be seen. This much surprised me for the present; yet, when I considered I had lost no time, abated no pains and had got every thing useful out of her, I comforted myself in the best manner, and entirely submitted to the will of Providence.
My next thoughts were, how I should defend and secure myself from savages and wild beasts, if any such were in the island. At one time I thought of digging a cave, at another I was for erecting a tent; and, at length, I resolved to do both: The manner or form of which will not, I hope, be unpleasing to describe.
When I considered the ground where I was, that it was moorish, and had no fresh water near it, my resolutions were to search for a soil healthy and well watered, where I might not only be sheltered from the sun's scorching heat, but be more conveniently situated, as well to be secured from wild men and beasts of prey, as more easily to discover any distant sail, should it ever happen.
And, indeed, it was not long before I had my desire. I found a little plain near a rising hill, the front towards which being as steep as a house side, nothing could descend on me from the top. On the side of this rock, was a little hollow place, resembling the entrance or door of a cave. Just before this place; on the circle of the green, I resolved my tent should stand. This plain did not much exceed a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, like a delightful green, before my door, with a pleasing, though an irregular descent every way to the low grounds by the sea-side, lying on the N. W. side of the hill, so that it was sheltered from the excessive heat of the sun. After this, I drew a semi-circle, containing ten yards in a semi-diameter, and twenty yards in the whole, driving down two rows; of strong stakes, not 6 inches from each other. Then with the pieces of cable which I had cut on board, I regularly laid them in a circle between the piles up to their tops, which were more than five feet out of the earth, and after drove another row of piles looking within side against them, between two or three feet high, which made me conclude it a little impregnable castle against men and beasts. And for my better security I would have no door, but entered in and came out by the help of a ladder, which I also made.
Here was my fence and fortress, into which I carried all my riches, ammunition, and stores. After which, working on the rock, what with dirt and stones I dug out, I not only raised my ground two feet, but made a little cellar to my mansion-house; and this cost me many days labour and pains. One day in particular a shower of rain falling, thunder and lighting ensued, which put me in terror lest my powder should take fire, and not only hinder my necessary subsistence, by killing me food, but even blow up me and my habitation. To prevent which, I fell to making boxes and bags, in order to separate it, having by me near 150lb. weight. And thus being established as king of the island, every day I went out with my gun to see what I could kill that was fit to eat. I soon perceived numbers of goats but very shy, yet having watched them narrowly, and seeing I could better shoot off the rocks than when in the low grounds, I happened to shoot a she-goat suckling a young kid; which not thinking its dam slain, stood by her unconcerned; and when I took the dead creature up, the young one followed me even to the inclosure. I lifted the kid over the pales, and would willingly have kept it alive; but finding it could not be brought to eat, I was forced to slay it also for my subsistence.
Thus entered into as strange a scene of life as ever any man was in, I had most melancholy apprehensions concerning my deplorable condition: and many times the tears would plentifully run down my face, when I considered how I was debarred from all communications with human kind. Yet while these disponding cogitations would seem to make me accuse Providence, other good thoughts would interpose and reprove me after this manner: Well, supposing you are desolate, it is not better to be so than totally perish? Why, were you singled out to be saved and the rest destroyed? Why should you complain, when not only your life is preserved, but the ship driven into your reach, in order to take what was necessary out of her for your subsistence? But to proceed, it was, by the account I kept, the 30th of September, when I first landed on this island. About twelve days after, fearing lest I should lose my reckoning of time, nay, even forget the Sabbath days, for want of pen, ink, and paper, I carved with a knife upon a large post, in great letters; and set it up: in the similitude of a cross, on the seashore where I landed, I CAME ON SHORE, Sept. 30 1659. Every day I cut a notch with my knife on the sides of the square post, and this on the Sabbath was as long again as the rest; and every first day of the month as long again as that long one. In this manner I kept my calendar, weekly, monthly or yearly reckoning of time. But had I made a more strict search (as afterwards I did) I needed not have set up this mark; for among the parcels belonging to the gunner, carpenter, and captain's mate, I found those very things I wanted; particularly pens, ink, and paper. So I found two or three compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspective glasses, books of navigation, three English Bibles, and several other good books, which I carefully put up.—Here I cannot but call to mind our having a dog and two cats on board, whom I made inhabitants with me in my castle. Though one might think I had all the necessities that were desirable, yet still I found several things wanting. My ink was daily wasting; I wanted needles, pins, and thread to mend or keep my clothes together; and particularly a spade, pickax, or shovel, to remove the earth. It was a year before I finished my little bulwark; and having some intervals of relaxation, after my daily wandering abroad for provision, I drew up this plan, alternately, as creditor and debtor, to remind me of the miseries and blessings of my life, under so many various circumstances.
E V I L
I am cast upon a desolate island, having no hopes, no prospects of a welcome deliverance.
Thus miserably am I singled out from the enjoyment or company of all mankind.
Like an hermit (rather should I say a lonely anchorite) am I forced from human conversation.
My clothes after some time will be worn out; and then I shall have none to cover me.
When my ammunition is wasted, then shall I remain without any defence against wild men and beasts.
I have no creature, no soul to speak to; none to beg assistance from. Some comfort would it be to resound my woes where I am understood, and beg assistance where I might hope for relief.
But yet I am preserved, while my companions are perished in the raging ocean.
Yet set apart to be spared from death. And he, who has so preserved me, can deliver me from this condition.
However, I have food to eat, and even a happy prospect of subsistence while life endures.
At present I enjoy what is absolutely needful; and the climate is so hot, that had I never so many, I would hardly wear them.
Yet if it does, I see no danger of any hurt to me, as in Africa; And what if I had been cast away, upon that coast.
Is there not God to converse to, and is not he able to relieve thee? Already has he afforded thee sustenance, and put it in thy power to provide for thyself till he sends thee a deliverance.
And now easing my mind a little by these reflections, I began to render my life as easy as possible.
I must here add, to the description I have given of my habitation, that having raised a turf wall against the outside of it, I thatched it so close as might keep it from the inclemency of the weather; I also improved it within, enlarged my cave, and made a passage and door in the rock, which came out beyond the pale of my fortification. I next proceeded to make a chair and a table, and so began to study such mechanical arts as seemed to me practicable. When I wanted a plank or board I hewed down a tree with my hatchet, making it as thin with my ax as possible, and then smooth enough with an adz to answer my designs: yet though I could make no more this way than one board out of a tree, in length of time I got boards enough to shelter all my stores, every thing being regularly placed, and my guns securely hanging against the side of the rock. This made it a very pleasant sight to me, as being the result of vast labour and diligence; which leaving for a while, and me to the enjoyment of it, I shall give the reader an account of my Journal from the day of my landing, till the fixing and settling of my habitation, as heretofore shown.
* * * * *
September 30, 1659. I unhappy Robinson Crusoe, having suffered shipwreck, was driven on this desolate island, which I named the Desolate Island of Despair, my companions being swallowed up in the tempestous ocean. The next day I spent in consideration of my unhappy circumstances, having no prospect but of death, either to be starved with hunger, or devoured with beasts or merciless savages.
Oct. 1. That morning, with great comfort, I beheld the ship drove ashore. Some hopes I had, that when the storm was abated I might be able to get some food and necessaries out of her, which I conceived were not damaged, because the ship did stand upright. At this time I lamented the loss of my companions, and our misfortune in leaving the vessel. When I perceived the ship as it were lay dry, I waded through the sands, then swam aboard, the weather being very rainy, and with scarcely any wind.
To the 14th of this month, my time was employed in making voyages, every tide getting what I could out of the ship. The weather very wet and uncertain.
Oct. 20. My raft and all the goods thereon were overset: yet I recovered most again at low water.
Oct. 25. It blew hard, and rained night and day, when the ship went in pieces, so that nothing was seen of her but the wreck at low water. This day I secured my goods from the inclemency of the weather.
Oct. 26. I wandered to see where I could find a place convenient for my abode. I fixed upon a rock in the evening, marked out a half-moon, intending to erect a wall, fortified with piles, lined within with pieces of cables, and covered with turf.
Nov. 1. I erected my tent under a rock, and took up my lodgings very contentedly in a hammock that night.
Nov. 2. This day I fenced myself in with timber, chests, and boards.
Nov. 3. I shot two wild fowl, resembling ducks, which were good to eat, and in the afternoon made me a table.
Nov. 4. I began to live regularly. In the morning I allowed myself two or three hours to walk out with my gun; I then worked till near eleven o'clock, and afterwards refreshed myself, with what I had to eat. From twelve to two I would lie down to sleep. Extremely sultry weather. In the evening go to work again.
Nov. 5. Went out with my gun and dog, shot a wild ca with a soft skin, but her flesh was good for nothing. The skins of those I killed, I preserved. In my return, I perceived many wild birds, and was terrified by some seals which made off to sea.
Nov. 6. Completed my table.
Nov. 7. Fair weather. I worked till the 12th, but omitted the 11th, which, according to my calculation, I supposed to be Sunday.
Nov. 13. Rain in abundance, which, however, much cooled the air; with thunder and lightening, caused in me a terrible surprise. The weather clearing, I secured my powder in separate parcels.
Nov. 14—16. I made little boxes for my powder, lodging them in several places. I also shot a large fowl, which proved excellent meat.
Nov. 17. I began to dig in the rock, yet was obliged to desist for want of a pickax, shovel, and wheel-barrow. Iron crows I caused to supply the place of the first; but with all my art I could not make a wheel-barrow.
Nov. 18. It was my fortune to find a tree, resembling what Brazilians call an iron tree. I had like to have spoiled my ax with cutting it, being very hard and exceedingly heavy; yet with much labour & industry, I made a sort of a spade out of it.
Nov. 21. These tools being made, I daily carried on my business; eighteen days I allowed for enlarging my cave, that it might serve me, not only for a warehouse, but kitchen, parlour, and cellar. I commonly lay in the tent, unless the weather was rainy that I could not lie dry. So wet would it be at certain seasons, that I was obliged to cover all within the pale with long poles, in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock, and loaded them with flags and large leaves of trees, resembling a thatch.
Dec. 10. No sooner did I think my habitation finished, but suddenly a great deal of the top broke in, so that it was a mercy I was not buried in the ruins. This occasioned a great deal of pains and trouble to me, before I could make it firm and durable.
Dec 17. I nailed up some shelves and drove nails and staples in the wall and posts to hang things out of the way.
Dec 20. Every thing I got into its place, then made a sort of a dresser, and another table.
Dec. 24. 25. Rain in abundance.
Dec. 26. Very fair weather.
Dec. 27. I chanced to light on some goats, shot one and wounded another. I led it home in a string, bound up its leg, and cured it in a little time; at length it became so tame and familiar as to feed before the door, and follow me where I pleased. This put me in mind to bring up tame creatures, in order to supply me with food after my ammunition was spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30. The weather being excessively hot, with little air, obliged me for the most part, to keep within doors.
Jan 1. Still sultry, however, obliged by necessity, I went out with my gun, and found a great store of goats in the valleys; they were exceedingly shy, nor could my dog hunt them down.
Jan. 3 to 14. My employment this time was to finish the wall before described, and search the island. I discovered a kind of pigeons like our house-pigeons in a nest among the rocks. I brought them home, nursed them till they could fly, and then they left me. After this, I shot some, which proved excellent food. Some time I spent vainly in contriving to make a cask; I may well say it was vain, because I could neither joint the staves; nor fix the heads, so as to make it tight: So, leaving that, took some goat's tallow I had about me, and a little okum for the wick, and provided myself with a lamp, which served me instead of candles.
But now a very strange event happened. For being in the height of my search, what should come into my hand, but a bag, which was used to hold corn (as I supposed) for the fowls; so immediately resolving to put gunpowder in it, I shook all the hulks and dirt upon one side of the rock, little expecting what the consequences would be. The rain had fallen plentifully a few days before; and about a month after, to my great amazement something began to lock out very green and flourishing; and when I came to view it more nicely, every day as it grew, I found about ten or twelve ears of green barley appeared in the very same shape and make as that in England.
I can scarce express the agitations of my mind at this sight. Hitherto I had looked upon the actions of this life no otherwise than only as the events of blind chance and fortune. But now the appearance of this barley, flourishing in a barren soil, and my ignorance in not conceiving how it should come there, made me conclude that miracles were not yet ceased: nay, I even thought that God had appointed it to grow there without any seed, purely for my sustenance in this miserable and desolate island. And indeed such great effect this had upon me, that it often made me melt into tears, through a grateful sense of God's mercies; and the greater still was my thankfulness, when I perceived about this little field of barley some rice stalks, also wonderfully flourishing.
While thus pleased in mind, I concluded there must be more corn in the island; and therefore made a diligent search narrowly among the rocks; but not being able to find any, on a sudden it came into my mind, how I had shaken the husks of corn out of the bag, and then my admiration ceased, with my gratitude to the Divine Being, as thinking it was but natural, and not to be conceived a miracle; though even the manner of its preservation might have made me own it as a wonderful event of God's kind providence.
It was about the latter end of June when the ears of this corn ripened, which I laid up very carefully together with 20 or 30 stalks of rice, expecting one day I should reap the fruit of my labour; yet four years were expired before I could allow myself to eat any barley-bread, and much longer time before I had any rice. After this, with indefatigable pains and industry for three or four months, at last I finished my wall on the 14th, of April, having no way to go into it, but by ladder against the wall.
April 16. I finished my ladder, and ascended it; afterwards pulled it up, then let it down on the other side, and descended into my new habitation, where I had space enough, and so fortified that nothing could attack me, without scaling the walls.
But what does all human pains and industry avail, if the blessing of God does not crown our labours? Or who can stand before the Almighty, when he stretcheth forth his arm? For one time as I was at the entrance of my cave, there happened such a dreadful earthquake, that not only the roof of the cave came rumbling about my ears, but the posts seemed to crack terribly at the same time. This put me in great amazement; and running to the ladder, and getting over the wall, I then plainly knew it was an earthquake, the place I stood on sustaining three terrible shocks in less than three minutes. But judge of my terror when I saw the top of a great rock roll into the sea; I then expected the island would be swallowed up every moment: And what made the scene still more dreadful, was to see the sea thrown into the most violent agitations and disorders by this tremendous accident.
For my part I stood like a criminal at the place of execution ready to expire. At the moving of the earth, I was, as it were, sea-sick; and very much afraid lest the rock, under which was my fence and habitation, should overwhelm it and myself in a lasting tomb.
When the third dreadful shock had spent itself, my spirits began to revive; yet still I would not venture to ascend the ladder, but continued fitting, not knowing what I should do. So little grace had I then, as only to say Lord have mercy upon me! and no sooner was the earthquake over, but that pathetic prayer left me.
It was not long after, when a horrible tempest arose, at the same time attended with a huricane of wind. The sea seemed mountains high, and the waves rolled so impetously, that nothing could be perceived but froth and foam. Three hours did this storm continue, and in so violent a manner, as to tear the very trees up by the roots, which was succeeded by abundance of rain. When the tempest was over I went to my tent: but the rain coming on in a furious manner, I was obliged to take shelter in the cave, where I was forced to cut a channel through my fortification to let the water out. It continued raining all that night, and some time the next day. These accidents made me resolve, as soon as the weather cleared up, to build me a little hut in some open place, walled round to defend me from wild creatures and savages; not doubting but at the next earthquake, the mountain would fall upon my habitation and me, and swallow up all in its bowels.
April 16—20. These days I spent in contriving how and in what manner I should fix my place of abode. All this while I was under the most dreadful apprehensions. When I looked round my habitation, every thing I found in its proper place. I had several resolutions whether I should move or not; but at length resolved to stay where I was, till I found out a convenient place where I might pitch my tent.
April 22. When I began to put my resolutions in practice, I was stopt for want of tools and instruments to work with. Most of my axes and hatchets were useless, occasioned by cutting the hard timber that grew on the island. It took me up a full week to make my grind-stone of use to me, and at last I found out a way to turn it about with my foot, by help of a wheel and a string.
April 28—29. These days were spent in grinding my tools.
April 30. My bread falling short, I allowed myself but one biscuit a day.
May 1. As I walked along the sea shore I found a barrel of gunpowder, and several pieces of the wreck, the sea had flung up. Having secured those, I made to the ship, whose stern was torn off, and washed a great distance ashore; but the rest lay in the sands. This I suppose was occasioned by the earthquake. I now resolved to keep my old place of abode; and also to go to the ship that day, but then found it impossible.
May 3. This day I went on board, and with my saw sawed off one of the beams, which kept her quarter-deck. I then cleared the sand till flood.
May 4. I caught some fish, but they were not wholesome, The same day I also catched a young dolphin.
May 5. 'This day I also repaired to the wreck, and sawed another piece of timber, and when the flood came, I made a float of three great planks, which were driven ashore by the tide.
May 6, 7, 8, 9. These days I brought off the iron bolts, opened the deck with the iron crow, and carried two planks to land, having made a way into the very middle of the wreck.
May 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. All this time I spent in bringing off great quantities of iron and timber.
May 15. Took with me two hatchets on purpose to cut off some lead from the roll, but all in vain, for it lay too low under water.
May 16. I omitted going to the wreck this day, for employing myself in looking for pigeons, I outstaid my time.
May 17. I perceived several pieces of the wreck driven ashore, which I found belonged to the head of the ship.
May 24. To this day I worked on the wreck, and with great difficulty loosened some things so much with the crow, that at the first flowing tide several casks floated out, and many of the seamen's chests, yet that day nothing came to land but pieces of timber, and a hogshead which had some Brazil pork in it. I continued working to the 15th of June; (except necessary times for food and rest) and had I known how to have built a boat, I had timber and planks enough; I had also near 100 weight of sheet lead.
June 16. As I was wandering towards the sea-side, I found a large tortoise or turtle, being the first I had seen on the island, though, as I afterwards found, there were many on the other side of it.
June 17. This day I spent in cooking it, found in her threescore eggs, and her flesh the most savoury and pleasant I ever tasted in my life.
June 18. I staid within this day, there being a continual rain; and it was somewhat more chilly and cold than usual.
June 19. Exceedingly bad, being taken with a trembling and shivering.
June 20. Awake all night, my head racked with pain and feverish.
June 21. Sick unto death, and terrified with the dismal apprehensions of my condition. Prayed to God more frequently, but very confusedly.
June 22. Something better, but still uneasy in my mind.
June 23. Again relapsed much as before.
June 24. Mended a second time.
June 25. A violent ague for seven hours, cold and hot fits succeeded with faint sweats.
June 26. Better, but very weak, yet I scrambled out, shot a she-goat, brought it home and broiled some of it; I would willingly have stewed it, and made some broth, but had no pod.
June 27 All this day I was afflicted with an ague; thirsty, yet I could not help myself to water: Prayed to God in these words: Lord, in pity look upon me: Lord, have mercy upon me: have mercy upon me! After this I fell asleep, which I found had much refreshed me when I awaked. I fell fast asleep a second time, and fell into this strange and terrible sort of dream.
Methought I was sitting on the same spot of ground at the outside of the wall where I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake; and that I saw a man descending from a great black cloud, and alight upon the ground. He was all over as bright as a flash of fire that a little before surrounded him; his countenance inconceivably terrible; the earth as it were trembled when he stept upon the ground, and flashes of fire seemed to fill all the air. No sooner I thought him landed upon the earth, but with a long spear, or other weapon, he made towards me; but first ascending a rising ground, his voice added to my amazement, when I thought I heard him pronounce these dreadful words, Unhappy wretch! seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, thou shalt immediately die. In pronouncing this dreadful sentence, I thought he went to kill me with the spear that was in his hand.
Any body may think it impossible for me to express the horrors of my mind at this vision: and even when I awaked, this very dream made a deep impression upon my mind. The little divine knowledge I had, I received from my father's instructions, and that was worn out by an uninterrupted series of sea-faring impiety for eight years space. Except what sickness forced from me, I do not remember I had one thought of lifting up my heart towards God, but rather had a certain stupidity of soul, not having the least sense or fear of the Omnipotent Being when in distress, nor of gratitude to him for his deliverances. Nay, when I was on the desperate expedition on the desert African shore, I cannot remember I had one thought of what would become of me, or to beg his consolation and assistance in my sufferings and distress. When the Portugal captain took me up and honorably used me, nay, farther, when I was even delivered from drowning by escaping to this island, I never looked upon it as a judgment, but only said I was an unfortunate dog, and that's all. Indeed some secret transports of soul I had, which was not through grace but only a common flight of joy, that I was yet alive, when my companions were all drowned, and no other joy could I conceive but what is common with the sailors over a bowl of punch, after they have escaped the greatest dangers.
The likelihood of wanting for neither food nor conveniences, might have called upon me for a thankful acknowledgment to Providence. Indeed, the growth of my corn touched with some sense, but that soon wore off again. The terrible earthquake pointed to me, as it were, the finger of God, but my dreadful amazement continued no longer than its duration. But now, when my spirits began to sink under the burden of a strong distemper, and I could leisurely view the miseries of death present themselves before my eyes, then my awakened conscience began to reproach me with my past life, in which I had so wickedly provoked the justice of God to pour down his vengeance upon me.
Such reflections as these oppressed me even in the violence of distemper. Some prayers I uttered, which only proceeded from the fear of death. But when I considered my father's advice and prophecy, I could not forbear weeping; for he told me, That if I did persist in my folly, I should not only be deprived of God's blessing, but have time enough to reflect upon my despising his instructions, and this, in a wretched time, when none could help me. And now concluding it to be fulfilled, having no soul in the island to administer any comfort to me, I prayed earnestly to the Lord, that he would help me in this great calamity. And this, I think, was the first time I prayed in sincerity for many years. But now I must return to my journal.
June 28. Something refreshed with sleep, and the fit quite off, I got up. My dream still occasioned in me a great consternation; and, fearing that the ague might return the succeeding day, I concluded it time to get something to comfort me. I filled a case bottle with water, and set it within reach of my bed; and, to make it more nourishing and less chilly, I put some rum in it. The next thing I did was to broil me a piece of goat's flesh, of which I ate but little. I was very weak; however, walked about, dreading the return of my distemper; and at night I supped on three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted and ate, begging God's blessing therewith.
After I had eaten, I attempted to walk again out of doors with my gun; but was so weak, that I sat down, and looked at the sea, which was smooth and calm. While I continued here, these thoughts came into my mind.
In what manner is the production of the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much? From whence came myself, and all other creatures living, and of what are they made?
Our beings were assuredly created by some almighty invisible Power, who framed the earth the sea, and air, and all therein. But what is that Power?
Certainly it must follow that God has created it all. Yet, said I, if God has made all this he must be the Ruler of them all, and what is relating thereto; for certainly the Power that makes, must indisputably have a power to guide and direct them. And if this be so, (as certainly it must) nothing can happen without his knowledge and appointment. Then, surely, if nothing happens without God's appointment, certainly God has appointed these my sufferings to befal me. And here I fixed my firm belief that it was his will that it should be so; and then proceeded to enquire, why should God deal with me in this manner? Or what have I done thus to deserve his indignation.
Here conscience flew in my face, reprehending me as a blasphemer; crying with a loud and piercing voice, Unworthy wretch! how dare you ask what you have done? Look on your past life, and see what you have left undone? Ask thyself, why thou wert not long ago in the merciless hands of death? Why not drowned in Yarmouth roads, or killed in the fight, when the ship was taken by the Sallee man of war? Why not entombed in the bowels of wild beasts on the African coast, or drowned here when all thy companions suffered shipwreck in the ocean.
Struck dumb with these reflections, I rose up in a pensive manner, being so thoughtful that I could not go to sleep; and fearing the dreadful return of my distemper, it caused me to remember, that the Brazilians use tobacco for almost all diseases. I then went to my chest in older to find some, where Heaven, no doubt, directed me to find a cure for both soul and body; for there I found one of the Bibles, which, till this time, I had neither leisure nor inclination to look into, I took both the tobacco and that out of the chest, and laid them on the table. Several experiments did I try with the tobacco: First, I took a piece or leaf, and chewed it; but it being very green and strong, almost stupified me. Next I steeped it in some rum an hour or two, resolving when I went to bed to take a dole of it: and, in the third place, I burnt some over a pan of fire, holding my nose over it as long as I could endure it without suffocation.
In the intervals of this operation, though my head was giddy and disturbed by the tobacco, I took up the Bible to read. No sooner did I open it, but there appeared to me these words Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.
At first this sentence made a very deep impression on my heart, but it soon wore off again, when I considered the word deliver was foreign to me. And as the children of Israel said, when they were promised flesh to eat, Can God spread a table in the wilderness? in like manner I began to say, Can God himself deliver me from this desolate island? However, the words would still return to my mind, and afterwards made a greater impression upon me. As it was now very late, and the tobacco had dazed my head, I was inclined to sleep: but before I would lie down I fell on my knees, and implored the promise that God had made to me in the Holy Scriptures, that if I called upon him in the day of trouble he would deliver me. With much difficulty I afterwards drank the rum wherein I had steeped the tobacco, which flying into my head, threw me into such a profound sleep, that it was three o'clock the next day before I awaked; or rather, I believe, I slept two days, having certainly lost a day in my account, and I could never tell any other way. When I got up, my spirits were lively and cheerful; my stomach much better, being very hungry; and, in short, no fit returned the next day, which was the 29th, but I found myself much altered for the better.
The 30th, I went abroad with my gun, but not far, and killed a sea-fowl or two, resembling a brand goose, which, however, I cared not to eat when I brought them home, but dined on two more of the turtle's eggs. In the evening I renewed my medicine, excepting that I did not take so large a quantity, neither did I chew the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke: but the next day, which was the 1st of July, having a little return of the cold fit, I again took my medicine as I did the first time.
July 3. The fit quite left me, but very weak. In this condition, I often thought of these words, I will deliver thee; and while, at some times, I would think of the impossibility of it, other thoughts would reprehend me for disregarding the deliverances I had received, even from the most forlorn and distressed condition. I asked myself, what regard have I had to God for his abundant mercies? Have I done my part: He has delivered me, but I have not glorified him:—as if I had said, I had not owned and been thankful for these as deliverances, and how could I expect greater? So much did this sensibly touch my heart, that I gave God thanks for my recovery from weakness in the most humble prostration.
July 4. This morning I began seriously to ponder on what is written in the New Testament, resolving to read a chapter every morning and night as long an my thoughts would engage me. As soon as I set about this work seriously, I found my heart deeply affected with the impiety of my past life; these words that I thought were spoken to me in my dream revived, All these things have not brought thee to repentance. After this, I begged of God to assist me with his Holy Spirit in returning to my duty. One day in perusing the Scriptures, I came to these words, He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and to give remission: Immediately I laid down the book, and with uplifted hands to Heaven, loudly cried, O blessed Jesus, thou son of David, Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour, give we repentance! And now indeed I prayed with a true sense of my condition, and a more certain hope, founded on the word of God. Now I had a different sense of these words, Call on me and I will deliver thee, that is from the dreadful load of guilt which oppressed my sinful soul, and not from a solitary life, which might rather be called, a blessing, seeing I wanted neither food nor raiment, when compared living amongst the human race, surrounded with so much oppression, misery, and affliction; in a word, I came to this conclusion, that a deliverance from sin was a much greater blessing, than a deliverance from affliction. But again I proceed to my journal.
To the 14th of July, I walked about with my gun, little and little at a time, having been reduced to the greatest extremity of weakness. The applications and experiments I used were perfectly new: neither could I recommend them to any one's practice. For though it carried off the fit, it very much weakened me, and I had frequently convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time. From this I learned, that going abroad in rainy weather, especially when it was attended with storms and hurricanes of wind, was most pernicious to health. I had now been about ten months in the island; and as I never had seen any of the human kind, I therefore accounted myself as sole monarch; and as I grew better, having secured my habitation to my mind, I resolved to make a tour round my kingdom, in order to make new discoveries.
The 15th of July, I began my journey; I first went to the creek, where I had brought my rafts on shore; and travelling farther, found the tide went no higher than two miles up, where there was a little brook of running water, on the banks of which were many pleasant savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass. On the rising parts, where I supposed the water did not reach, I perceived a great deal of tobacco growing to a very strong stalk. Several other plants I likewise found, the virtues of which I did not understand. I searched a long time for the Cassava root, which I knew the Indians in that climate made their bread of, but all in vain. There were several plants of aloes, though at that time I knew not what they were; likewise I saw several sugar canes, but imperfect for want of cultivation. With these few discoveries, I came back that night, and slept contentedly in my little castle.
The next day, being the 16th, going the same way, but farther then the day before, I found the country more adorned with woods and trees. Here I perceived different fruits in great abundance. Melons in plenty lay on the ground, and clusters of grapes, ripe and very rich, spread over the trees. You may imagine I was glad of this discovery, yet ate very sparingly, lest I should throw myself into a flux or fever. The grapes I found of excellent use; for when I had dried them in the sun, which preserved them as dried raisins are kept, they proved very wholesome and nourishing, and served me in those seasons when no grapes were to be had.
The night drawing on apace, I ascended up a tree, and slept very comfortably, though it was the first time I had lain out of my habitation. And when the morning came, I proceeded with great pleasure on my way, travelling about four miles, as I imagined, by the length of the valley, directing my course northward, there being a ridge of hills on the south and north side of me. At the end of this valley, I came to an opening, where the country seemed to descend to the west; there I found a little spring of fresh water, proceeding out of the side of the hill, with its chrystal streams running directly east. And, indeed, here my senses were charmed with the most beautiful landscape nature could afford; for the country appeared flourishing, green, and delightful, that to me it seemed like a planted garden. I then descended on the side of that delicious vale, when I found abundance of cocoa, orange, lemon, and citron trees, but very wild and barren at that time. As for the limes, they were delightful and wholesome, the juice of which I after used to mix in water, which made it very cooling and refreshing. And now I was resolved to carry home and lay up a store of grapes, limes, and lemons, against the approaching wet season. So laying them up in separate parcels, and then taking a few of each with me, I returned to my little castle, after having spent three days in this journey. Before I got home, the grapes were so bruised that they were utterly spoiled; the limes indeed were good, but of those I could bring only a few.