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Plate I 



Robinfon Crufoe 









"Robinson Crusoe," wrote Charles Lamhy "is 
delightful to all ranks and classes. It is capital kitchen 
readings and equally worthy for its deep interest to 
find a place in the libraries of the wealthiest and 
most learned'^ Not only i^ it one of the best boys' 
books in the worlds but in the fundamental humanity 
of the story — the narrative of the triumph of a 
human will over almost insuperable obstacles — // 
has never failed to make a powerful appeal to the 
most sophisticated readers. Tet of late^ despite the 
multiplication of editions^ the taste of the boy has been 
largely regarded^ and few attempts have been made 
to conceive an embodiment of appropriateness and 
charm with an appeal for the booklover^ for the 
sophisticated reader, To supply this lack has been 
the aim of the publishers in planning the present edi- 
tion, "The form that found favor in the volume of 
" The Familiar Letters of James Howeir' has been 
chosen for Defoe's masterpiece^ in the hope that it 
may prove pleasant to both the eye and the hand; 
while for embellishment the classical series of designs 
by Thomas S tot hard has been selected — a series which 
in the opinion of many critics shows a vigor and charm 
seldom equalled in the field of book illustration. 

4 Park Street, Boston, 
September i6, 1908. 



I. Robinson Crusoe taking leave of his father and 
mother (page 6) frontispiece 

II. Robinson Crusoe and Xury alarmed at the sight 

of a lion 38 

III. Robinson Crusoe shipwrecked and clinging to 

a rock 64 

IV. Robinson Crusoe upon his raft 80 
V. Robinson Crusoe at work in his cave 96 

VI. Robinson Crusoe in his island dress 214 


VII. Robinson Crusoe discovers the print of a mans 

foot (page 2) frontispiece 

VIII. Robinson Crusoe first sees and rescues his man 

Friday 7 2 

IX. Robinson Crusoe and Friday making a boat 108 



X. Robinson Crusoe's first interview with the Span- 
iards on his second landing (page 48) frontispiece 
XI. A view of the plantation of the three English- 
men 102 

XII. The two Englishmen retreating with their wives 

and children 106 

XIII. The Spaniards and Englishmen burning the In- 
dians* boats 128 

XIV. Robinson Crusoe distributing tools of husbandry 
among the inhabitants 150 

XV. The plantation of the two Englishmen 170 


XVI. Robinson Crusoe* s seamen vowing revenge for the 

death of their comrade {j^^.gQ 2%) frontispiece 




1WAS 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, named 
Kreutznaer, 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 
after whom I was so called, that is to say, Robin- 
son 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 and mother did know what was become 
of me. 


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

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me se- 
rious 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 sub- 
ject: he asked me what reasons, more than a mere 
wandering inclination, I had for leaving his house, 
and my native country, where I might be well in- 
troduced, 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 for- 
tunes, on one hand, or of superior fortunes, on the 
other, who went abroad upon adventures, aspiring 
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 mid- 


die state, or what might be called the upper sta- 
tion of low life, which he had found, by long ex- 
perience, 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 em- 
barrassed 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 one 
thing, viz. that this was the state of life which all 
other people envied; that kings have frequently 
lamented the miserable consequences of being born 
to great things, and wished they had been placed 
in the middle of two extremes, between the mean 
and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony 
to this as the just standard of true felicity, when 
he prayed to have " neither poverty nor riches." 
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, 
that the calamities of life were shared among the 
upper and lower part of mankind; but that the 
middle station had the fewest disasters, and was 
not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher 
or lower part of mankind : nay, they were not sub- 
jected to so many distempers anduneasinesses, either 
of body or mind, as those were, who, by vicious 
living, luxury, and extravagancies, on one hand, or, 
by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean and 
insufficient diet, on the other hand, bring distem- 
pers upon themselves by the natural consequences 
of their way of living; that the middle station of 
life was calculated for all kind of virtues, and all 


kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the 
handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, 
moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable 
diversions, and all desirable pleasures were the 
blessings attending the middle station of life ; that 
this way men went silently and smoothly through 
the world, and comfortably out of it, not embar- 
rassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, 
not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or 
harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob 
the soul of peace, and the body of rest; not en- 
raged with the passion of envy, or secret burning 
lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy cir- 
cumstances, sliding gently through the world, and 
sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the 
bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by 
every day's experience, to know it more sensibly. 
After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the 
most affectionate manner, not to play the young 
man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which 
nature, and the station of life I was born in, seemed 
to have provided against; that I was under no ne- 
cessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well 
for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the 
station of lifewhich he had been just recommending 
to me ; and that if I was not very easy and happy 
in the world, it must be my mere fate, or fault, that 
must hinder it; and that he should have nothing 
to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in 
warning me against measures which he knew would 
be to my hurt : in a word, that as he would do very 


kind things for me if I would stay and settle at 
home as he directed; so he would not have so much 
hand in my misfortunes as to give me any encour- 
agement to go away: and, to close all, he told me 
I had my elder brother for an example, to whom 
he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep 
him from going into the Low Country wars ; but 
could not prevail, his young desires prompting him 
to run into the army, where he was killed; and 
though, he said, he would not cease to pray for me, 
yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did 
take this foolish step, God would not bless me; 
and I would have leisure, hereafter, to reflect upon 
having neglected his counsel, when there might he 
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 plenti- 
fully, 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 

I was sincerely affected with this discourse ; as, 
indeed, who could be otherwise ? and I resolved 
not to think of going abroad any more, but to set- 
tle at home, according to my father's desire. But 
alas! a few days wore it all oflf: 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 so hastily, neither, 
as my first heat of resolution prompted ; but I took 
my mother, at a time when I thought her a little 
pleasanter than ordinary, and told her that my 
thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the 
world, that I should never settle to anything with 
resolution enough to go through with it, and my 
father had better give me his consent than force 
me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years 
old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, 
or clerk to an attorney : that I was sure, if I did, I 
should never serve out my time, and I should cer- 
tainly 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 make but one voyage abroad, 
if I came home again, and did not like it, I would 
go no more; and I would promise by a double 
diligence, to recover the time I had lost. 

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


in my destruction ; and I should never have it to 
say, that my mother was willing when my father 
was not. 

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

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke 
loose ; though in the mean time I continued obsti- 
nately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, 
and frequently expostulating with my father and 
mother about their being so positively determined 
against what they knew my inclinations prompted 
me to. But being one day at Hull, whither I went 
casually, and without any purpose of making an 
elopement at that time, and one of my companions 
then going to London by sea in his father's ship, 
and prompting me to go with them by the common 
allurement of seafaring men, viz. 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 left them to hear of it as they 
might, without asking God's blessing, or my father's, 
without any consideration of circumstances or con- 
sequences, and in an ill hour, God knows. 


ON the I St September, 1651, 1 went on board 
a ship bound for London. Never any young 
adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began younger, 
or continued^ longer, than mine. The ship had no 
sooner got out of the Humber, than the wind 
began to blow, and the waves to rise, in a most 
frightful manner ; and as I had never been at sea 
before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body, and 
terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect 
upon what I had done, and how justly I was over- 
taken by the judgment of Heaven, for wickedly 
leaving my father's house. 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 been since, reproached 
me with the contempt of advice, and the abandon- 
ment of my duty. 

All this while the storm increased, and the sea, 
which I had never been upon before, went very 
high, though nothing like what I have seen many 


times since; no, nor what I saw a few days after; 
but, such as it was, enough to affect me then, who 
was but a young sailor, and had never known 
anything of the matter. I expected every wave 
would have swallowed us up, and that every time 
the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough 
or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more ; 
and in this agony of mind I made many vows 
and resolutions, that if it would please God to 
spare my life this voyage, if ever I got my foot 
once on dry land, 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 observa- 
tions about the middle station of life ; how easy, 
how comfortable, 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 

These wise and sober thoughts continued during 
the storm, and indeed some time after ; but the 
next day, as the wind was abated, and the sea 
calmer, I began to be a little inured to it. How- 
ever, I was very grave that day, being also a lit- 
tle sea-sick still : but towards night the weather 
cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charm- 
ing 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 I ever 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 terri- 
ble the day before, and could be so calm and 
pleasant in a little time after. 

And now lest my good resolutions should con- 
tinue, my companion, who had indeed enticed me 
away, came to me, and said, "Well, Bob," clapping 
me on the shoulder, " how do you do after it? I 
warrant you you were frightened, wasn't you, last 
night, when it blew but a cap-full of wind ? " — "A 
cap-full, do you call it ^^ said 1 ; " 't was a terrible 
storm.*' — "A storm, you fool ! '* 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 : 
you are but a fresh-water sailor. Bob ; come, let 
us make a bowl of punch, and we '11 forget all 
that. D* ye see what charming weather 't is 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 drunk with it ; and in that one night's 
wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my 
reflections upon my past conduct, and all my reso- 
lutions for the future. In a word, as the sea was 
returned to its smoothness of surface and settled 
calmness by the abatement of the storm, so the 
hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and 
apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea 


forgotten, and the current of my former desires 
returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises 
I had made in my distress. I found, indeed, some 
intervals of reflection ; and serious thoughts did, 
as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes ; 
but I shook them off and roused myself from 
them, as it were from a distemper, and, applying 
myself to drink and company, soon mastered the 
return of those fits — for so I called them ; and I 
had in five or six days got as complete a victory 
over conscience as any young sinner, 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 Thames. We had not, 
however, rid here so long, but we should have tided 
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 better end. 

By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed ; and 
now I began to see terror and amazement in the 
faces of even the seamen themselves. The master 
was vigilant in the business of preserving the ship; 
but, as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I 
could hear him softly say to himself several times, 
"Lord, be merciful to us! we shall be all lost; we 
shall be all undone!" and the like. During these 
first hurries I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, 
which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my 
temper. I could ill reassume the first penitence, 
which I had so apparently trampled upon, and hard- 
ened myself against ; I thought that the bitterness of 
death had been past, and that this would be nothing 
too, like the first : but when the master himself 
came by me, as I said just now, and said we should 


be all lost, I was dreadfully frightened. I got up 
out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dis- 
mal sight I never saw; the sea went mountains 
high, and broke upon us every three or four min- 
utes. When I could look about, I could see no- 
thing but distress around us ; two ships that rid near 
us, we found had cut their masts by the board, 
being deeply laden ; and our men cried out that a 
ship which rid about a mile ahead of us was foun- 
dered. 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 spritsails out, before the wind. Toward 
evening, the mate and boatswain begged the master 
of our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which 
he was very loath to do ; but the boatswain pro- 
testing to him, that if he did not, the ship would 
founder, he consented; and when they had cut 
away the foremast, the mainmast stood so loose, 
and shook the ship so much, they were obliged 
to cut it 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 con- 
victions, and the having returned from them to the 


resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was 
at death itself; and these, added to the terror of 
the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can 
by no words describe it; but the worst was not 
come yet; the storm continued with such fury, that 
the seamen themselves acknowledged they had 
never known a worse. We had a good ship, but 
she was deep laden, and so wallowed in the sea, that 
the seamen every now and then cried out she would 
founder. It was my advantage, in one respect, that 
I did not know what they meant hy founder, till I 
inquired. However, the storm was so violent that 
I saw what is not often seen, the master, the boat- 
swain, and some others, more sensible than the rest, 
at their prayers, and expecting every moment the 
ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the 
night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of 
the men, that had been down on purpose to see, cried 
out, we had sprung a leak ; another said there was 
four feet water in the hold. Then all hands were 
called to the pump. At that very word my heart, 
as I thought, died within me, and I fell backwards 
upon the side of my bed, where I sat in the cabin. 
However, the men roused me, and told me that I, 
who was able to do nothing before, was as well 
able to pump as another: at which I stirred up 
and went to the pump, and worked very heartily. 
While this was doing, the master seeing some light 
colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm, were 
obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would not 
come near us, ordered us to fire a gun as a signal 


of distress. I, who knew nothing what that meant, 
was so surprised, that I thought the ship had 
broke, or some dreadful thing had happened. In 
a word, I was so surprised that I fell down in a 
swoon. As this was a time when everybody had his 
own life to think of, no one 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 as 
it was not possible she could swim till we might run 
into a port, so the master continued firing guns for 
help ; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead 
of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with 
the utmost hazard the boat came near us, but it was 
impossible for us to get on board, or for the boat to 
lie near the ship's side ; till at last the men rowing 
very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, 
our men cast them a rope over the stern with a 
buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, 
which they, after great labour and hazard, took hold 
of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and 
got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for 
them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of 
reaching 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, slop- 
ing towards the shore almost as far as Winterton- 

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

While we were in this condition, the men yet 
labouring at the oar to bring the boat near the shore, 
we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, 
we were able to see the shore) a great many peo- 
ple running along the strand, to assist us when we 
should come near; but we made slow way towards 
the shore ; nor were we able to reach it, till, being 
past the light-house at Winterton, the shore falls 
off to the westward, towards Cromer, and so the 
land broke off a little the violence of the wind. 
Here we got in, and, though not without much diffi- 
culty, 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 quar- 
ters, as by the 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 

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

But my ill fate pushed me on with an obstinacy 
that nothing could resist; and though I had several 
times loud calls from my reason and my more com- 
posed 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 de- 
struction, even though it be before us, and that we 
rush upon it with our eyes open. Certainly, nothing 
but some such decreed unavoidable misery attend- 
ing, and which it was impossible for me to escape, 
could have pushed me forward against the calm 
reasonings and persuasions of my most retired 
thoughts, and against two such visible instructions 
as I had met with in my first attempt. 

My comrade, who had helped to harden me be- 
fore, 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 ; telling his father who I was, and how 
I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to 
go farther abroad. His father, turning to me with 
a 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 voy- 
age for a trial, you see what a taste Heaven has 
given you of what you are to expect if you persist. 
Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account, 
like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish." — " Pray," con- 
tinues he, " what are you, and on what account did 
you go to sea ? " Upon that I told him some of 
my story; at the end of which he burst out with a 
strange kind of passion. " What had I done," said 
he, " that such an unhappy wretch should come 
into my ship ? I would not set my foot in the same 
ship with thee again for a thousand pounds." This 
indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, 
which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, 
and was farther than he could have authority to go. 
— However, he afterwards talked very gravely to 
me ; exhorted me to go back to my father, and not 
tempt Providence to my ruin ; told me, I might 
see a visible hand of Heaven against me ; and, 
" young man," said he, " depend upon it, if you do 


not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with 
nothing but disasters and disappointments, till your 
father's words are fulfilled upon you." 

We parted soon after, for I made him little an- 
swer, and I saw him no more ; which way he went, 
I know not : as for me, having some money in my 
pocket, I travelled to London by land ; and there, 
as well as on the road, had many struggles with my- 
self what course of life I should take, and whether 
I should go home or go to sea. As to going home, 
shame opposed the best motions that offered to my 
thoughts ; and it immediately occurred to me how 
I should be laughed at among the neighbours, and 
should be ashamed to see, not my father and mo- 
ther only, but even everybody else. From whence 
I have often since observed how incongruous and 
irrational the common temper of mankind is, es- 
pecially 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 re- 
turning, 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 con- 
tinued to going home ; and as I stayed awhile, the 
remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off; 
and as that abated, the little motion I had in my 
desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I 


quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out 
for a voyage. That evil influence which carried me 
first away from my father's house, that hurried me 
into the wild and indigested notion of raising my 
fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forci- 
bly 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 enter- 
prises to my view ; and I went on board a vessel 
bound to the coast of Africa, or, as our sailors 
vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea. 

It was my great misfortune, that in all these ad- 
ventures I did not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, 
though I might indeed have worked a little harder 
than ordinary, yet, at the same time, I had learned 
the duty and office of a foremast-man, and in time 
might have qualified myself for a mate or lieuten- 
ant, if not 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 fell acquainted with the master of a ship, who 
had been on the coast of Guinea, and who, having 


had very good success there, was resolved to go 
again. He, taking a fancy to my conversation, which 
was not at all disagreeable at that time, and hearing 
me say I had a mind to see the world, told me 
that, 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 enter- 
ing into a strict friendship with this captain, who 
was an honest and plain-dealing man, I went the 
voyage with him, and carried a small adventure 
with me; which, by the disinterested honesty of my 
friend the captain, I increased very considerably ; 
for I carried about forty pounds in such toys and 
trifles as the captain directed me to buy. This forty 
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, and 
which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my 
friend the captain ; under whom also I got a com- 
petent knowledge of 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, 1 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 three hundred 
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 the latitude of fifteen degrees 
north even to the Line itself. 


I WAS now set up for a Guinea trader ; and my 
friend, to my great misfortune, dying soon 
after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage 
again ; and I embarked in the same vessel with 
one who was his mate in the former voyage, and 
had now got the command of the ship. This was 
the unhappiest voyage that ever man made ; for 
though I did not carry quite a hundred pounds of 
my new-gained wealth, so that I had two hundred 
pounds left, and which I lodged with my friend's 
widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into 
terrible misfortunes in this voyage ; and the first 
was this, viz. — our ship, making her course to- 
wards the Canary Islands, or rather between those 
islands and the African shore, was surprised, in 
the gray 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 rover eighteen. About three in the after- 
noon 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 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 it could not be worse ; that now the hand of 
Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone, 
without redemption. But, alas ! this was but a 
taste of the misery I was to go through, as will 
appear in the sequel of this story. 

As my new patron, or master, had taken me 
home to his house, so I was in hopes he would 
take me with him when he went to sea again, be- 
lieving that it would, some time or other, be his 
fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese 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 drudg- 
ery 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 English- 
man, Irishman, or Scotchman there but myself; 
so that for two years, though I often pleased my- 
self with the imagination, yet I never had the least 
encouraging prospect of putting it in practice. 


After about two years, an odd circumstance pre- 
sented 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, with- 
out 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 pinnacle and go out into the road 
a fishing ; and as he always took me and a young 
Moresco with him to row the boat, we made him 
very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catch- 
ing fish, insomuch that sometimes he would send me 
with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth, 
the Moresco, as they called him, to catch a dish of 
fish for him. 

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

But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved 
to take more care of himself for the future ; and 
having lying by him the longboat of our English 
ship he had taken, he resolved he would not go a 


fishing any more without a compass and some pro- 
vision ; so he ordered the carpenter of the ship, who 
was an English slave, to build a little state-room 
or cabin in the middle of the longboat, like that of 
a ^barge, with a place to stand behind it, to steer 
and haul home the main sheet, and room before 
for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. She 
sailed with what we called a shoulder-of-mutton 
sail, and the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin, 
which lay very snug and low, and had in it room 
for him to lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat 
on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles 
of such liquor as he thought fit to drink, and par- 
ticularly 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 dis- 
tinction in that place, and for whom he had pro- 
vided extraordinarily, and had therefore sent on 
board the boat, overnight, a larger store of pro- 
visions 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 directed, and waited 
the next morning with the boat washed clean, her 
ensign and pendants out, and everything to accom- 
modate his guests: when, by and by, my patron 
came on board alone, and told me his guests had 


put oflF going, upon some business that fell out, 
and ordered me with a 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 com- 
manded, thatas soon as I had got somefish, I should 
bring it home to his house : all which I prepared 
to do. 

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

My first contrivance was to make a pretence to 
speak to this Moor, to get something for our 
subsistence on board; for I told him we must not 
presume to eat of our patron's bread : he said that 
was true ; so he brought a large basket of rusk or 
biscuit, of their kind, and three jars with fresh wa- 
ter, 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 con- 
veyed them into the boat while the Moor was on 
shore, as if they had been there before for our 
master. I conveyed also a great lump of bees-wax 
into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred- 
weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, 
a saw, and a hammer, all which were of great use 
to us afterwards, especially the wax, to make can- 


dies. Another trick I tried upon him, which he 
innocently came into also: his name was Ismael, 
whom they called Muley, or Moley : so I called to 
him: " Moley," said 1, " 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 *' (fowls 
like our curlews) "for ourselves, for I know he 
keeps the gunner's stores in the ship." — " Yes," 
says he, " I will bring some" ; and accordingly he 
brought a great leather pouch, which held about a 
pound and a half of powder, or rather more, and 
another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with 
some bullets, and put all into the boat : at the same 
time I 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, pour- 
ing what was in it into another; and thus furnished 
with every thing needful, we sailed out of the port 
to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the 
port, knew who we were, and took no notice of 
us ; and we were not above a mile out of the port, 
before we hauled in our sail and set us down to 
fish. The wind blew from NN.E., which was con- 
trary to my desire ; for, had it blown southerly, I 
had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and 
at last reached to the bay of Cadiz ; but my reso- 
lutions were, blow which way it would, I would be 
gone from the horrid place where I was, and leave 
the rest to fate. 

After we had fished some time and catched no- 
thing, 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 at the 
head of the boat, set the sails ; and as I had the 
helm, I run the boat near a league farther, and then 
brought to, as if I would fish. Then giving the boy 
the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor 
was, and I took him by surprise, with my arm un- 
der 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, and 
told me he would go all the world over with me. 
He swam so strong after the boat, that he would 
have reached me very quickly, there being but 
little wind ; upon which I stepped into the cabin, 
and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented 
it at him, and told him, I had done him no hurt, 
and if he would be quiet, I would do him none ; 
" But," said I, " you swim well enough to reach 
the shore, and the sea is calm ; make the best of 
your way to shore, and I will do you no harm ; but 
if you come near the boat, I will shoot you through 
the head ; for I am resolved to have my liberty." 
So he turned himself about, and swam for the 
shore ; and I make no doubt but he reached it 
with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer. 

I could have been content to have taken this 
Moor with me and have drowned- the boy, but 
there was no venturing to trust him. When he 
was gone I turned to the boy, whom they called 


Xury, and said to him, " Xury, if you will be faith- 
ful to me I will make you a great man ; but if you 
will not stroke your face to be true to me " (that 
is, swear by Mahomet and his father's beard), " I 
must throw you into the sea too." The boy smiled 
in my face, and spoke so innocently that I could 
not mistrust him ; and swore to be faithful to me, 
and go all over the world with me. 

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

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 made the land, I could not be less than one 
hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee, quite be- 
yond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or 


indeed of any other king thereabout ; for we saw 
no people. 

Yet such was the fright I had taken at the 
Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions I had of 
falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or 
go on shore, or come to an anchor, the wind con- 
tinuing 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 or where, neither what latitude, what coun- 
try, 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 will not; but it may be, 
we may see men by day, who will be as bad to us 
as those lions." — "Then we may give them the 
shoot-gun," says Xury, laughing; "make them 
run away." Such English Xury spoke by con- 
versing 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 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 cool- 
ing themselves, and they made such hideous howl- 
ings and yellings, that I never indeed heard the 

Xury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so 
was I too ; but we were both more frightened 
when we heard one of these mighty creatures 
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 a 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 sur- 
prised 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 to the shore again. 

But it is impossible to describe the horrible 
noises and hideous cries and bowlings 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 believe, those creatures had 
never heard before. This convinced me there was 
no going on shore for us in the night upon that 
coast: and how to venture on shore in the day was 
another question too ; for to have fallen into the 
hands of any of the savages had been as bad as to 
have fallen into the paws of lions and tigers ; at 
least, we were equally apprehensive of the danger 
of it. 

Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on 
shore somewhere or other for water, for we had 
not a pint left in the boat : when and where to 
get it was the point. Xury said, if I would let him 
go on shore with one of the jars, he would find 
if there was any water, and bring some to me. I 
asked him why he would go ; why I should not 
go, and he stay in the boat. The boy answered 
with so much affection, that he made me love him 
ever after. Says he, "If wild mans come, they 
eat me, you go away." — " 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 in the boat as 
near the shore as we thought was proper, and so 
waded to 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 frightened by 
some wild beast, and I therefore ran forwards 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 differ- 
ent 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 

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 having a fire, feasted on the 
hare we had killed ; and prepared to go on our 
way, having seen no footsteps of any human crea- 
ture in that part of the country. 

As I had been one voyage to this coast before, 
I knew very well that the islands of the Canaries, 
and the Cape de Verd Islands also, lay not far from 
the coast. But as I had no instruments to take an 
observation, to find what latitude we were in, and 
did not exactly know, or at least remember, what 
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look 
for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them, 
otherwise I might now have easily found some 
of these islands. But my hope was, that if I stood 
along this coast till I came to the part where the 


English traded, I should find some of their ves- 
sels upon their usual design of trade, that would 
relieve and take us in. 

By the best of my calculation, the place where 
1 now was must be that country which, lying be- 
tween 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 forsak- 
ing 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 bowlings and roaring 
of wild beasts by night. 

Once or twice, in the day-time, I thought I saw 
the Pico of Teneriffe, being the top of the moun- 
tain 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 de- 
sign, and keep along the shore. 

Several times I was obliged to land for fresh 
water, after we had left this place ; and once, in 
particular, being early in the morning, we came to 


an anchor under a little point of land which was 
pretty high ; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay 
still, to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more 
about him than, it seems, mine were, calls softly to 
me, and tells me, that we had best go farther oflF 
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, 
over him. " Xury," says I, " you shall go on 
shore and kill him." Xury looked frightened, and 
said, " Me kill ! he eat me at one mouth " ; one 
mouthful he meant. However, I said no more to 
the boy, but bade him be still ; and 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 a 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 
broke, fell down again, and then got up upon 
three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that 
ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not 
hit him on the head; however, I took up the 
second piece immediately, and though he began to 


move off, fired again, and shot him in the head, 
and had the pleasure to see him drop, and 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 it was no food ; 
and I was very sorry to lose three charges of pow- 
der 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 mon- 
strous 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. In- 
deed, 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 con- 
tinually, for ten or twelve days, living very spar- 

PLAI-E 11 


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

When I had pursued this resolution about ten 
days longer, as I have said, I began to see that the 
land was inhabited ; and in two or three places, as 
we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore 
to look at us : we could also perceive they were 
quite black and stark naked. I was once inclined 
to have gone on shore to them ; but Xury was my 
better counsellor, and said to me, " No go, no go." 
However, I hauled in nearer the shore, that I 
might talk to them ; and I found they ran along 
the shore by me a good way. I observed they had 
no weapons in their hands, except one, who had a 
long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, 
and that they would throw them a great way with 
good aim ; so I kept at a distance, but talked to 
them by signs, as well as I could, and particularly 
made signs for something to eat. They beckoned to 


me to stop my boat, and they would fetch me some 
meat : upon this I lowered the top of my sail, and 
lay by, and two of them ran up into the country ; 
and in less than half an hour came back, and 
brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some 
corn, such as the produce of their country ; but we 
neither knew what the one or the other was ; how- 
ever, we were willing to accept it. But how to come 
at it was our next dispute, for I was not for ven- 
turing on shore to them, and they were as much 
afraid of us : but they took a safe way for us all, for 
they brought it to the shore, and laid it down, and 
went and stood a great way off till we fetched it 
on board, and then came close to us again. 

We made signs of thanks to them, for we had 
nothing to make them amends ; but an opportu- 
nity offered that very instant to oblige them won- 
derfully; 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 pursu- 
ing 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 ter- 
ribly frightened, especially the women. The man 
that had the lance, or dart, did not fly from them, 
but the rest did ; however, as the two creatures ran 
directly into the water, they did not seem to offer 


to fall upon any of the Negroes, but plunged them- 
selves into the sea, and swam about, as if they had 
come for their diversion ; at last one of them be- 
gan to come nearer our boat than I at first ex- 
pected ; 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 di- 
rectly in the head: immediately he sunk down 
into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up 
and down, as if he was struggling for life, and so 
indeed he was: he immediately made to the shore, 
but between the wound which was his mortal hurt, 
and the strangling of the water, he died just before 
he reached the shore. 

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

The other creature, frightened with the flash 


of fire and the noise of the gun, swam onshore, and 
ran up directly to the mountains from whence they 
came ; nor could I, at that distance, know what it 
was. I found quickly the Negroes were for eating 
the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have 
them take it as a favour from me ; which, when I 
made signs to them that they might take him, they 
were very thankful for. Immediately they fell to 
work with him ; and though they had no knife, 
yet with a sharpened piece of wood they took oflF 
his skin as readily, and much more readily, than 
we could have done with a knife. They offered me 
some of the flesh, which I declined, making as if 
I would give it them, but made signs for the skin, 
which they gave me very freely, and brought me a 
great deal more of their 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 upwards, 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 sup- 
pose, in the sun ; this they set down to me, as be- 
fore, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and 
filled them all three. The women were as stark 
naked as the men. 

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such 
as it was, and water ; and leaving my friendly Ne- 
groes, I made forward for about eleven days more, 
without off^ering 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 con- 
cluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was 
the Cape de Verd, and those the islands, called 
from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they 
were at a great distance, and I could not well tell 
what I had best to do ; for if I should be taken 
with a gale of wind, I might neither reach one nor 
the other. 

In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped 
into the cabin and sat me down, Xury having the 
helm ; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, 
" Master, master, a ship with a sail ! '* and the 
foolish boy was frightened out of his wits, think- 
ing it must needs be some of his master's ships 
sent to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten 
far enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the 
cabin, and immediately saw, not only the ship, but 
what she was, viz. that it was a Portuguese ship, 
and, as I thought, was bound to the Coast of 
Guinea, for Negroes. But, when I observed the 
course she steered, I was soon convinced they were 
bound some other way, and did not design to come 
any nearer to the shore ; upon which, I stretched 
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 gon^by before I could make any signal to 
them ; but after I had crowded to the utmost, and 
began to despair, they, it seems, saw me, by the 
help of their perspective glasses, and that it was 
some European boat, which, they supposed, must 
belong to some ship that was lost : so they short- 
ened sail, to let me come up. I was encouraged 
with this, and as I had my patron's ensign 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. Be- 
sides," 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 had 
given. No, no, Senhor Inglez" (Mr. Englishman), 
says he, " I will carry you thither in charity, and 
these 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 offer to touch 
anything I had: then he took everything into his 
own possession, and gave me back an exact inven- 
tory of them, that I might have them, even so 
much as my three earthen jars. 

As to my boat, it was a very good one ; and that 
he saw, and told me he would buy it of me for the 
ship's use ; and asked me what I would have for 
it? I told him, he had been so generous to me in 
everything, that I could not offer to make any price 
of the boat, but left it entirely to him: upon which, 
he told me he would give me a note of 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 loath 
to take; not that I was not willing to let the cap- 
tain have him, but I was very loath to sell the poor 
boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in 


procuring my own. However, when I let him know 
my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me 
this medium, that he would give the boy an obli- 
gation to set him free in ten years if he turned 
Christian ; upon this, and Xury saying he was will- 
ing to go to him, I let the captain have him. 

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

The generous treatment the captain gave me, I 
can never enough remember: he would take no- 
thing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats 
for the leopard's skin, and forty for the lion's skin, 
which I had in my boat, and caused everything I 
had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me; 
and what I was willing to sell, he bought of me; 
such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a 
piece of the lump of bees-wax, — for I had made 
candles of the rest; in a word, I made about two 
hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo; 
and with this stock I went on shore in the Brazils. 

I had not been long here before I was recom- 
mended 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 of making sugar; 
and seeing how well the planters lived, and how 

48 THE Adventures of 

they got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get 
a license to settle there, I would turn planter among 
them : endeavouring, 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 naturalization, 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 

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 c6me; but we both wanted help; and 
now I found more than before, I had done wrong 
in parting with my boy Xury. 

But, alas! for me to do wrong, that never did 
right, was no great wonder. I had no remedy but 
to go on : I had got into an employment quite re- 
mote 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 ad- 


vice: nay, I was coming into the very middle sta- 
tion, or upper degree of low life, which my father 
advised me to before; and which, if I resolved to 
go on with, I might as well have staid at home, 
and never have fatigued myself in the world as I 
had done : and I used often to say to myself, I could 
have done this as well in England, among my friends, 
as have gone five thousand miles off to do it among 
strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such 
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 con- 
dition 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 no- 
body 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, 
near three months. When telling him what little 
stock I had left behind me in London, he gave 
me this friendly and sincere advice : " Senhor In- 
glez," says he (for so he always called me), "if 
you will give me letters, and a procuration here 
in form to me, with orders to the person who has 
your money in London, to send your effects to 
Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in 
such goods as are proper for this country, I will 
bring you the produce of them, God willing, at 
my return : but since human affairs are all subject 
to changes and disasters, I would have you give 
orders for but 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 left my money, and a procuration to 
the Portuguese captain, as he desired me. 

I wrote the English captain's widow a full ac- 
count 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 at London, who represented it effectu- 
ally to her : whereupon she not only delivered the 
money, but, out of her own pocket, sent the 
Portuguese 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 
wrote for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, 
and he brought them all safe to me at the Brazils: 
among which, without my direction (for I was too 
young in my business to think of them), he had 
taken care to have all sorts of tools, iron work, 
and utensils, necessary for my plantation, and 
which were of great use to me. When this cargo 
arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was 
surprised with the joy of it; and my good stew- 
ard, the captain, had laid out the five pounds, 
which my friend had sent him as a present for 
himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant, 
under bond for six years' service, and would not 
accept of any consideration except a little tobacco, 
which I would have him accept, being of my own 
produce. Neither was this all : but my goods 
being all English manufactures, such as 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 a 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 adversity, so was it with me. 
I went on the next year with great success in my 
plantation ; I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on 
my own ground, more than I had disposed of for 
necessaries among my neighbours : and these fifty 
rolls, being each of above one hundred pounds 
weight, were well cured, and laid by against the 
return of the fleet from Lisbon : and now, increas- 
ing in business and in wealth, my head began to 
be full of projects and undertakings beyond 
my reach ; such as are, indeed, often the ruin of 
the best heads in business. Had I continued in 
the station I was now in, I had room for all the 
happy things to have yet befallen me, for which 
my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, 
retired life, and which he had so sensibly de- 
scribed 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 sor- 
rows I should have leisure to make, all these mis- 
carriages were procured by my apparent obstinate 


adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering 
about, and pursuing that inclination, in contradic- 
tion 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 Provi- 
dence concurred to present me with, and to make 
my duty. 

As I had once done thus in breaking away from 
my parents, so I could not be 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 deep- 
est gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, 
or perhaps could be consistent with life and a 
state of health in the world. 

To come then, by just degrees, to the particu- 
lars 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 an 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 on the coast for trifles — such as 
beads, toys, knives, scissars, hatchets, bits of glass. 


and the like — not only gold dust, Guinea grains, 
elephants' teeth, etc., but Negroes, for the service 
of the Brazils, in great numbers. 

They listened always very attentively to my dis- 
courses on these heads, but especially to that part 
which related to the buying Negroes ; which was 
a trade, at that time, not only not far entered into, 
but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the 
assientoSy or permission of the kings of Spain and 
Portugal, and engrossed from the public ; so that 
few Negroes were bought, and those excessively 

It happened, being in company with some mer- 
chants and planters of my acquaintance, and talk- 
ing of those things very earnestly, three of them 
came to me the next morning, and told me they 
had been musing very much upon what I had 
discoursed with them of the last night, and they 
came to make a secret proposal to me: and, after 
enjoining me to secrecy, they told me that they 
had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea ; that 
they had all plantations as well as I, and were 
straitened for nothing so much as servants ; that 
as it was a trade that could not be carried on, 
because they could not publicly sell the Negroes 
when they came home, so they desired to make 
but one voyage, to bring the Negroes on shore 
privately, and divide them among their own plan- 
tations ; and, in a word, the question was, whether 
I would go their supercargo in the ship, to man- 
age the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; 


and they offered me that I should have an 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 a set- 
tlement and plantation of his own to look after, 
which was in a fair way of coming to be very con- 
siderable, and with a good stock upon it. But for 
me, that was thus entered and established, and 
had nothing to do but go on as I had begun, for 
three or four years more, and to have sent for the 
other hundred pounds from England ; and who, 
in that time and with that little addition, could 
scarce have failed of being worth three or four 
thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too; 
for me to think of such a voyage was the most 
preposterous thing that ever man, in such circum- 
stances, could be guilty of. 

But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, 
could no more resist the oifer than I could re- 
strain my first rambling designs, when my father*s 
good counsel was lost upon me. In a word, I told 
them I would go with all my heart, if they would 
undertake to look after my plantation in my ab- 
sence, 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 plan- 
tation 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 cir- 
cumstance, and gone a voyage to sea, attended with 
all its common hazards, to say nothing of the 
reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to 

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 again, the first of September, 1659, being 
the same day eight years that I went from my 
parents at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their 
authority, and the fool to my own interest. 

Our ship was about one hundred and twenty 
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 odd trifles, 
especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissars, 
hatchets, and the like. 


The very same day I went on board we set sail, 
standing away to the northward upon our own 
coast, with design to stretch over for the African 
coast. When they came about ten or twelve de- 
grees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was the 
manner of their course in those days, we had very 
good weather, only excessively hot all the way 
upon our own coast, till we came to the height of 
Cape St. Augustino ; from whence, keeping farther 
off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if 
we were bound for the isle 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 min- 
utes 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 whithersoever 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 died of the calenture, and 
one man and a boy washed overboard. About the 
twelfth day, the weather abating a little, the master 


made an observation as well as he could, and found 
that he was in about eleven degrees north latitude, 
but that he was twenty-two degrees of longitude 
difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that 
he found he was got upon the coast of Guiana, or 
the north part of Brazil, beyond the river Ama- 
zons, toward that of the river Oronoco, 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 for 
going directly back to the coast of Brazil. 

I was positively against that; and looking over 
the charts of the sea-coast of America with him, 
we concluded there was no inhabited country for 
us to have recourse to, till we came within the cir- 
cle of the Carribee islands, and therefore resolved 
to stand away for Barbadoes; which by keeping 
off to 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 our- 

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 very way of all human com- 


merce, 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 coun- 

In this distress, the wind still blowing vory 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 immedi- 
ately ; and we were immediately driven into our 
close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam 
and spray of the sea. 

It is not easy for any one who has not been in 
the like condition to describe or conceive the 
consternation of men in such circumstances : we 
knew nothing where we were, or upon what land 
it was we were driven, whether an island or the 
main, whether inhabited or not inhabited ; and as 
the rage of the wind was still great, though rather 
less than at first, we could not so much as hope to 
have the ship hold many minutes without breaking 
in pieces, unless the wind, by a kind of miracle, 
should immediately turn about. In a word, we sat 
looking upon one another, and expecting death 
every moment, and every man acting accordingly, 
as preparing for another world ; for there was little 
or nothing more for us to do in this; that which 
was our present comfort, and all the comfort we 


had, was, that, contrary to our expectation, the ship 
did not break yet, and that the master said the wind 
began to abate. 

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

In this distress, the mate of our vessel laid hold 
of the boat, and with the help of the rest of the 
men, they got her flung over the ship's side; and 
getting all into her, we let her go, and committed 
ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy 
and the wild sea : for though the storm was abated 
considerably, yet the sea went 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 exe- 
cution; for we all knew that, when the boat came 
nearer to the shore, she would be dashed in a thou- 
sand 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 land. 

What the shore was — whether rock or sand, 
whether steep or shoal — we knew not ; the only 
hope that could rationally give us the least shadow 
of expectation was, if we might happen into some 
bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by 
great chance we might have run our boat in, or got 
under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth 
water. But nothing of this appeared ; and 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 rolUng astern of us, and plainly 
bade us expect the coup de grace. In a word, it took 
us with such fury, that it overset the boat at once ; 
and separating us, as well from the boat as from one 
another, gave us not time hardly to say, " O God ! " 
for we were all swallowed up in a moment. 

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought 
which I felt when I sunk into the water ; for though 
I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself 


from the waves so as to draw my breath, till that 
wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast 
way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, 
went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, 
but half dead with the water I took in. I had so 
much presence of mind, as well as breath left, that 
seeing myself nearer the main land than I expected, 
I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on 
towards the land as fast as I could, before another 
wave should return and take me up again ; but I 
soon found it was impossible to avoid it ; for I saw 
the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and 
as furious as an enemy which I had no means or 
strength to contend with : my business was to hold 
my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I 
could ; and so, by swimming, to preserve my breath- 
ing, and pilot myself towards the shore, if possible ; 
my greatest concern now being that the wave, as it 
would carry me a great way towards the shore when 
it came on, might not carry me back again with it 
when it gave back towards the sea. 

The wave that came upon me again buried me 
at once twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body ; 
and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force 
and swiftness towards the shore, a very great way ; 
but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim 
still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst 
with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising 
up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head 
and hands shoot out above the surface of the water; 
and though it was not two seconds of time that I 


could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, 
gave me breath and new courage. I was covered 
again with water a good while, but not so long but 
I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, 
and began to return, I struck forward against the 
return of the waves, and felt ground again with my 
feet. I stood still a few moments, to recover breath 
and till the water went from me, and then took to 
my heels, and ran with what strength I had farther 
towards the shore. But neither would this deliver 
me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring 
in after me again ; and twice more I was lifted up 
by the waves and carried forwards as before, the 
shore being very flat. 

The last time of these two had well nigh been 
fatal to me ; for the sea, having hurried me along 
as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against 
a piece of a rock, and that with such force, 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 re- 
covered a little before the return of the waves, and, 
seeing I should again be covered 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 the 
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 main land ; where, to my great com- 
fort, 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, 
scarcely any room to hope. I believe it is impos- 
sible 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 grave : and I did not wonder 
now at the custom, viz., that when a malefactor, 
who has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and 
just going to be turned oif, 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 the contemplation of my deliverance ; making 
a thousand gestures and motions which I cannot 
describe ; reflecting upon 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 

Plate III 


of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not 

I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel — when the 
breach and froth of the sea being so big I could 
hardly see it, it lay so far off — and considered, 
" Lord ! how was it possible I could get on shore ? " 

After I had solaced my mind with the comfort- 
able part of my condition, I began to look around 
me, to see what kind of a place I was in, and what 
was next to be done; and I soon found my com- 
forts 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 pro- 
vision; and this threw me into such terrible agonies 
of mind that, for a while, I ran about like a mad- 
man. Night coming upon me, I began, with a heavy 
heart, to consider what would be my lot if there 
were any ravenous beasts in that country, seeing 
at night they always come abroad for their prey. 

All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at 
that time, was, to get up into a thick bushy tree, 
like a fir, but thorny — which grew near me, and 


where I resolved to sit all night — and consider 
the next day what death I should die, for as yet I 
saw no prospect of life. J 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 
as that, if I should fall asleep, I might not fall ; 
and having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, 
for my defence, I took up my lodging ; and hav- 
ing been excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and 
slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have 
done in my condition ; and found myself the most 
refreshed with it that I think I ever was on such 
an occasion. 


WHEN I waked it was broad day, the weather 
clear, and the storm abated, so that the sea 
did not rage and swell as before; but that which 
surprised me most 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 some- 
thing 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 
1 found a fresh renewing of my grief; for I saw 
evidently, that if we had kept on board, we had 
been all safe ; that is to say, we had all got safe 
on shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be 
left entirely destitute of all comfort and company, 
as I now was. This forced tears from my eyes 
again; but as there was little relief in that, I re- 
solved, if possible, to get to the ship : so I pulled 
off my clothes, for the weather was hot to extrem- 
ity, 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, hang down by 
the fore-chains so low, as that with great difficulty 
I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope got 
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 my- 
self 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 ap- 
plication. We had several spare yards, and two or 
three large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or 
two in the ship ; I resolved to fall to work with 
these, and flung as many overboard as I could 
manage for their weight, tying every one with a 
rope, that they might not drive away. When this 
was done, I went down the ship's side, and pulling 
them to me, I tied four of them fast together at 
both ends, as well as I could, in the form of a 
raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank 
upon them, crossways, I found I could walk upon 
it very well, but that it was not able to bear any 
great weight, the pieces being too light : so I went 
to work, and with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare 
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 encour- 
aged 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 rea- 
sonable 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 low- 
ered them down upon my raft ; these I filled with 
provisions, viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, 
five pieces of dried goats' flesh (which we lived 
much upon), and a little remainder of European 
corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which 
we had brought to sea with us, but the fowls were 
killed. There had been some barley and wheat to- 
gether, 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 be- 
longing 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 chests, nor any room for them. 
While I was doing this, I found the tide began to 
flow, though very calm ; and I had the mortifica- 
tion to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I 
had left on shore upon the sand, swim away ; as for 
my breeches, which were only linen, and open- 
kneed, I swam on board in them, and my stock- 


ings. However, this put me upon rummaging for 
clothes, of which I found enough, but took no 
more than I wanted for present use, for I had 
other things which my eye was more upon ; as, 
first, tools to work with on shore ; and it was after 
long searching that I found the carpenter's chest, 
which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and 
much more valuable than a ship-lading of gold 
would have been at that time. I got it down to 
my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time 
to look into it, for I knew in general what it con- 

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 navigation. 

I had three encouragements : ist, a smooth, calm 
sea ; 2dly, the tide rising, and setting in to the 
shore; 3dly, what little wind there was blew me 
towards the land. And thus, having found two or 
three broken oars belonging to the boat, and be- 


sides the tools which were in the chest, I found 
two saws, an axe, and a hammer; and with this 
cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my 
raft went very well, only that I found it drive a 
little distant from the place where I had landed 
before ; by which I perceived that there was some 
indraft of the water, and consequently I hoped to 
find some creek or river there, which I might make 
use of as a port to get to land with my cargo. 

As I imagined, so it was : there appeared before 
me a little opening of the land, and I found a strong 
current of the tide set into it ; so I guided my raft, 
as well as I could, to get into the middle of the 
stream. But here I had like to have suffered a sec- 
ond shipwreck, which, if I had, I think it 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 that end that was afloat, and so 
fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting 
my back against the chests, to keep them in their 
places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my 
strength ; neither durst I stir from the posture I 
was in, but holding up the chests with all my might, 
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 driv- 
ing up higher, I at length found myself in the 


mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and 
a strong current or tide running up. I looked on 
both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I 
was not willing to be driven too high up the river, 
hoping, in time, to see some ship at sea, and there- 
fore resolved to place myself as near the coast as 
I could. 

At length I spied a little cove on the right shore 
of the creek, to which, with great pain and diffi- 
culty I guided my raft, and at last got so near, as 
that, reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust 
her directly in ; but here I had like to have dipped 
all my cargo 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 shore. 

My next work was to view the country, and seek 


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

I found also that the island I was in was barren, 
and, as I saw good reason to believe, uninhabited, 
except by wild beasts, of whom, however, I saw 
none ; yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not 
their kinds ; neither, when I killed them, could I 
tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my 
coming back, I shot at a great bird, which I saw 
sitting upon a tree, on the side of a great wood. I 
believe it was the first gun that had been fired 
there since the creation of the world : I had no 
sooner fired, but from all the parts of the wood 
there arose an innumerable number of fowls, of 
many sorts, making a confused screaming and cry- 


Ing, every one according to his usual note ; but not 
one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the 
creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, 
its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no 
talons or claws more than common. Its flesh was 
carrion and fit for nothing. 

Contented with this discovery, I came back to 
my raft, and fell to work to bring my cargo on 
shore, which took me up the rest of 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 barricadoed myself round with 
the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, 
and made a kind of hut for that night's lodging. 
As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply 
myself, except that I had seen two or three crea- 
tures, like hares, run out of the wood where I shot 
the fowl. 

I now began to consider that I might yet get a 
great many things out of the ship which would be 
useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging 
and sails, and such other things as might come to 
land ; and I resolved to make another voyage on 
board the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that 
the first storm that blew must necessarily break her 
all in pieces, I resolved to set all other things apart 
till I got everything out of the ship that I could 
get. Then I called a council, that is to say, in my 


thoughts, whether I should take back the raft ; but 
this appeared impracticable : so I resolved to go as 
before, when the tide was down; and I did so, only 
that I stripped before I went from my hut ; having 
nothing on but a chequered shirt, a pair of linen 
drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet. 

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

I was under some apprehensions lest, during my 
absence from the land, my provisions might be de- 
voured 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 un- 
concerned, and looked full in my face, as if she 
had a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented 
my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, 
she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she 
offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit 
of biscuit, though, by the way, I was not very free 
of it, for my store was not great; however, I spared 
her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled of it, 
and ate it, and looked (as pleased) for more ; but 
I thanked her, and could spare no more : so she 
marched off. 

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

When I had done this, I blocked up the door 
of the tent with some boards within, and an empty 
chest set up 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 
ail night, for I was very weary and heavy ; for the 


night before I had slept little, and had laboured 
very hard all day, as well to fetch all those things 
from the ship, as to get them on shore. 

I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that 
ever 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 still more 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 med- 
dling with ; I say, after all this, I found a great 
hogshead of bread, and three large runlets of rum 
or spirits, and a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine 
flour; this was surprising to me, because I had 
given over expecting any more provisions, except 
what was spoiled by the water. I sooii emptied 
the hogshead of that bread, and wrapped it up, 
parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut 


out ; and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore 

The next day I made another voyage, and now, 
having plundered the ship of what was portable and 
fit to hand out, I began with the cables, and cutting 
the great cable into pieces such as I could move, 
I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all 
the ironwork I could get; and having cut down 
the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and every- 
thing I could, to make a large raft, 1 loaded it 
with all those heavy goods, and came away ; but 
my good luck began now to leave me ; for this raft 
was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I was 
entered the little cove, where I had landed the 
rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so 
handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw 
me and all my cargo into the water ; as for myself, 
it was no great harm, for I was near the shore ; but 
as to my cargo, it was a great part of it lost, es- 
pecially the iron, which I expected would have 
been of great use to me : however, when the tide 
was out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, 
and some of the iron, though with infinite labour; 
for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work 
which fatigued me very much. After this I went 
every day on board, and brought away what I 
could get. 

I had been now thirteen days ashore, 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 rum- 
maged the cabin so effectually as that nothing could 
be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in 
it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and 
one pair of large scissars, with some ten or a dozen 
of good knives and forks; in another 1 found about 
thirty-six pounds 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 ! " I exclaimed, "what art thou good for? 
Thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking off 
the ground ; one of those knives is worth all this 
heap : I have no manner of use for thee ; e'en 
remain where thou art, and go to the bottom, as 
a creature whose life is not worth saving." How- 
ever, upon second thoughts, I took it away ; and 
wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to 
think of making another raft ; but while I was pre- 
paring this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind 
began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew 
a fresh gale from the shore. It presently occurred 
to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a 
raft with the wind off shore ; and that it was my 
business to be gone before the tide of flood began, 
or otherwise I might not be able to reach the 
shore at all. Accordingly I let myself down into 

Platf IV 


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 rough- 
ness of the water ; for the wind rose very hastily, 
and before it was quite high water it blew a storm. 

But I was got home to my little tent, where I 
lay, with all my wealth about me very secure. It 
blew very hard all that night, and in the morning, 
when I looked out, behold no more ship was to be 
seen ! I was a little surprised, but recovered myself 
with this satisfactory reflection, viz. that I had lost 
no time, nor abated no diligence, to get every- 
thing out of her that could be useful to me, and 
that, indeed, there was little left in her that I was 
able to bring away, if I had had more time. 

I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, 
or of 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 a cave in the earth, or a tent upon 
the earth ; and, in short, I resolved upon both ; 
the manner and description of which, it may not 
be improper to give an account of. 

I soon found the place I was in was not for my 


settlement, particularly because it was upon a low, 
moorish ground, near the sea, and I believed it 
would not be wholesome ; and more particularly 
because there was no fresh water near it ; so I re- 
solved to find a more healthy and more convenient 
spot of ground. 

I consulted several things in my situation, which 
I found would be proper for me : first, air and fresh 
water, I just now mentioned ; secondly, shelter from 
the heat of the sun ; thirdly, security from raven- 
ous creatures, whether men or beasts ; fourthly, a 
view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, 
I might not lose any advantage for my deliver- 
ance, of which 1 was not willing to banish all my 
expectation yet. 

In search for a place proper for this, I found a 
little plain on the side of a rising hill, whose front 
towards this little plain was steep as a house-side, 
so that nothing could come down upon me from 
the top. On the side of this rock, there was a hol- 
low 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 ending. 

In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong 
stakes, driving them into the ground till they 
stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being 
out of the ground about ^ve 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 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 against the 
enemies that I apprehended danger from. 


INTO this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I 
carried all my riches, all my provisions, am- 
munition, and stores, of which you have the ac- 
count 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, viz. one 
smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it, 
and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin, 
which I had saved among the sails. 

And now I lay no more for 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 there- 
fore 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 set- 
ting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm 
of rain falling from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden 
flash of lightning happened, and after that, a great 
clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I 
was not so much surprised with the lightning as I 
was with a thought which darted into my mind as 
swift as the lightning itself: "O my powder ! '' My 
very heart sunk within me when I thought that at 
one blast all my powder might be destroyed; on 
which, not my defence only, but the providing me 
food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was no- 
thing near so anxious about my own danger, though, 
had the powder taken 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 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 fin- 


ished this work in about a fortnight; and I think 
my powder, which in all was about two hundred 
and forty pounds weight was divided into 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 at least once every day with my gun, as 
well to divert myself, as to see if I could kill any- 
thing fit for food; and, as near as I could, to ac- 
quaint myself with what the island produced. The 
first time I went out, I presently discovered that 
there were goats upon 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 hap- 
pened; 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; but when the old 
one fell, the kid stood stock still by her, till I came 
and took her up ; and not only so, but when I car- 
ried 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 spar- 
ingly, and preserved my provisions (my bread espe- 
cially) as much as possibly I could. 

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

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 plenti- 
fully down my face when I made these reflections ; 
and sometimes I would expostulate with myself 
why Providence should thus completely ruin its 
creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, 
so abandoned without help, so entirely depressed, 
that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for 
such a life. 

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

Then it occurred to me again, how well I was 
furnished for my subsistence, and what would have 
been my case if it had not 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 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 a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair 
way to provide myself in such a manner as to live 
without my gun, when my ammunition was spent : 
so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting, with- 
out 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, not only after my ammunition should 
be spent, but even after my health or strength 
should decay. 

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

And now being to enter into a melancholy rela- 
tion of a scene of silent life, such, perhaps, as was 
never heard of in the world before, I shall take it 
from its beginning, and continue it in its order. 
It was, by my account, the 30th of September, 
when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot 


upon this horrid island ; when the sun, being to 
us in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over 
my head : for I reckoned myself, by observation, 
to be in the latitude of 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 
from the working days ; but, to prevent this, I cut 
it with my knife upon a large post, in capital let- 
ters ; and making it into a great cross, I set it up 
on the shore where I first landed, viz. " I came 
on shore here on the 30th of September, 1659." 
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day 
a notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was 
as long again as the rest, and every first day of the 
month as long again as that long one : and thus I 
kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly 
reckoning of time. 

But it happened that among the many things 
which I brought out of the ship, in the several voy- 
ages which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got 
several things of less value, but not at all less use- 
ful to me, which I found some time after, in rum- 
maging the chests : as, in particular, pens, ink, and 


paper ; several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gun- 
ner's, and carpenter's keeping ; three or four com- 
passes, some mathematical instruments, dials, per- 
spectives, charts, and books of navigation; all of 
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 car- 
ried both the cats with me ; and as for the dog, 
he jumped out of the ship himself, and swam on 
shore to me the day after I went on shore with 
my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me for 
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 to- 
gether ; and of these, this of 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 cut- 
ting 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 an- 
swer, made driving these posts or piles very labori- 
ous 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 circumstance I was reduced to ; and I drew 
up the state of my aifairs in writing, not so much 
to leave them to any that were to come after me 
(for I was like to have but few heirs), as to deliver 
my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and 
afflicting my mind : and as my reason began now 
to master my despondency, I began to comfort my- 
self 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 : — 


I am cast upon a horrible. But I am alive ; and not 

desolate island, void of all hope drov^rned, as all my ship's com- 
of recovery. pany were. 

I am singled out and sepa- But I am singled out too from 

rated, as it w^ere, from all the all the ship's crew, to be spared 
vsrorld, to be miserable. from death; and He that miracu- 

lously saved me from death, can 
deliver me from this condition. 

I am divided from mankind. But I am not starved, and per- 

a solitaire ; one banished from ishing in a barren place, afford- 
human society. ing no sustenance. 

I have no clothes to cover But I am in a hot climate, 

me. where, if I had clothes, I could 

hardly wear them. 

I am without any defence. But I am cast on an island 

or means to resist any violence where I see no wild beast to 
of man or beast. hurt me, as I saw on the coast 

of Africa : and what if I had 
been shipwrecked there ? 

I have no soul to speak to. But God wonderfully sent 

or relieve me. the ship in near enough to the 

shore, that I have got out so 
many necessary things as will 
either supply my wants, or en- 
able me to supply myself, even 
as long as I live. 

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testi- 
mony that there was scarce any condition in the 
world so miserable, but there was something nega- 


tive, or something positive, to be thankful for in 
it : and let this stand as a direction, from the expe- 
rience of the most miserable of all conditions in 
this world, that we may always find in it some- 
thing to comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the 
description of good and evil, on the credit side of 
the account. 

Having now brought my mind a little to relish 
my condition, and given over looking out to sea, 
to see if I could spy a ship ; having, I say, given 
over these things, I began to apply myself to ac- 
commodate 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 
against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the out- 
side ; 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 my- 
self 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 when I 
found I was pretty safe as to the 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 in the out- 
side of my pale or fortification. 

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

And now I began to apply myself to make such 
necessary things as I found I most wanted, par- 
ticularly a chair and a table; for without these 
I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in 
the world ; I could not write, or eat, or do several 
things with so much pleasure, without a table : so 
I went to work'. And here I must needs observe, 
that as reason is the substance and original of the 
mathematics, so by stating and squaring every- 
thing by reason, and by making the most rational 
judgment of things, every man may be, in time, 
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled 
a tool in my life; and yet, in time, by labour, ap- 
plication, and contrivance I found at last, that I 
wanted nothing but I could have made, 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 per- 
haps 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. 

Plate V 


set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on 
either side with my axe, till I had brought it to be 
as thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with 
my adze. It is true, by this method, I could make 
but one board of a whole tree; but this I had no 
remedy for but patience, any more than I had for 
a 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 em- 
ployed 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 wrought 
out some boards, as above, I made large shelves, 
of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over an- 
other, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my 
tools, nails, and iron work on; and, in a word, to 
separate everything at large in their places, that I 
might easily come 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 seen, it looked like a general magazine of all 
necessary things; and I had everything so ready 
at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to 
see all my goods in such order, and especially to 
find my stock of all necessaries so great. 

And now it was 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 as to labour, 
but in much discomposure of mind; and my jour- 


nal would, too, have been full of many dull things: 
for example, I must have said thus — " Sept. 30th. 
After I had got to shore, and had escaped drown- 
ing, instead of being thankful to God for my de- 
liverance, having first vomited, with the great 
quantity of salt water which was gotten into my 
stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about 
the shore, wringing my hands, and beating my 
head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and cry- 
ing 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, 
I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little 
mountain, and looking out to sea, in hopes of see- 
ing a ship : then fancy that, at a vast distance, I 
spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and, 
after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose 
it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and 
thus increase my misery by my folly. 

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



SEPTEMBER joth, 1 659. I, poor miserable Rob- 
inson Crusoe, being shipwrecked, during a 
dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this 
dismal unfortunate island, which I called the I sland 
OF Despair ; all the rest of the ship*s company be- 
ing drowned, and myself almost dead. 

All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting my- 
self 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 ; that I should either 
be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, 
or starved to death for want of food. At the ap- 
proach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild 
creatures ; but slept soundly, though it rained all 

October i. In the morning I saw, to my great 
surprise, the ship had floated with the high tide, and 
was driven on shore again much nearer the island ; 


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

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

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 

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 

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

November i. 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 ham- 
mock upon. 

Nov. 1. 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 I went to work to make me a table. 

Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my 
times of work, of going out with my gun, time of 
sleep, and time of diversion; viz., every morning 
I walked out with my gun for two or three hours, 
if it did not rain ; then employed myself to work 
till about eleven o'clock ; then ate what I had to 
live on ; and from twelve to two I lay down to 
sleep, the weather being excessive hot ; and then, 
in the evening, to work again. The working part 
of this day and the next was 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 any one else. 

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

Nov. 6. After my morning walk I went to 
work with my table again, and finished it, though 
not to my liking : nor was it long before I learned 
to mend it. 


Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. 
The 7th, 8th, 9th, loth, and part of the 12th (for 
the nth was Sunday, according to my reckoning), 
I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with 
much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but 
never to please me ; and, even in 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 for- 
got 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 pow- 
der. As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate 
my stock of powder into as many little parcels as 
possible, that it might not be in danger. 

Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in 
making little square chests or boxes, which might 
hold about a pound, or two pounds at most, of 
powder : and so, putting the powder in, I stowed 
it in places as secure and as remote from one an- 
other 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 farther 

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 these wants, and make 
me some tools. As for a pickaxe, I made use of 
the iron crows, which were proper enough, though 
heavy : but the next thing was a shovel or spade ; 
this was so absolutely necessary that, indeed, I 
could do nothing effectually without it; but what 
kind of one to make I knew not. 

Nov. 1 8. The next day, in searching the woods, 
I found a tree of that wood, or hke it, which in the 
Brazils they call the iron tree, from 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 broad part having no iron shod upon 
it at bottom, it would not last me so long : how- 
ever, 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 

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 the 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 iron 
gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to 
run in; so I gave it over, and, for carrying away 
the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me 
a thing like a hod, which the labourers carry mor- 
tar in for the bricklayers. This was not so diffi- 
cult 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 morn- 
ing walk with my gun, which I seldom omitted, 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 accommo- 
date me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a 
dining-room, and a cellar. As for a lodging, I kept 
to the tent : except that sometimes, in the wet sea- 
son of the year, it rained so hard that I could not 
keep myself dry; which caused me afterwards to 
cover all my place within my pale with long poles, 
and in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock, 
and load them with flags and large leaves of trees, 
like a thatch. 

December 10. I began now to think my cave or 


vault finished; when on a sudden (it seems I had 
made it too large) a great quantity of earth fell down 
from the top and one side ; so much, that, in short, 
it frightened me, and not without reason too ; for 
if I had been under it, I should never have wanted 
a grave-digger. Upon this disaster, I had a great 
deal of work to do over again, for I had the loose 
earth to carry out; and, which was of more import- 
ance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might 
be sure no more would come down. 

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

Dec. 17. From this day to the 30th 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. 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 pleasanter. 


Dec. 27. Killed a young goat; and lamed an- 
other, so that I catched it, and led it home in a 
string: when I had it home, I bound and splint- 
ered 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 nurs- 
ing 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 breed- 
ing up some tame creatures, that I might have food 
when my powder and shot was all spent. 

Dec. 28, 29, 30, 3 1 . Great heats and no breeze ; 
so that there was no stirring abroad, except in the 
evening, for food; this time I spent in putting all 
my things in order within doors. 

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

N. B. This wall being described before, I pur- 


posely omit what was said in the journal; it is suf- 
ficient to observe, that I was no less time than from 
the 3d of January to the 14th of April, working, 
finishing, and perfecting this wall ; though it was 
no more than about twenty-five yards in length, 
being a half-circle, from one place in the rock to 
another place, about twelve 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 persuaded myself that if any people were to 
come on shore there they would not perceive any- 
thing like a habitation ; and it was very well I did 
so, as may be observed hereafter, upon a very re- 
markable 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, who 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 all away ; 
which, perhaps, was, at first, for want of feeding 
them, for I had nothing to give them ; however, I 
frequently found their nests, and got their young 
ones, which were very good meat. And now, in 
the managing my household affairs, I found my- 
self wanting in many things, which I thought at 
first it was impossible for me to make; as indeed, 
as to some of them, it was : for instance, I could 
never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small 
runlet or two, as I observed before ; but I could 
never arrive at the capacity of making one by them, 
though I spent many weeks about it; I could 
neither put in the heads, nor join the staves so 
true to one another as to make them hold water ; 
so I gave that also over. In the next place, I was 
at a great loss for candle; so that, as soon as it 
was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I 
was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump 
of bees-wax with which I made candles in my 
African adventure ; but I had none of that now ; 
the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed 
a goat, I saved the tallow, and with a little dish 
made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which 
I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; 
and this gave me light, though not a clear steady 
light like a candle. In the middle of all my lab- 
ours it happened that, in rummaging my things, 
I found a little bag, which, as I hinted before, had 
been filled with corn, for the feeding of poultry ; not 


for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when 
the ship came from Lisbon. What little remainder 
of corn had been in the bag was all devoured 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 rain just now 
mentioned that I threw this stuff away, taking no 
notice of anything, and not so much as remember- 
ing that I had thrown anything there, when, about 
a month after, 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 sur- 
prised, 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 any things 
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 in the 
world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a 
climate which I knew was not proper for corn. 


and especially as I knew not how it came there, it 
startled me strangely ; and I began to suggest that 
God had miraculously caused this grain to grow 
without any help of seed sown, and that it was so 
directed purely for my sustenance, on that wild 
miserable place. 

This touched my heart a little, and brought tears 
out of my eyes ; and I began to bless myself that 
such a prodigy of nature should happen upon my 
account ; and this was the more strange to me, be- 
cause 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 over all 
that part of the island where I had been before, 
searching in every corner, and under every rock, 
for more of it ; but I could not find any. At last 
it occurred to my thoughts that I had shook out a 
bag of chicken*s-meat 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 unfore- 
seen a providence as if it had been miraculous ; 
for it was really the work of Providence, as to me, 
that should order or appoint that 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 would have been burned 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 w^as 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 show afterwards in 
its order ; for I lost all that I sowed the first sea- 
son, by not observing the proper time ; as I sowed 
just before the dry season, so that it never came 
up at all, at least not as it would have done ; of 
which in its place. 

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

I worked excessively hard these three or four 
months, to get my wall done; and the 14th of 
April I closed it up ; contriving to get 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 
with the ladder to the top, and then pulled it up 
after me, and let it down in the inside: this was a 
complete enclosure to me ; for within I had room 
enough, and nothing could come at me from with- 
out, unless it could first mount my wall. 

The very next day after this wall was finished, 
I had almost all my labour overthrown at once, 
and myself killed ; the case was thus: — As I was 
busy in the inside of it, behind my tent, just at 
the entrance into my cave, I was terribly fright- 
ened with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed; 
for, all on a sudden, I found the earth^come crumb- 
ling 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 fright- 
ful manner. I was heartily scared; but thought 
nothing of what really was the cause, only think- 
ing that the top of my cave was falling in, as some 
of it had done before : and for fear I should be 
buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder, and not 
thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my 
wall for fear of the pieces of the hill which I ex- 
pected might roll down upon me. I had no sooner 
stepped down upon the firm ground, than I plainly 
saw it was a terrible earthquake : for the ground 
I stood on shook three times at about eight min- 
utes* 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 that the very sea was put into 
a violent motion by it ; and I believe the shocks 
were stronger under the water than on the island. 

I was so 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 stupi- 
fied ; and the motion of the earth made my stom- 
ach sick, like one that was tossed at sea ; but the 
noise of the falling of the rock awaked me, as it 
were, and, rousing me from the stupified condi- 
tion I was in, filled me with horror, and I thought 
of nothing but the hill falling upon my tent and 
my household goods, and burying all at once ; 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 ; 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; and soon after 
the wind rose by little and little, so that in less 
than half an hour it blew a most dreadful hurri- 
cane : the sea was, all on a sudden, covered with 
foam and froth ; the shore was covered with a 


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 sud- 
den, it came into my thoughts that these winds 
and rain being the consequence of the earthquake, 
the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I 
might venture into my cave again. With this 
thought my spirits began to revive ; and the rain 
also helping to persuade me, I went in, and sat 
down in my tent ; but the rain was so violent, that 
my tent was ready to be beaten down with it ; and 
I was forced to get 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 forti- 
fication, like a sink, to let the water go out, which 
would else have drowned my cave. After I had 
been in my cave for some time, and found 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 cup of rum ; 
which, however, I did then, and always, very spar- 
ingly, 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 be- 
gan to think of what I had best do ; concluding 


that, if the island was subject to these earthquakes, 
there would be no living for me in a cave, but I 
must consider of building me some little hut in 
an open place, which I might surround with a wall, 
as I had done here, and so make myself secure 
from wild beasts or men : for if I staid where I was, 
I should certainly, one time or other, be buried 

With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my 
tent from the place where it now stood, being just 
under the hanging precipice of the hill, and which, 
if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall 
upon my tent. 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 alive affected me so that I never 
slept in quiet ; and yet the apprehension of lying 
abroad, without any fence, was almost equal to it; 
but still, when I looked about, and saw how every- 
thing was put in order, how pleasantly I was con- 
cealed, and how safe from danger, it made me very 
loath to remove. In the mean time, it occurred to 
me that it would require a vast deal of time for 
me to do this ; and that I must be contented to run 
the risk where I was, till I had formed a conven- 
ient camp, and secured it so as to remove to it. 
With this conclusion I composed myself for a 
time ; and resolved that I would go to work with 
all speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, 
etc., in a circle as before, and set up my tent in it 
when it was finished ; but that I would venture to 


stay where I was till it was ready and fit to move 
to. This was the 21st. 

April 11, The next morning I began to con- 
sider of means to put this measure into execution ; 
but I was at a great loss about the 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 caused 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 Eng- 
land, 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 that my bread had 
been low a great while, I now took a survey of it, 
and reduced myself to one biscuit-cake a day, 
which made my heart very heavy. 


MAY I. In the morning, looking towards the 
seaside, the tide being low, I saw some- 
thing 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 it- 
self, I thought it seemed to lie higher out of the 
water than it used to do. I examined the barrel 
that 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 : how- 
ever, I rolled it farther on the shore for the pre- 
sent, and went on upon the sands, as near as I 
could to the wreck of the ship, to look for more. 
When I came down to the ship, I found it 
strangely removed. The forecastle, which lay be- 
fore buried in the sand, was heaved up at least six 
feet : and the stern (which was broke to pieces, 
and parted from the rest, by the force of the sea, 
soon after I had left rummaging of her) was tossed. 


as it were, up, and cast on one side: and the sand 
was thrown so high on that side next her stern, 
that I could now walk quite up to her when the 
tide was out ; whereas there was a great piece of 
water before, so that I could not come within a 
quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming. 
I was surprised with this at first, but soon con- 
cluded it must be done by the earthquake ; and as 
by this violence the ship was more broken open 
than formerly, so many things came daily on shore, 
which the sea had loosened, and which the winds 
and water rolled by degrees to the land. 

This wholly diverted my thoughts from the de- 
sign 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 no- 
thing was to be expected of that kind, for all the in- 
side 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 

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 1 frequently caught 
fish enough, as much as I cared to eat ; all which 
I dried in the sun, and ate them dry. 

May 5. Worked on the wreck : cut another 
beam asunder, and brought three great fir planks 
off from the decks, which 1 tied together, and made 
swim on shore when the tide of flood came on. 

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

May 7. Went to the wreck again, but 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 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 and sand. I wrenched up 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 sev- 
eral casks, and loosened them with the crow, but 
could not break them up. I felt also a roll of Eng- 
lish lead, and could stir it ; but it was too heavy to 

May 10 to 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, 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 

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 blow- 
ing 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 
1 5th of June, except the time necessary to get food; 
which I always appointed, during this part of my 
employment, to be when the tide was up, that I 
might be ready when it was ebbed out : and by 
this time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron 


work, enough to have built a good boat, if I had 
known how : and I also got, at several times, and 
in several pieces, near one hundredweight of the 

June i6. Going down to the seaside, I found 
a large tortoise, or turtle. This was the first I had 
seen ; which, it seems, was only my misfortune, 
not any defect of the place, or scarcity ; for had I 
happened to be on the other side of the island, 
I might have had hundreds of them every day, 
as I found afterwards ; but perhaps had paid dear 
enough for them. 

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

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

June 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the wea- 
ther had been cold. 

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

June 21. Very ill; frightened 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 oflF Hull ; but scarce knew what I 
said, or why, my thoughts being all confused. 


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

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

June 24. Much better. 

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

June 26. Better; and, having no victuals to eat, 
took my gun, but found myself very weak : how- 
ever, 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 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 ex- 
ceeding thirsty : however, as I had no water in my 
whole habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, 
and went to sleep again. In this second sleep I had 
this terrible dream : I thought that I was sitting 
on the ground, on the outside of my wall, where 


I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, 
and that I saw a man descend from a great black 
cloud, in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the 
ground; he was all over as bright as a flame, so 
that I could but just bear to look towards him; his 
countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, im- 
possible 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 earth- 
quake ; and all the air looked, to my apprehension, 
as if it had been filled with flashes of fire. He had 
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 un- 
derstood, 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 hor- 
rors 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 
1 awaked, and found it was but a dream. 

I had, alas! no divine knowledge : what I had 
received by the good instruction of my father was 
then worn out, by an uninterrupted series, for eight 


years, of seafaring wickedness, and a constant con- 
versation with none but such as were, like myself, 
wicked and profane to the last degree. I do not 
remember that 1 had, in all that time, one thought 
that so much as tended either to looking upward 
towards God, or inward towards a reflection upon 
my own ways; but a certain stupidity of soul, with- 
out desire of good or consciousness 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 him, in deliverances. 
In the relating what is already part 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 its being the hand of God, or 
that it was a just punishment for my sin, either my 
rebellious behaviour against my father, or my pre- 
sent sins, which were great; or even as a punish- 
ment 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 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 sav- 
ages ; but I was quite thoughtless of a God or a 
Providence ; acted like a mere brute, from the prin- 
ciples 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 Portuguese 
captain, well used, and dealt with justly and hon- 
ourably, 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 look- 
ing 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 first got on shore 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 distin- 
guished goodness of the hand which had preserved 
me, and had singled me out to be preserved when 
all the rest were destroyed, or any inquiry why 
Providence had been thus merciful to me : just the 
same common sort of joy which seamen generally 
have, after they are got safe ashore from a ship- 
wreck, 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 
into my head. 

The growing-up of the corn, as is hinted in my 
Journal, had, at first, some little influence upon 
me, and began to aifect me with seriousness, as long 
as I thought it had something miraculous in it ; 
but as soon as that part of the thought was re- 
moved, all the impression which was raised from it 
wore off also, as I have noted already. Even the 
earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible 
in its nature, or more immediately directing to 
the invisible Power which alone directs such things, 
yet no sooner was the fright over, but the impres- 
sion 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 prosper- 
ous condition of life. But now, when I began to 
be sick, and a leisure view of the miseries of death 
came to place itself before me, when my spirits 
began to sink under the burden of a strong dis- 
temper, and nature was exhausted with the violence 
of the fever, conscience, that had slept so long, 
began to awake, and I reproached myself with my 


past life, in which I had so evidently, by uncom- 
mon 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, ex- 
torted from me some words like praying to God, 
though I cannot say it was a prayer attended either 
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 in my head with the mere appre- 
hension; 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 miser- 
able creature am I ! If I should be sick, I shall 
certainly die for want of help ; and what will be- 
come 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 should 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 sta- 
tion of life wherein I might have been happy and 
easy; but I would neither see it myself, nor learn 
from my parents to know the blessing of it. I left 
them to mourn over my folly ; and now I am left 
to mourn under the consequences of it; I refused 
their help and assistance who would have pushed 
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 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 I re- 
turn 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. 
The first thing I did was to fill a large square 
case-bottle with water, and set it upon my table, 
in reach of my bed ; and to take off the chill or 
aguish disposition of the water, I put about a 
quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them 
together. Then I got me a piece of the goat*s 
flesh and broiled it on the coals, but could eat 
very little. I walked about, but was very weak, 
and withal very sad and heavy-hearted in the sense 
of my 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, as I could remember, in my 
whole life. After I had eaten, I tried to walk, but 
found myself so weak that I could hardly carry 
the gun (for I never went out without that) ; so 
I went but a little way, and sat down upon the 
ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just 
before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat 
here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me : 
" What is 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, hu- 
man and brutal ? Whence are we ? Surely, 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, " if 
God has made all these things, he guides and gov- 
erns them all, and all things that concern them ; 
for the power that could make all things must cer- 
tainly 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 tobefal me." 
Nothing occurred to my thought, to contradict 
any of these conclusions ; and therefore it rested 
upon me with the greatest force, that it must needs 
be that God had appointed all this to befal me ; 
that I was brought to this miserable circumstance 


by his direction, he having the sole power, not of 
me only, but of everything that happens 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 me- 
thought it spoke to me like a voice, "Wretch! 
dost thou ask what thou hast done? Look back 
upon a dreadful mis-spent 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 herCy when all the crew per- 
ished but thyself? Dost thou ask what thou hast 
done ? " I was struck dumb with these reflections, 
as one astonished, and had not a word to say, no, 
not to answer to myself; and, rising up pensive 
and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went over 
my wall, as if I had been going to bed : but my 
thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no in- 
clination to sleep ; so I sat down in the chair, and 
lighted my lamp, for it began to be dark. Now, 
as the apprehension of the return of my distem- 
per terrified me very much, it occurred to my 
thought that the Brazilians take no physic but 
their tobacco for almost all distempers ; and I had 
a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, 
which was quite cured, and some also that was 
green, and not quite cured. 


I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt : for in 
this chest I found a cure both for soul and body. 
I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, 
viz., the tobacco ; and as the few books I had 
saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles 
which I mentioned before, and which, to this time, 
I had not found leisure or so much as inclination 
to look into. I say, I took it out, and brought 
both that and the tobacco with me to the table. 
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as 
to my distemper, nor whether it was good for it 
or not ; but I tried several experiments with it, as 
if I was resolved it should hit one way or other. 
I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my 
mouth ; which, indeed, at first, almost stupified 
my brain, the tobacco being green and strong, and 
such as 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 by the to- 
bacco 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, as the child- 
ren of Israel said when they were promised flesh 
to eat, " Can God spread a table in the wilder- 
ness ? " so I began to say, " Can even God himself 
deliver me from this place ? " And as it was not 
for many years that any hopes appeared, this pre- 
vailed very often upon my thoughts : but, how- 
ever, the words made a great impression upon 
me, and I mused upon them very often. It now 
grew late : and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed 
my head so much that I inclined to sleep; so I 
left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should 
want anything in the night, and went to bed. But 
before I lay down, I did what I never had done 
in all my life : I kneeled down, and prayed to 
God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called 
upon him in the day of trouble he would deliver 
me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was 
over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped 
the tobacco ; which was so strong and rank of the 
tobacco that indeed I could scarce get it down ; 
immediately upon this I went to bed. I found 
presently the rum 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 exceed- 
ingly 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 contin- 
ued much altered for the better. This was the 29th. 

The 30th was my well day, of course ; and I went 
abroad with my gun, but did not care to travel 
too far. I killed a sea fowl or two, something like a 
brand goose, and brought them home; but was not 
very forward to eat them; so I ate some more of 
the turtle's eggs, which were very good. This even- 
ing I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed 
did me good the day before, viz. the tobacco steeped 
in rum ; only I did not take so much as before, nor 
did I chew any of the leaf, or hold my head over 
the smoke: however, I was not so well the next 
day, which was the first of July, as I hoped I should 
have been ; for I had a little of the cold fit, but it 
was not much. 

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


July 3. I missed the fit for good and all, though 
I did not recover my full strength for some weeks 
after. While I was thus gathering strength, my 
thoughts ran exceedingly upon this Scripture, " I 
will deliver thee"; and the impossibility of my de- 
liverance 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 de- 
livered, and wonderfully, too, from sickness ; from 
the most distressed condition that could be and 
that was so frightful to me ? and what notice have 
I taken of it? Have I done my part? God has de- 
livered me, but I have not glorified him; that is 
to say, I have not owned and been thankful for 
that as a deliverance ; and how can I expect a 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 seri- 
ously to read it; and imposed upon myself to read 
a while every morning and every night; not bind- 
ing myself to the number of chapters, but as long 
as my thoughts should engage me. It was not long 
after I set seriously to this work that 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 seri- 
ously in my thoughts. I was earnestly begging of 
God to give me repentance, when it happened pro- 
videntially, the very same 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 in all my life I could say, in the 
true sense of the words, that I prayed ; for now 
I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with 
a true Scripture view of hope, founded on the en- 
couragement of the word of God : and from this 
time, I may say, I began to have hope that God 
would hear me. 

Now I began to construe the words mentioned 
above, "Call on me, and I will deliver thee," in 
a different sense from what I had ever done before ; 
for then I had no notion of anything being called 
deliverance but my being delivered from the cap- 
tivity I was in: for though 1 was indeed at large 
in the place, yet the island was certainly a prison 
to me, and that in the worst sense in the world. 
But now I 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 
with 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 deliver- 
ance from affliction. 

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 
constantly reading the Scripture and praying to 
God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great 
deal of comfort within, which, till now, I knew 
nothing of; also, as my health and strength re- 
turned, I bestirred me to furnish myself with every- 
thing that I wanted, and make my way of living 
as regular as I could. 

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


some time. I learned from it also this, in particu- 
lar; 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 
this 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 believed that no human shape had ever 
set foot upon that place. Having secured my hab- 
itation, 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 any stream. 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 it might be supposed. 


never overflowed), I found a great deal of tobacco, 
green, and growing to a very great and strong stalk ; 
and there were divers other plants, which I had 
no knowledge of or understanding about, and 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 sev- 
eral sugar-canes, but wild, and, for want of cultiva- 
tion, imperfect. I contented myself with these dis- 
coveries 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 con- 
clusion; for, in short, I had made so little observa- 
tion while I was in the Brazils that I knew little 
of the plants in the field ; at least, very little that 
might serve me to any purpose now in my distress. 
The next day, the i6th, I went up the same way 
again ; and after going something farther than I had 
gone the day before, I found the brook and the 
savannahs begin to cease, and the country become 
more woody than before. In this part I found dif- 
ferent fruits; and particularly I found melons upon 
the ground in great abundance, and grapes upon 
the trees : the vines, indeed, had spread over the 
trees, and the clusters of grapes were now just in 
their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a sur- 
prising discovery, and I was exceedingly 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 sev- 
eral of our Englishmen, who were slaves there, by 
throwing them into fluxes and fevers. I found, 
however, an excellent use for these grapes ; and that 
was to cure or dry them in the sun, and keep them 
as dried grapes or raisins are kept; which I thought 
would be (as indeed they were) as wholesome and 
as agreeable to eat when no grapes were to 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. At 
night, I took my first contrivance, and got up into 
a tree, where I slept well ; and the next morning 
proceeded on my discovery, travelling near four 
miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley: 
keeping still due north, with a ridge of hills on the 
south and north sides 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 at the side of the 
hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due east ; and 
the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flour- 
ishing, 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 other afflicting 
thoughts), to think that this was all my own; that 
I was king and lord of all this country indefeas- 
ibly, and had a right of possession ; and, if I could 


convey It, I might have It in inheritance as com- 
pletely as any lord of a manor in England. I saw 
here abundance of cocoa trees, and orange, 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 whole- 
some, 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 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 home- 
ward, and resolved to come again and bring a bag 
or sack, or what I could make, to carry the rest 
home. Accordingly, having spent three days in 
this journey, I came home (so I must now call my 
tent and my cave) ; but before I got thither, the 
grapes were spoiled ; the richness of the fruits, and 
the weight of the juice, having broken and bruised 
them, they were good for little or nothing ; as to 
the limes, they were good, but I could bring only 
a few. 

The next day being the 1 9th, I went back, hav- 
ing made me two small bags to bring home my 
harvest ; but I was surprised, when, coming to my 
heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine when 


I gathered them, I found them all spread 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 there- 
abouts which had done this, but what they were 
I knew not. However, as I found there was no lay- 
ing them up in heaps, and no carrying them away 
in a sack, but that one way they would be de- 
stroyed, and the other way they would be crushed 
with their own weight, I took another course: I 
then gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and 
hung them upon the out-branches of the trees, 
that they might cure and dry in the sun ; and as 
for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back 
as I could well stand under. 

When I came home from this journey, I con- 
templated with great pleasure the fruitfulness of 
that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation ; 
the security from storms on that side; the water 
and the wood ; and concluded that I had pitched 
upon a place to fix my abode in which was by far 
the worst part of the country. Upon the whole, I 
began to consider of removing my habitation, and 
to look out for a place equally safe as where I was 
now 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 some- 


thing 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 remaining part of the month of July ; and 
though, upon second thoughts, I resolved, as above 
stated, 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 nigh as 
I could reach, well staked, and filled between with 
brushwood. Here I lay very secure sometimes 
two or three nights together ; always going over 
it with a ladder, as before : so that I fancied now 
I had my country and my sea-coast house. This 
work took me up till 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 a tent like the other, with a 
piece of sail, and spread it very Wjell, yet I had not 
the shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor 
a cave behind me to retreat into when the rains 
were extraordinary. 

About the beginning of August, as I said, I had 


finished my bower, and began to enjoy myself. 
The 3d of August I found the grapes I had hung 
up were perfectly dried, and indeed were excellent 
good raisins of the sun ; so I began to take them 
down from the trees; and it was very happy that 
I did so, as the rains which followed would have 
spoiled them, and I should have lost the best part 
of my winter food ; for I had above two hundred 
large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken 
them all down, and carried most of them home to 
my cave, but it began to rain ; and from hence, 
which was the 14th of August, it rained, more or 
less, every day till the middle of October; and 
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 of her, till, to my astonishment, she came 
home with three kittens. This was the more strange 
to me, because, about the end of August, 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 ; yet the young cats were the same 
kind of house-breed as the old one ; and both of 
my cats being females, I thought it very strange. 
But 'from these three 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 24th, found a very large tortoise, 
which was a treat to me. My food was now reg- 
ulated thus : 1 ate a bunch of raisins for my break- 
fast, a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the turtle, 
broiled, for my dinner (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 from the 
rain, I worked daily two or three hours at enlarg- 
ing my cave ; and by degrees worked it on towards 
one side, till I came to the outside of the hill, and 
made a door, or way out, which came beyond my 
fence or wall ; and so I came in and out this 
way. But I was not perfectly easy at lying so 
open : for as I had managed myself before, I was 
in a perfect enclosure ; whereas, now, I thought 
I lay exposed ; and yet I could not perceive that 
there was any living thing to fear, the biggest 
creature that I had as yet seen upon the island 
being a goat. 

September 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 having not tasted the least 
refreshment for twelve hours, even till the going 
down of the sun, I then ate a biscuit 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 dis- 
tinguish 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 
beginning to fail me, 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 what I ,am going to relate was one of the 
most discouraging experiments that I had made 
at all. 

' I have mentioned that I had saved a few ears 
of barley and rice, which I had so surprisingly 


found sprung up, as I thought, of themselves. 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. Accord- 
ingly I dug 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: 
and 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 month follow- 
ing, and the earth having thus 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 sea- 
son 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 from 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. This, having the rainy months of March 
and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, 
and yielded a very good crop ; but having only 
part of the seed left, and not daring to sow all that 
I had, I got 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 was the 
proper time to sow ; and that I might expect two 
seed-times, and two harvests, every year. 

While this corn was growing, I made a little dis- 
covery, which was of use to me afterwards. As 
soon as the rains were over, and the weather be- 
gan to settle, which was about the month of Novem- 
ber, I made a visit up the country to my bower, 
where, though I had not been for some months, 
yet I found all things just as I had 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 ; but I could not tell what tree to 
call it that these stakes were cut from. I was sur- 
prised, and yet very well pleased, to see the young 
trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them to 
grow as much alike as I could ; and it is scarce cred- 
ible 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 semicircle round my wall (I mean 
that of my first dwelling), which I did; and placing 
the trees or stakes in a double row, at about eight 


yards distance from my first fence, they grew pre- 
sently ; and were at first a fine cover to my habita- 
tion, and afterwards served for a defence also, as 
I shall observe in its order. 


1 FOUND now that the seasons of the year might 
generally be divided, not into summer and win- 
ter as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the 
dry seasons, which were generally thus : from the 
middle of February to the middle of April, rainy, 
the sun being then on or near the equinox; from 
the middle of April till the middle of August, dry, 
the sun being then north of the Line; from the 
middle of August till the middle of October, rainy, 
the sun being then come back to the Line ; from 
the middle of October till the middle of February, 
dry, the sun being then to the south of the Line. 
The rainy seasons held sometimes longer and 
sometimes 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 ; par- 
ticularly, I tried many ways to make myself a 
basket; but all the twigs I could get for the pur- 
pose 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 a great delight 
in standing at a basket-maker's in the town where 
my father lived, to see them make their wicker- 
ware ; and being, as boys usually are, very officious 
to help, and a great observer of the manner how 
they worked those things, and sometimes lending 
a hand, I had by these means full knowledge of the 
methods of it, so that I wanted nothing but the 
materials, when it came into my mind that the 
twigs of that tree from whence I cut my stakes that 
grew might possibly be as tough as the sallows, wil- 
lows, and osiers, in England ; and I resolved to try. 
Accordingly, the next day, I went to my country- 
house, as I called it ; and cutting some of the smaller 
twigs, I found them to my purpose as much as I 
could desire : whereupon I came the next time pre- 
pared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity, which 
I soon found, for there was 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 em- 
ployed myself in making, as well as I could, several 
baskets ; both to carry earth, or to carry or lay up 
anything as I had occasion for. Though I did not 


finish them, very handsomely, yet I made them 
sufficiently serviceable for my purpose : and thus, 
afterwards, I took care never to be without them ; 
and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more, es- 
pecially 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 other 
wants. I had no vessel to hold anything that was 
liquid, except two runlets which were almost full of 
rum, and some glass bottles, some of the common 
size, and others (which were case-bottles) square, 
for the holding of waters, spirits, etc. I had not so 
much as a pot to boil anything, except a great ket- 
tle which I saved out of the ship, and which was too 
big for such use as I desired it, viz., to make broth, 
and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing 
I would fain have had was a tobacco-pipe: but it 
was impossible for me to make one; however, I 
found a contrivance for that too at last. I employed 
myself in planting my second row of stakes or piles, 
and also 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 had 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 de- 
scried land, whether an island or continent I could 
not tell ; but it lay very high, extending from W. 
to WSW. 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 observa- 
tions, must be near the Spanish dominions, and 
perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I 
should have landed, I had been in a worse condi- 
tion than I was now. I therefore 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 pause upon this aifair, I con- 
sidered that if this land was the Spanish coast, I 
should certainly, one time or other, see some ves- 
sel pass or repass one way or other; but if not, 
then it was tfie savage coast between the Spanish 
country and the Brazils, whose inhabitants are in- 
deed the worst of savages ; for they are cannibals, 
or men-eaters, and fail not to murder and devour 
all human beings that fall into their hands. 


With these considerations, walking very leisurely 
forward, I found this side of the island, where I 
now was, much pleasanter than mine; the open or 
savannah fields sweetly adorned with flowers and 
grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abund- 
ance of parrots ; and fain would have caught one, 
if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught 
it to speak to me. I did, after taking some pains, 
catch a young parrot; for I knocked it down with 
a stick, and, having recovered it, I brought it home ; 
but it was some years before I could make him 
speak; however, at last I taught him to call me 
by my name very familiarly. But the accident that 
followed, though it be a trifle, will be very divert- 
ing in its place. 

I was exceedingly amused 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. With these, 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, as I was not 
driven to any extremities for food, but had rather 
plenty, even to dainties. 

I never travelled on this journey above two miles 


outright in a day, or thereabout, but I took so 
many turns and returns to see what discoveries I 
could make that I came weary enough to the place 
where I resolved to sit down for the night; and 
then I either reposed myself in a tree, or surround- 
ed 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 

As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was sur- 
prised 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 of which I had seen, 
and some of which I had not seen before, and many 
of them very good meat; but such as I knew not the 
names of, except those called penguins. 

I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was 
very sparing of my powder and shot; and there- 
fore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, 
which I could better feed on. But, 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 upon a hill. 

I confess this side of the country was much 
pleasanter than mine ; yet I had not the least in- 
clination to remove ; for as I was fixed in my hab- 


itation, it became natural to me, and I seemed all 
the while I was here to be as it were upon a jour- 
ney, and from home. However, I travelled along 
the sea-shore 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 dwell- 
ing, and so round till I came to my post again : of 
which in its place. 

I took another way to come back than that I 
went, thinking I could easily keep so much of the 
island in my view that I could not miss my first 
dwelling by viewing the country ; but I found my- 
self 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 posi- 
tion of the sun at that time of the day. And it hap- 
pened, to my farther misfortune, that the weather 
proved hazy for three or four days while I was in 
this valley; and not being able to see the sun, I 
wandered about very uncomfortable, and at last 
was obliged to find out the sea-side, look for my 
post, and come back the same way I went ; and 
then by easy journeys I turned homeward, the 
weather being exceeding hot, and my gun, ammuni- 
tion, hatchet, and other things very heavy. 


IN this journey, my dog surprised a young kid, 
and seized upon it ; and running to take hold 
of it, I 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 had made of some rope-yarn, which I al- 
ways carried about me, I led him along, though 
with some difficulty, till I came to my bower, and 
there I enclosed and left him ; for I was very im- 
patient to be at home, from whence I had been 
absent above a month. 

I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me 
to come into my old hutch, and lie down in my 
hammock bed. This little wandering journey, 
without a settled place of abode, had been so un- 
pleasant 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 
more domestic, and to be mighty well acquainted 
with me. Then I began to think of the poor kid 
which I had penned within my little circle, and 
resolved to 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 was from that time one of my 
domestics also, and would never leave me after- 

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 here. 
I spent the whole day in humble and thankful 


acknowledgments for 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 to 
God for having been pleased to discover to me that 
it was possible I might be more happy even in this 
solitary condition than I should have been in the 
enjoyment 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 commun- 
ications of his grace to my soul ; supporting, com- 
forting, and encouraging me to depend upon his 
providence here, and to hope for his eternal pre- 
sence hereafter. 

It was now that I began sensibly to feel how 
much more happy the life I now led was, with 
all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked, 
cursed, abominable life I led all the past part of my 
days ; and now 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 compos- 
ures 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. This was still worse to 
me ; but if I could burst into tears, or give vent 
to my feelings by words, it would go off; and my 
grief, being exhausted, would abate. 

But now I began to exercise myself with new 
thoughts ; I daily read the word of God, and applied 
all the comforts of it to my present state. One 
morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon 
these words, " I will never leave thee, nor forsake 
thee " ; 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 for- 
sake 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, soHtary condition, than it was 
probable I should ever have been in any other par- 
ticular state of 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 some- 
thing shocked my mind at that thought, and I 
durst not speak the words. "How canst thou be 
such a hypocrite," said I, even audibly, " to pre- 
tend to be thankful for a condition, which, how- 
ever thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, 
thou wouldest rather pray heartily to be delivered 
from?" Here I stopped; but though I could not 
say I thanked God for being here, yet I sincerely 
gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by what- 
ever afflicting providences, to see the former con- 
dition 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 direct- 
ing my friend in England, without any order of 
mine, to pack it up among my goods ; and for as- 
sisting 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, going abroad 
with my gun for food, which generally took me up 
three hours every morning, when it did not rain ; 
thirdly, ordering, curing, preserving, and cooking 


what I had killed or catched for my supply ; these 
took up great part of the day; also it is to be con- 
sidered 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 making me a board for a long 
shelf, which I wanted in my cave, whereas, two 
sawyers, with their tools and a sawpit, would 
have cut six of them out of the same tree in half 
a day. 

My case was this : it was a large tree that was 
to be cut down, because my board was to be a 
broad one. This tree I was three days cutting 
down, and two more in cutting off the boughs, and 
reducing it to a log or piece of timber. With in- 
expressible hacking and hewing, I reduced both 
the sides of it into chips, till it was light enough 
to move ; then I turned it, and made one side 
of it smooth and flat as a board, from end to end ; 
then, turning that side downward, cut the other 
side, till I brought the plank to be about three 


inches thick, and smooth on both sides. Any one 
may judge the labour of my hands in such a piece 
of work ; but labour and patience carried me 
through that and many other things ; I only ob- 
serve 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. Not- 
withstanding this, with patience and labour I went 
through many things ; and, indeed, everything that 
my circumstances made necessary for me to do, as 
will appear by what follows. 

I was now in the months of November and De- 
cember, expecting my crop of barley and rice. The 
ground I had manured or dug up for them was 
not great ; for, as I observed, my seed of each was 
not above the quantity of half a peck, having lost 
one whole crop by sowing in the dry season ; but 
now my crop promised very well ; when, on a 
sudden, I found I was in danger of losing it all 
again by enemies of several sorts, which it was 
scarce possible to keep from it ; as, first, the goats, 
and wild creatures which I called hares, who, tast- 
ing the sweetness of the blade, lay in it night and 
day, as soon as it came up, and ate it so close that 
it could get no time to shoot up into stalk. 

I saw no remedy for this but by making an 
enclosure about it with a hedge, which I did with 
a great deal of toil ; and the more, because it re- 
quired speed. However, as my arable land was 


but small, suited to my crop, I got it tolerably- 
well fenced in about three weeks' time ; and shoot- 
ing 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 for- 
sook 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; forgoing 
along by the place to see how it throve, I saw my 
little crop surrounded with fowls, I know not of 
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 : how- 
ever, 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 staid by it to load my gun, and then coming 
away, I could easily see the thieves sitting upon 
all the trees about me, as if they only waited till 
I was gone away ; and the event proved it to be 
so ; for as I walked off, as if 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 they ate now was, 
as it might be said, a peck loaf to me in the 
consequence ; so coming up to the hedge, I fired 
again, and killed three of them. This was what I 
wished for ; so I took them up, and served them 
as we serve notorious thieves in England, viz., 
hanged them in chains for a terror to others. It 
is impossible to imagine that this should have 
such an effect as it had ; for the fowls not only 
never came to 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 

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 my way, for I cut nothing off but the 


ears, and carried it away in a great basket which 
I had made, and so rubbed it out with my hands; 
and at the end of all my harvesting, I found that 
out of my half peck of seed I had near two bushels 
of rice, and above two bushels and a half of bar- 
ley; that is to say, by my guess, for I had no 

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

It might be truly said that now I worked for 
my bread. It is a little wonderful, and what I be- 
lieve few people have thought much upon, viz., the 
strange multitude of little things necessary in the 
providing, producing, curing, dressing, making, and 
finishing this one article of bread. I, that was re- 
duced 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 hand- 


ful 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 a wooden spade, as I observed before ; 
but this did my work in but a wooden manner; 
and though it cost me a great many days to make 
it, yet, for want of iron, it not only wore out the 
sooner, but made my work the harder, and per- 
formed it 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 grow- 
ing 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, thresh, part it from the 
chaff, and save it : then I wanted a mill to grind it, 
sieves to dress it, yeast and salt to make it into 
bread, and an oven to bake it ; and yet all these 
things I did without, as shall be observed ; and the 
corn was an inestimable comfort and advantage to 
me. 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 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 corn fit for 
my use. 


BUT now I was to prepare more land ; for I had 
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 re- 
quired double labour to work with it. However, I 
went through that, and sowed my seed in two large 
flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could 
find them to my mind, and fenced them in with 
a good hedge, the stakes of which were all cut off 
that wood which I had set before, and knew it 
would grow ; so that, in one year's time, I knew 
I should have a quick or living hedge that would 
want but little repair. This work took me up full 
three months ; because a great part of the time was 
in 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 on the following 
occasions ; always observing that, 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 assistant to my work ; for now, as I said, I 
had a great employment upon my hands, as fol- 
lows : I had long studied, by some means or other, 
to make myself some earthen vessels, which indeed 
I wanted much, but knew not where to come at 
them ; however, considering the heat of the climate, 
I did not doubt but if I could find out any clay, 
I might botch up some such pot as might, being 
dried in the sun, be hard and strong enough to 
bear handling, and to hold anything that was dry, 
and required to be kept so ; and as this was neces- 
sary in the preparing corn, meal, etc., which was 
the thing I was upon, I resolved to make some as 
large as I could, and fit only to stand like jars, to 
hold what should be put into them. 

It would make the reader pity me, or rather 
laugh at me, to tell how many awkward ways I 
took to raise this pastil; 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 re- 
moving, 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 

Though I miscarried so much in my design for 
large pots, yet I made several smaller things with 
better success ; such as little round pots, flat dishes, 
pitchers, and pipkins, and anything my hand turned 
to ; and the heat of the sun baked them very hard. 

But all this would not answer my end, which 
was to get an earthen pot to hold liquids and bear 
the fire, which none of these could do. It happened 
some time after, making a pretty large fire for cook- 
ing 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 

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 fire-wood 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 ob- 
served 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 watch- 
ing 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 de- 
sired ; 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 indiflferent, as any one may suppose, as 
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 oat- 
meal and several other ingredients requisite to make 
it so good as I would have had it been. 

My next concern was to get a stone mortar to 
stamp or beat some corn in ; for as to the mill, 
there was no thought of arriving to that perfection 
of art with one pair of hands. To supply this want 
I was at a great loss ; for, of all trades in the world, 
I was as perfectly unqualified for a stonecutter 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 ; but 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 sufficient hardness, as they were all 
of a sandy, crumbling stone, which would neither 
bear the weight of a heavy pestle nor would break 
the corn without filling it with sand ; so, after a 
great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I 
gave it over, and resolved to look out 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 the 
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 iron-wood : and this I prepared and 
laid by against I had my next crop of corn, when I 
proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, my 
corn into meal, to make my bread. 

My next difficulty was to make a sieve, or search, 
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 but to think on ; for I had nothing like 
the necessary thing to make it ; I mean fine thin 
canvas or stuff, to search the meal through. Here 
I was at a full stop for many months ; nor did I 
really know what to do : linen I had none left but 
what was mere rags ; I had goats' hair, but neither 
knew how to weave it nor spin it ; and had I known 
how, here were no tools to work it with. All the 
remedy I found for this was at last recollecting I 
had, among the seamen's clothes which were saved 
out of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or mus- 
lin ; 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 con- 
sidered, 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 puzzled. At length I found out an ex- 
pedient 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 making and burning also ; but I should not 
call them square. When the fire-wood was burned 
into embers, or live coals, I drew them forward 
upon the hearth, so as to cover it all over, and 
there let them lie till the hearth was very hot ; then, 
sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf, 
or loaves, and, covering them with the earthen pot, 
drew the embers all round the outside of the pot, 
to keep in and add to the heat ; and thus, as well as 
in the best oven in the world, I baked my barley 
loaves, and became, in a little time, a good pastry- 
cook into the bargain ; for I made myself several 
cakes and puddings of the rice ; but made no pies, 
as I had nothing to put into them except the flesh 
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, in the intervals of 
these things, I had my new harvest and husbandry 
to manage : I reaped my corn in its season, and 
carried it home as well as I could, and laid it up in 
the ear, in my large baskets, till I had time to rub 
it out ; for I had no floor to thresh it on, or instru- 
ment to thresh it with. 

And now, indeed, my stock of corn increasing, 
I really wanted to build my barns bigger : I wanted 


a place to lay it up in ; for the increase of the corn 
now yielded me so much that I had of the barley 
about twenty bushels, and of rice as much, or more, 
ii^omuch that now I resolved to begin to use it 
fr7ely ; for my bread had been quite gone a great 
while ; I resolved also 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, etc. 


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 
some secret wishes that I was on shore there ; fan- 
cying that, seeing the main land, and an inhabited 
country, I might find some way or other to convey 
myself farther, and perhaps at last find some means 
of escape. 

But all this while I made no allowance for the 
dangers of such a condition, and that 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 ; and 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 off 
from that shore. Then supposing they were not 
cannibals, yet that they might kill me, as they had 


many Europeans who had fallen into their hands, 
even when they have been ten or twenty together; 
much more I, who was but one, and could make 
little or no defence; all these things, I say, which 
I ought to have considered well of, and did cast 
up in my thoughts afterwards, took up none 
of my apprehensions at first; yet 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 the shoulder-of-mutton sail, with which 
I sailed above a thousand miles on the coast of 
Africa; but this was in vain. Then I thought I 
would go and look at our ship's boat, which, as 
I have said, was blown up upon the shore a great 
way, in the storm, when we were first cast away. 
She lay nearly where she did at first, but not quite ; 
having turned, by the force of the waves and the 
winds, almost bottom upward, against a high ridge 
of beachy rough sand ; but no water about her, as 
before. If I had had hands to have refitted her, 
and to have launched her into the water, the boat 
would have done very well, 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, and repair the damage she had received, she 


would be a very good boat, and I might venture 
to sea in her. 

I spared no pains, indeed, in this piece of fruit- 
less toil, and spent, I think, three or four weeks 
about it ; at last, finding it impossible to heave her 
up with my little strength, I fell to digging away 
the sand, to undermine her and so as to make her 
fall down, setting pieces of wood to thrust and 
guide her right in the fall. But when I had done 
this, I was ^unable to stir her up again, or to get 
under her, much less to move her 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 the main increased rather 
than diminished, as the means for it seemed im- 

At length, I began to think whether it was not 
possible to make myself a canoe, or periagua, such 
as the natives of those climates make, even with- 
out tools, or, as I might say, without hands, of 
the trunk of a great tree. This I not only thought 
possible, but easy, and pleased myself extremely 
with the idea 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., the want of hands 
to move it into the water when it was made, a dif- 
ficulty much harder for me to surmount than all 
the consequences of want of tools could be to them ; 
for what could it avail me, if, after I had chosen my 


tree, and with much trouble cut it down, and might 
be able with my tools to hew and dub the outside 
into the proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut out 
the inside to make it hollow, so as to make a boat 
of it — if, after all this, I must leave it just where 
I found it, and was not able to launch it into the 
water ? 

One would imagine, if I had had the least reflec- 
tion upon my mind of my circumstances while I 
was making this boat, I should have immediately 
thought how I was to get it into the sea: but my 
thoughts were so intent upon my voyage in it that 
I never once considered how I should get it oflf 
the land; and it was really, in its own nature, more 
easy for me to guide it over forty-five miles of sea 
than the 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 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 
own inquiries into it by this foolish answer: "Let 
us first make it ; I warrant I will find some way or 
other to get it along when it is done." 

This was a most preposterous method; but 
the eagerness of my fancy prevailed, and to work 
I went. I felled a cedar tree, and I question much 
whether Solomon ever had such a one for the build- 
ing of the Temple at Jerusalem ; it was five feet 


ten inches diameter at the lower part next the stump, 
and four feet eleven inches diameter at the end of 
twenty-two feet, where it lessened and then parted 
into branches. It was not without infinite labour 
that I felled this tree; I was twenty days hacking 
and hewing at the bottom, and fourteen more get- 
ting the branches and limbs, and the vast spreading 
head of it, cut off. After this, it cost me a month 
to shape it and dub it to a proportion, and to some- 
thing 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, in- 
deed, 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 conse- 
quently big enough to have carried me and all 
my cargo. 

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

But all my devices to get it into the water failed 
me; though they cost me inexpressible labour too. 
It lay about one hundred yards from the water, and 


not more; but the first inconvenience was, it was 
up-hill towards the creek. Well, to take away this 
discouragement, I resolved to dig into the surface 
of the earth, and so make a declivity ; this I began, 
and it cost me a prodigious deal of pains (but who 
grudge pains that have their deliverance in view?) 
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 re- 
solved 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 by the number of 
hands I had, having none but my own, that 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 ; this attempt, though v/ith great reluc- 
tancy, I was at length obliged to give over also. 

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

In the middle of this work I finished my fourth 
year in this place, and kept my anniversary with 
the same devotion, and with as much comfort as 
before; for, by a constant study and serious ap- 
plication 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 ex- 
pectation from, and, indeed, no desires about : in 
a word, I had nothing to do with it, nor was ever 
likely to have; 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 here removed from all 
the wickedness of the world; I had neither the lust 
of the flesh, the lust of the eye, nor the pride of 
life. I had nothing to covet, for I had all 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 com- 
mand 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 val- 
uable ; I had enough to eat and supply my wants. 


and what was the rest to me ? If I killed more 
flesh than I could eat, the dog must eat it, or ver- 
min ; if I sowed more corn than I could eat, it 
must be spoiled ; the trees that I cut down were 
lying to rot on the ground ; I could make no more 
use of them than for fuel, and that I had no other 
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 of no farther good 
to us than for our use ; and that whatever we may 
heap up to give others, we enjoy only as much as 
we can use, and no more. The most covetous grip- 
ing 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 
for things which I had not, and they were com- 
paratively but trifles, though indeed of great use 
to me. I had, as I hinted before, a parcel of 
money, as well gold as silver, about thirty-six 
pounds sterling. Alas ! there the nasty, sorry, 
useless stuff lay : I had no manner of business for 
it ; and I often thought within 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 from 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 would 
have been of no manner of value to me because of 
no use. 

I had now brought my state of life to be much 
more comfortable 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 con- 
sider 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 

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 cer- 
tainly have been if the good providence of God had 
not wonderfully ordered the ship to be cast up near 
to the shore where I not only could come at her, but 


could bring what I got 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. 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 ; 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 

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 re- 
commend 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 condition with what I had 
deserved, and had therefore reason to expect from 
the hand of Providence. I had lived a dreadful 


life, perfectly destitute of the knowledge and fear 
of God. I had been well instructed by my father 
and mother; neither had they been wanting to me, 
in their endeavours to infuse an early 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 opportun- 
ities to converse with anything but what was like 
myself, or to hear anything that was good, or tend- 
ing towards it. 

So void was I of everything that was good, or 
of the least sense of what I was, or was to be, that 
in the greatest deliverances I enjoyed (such as my 
escape from Sallee, my being taken up by the 
Portuguese master of a 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 ac- 
count 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 mercies in store for me. 

With these reflections I worked my mind up, 
not only to a resignation to the will of God in the 
present disposition of my circumstances, but even 
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 condi- 
tion, 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 con- 
sider I had been fed 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 or poisonous 
creatures, 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 make myself sensible 
of God's goodness to me, and care over me in this 
condition ; and after I did make a just improve- 
ment of these things, I went away, and was no 
more sad. 

I had now been here so long that many things 
which I brought on shore for my help were either 
quite gone, or very much wasted and near spent. 

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

First, I had observed that the same day that I 
broke away from my father and my friends, and 
ran away to Hull, in order to go to sea, the same 
day afterwards I was taken by the Sallee man-of- 
war, and made a slave ; the same day of the year 


that I escaped out of the wreck of the ship in Yar- 
mouth Roads, that same day, years afterwards, I 
made my escape from Sallee in the boat : and the 
same day of the year I was born on, the 30th of 
September, that same day I had my life so miracu- 
lously 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 one 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 mightily : as to 
linen, I had none for a great while, except some 
chequered shirts which I found in the chests of the 
other seamen, and which I carefully preserved, be- 
cause many times I could bear no 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 watchcoats 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 all alone. The reason why I could 
not go quite naked was, I could not bear the heat 
of the sun so well when quite naked as with some 
clothes on ; nay, the very heat frequently blistered 
my skin : whereas, with a shirt on, the air itself 
made some motion, and whistling under the shirt 
was two-fold cooler than without it. No more could 
I ever bring myself to go out in the heat of the sun 
without a cap or 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 upon 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 watchcoats that 
I had by me, and with such other materials as I 
had ; so I set to work a-tailoring, or rather, indeed, 
a-botching, for I made most piteous work of it. 
However, I made shift to make two or three 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 hung them up, stretched out with sticks, 
in the sun, by which means some of them were 
so dry and hard that they were fit for little, but 


others I found very useful. The first thing I 
made of these was a great cap for my head, with 
the hair on the outside, to shoot off the rain ; and 
this I performed so well that after this I made me 
a suit of clothes wholly of the 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 warm. I must not omit to ac- 
knowledge that they were wretchedly made ; for if 
I was a bad carpenter, I was a worse tailor. How- 
ever, they were such as I made very good shift 
with ; and when I was abroad, if it happened to 
rain, the hair of my waistcoat and cap being upper- 
most, I was kept very dry. 

After this, I spent a great deal of time and pains 
to make me an umbrella; I was indeed in great 
want of one, and had a great mind to make one; 
I had seen them made in the Brazils, where they 
were very useful in the great heats which are there ; 
and I felt the heats every jot as great here, and 
greater too, being nearer the equinox; besides, as I 
was obliged to be much abroad, it was a most use- 
ful thing to me, as well for the rains as the heats. 
I took a world of pains at it, and was a great while 
before I could make anything likely to hold ; nay, 
after I thought I had hit the way, I spoiled two or 
three before I made one to my mind ; but at last 
1 made one that answered indifferently well. The 
main difficulty I found was to make it to let down : 
I could make it spread, but if it did not let down 
too, and draw in, it 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 

Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being 
entirely composed by resigning to the will of God, 
and throwing myself wholly upon the disposal of 
his providence. This made my life better than 
sociable ; for when I began to regret the want of 
conversation, I would ask myself whether thus 
conversing mutually with my own thoughts, 
and, as I hope I may say, with even 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, just as before ; the chief things I was em- 
ployed in, besides my yearly labour of planting 
my barley and rice, and curing my raisins, of both 
which I always kept just enough to have sufficient 
stock of one year's provision beforehand : I say, 
besides this yearly labour, and my daily pursuit of 
going out with my gun, T had one labour, to make 
me a canoe, which at last I finished ; so that, by 
digging a canal to it of six feet wide, and four feet 
deep, I brought it into the creek, almost half a 
mile. As for the first, which was so vastly big, as 
I made it without considering beforehand, as I 
ought to do, how I should be able to launch it, 
so, never being able to bring it into the water, or 
bring the water to it, I was obliged to let it lie 
where it was, as a memorandum to teach me to be 
wiser the next time : indeed, the next time, though 
I could not get a tree proper for it, and was in a 


place where I could not get the water to it at 
any less distance than, as I have said, 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 fin- 
ished, 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 
firmay where it was about forty miles broad ; ac- 
cordingly, 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 lit- 
tle mast in my boat, and made a sail to it out 
of some of the pieces of the ship's sails which lay 
in store, and of which I had a great 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, 
etc., into, to be kept dry, either from rain or the 


spray of the sea ; and a little long hollow place I 
cut in the inside of the boat, where I could lay my 
gun, making a flap to hang down over it, to keep 
it dry. 

I fixed my umbrella also in a step at the stern, 
like a mast, to stand over my head, and keep the 
heat of the sun off me, like an awning ; and thus 
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 circumfer- 
ence 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 rather call them) of barley bread, an 
earthen pot full of parched rice (a food I ate a 
great deal of), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, 
and powder 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 sixth 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 first I discovered them, I was going to 
give over my enterprise, and come back again, not 
knowing how far it might oblige me to go out to 
sea, and, above all, doubting how I should get back 
again ; so I came to an anchor ; for I had made 
me a kind of anchor with a piece of broken grap- 
pling which I got out of the ship. 

Having secured my boat, I took my gun and 
went on shore, climbing up on 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 fu- 
rious 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 of the island, only that it set oflF at a farther 
distance, and I saw there was a strong eddy under 
the shore; so I had nothing to do but to get out 
of the first current, and I should presently be in 
an eddy. 

I lay here, however, two days, because the wind 
blowing pretty fresh at ESE., and that being 
just contrary to the said current, made a great 
breach of the sea upon the point ; so that it was 
not safe for me to keep too close to the shore, for 


the breach, nor to go too far off, because of the 

The third day, in the morning, the wind having 
abated overnight, the sea was calm, and I ventured; 
but I am a warning-piece again to all rash and igno- 
rant 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 1 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 for 
hunger. I had indeed found a tortoise on the shore, 
as big almost as I could lift, and had tossed it into 
the boat ; and I had a great jar of fresh water, that 
is to say, one of my earthen pots ; but what was all 
this to being driven into the vast ocean, where, to 
be sure, there was no shore, no main land or island, 
for a thousand leagues at least ? 

And now I saw how easy it was for the pro- 
vidence of God to make even the most miserable 


condition of mankind worse. Now I looked back 
upon my desolate, solitary island as the most pleas- 
ant 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 I going! " 
Then I reproached myself with my unthankful 
temper, and how I had repined at my solitary con- 
dition ; 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 con- 
traries, nor know how to value what we enjoy but 
by the want of it. It is scarce possible to imagine 
the consternation I was now in, being driven from 
my beloved island (for so it appeared to me now 
to be) into the wide ocean, almost two leagues, 
and in the utmost despair of ever recovering it 
again. However, I worked hard, till indeed my 
strength was almost exhausted, and kept my boat 
as much to the northward, that is, towards the side 
of the current which the eddy lay on, as possibly 
I could ; when about noon, as the sun passed the 
meridian, I thought I felt a little breeze of wind 
in my face, springing up from 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 was 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 

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-like extremities, may guess what 
my present surprise of joy was, and how gladly I 
put my boat into the stream of this eddy ; and the 
wind also freshening, how gladly I spread my sail 
to it, running cheerfully before the wind, and with 
a strong tide or eddy under foot. 

This eddy carried me about a league in my way 
back again, directly towards the island, but about 
two leagues more to the northward than the cur- 


rent which carried me away at first : so that, when 
I came near the island, 1 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 

When I had made something more than a league 
of way by the help of this current or eddy, I found 
it was spent, and served me no farther. However, 
I found that being between 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 

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 al- 
most full north. However, having a fresh gale, I 
stretched across this eddy, slanting north-west ; 
and, in about an hour, came within about a mile 
of the shore, where, it being smooth water, I soon 
got to land. 

When I was on shore, I fell on my knees, and 


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

I was now at a great loss which way to get home 
with my boat; I had run so much hazard, and knew 
too much of the case, to think of attempting it 
by the way I went out ; and what might be at the 
other side (I mean the west side) I knew not, nor 
had I any mind to run any more ventures ; so I 
only resolved in the morning to make my way 
westward along the shore, and 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 thereabout, 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 exceed- 
ing hot, I began my march. The way was com- 


fortable 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 had left it; 
for I always kept it in good order, being, as I said 
before, my country-house. 

I got over the fence, and laid me down in the 
shade to rest my limbs, for I was .very weary, and 
fell asleep : but judge you, if you can that read 
my story, what a surprise I must be in when I was 
awaked out of my sleep by a voice, calling me by 
my name several times, "Robin, Robin, Robin 
Crusoe ; poor Robin Crusoe ! Where are you, Robin 
Crusoe? Where are you? Where have you 

I was so dead asleep at first, being fatigued with 
rowing, or paddling, as it is called, the first part of 
the day, and with walking the latter part, that I did 
not wake thoroughly ; but, dozing between sleep- 
ing and waking, thought I dreamed that somebody 
spoke to me ; but as the voice continued to repeat 
" Robin Crusoe, Robin Crusoe,'* at last I began to 
wake more perfectly, and was at first dreadfully 
frightened, and started up in the utmost consterna- 
tion ; but no sooner were my eyes open but I saw 
my Poll sitting on the top of the hedge ; and imme- 
diately knew 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 per- 
fectly 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 par- 
rot, 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 con- 
tinued 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 now had enough of rambling to sea for some 
time, and had enough to do for many days to sit 
still, and to reflect upon the danger I had been in. 
I would have been very glad to have had my boat 
again on my side of the island ; but I knew not 
how it was practicable to get it about. As to the 
east side of the island, which I had gone round, I 
knew well enough there was no venturing that way; 
my very heart would shrink, and my very blood 
run chill, but to think of it ; and as to the other 
side of the island, I did not know how it might 
be there ; but supposing the current ran with the 
same force against the shore at the east as it passed 
by it on the other, I might run the same risk of 
being driven down the stream, and carried by the 


island, as I had been before of being carried away 
from it; so, with these thoughts, I contented my- 
self to be without any boat, though it had been the 
product of so many months' labour to make it, and 
of so many more to get it into the sea. 

In this government of my temper I remained 
near a year, lived a very sedate, retired life, as you 
may well suppose ; and my thoughts being very 
much composed, as to my condition, and fully 
comforted in resigning 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 me- 
chanic exercises which my necessities put me upon 
applying myself to; and I believe I could, upon 
occasion, have made a very good carpenter, espe- 
cially considering how few tools I had. 

Besides this, I arrived at an unexpected perfec- 
tion in my earthenware, and contrived well enough 
to make them with a wheel, which I found infin- 
itely easier and better; because I made things round 
and shapeable, which before were filthy things in- 
deed to look upon. 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 for- 


got them at first, not thinking that there was to- 
bacco in the island ; and afterwards, when I searched 
the ship again, I could not come at any pipes at all. 

In my wicker- ware also I improved much, and 
made abundance of necessary baskets, as well as my 
invention showed me; though not very handsome, 
yet they were such as were very handy and conven- 
ient for my 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 con- 
siderably; this was a want which it was impossible 
for me to supply, and I began seriously to consider 
what I must do when I should have no more 
powder, that is to say, how I should do to kill any 
goats. I had, as 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. 


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 dis- 


couraging ; however, I altered my traps ; and, not 
to trouble you with particulars, going one morn- 
ing 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 go about to bring him 
away alive, which was what I wanted. T 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 had forgot then, what I had learned 
afterwards, that hunger will tame a lion. If I had 
let him stay there three or four days without food, 
and then have carried him some water to drink, and 
then a little corn, he would have been as tame as 
one of the kids ; for they are mighty sagacious, 
tractable creatures, where they are well used. How- 
ever, for the present I let him go, knowing no bet- 
ter 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 

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


But then it 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 breakout 
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 herb- 
age 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 fore- 
cast when I shall tell them I began my 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 con- 
sider 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 first 
beginning, I resolved to enclose a piece of about 
one hundred and fifty yards in length, and one 
hundred yards in breadth : which, as it would main- 
tain 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 en- 
closure 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, 
beside 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 into, 
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, dic- 
tates 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 
me both butter and cheese at last, and 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 a wilderness, where I saw nothing, 
at first, but to perish for hunger 1 

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 lib- 
erty, 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 very 
old and crazy, and had found no species to multi- 


ply 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 special favour. 

But these were not the two cats which I brought 
on shore at first, for they were both of them dead, 
and had been interred near my habitation by my 
own 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 like 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 re- 
solved to travel thither by land, following the edge 
of the shore. I did so ; but had any one in England 


been to meet such a man as I was, it must either 
have frightened him, or raised a great deal of laugh- 
ter ; and as I frequently stood still to look at myself, 
I could not but smile at the notion of my travel- 
ling 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, thesrkirts com- 
ing 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 know 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 

I had on a broad belt of goat's skin dried, which 
I drew together with two thongs of the same, in- 
stead 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 

Plate VI 


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 suf- 
fered to grow till it was about a quarter of a yard 
long; but as I had bothscissars 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 mustachios 
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 Eng- 
land, 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 man- 
ner of consequence; so I say no more to that part. 
In this kind of figure I went my new journey, and 
was out five or six days. I travelled first along the 
seashore, 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 point of 
the rocks which lay out, and which I was obliged 
to double with my boat, as is said above, I was sur- 
prised to see the sea all smooth and quiet; no rip- 
pling, no motion, no current, any more than in any 
other places. I was at a strange loss to understand 
^his, and resolved to spend some time in the ob- 
^ierving 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 occa- 
sion of this current ; and that according as the wind 
blew more forciblyfrom 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 no- 
thing to do but to observe the ebbing and the flow- 
ing of the tide, and I might very easily bring my 
boat about the island again : but when I began to 
think of putting it in practice, I had such a terror 
upon my spirits at the remembrance of the danger 
I had been in that I could not think of it again 
with any patience ; but, on the contrary, I took up 


another resolution, which was more safe, though 
more laborious; and this was that I would build 
or rather make me another periagua or canoe; and 
so have one for one side of the island and one for 
the other. 

You are to understand that now I had, as I may- 
call it, two plantations in the island : one, my little 
fortification or tent with the wall about it, under the 
rock, with the cave behind me, which, by this time, 
I had enlarged into several apartments or caves, 
one within another. One of these, which was the 
driest and largest, and had a door out beyond my 
wall or fortification, that is to say, beyond where 
my wall joined to the rock, was all filled up with 
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 provision, especially my corn, 
some in the ear, cut oflF short from the straw, and 
the other rubbed out with my hand. 

As for my wall, made, as before, with long stakes 
or piles, these 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 en- 
circled it in constantly fitted up to its usual height, 
the ladder standing always in the inside ; I kept the 
trees, which at first were no more than my stakes, 
but were now grown very firm and tall, 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 habitation. 

Adjoining to this I had my enclosures for my 
cattle, that is to say, my goats ; and as I had taken 
an inconceivable deal of pains to fence and enclose 
this ground, I was anxious to see it kept so 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 mag- 
azine 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 de- 
pended 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 degree. 

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, nor scarce ever above a stone's cast or 
two from the shore, I was so apprehensive of being 
hurried out of my knowledge again by the currents 
or winds, or any other accident. — But now I come 
to a new scene of my life.