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Plate VII 



Robinfon Crufoe 











It happened one day, about noon, going towards 
my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the 
print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which 
was very plain to be seen in the sand. I stood like 
one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an appari- 
tion : I listened, I looked round me, but I could 
hear nothing, nor see anything ; I went up to a ris- 
ing ground, to look farther ; I went up the shore 
and down the shore, but it was all one ; I could see 
no other impression but that one. I went to it again 
to see if there were any more, and to observe if it 
might not be my fancy ; but there was no room for 
that, for there was exactly the print of a foot, toes, 
heel, and every part of a foot. How it came thither 
I knew not, nor could I in the least imagine ; but, 
after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man 
perfectly confused and out of myself, I came home 
to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground 
I went on, but terrified to the last degree ; looking 
behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking 
every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at 


a distance to be a man. Nor is it possible to de- 
scribe how many various shapes my affrighted imag- 
ination represented things to me in, how many wild 
ideas were found every moment in my fancy, and 
what strange unaccountable whimsies came into my 
thoughts by the way. 

When I came to my castle (for so I think I 
called it ever after this), I fled into it like one pur- 
sued ; whether I went over by the ladder, as first 
contrived, or went in at the hole in the rock, which 
I had called a door, I cannot remember ; no, nor 
could I remember the next morning; for never 
frightened hare fled to cover or fox to earth with 
more terror of mind than I to this retreat. 

I slept none that night : the farther I was from 
the occasion of my fright, the greater my appre- 
hensions were ; which is something contrary to the 
nature of such things, and especially to the usual 
practice of all creatures in fear ; but I was so em- 
barrassed with my own frightful ideas of the thing 
that I formed nothing but dismal imaginations to 
myself, even though I was now a great way off it. 
Sometimes I fancied it must be the Devil, and rea- 
son joined in with me upon this supposition ; for 
how should any other thing in human shape come 
into the place ? Where was the vessel that brought 
them ? What marks were there of any other foot- 
steps ? And how was it possible a man should come 
there ? But then, to think that Satan should take 
human shape upon him in such a place, where there 
could be no manner of occasion for it but to leave 


the print of his foot behind him, and that even for 
no purpose too, for he could not be sure I should 
see it, — this was an amusement the other way. I 
considered that the Devil might have found out 
abundance of other ways to have terrified me than 
this of the single print of a foot ; that as I lived 
quite on the other side of the island, he would 
never have been so simple as to leave a mark in 
a place where it was ten thousand to one whether 
I should ever see it or not, and in the sand too, 
which the first surge of the sea, upon a high wind, 
would have defaced entirely; all this seemed incon- 
sistent with the thing itself, and with all the notions 
we usually entertain of the subtlety of the Devil. 

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

While these reflections were rolling upon my 
mind, I was very thankful in my thoughts that I 
was so happy as not to be thereabouts at that time, 
or that they did not see my boat, by which they 
would have concluded that some inhabitants had 
been in the place, and perhaps have searched farther 


for me : then terrible thoughts racked my imagina- 
tion about their having found my boat, and that 
there were people here ; and that if so, I should 
certainly have them come again in greater numbers, 
and devour me : that if it should happen so that 
they should not find me, yet they would find my 
enclosure, destroy all my corn, and carry away all 
my flock of tame goats, and I should perish at last 
for mere want. 

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

How strange a chequer-work of Providence is 
the life of man ! and by what secret different springs 
are the affections hurried about, as different circum- 
stances present ! To-day we love what to-morrow 
we hate ; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun ; 
to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear, nay, even 
tremble at the apprehensions of; this was exempli- 
fied in me, at this time, in the most lively manner 


imaginable; for I, whose only affliction was that 
I seemed banished from human society, that I was 
alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut 
off from mankind, and condemned to what I called 
silent life; that I was as one whom Heaven thought 
not worthy to be numbered among the living, or 
to appear among the rest of his creatures ; that to 
have seen one of my own species would have 
seemed to me a raising me from death to life, and 
the greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the 
supreme blessing of salvation, could bestow ; I say, 
that I should now tremble at the very apprehen- 
sions of seeing a man, and was ready to sink into 
the ground at but the shadow or silent appearance 
of a man's having set his foot in the island. 

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


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

These thoughts took me up many hours, days, 
nay, I may say, weeks and months ; and one par- 
ticular effect of my cogitations on this occasion I 
cannot omit. One morning early, lying in my bed, 
and filled with thoughts about my danger from the 
appearance of savages, I found it discomposed me 
very much ; upon which these words of the Scrip- 
ture came into my thoughts : " Call upon me in 
the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou 
shalt glorify me." Upon this, rising cheerfully out 
of my bed, my heart was not only comforted, but 
I was guided and encouraged to pray earnestly to 
God for deliverance : when I had done praying, I 
took up my Bible, and opening it to read, the first 
words that presented to me were, "Wait on the 
Lord, and be of good cheer, and he shall strengthen 
thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." It is impos- 
sible to express the comfort this gave me. In 
answer, I thankfully laid down the book, and was 
no more sad, at least on that occasion. 

In the middle of these cogitations, apprehen- 
sions, and reflections, it came into my thoughts 
one day that all this might be a mere chimera of 


my own, and that this foot might be the print of 
my own foot, when I came on shore from my boat. 
This cheered me up a little too, and I began to 
persuade myself it was all a delusion ; that it was 
nothing else but my own foot : and why might I 
not come that way from the boat as well as I was 
going that way to the boat? Again, I considered 
also that I could by no means tell, for certain, 
where I had trod, and where I had not ; and that 
if, at last, this was only the print of my own foot, 
I had played the part of those fools who try to 
make stories of spectres and apparitions, and then 
are frightened at them more than anybody. 

Now I began to take courage, and to peep 
abroad again, for I had not stirred out of my cas- 
tle for three days and nights, so that I began to 
starve for provisions; for I had little or nothing 
within-doors but some barley cakes and water. 
Then I knew that my goats wanted to be milked, 
too, which usually was my evening diversion; and 
the poor creatures were in great pain and incon- 
venience for want of it; and, indeed, it almost 
spoiled some of them, and almost dried up their 
milk. Encouraging myself, therefore, with the 
belief that this was nothing but the print of one 
of my own feet, and that I might be truly said to 
start at my own shadow, I began to go abroad again, 
and went to my country-house to milk my flock : 
but to see with what fear I went forward, how often 
I looked behind me, how I was ready, every now 
and then, to lay down my basket, and run for my ■ 


life, it would have made any one think I was 
haunted with an evil conscience, or that I had been 
lately most terribly frightened ; and so, indeed, I 
had. However, as I went down thus two or three 
days, and having seen nothing, I began to be a lit- 
tle bolder, and to think there was really nothing 
in it but my own imagination ; but I could not per- 
suade myself fully of this till I should go down to 
the shore again, and see this print of a foot and 
measure it by my own, and see if there was any 
similitude or fitness, that might be assured it was 
my own foot. But when I came to the place, first, it 
appeared evidently to me that when I laid up my 
boat I could not possibly be on shore anywhere 
thereabout ; secondly, when I came to measure the 
mark with my own foot, I found my foot not so 
large by a great deal. Both these things filled my 
head with new imaginations, and gave me the 
vapours again to the highest degree, so that I shook 
with cold like one in an ague; and I went home 
again, filled with the belief that some man or men 
had been on shore there; or, in short, that the 
island was inhabited, and I might be surprised 
before I was aware; and what course to take for 
my security I knew not. 

O what ridiculous resolutions men take when 
possessed with fear ! It deprives them of the use 
of those means which reason offers for their relief. 
The first thing I proposed to myself was to throw 
down my enclosures, and turn all my tame cattle 
wild into the woods, lest the enemy should find 


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

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

This confusion of my thoughts kept me awake 
all night; but in the morning I fell asleep; and 
having, by the amusement of my mind, been as it 


were tired, and my spirits exhausted, I slept very 
soundly and waked much better composed than I 
had ever been before. And now I began to think 
sedately ; and, upon the utmost debate with myself, 
I concluded that this island, which was so exceed- 
ing pleasant, fruitful, and no farther from the main 
land than as I had seen, was not so entirely aban- 
doned as I might imagine ; that, although there 
were no stated inhabitants who lived on the spot, 
yet that there might sometimes come boats off 
from the shore, who, either with design, or perhaps 
never but when they were driven by cross-winds, 
might come to this place ; that I had lived here 
fifteen years now, and had not met with the least 
shadow or figure of any people yet ; and that if at 
any time they should be driven here, it was prob- 
able they went away again as soon as ever they 
could, seeing they had never thought fit to fix here 
upon any occasion ; that the most I could suggest 
any danger from was from any casual accidental 
landing of straggling people from the main, who, as 
it was likely, if they were driven hither, were here 
against their wills, so they made no stay here, but 
went off again with all possible speed; seldom stay- 
ing one night on shore, lest they should not have 
the help of the tides and daylight back again; and 
that, therefore, I had nothing to do but to consider 
of some safe retreat, in case I should see any sav- 
ages land upon the spot. 

Now I began sorely to repent that I had dug 
my cave so large as to bring a door through again, 


which door, as I said, came out beyond where my 
fortification joined to the rock: upon maturely con- 
sidering this, therefore, I resolved to draw me a 
second fortification, in the same manner of a semi- 
circle, at a distance from my wall, just where I had 
planted a double row of trees about twelve years 
before, of which I made mention. These trees hav- 
ing been planted so thick before, they wanted but 
few piles to be driven between them that they might 
be thicker and stronger, and my wall would be soon 
finished : so that I had now a double wall ; and my 
outer wall was thickened with pieces of timber, old 
cables, and everything I could think of, to make it 
strong, having in it seven little holes about as big 
as I might put my arm out at. In the inside of this, 
I thickened my wall to about ten feet thick, with 
continually bringing earth out of my cave, and lay- 
ing it at the foot of the wall, and walking upon it; 
and through the seven holes I contrived to plant 
the muskets, of which I took notice that I had got 
seven on shore out of the ship; these I planted 
like my cannon, and fitted them into frames, that 
held them like a carriage, so that I could fire all the 
seven guns in two minutes' time. This wall I was 
many a weary month in finishing, and yet never 
thought myself safe till it was done. 

When this was done, I stuck all the ground 
without my wall, for a great length every way, as 
full with stakes, or sticks, of the osier-like wood, 
which I found so apt to grow, as they could well 
stand ; insomuch that I believe I might set in near 


twenty thousand of them, leaving a pretty large 
space between them and my wall, that I might have 
room to see an enemy, and they might have no 
shelter from the young trees, if they attempted to 
approach my outer wall. 

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

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

While this was doing, I was not altogether care- 
less of my other affairs : for I had a great concern 
upon me for my little herd of goats ; they were not 
only a ready supply to me on every occasion, and 
began to be sufficient for me, without the expense 
of powder and shot, but also without the fatigue 


of hunting after the wild ones ; and I was loth to 
lose the advantage of them, and to have them all 
to nurse up over again. 

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

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


I immediately went to work with this piece of 
ground, and in less than a month's time I had 
so fenced it round that my flock, or herd, call it 
which you please, who were not so wild now as 
at first they might be supposed to be, were well 
enough secured in it; so, without any further de- 
lay, I removed ten young she-goats and two he- 
goats to this piece; and when they were there, I 
continued to perfect the fence till I had made it as 
secure as the other, which, however, I did at more 
leisure, and it took me up more time by a great 
deal. All this labour I was at the expense of purely 
from my apprehensions on the account of the print 
of a man's foot which I had seen; for, as yet, I never 
saw any human creature come near the island ; 
and I had now lived two years under this uneasi- 
ness, which, indeed, made my life much less com- 
fortable than it was before, as may be well im- 
agined by any who know what it is to live in the 
constant snare of the fear of man. And this I must 
observe, with grief too, that the discomposure of 


my mind had too great impressions also upon the 
religious part of my thoughts; for the dread and 
terror of falling into the hands of savages and can- 
nibals lay so upon my spirits that I seldom found 
myself in a due temper for application to my 
Maker, at least not with the sedate calmness and 
resignation of soul which I was wont to do : I rather 
prayed to God as under great affliction and press- 
ure of mind, surrounded with danger, and in ex- 
pectation every night of being murdered and de- 
voured before morning; and I must testify from 
my experience that a temper of peace, thankful- 
ness, love, and affection is much the more proper 
frame for prayer than that of terror and discom- 
posure; and that, under the dread of mischief im- 
pending, a man is no more fit for a comforting 
performance of the duty of praying to God than 
he is for a repentance on a sick-bed ; for these dis- 
composures affect the mind, as the others do the 
body ; and the discomposure of the mind must 
necessarily be as great a disability as that of the 
body, and much greater : praying to God being 
properly an act of the mind, not of the body. 

But to go on : after I had thus secured one part 
of my little living stock, I went about the whole 
island, searching for another private place to make 
such another deposit; when, wandering more to 
the west point of the island than I had ever done 
yet, and looking out to sea, I thought I saw a boat 
upon the sea, at a great distance. I had found a per- 
spective glass or two in one of the seaman's chests 


which I saved out of our ship, but I had it not 
about me ; and this was so remote that I could 
not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it 
till my eyes were not able to look any longer. 
Whether it was a boat or not, I do not know, but 
as I descended from the hill I could see no more 
of it; so I gave it over; only I resolved to go no 
more out without a perspective glass in my pocket. 
When I was come down the hill to the end of the 
island, where, indeed, I had never been before, I 
was presently convinced that the seeing the print 
of a man's foot was not such a strange thing in the 
island as I imagined : and, but that it was a special 
providence that I was cast upon the side of the 
island where the savages never came, I should 
easily have known that nothing was more frequent 
than for the canoes from the main, when they hap- 
pened to be a little too far out at sea, to shoot over 
to that side of the island for harbour; likewise, as 
they often met and fought in their canoes, the 
victors, having taken any prisoners, would bring 
them over to this shore, where, according to their 
dreadful customs, being all cannibals, they would 
kill and eat them ; of which hereafter. 

When I was come down the hill to the shore, as 
I said above, being the south-west point of the 
island, I was perfectly confounded and amazed ; nor 
is it possible for me to express the horror of my 
mind at seeing the shore spread with skulls, hands, 
feet, and other bones of human bodies ; and, par- 
ticularly, I observed a place where there had been 


a fire made, and a circle dug in the earth, like a 
cock-pit, where I supposed the savage wretches had 
sat down to their inhuman feastings upon the bodies 
of their fellow-creatures. 

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

When I came a little out of that part of the 
island, I stood still a while, as amazed, and then, 
recovering myself, I looked up with the utmost 
affection of my soul, and, with a flood of tears in 
my eyes, gave God thanks that had cast my first lot 
in a part of the world where I was distinguished 
from such dreadful creatures as these ; and that, 
though I had esteemed my present condition very 
miserable, had yet given me so many comforts in 
it that I had still more to give thanks for than to 
complain of: and this, above all, that I had, even 
in this miserable condition been comforted with 


the knowledge of himself, and the hope of his 
blessing, which was a felicity more than sufficiently- 
equivalent to all the misery which I had suffered 
or could suffer. 

In this frame of thankfulness I went home to 
my castle, and began to be much easier now, as 
to the safety of my circumstances, than ever I was 
before: for I observed that these wretches never 
came to this island in search of what they could get ; 
perhaps not seeking, not wanting, or not expecting, 
anything here, and having often, no doubt, been up 
in the covered woody part of it, without finding 
anything to their purpose. I knew I had been here 
now almost eighteen years, and never saw the least 
footsteps of human creature there before ; and I 
might be eighteen years more as entirely concealed 
as I was now if I did not discover myself to them, 
which I had no manner of occasion to do; it being 
my only business to keep myself entirely concealed 
where I was, unless I found a better sort of crea- 
tures than cannibals to make myself known to. 
Yet I entertained such an abhorrence of the savage 
wretches that I have been speaking of, and of the 
wretched inhuman custom of their devouring and 
eating one another up, that I continued pensive 
and sad, and kept close within my own circle, for 
almost two years after this. When I say my own 
circle, I mean by it my three plantations, viz., my 
castle, my country-seat, which I called my bower, 
and my enclosure in the woods ; nor did I look 
after this for any other use than as an enclosure for 


my goats ; for the aversion which nature gave me 
to these hellish wretches was such that I was as 
fearful of seeing them as of seeing the Devil him- 
self. I did not so much as go to look after my 
boat all this time, but began rather to think of 
making me another ; for I could not think of ever 
making any more attempts to bring the other boat 
round the island to me, lest I should meet with 
some of these creatures at sea : in which, if I had 
happened to have fallen into their hands, I knew 
what would have been my lot. 

Time, however, and the satisfaction I had that 
I was in no danger of being discovered by these 
people, began to wear off my uneasiness about 
them ; and I began to live just in the same com- 
posed manner as before, only with this difference, 
that I used more caution, and kept my eyes more 
about me, than I did before, lest I should happen 
to be seen by any of them ; and particularly, I was 
more cautious of firing my gun, lest any of them 
being on the island should happen to hear it. It 
was therefore a very good providence to me that 
I had furnished myself with a tame breed of goats, 
and that I had no need to hunt any more about 
the~woods, or shoot at them ; and if I did catch 
any of them after this, it was by traps and snares, 
as I had done before ; so that for two years after 
this, I believe I never fired my gun once off, 
though I never went out without it ; and, which 
was more, as I had saved three pistols out of the 
ship, I always carried them out with me, or at 


least two of them, sticking them in my goat's-skin 
belt. I also furbished up one of the great cutlasses 
that I had out of the ship, and made me a belt to 
hang it on also ; so that I was now a most formid- 
able fellow to look at when I went abroad, if you 
add to the former description of myself the par- 
ticular of two pistols, and a great broad sword hang- 
ing at my side in a belt, but without a scabbard. 

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

As in my present condition there were not really 
many things which I wanted, so, indeed, I thought 
that the frights I had been in about these savage 
wretches, and the concern I had been in for my own 
preservation, had taken off the edge of my inven- 
tion for my own conveniences ; and I had dropped 
a good design, which I had once bent my thoughts 
too much upon, and that was to try if I could not 
make some of my barley into malt, and then try 


to brew myself some beer. This was really a whim- 
sical thought, and I reproved myself often for the 
simplicity of it ; for I presently saw there would 
be the want of several things necessary to the 
making my beer, that it would be impossible for 
me to supply ; as, first, casks to preserve it in, 
which was a thing that, as I had observed already, 
I could never compass ; no, though I spent not 
only many days, but weeks, nay, months, in at- 
tempting it, but to no purpose. In the next place, 
I had no hops to make it keep, no yeast to make 
it work, no copper or kettle to make it boil ; and 
yet, with all these things wanting, I verily believe, 
had not the frights and terrors I was in about the 
savages intervened, I had undertaken it, and per- 
haps brought it to pass too; for I seldom gave any- 
thing over without accomplishing it, when once I 
had it in my head to begin it. But my invention 
now ran quite another way ; for, night and day, I 
could think of nothing but how I might destroy 
some of these monsters in their cruel, bloody en- 
tertainment, and, if possible, save the victim they 
should bring hither to destroy. It would take up 
a larger volume than this whole work is intended 
to be, to set down all the contrivances I hatched, 
or rather brooded upon, in my thoughts, for the 
destroying these creatures, or at least frightening 
them so as to prevent their coming hither any 
more ; but all this was abortive; nothing could be 
possible to take effect, unless I was to be there to 
do it myself; and what could one man do among 


them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty 
of them together, with their darts, or their bows and 
arrows, with which they could shoot as true to a 
mark as I could with my gun? 

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


I said, to watch for them ; and I went frequently to 
the place itself, which was now grown more famil- 
iar to me. But while my mind was thus filled with 
thoughts of revenge, and a bloody putting twenty 
or thirty of them to the sword, as I may call it, the 
horror I had at the place, and at the signals of the 
barbarous wretches devouring one another, abated 
my malice. Well, at length, I found a place in 
the side of the hill, where I was satisfied I might 
securely wait till I saw any of their boats coming; 
and might then, even before they would be ready 
to come on shore, convey myself, unseen, into some 
thickets of trees, in one of which there was a hollow 
large enough to conceal me entirely; and there I 
might sit and observe all their bloody doings, and 
take my full aim at their heads, when they were so 
close together as that it would be next to impossi- 
ble that I should miss my shot, or that I could fail 
wounding three or four of them at the first shot. In 
this place, then, I resolved to fix my design ; and, 
accordingly, I prepared two muskets and my ordin- 
ary fowling-piece. The two muskets I loaded with 
a brace of slugs each, and four or five smaller bul- 
lets, about the size of pistol-bullets ; and the fowl- 
ing-piece I loaded with near a handful of swan-shot 
of the largest size : I also loaded my pistols with 
about four bullets each; and in this posture, well 
provided with ammunition for a second and third 
charge, I prepared myself for my expedition. 

After I had thus laid the scheme of my design, 
and, in my imagination, put it in practice, I con- 


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

As long as I kept my daily tour to the hill to look 
out, so long also I kept up the vigour of my design, 
and my spirits seemed to be all the while in a suit- 
able form for so outrageous an execution as the kill- 
ing twenty or thirty naked savages, for an offence 
which I had not at all entered into a discussion of 
in my thoughts, any further than my passions were 
at first fired by the horror I conceived at the un- 
natural custom of the people of that country, who, 
it seems, had been suffered by Providence, in his 
wise disposition of the world, to have no other guide 
than that of their own abominable and vitiated pas- 
sions ; and, consequently, were left, and perhaps had 
been so for some ages, to act such horrid things, 
and receive such dreadful customs, as nothing but 
nature, entirely abandoned by Heaven, and actu- 
ated by some hellish degeneracy, could have run 
them into. But now, when, as I have said, I began 
to be weary of the fruitless excursion which I had 
made so long and so far every morning in vain, so 


my opinion of the action itself began to alter ; and 
I began, with cooler and calmer thoughts, to con- 
sider what I was going to engage in : what authority 
or call I had to pretend to be judge and executioner 
upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven had 
thought fit, for so many ages, to suffer, unpunished, 
to go on, and to be, as it were, the executioners of 
his judgments one upon another; how far these 
people were offenders against me, and what right 
I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood which 
they shed promiscuously one upon another. I de- 
bated this very often with myself, thus : How do 
I know what God himself judges in this particular 
case ? It is certain these people do not commit this 
as a crime; it is not against their own consciences 
reproving, or their light reproaching them ; they do 
not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in 
defiance of divine justice, as we do in almost all the 
sins we commit. They think it no more a crime to 
kill a captive taken in war than we do to kill an 
ox; nor to eat human flesh than we do to eat 

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


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


These considerations really put me to a pause, 
and to a kind of a full stop ; and I began, by little 
and little, to be off my design, and to conclude 
I had taken wrong measures in my resolution to 
attack the savages ; and that it was not my busi- 
ness to meddle with them, unless they first attacked 
me; and that it was my business, if possible, to 
prevent; but that if I were discovered and at- 
tacked by them, I knew my duty. On the other 
hand, I argued with myself that this really was the 
way not to deliver myself, but entirely to ruin and 
destroy myself; for unless I was sure to kill every 
one that not only should be on shore at that time, 
but that should ever come on shore afterwards, 
if but one of them escaped to tell their country- 
people what had happened, they would come over 
again by thousands to revenge the death of their 
fellows, and I should only bring upon myself a 
certain destruction, which, at present, I had no 
manner of occasion for. Upon the whole I con- 
cluded that neither in principle nor in policy I 
ought, one way or other, to concern myself in this 
affair ; that my business was, by all possible means, 
to conceal myself from them, and not to leave the 
least signal to them to guess by that there were any 
living creatures upon the island, I mean of human 
shape. Religion joined in with this prudential 
resolution, and I was convinced now, many ways, 
that I was perfectly out of my duty when I was 
laying all my bloody schemes for the destruction 
of innocent creatures, I mean innocent as to me. 


As to the crimes they were guilty of towards one 
another, I had nothing to do with them ; they 
were national, and I ought to leave them to the 
justice of God, who is the governor of nations, 
and knows how, by national punishments, to make 
a just retribution for national offences, and to bring 
public judgments upon those who offend in a pub- 
lic manner, by such ways as best please him. This 
appeared so clear to me now that nothing was a 
greater satisfaction to me than that I had not been 
suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much 
reason to believe would have been no less a sin 
than that of wilful murder, if I had committed it ; 
and I gave most humble thanks on my knees to 
God that had thus delivered me from blood-guilti- 
ness; beseeching him to grant me the protection 
of his providence, that I might not fall into the 
hands of the barbarians, or that I might not lay my 
hands upon them, unless I had a more clear call 
from Heaven to do it, in defence of my own life. 


In this disposition I continued for near a year 
after this ; and so far was I from desiring an 
occasion for falling upon these wretches that in 
all that time I never once went up the hill to see 
whether there were any of them in sight, or to know 
whether any of them had been on shore there or 
not, that I might not be tempted to renew any of 
my contrivances against them, or be provoked, 
by any advantage which might present itself, to 
fall upon them. Only this I did: I went and re- 
moved my boat, which I had on the other side of 
the island, and carried it down to the east end 
of the whole island, where I ran it into a little cove 
which I found under some high rocks, and where 
I knew, by reason of the currents, the savages durst 
not, at least would not, come with their boats upon 
any account whatever. With my boat I carried 
away everything that I had left there belonging to 
her, though not necessary for the bare going thither; 
viz., a mast and sail which I had made for her, and 
a thing like an anchor, but which, indeed, could 


not be called either anchor or grapnel; however, it 
was the best I could make of its kind; all these I 
removed, that there might not be the least shadow 
of any discovery, or any appearance of any boat, 
or of any human habitation, upon the island. Be- 
sides this, I kept myself, as I said, more retired 
than ever, and seldom went from my cell, other 
than upon my constant employment, viz., to milk 
my she-goats, and manage my little flock in the 
wood, which, as it was quite on the other part of 
the island, was quite out of danger; for certain it is 
that these savage people, who sometimes haunted 
this island, never came with any thoughts of find- 
ing anything here, and consequently never wan- 
dered off from the coast : and I doubt not but they 
might have been several times on shore after my 
apprehensions of them had made me cautious, as 
well as before. I ndeed, I looked back with some hor- 
ror upon the thoughts of what my condition would 
have been if I had popped upon them and been 
discovered before that, when, naked and unarmed, 
except with one gun, and that loaded often only 
with small shot, I walked everywhere, peeping and 
peering about the island to see what I could get; 
what a surprise should I have been in if, when 
I discovered the print of a man's foot, I had, in- 
stead of that, seen fifteen or twenty savages, and 
found them pursuing me, and, by the swiftness of 
their running, no possibility of my escaping them ? 
The thoughts of this sometimes sunk my very soul 
within me, and distressed my mind so much that 


I could not soon recover it, to think what I should 
have done, and how I should not only have been 
unable to resist them, but even should not have 
had presence of mind enough to do what I might 
have done, much less what now, after so much con- 
sideration and preparation, I might be able to do. 
Indeed, after serious thinking on these things, I 
would be very melancholy, and sometimes it would 
last a great while ; but I resolved it all, at last, into 
thankfulness to that Providence which had deliv- 
ered me from so many unseen dangers, and had 
kept from me those mischiefs which I could have 
no way been the agent in delivering myself from, 
because I had not the least notion of any such 
thing depending, or the least supposition of its be- 
ing possible. This renewed a contemplation which 
often had come to my thoughts in former time, 
when first I began to see the merciful dispositions 
of Heaven in the dangers we run through in this 
life; how wonderfully we are delivered when we 
know nothing of it; how, when we are in (a quan- 
dary, as we call it) a doubt or hesitation, whether 
to go this way, or that way, a secret hint shall 
direct us this way when we intended to go that way ; 
nay, when sense, our own inclination, and perhaps 
business, has called to go the other way, yet a strange 
impression upon the mind, from we know not what 
springs, and by we know not what power, shall 
overrule us to go this way ; and it shall afterwards 
appear that had we gone that way which we should 
have gone, and even to our imagination ought to 


have gone, we should have been ruined and lost. 
Upon these, and many like reflections, I afterwards 
made it a certain rule with me that whenever I 
found those secret hints or pressings of mind, to 
doing or not doing anything that presented, or 
going this way or that way, I never failed to obey 
the secret dictate ; though I knew no other reason 
for it than that such a pressure, or such a hint, 
hung upon my mind. I could give many examples 
of the success of this conduct in the course of my 
life, but more especially in the latter part of my in- 
habiting this unhappy island ; besides many occa- 
sions which it is very likely I might have taken 
notice of if I had seen with the same eyes then 
that I see with now. But it is never too late to be 
wise ; and I cannot but advise all considering men, 
whose lives are attended with such extraordinary 
incidents as mine, or even though not so extraor- 
dinary, not to slight such secret intimations of 
Providence, let them come from what invisible 
intelligence they will. That I shall not discuss and 
perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are 
a proof of the converse of spirits, and a secret com- 
munication between those embodied and those 
unembodied, and such a proof as can never be 
withstood ; of which I shall have occasion to give 
some very remarkable instances in the remainder 
of my solitary residence in this dismal place. 

I believe the reader of this will not think it strange 
if I confess that these anxieties, these constant dan- 
gers I lived in, and the concern that was now upon 


me, put an end to all invention, and to all the con- 
trivances that I had laid for my future accommoda- 
tions and conveniences. I had the care of my safety 
more now upon my hands than that of my food. I 
cared not to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood 
now,for fear the noise I might make should be heard ; 
much less would I fire a gun, for the same reason : 
and, above all, I was intolerably uneasy at making 
any fire, lest the smoke, which is visible at a great 
distance in the day,should betray me. For this reason 
I removed that part of my business which required 
fire, such as burning of pots and pipes, etc., into my 
new apartment in the woods; where, after I had been 
some time, I found, to my unspeakable consolation, 
a mere natural cave in the earth, which went in 
a vast way, and where, I dare say, no savage, had 
he been at the mouth of it, would be so hardy as 
to venture in ; nor, indeed, would any man else, 
but one who, like me, wanted nothing so much 
as a safe retreat. 

The mouth of this hollow was at the bottom of 
a great rock, where by mere accident (I would say, 
if I did not see abundant reason to ascribe all such 
things now to Providence) I was cutting down some 
thick branches of trees to make charcoal. And, be- 
fore I go on, I must observe the reason of my mak- 
ing this charcoal, which was this : I was afraid of 
making a smoke about my habitation, as I said be- 
fore ; and yet I could not live there without baking 
my bread, cooking my meat, etc. ; so I contrived 
to burn some wood here, as I had seen done in Eng- 


land, under turf, till it became chark, or dry coal : 
and then putting the fire out, I preserved the coal 
to carry home, and perform the other services for 
which fire was wanting, without danger of smoke. 
But this is by the by. While I was cutting down 
some wood here, I perceived that, behind a very 
thick branch of low brushwood or underwood, there 
was a kind of hollow place. I was curious to look 
in it, and getting with difficulty into the mouth of 
it, I found it was pretty large, that is to say, suf- 
ficient for me to stand upright in it, and perhaps 
another with me ; but I must confess to you that I 
made more haste out than I did in, when, looking 
farther into the place, and which was perfectly dark, 
I saw two broad shining eyes of some creature, 
whether devil or man I knew not, which twinkled 
like two stars, the dim light from the cave's mouth 
shining directly in, and making the reflection. How- 
ever, after some pause, I recovered myself, and 
began to call myself a thousand fools, and to think 
that he that was afraid to see the Devil was not fit 
to live twenty years in an island all alone ; and that 
I might well think there was nothing in this cave 
that was more frightful than myself. Upon this, 
plucking up my courage, I took up a firebrand, 
and in I rushed again, with the stick flaming in 
my hand. I had not gone three steps in but I was 
almost as much frightened as I was before ; for I 
heard a very loud sigh, like that of a man in some 
pain, and it was followed by a broken noise, as of 
words half-expressed, and then a deep sigh again. 


I stepped back, and was indeed struck with such 
a surprise that it put me into a cold sweat; and if 
I had had a hat on my head I will not answer for it 
that my hair might not have lifted it off. But still 
plucking up my spirits as well as I could, and en- 
couraging myself a little with considering that the 
power and presence of God was everywhere, and 
was able to protect me, upon this I stepped for- 
ward again, and by the light of the firebrand, hold- 
ing it up a little over my head, I saw lying on the 
ground a most monstrous, frightful, old he-goat, 
just making his will, as we say, and gasping for life, 
and dying, indeed, of mere old age. I stirred him 
a little to see if I could get him out, and he es- 
sayed to get up, but was not able to raise himself; 
and I thought with myself he might even lie there; 
for if he had frightened me, so he would certainly 
fright any of the savages if any of them should be 
so hardy as to come in there while he had any life 
in him. 

I was now recovered from my surprise, and began 
to look round me, when I found the cave was very 
small, that is to say, it might be about twelve feet 
over, but in no manner of shape, neither round nor 
square, no hands having ever been employed in 
making it but those of mere Nature. I observed 
also that there was a place at the farther side of it 
that went in further, but was so low that it required 
me to creep upon my hands and knees to go into 
it, and whither it went I knew not ; so having no 
candle, I gave it over for that time ; but resolved 


to come again the next day, provided with candles 
and a tinder-box which I had made of the lock 
of one of the muskets, with some wildfire in the 

Accordingly, the next day I came provided with 
six large candles of my own making (for I made 
very good candles now of goat's tallow, but was hard 
set for candle-wick, using sometimes rags or rope- 
yarn, and sometimes the dried rind of a weed like 
nettles) ; and going into this low place I was obliged 
to creep upon all fours, as I have said, almost ten 
yards ; which, by the way, I thought was a venture 
bold enough, considering that I knew not how far 
it might go, nor what was beyond it. When I had 
got through the strait, I found the roof rose higher 
up, I believe near twenty feet ; but never was such 
a glorious sight seen in the island, I dare say, as it 
was to look round the sides and roof of this vault 
or cave ; the wall reflected a hundred thousand 
lights to me from my two candles. What it was in 
the rock, whether diamonds, or any other precious 
stones, or gold, which I rather supposed it to be, 
I knew not. The place I was in was a most de- 
lightful cavity or grotto of its kind, as could be ex- 
pected, though perfectly dark ; the floor was dry and 
level, and had a sort of a small loose gravel upon 
it, so that there was no nauseous or venomous crea- 
ture to be seen, neither was there any damp or wet 
on the sides or roof: the only difficulty in it was 
the entrance ; which, however, as it was a place of 
security, and such a retreat as I wanted, I thought 


that was a convenience ; so that I was really re- 
joiced at the discovery, and resolved, without any 
delay, to bring some of those things which I was 
most anxious about to this place. Particularly I re- 
solved to bring hither my magazine of powder, and 
all my spare arms, viz., two fowling-pieces,for I had 
three in all, and three muskets, for of them I had 
eight in all ; so I kept at my castle only five, which 
stood ready-mounted like pieces of cannon, on my 
outmost fence, and were ready also to take out 
upon any expedition. Upon this occasion of re- 
moving my ammunition, I happened to open the 
barrel of powder which I took up out of the sea, 
and which had been wet ; and I found that the 
water had penetrated about three or four inches 
into the powder on every side, which caking and 
growing hard, had preserved the inside like 
a kernel in the shell ; so that I had near sixty 
pounds of very good powder in the centre of the 
cask. This was a very agreeable discovery to me 
at that time; so I carried all away thither, never 
keeping above two or three pounds of powder 
with me in my castle for fear of a surprise of any 
kind ; I also carried thither all the lead I had left 
for bullets. 

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


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

I was now in the twenty-third year of my resid- 
ence in this island, and was so naturalized to the 
place and the manner of living that, could I have 
but enjoyed the certainty that no savages would 
come to the place to disturb me, I could have been 
content to have capitulated for spending the rest 
of my time there, even to the last moment, till I 
had laid me down and died, like the old goat in the 
cave. I had also arrived to some little diversions 
and amusements, which made the time pass a great 
deal more pleasantly with me than it did before : as, 
first, I had taught my Poll, as I noted before, to 
speak ; and he did it so familiarly, and talked so 
articulately and plain, that it was very pleasant to 
me ; for I believe no bird ever spoke plainer ; and 
he lived with me no less than six-and-twenty years. 
How long he might have lived afterwards I know 
not, though I know they have a notion in the Bra- 
zils that they live a hundred years. My dog was a 
very pleasant and loving companion to me for no 
less than sixteen years of my time, and then died 
of mere old age. As for my cats, they multiplied, 
as I have observed, to that degree, that I was 
obliged to shoot several of them at first, to keep 


them from devouring me and all I had ; but at 
length, when the two old ones I brought with me 
were gone, and after some time continually driving 
them from me, and letting them have no provision 
with me, they all ran wild into the woods, except 
two or three favourites, which I kept tame, and 
whose young, when they had any, I always drowned ; 
and these were part of my family. Besides these, I 
always kept two or three household kids about me, 
which I taught to feed out of my hand ; and I had 
two more parrots, which talked pretty well, and 
would all call " Robin Crusoe," but none like my 
first; nor, indeed, did I take the pains with any 
of them that I had done with him. I had also sev- 
eral tame seafowls, whose names I knew not, that 
I caught upon the shore, and cut their wings ; and 
the little stakes which I had planted before my 
castle-wall being now grown up to a good thick 
grove, these fowls all lived among these low trees, 
and bred there, which was very agreeable to me : 
so that, as I said above, I began to be very well 
contented with the life I led, if I could have been 
secured from the dread of the savages. But it was 
otherwise directed ; and it may not be amiss for 
all people who shall meet with my story to make 
this just observation from it, viz., how frequently, 
in the course of our lives, the evil which in itself we 
seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen 
into, is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the 
very means or door of our deliverance, by which 
alone we can be raised again from the affliction we 


are fallen into. I could give many examples of this 
in the course of my unaccountable life, but in 
nothing was it more particularly remarkable than 
in the circumstances of my last years of solitary 
residence in this island. 


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

I was indeed terribly surprised at the sight, and 
stopped short within my grove, not daring to go 
out, lest I might be surprised ; and yet I had no 
more peace within, from the apprehensions I had 
that if these savages, in rambling over the island, 
should find my corn standing or cut, or any of my 
works and improvements, they would immediately 
conclude that there were people in the place, and 


would then never give over till they had found me 
out. In this extremity, I went back directly to my 
castle, pulled up the ladder after me, and made all 
things without look as wild and natural as I could. 
Then I prepared myself within, putting myself 
in a posture of defence : I loaded all my cannon, 
as I called them, that is to say, my muskets, which 
were mounted upon my new fortification, and all 
my pistols, and resolved to defend myself to the 
last gasp; not forgetting seriously to commend 
myself to the divine protection, and earnestly to 
pray to God to deliver me out of the hands of the 
barbarians. I continued in this posture about two 
hours ; and began to be mighty impatient for in- 
telligence abroad, for I had no spies to send out. 
After sitting a while longer, and musing what I 
should do in this, I was not able to bear sitting in 
ignorance any longer ; so setting up my ladder to 
the side of the hill, where there was a flat place, as 
I observed before, and then pulling the ladder up 
after me, I set it up again, and mounted to the top 
of the hill ; and pulling out my perspective glass, 
which I had taken on purpose, I laid me down flat 
on my belly on the ground, and began to look for 
the place. I presently found there were no less than 
nine naked savages, sitting round a small fire they 
had made, not to warm them, for they had no need 
of that, the weather being extremely hot, but, as I 
supposed, to dress some of their barbarous diet of 
human flesh which they had brought with them, 
whether alive or dead I could not tell. 


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

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

As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took 
two guns upon my shoulders, and two pistols in 
my girdle, and my great sword by my side, without 
a scabbard, and with all the speed I was able to 
make, went away to the hill where I had discovered 
the first appearance of all ; and as soon as I got 
thither, which was not in less than two hours (for 


I could not go apace, being so loaden with arms 
as I was), I perceived there had been three canoes 
more of savages at that place ; and looking out far- 
ther, I saw they were all at sea together, making 
over for the main. This was a dreadful sight to me, 
especially as, going down to the shore, I could see 
the marks of horror which the dismal work they 
had been about had left behind it, viz., the blood, 
the bones, and part of the flesh of human bodies, 
eaten and devoured by those wretches with merri- 
ment and sport. I was so filled with indignation 
at the sight that I now began to premeditate the 
destruction of the next that I saw there, let them 
be whom or how many soever. It seemed evident 
to me that the visits which they made thus to this 
island were not very frequent, for it was above fif- 
teen months before any more of them came on 
shore there again ; that is to say, I neither saw them, 
nor any footsteps or signals of them, in all that 
time ; for, as to the rainy seasons, then they are 
sure not to come abroad, at least not so far ; yet 
all this while I lived uncomfortably, by reason of 
the constant apprehensions of their coming upon 
me by surprise ; from whence I observe that the 
expectation of evil is more bitter than the suffer- 
ing, especially if there is no room to shake off that 
expectation, or those apprehensions. 

During all this time I was in the murdering hu- 
mour, and took up most of my hours, which should 
have been better employed, in contriving how to 
circumvent and fall upon them, the very next time 


I should see them ; especially if they should be 
divided, as they were the last time, into two parties : 
nor did I consider at all that, if I killed one party, 
suppose ten or a dozen, I was still the next day, 
or week, or month, to kill another, and so another, 
even ad infinitum, till I should be at length no less 
a murderer than they were in being man-eaters, and 
perhaps much more so. I spent my days now in 
great perplexity and anxiety of mind, expecting that 
I should, one day or other, fall into the hands of 
these merciless creatures ; and if I did at any time 
venture abroad, it was not without looking round 
me with the greatest care and caution imaginable. 
And now I found, to my great comfort, how happy 
it was that I provided for a tame flock or herd of 
goats ; for I durst not, upon any account, fire my 
gun, especially near that side of the island where 
they usually came, lest I should alarm the savages ; 
and if they had fled from me now, I was sure to 
have them come again, with perhaps two or three 
hundred canoes with them, in a few days, and then 
I knew what to expect. However, I wore out a year 
and three months more before I ever saw any more 
of the savages, and then I found them again, as I 
shall soon observe. It is true, they might have 
been there once or twice, but either they made no 
stay, or at least I did not see them; but in the 
month of May, as near as I could calculate, and 
in my four-and-twentieth year, I had a very strange 
encounter with them ; of which in its place. 
The perturbation of my mind, during this fifteen 


or sixteen months' interval, was very great : I slept 
unquiet, dreamed always frightful dreams, and often 
started out of my sleep in the night ; in the day, 
great troubles overwhelmed my mind ; and in the 
night, I dreamed often of killing the savages, and 
of the reasons why I might justify the doing of it. 
— But to waive all this for a while. It was in the 
middle of May, on the sixteenth day, I think, as 
well as my poor wooden calendar would reckon, 
for I marked all upon the post still ; I say, it was 
on the sixteenth of May that it blew a very great 
storm of wind all day, with a great deal of lightning 
and thunder, and a very foul night it was after it. 
I knew not what was the particular occasion of it, 
but as I was reading in the Bible, and taken up with 
very serious thoughts about my present condition, 
I was surprised with the noise of a gun, as I thought, 
fired at sea. This was, to be sure, a surprise quite 
of a different nature from any I had met with be- 
fore ; for the notions this put into my thoughts 
were quite of another kind. I started up in the 
greatest haste imaginable, and, in a trice, clapped 
my ladder to the middle place of the rock, and 
pulled it after me; and mounting it the second 
time, got to the top of the hill the very moment 
that a flash of fire bid me listen for a second gun, 
which accordingly, in about half a minute, I heard; 
and, by the sound, knew that it was from that part 
of the sea where I was driven down the current in 
my boat. I immediately considered that this must 
be some ship in distress, and that they had some 


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

I looked frequently at it all that day, and soon 
perceived that it did not move ; so I presently con- 
cluded that it was a ship at anchor ; and being eager, 
you may be sure, to be satisfied, I took my gun in 
my hand, and ran towards the south side of the 
island, to the rocks where I had formerly been car- 
ried away with the current; and getting up there, 
the weather by this time being perfectly clear, I 
could plainly see, to my great sorrow, the wreck 
of a ship cast away in the night upon those con- 


cealed rocks which I found when I was out in my 
boat; and which rocks, as they checked the violence 
of the stream, and made a kind of counter-stream, 
or eddy, were the occasion of my recovering from 
the most desperate, hopeless condition that ever I 
had been in in all my life. Thus, what is one man's 
safety is another man's destruction; for it seems 
these men, whoever they were, being out of their 
knowledge, and the rocks being wholly under water, 
had been driven upon them in the night, the wind 
blowing hard at ENE. Had they seen the island, 
as I must necessarily suppose they did not, they 
must, as I thought, have endeavoured to have 
saved themselves on shore by the help of their boat ; 
but their firing-ofF guns for help, especially when 
they saw, as I imagined, my fire, filled me with many 
thoughts. First, I imagined that, upon seeing my 
light, they might have put themselves into their 
boat and endeavoured to make the shore ; but that 
the sea going very high, they might have been cast 
away ; other times I imagined that they might 
have lost their boat before, as might be the case 
many ways ; as particularly, by the breaking of the 
sea upon their ship, which many times obliges men 
to stave, or take in pieces, their boat, and some- 
times to throw it overboard with their own hands ; 
other times I imagined they had some other ship 
or ships in company, who, upon the signals of dis- 
tress they had made, had taken them up and car- 
ried them off; other times I fancied they were all 
gone off to sea in their boat, and being hurried 


away by the current that I had been formerly in, 
were carried out into the great ocean, where there 
was nothing but misery and perishing ; and that, 
perhaps, they might by this time be starving, and 
in a condition to think of eating one another. 

As all these were but conjectures at best, so, in 
the condition I was in, I could do no more than 
look upon the misery of the poor men, and pity 
them ; which had still this good effect on my side 
that it gave me more and more cause to give thanks 
to God, who had so happily and comfortably pro- 
vided for me in my desolate condition ; and that, 
of two ship's companies who were now cast away 
upon this part of the world, not one life should be 
spared but mine. I learned here again to observe 
that it is very rare that the providence of God casts 
us into any condition of life so low, or any misery 
so great, but we may see something or other to be 
thankful for, and may see others in worse circum- 
stances than our own. Such certainly was the case 
of these men, of whom I could not so much as see 
room to suppose any of them were saved ; nothing 
could make it rational so much as to wish or ex- 
pect that they did not all perish there, except the 
possibility only of their being taken up by another 
ship in company; and this was but mere possibility 
indeed ; for I saw not the least sign or appearance 
of any such thing. I cannot explain, by any pos- 
sible energy of words, what a strange longing or 
hankering of desires I felt in my soul upon this 
sight, breaking out sometimes thus : " O that there 


had been but one or two, nay, or but one soul saved 
out of this ship, to have escaped to me, that I 
might have had one companion, one fellow-creature 
to have spoken to me, and to have conversed with !" 
In all the time of my solitary life, I never felt so 
earnest, so strong a desire after the society of my 
fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at the want 
of it. 


There are some secret moving springs in the 
affections, which, when they are set a-going 
by some object in view, or, though not in view, 
yet rendered present to the mind by the power of 
imagination, that motion carries out the soul, by 
its impetuosity, to such violent, eager embracings 
of the object that the absence of it is insupport- 
able. Such were these earnest wishings that but 
one man had been saved. I believe I repeated the 
words, " O that it had been but one ! " a thousand 
times; and my desires were so moved by it that 
when I spoke the words my hands would clinch 
together, and my fingers would press the palms of 
my hands so that if I had had any soft thing in my 
hand it would have crushed it involuntarily; and 
the teeth in my head would strike together, and 
set against one another so strong that for some 
time I could not part them again. Let the nat- 
uralists explain these things, and the reason and 
manner of them ; all I can say to them is, to de- 
scribe the fact, which was even surprising to me, 


when I found it, though I knew not from whence 
it proceeded; it was doubtless the effect of ardent 
wishes, and of strong ideas formed in my mind, 
realising the comfort which the conversation of 
one of my fellow-Christians would have been to 
me. But it was not to be ; either their fate or mine, 
or both, forbade it; for till the last year of my 
being on this island, I never knew whether any 
were saved out of that ship or no ; and had only 
the affliction, some days after, to see the corpse of 
a drowned boy come on shore at the end of the 
island which was next the shipwreck. He had no 
clothes on but a seaman's waistcoat, a pair of open- 
kneed linen drawers, and a blue linen shirt ; but 
nothing to direct me so much as to guess what 
nation he was of; he had nothing in his pockets 
but two pieces-of-eight and a tobacco-pipe, — the 
last was to me of ten times more value than the 

It was now calm, and I had a great mind to ven- 
ture out in my boat to this wreck, not doubting 
but I might find something on board that might 
be useful to me ; but that did not altogether press 
me so much as the possibility that there might be 
yet some living creature on board, whose life I 
might not only save, but might, by saving that 
life, comfort my own to the last degree. And this 
thought clung so to my heart that I could not be 
quiet night or day, but I must venture out in my 
boat on board this wreck ; and committing the rest 
to God's providence, I thought the impression 


was so strong upon my mind that it could not be 
resisted, that it must come from some invisible 
direction, and that I should be wanting to myself 
if I did not go. 

Under the power of this impression, I hastened 
back to my castle, prepared everything for my 
voyage, took a quantity of bread, a great pot of 
fresh water, a compass to steer by, a bottle of rum 
(for I had still a great deal of that left), and a 
basket of raisins ; and thus loading myself with 
everything necessary, I went down to my boat, got 
the water out of her, put her afloat, loaded all my 
cargo in her, and then went home again for more. 
My second cargo was a great bag of rice, the um- 
brella to set up over my head for a shade, another 
large pot of fresh water, and about two dozen of 
my small loaves, or barley-cakes, more than before, 
with a bottle of goat's milk and a cheese : all which, 
with great labour and sweat, I carried to my boat ; 
and praying to God to direct my voyage, I put 
out; and rowing, or paddling, the canoe along 
the shore, came at last to the utmost point of the 
island on the north-east side. And now I was to 
launch out into the ocean, and either to venture or 
not to venture. I looked on the rapid currents 
which ran constantly on both sides of the island at 
a distance, and which were very terrible to me, from 
the remembrance of the hazard I had been in 
before, and my heart began to fail me ; for I fore- 
saw that if I was driven into either of those cur- 
rents, I should be carried a great way out to sea, 


and perhaps out of my reach, or sight of the island 
again; and that then, as my boat was but small, 
if any little gale of wind should rise, I should be 
inevitably lost. 

These thoughts so impressed my mind that I 
began to give over my enterprise ; and having 
hauled my boat into a little creek on the shore, I 
stepped out, and sat me down upon a rising bit of 
ground, very pensive and anxious, between fear 
and desire, about my voyage; when, as I was mus- 
ing, I could perceive that the tide was turned, and 
the flood come on ; upon which my going was 
impracticable for so many hours. Upon this, pre- 
sently, it occurred to me that I should go up to the 
highest piece of ground I could find, and observe, 
if I could, how the sets of the tide, or currents, lay 
when the flood came in, that I might judge whether, 
if I was driven one way out, I might not expect to 
be driven another way home, with the same rapid- 
ness of the currents. This thought was no sooner 
in my head than I cast my eye upon a little hill, 
which sufficiently overlooked the sea both ways, 
and from whence I had a clear view of the currents, 
or sets of the tide, and which way I was to guide 
myself in my return. Here I found that as the 
current of the ebb set out close by the south point 
of the island, so the current of the flood set in close 
by the shore of the north side ; and that I had no- 
thing to do but to keep to the north side of the 
island in my return, and I should do well enough. 

Encouraged with this observation, I resolved, the 


next morning, to set out with the first of the tide ; 
and reposing myself for the night in my canoe, 
under the great watchcoat I mentioned, I launched 
out. I first made a little out to sea, full north, till 
I began to feel the benefit of the current, which set 
eastward, and which carried me at a great rate, and 
yet did not so hurry me as the current on the south 
side had done before, so as to take from me all gov- 
ernment of the boat ; but having a strong steerage 
with my paddle, I went at a great rate directly for 
the wreck, and in less than two hours I came up to 
it. It was a dismal sight to look at : the ship, which, 
by its building, was Spanish, stuck fast, jammed in 
between two rocks ; all the stern and quarter of her 
were beaten to pieces with the sea ; and as her fore- 
castle, which stuck in the rocks, had run on with 
great violence, her mainmast and foremast were 
brought by the board, that is to say, broken short 
off; but her bowsprit was sound, and the head and 
bow appeared firm. When I came close to her, a 
dog appeared upon her, who, seeing me coming, 
yelped and cried ; and as soon as I called him, 
jumped into the sea to come to me. I took him 
into the boat, but found him almost dead with hun- 
ger and thirst. I gave him a cake of my bread, and 
he devoured it like a ravenous wolf that had been 
starving a fortnight in the snow. I then gave the 
poor creature some fresh water, with which, if I 
would have let him, he would have burst himself. 
After this, I went on board ; but the first sight I 
met with was two men drowned in the cook-room, 


or forecastle of the ship, with] their arms fast about 
one another. I concluded, as is indeed probable, 
that when the ship struck, it being in a storm, the 
sea broke so high, and so continually over her, that 
the men were not able to bear it, and were strangled 
with the constant rushing in of the water, as much 
as if they had been under water. Besides the dog, 
there was nothing left in the ship that had life ; nor 
any goods, that I could see, but what were spoiled 
by the water. There were some casks of liquor, 
whether wine or brandy I knew not, which lay lower 
in the hold, and which, the water being ebbed out, 
I could see ; but they were too big to meddle with. 
I saw several chests, which I believed belonged to 
some of the seamen ; and I got two of them into 
the boat, without examining what was in them. Had 
the stern of the ship been fixed, and the forepart 
broken off, I am persuaded I might have made a 
good voyage : for, by what I found in these two 
chests, I had room to suppose the ship had a great 
deal of wealth on board ; and, if I may guess from 
the course she steered, she must have been bound 
from Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata, in the 
south part of America, beyond the Brazils, to the 
Havanna, in the Gulf of Mexico, and so perhaps 
to Spain. She had, no doubt, a great treasure in her, 
but of no use, at that time, to anybody; and what 
became of her crew, I then knew not. 

I found, besides these chests, a little cask full of 
liquor, of about twenty gallons, which I got into my 
boat with much difficulty. There were several mus- 


kets in the cabin, and a great powder-horn, with 
about four pounds of powder in it : as for the mus- 
kets, I had no occasion for them, so I left them, but 
took the powder-horn. I took a fire-shovel and 
tongs, which I wanted extremely ; as also two little 
brass kettles, a copper pot to make chocolate, and 
a gridiron : and with this cargo, and the dog, I came 
away, the tide beginning to make home again ; and 
the same evening, about an hour within night, I 
reached the island again, weary and fatigued to the 
last degree. I reposed that night in the boat ; and 
in the morning I resolved to harbour what I had 
got in my new cave, and not carry it home to my 
castle. After refreshing myself, I got all my cargo 
on shore, and began to examine the particulars. 
The cask of liquor I found to be a kind of rum, 
but not such as we had at the Brazils, and, in a word, 
not at all good ; but when I came to open the chests, 
I found several things of great use to me : for ex- 
ample, I found in one a fine case of bottles, of an 
extraordinary kind, and filled with cordial waters, 
fine and very good : the bottles held about three 
pints each, and were tipped with silver. I found two 
pots of very good succades or sweetmeats, so fast- 
ened also on the top that the salt water had not 
hurt them ; and two more of the same, which the 
water had spoiled. I found some very good shirts, 
which were very welcome to me ; and about a dozen 
and a half of white linen handkerchiefs and coloured 
neckcloths ; the former were also very welcome, 
being exceeding refreshing to wipe my face in a hot 


day. Besides this, when I came to the till in the 
chest, I found there three great bags of pieces-of- 
eight, which held about eleven hundred pieces in 
all ; and in one of them, wrapped up in a paper, six 
doubloons of gold and some small bars or wedges 
of gold ; I suppose they might all weigh near a 
pound. In the other chest were some clothes, but 
of little value; but, by the circumstances, it must 
have belonged to the gunner's mate; though there 
was no powder in it, except two pounds of fine 
glazed powder, in three small flasks, kept, I sup- 
pose, for charging their fowling-pieces on occasion. 
Upon the whole, I got very little by this voyage 
that was of any use to me: for, as to the money, 
I had no manner of occasion for it; it was to me as 
the dirt under my feet; and I would have given it 
all for three or four pair of English shoes and stock- 
ings, which were things I greatly wanted, but had 
none on my feet for many years. I had indeed got 
two pair of shoes now, which I took off the feet of 
the two drowned men whom I saw in the wreck and 
I found two pair more in one of the chests, which 
were very welcome to me; but they were not like 
our English shoes, either for ease or service, being 
rather what we call pumps than shoes. I found in 
this seaman's chest about fifty pieces-of-eight in rials, 
but no gold: I suppose this belonged to a poorer 
man than the other, which seemed to belong to 
some officer. Well, however, I lugged this money 
home to my cave, and laid it up, as I had done that 
before which I brought from our own ship : but it 


was a great pity, as I said, that the other part of this 
ship had not come to my share; for I am satisfied 
I might have loaded my canoe several times over 
with money; and, thought I, if I ever escape to 
England, it might lie here safe enough till I may 
come again and fetch it. 

Having now brought all my things on shore, and 
secured them, I went back to my boat, and rowed 
or paddled her along the shore, to her old harbour, 
where I laid her up, and made the best of my way 
to my old habitation, where I found everything 
safe and quiet. I began now to repose myself, live 
after my old fashion, and take care of my family 
affairs ; and, for a while, I lived easy enough, only 
that I was more vigilant than I used to be, looked 
out oftener, and did not go abroad so much; and 
if at any time I did stir with any freedom, it was 
always to the east part of the island, where I was 
pretty well satisfied the savages never came, and 
where I could go without so many precautions, and 
such a load of arms and ammunition as I always 
carried with me if I went the other way. I lived in 
this condition near two years more; but my un- 
lucky head, that was always to let me know it was 
born to make my body miserable, was all these two 
years filled with projects and designs, how, if it were 
possible, I might get away from this island; for 
sometimes I was for making another voyage to the 
wreck, though my reason told me that there was 
nothing left there worth the hazard of my voyage; 
sometimes for a ramble one way, sometimes another ; 


and I believe verily, if I had had the boat that I 
went from Sallee in, I should have ventured to sea, 
bound anywhere, I knew not whither. I have been, 
in all my circumstances, a memento to those who 
are touched with the general plague of mankind, 
whence, for aught I know, one half of their mis- 
eries flow: I mean that of not being satisfied with 
the station wherein God and nature hath placed 
them ; for, not to look back upon my primitive con- 
dition, and the excellent advice of my father, the 
opposition to which was, as I may call it, my orig- 
inal sin, my subsequent mistakes of the same kind 
had been the means of my coming into this mis- 
erable condition ; for had that Providence, which 
so happily seated me at the Brazils as a planter, 
blessed me with confined desires, and I could have 
been contented to have gone on gradually, I might 
have been by this time, I mean in the time of my 
being in this island, one of the most considerable 
planters in the Brazils ; nay, I am persuaded that, 
by the improvements I had made in that little time 
I lived there and the increase I should probably 
have made if I had remained, I might have been 
worth a hundred thousand moideres. And what 
business had I to leave a settled fortune, a well- 
stocked plantation, improving and increasing, to 
turn supercargo to Guinea to fetch negroes, when 
patience and time would have so increased our 
stock at home that we could have bought them at 
our own door from those whose business it was to 
fetch them ; and though it had cost us something 


more, yet the difference of that price was by no 
means worth saving at so great a hazard. But as 
this is usually the fate of young heads, so reflection 
upon the folly of it is as commonly the exercise 
of more years, or of the dear-bought experience of 
time; so it was with me now; and yet so deep had 
the mistake taken root in my temper that I could 
not satisfy myself in my station, but was continually 
poring upon the means and possibility of my es- 
cape from this place. And that I may with the 
greater pleasure to the reader bring on the remain- 
ing part of my story, it may not be improper to 
give some account of my first conceptions on the 
subject of this foolish scheme for my escape, and 
how, and upon what foundation, I acted. 

I am now to be supposed retired into my castle, 
after my late voyage to the wreck, my frigate laid 
up and secured under water, as usual, and my con- 
dition restored to what it was before ; I had more 
wealth, indeed, than I had before, but was not at 
all the richer; for I had no more use for it than the 
Indians of Peru had before the Spaniards came 
there. It was one of the nights in the rainy season 
in March, the four-and-twentieth year of my first 
setting foot in this island of solitude, I was lying 
in my bed, or hammock, awake; very well in health, 
had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness of body, 
nor any uneasiness of mind, more than ordinary, 
but could by no means close my eyes, that is, so 
as to sleep: no, not a wink all night long, other- 
wise than as follows: It is impossible to set down 


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


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

When these thoughts were over, my head was for 
some time taken up in considering the nature of 
these wretched creatures, I mean the savages, and 
how it came to pass in the world that the wise Gov- 
ernor of all things should give up any of his creatures 
to such inhumanity, nay, to something so much be- 
low even brutality itself, as to devour its own kind; 
but as this ended in some (at that time) fruitless spec- 
ulations, it occurred to me to inquire what part of the 
world these wretches lived in ? how far off the coast 
was from whence they came ? what they ventured 
over so far from home for ? what kind of boats they 
had ? and why I might not order myself and my 


business so that I might be as able to go over 
thither as they were to come to me. 

I never so much as troubled myself to consider 
what I should do with myself when I went thither, 
what would become of me if I fell into the hands of 
the savages, or how I should escape from them, if 
they attacked me : no, nor so much as how it was 
possible for me to reach the coast, and not be at- 
tacked by some or other of them, without any pos- 
sibility of delivering myself; and if I should not fall 
into their hands, what I should do for provision, 
or whither I should bend my course; none of these 
thoughts, I say, so much as came in my way; but my 
mind was wholly bent upon the notion of my passing 
over in my boat to the main land. I looked upon 
my present condition as the most miserable that 
could possibly be; that I was not able to throw my- 
self into anything, but death, that could be called 
worse ; and if I reached the shore of the main, I 
might perhaps meet with relief, or I might coast 
along, as I did on the African shore, till I came to 
some inhabited country, and where I might find 
some relief; and after all, perhaps, I might fall in 
with some Christian ship that might take me in; and 
if the worst came to the worst, I could but die, which 
would put an end to all these miseries at once. Pray 
note, all this was the fruit of a disturbed mind, an 
impatient temper, made desperate, as it were, by the 
long continuance of my troubles, and the disap- 
pointments I had met in the wreck I had been on 
board of, and where I had been so near obtaining 


what I so earnestly longed for, viz., somebody to 
speak to, and to learn some knowledge from them 
of the place where I was, and of the probable means 
of my deliverance. I was agitated wholly by these 
thoughts ; all my calm of mind, in my resignation 
to Providence, and waiting the issue of the disposi- 
tions of Heaven, seemed to be suspended ; and I 
had, as it were, no power to turn my thoughts to 
anything but to the project of a voyage to the main, 
which came upon me with such force, and such an 
impetuosity of desire, that it was not to be resisted. 
When this had agitated my thoughts for two 
hours or more, with such violence that it set my 
very blood into a ferment, and my pulse beat as if 
I had been in a fever, merely with the extraordinary 
fervour of my mind about it, nature, as if I had 
been fatigued and exhausted with the very thought 
of it, threw me into a sound sleep. One would have 
thought I should have dreamed of it, but I did not, 
nor of anything relating to it; but I dreamed that as 
I was going out in the morning, as usual, from my 
castle, I saw upon the shore two canoes and eleven 
savages coming to land, and that they brought with 
them another savage, whom they were going to kill, 
in order to eat him; when, on a sudden, the savage 
that they were going to kill jumped away, and ran 
for his life; and I thought, in my sleep, that he 
came running into my little thick grove before my 
fortification, to hide himself; and that I, seeing him 
alone, and not perceiving that the others sought him 
that way, showed myself to him, and smiling upon 


him, encouraged him: that he kneeled down to me, 
seeming to pray me to assist him ; upon which I 
showed him my ladder, made him go up, and carried 
him into my cave, and he became my servant; and 
that as soon as I had got this man, I said to myself, 
"Now I may certainly venture to the main land ; 
for this fellow will serve me as a pilot, and will tell 
me what to do, and whither to go for provisions, and 
whither not to go for fear of being devoured ; what 
places to venture into, and what to shun." I waked 
with this thought; and was under such inexpressible 
impressions of joy at the prospect of my escape in 
my dream that the disappointments which I felt 
upon coming to myself, and finding that it was no 
more than a dream, were equally extravagant the 
other way, and threw me into a very great dejection 
of spirits. 

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion : that 
my only way to go about to attempt an escape was, 
if possible, to get a savage into my possession ; 
and, if possible, it should be one of their prisoners 
whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should 
bring hither to kill. But these thoughts still were 
attended with this difficulty that it was impossible 
to effect this without attacking a whole caravan of 
them, and killing them all : and this was not only 
a very desperate attempt, and might miscarry : but, 
on the other hand, I had greatly scrupled the law- 
fulness of it to myself, and my heart trembled at 
the thought of shedding so much blood, though 
it was for my deliverance. I need not repeat the 


arguments which occurred to me against this, they 
being the same mentioned before; but though I 
had other reasons to offer now, viz., that those men 
were enemies to my life, and would devour me if 
they could; that it was self-preservation, in the 
highest degree, to deliver myself from this death 
of a life, and was acting in my own defence as much 
as if they were actually assaulting me, and the like ; 
I say, though these things argued for it, yet the 
thoughts of shedding human blood for my deliver- 
ance were very terrible to me, and such as I could 
by no means reconcile myself to for a great while. 
However, at last, after many secret disputes with 
myself, and after great perplexities about it (for all 
these arguments, one way and another, struggled 
in my head a long time), the eager prevailing de- 
sire of deliverance at length mastered all the rest ; 
and I resolved, if possible, to get one of those sav- 
ages into my hands, cost what it would. My next 
thing was to contrive how to do it, and this indeed 
was very difficult to resolve on ; but as I could pitch 
upon no probable means for it, so I resolved to put 
myself upon the watch, to see them when they 
came on shore, and leave the rest to the event, 
taking such measures as the opportunity should 
present, let what would be. 

With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set 
myself upon the scout as often as possible, and in- 
deed so often, that I was heartily tired of it; for it 
was above a year and a half that I waited ; and for 
great part of that time went out to the west end, 


and to the south-west corner, of the island, almost 
every day, to look for canoes, but none appeared. 
This was very discouraging, and began to trouble 
me much, though I cannot say that it did in this 
case (as it had done some time before) wear off the 
edge of my desire to the thing; but the longer it 
seemed to be delayed, the more eager I was for it ; 
in a word, I was not at first so careful to shun the 
sight of these savages, and avoid being seen by 
them, as I was now eager to be upon them. Be- 
sides, I fancied myself able to manage one, nay, 
two or three savages, if I had them, so as to make 
them entirely slaves to me, to do whatever I should 
direct them, and to prevent their being able at any 
time to do me any hurt. It was a great while that 
I pleased myself with this affair; but nothing still 
presented; all my fancies and schemes came to 
nothing, for no savages came near me for a great 


About a year and a half after I entertained 
these notions (and by long musing had, as 
it were, resolved them all into nothing, for want 
of an occasion to put them into execution), I was 
surprised, one morning early, with seeing no less 
than five canoes all on shore together on my side 
the island, and the people who belonged to them 
all landed, and out of my sight. The number of 
them broke all my measures ; for seeing so many, 
and knowing that they always came four or six, or 
sometimes more, in a boat, I could not tell what 
to think of it, or how to take my measures, to at- 
tack twenty or thirty men single-handed ; so lay 
still in my castle, perplexed and discomforted. 
However, I put myself into all the same postures 
for an attack that I had formerly provided, and 
was just ready for action, if anything had pre- 
sented. Having waited a good while, listening to 
hear if they made any noise, at length, being very 
impatient, I set my guns at the foot of my ladder, 
and clambered up to the top of the hill, by my two 


stages, as usual ; standing so, however, that my 
head did not appear above the hill, so that they 
could not perceive me by any means. Here I ob- 
served, by the help of my perspective glass, that 
they were no less than thirty in number ; that they 
had a fire kindled, and that they had meat dressed. 
How they had cooked it I knew not, or what it 
was ; but they were all dancing, in I know not how 
many barbarous gestures and figures, their own 
way, round the fire. 

While I was thus looking on them, I perceived, 
by my perspective, two miserable wretches dragged 
from the boats, where, it seems, they were laid by, 
and were now brought out for the slaughter. I per- 
ceived one of them immediately fall, being knocked 
down, I suppose, with a club or wooden sword, for 
that was their way, and two or three others were 
at work immediately, cutting him open for their 
cookery, while the other victim was left standing 
by himself, till they should be ready for him. In 
that very moment, this poor wretch, seeing him- 
self a little at liberty, and unbound, nature inspired 
him with hopes of life, and he started away from 
them, and ran with incredible swiftness along the 
sands, directly towards me, I mean towards that 
part of the coast where my habitation was. I was 
dreadfully frightened, I must acknowledge, when 
I perceived him run my way, and especially when, 
as I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole 
body ; and now I expected that part of my dream 
was coming to pass, and that he would certainly 


take shelter in my grove ; but I could not depend, 
by any means, upon my dream for the rest of it, 
viz., that the other savages would not pursue him 
thither, and find him there. However, I kept my 
station, and my spirits began to recover, when I 
found that there was not above three men that fol- 
lowed him ; and still more was I encouraged when 
I found that he outstripped them exceedingly in 
running, and gained ground of them, so that if he 
could but hold it for half an hour, I saw easily he 
would fairly get away from them all. 

There was between them and my castle the 
creek, which I mentioned often in the first part 
of my story, where I landed my cargoes out of the 
ship ; and this I saw plainly he must necessarily 
swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken 
there : but when the savage escaping came thither, 
he made nothing of it, though the tide was then 
up ; but plunging in, swam through in about thirty 
strokes, or thereabouts, landed, and ran on with 
exceeding strength and swiftness. When the three 
persons came to the creek, I found that two of 
them could swim, but the third could not, and 
that, standing on the other side, he looked at the 
others, but went no farther, and soon after went 
softly back again ; which, as it happened, was very 
well for him in the end. I observed that the two 
who swam were yet more than twice as long swim- 
ming over the creek as the fellow was that fled 
from them. It came now very warmly upon my 
thoughts, and indeed irresistibly, that now was 


the time to get me a servant, and perhaps a com- 
panion or assistant, and that I was called plainly 
by Providence to save this poor creature's life. I 
immediately ran down the ladders with all possible 
expedition, fetched my two guns, for they were 
both at the foot of the ladders, as I observed 
above, and getting up again, with the same haste, 
to the top of the hill, I crossed toward the sea, and 
having a very short cut, and all down-hill, placed 
myself in the way between the pursuers and the 
pursued, hallooing aloud to him that fled, who, 
looking back, was at first, perhaps, as much fright- 
ened at me as at them. But I beckoned with my 
hand to him to come back ; and, in the mean time, 
I slowly advanced towards the two that followed ; 
then, rushing at once upon the foremost, I knocked 
him down with the stock of my piece. I was loth 
to fire, because I would not have the rest hear ; 
though, at that distance, it would not have been 
easily heard, and being out of sight of the smoke, 
too, they would not have easily known what to 
make of it. Having knocked this fellow down, the 
other who pursued him stopped, as if he had been 
frightened, and I advanced apace towards him ; 
but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had 
a bow and arrow, and was fitting it to shoot at 
me : so I was then necessitated to shoot at him 
first, which I did, and killed him at the first shot. 
The poor savage who fled but had stopped, 
though he saw both his enemies fallen and killed, 
as he thought, yet was so frightened with the fire 

Plate VIII 


and noise of my piece that he stood stock-still, 
and neither came forward nor went backward, 
though he seemed rather inclined still to fly than 
to come on. I hallooed again to him, and made 
signs to come forward, which he easily understood, 
and came a little way, then stopped again ; and then 
a little farther, and stopped again ; and I could 
then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had 
been taken prisoner, and had just been to be killed, 
as his two enemies were. I beckoned to him again 
to come to me, and gave him all the signs of en- 
couragement that I could think of; and he came 
nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or 
twelve steps, in token of acknowledgment for sav- 
ing his life. I smiled at him, and looked pleasantly, 
and beckoned to him to come still nearer; at length 
he came close to me ; and then he kneeled down 
again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon 
the ground, and taking me by the foot, set my 
foot upon his head : this, it seems, was in token 
of swearing to be my slave for ever. I took him 
up, and made much of him, and encouraged him 
all I could. 

But there was more work to do yet ; for I per- 
ceived the savage whom I knocked down was not 
killed but stunned with the blow, and began to 
come to himself; so I pointed to him, and showed 
him the savage, that he was not dead ; upon this 
he spoke some words to me, and though I could 
not understand them, yet I thought they were 
pleasant to hear; for they were the first sound of a 


man's voice that I had heard, my own excepted, 
for above twenty-five years. But there was no 
time for such reflections now ; the savage who was 
knocked down recovered himself so far as to sit 
up upon the ground, and I perceived that my sav- 
age began to be afraid ; but when I saw that, I pre- 
sented my other piece at the man, as if I would 
shoot him. Upon this my savage, for so I call him 
now, made a motion to me to lend him my sword 
which hung naked in a belt by my side, which I 
did. He no sooner had it but he runs to his 
enemy, and at one blow cut off his head so cleverly 
no executioner in Germany could have done it 
sooner or better; which I thought very strange 
for one who, I had reason to believe, never saw a 
sword in his life before, except their own wooden 
swords. However, it seems, as I learned afterwards, 
they make their wooden swords so sharp, so heavy, 
and the wood is so hard, that they will cut off 
heads even with them, aye, and arms, and that at 
one blow, too. When he had done this, he comes 
laughing to me, in sign of triumph, and brought 
me the sword again, and with abundance of ges- 
tures, which I did not understand, laid it down, 
with the head of the savage that he had killed, just 
before me. 

But that which astonished him most was to know 
how I killed the other Indian so far off; so point- 
ing to him, he made signs to me to let him go to 
him ; so I bade him go, as well as I could. When 
he came to him, he stood like one amazed, look- 


ing at him, turning him first on one side, then on 
the other, looked at the wound the bullet had 
made, which, it seems, was just in his breast, 
where it had made a hole, and no great quantity of 
blood had followed, but he had bled inwardly, 
for he was quite dead. He took up his bow and 
arrows, and came back ; so I turned to go away, 
and beckoned him to follow me, making signs to 
him that more might come after them. Upon 
this, he made signs to me that he should bury 
them with sand, that they might not be seen by 
the rest, if they followed ; and so I made signs to 
him again to do so. He fell to work; and, in an 
instant, he had scraped a hole in the sand with his 
hands, big enough to bury the first in, and then 
dragged him into it, and covered him ; and did so 
by the other also ; I believe he had buried them 
both in a quarter of an hour. Then calling him 
away, I carried him, not to my castle, but quite 
away, to my cave, on the farther part of the island ; 
so I did not let my dream come to pass in that 
part, viz., that he came into my grove for shelter. 
Here I gave him bread and a bunch of raisins to 
eat, and a draught of water, which I found he 
was indeed in great distress for, by his running ; 
and having refreshed him, I made signs for him 
to go and lie down to sleep, showing him a place 
where I had laid some rice-straw, and a blanket 
upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself some- 
times; so the poor creature lay down, and went 
to sleep. 


He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly 
well-made, with straight, strong limbs, not too large, 
tall and well-shaped, and, as I reckon, about twenty- 
six years of age. He had a very good countenance, 
not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed to have 
something very manly in his face; and yet he had 
all the sweetness and softness of an European in 
his countenance too, especially when he smiled. 
His hair was long and black, not curled like wool; 
his forehead very high and large, and a great vivac- 
ity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The col- 
our of his skin was not quite black, but very tawny ; 
and yet not an ugly, yellow, nauseous tawny, as 
the Brazilians and Virginians and other natives of 
America are, but of a bright kind of a dun olive- 
colour, that had in it something very agreeable, 
though not very easy to describe. His face was 
round and plump ; his nose small, not flat like the 
Negroes; a very good mouth, thin lips, and his 
fine teeth well-set, and as white as ivory. 

After he had slumbered, rather than slept, about 
half an hour, he awoke again, and came out of the 
cave to me, for I had been milking my goats, which 
I had in the enclosure just by. When he espied me, 
he came running to me, laying himself down again 
upon the ground, with all the possible signs of an 
humble, thankful disposition, making a great many 
antic gestures to show it. At last, he lays his head 
flat upon the ground, close to my foot, and sets my 
other foot upon his head, as he had done before; 
and after this made all the signs to me of subjec- 


tion, servitude, and submission imaginable, to let 
me know how he would serve me as long as he lived. 
I understood him in many things, and let him know 
I was very well pleased with him.. In a little time 
I began to speak to him and teach him to speak to 
me; and, first, I let him know his name should be 
Friday, which was the day I saved his life ; I called 
him so for the memory of the time. I likewise 
taught him to say Master; and then let him know 
that was to be my name. I likewise taught him to 
say Yes and No, and to know the meaning of them. 
I gave him some milk in an earthen pot, and let 
him see me drink it before him, and sop my bread 
in it; and gave him a cake of bread to do the like, 
which he quickly complied with, and made signs 
that it was very good. I kept there with him all that 
night; but as soon as it was day, I beckoned to him 
to come with me, and let him know I would give 
him some clothes ; at which he seemed very glad, 
for he was stark naked. As we went by the place 
where he had buried the two men, he pointed exactly 
to the place, and showed me the marks that he had 
made to find them again, making signs to me that 
we should dig them up again, and eat them. At 
this I appeared very angry, expressed my abhor- 
rence of it, made as if I would vomit at the thoughts 
of it, and beckoned with my hand to him to come 
away, which he did immediately, with great sub- 
mission. I then led him up to the top of the hill, 
to see if his enemies were gone ; and pulling out my 
glass, I looked, and saw plainly the place where 


they had been, but no appearance of them or their 
canoes; so that it was plain that they were gone, 
and had left their two comrades behind them, with- 
out any search after them. 

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


that they had taken a great number of prisoners ; 
all which were carried to several places by those 
who had taken them in the fight, in order to feast 
upon them, as was done here by these wretches 
upon those they brought hither. 

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

When he had done this, we came back to our 
castle ; and there I fell to work for my man Friday : 
and, first of all, I gave him a pair of linen drawers, 
which I had out of the poor gunner's chest 1 men- 
tioned which I found in the wreck ; and which, with 
a little alteration, fitted him very well, and then I 
made him a jerkin of goat's skin, as well as my 
skill would allow (for I was now grown a tolerable 
good tailor); and I gave him a cap, which I made 
of hare's skin, very convenient and fashionable 
enough; and thus he was clothed for the present 
tolerably well, and was mighty well pleased to see 
himself almost as well-clothed as his master. It is 
true, he went awkwardly in those clothes at first: 
wearing the drawers was very awkward to him, and 
the sleeves of the waistcoat galled his shoul- 


ders, and the inside of his arms ; but after a little 
easing them where he complained they hurt him, 
and using himself to them, he took to them at 
length very well. 

The next day after I came home to my hutch 
with him, I began to consider where I should lodge 
him; and that I might do well for him, and yet be 
perfectly easy myself, I made a little tent for him in 
the vacant place between my two fortifications, in 
the inside of the last and in the outside of the first. 
As there was a door or entrance there into my cave, 
I made a formal framed doorcase, and a door to it 
of boards, and set it up in the passage, a little within 
the entrance; and causing the door to open in the 
inside, I barred it up in the night, taking in my 
ladders too ; so that Friday could no way come at 
me in the inside of my innermost wall, without mak- 
ing so much noise in getting over that it must needs 
waken me; for my first wall had now a complete roof 
over it of long poles, covering all my tent, and lean- 
ing up to the side of the hill; which was again laid 
across with smaller sticks, instead of laths, and then 
thatched over a great thickness with the rice-straw, 
which was strong, like reeds; and at the hole or 
place which was left to go in or out by the ladder, I 
had placed a kind of trap-door, which, if it had been 
attempted on the outside, would not have opened 
at all, but would have fallen down, and made a great 
noise; as to weapons, I took them all into my side 
every night. But I needed none of all this precau- 
tion, for never man had a more faithful, loving, sin- 


cere servant than Friday was to me; without pas- 
sions, sullenness, or designs, perfectly obliged and 
engaged — his very affections were tied to me, like 
those of a child to a father; and I dare say he would 
have sacrificed his life for the saving mine upon any 
occasion whatsoever: the many testimonies he gave 
me of this put it out of doubt, and soon convinced 
me that I needed to use no precautions as to my 
safety on his account. 

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


why it has pleased God to hide the like saving know- 
ledge from so many millions of souls, who, if I might 
judge by this poor savage, would make a much bet- 
ter use of it than we did. From hence I was some- 
times led too far, to invade the sovereignty of 
Providence, and as it were arraign the justice of so 
arbitrary a disposition of things, that should hide 
that light from some and reveal it to others, and yet 
expect a like duty from both. But I shut it up, and 
checked my thoughts with this conclusion : first, 
that we did not know by what light and law these 
should be condemned ; but that as God was neces- 
sarily, and by the nature of his being, infinitely holy 
and just, so it could not be but if these creatures 
were all sentenced to absence from himself, it was on 
account of sinning against that light, which, as the 
Scripture says, was a law to themselves, and by such 
rules as their consciences would acknowledge to be 
just, though the foundation was not discovered to 
us ; and, secondly, that still, as we all are the clay in 
the hand of the potter, no vessel could say to him, 
" Why hast thou formed me thus?" 

But to return to my new companion : — I was 
greatly delighted with him, and made it my business 
to teach him everything that was proper to make 
him useful, handy, and helpful; but especially to 
make him speak, and understand me when I spoke ; 
and he was the aptest scholar that ever was; and 
particularly was so merry, so constantly diligent, and 
so pleased when he could but understand me, or 
make me understand him, that it was very pleasant 


to me to talk to him. Now my life began to be 
so easy that I began to say to myself that could 
I but have been safe from more savages, I cared 
not if I was never to remove from the place where 
I lived* 


After I had been two or three days returned 
to my castle,I thought that, in order to bring 
Friday off from his horrid way of feeding, and from 
the relish of a cannibal's stomach, I ought to let 
him taste of other flesh ; so I took him out with 
me one morning to the woods. I went, indeed, in- 
tending to kill a kid out of my own flock, and bring 
it home and dress it; but as I was going, I saw a 
she-goat lying down in the shade, and two young 
kids sitting by her. I catched hold of Friday : — 
" Hold," said I ; " stand still " ; and made signs to 
him not to stir. Immediately I presented my piece, 
shot, and killed one of the kids. The poor creature, 
who had, at a distance, indeed, seen me kill the 
savage, his enemy, but did not know, nor could 
imagine, how it was done, was sensibly surprised, 
trembled and shook, and looked so amazed, that 
I thought he would have sunk down. He did not 
see the kid I shot at, or perceive I had killed it, 
but ripped up his waistcoat, to feel whether he was 
not wounded, and, as I found presently, thought I 


was resolved to kill him ; for he came and kneeled 
down to me, and, embracing my knees, said a great 
many things I did not understand; but I could 
easily see the meaning was, to pray me not to kill 

I soon found away to convince him that I would 
do him no harm ; and taking him up by the hand, 
laughed at him, and pointing to the kid which I had 
killed, beckoned to him to run and fetch it, which 
he did; and while he was wandering, and looking 
to see how the creature was killed, I loaded my gun 
again. By and by, I saw a great fowl, like a hawk, 
sitting upon a tree, within shot ; so, to let Friday 
understand a little what I would do, I called him 
to me again, pointed at the fowl, which was indeed 
a parrot, though I thought it had been a hawk; I 
say, pointing to the parrot, and to my gun, and to 
the ground under the parrot, to let him see I would 
make it fall, I made him understand that I would 
shoot and kill that bird: accordingly I fired and 
bade him look, and immediately he saw the parrot 
fall. He stood like one frightened again, notwith- 
standing all I had said to him ; and I found he was 
the more amazed, because he did not see me put 
anything into the gun, but thought that there must 
be some wonderful fund of death and destruction 
in that thing, able to kill man, beast, or bird, or 
anything near or far off; and the astonishment this 
created in him was such as could not wear off for 
a long time ; and I believe, if I would have let him, 
he would have worshipped me and my gun. As for 


the gun itself, he would not so much as touch it 
for several days after ; but he would speak to it, and 
talk to it, as if it had answered him, when he was 
by himself; which, as I afterwards learned of him, 
was to desire it not to kill him. Well, after his 
astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to 
him to run and fetch the bird I had shot, which he 
did, but stayed some time; for the parrot, not be- 
ing quite dead, had fluttered away a good distance 
from the place where she fell : however, he found 
her, took her up, and brought her to me ; and as 
I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, 
I took this advantage to charge the gun again, and 
not to let him see me do it, that I might be ready 
for any other mark that might present; but nothing 
more offered at that time : so I brought home the 
kid, and the same evening I took the skin off, and 
cut it out as well as I could ; and having a pot fit 
for that purpose, I boiled or stewed some of the 
flesh, and made some very good broth. After I had 
begun to eat some, I gave some to my man, who 
seemed very glad of it, and liked it very well ; but 
that which was strangest to him was to see me eat 
salt with it. He made a sign to me that the salt 
was not good to eat ; and putting a little into his 
mouth, he seemed to nauseate it, and would spit 
and sputter at it, washing his mouth with fresh 
water after it : on the other hand, I took some 
meat into my mouth without salt, and I pretended 
to spit and sputter for want of salt, as fast as he 
had done at the salt ; but it would not do : he 


would never care for salt with his meat or in his 
broth ; at least, hot for a great while, and then but 
very little. 

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

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

I began now to consider that, having two mouths 
to feed instead of one, I must provide more ground 
for my harvest, and plant a larger quantity of corn 
than I used to do ; so I marked out a larger piece 
of land, and began the fence in the same manner as 
before, in which Friday worked not only very will- 


ingly and very hard, but did it very cheerfully. And 
I told him what it was for : that it was for corn to 
make more bread, because he was now with me, and 
that I might have enough for him and myself too. 
He appeared very sensible of that part, and let me 
know that he thought I had much more labour 
upon me on his account than I had for myself, and 
that he would work the harder for me if I would 
tell him what to do. 

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

I had a mind once to try if he had any hanker- 
ing inclination to his own country again ; and hav- 
ing taught him English so well that he could answer 
me almost any question, I asked him whether the 
nation that he belonged to never conquered in bat- 
tle ? At which he smiled, and said, " Yes, yes, we 
always fight the better " ; that is, he meant, always 


get the better in fight ; and so we began the follow- 
ing discourse : 

Master. You always fight the better? how came 
you to be taken prisoner then, Friday ? 

Friday. My nation beat much, for all that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Master. Where do they carry them ? 

Friday. Go to other place, where they think. 

Master. Do they come hither ? 

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

Master. Have you been here with them ? 

Friday. Yes, I have been here. (Points to the 
north-west side of the island, which, it seems, was 
their side.) 

By this I understood that my man Friday had 


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

I have told this passage because it introduces what 
follows : that after I had this discourse with him, I 
asked him how far it was from our island to the shore, 
and whether the canoes were not often lost. He told 
me there was no danger, no canoes ever lost; but 
that, after a little way out to sea, there was a current 
and wind, always one way in the morning, the other 
in the afternoon. This I understood to be no more 
than the sets of the tide, as going out or coming in : 
but I afterwards understood it was occasioned by 
the great draft and reflux of the mighty river Oroo- 
noko,in the mouth or gulf of which river, as I found 
afterwards, our island lay; and that this land which 
I perceived to the west and north-west was the great 
island Trinidad, on the north point of the mouth 
of the river. I asked Friday a thousand questions 
about the country, the inhabitants, the sea, the coast, 
and what nations were near. He told me all he knew, 
with the greatest openness imaginable. I asked him 
the names of the several nations of his sort of peo- 


pie, but could get no other name than Caribs ; from 
whence I easily understood that these were the Ca- 
ribbees, which our maps place on the part of America 
which reaches from the mouth of the river Oroo- 
noko to Guiana, and onwards to St. Martha. He 
told me that up a great way beyond the moon, that 
was, beyond the setting of the moon, which must 
be west from their country, there dwelt white, 
bearded men, like me, and pointed to my great 
whiskers, which I mentioned before ; and that they 
had killed much "mans," that was his word ; by all 
which I understood he meant the Spaniards, whose 
cruelties in America had been spread over the whole 
country, and were remembered by all the nations, 
from father to son. I inquired if he could tell me 
how I might go from this island and get among 
those white men ; he told me, " Yes, yes, you may 
go in two canoe." I could not understand what he 
meant, or make him describe to me what he meant 
by "two canoe"; till, at last, with great difficulty, 
I found he meant it must be in a large boat, as 
big as two canoes. This part of Friday's discourse 
began to relish with me very well ; and from this 
time I entertained some hopes that, one time or 
other, I might find an opportunity to make my 
escape from this place, and that this poor savage 
might be a means to help me. 

During the long time that Friday had now been 
with me, and that he began to speak to me and 
understand me, I was not wanting to lay a founda- 
tion of religious knowledge in his mind ; partic- 


ularly I asked him, one time, who made him ? The 
poor creature did not understand me at all, but 
thought I had asked him who was his father; but 
I took it up by another handle, and asked him who 
made the sea, the ground we walked on, and the 
hills and woods ? He told me, it was one old Bena- 
muckee, that lived beyond all ; he could describe 
nothing of this great person but that he was very 
old, much older, he said, than the sea or the land, 
than the moon or the stars. I asked him then, if 
this old person had made all things, why did not 
all things worship him ? He looked very grave,and 
with a perfect look of innocence said, "All things 
say c O' to him." I asked him if the people who 
die in his country went away anywhere ? He said, 
"Yes; they all went to Benamuckee." Then I 
asked him whether these they ate up went thither 
too ? He said, " Yes." From these things I began 
to instruct him in the knowledge of the true God : 
I told him that the great Maker of all things lived 
up there, pointing up towards heaven; that he gov- 
erned the world by the same power and providence 
by which he made it ; that he was omnipotent, and 
could do everything for us, give everything to 
us, take everything from us ; and thus, by degrees, 
I opened his eyes. He listened with great atten- 
tion, and received with pleasure the notion of Jesus 
Christ being sent to redeem us, and of the man- 
ner of making our prayers to God, and his being 
able to hear us, even in heaven. He told me one 
day that, if our God could hear us up beyond the 


sun, he must needs be a greater God than their 
Benamuckee, who lived but a little way off, and 
yet could not hear till they went up to the great 
mountains where he dwelt to speak to him. I 
asked him if ever he went thither to speak to him ? 
He said, no, they never went that were young 
men ; none went thither but the old men, whom 
he called their Oowokakee ; that is, as I made him 
explain it to me, their religious, or clergy; and 
that they went to say " O " (so he called saying 
prayers), and then came back, and told them what 
Benamuckee said. By this I observed that there is 
priestcraft even among the most blinded, ignorant 
pagans in the world ; and the policy of making a 
secret of religion, in order to preserve the venera- 
tion of the people to the clergy, is not only to be 
found in the Roman, but perhaps among all relig- 
ions in the world, even among the most brutish 
and barbarous savages. 

I endeavoured to clear up this fraud to my man 
Friday, and told him that the pretence of their old 
men going up to the mountains to say " O " to their 
god Benamuckee was a cheat ; and their bringing 
word from thence what he said was much more so ; 
that if they met with any answer, or spake with any 
one there, it must be with an evil spirit. And then 
I entered into a long discourse with him about the 
Devil, the original of him, his rebellion against God, 
his enmity to man, the reason of it, his setting him- 
self up in the dark parts of the world to be wor- 
shipped instead of God, and as God, and the many 


stratagems he made use of to delude mankind to 
their ruin ; how he had a secret access to our pas- 
sions and to our affections, and to adapt his snares 
to our inclinations, so as to cause us even to be our 
own tempters, and run upon our destruction by 
our own choice. 

I found it was not so easy to imprint right no- 
tions in his mind about the Devil as it was about 
the being of a God ; nature assisted all my arguments 
to evidence to him even the necessity of a great 
First Cause and overruling, governing Power, a 
secret, directing Providence, and of the equity and 
justice of paying homage to him that made us, and 
the like ; but there appeared nothing of this kind 
in the notion of an evil spirit; of his original, his 
being, his nature, and, above all, of his inclination 
to do evil, and to draw us in to do so too ; and the 
poor creature puzzled me once in such a manner, 
by a question merely natural and innocent, that I 
scarce knew what to say to him. I had been talk- 
ing a great deal to him of the power of God, his 
omnipotence, his aversion to sin, his being a con- 
suming fire to the workers of iniquity ; how, as he 
had made us all, he could destroy us and all the 
world in a moment; and he listened with great se- 
riousness to me all the while. After this, I had been 
telling him how the Devil was God's enemy in the 
hearts of men, and used all his malice and skill to 
defeat the good designs of Providence, and to ruin 
the kingdom of Christ in the world, and the like. 
" Well," says Friday, " but you say God is so strong, 


so great; is he not much strong, much might as the 
Devil ? " — " Yes, yes," says I, " Friday, God is 
stronger than the Devil ; God is above the Devil, 
and therefore we pray to God to tread him down 
under our feet, and enable us to resist his tempta- 
tions, and quench his fiery darts." " But," says he 
again, "if God much stronger, much might as the 
Devil, why God no kill the Devil, so make him no 
more do wicked ? " I was strangely surprised at this 
question ; and, after all, though I was now an old 
man, yet I was but a young doctor, and ill quali- 
fied for a casuist, or a solver of difficulties, and, at 
first, I could not tell what to say ; so I pretended 
not to hear him, and asked him what he said; but 
he was too earnest for an answer to forget his ques- 
tion, so that he repeated it in the very same broken 
words as above. By this time I had recovered my- 
self a little, and I said, " God will at last punish 
him severely; he is reserved for the judgment, and 
is to be cast into the bottomless pit, to dwell with 
everlasting fire." This did not satisfy Friday; but 
he returns upon me, repeating my words, "Reserve 
at last; me no understand; but why not kill the 
Devil now ; not kill great ago ? " — " You may as 
well ask me," said I, "why God does not kill you 
and me when we do wicked things here that offend 
him. We are preserved to repent and be pardoned." 
He mused some time on this. "Well, well," says 
he, mighty affectionately, " that well ; so you, I, 
Devil, all wicked, all preserve, repent, God pardon 
all." Here I was run down again by him to the last 


degree ; and it was a testimony to me how the mere 
notions of nature, though they will guide reason- 
able creatures to the knowledge of a God, and of 
a worship or homage due to the supreme being 
of God, as the consequence of our nature, yet no- 
thing but divine revelation can form the knowledge 
of Jesus Christ, and of redemption purchased for 
us, of a Mediator of the new covenant, and of an 
Intercessor at the footstool of God's throne; I say, 
nothing but a revelation from Heaven can form 
these in the soul; and that, therefore, the gospel 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I mean the 
Word of God, and the Spirit of God, promised 
for the guide and sanctifier of his people, are the 
absolutely necessary instructors of the souls of men 
in the saving knowledge of God, and the means of 

I therefore diverted the present discourse be- 
tween me and my man, rising up hastily, as upon 
some sudden occasion of going out ; then sending 
him for something a good way off, I seriously 
prayed to God that he would enable me to instruct 
savingly this poor savage, assisting, by his Spirit, 
the heart of the poor ignorant creature to receive 
the light of the knowledge of God in Christ, re- 
conciling him to himself, and would guide me to 
speak so to him from the word of God as his con- 
science might be convinced, his eyes opened, and 
his soul saved. When he came again to me I en- 
tered into a long discourse with him upon the 
subject of the redemption of man by the Saviour 


of the world, and of the doctrine of the gospel 
preached from heaven, viz., of repentance towards 
God, and faith in our blessed Lord Jesus. I then 
explained to him, as well as I could, why our 
blessed Redeemer took not on him the nature of 
angels, but the seed of Abraham ; and how, for 
that reason, the fallen angels had no share in the 
redemption ; that he came only to the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel, and the like. 

I had, God knows, more sincerity than know- 
ledge in all the methods I took for this poor crea- 
ture's instruction, and must acknowledge, what I 
believe all that act upon the same principle will 
find, that in laying things open to him I really in- 
formed and instructed myself in many things that 
either I did not know, or had not fully considered 
before, but which occurred naturally to my mind 
upon searching into them, for the information of 
this poor savage ; and I had more affection in my 
inquiry after things upon this occasion than ever 
I felt before, so that, whether this poor wild wretch 
was the better for me or no, I had great reason to 
be thankful that ever he came to me. My grief 
sat lighter upon me ; my habitation grew comfort- 
able to me beyond measure ; and when I reflected 
that in this solitary life which I had been confined 
to, I had not only been moved to look up to 
Heaven myself, and to seek the hand that had 
brought me here, but was now to be made an in- 
strument, under Providence, to save the life, and, 
for aught I knew, the soul, of a poor savage, and 


bring him to the true knowledge of religion and of 
the Christian doctrine, that he might know Christ 
Jesus, in whom is life eternal ; I say, when I re- 
flected upon all these things, a secret joy ran through 
every part of my soul, and I frequently rejoiced 
that ever I was brought to this place, which I had 
so often thought the most dreadful of all afflictions 
that could possibly have befallen me. 

I continued in this thankful frame all the re- 
mainder of my time ; and the conversation which 
employed the hours between Friday and me was 
such as made the three years which we lived there 
together perfectly and completely happy, if any 
such thing as complete happiness can be formed 
in a sublunary state. This savage was now a good 
Christian, a much better than I ; though I have 
reason to hope, and bless God for it, that we were 
equally penitent, and comforted, restored peni- 
tents. We had here the word of God to read, and 
no farther off from his Spirit to instruct than if 
we had been in England. I always applied myself, 
in reading the Scriptures, to let him know, as well 
as I could, the meaning of what I read ; and he 
again, by his serious inquiries and questionings, 
made me, as I said before, a much better scholar 
in the Scripture-knowledge than I should ever have 
been by my own private reading. Another thing 
I cannot refrain from observing here also, from 
experience in this retired part of my life, viz., how 
infinite and inexpressible a blessing it is that the 
knowledge of God, and of the doctrine of salva- 


tion by Christ Jesus, is so plainly laid down in the 
word of God, so easy to be received and under- 
stood, that, as the bare reading the Scripture made 
me capable of understanding enough of my duty 
to carry me directly on to the great work of sin- 
cere repentance for my sins, and laying hold of a 
Saviour for life and salvation, to a stated reforma- 
tion in practice, and obedience to alt God's com- 
mands, and this without any teacher or instructor, 
I mean human ; so, the same plain instruction suf- 
ficiently served to the enlightening this savage 
creature, and bringing him to be such a Christian 
as I have known few equal to him in my life. 

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


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

I described to him the country of Europe, par- 
ticularly^England, which I came from ; how we lived, 
how we worshipped God, how we behaved to one 
another; and how we traded in ships to all parts 
of the world. I gave him an account of the wreck 
which I had been on board of, and showed him, as 


near as I could, the place where she lay; but she 
was all beaten in pieces before, and gone. I showed 
him the ruins of our boat, which we lost when we 
escaped, and which I could not stir with my whole 
strength then ; but was now fallen almost all to pieces. 
Upon seeing this boat, Friday stood musing a great 
while, and said nothing. I asked him what it was 
he studied upon ? At last, says he, "Me see such 
boat like come to place at my nation." I did not 
understand him a good while; but, at last, when I 
had examined farther into it, I understood by him 
that a boat, such as that had been, came on shore 
upon the country where he lived; that is, as he ex- 
plained it, was driven thither by stress of weather. 
I presently imagined that some European ship must 
have been cast away upon their coast, and the boat 
might get loose, and drive ashore ; but was so dull 
that I never once thought of men making their 
escape from a wreck thither, much less whence they 
might come : so I only inquired after a description 
of the boat. 

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

This put new thoughts into my head; for I pre- 


sently imagined that these might be the men be- 
longing to the ship that was cast away in the sight of 
my island, as I now called it; and who, after the ship 
was struck on the rock, and they saw her inevitably 
lost, had saved themselves in their boat, and were 
landed upon that wild shore among the savages. 
Upon this, I inquired of him more critically what 
was become of them; he assured me they lived still 
there ; that they had been there about four years ; 
that the savages let them alone, and gave them vict- 
uals to live on. I asked him how it came to pass 
they did not kill them, and eat them? He said, 
"No, they make brother with them" ; that is, as I 
understood him, a truce ; and then he added, " They 
no eat mans but when make the war fight"; that 
is to say, they never eat any men but such as come 
to fight with them, and are taken in battle. 

It was after this some considerable time that be- 
ing upon the top of the hill, at the east side of the 
island, from whence, as I have said, I had, in a clear 
day, discovered the main or continent of America, 
Friday, the weather being very serene, looks very 
earnestly towards the main land, and in a kind of 
surprise falls a-jumping and dancing, and calls out 
to me, for I was at some distance from him. I asked 
him what was the matter? "O joy!" says he, "O 
glad! there see my country, there my nation !" I 
observed an extraordinary sense of pleasure ap- 
peared in his face, and his eyes sparkled, and his 
countenance discovered a strange eagerness, as if he 
had a mind to be in his own country again. This 


observation of mine put a great many thoughts into 
me, which made me at first not so easy about my 
new man, Friday, as I was before; and I made no 
doubt but that if Friday could get back to his own 
nation again, he would not only forget all his relig- 
ion, but all his obligation to me, and would be for- 
ward enough to give his countrymen an account 
of me, and come back perhaps with a hundred or 
two of them, and make a feast upon me, at which 
he might be as merry as he used to be with those of 
his enemies, when they were taken in war. But I 
wronged the poor honest creature very much, for 
which I was very sorry afterwards. However, as my 
jealousy increased, and held me some weeks, I was 
a little more circumspect, and not so familiar and 
kind to him as before : in which I was certainly in 
the wrong, too; the honest, grateful creature having 
no thought about it but what consisted with the 
best principles, both as a religious Christian, and 
as a grateful friend, as appeared afterwards to my 
full satisfaction. 

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

One day, walking up the same hill, but the 


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

From this time I confess I had a mind to ven- 
ture over, and see if I could possibly join with those 


bearded men, who, I made no doubt, were Span- 
iards, and Portuguese : not doubting but if I could, 
we might find some method to escape from thence, 
being upon the continent, and a good company- 
together, better than I could from an island forty- 
miles off the shore, and alone, without help. So, 
after some days, I took Friday to work again, by 
way of discourse; and told him I would give him a 
boat to go back to his own nation ; and accordingly 
I carried him to my frigate, which lay on the other 
side of the island, and having cleared it of water 
(for I always kept it sunk in water) I brought it out, 
showed it him, and we both went into it. I found 
he was a most dexterous fellow at managing it, and 
would make it go almost as swift again as I could. 
So when he was in, I said to him, " Well, now, Fri- 
day, shall we go to your nation ? " He looked very 
dull at my saying so ; which, it seems, was because 
he thought the boat too small to go so far ; I then 
told him I had a bigger ; so the next day I went 
to the place where the first boat lay which I had 
made, but which I could not get into the water. He 
said that was big enough: but then, as I had taken 
no care of it, and it had lain two- or three-and- 
twenty years there, the sun had split and dried it, 
that it was in a manner rotten. Friday told me such 
a boat would do very well, and would carry "much 
enough vittle, drink, bread " ; that was his way of 

Upon the whole, I was by this time so fixed upon 
my design of going over with him to the continent 


that I told him we would go and make one as big 
as that, and he should go home in it. He answered 
not one word, but looked very grave and sad. I 
asked him what was the matter with him ? He asked 
me again, "Why you angry mad with Friday? 
What me done ?" I asked him what he meant ? I 
told him I was not angry with him at all. " No 
angry ? " says he, repeating the words several times ; 
"why send Friday home away to my nation?" 
" Why," says I, " Friday,did not you say you wished 
you were there ? " " Yes, yes," says he, " wish be 
both there ; no wish Friday there, no master there." 
In a word, he would not think of going there with- 
out me. " I go there, Friday ! " says I ; "what shall 
I do there ? " He returned very quick upon me at 
this : " You do great deal much good," says he ; 
"you teach wild mans be good, sober, tame mans ; 
you tell them know God, pray God, and live new 
life." "Alas! Friday," says I, "thou knowest not 
what thou sayest; I am but an ignorant man my- 
self." "Yes, yes," says he, "you teachee me good, 
you teachee them good." " No, no, Friday," says 
I, " you shall go without me ; leave me here to live 
by myself, as I did before." He looked confused 
again at that word; and running to one of the hatch- 
ets which he used to wear, he takes it up hastily, and 
gives it to me. "What must I do with this? " says 
I to him. "You take kill Friday," says he. "What 
must I kill you for ? " said I again. He returns very 
quick. "What you send Friday away for ? Take kill 
Friday, no send Friday away." This he spoke so 


earnestly that I saw tears stand in his eyes ; in a 
word, I so plainly discovered the utmost affection in 
him to me, and a firm resolution in him, that I told 
him then, and often after, that I would never send 
him away from me if he was willing to stay with me. 
Upon the whole, as I found, by all his discourse, 
a settled affection to me, and that nothing should 
part him from me, so I found all the foundation of 
his desire to go to his own country was laid in his 
ardent affection to the people, and his hopes of my 
doing them good ; a thing, which, as I had no notion 
of myself, so I had not the least thought, or inten- 
tion, or desire, of undertaking it. But still I found 
a strong inclination to my attempting an escape, as 
above, founded on the supposition gathered from 
the discourse, viz., that there were seventeen bearded 
men there ; and, therefore, without any more delay, 
I went to work with Friday to find out a great tree 
proper to fell, and make a large periagua, or canoe, 
to undertake the voyage. There were trees enough 
in the island to have built a little fleet, not of peri- 
aguas, or canoes, but even of good large vessels ; 
but the main thing I looked at was to get one so 
near the water that we might launch it when it was 
made, to avoid the mistake I committed at first. 
At last, Friday pitched upon a tree ; for I found he 
knew much better than I what kind of wood was 
fittest for it ; nor can I tell, to this day, what wood 
to call the tree we cut down, except that it was very 
like the tree we call fustic, or between that and the 
Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same colour 


and smell. Friday was for burning the hollow or 
cavity of this tree out, to make it for a boat, but I 
showed him how to cut it with tools ; which, after 
I had showed him how to use, he did very handily: 
and in about a month's hard labour we finished it, 
and made it very handsome ; especially when, with 
our axes, which I showed him how to handle, we 
cut and hewed the outside into the true shape of 
a boat. After this, however, it cost us near a fort- 
night's time to get her along, as it were inch by 
inch, upon great rollers into the water ; but when 
she was in, she would have carried twenty men with 
great ease. 

When she was in the water, and though she was 
so big, it amazed me to see with what dexterity, and 
how swift, my man Friday would manage her, turn 
her, and paddle her along. So I asked him if he 
would, and if we might, venture over in her. "Yes/' 
he said, "we venture over in her very well, though 
great blow wind." However, I had a further de- 
sign, that he knew nothing of, and that was to 
make a mast and a sail, and to fit her with an an- 
chor and cable. As to a mast, that was easy enough 
to get: so I pitched upon a straight young cedar 
tree, which I found near the place, and which there 
were great plenty of in the island ; and I set Fri- 
day to work to cut it down, and gave him direc- 
tions how to shape and order it. But as to the sail, 
that was my particular care. I knew I had old sails, 
or rather pieces of old sails, enough ; but as I had 
had them now six-and-twenty years by me, and 

Plate IX 


had not been very careful to preserve them,, not 
imagining that I should ever have this kind of use 
for them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten, 
and, indeed, most of them were so. However, I 
found two pieces, which appeared pretty good, and 
with these I went to work ; and with a great deal 
of pains, and awkward stitching, you may be sure, 
for want of needles, I, at length, made a three- 
cornered ugly thing, like what we call in England 
a shoulder-of-mutton sail, to go with a boom at 
bottom, and a little short sprit at the top, such as 
usually our ship's long-boats sail with, and such as 
I best knew how to manage, as it was such a one 
I had to the boat in which I made my escape from 
Barbary, as related in the first part of my story. 

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

After all this was done, I had my man Friday 
to teach as to what belonged to the navigation of 
my boat ; for, though he knew very well how to 


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

I was now entered on the seven-and-twentieth 
year of my captivity in this place ; though the 
three last years that I had this creature with me 
ought rather to be left out of the account, my hab- 
itation being quite of another kind than in all the 
rest of the time. I kept the anniversary of my 
landing here with the same thankfulness to God 
for his mercies as at first : and if I had such cause 
of acknowledgment at first, I had much more so 
now, having such additional testimonies of the care 
of Providence over me, and the great hopes I had 
of being effectually and speedily delivered ; for I 
had an invincible impression upon my thoughts 
that my deliverance was at hand, and that I should 


not be another year in this place. I went on, how- 
ever, with my husbandry, digging, planting, and 
fencing, as usual. I gathered and cured my grapes, 
and did every necessary thing as before. 

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

When the settled season began to come in, as 
the thought of my design returned with the fair 
weather, I was preparing daily for the voyage, and 
the first thing I did was to lay by a certain quan- 
tity of provisions, being the stores for our voyage; 
and intended, in a week or a fortnight's time, to 
open the dock, and launch out our boat. I was 
busy one morning upon something of this kind 
when I called to Friday, and bid him go to the 
sea-shore, and see if he could find a turtle, or tor- 


toise, a thing which we generally got once a week, 
for the sake of the eggs as well as the flesh. Fri- 
day had not been long gone when he came run- 
ning back, and flew over my outer wall, or fence, 
like one that felt not the ground, or the steps he 
set his feet on ; and before I had time to speak to 
him, he cries out to me, "O master! O master! O 
sorrow ! O bad ! " "What 's the matter, Friday ? " 
says I. " O yonder, there," says he, " one, two, 
three canoe : one, two, three ! " By this way of 
speaking I concluded there were six; but, on in- 
quiry, I found it was but three. " Well, Friday/' 
says I, "do not be frightened ! " So I heartened 
him up as well as I could ; however, I saw the poor 
fellow was most terribly scared; for nothing ran in 
his head but that they were come to look for him, 
and would cut him in pieces, and eat him ; and the 
poor fellow trembled so that I scarce knew what 
to do with him. I comforted him as well as I could, 
and told him I was in as much danger as he, and 
that they would eat me as well as him. " But," says 
I, " Friday, we must resolve to fight them. Can 
you fight, Friday ? " "Me shoot," says he; "but 
there come many great number." " No matter 
for that," said I, again, " our guns will fright them 
that we do not kill." So I asked him whether, if I 
resolved to defend him, he would defend me, and 
stand by me; and do just as I bid him. He said, 
"Me die, when you bid die, master." So I went 
and fetched a good dram of rum and gave him ; for 
I had been so good a husband of my rum that I 



had a great deal left. When he drank it, I made 
him take the two fowling-pieces, which we always 
carried, and loaded them with large swan-shot, as 
big as small pistol-bullets; then I took four mus- 
kets, and loaded them with two slugs and five small 
bullets each ; and my two pistols I loaded with a 
brace of bullets each ; I hung my great sword, as 
usual, n aked by my side, and gave Friday his hatchet. 
When I had thus prepared myself, I took my per- 
spective glass, and went up to the side of the hill, 
to see what I could discover ; and I found quickly, 
by my glass, that there were one-and-twenty sav- 
ages, three prisoners, and three canoes ; and that 
their whole business seemed to be the triumphant 
banquet upon these three human bodies ; a bar- 
barous feast indeed ! but nothing more than, as I 
had observed, was usual with them. I observed also 
that they were landed, not where they had done 
when Friday made his escape, but nearer to my 
creek, where the shore was low, and where a thick 
wood came almost close down to the sea. This, 
with the abhorrence of the inhuman errand these 
wretches came about, filled me with such indigna- 
tion that I came down again to Friday, and told 
him I was resolved to go down to them and kill 
them all ; and asked him if he would stand by me. 
He had now got over his fright, and his spirits 
being a little raised with the dram I had given him, 
he was very cheerful, and told me, as before, he 
would die when I bid die. 

In this fit of fury, I took and divided the arms 


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

While I was making this march, my former 
thoughts returning, I began to abate my resolu- 
tion : I do not mean that I entertained any fear of 
their number ; for, as they were naked, unarmed 
wretches, it is certain I was superior to them ; nay, 
though I had been alone. But it occurred to my 
thoughts, what call, what occasion, much less what 
necessity I was in, to go and dip my hands in blood, 
to attack people who had neither done nor intended 
me any wrong ; who, as to me, were innocent, and 
whose barbarous customs were their own disaster; 
being, in them, a token indeed of God's having left 
them, with the other nations of that part of the 
world, to such stupidity, and to such inhuman 
courses ; but did not call me to take upon me to be 
a judge of their actions, much less an executioner of 


his justice ; that, whenever he thought fit, he would 
take the cause into his own hands, and, by national 
vengeance, punish them, as a people, for national 
crimes ; but that, in the mean time, it was none of 
my business ; that, it was true, Friday might justify 
it, because he was a declared enemy, and in a state 
of war with those very particular people, and it was 
lawful for him to attack them ; but I could not say 
the same with respect to myself. These things were 
so warmly pressed upon my thoughts all the way as 
I went that I resolved I would only go and place 
myself near them, that I might observe their 
barbarous feast, and that I would act then as God 
should direct : but that, unless something offered 
that was more a call to me than yet I knew of, I 
would not meddle with them. 

With this resolution I entered the wood, and, 
with all possible wariness and silence, Friday fol- 
lowing close at my heels, I marched till I came to 
the skirt of the wood, on the side which was next 
to them, only that one corner of the wood lay be- 
tween me and them. Here I called softly to Friday, 
and showing him a great tree, which was just at the 
corner of the wood, I bade him go to the tree, and 
bring me word if he could see there plainly what 
they were doing. He did so, and came immediately 
back to me, and told me they might be plainly 
viewed there; that they were all about their fire, 
eating the flesh of one of their prisoners, and that 
another lay bound upon the sand, a little from them, 
which, he said, they would kill next, and which fired 


all the very soul within me. He told me it was not 
one of their nation, but one of the bearded men he 
had told me of, that came to their country in the 
boat. I was filled with horror at the very naming 
the white, bearded man ; and, going to the tree, I 
saw plainly, by my glass, a white man, who lay upon 
the beach of the sea, with his hands and his feet tied 
with flags, or things like rushes, and that he was an 
European, and had clothes on. 

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


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

Friday took his aim so much better than I that 
on the side that he shot, he killed two of them, 
and wounded three more ; and on my side, I killed 
one and wounded two. They were, you may be 
sure, in a dreadful consternation; and all of them 


who were not hurt jumped upon their feet, but did 
not immediately know which way to run, or which 
way to look, for they knew not from which their 
destruction came. Friday kept his eyes close upon 
me that, as I had bid him, he might observe what 
I did; so, as soon as the first shot was made, I 
threw down the piece, and took up the fowling- 
piece, and Friday did the like : he saw me cock and 
present; he did the same again. "Are you ready, 
Friday ? " said I. " Yes," says he. " Let fly, then," 
says I, " in the name of God! " And with that, I 
fired again among the amazed wretches, and so did 
Friday ; and as our pieces were now loaden with 
what I called swan-shot, or small pistol-bullets, we 
found only two drop, but so many were wounded 
that they ran about yelling and screaming like mad 
creatures, all bloody, and most of them miserably 
wounded, whereof three more fell quickly after, 
though not quite dead. 

" Now, Friday," says I, laying down the dis- 
charged pieces, and taking up the musket which 
was yet loaden, "follow me"; which he did, with 
a great deal of courage ; upon which I rushed out 
of the wood, and showed myself, and Friday close 
at my foot. As soon as I perceived they saw me, 
I shouted as loud as I could, and bade Friday do 
so too ; and running as fast as I could, which, by 
the way, was not very fast, being loaded with arms 
as I was, I made directly towards the poor victim, 
who was, as I said, lying upon the beach, or shore, 
between the place where they sat and the sea. The 



two butchers, who were just going to work with 
him, had left him at the surprise of our first fire, 
and fled in a terrible fright to the sea-side, and had 
jumped into a canoe, and three more of the rest 
made the same way. I turned to Friday, and bade 
him step forwards and fire at them; he understood 
me immediately, and running about forty yards, 
to be nearer them, he shot at them, and I thought 
he had killed them all, for I saw them all fall of 
a heap into the boat, though I saw two of them up 
again quickly; however, he killed two of them, and 
wounded the third, so that he lay down in the 
bottom of the boat as if he had been dead. 

While my man Friday fired at them, I pulled out 
my knife, and cut the flags that bound the poor 
victim ; and loosing his hands and feet, I lifted him 
up, and asked him in the Portuguese tongue, what 
he was. He answered in Latin, " Christianus" ; 
but was so weak and faint that he could scarce stand 
or speak. I took my bottle out of my pocket, and 
gave it him, making signs that he should drink, 
which he did; and I gave him a piece of bread, 
which he ate. Then I asked him what countryman 
he was, and he said, " Espagniole" ; and being a 
little recovered, let me know, by all the signs he 
could possibly make, how much he was in my debt 
for his deliverance. " Signor," said I, with as much 
Spanish as I could make up, "we will talk after- 
wards, but we must fight now: if you have any 
strength left, take this pistol and sword, and lay 
about you." He took them very thankfully ; and 


no sooner had he the arms in his hands but, as if 
they had put new vigour into him, he flew upon his 
murderers like a fury, and had cut two of them in 
pieces in an instant ; for the truth is, as the whole 
was a surprise to them, so the poor creatures were 
so much frightened with the noise of our pieces 
that they fell down for mere amazement and fear, 
and had no more power to attempt their own es- 
cape than their flesh had to resist our shot; and 
that was the case of those five that Friday shot at 
in the boat ; for as three of them fell with the hurt 
they received, so the other two fell with the fright. 
I kept my piece in my hand, still without firing, 
being willing to keep my charge ready, because I 
had given the Spaniard my pistol and sword ; so 
I called to Friday, and bade him run up to the 
tree from whence we first fired, and fetch the arms 
which lay there that had been discharged, which 
he did with great swiftness ; and then giving him 
my musket, I sat down myself to load all the rest 
again, and bade them come to me when they 
wanted. While I was loading these pieces, there 
happened a fierce engagement between the Spaniard 
and one of the savages, who made at him with one 
of their great wooden swords, the same-like weapon 
that was to have killed him before, if I had not 
prevented it. The Spaniard, who was as bold and 
brave as could be imagined, though weak, had 
fought this Indian a good while, and had cut him 
two great wounds on his head ; but the savage being 
a stout, lusty fellow, closing in with him, had 


thrown him down, being faint, and was wringing 
my sword out of his hand ; when the Spaniard, 
though undermost, wisely quitted the sword, drew 
the pistol from his girdle, shot the savage through 
the body, and killed him upon the spot, before I, 
who was running to help him, could come near 

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


of them ; four escaped in the boat, whereof one 
wounded, if not dead, — twenty-one in all. 

Those that were in the canoe worked hard to 
get out of gunshot, and though Friday made two 
or three shots at them, I did not find that he hit 
any of them. Friday would fain have had me take 
one of their canoes and pursue them ; and indeed, 
I was very anxious about their escape, lest, carry- 
ing the news home to their people, they should 
come back perhaps with two or three hundred of 
the canoes, and devour us by mere multitude ; so 
I consented to pursue them by sea, and running 
to one of their canoes, I jumped in and bade Fri- 
day follow me ; but when I was in the canoe, I was 
surprised to find another poor creature lie there, 
bound hand and foot, as the Spaniard was, for the 
slaughter, and almost dead with fear, not knowing 
what was the matter, for he had not been able to 
look up over the side of the boat, he was tied so 
hard neck and heels, and had been tied so long 
that he had really but little life in him. I immedi- 
ately cut the twisted flags or rushes, which they 
had bound him with, and would have helped him 
up ; but he could not stand or speak, but groaned 
most piteously, believing, it seems, still, that he was 
only unbound in order to be killed. When Friday 
came to him, I bade him speak to him, and tell him 
of his deliverance ; and, pulling out my bottle, made 
him give the poor wretch a dram ; which, with the 
news of his being delivered, revived him, and he sat 
up in the boat. But when Friday came to hear him 


speak, and look in his face, it would have moved 
any one into tears to have seen how Friday kissed 
him, embraced him, hugged him, cried, laughed, 
hallooed, jumped about, danced, sung; then cried 
again, wrung his hands, beat his own face and head ; 
and then sung and jumped about again, like a dis- 
tracted creature. It was a good while before I could 
make him speak to me, or tell me what was the 
matter; but when he came a little to himself, he 
told me that it was his father. 

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

This affair put an end to our pursuit of the canoe 
with the other savages, who were got now almost 
out of sight; and it was happy for us that we did 
not, for it blew so hard within two hours after, and 
before they could be got a quarter of their way, 
and continued blowing so hard all night, and that 


from the north-west, which was against them, that 
I could not suppose their boat could live, or that 
they ever reached their own coast. 

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


but the water he carried to his father ; however, as 
I was very thirsty too, I took a little sup of it. 
The water revived his father more than all the 
rum or spirits I had given him, for he was just 
fainting with thirst. 

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

I observed the poor affectionate creature, every 
two minutes, or perhaps less, all the while he was 
here, turn his head about to see if his father was 
in the same place and posture as he left him sit- 


ting; and at last he found he was not to be seen; at 
which he started up, and, without speaking a word, 
flew with that swiftness to him that one could scarce 
perceive his feet to touch the ground as he went ; 
but when he came, he only found he had laid him- 
self down to ease his limbs, so Friday came back to 
me presently ; and then I spoke to the Spaniard to 
let Friday help him up, if he could, and lead him 
to the boat, and then he should carry him to our 
dwelling, where I would take care of him. But Fri- 
day, a lusty strong fellow, took the Spaniard quite 
up upon his back, and carried him away to the boat, 
and set him down softly upon the side or gunnel 
of the canoe, with his feet in the inside of it; and 
then, lifting him quite in, he set him close to his 
father; and presently stepping out again, launched 
the boat off, and paddled it along the shore faster 
than I could walk, though the wind blew pretty hard 
too ; so he brought them both safe into our creek, 
and leaving them in the boat, ran away to fetch the 
other canoe. As he passed me, I spoke to him, and 
asked him whither he went. He told me, " Go fetch 
more boat " ; so away he went like the wind, for sure 
never man or horse ran like him; and he had the 
other canoe in the creek almost as soon as I got to 
it by land ; so he wafted me over, and then went to 
help our new guests out of the boat, which he did; 
but they were neither of them able to walk, so that 
poor Friday knew not what to do. 

To remedy this, I went to work in my thought, 
and calling to Friday to bid them sit down on the 


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

My island was now peopled, and I thought my- 
self rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection, 
which I frequently made, how like a king I looked. 
First of all, the whole country was my own mere 
property, so that I had an undoubted right of do- 
minion. Secondly, my people were perfectly sub- 
jected; I was absolutely lord and lawgiver; they all 
owed their lives to me, and were ready to lay down 
their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me. 
It was remarkable, too, I had but three subjects, 
and they were of three different religions; my man 
Friday was a Protestant, his father was a Pagan and 
a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist; however, 
I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my 
dominions. — But this is by the way. 


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

After we had dined, or rather supped, I ordered 
Friday to take one of the canoes, and go and fetch 
our muskets and other fire-arms, which, for want of 
time, we had left upon the place of battle ; and, the 
next day, I ordered him to go and bury the dead 
bodies of the savages, which lay open to the sun, 
and would presently be offensive. I also ordered 
him to bury the horrid remains of their barbarous 
feast, which I knew were pretty much, and which 
I could not think of doing myself; nay, I could 
not bear to see them, if I went that way ; all which 
he punctually performed, and effaced the very ap- 


pearance of the savages being there ; so that when 
I went again, I could scarce know where it was, 
otherwise than by the corner of the wood pointing 
to the place. 

I then began to enter into a little conversation 
with my two subjects: and, first, I set Friday to 
inquire of his father what he thought of the escape 
of the savages in that canoe, and whether we might 
expect a return of them, with a power too great for 
us to resist. His first opinion was, that the savages 
in the boat could never live out the storm which 
blew that night they went off, but must of necess- 
ity be drowned, or driven south to those other 
shores, where they were as sure to be devoured as 
they were to be drowned, if they were cast away ; 
but, as to what they would do, if they came safe on 
shore, he said he knew not; but it was his opinion 
that they were so dreadfully frightened with the 
manner of their being attacked, the noise, and the 
fire, that he believed they would tell the people 
they were all killed by thunder and lightning, not 
by the hand of man ; and that the two which 
appeared, viz., Friday and I, were two heavenly 
spirits, or furies, come down to destroy them, and 
not men with weapons. This, he said, he knew; 
because he heard them all cry out so, in their lan- 
guage, one to another ; for it was impossible for 
them to conceive that a man could dart fire, and 
speak thunder, and kill at a distance, without lift- 
ing up the hand, as was done now ; and this old 
savage was in the right ; for, as I understood since, 


by other hands, the savages never attempted to go 
over to the island afterwards, they were so terrified 
with the accounts given by those four men (for, it 
seems, they did escape the sea) that they believed 
whoever went to that enchanted island would be 
destroyed by fire from the gods. This, however, I 
knew not ; and therefore was under continual ap- 
prehensions for a good while, and kept always upon 
my guard, with all my army : for as there were now 
four of us, I would have ventured upon a hundred 
of them, fairly in the open field, at any time. 

Iha little time, however, no more canoes appear- 
ing, the fear of their coming wore off; and I began 
to take my former thoughts of a voyage to the main 
into consideration ; being likewise assured, by Fri- 
day's father, that I might depend upon good usage 
from their nation, on his account, if I would go. 
But my thoughts were a little suspended when I 
had a serious discourse with the Spaniard, and when 
I understood that there were sixteen more of his 
countrymen and Portuguese, who, having been cast 
away and made their escape to that side, lived there 
at peace, indeed, with the savages, but were very 
sore put to it for necessaries, and indeed for life. 
I asked him all the particulars of their voyage, and 
found they were a Spanish ship, bound from the 
Rio de la Plata to the Havanna, being directed to 
leave their loading there, which was chiefly hides 
and silver, to bring back what European goods 
they could meet with there ; that they had five Por- 
tuguese seamen on board, whom they took out of 


another wreck ; that five of their own men were 
drowned, when first the ship was lost, and that 
these escaped through infinite dangers and hazards, 
and arrived, almost starved, on the cannibal coast, 
where they expected to have been devoured every 
moment. He told me they had some arms with 
them, but they were perfectly useless, for that they 
had neither powder nor ball, the washing of the sea 
having spoiled all their powder but a little, which 
they used at their first landing, to provide them- 
selves some food. 

I asked what he thought would become of them 
there, and if they had formed no design of making 
any escape. He said they had many consultations 
about it; but that having neither vessel, nor tools 
to build one, nor provisions of any kind, their coun- 
cils always ended in tears and despair. I asked him 
how he thought they would receive a proposal from 
me, which might tend towards an escape ; and 
whether, if they were all here, it might not be done. 
I told him, with freedom, I feared mostly their 
treachery and ill usage of me, if I put my life in 
their hands, for that gratitude was no inherent 
virtue in the nature of man, nor did men always 
square their dealings by the obligations they had 
received, so much as they did by the advantages 
they expected. I told him it would be very hard 
that I should be the instrument of their deliver- 
ance, and that they should afterwards make me 
their prisoner in New Spain, where an Englishman 
was certain to be made a sacrifice, what necessity or 


what accident soever brought him thither; and that 
I had rather be delivered up to the savages, and 
be devoured alive, than fall into the merciless claws 
of the priests, and be carried into the Inquisition. 
I added, that otherwise I was persuaded, if they 
were all here, we might, with so many hands, build 
a bark large enough to carry us all away, either 
to the Brazils, southward, or to the islands, or 
Spanish coast, northward ; but that if, in requital, 
they should, when I had put weapons into their 
hands, carry me by force among their own people, 
I might be ill used for my kindness to them, and 
make my case worse than it was before. 

He answered, with a great deal of candour and 
ingenuousness, that their condition was so misera- 
ble, and they were so sensible of it, that he believed 
they would abhor the thought of using any man 
unkindly that should contribute to their deliver- 
ance ; and that if I pleased, he would go to them with 
the old man, and discourse with them about it, and 
return again, and bring me their answer ; that he 
would make conditions with them, upon their sol- 
emn oath, that they should be absolutely under my 
leading, as their commander and captain ; and that 
they should swear, upon the holy sacraments and 
gospel, to be true to me, and go to such Christian 
country as that I should agree to, and no other, 
and to be directed wholly and absolutely by my 
orders, till they were landed safely in such country 
as I intended ; and that he would bring a contract 
from them, under their hands, for that purpose. 


Then he told me he would first swear to me him- 
self that he would never stir from me as long as he 
Jived, till I gave him orders ; and that he would take 
my side to the last drop of his blood, if there should 
happen the least breach of faith among his country- 
men. He told me they were all of them very civil, 
honest men, and they were under the greatest distress 
imaginable, having neither weapons, nor clothes, 
nor any food, but at the mercy and discretion of 
the savages ; out of all hopes of ever returning to 
their own country ; and that he was sure, if I would 
undertake their relief, they would live and die by me. 
Upon these assurances, I resolved to venture to 
relieve them, if possible, and to send the old savage 
and this Spaniard over to them to treat. But when 
we had got all things in readiness to go, the Spaniard 
himself started an objection, which had so much 
prudence in it, on one hand, and so much sincerity, 
on the other hand, that I could not but be very well 
satisfied in it ; and, by his advice, put off the de- 
liverance of his comrades for at least half a year. 
The case was thus : He had been with us now about 
a month, during which time I had let him see in what 
manner I had provided, with the assistance of Pro- 
vidence, for my support, and he saw evidently what 
stock of corn and rice I had laid up ; which, though 
it was more than sufficient for myself, yet it was not 
sufficient, without good husbandry, for my family, 
now it was increased to four ; but much less would 
it be sufficient if his countrymen, who were, as he 
said, sixteen, still alive, should come over ; and least 


of all would it be sufficient to victual our vessel, if 
we should build one, for a voyage to any of the 
Christian colonies of America; so he told me he 
thought it would be more advisable to let him and 
the other two dig and cultivate some more land, 
as much as I could spare seed to sow, and that we 
should wait another harvest, that we might have a 
supply of corn for his countrymen, when they should 
come ; for want might be a temptation to them to 
disagree, or not to think themselves delivered, other- 
wise than out of one difficulty into another. "You 
know," says he, "the children of Israel, though 
they rejoiced at first for their being delivered out 
of Egypt, yet they rebelled even against God him- 
self, that delivered them, when they came to want 
bread in the Wilderness." His caution was so sea- 
sonable, and his advice so good, that I could not but 
be very well pleased with his proposal, as well as 
I was satisfied with his fidelity : so we fell to dig- 
ging, all four of us, as well as the wooden tools we 
were furnished with permitted ; and in about a 
month's time, by the end of which it was seed-time, 
we had got as much land cured and trimmed up as 
we sowed two-and-twenty bushels of barley on, and 
sixteen jars of rice ; which was, in short, all the seed 
we had to spare : nor, indeed, did we leave ourselves 
barely sufficient for our own food for the six months 
that we had to expect our crop ; that is to say, 
reckoning from the time we set our seed aside for 
sowing; for it is not to be supposed it is six months 
in the ground in that country. 


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

At the same time, I contrived to increase my 
little flock of tame goats as much as I could ; and, 
for this purpose, I made Friday and the Spaniard 
go out one day, and myself with Friday the next 
day (for we took our turns), and by this means we 
got about twenty young kids to breed up with the 
rest ; for whenever we shot the dam, we saved the 
kids, and added them to our flock. But, above all, 
the season for curing the grapes coming on, I caused 
such a prodigious quantity to be hung up in the sun 
that I believe, had we been at Alicant, where the 
raisins of the sun are cured, we could have filled 


sixty or eighty barrels ; and these, with our bread, 
was a great part of our food, and was very good 
living, too, I assure you, for it is exceedingly nour- 

It was now harvest, and our crop in good order: 
it was not the most plentiful increase I had seen in 
the island, but, however, it was enough to answer 
our end ; for from twenty-two bushels of barley we 
brought in and threshed out above two hundred 
and twenty bushels, and the like in proportion of 
the rice : which was store enough for our food to 
the next harvest, though all the sixteen Spaniards 
had been on shore with me ; or if we had been ready 
for a voyage, it would very plentifully have vict- 
ualled our ship to have carried us to any part of the 
world, that is to say, any part of America. When 
we had thus housed and secured our magazine of 
corn, we fell to work to make more wicker-ware, 
viz., great baskets in which we kept it ; and the 
Spaniard was very handy and dexterous at this part, 
and often blamed me that I did not make some 
things for defence of this kind of work ; but I saw 
no need of it. 

And now, having a full supply of food for all the 
guests I expected, I gave the Spaniard leave to go 
over to the main, to see what he could do with 
those he had left behind him there. I gave him a 
strict charge not to bring any man with him who 
would not first swear, in the presence of himself 
and the old savage, that he would no way injure, 
fight with, or attack the person he should find in 


the island, who was so kind as to send for them in 
order to their deliverance ; but that they would 
stand by him, and defend him against all such at- 
tempts, and wherever they went would be entirely 
under and subjected to his command; and that this 
should be put in writing and signed with their hands. 
How they were to have done this, when I knew 
they had neither pen nor ink, was a question which 
we never asked. Under these instructions, the 
Spaniard and the old savage, the father of Friday, 
went away in one of the canoes which they might 
be said to come in, or rather were brought in, when 
they came as prisoners to be devoured by the sav- 
ages. I gave each of them a musket, with a firelock 
on it, and about eight charges of powder and ball, 
charging them to be very good husbands of both, 
and not to use either of them but upon urgent oc- 

This was a cheerful work, being the first measures 
used by me, in view of my deliverance, for now 
twenty-seven years and some days. I gave them 
provisions of bread, and of dried grapes, sufficient 
for themselves for many days, and sufficient for all 
the Spaniards for about eight days' time ; and wish- 
ing them a good voyage, I saw them go ; agreeing 
with them about a signal they should hang out at 
their return, by which I should know them again, 
when they came back, at a distance, before they 
came on shore. They went away with a fair gale, 
on the day that the moon was at full, by my ac- 
count in the month of October ; but as for an exact 


reckoning of days, after I had once lost it, I could 
never recover it again ; nor had I kept even the 
number of years so punctually as to be sure I was 
right; though, as it proved, when I afterwards 
examined my account, I found I had kept a true 
reckoning of years. 

It was no less than eight days I had waited for 
them, when a strange and unforeseen accident 
intervened, of which the like has not perhaps been 
heard of in history. I was fast asleep in my hutch 
one morning, when my man Friday came running 
in to me, and called aloud, " Master, master, they 
are come, ,they are come! " I jumped up, and, re- 
gardless of danger, I went out as soon as I could 
get my clothes on, through my little grove, which, 
by the way, was by this time grown to be a very 
thick wood ; I say, regardless of danger, I went 
without my arms, which it was not my custom to 
do ; but I was surprised, when, turning my eyes 
to the sea, I presently saw a boat about a league 
and a half distance, standing in for the shore, with 
a shoulder-of-mutton sail, as they call it, and the 
wind blowing pretty fair to bring them in; also I ob- 
served presently that they did not come from that 
side which the shore lay on, but from the southern- 
most end of the island. Upon this, I called Friday 
in, and bade him lie close, for these were not the 
people we looked for, and that we might not know 
yet whether they were friends or enemies. In the 
next place, I went in to fetch my perspective glass, 
to see what I could make of them ; and having 


taken the ladder out, I climbed up to the top of 
the hill, as I used to do when I was apprehensive 
of anything, and to take my view the plainer with- 
out being discovered. I had scarce set my foot 
upon the hill, when my eye plainly discovered a 
ship lying at an anchor, at about two leagues and 
a half distance from me, SSE., but not above a 
league and a half from the shore. By my observa- 
tion, it appeared plainly to be an English ship, and 
the boat appeared to be an English long-boat. 

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

Let no man despise the secret hints and notices 
of danger, which sometimes are given him when 
he may think there is no possibility of its being 
real. That such hints and notices are given us, I 


believe few that have made any observations of 
things can deny ; that they are certain discoveries 
of an invisible world, and a converse of spirits, we 
cannot doubt ; and if the tendency of them seems 
to be to warn us of danger, why should we not 
suppose they are from some friendly agent (whether 
supreme, or inferior and subordinate, is not the 
question), and that they are given for our good ? 
The present question abundantly confirms me 
in the justice of this reasoning ; for had I not been 
made cautious by this secret admonition, come it 
from whence it will, I had been undone inevitably, 
and in a far worse condition than before, as you 
will see presently. I had not kept myself long in 
this posture but I saw the boat draw near the 
shore, as if they looked for a creek to thrust in at, 
for the convenience of landing ; however, as they 
did not come quite far enough, they did not see 
the little inlet where I formerly landed my rafts, 
but run their boat on shore upon the beach, at 
about half a mile from me, which was very happy 
for me ; for otherwise they would have landed just 
at my door, as I may say, and would soon have 
beaten me out of my castle, and perhaps have plun- 
dered me of all I had. When they were on shore, 
I was fully satisfied they were Englishmen, at least 
most of them ; one or two I thought were Dutch, 
but it did not prove so ; there were in all eleven 
men, whereof three of them I found were un- 
armed, and, as I thought, bound ; and when the 
first four or five of them were jumped on shore, 


they took those three out of the boat as prisoners ; 
one of the three I could perceive using the most 
passionate gestures of entreaty, affliction, and de- 
spair, even to a kind of extravagance ; the other 
two, I could perceive, lifted up their hands some- 
times, and appeared concerned, indeed, but not to 
such a degree as the first. I was perfectly con- 
founded at the sight, and knew not what the mean- 
ing of it should be. Friday called out to me in 
English, as well as he could, " O master ! you see 
English mans eat prisoner as well as savage mans." 
" Why, Friday," says I, cc do you think they are 
going to eat them ? " cc Yes," says Friday, " they 
will eat them." " No, no," says I, " Friday; I am 
afraid they will murder them, indeed, but you may 
be sure they will not eat them." 

All this while I had no thought of what the mat- 
ter really was, but stood trembling with the horror 
of the sight, expecting every moment when the 
three prisoners should be killed ; nay, once I saw 
one of the villains lift up his arm with a great cut- 
lass, as the seamen call it, or sword, to strike one 
of the poor men ; and I expected to see him fall 
every moment ; at which all the blood in my body 
seemed to run chill in my veins. I wished heartily 
now for my Spaniard, and the savage that was gone 
with him, or that I had any way to have come un- 
discovered within shot of them, that I might have 
rescued the three men, for I saw no fire-arms they 
had among them: but it fell out to my mind an- 
other way. After I had observed the outrageous 


usage of the three men by the insolent seamen, I 
observed the fellows run scattering about the island, 
as if they wanted to see the country. I observed 
that the three other men had liberty to go also 
where they pleased; but they sat down all three 
upon the ground, very pensive, and looked like 
men in despair. This put me in mind of the first 
time when I came on shore, and began to look 
about me : how I gave myself over for lost ; how 
wildly I looked around me ; what dreadful appre- 
hensions I had ; and how I lodged in the tree all 
night, for fear of being devoured by wild beasts. 
As I knew nothing that night of the supply I was 
to receive by the providential driving of the ship 
nearer the land by the storms and tide, by which I 
have since been so long nourished and supported, 
so these three poor desolate men knew nothing 
how certain of deliverance and supply they were, 
how near it was to them, and how effectually and 
really they were in a condition of safety, at the same 
time that they thought themselves lost, and their 
case desperate. So little do we see before us in the 
world, and so much reason have we to depend 
cheerfully upon the great Maker of the world, 
that he does not leave his creatures so absolutely 
destitute but that, in the worst circumstances, they 
have always something to be thankful for, and 
sometimes are nearer their deliverance than they 
imagine; nay, are even brought to their deliver- 
ance by the means by which they seem to be brought 
to their destruction. 


It was just at the top of high water when these 
people came on shore ; and partly while they 
rambled about to see what kind of a place they 
were in, they had carelessly stayed till the tide was 
spent, and the water was ebbed considerably away, 
leaving their boat aground. They had left two men 
in the boat, who, as I found afterwards, having drunk 
a little too much brandy, fell asleep; however, one 
of them waking a little sooner than the other, and 
finding the boat too fast aground for him to stir 
it, hallooed out for the rest, who were straggling 
about ; upon which they all soon came to the boat: 
but it was past all their strength to launch her, the 
boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side 
being a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand. In 
this condition, like true seamen, who are perhaps 
the least of all mankind given to forethought, they 
gave it over, and away they strolled about the 
country again ; and I heard one of them say aloud 
to another, calling them off from the boat, "Why, 
let her alone, Jack, can't you ? she '11 float next 


tide" : by which I was fully confirmed in the main 
inquiry of what countrymen they were. All this 
while I kept myself very close, not once daring to 
stir out of my castle, any farther than to my place 
of observation, near the top of the hill ; and very 
glad I was to think how well it was fortified. I 
knew it was no less than ten hours before the boat 
could float again, and by that time it would be 
dark, and I might be at more liberty to see their 
motions, and to hear their discourse, if they had 
any. In the mean time, I fitted myself up for a bat- 
tle, as before, though with more caution, knowing 
I had to do with another kind of enemy than I had 
at first. I ordered Friday also, whom I had made 
an excellent marksman with his gun, to load him- 
self with arms. I took myself two fowling-pieces, 
and I gave him three muskets. Myiigure, indeed, 
was very fierce ; I had my formidable goats'-skin 
coat on, with the great cap I have mentioned, a 
naked sword by my side, two pistols in my belt, 
and a gun upon each shoulder. 

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


to them, and learn something of their condition ; 
immediately I marched in the figure as above, my 
man Friday at a good distance behind me, as for- 
midable for his arms as I, but not making quite so 
staring a spectre-like figure as I did. I came as near 
them undiscovered as I could, and then, before any 
of them saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, 
"What are ye, gentlemen ? " They started up at the 
noise; but were ten times more confounded when 
they saw me, and the uncouth figure that I made. 
They made no answer at all, but I thought I per- 
ceived them just going to fly from me, when I spoke 
to them in English : " Gentlemen," said I, "do not 
be surprised at me; perhaps you may have a friend 
near, when you did not expect it." "He must be 
sent directly from Heaven then," said one of them 
very gravely to me, and pulling off his hat at the 
same time to me; "for our condition is past the 
help of man." "All help is from Heaven, sir," 
said I. " But can you put a stranger in the way how 
to help you? for you seem to be in some great dis- 
tress. I saw you when you landed; and when you 
seemed to make supplication to the brutes that came 
with you, I saw one of them lift up his sword to 
kill you." 

The poor man, with tears running down his face, 
and trembling, looking like one astonished, re- 
turned, "Am I talking to God or man? Is it a real 
man or an angel?" "Be in no fear about that, 
sir," said I; "if God had sent an angel to relieve 
you, he would have come better clothed, and armed 


after another manner than you see me: pray lay 
aside your fears; I am a man, an Englishman, and 
disposed to assist you : you see I have one servant 
only ; we have arms and ammunition ; tell us freely, 
can we serve you? What is your case?" "Our 
case," said he, "sir, is too long to tell you, while our 
murderers are so near us; but, in short, sir, I was 
commander of that ship, my men have mutinied 
against me ; they have been hardly prevailed on not 
to murder me; and at last have set me on shore in 
this desolate place, with these two men with me, one 
my mate, the other a passenger, where we expected 
to perish, believing the place to be uninhabited, and 
know not yet what to think of it." "Where are 
these brutes, your enemies ? " said I. " Do you know 
where they are gone? " "There they lie, sir," said 
he, pointing to a thicket of trees; "my heart trem- 
bles for fear they have seen us, and heard you speak ; 
if they have, they will certainly murder us all." 
" Have they any fire-arms?" said I. He answered 
they had only two pieces, one of which they left in 
the boat. "Well, then," said I, "leave the rest to 
me; I see they are all asleep, it is an easy thing to 
kill them all: but shall we rather take them pris- 
oners?" He told me there were two desperate vil- 
lains among them, that it was scarce safe to show 
any mercy to; but if they were secured, he believed 
all the rest would return to their duty. I asked him 
which they were? He told me he could not at that 
distance distinguish them, but he would obey my 
orders in anything I would direct. "Well," says I, 


"let us retreat out of their view or hearing, lest they 
awake, and we will resolve further." So they will- 
ingly went back with me, till the woods covered us 
from them. 

" Look you, sir," said I, " if I venture upon 
your deliverance, are you willing to make two con- 
ditions with me? " He anticipated my proposals, 
by telling me that both he and the ship, if recov- 
ered, should be wholly directed and commanded 
by me in everything; and, if the ship was not 
recovered, he would live and die with me in what 
part of the world soever I would send him ; and 
the two other men said the same. " Well," says I, 
" my conditions are but two : first, that while you 
stay in this island with me, you will not pretend 
to any authority here ; and if I put arms in your 
hands, you will, upon all occasions, give them up 
to me, and do no prejudice to me or mine upon 
this island, and, in the mean time, be governed by 
my orders : secondly, that if the ship is, or may be 
recovered, you will carry me and my man to Eng- 
land, passage free." 

He gave me all the assurances that the invention 
or faith of man could devise that he would com- 
ply with these most reasonable demands ; and, be- 
sides, would owe his life to me, and acknowledge it 
upon all occasions, as long as he lived. "Well, 
then," said I, " here are three muskets for you, with 
powder and ball : tell me next what you think is 
proper to be done." He showed me all the testi- 
monies of his gratitude that he was able, but offered 


to be wholly guided by me. I told him I thought it 
was hard venturing anything; but the best method 
I could think of was to fire upon them at once, as 
they lay, and if any was not killed at the first vol- 
ley, and offered to submit, we might save them, 
and so put it wholly upon God's providence to 
direct the shot. He said very modestly that he was 
loath to kill them, if he could help it : but that 
those two were incorrigible villains, and had been 
the authors of all the mutiny in the ship, and if 
they escaped, we should be undone still ; for they 
would go on board and bring the whole ship's com- 
pany, and destroy us all. "Well then," says I, " ne- 
cessity legitimates my advice, for it is the only way 
to save our lives." However, seeing him still cau- 
tious of shedding blood, I told him they should go 
themselves and manage as they found convenient. 
In the middle of this discourse we heard some of 
them awake, and soon after we saw two of them 
on their feet. I asked him if either of them were 
the heads of the mutiny ? He said, " No." "Well 
then," said I, "you may let them escape; and Provi- 
dence seems to have awakened them on purpose to 
save themselves. Now," says I, " if the rest escape 
you, it is your fault." Animated with this, he took 
the musket I had given him in his hand, and a pis- 
tol in his belt, and his two comrades with him, with 
each a piece in his hand ; the two men who were 
with him going first, made some noise, at which one 
of the seamen who was awake turned about, and 
seeing them coming, cried out to the rest ; but it 


was too late then, for the moment he cried out 
they fired ; I mean the two men, the captain wisely 
reserving his own piece. They had so well aimed 
their shot at the men they knew, that one of them 
was killed on the spot, and the other very much 
wounded ; but not being dead, he started up on .his 
feet and called eagerly for help to the others ; but 
the captain, stepping to him, told him it was too 
late to cry for help, he should call upon God to for- 
give his villainy ; and with that word knocked him 
down with the stock of his musket, so that he never 
spoke more ; there were three more in the company, 
and one of them was also slightly wounded. By this 
time I was come ; and when they saw their danger, 
and that it was in vain to resist, they begged for 
mercy. The captain told them he would spare their 
lives, if they would give him any assurance of their 
abhorrence of the treachery they had been guilty of, 
and would swear to be faithful to him in recover- 
ing the ship, and afterwards in carrying her back to 
Jamaica, from whence they came. They gave him 
all the protestations of their sincerity that could be 
desired, and he was willing to believe them, and 
spare their lives, which I was not against, only that 
I obliged him to keep them bound hand and foot 
while they were on the island. 

While this was doing, I sent Friday with the cap- 
tain's mate to the boat, with orders to secure her, 
and bring away the oars and sails, which they did: 
and by and by the three straggling men, that were 
(happily for them) parted from the rest, came back 


upon hearing the guns fired, and seeing the captain, 
who before was their prisoner, now their conqueror, 
they submitted to be bound also ; and so our vic- 
tory was complete. 

It now remained that the captain and I should 
inquire into one another's circumstances : I began 
first, and told him my whole history, which he heard 
with an attention even to amazement; and particu- 
larly at the wonderful manner of my being furnished 
with provisions and ammunition; and, indeed, as 
my story is a whole collection of wonders, it affected 
him deeply. But when he reflected from thence upon 
himself, and how I seemed to have been preserved 
there on purpose to save his life, the tears ran down 
his face, and he could not speak a word more. After 
this communication was at an end, I carried him and 
his two men into my apartment, leading them in 
just where I came out, viz., at the top of the house, 
where I refreshed them with such provisions as I 
had, and showed them all the contrivances I had 
made, during my long, long inhabiting that place. 

All I showed them, all I said to them, was per- 
fectly amazing; but, above all, the captain admired 
my fortification, and how perfectly I had concealed 
my retreat with a grove of trees, which, having been 
now planted near twenty years, and the trees grow- 
ing much faster than in England, was become a little 
wood, and so thick that it was impassable in any 
part of it but at that one side where I had reserved 
my little winding passage into it. I told him this 
was my castle and my residence, but that I had a 


seat in the country, as most princes have, whither I 
could retreat upon occasion, and I would show him 
that too another time; but at present our business 
was to consider how to recover the ship. He agreed 
with me as to that; but told me he was perfectly at 
a loss what measures to take, for that there were still 
six-and-twenty hands on board, who, having entered 
into a cursed conspiracy, by which they had all for- 
feited their lives to the law, would be hardened in it 
now by desperation, and would carry it on, knowing 
that, if they were subdued, they would be brought 
to the gallows as soon as they came to England, or 
to any of the English colonies; and that, therefore, 
there would be no attacking them with so small a 
number as we were. 

I mused for some time upon what he had said, 
and found it was a very rational conclusion, and that, 
therefore, something was to be resolved on speedily, 
as well to draw the men on board into some snare 
for their surprise, as to prevent their landing upon 
us, and destroying us. Upon this, it presently oc- 
curred to me that in a little while the ship's crew, 
wondering what was become of their comrades, and 
of the boat, would certainly come on shore in their 
other boat, to look for them ; and that then, perhaps, 
they might come armed, and be too strong for us : 
this he allowed to be rational. Upon this, I told him 
the first thing we had to do was to stave the boat, 
which lay upon the beach, so that they might not 
carry her off; and taking everything out of her, 
leave her so far useless as not to be fit to swim : ac- 


cordingly we went on board, took the arms which 
were left on board out of her, and whatever else we 
found there, which was a bottle of brandy, and an- 
other of rum, a few biscuit cakes, a horn of pow- 
der, and a great lump of sugar in a piece of canvas 
(the sugar was five or six pounds) ; all which was 
very welcome to me, especially the brandy and sugar, 
of which I had none left for many years. 

When we had carried all these things on shore 
(the oars, mast, sail, and rudder of the boat were car- 
ried away before, as above), we knocked a great hole 
in her bottom, that if they had come strong enough 
to master us, yet they could not carry ofFthe boat. 
Indeed, it was not much in my thoughts that we 
could be able to recover the ship ; but my view was, 
that if they went away without the boat, I did not 
much question to make her fit again to carry us to 
the Leeward Islands, and call upon our friends the 
Spaniards in my way ; for I had them still in my 

While we were thus preparing our designs, and 
had first, by main strength, heaved the boat upon 
the beach so high that the tide would not float her 
ofFat high-water mark, and besides had broke a hole 
in her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and 
were set down musing what we should do, we heard 
the ship fire a gun, and saw her make a waft with her 
ensign as a signal for the boat to come on board : but 
no boat stirred ; and they fired several times, making 
other signals for the boat. At last, when all their 
signals and firing proved fruitless, and they found 


the boat did not stir, we saw them, by the help of my 
glasses, hoist another boat out, and row towards the 
shore ; and we found, as they approached, that there 
were no less than ten men in her, and that they had 
fire-arms with them. 

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, 
we had a full view of them as they came, and a plain 
sight even of their faces ; because the tide having set 
them a little to the east of the other boat, they rowed 
up under shore, to come to the same place where the 
other had landed, and where the boat lay ; by this 
means, I say, we had a full view of them, and the cap- 
tain knew the persons and characters of all the men 
in the boat, of whom, he said, there were three very 
honest fellows, who, he was sure, were led into this 
conspiracy by the rest,beingoverpowered and fright- 
ened; but that, as for the boatswain, who, it seems, 
was the chief officer among them, and all the rest, 
they were as outrageous as any of the ship's crew, 
and were no doubt made desperate in their new en- 
terprise ; and terribly apprehensive he was that they 
would be too powerful for us. I smiled at him, and 
told him that men in our circumstances were past 
the operation of fear ; that seeing almost every con- 
dition that could be was better than that which we 
were supposed to be in, we ought to expect that the 
consequence, whether death or life, would be sure 
to be a deliverance. I asked him what he thought of 
the circumstances of my life, and whether a deliver- 
ance were not worth venturing for? "And where, 
sir," said I, "is your belief of my being preserved 


here on purpose to save your life, which elevated 
you a little while ago ; for my part," said I, " there 
seems to me but one thing amiss in all the prospect 
of it." "What is that?" says he. "Why," says I, "it 
is, that as you say there are three or four honest 
fellows among them, which should be spared; 
had they been all of the wicked part of the crew, 
I should have thought God's providence had 
singled them out to deliver them into your hands ; 
for, depend upon it, every man that comes ashore 
are our own, and shall die or live as they behave to 
us." As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheer- 
ful countenance, I found it greatly encouraged 
him ; so we set vigorously to our business. 

We had, upon the first appearance of the boat's 
coming from the ship, considered of separating our 
prisoners; and we had, indeed, secured them ef- 
fectually. Two of them, of whom the captain was 
less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and 
one of the three delivered men, to my cave, where 
they were remote enough, and out of danger of 
being heard or discovered, or of finding their way 
out of the woods if they could have delivered them- 
selves : here they left them bound, but gave them 
provisions ; and promised them, if they continued 
there quietly, to give them their liberty in a day 
or two ; but that, if they attempted their escape, 
they should be put to death without mercy. They 
promised faithfully to bear their confinement with 
patience, and were very thankful that they had such 
good usage as to have provisions and light left 


them; for Friday gave them candles (such as we 
made ourselves) for their comfort; and they did 
not know but that he stood sentinel over them at 
the entrance. 

The other prisoners had better usage : two of 
them were kept pinioned, indeed, because the 
captain was not free to trust them ; but the other 
two were taken into my service, upon the captain's 
recommendation, and upon their solemnly engag- 
ing to live and die with us ; so with them and the 
three honest men we were seven men well armed; 
and I made no doubt we should be able to deal 
well enough with the ten that were coming, con- 
sidering that the captain had said that there were 
three or four honest men among them also. As 
soon as they got to the place where their other boat 
lay, they ran their boat into the beach, and came 
on shore, hauling the boat up after them, which I 
was glad to see ; for I was afraid they would rather 
have left the boat at an anchor, some distance from 
the shore, with some hands in her to guard her, 
and so we should not be able to seize the boat. 
Being on shore, the first thing they did, they ran 
all to their other boat; and it was easy to see they 
were under a great surprise to find her stripped, as 
above, of all that was in her, and a great hole in 
her bottom. After they had mused a while upon 
this, they set up two or three great shouts, halloo- 
ing with all their might, to try if they could make 
their companions hear; but all was to no purpose: 
then they came all close in a ring, and fired a vol- 


ley of their small arms, which, indeed, we heard, 
and the echoes made the woods ring; but it was 
all one: those in the cave we were sure could not 
hear ; and those in our keeping, though they heard 
it well enough, yet durst give no answer to them. 
They were so astonished at the surprise of this, 
that, as they told us afterwards, they resolved to 
go all on board again to their ship, and let them 
know that the men were all murdered, and the 
long-boat staved ; accordingly, they immediately 
launched their boat again, and got all of them on 

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

They had not been long put off with the boat 
but we perceived them all coming on shore again ; 
but with this new measure in their conduct, which 
it seems they consulted together upon, viz., to leave 
three men in the boat and the rest to go on shore, 
and go up into the country to look for their fel- 
lows. This was a great disappointment to us, for 
now we were at a loss what to do ; as our seizing 
those seven men on shore would be no advantage 
to us, if we let the boat escape ; because they would 
then row away to the ship, and then the rest of 
them would be sure to weigh and set sail, and so 


our recovering the ship would be lost. However, 
we had no remedy but to wait and see what the 
issue of things might present. The seven men came 
on shore, and the three who remained in the boat 
put her off to a good distance from the shore, and 
came to an anchor to wait for them : so that it was 
impossible for us to come at them in the boat. 
Those that came on shore kept close together, 
marching towards the top of the little hill under 
which my habitation lay ; and we could see them 
plainly, though they could not perceive us. We 
could have been very glad they would have come 
nearer to us, so that we might have fired at them, 
or that they would have gone farther off, that we 
might have come abroad. But when they were come 
to the brow of the hill, where they could see a great 
way into the valleys and woods, which lay towards 
the north-east part, and where the island lay low- 
est, they shouted and hallooed till they were weary ; 
and not caring, it seems, to venture far from the 
shore, nor far from one another, they sat down 
together under a tree, to consider it. Had they 
thought fit to have gone to sleep there as the other 
part of them had done, they had done the job for 
us; but they were too full of apprehensions of dan- 
ger to venture to go to sleep, though they could not 
tell what the danger was they had to fear neither. 
The captain made a very just proposal to me 
upon this consultation of theirs, viz., that perhaps 
they would all fire a volley again, to endeavour to 
make their fellows hear, and that we should all sally 


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

As soon as I perceived them to go towards the 
shore, I imagined it to be, as it really was, that they 
had given over their search, and were for going back 
again ; and the captain, as soon as I told him my 
thoughts, was ready to sink at the apprehensions 
of it : but I presently thought of a stratagem to fetch 
them back again, and which answered my end to a 
tittle. I ordered Friday and the captain's mate to 
go over the little creek westward, towards the place 


where the savages came on shore when Friday was 
rescued, and as soon as they came to a little rising 
ground, at about half a mile distance, I bade them 
halloo out, as loud as they could, and wait till they 
found the seamen heard them ; that as soon as ever 
they heard the seamen answer them, they should 
return it again ; and then keeping out of sight, take 
a round, always answering when the others hallooed, 
to draw them as far into the island, and among the 
woods, as possible, and then wheel about again to 
me, by such ways as I directed them. 

They were just going into the boat when Friday 
and the mate hallooed : and they presently heard 
them, and answering, run along the shore westward, 
towards the voice they heard, when they were pre- 
sently stopped by the creek, where the water being 
up, they could not get over, and called for the boat 
to come up and set them over ; as, indeed, I ex- 
pected. When they had set themselves over, I ob- 
served that the boat being gone a good way into the 
creek, and, as it were, in a harbour within the land, 
they took one of the three men out of her, to go 
along with them, and left only two in the boat, hav- 
ing fastened her to the stump of a little tree on the 
shore. This was what I wished for ; and immedi- 
ately leaving Friday and the captain's mate to their 
business, I took the rest with me, and crossing the 
creek out of their sight, we surprised the two men 
before they were aware ; one of them lying on the 
shore, and the other being in the boat. The fellow 
on shore was between sleeping and waking, and 


going to start up; the captain, who was foremost, 
ran in upon him, and knocked him down; and then 
called out to him in the boat to yield, or he was 
a dead man. There needed very few arguments to 
persuade a single man to yield, when he saw five 
men upon him, and his comrade knocked down; 
besides, this was, it seems, one of the three who were 
not so hearty in the mutiny as the rest of the crew, 
and therefore was easily persuaded not only to yield, 
but afterwards to join very sincerely with us. In the 
mean time, Friday and the captain's mate so well 
managed their business with the rest that they drew 
them, by hallooing and answering, from one hill to 
another, and from one wood to another, till they 
not only heartily tired them, but left them where 
they were very sure they could not reach back to 
the boat before it was dark ; and, indeed, they were 
heartily tired themselves also, by the time they came 
back to us. 

We had nothing now to do but to watch for them 
in the dark, and to fall upon them, so as to make 
sure work with them. It was several hours after 
Friday came back to me before they came back to 
their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them, 
long before they came quite up, calling to those 
behind to come along ; and could also hear them 
answer, and complain how lame and tired they were, 
and not able to come any faster, which was very 
welcome news to us. At length they came up to the 
boat : but it is impossible to express their confusion 
when they found the boat fast aground in the creek, 


the tide ebbed out, and their two men gone. We 
could hear them call to one another in a most 
lamentable manner, telling one another they were 
got into an enchanted island : that either there were 
inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered, 
or else there were devils and spirits in it, and they 
should be all carried away and devoured. They 
hallooed again, and called their two comrades by 
their names a great many times; but no answer. 
After some time, we could see them, by the little 
light there was, run about, wringing their hands like 
men in despair ; and that sometimes they would go 
and sit down in the boat, to rest themselves ; then 
come ashore again, and walk about again, and so the 
same thing over again. My men would fain have 
had me give them leave to fall upon them at once 
in the dark ; but I was willing to take them at some 
advantage, so to spare them, and kill as few of them 
as I could ; and especially I was unwilling to hazard 
the killing any of our men, knowing the others were 
very well armed. I resolved to wait, to see if they 
did not separate ; and, therefore, to make sure of 
them, I drew my ambuscade nearer, and ordered 
Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands 
and feet, as close to the ground as they could, that 
they might not be discovered, and get as near them 
as they could possibly, before they offered to fire. 
They had not been long in that posture, when 
the boatswain, who was the principal ringleader of 
the mutiny, and had now shown himself the most 
dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking 


towards them, with two more of the crew: the captain 
was so eager at having this principal rogue so much 
in his power that he could hardly have patience to 
let him come so near as to be sure of him, for they 
only heard his tongue before: but when they came 
nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up on their 
feet, let fly at them. The boatswain was killed upon 
the spot; the next man was shot in the body, and 
fell just by him, though he did not die till an hour 
or two after; and the third ran for it. At the noise 
of the fire, I immediately advanced with my whole 
army, which was now eight men, viz., myself, gen- 
eralissimo ; Friday, my lieutenant-general ; the cap- 
tain and his two men, and the three prisoners of 
war, whom we had trusted with arms. We came 
upon them, indeed, in the dark, so that they could 
not see our number; and I made the man they had 
left in the boat, who was now one of us, to call them 
by name, to try if I could bring them to a parley, 
and so might perhaps reduce them to terms ; which 
fell out just as we desired : for, indeed, it was easy 
to think, as their condition then was, they would be 
willing to capitulate. So he calls out, as loud as he 
could, to one of them, "Tom Smith! Tom Smith!" 
Tom Smith answered immediately, "Is that Rob- 
inson ?" For it seems he knew the voice. The other 
answered, "Aye, aye; for God's sake, Tom Smith, 
throw down your arms and yield, or you are all 
dead men this moment." "Who must we yield to? 
Where are they?" says Smith again. "Here they 
are," says he; "here *s our captain and fifty men 


with him, have been hunting you these two hours: 
the boatswain is killed, Will Fry is wounded, and 
I am a prisoner ; and if you do not yield you are 
all lost" "Will they give us quarter then," says 
Tom Smith, "and we will yield ? " "I will go ask 
if you promise to yield," says Robinson : so he asked 
the captain; and the captain himself then calls out, 
"You, Smith, you know my voice; if you lay down 
your arms immediately,and submit, you shall have 
your lives, all but Will Atkins." 


Upon this Will Atkins cried out, "For God's 
sake, captain, give me quarter ; what have I 
done ? They have all been as bad as I ": which, by 
the way, was not true neither ; for, it seems, this 
Will Atkins was the first man that laid hold of the 
captain when they first mutinied, and used him 
barbarously, in tying his hands, and giving him 
injurious language. However, the captain told him 
he must lay down his arms at discretion, and trust 
to the governor's mercy : by which he meant me, 
for they all called me governor. In a word, they 
all laid down their arms, and begged their lives; 
and I sent the man that had parleyed with them, 
and two more, who bound them all; and then my 
great army of fifty men, which, particularly with 
those three, were in all but eight, came up and 
seized upon them, and upon their boat; only that 
I kept myself and one more out of sight for reasons 
of state. 

Our next work was to repair the boat, and think 
of seizing the ship : and as for the captain, now he 


had leisure to parley with them, he expostulated 
with them upon the villainy of their practices with 
him, and at length upon the further wickedness of 
their design, and how certainly it must bring them 
to misery and distress in the end, and perhaps to 
the gallows. They all appeared very penitent, and 
begged hard for their lives. As for that, he told 
them they were none of his prisoners, but the com- 
mander's of the island; that they thought they had 
set him on shore on a barren, uninhabited island ; 
but it had pleased God so to direct them, that it was 
inhabited, and that the governor was an English- 
man ; that he might hang them all there, if he 
pleased ; but as he had given them all quarter, he 
supposed he would send them to England, to be 
dealt with there as justice required, except Atkins, 
whom he was commanded by the governor to 
advise to prepare for death, for that he would be 
hanged in the morning. 

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

It now occurred to me that the time of our 
deliverance was come, and that it would be a most 
easy thing to bring these fellows in to be hearty in 
getting possession of the ship; so I retired in the 
dark from them, that they might not see what kind 
of a governor they had, and called the captain to 
me: when I called, as at a good distance, one of the 


men was ordered to speak again, and say to the cap- 
tain, " Captain, the commander calls for you " ; and 
presently the captain replied, " Tell his excellency 
I am just a-coming." This more perfectly amused 
them, and they all believed that the commander 
was just by with his fifty men. Upon the captain's 
coming to me, I told him my project for seizing 
the ship, which he liked wonderfully well, and re- 
solved to put it in execution the next morning. 
But, in order to execute it with more heart, and to 
be secure of success, I told him we must divide the 
prisoners, and that he should go and take Atkins 
and two more of the worst of them, and send them 
pinioned to the cave where the others lay. This 
was committed to Friday and the two men who 
came on shore with the captain. They conveyed 
them to the cave as to a prison : and it was, indeed, 
a dismal place, especially to men in their condition. 
The others I ordered to my bower, as I called it, of 
which I have given a full description : and as it was 
fenced in, and they pinioned, the place was secure 
enough, considering they were upon their behaviour. 
To these in the morning I sent the captain, who 
was to enter into a parley with them ; in a word, to 
try them, and tell me whether he thought they 
might be trusted or no to go on board and sur- 
prise the ship. He talked to them of the injury 
done him, of the condition they were brought to, 
and that though the governor had given them quar- 
ter for their lives as to the present action, yet that 
if they were sent to England, they would all be 


hanged in chains, to be sure; but that if they would 
join in so just an attempt as to recover the ship, 
he would have the governor's engagement for their 

Any one may guess how readily such a proposal 
would be accepted by men in their condition ; they 
fell down on their knees to the captain, and pro- 
mised, with the deepest imprecations, that they 
would be faithful to him to the last drop, and that 
they should owe their lives to him, and would go 
with him all over the world ; that they would own 
him as a father as long as they lived. "Well," says 
the captain, " I must go and tell the governor what 
you say, and see what I can do to bring him to con- 
sent to it." So he brought me an account of the tem- 
per he found them in, and that he verily believed 
they would be faithful. However, that we might be 
very secure, I told him he should go back again and 
choose out those five, and tell them that they might 
see he did not want men, that he would take out 
those five to be his assistants, and that the gov- 
ernor would keep the other two, and the three that 
were sent prisoners to the castle (my cave) as host- 
ages for the fidelity of those five; and that if they 
proved unfaithful in the execution, the five hostages 
should be hanged in chains alive on the shore. This 
looked severe, and convinced them that the gov- 
ernor was in earnest: however, they had no way left 
them but to accept it; and it was now the business 
of the prisoners, as much as of the captain, to per- 
suade the other five to do their duty. 


Our strength was now thus ordered for the ex- 
pedition : first, the captain, his mate, and passenger; 
second, the two prisoners of the first gang, to whom, 
having their character from the captain, I had given 
their liberty, and trusted them with arms; third, 
the other two that I had kept till now in my bower 
pinioned, but, on the captain's motion, had now 
released ; fourth, these five released at last ; so that 
they were twelve in all, besides five we kept pris- 
oners in the cave for hostages. 

I asked the captain if he was willing to venture 
with these hands on board the ship : but as for me 
and my man Friday, I did not think it was proper 
for us to stir, having seven men left behind; and 
it was employment enough for us to keep them 
asunder, and supply them with victuals. As to the 
five in the cave, I resolved to keep them fast, but 
Friday went in twice a day to them, to supply them 
with necessaries ; and I made the other two carry 
provisions to a certain distance, where Friday was 
to take it. 

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


The captain now had no difficulty before him 
but to furnish his two boats, stop the breach of one, 
and man them. He made his passenger captain of 
one, with four of the men ; and himself, his mate, 
and five more, went in the other ; and they con- 
trived their business very well, for they came up to 
the ship about midnight. As soon as they came 
within call of the ship, he made Robinson hail them, 
and tell them they had brought off the men and 
the boat, but that it was a long time before they 
had found them, and the like, holding them in a 
chat till they came to the ship's side ; when the cap- 
tain and the mate, entering first, with their arms, 
immediately knocked down the second mate and 
carpenter with the butt end of their muskets, being 
very faithfully seconded by their men ; they secured 
all the rest that were upon the main and quarter 
decks, and began to fasten the hatches, to keep them 
down that were below; when the other boat and 
their men, entering at the fore-chains, secured the 
forecastle of the ship, and the scuttle which went 
down into the cook-room, making three men they 
found there prisoners. When this was done, and all 
safe upon deck, the captain ordered the mate, with 
three men, to break into the round-house, where 
the new rebel captain lay, who, having taken the 
alarm, had got up, and with two men and a boy 
had got fire-arms in their hands ; and when the mate, 
with a crow, split open the door, the new captain 
and his men fired boldly among them, and wounded 
the mate with a musket-ball, which broke his arm, 


and wounded two more of the men, but killed no- 
body. The mate, calling for help, rushed, however, 
into the round-house, wounded as he was, and with 
his pistol shot the new captain through the head, 
the bullet entering at his mouth, and came out again 
behind one of his ears, so that he never spoke a 
word more : upon which the rest yielded, and the 
ship was taken effectually, without any more lives 

As soon as the ship was thus secured the captain 
ordered seven guns to be fired, which was the 
signal agreed upon with me to give me notice of 
his success, which you may be sure I was very glad 
to hear, having sat watching upon the shore for it 
till near two o'clock in the morning. Having thus 
heard the signal plainly, I laid me down ; and it 
having been a day of great fatigue to me, I slept 
very sound, till I was something surprised with the 
noise of a gun ; and presently starting up, I heard 
a man call me by the name of " Governor, Gov- 
ernor/' and presently I knew the captain's voice ; 
when climbing up to the top of the hill, there he 
stood, and pointing to the ship he embraced me in 
his arms, " My dear friend and deliverer," says he, 
" there 's your ship, for she is all yours, and so are 
we, and all that belong to her." I cast my eyes to 
the ship, and there she rode within a little more 
than half a mile of the shore ; for they had weighed 
her anchor as soon as they were masters of her, and 
the weather being fair, had brought her to an anchor 
just against the mouth of the little creek ; and the 


tide being up, the captain had brought the pinnace 
in near the place where I had first landed my rafts, 
and so landed just at my door. I was at first ready 
to sink down with surprise ; for I saw my deliver- 
ance, indeed, visibly put into my hands, all things 
easy, and a large ship just ready to carry me away 
whither I pleased to go. At first, for some time, I was 
not able to answer him one word ; but as he had 
taken me in his arms, I held fast by him, or I should 
have fallen to the ground. He perceived the sur- 
prise, and immediately pulls a bottle out of his 
pocket, and gave me a dram of cordial, which he 
had brought on purpose for me. After I had drank 
it, I sat down upon the ground ; and though it 
brought me to myself, yet it was a good while 
before I could speak a word to him. All this time 
the poor man was in as great an ecstasy as I, only 
not under any surprise, as I was ; and he said a 
thousand kind and tender things to me, to com- 
pose and bring me to myself: but such was the 
flood of joy in my breast that it put all my spirits 
into confusion : at last it broke out into tears ; and 
in a little while after I recovered my speech. I then 
took my turn, and embraced him as my deliverer, 
and we rejoiced together. I told him I looked upon 
him as a man sent from Heaven to deliver me, 
and that the whole transaction seemed to be a chain 
of wonders ; that such things as these were the 
testimonies we had of a secret hand of providence 
governing the world, and an evidence that the eye 
of an infinite power could search into the remotest 


corner of the world, and send help to the miser- 
able whenever he pleased. I forgot not to lift up 
my heart in thankfulness to Heaven ; and what 
heart could forbear to bless him, who had not only 
in a miraculous manner provided for me in such 
a wilderness, and in such a desolate condition, but 
from whom every deliverance must always be ac- 
knowledged to proceed ? 

When we had talked a while, the captain told me 
he had brought me some little refreshment, such as 
the ship afforded, and such as the wretches that had 
been so long his masters had not plundered him of. 
Upon this he called aloud to the boat, and bade his 
men bring the things ashore that were for the gov- 
ernor ; and, indeed, it was a present as if I had been 
one that was not to be carried away with them, but 
as if I had been to dwell upon the island still. First, 
he had brought me a case of bottles full of excel- 
lent cordial waters, six large bottles of Madeira 
wine (the bottles held two quarts each), two pounds 
of excellent good tobacco, twelve good pieces of 
the ship's beef, and six pieces of pork, with a bag of 
peas, and about a hundredweight of biscuit: he also 
brought me a box of sugar, a box of flour, a bag 
full of lemons, and two bottles of lime juice, and 
abundance of other things. But, besides these, 
and what was a thousand times more useful to me, 
he brought me six new clean shirts, six very good 
neckcloths, two pair of gloves, one pair of shoes, 
a hat, and one pair of stockings, with a very good 
suit of clothes of his own, which had been worn but 


very little ; in a word, he clothed me from head to 
foot. It was a very kind and agreeable present, as 
any one may imagine, to one in my circumstances ; 
but never was anything in the world of that kind 
so unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy, as it was to 
me to wear such clothes at first. 

After these ceremonies were past, and after all 
his good things were brought into my little apart- 
ment, we began to consult what was to be done 
with the prisoners we had ; for it was worth con- 
sidering whether we might venture to take them 
away with us or no, especially two of them, whom 
we knew to be incorrigible and refractory to the 
last degree ; and the captain said he knew they 
were such rogues that there was no obliging them, 
and if he did carry them away, it must be in irons, 
as malefactors, to be delivered over to justice at the 
first English colony he could come at; and I found 
that the captain himself was very anxious about it. 
Upon this I told him that, if he desired it, I would 
undertake to bring the two men he spoke of to 
make it their own request that he should leave 
them upon the island. " I should be very glad 
of that," says the captain, " with all my heart." 
" Well," says I, " I will send for them up, and 
talk with them for you." So I caused Friday and 
the two hostages, for they were now discharged, 
their comrades having performed their promise ; 
I say, I caused them to go to the cave, and bring 
up the five men, pinioned, as they were, to the 
bower, and keep them there till I came. After some 


time, I came thither dressed in my new habit; and 
now I was called Governor again. Being all met, 
and the captain with me, I caused the men to be 
brought before me, and I told them I had got a 
full account of their villanous behaviour to the 
captain, and how they had run away with the ship, 
and were preparing to commit farther robberies, 
but that Providence had ensnared them in their 
own ways, and that they were fallen into the pit 
which they had dug for others. I let them know 
that by my direction the ship had been seized ; that 
she lay now in the road; and they might see, by 
and by, that their new captain had received the re- 
ward of his villainy, and that they would see him 
hanging at the yard-arm : that as to them, I wanted 
to know what they had to say why I should not 
execute them as pirates, taken in the fact, as by my 
commission they could not doubt but I had author- 
ity so to do. One of them answered in the name 
of the rest that they had nothing to say but this, 
that when they were taken, the captain promised 
them their lives, and they humbly implored my 
mercy. But I told them I knew not what mercy to 
show them ; for as for myself I had resolved to quit 
the island with all my men, and had taken passage 
with the captain to go for England ; and as for the 
captain he could not carry them to England other 
than as prisoners, in irons, to be tried for mutiny, 
and running away with the ship ; the consequence 
of which, they must needs know, would be the gal- 
lows; so that I could not tell what was best for them, 


unless they had a mind to take their fate in the 
island : if they desired that, as I had liberty to leave 
the island, I had some inclination to give them 
their lives, if they thought they could shift on 
shore. They seemed very thankful for it, and said 
they would much rather venture to stay there than 
be carried to England to be hanged : so I left it 
on that issue. 

However, the captain seemed to make some 
difficulty of it, as if he durst not leave them there. 
Upon this I seemed a little angry with the cap- 
tain, and told him that they were my prisoners, not 
his ; and seeing that I had offered them so much 
favour, I would be as good as my word ; and that 
if he did not think fit to consent to it, I would set 
them at liberty, as I found them ; and if he did 
not like it, he might take them again if he could 
catch them. Upon this they appeared very thank- 
ful, and I accordingly set them at liberty, and bade 
them retire into the woods to the place whence 
they came, and I would leave them some fire- 
arms, some ammunition, and some directions how 
they should live very well, if they thought fit. 
Upon this I prepared to go on board the ship ; 
but told the captain I would stay that night to pre- 
pare my things, and desired him to go on board, 
in the mean time, and keep all right in the ship, 
and send the boat on shore next day for me ; or- 
dering him, at all events, to cause the new captain, 
who was killed, to be hanged at the yard-arm, that 
these men might see him. 


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

When they had all declared their willingness to 
stay, I then told them I would let them into the 
story of my living there, and put them into the 
way of making it easy to them : accordingly, I gave 
them the whole history of the place, and of my 
coming to it ; showed them my fortifications, the 
way I made my bread, planted my corn, cured my 
grapes ; and, in a word, all that was necessary to 
make them easy. I told them the story also of the 
seventeen Spaniards that were to be expected, for 
whom I left a letter, and made them promise to 
treat them in common with themselves. Here it 
may be noted, that the captain had ink on board, 
who was greatly surprised that I never hit upon a 
way of making ink of charcoal and water, or of 
something else, as I had done things much more 

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


to make both butter and cheese : in a word, I gave 
them every part of my own story, and told them 
I should prevail with the captain to leave them 
two barrels of gunpowder more, and some garden- 
seeds, which I told them I would have been very 
glad of: also I gave them the bag of peas which 
the captain had brought me to eat, and bade them 
be sure to sow and increase them. 

Having done all this, I left them the next day, 
and went on board the ship. We prepared imme- 
diately to sail, but did not weigh that night. The 
next morning early, two of the five men came 
swimming to the ship's side, and, making a most 
lamentable complaint of the other three, begged to 
be taken into the ship, for God's sake, for they 
should be murdered, and begged the captain to 
take them on board, though he hanged them im- 
mediately. Upon this, the captain pretended to 
have no power without me ; but after some dif- 
ficulty, and after their solemn promises of amend- 
ment, they were taken on board, and were some 
time after soundly whipped and pickled : after 
which they proved very honest and quiet fellows. 

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


When I took leave of this island, I carried on 
board, for reliques, the great goat-skin cap I had 
made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots ; also 
I forgot not to take the money I formerly men- 
tioned, which had laid by me so long useless that 
it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly 
pass for silver till it had been a little rubbed and 
handled ; as also the money I found in the wreck 
of the Spanish ship. And thus I left the island, 
the 19th of December, as I found by the ship's 
account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it 
eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen 
days ; being delivered from this second captivity 
the same day of the month that I first made my 
escape in the long-boat, from among the Moors of 
Sallee. In this vessel, after a long voyage, I ar- 
rived in England the nth of June, in the year 
1687, having been thirty -five years absent. 


When I came to England, I was as perfect a 
stranger to all the world as if I had never 
been known there. My benefactor and faithful 
steward, whom I had left my money in trust with, 
was alive, but had had great misfortunes in the 
world ; was become a widow the second time, and 
very low in the world. I made her very easy as 
to what she owed me, assuring her I would give 
her no trouble ; but on the contrary, in gratitude 
for former care and faithfulness to me, I relieved 
her as my little stock would afford ; which, at 
that time, would indeed allow me to do but little 
for her ; but I assured her I would never forget 
her former kindness to me ; nor did I forget her 
when I had sufficient to help her, as shall be ob- 
served in its proper place. I went down afterwards 
into Yorkshire : but my father and mother were 
dead, and all the family extinct, except that I found 
two sisters, and two of the children of one of my 
brothers ; and as I had been long ago given over 
for dead, there had been no provision made for 


me : so that, in a word, I found nothing to relieve 
or assist me ; and that the little money I had would 
not do much for me as to settling in the world. 

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

But after making several reflections upon the 
circumstances of my life, and how little way this 
would go towards settling me in the world, I re- 
solved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not come 
by some information of the state of my plantation 
in the Brazils, and of what was become of my part- 
ner, who, I had reason to suppose, had some years 
past given me over for dead. With this view I took 
shipping for Lisbon, where I arrived in April follow- 
ing ; my man Friday accompanying me very honestly 
in all these ramblings, and proving a most faithful 
servant upon all occasions. When I came to Lisbon, 
I found out, by inquiry, and to my particular satis- 
faction, my old friend the captain of the ship who 
first took me up at sea off the shore of Africa. He 
was now grown old, and had left off going to sea, 
having put his son, who was far from a young man, 


into his ship, and who still used the Brazil trade. 
The old man did not know me: and, indeed, I 
hardly knew him: but I soon brought him to my 
remembrance, and as soon brought myself to his 
remembrance, when I told him who I was. 

After some passionate expressions of the old ac- 
quaintance between us, I inquired, you may be sure, 
after my plantation and my partner. The old man 
told me he had not been in the Brazils for about 
nine years ; but that he could assure me that when 
he came away my partner was living; but the trust- 
ees, whom I had joined with him to take cogniz- 
ance of my part, were both dead: that, however, he 
believed I would have a very good account of the 
improvement of the plantation ; for that upon the 
general belief of my being cast away and drowned, 
my trustees had given in the account of the pro- 
duce of my part of the plantation to the procurator- 
fiscal, who had appropriated it, in case I never came 
to claim it, one third to the king, and two thirds 
to the monastery of St. Augustine, to be expended 
for the benefit of the poor, and for the conversion of 
the Indians to the Catholic faith; but that if I ap- 
peared, or any one for me, to claim the inheritance, 
it would be restored : only that the improvement, or 
annual production, being distributed to charitable 
uses, could not be restored; but he assured me that 
the steward of the king's revenue from lands and the 
proviedore or steward of the monastery had taken 
great care all along that the incumbent, that is to 
say, my partner, gave every year a faithful account 


of the produce, of which they had duly received 
my moiety. I asked him if he knew to what height 
of improvement he had brought the plantation, and 
whether he thought it might be worth looking after; 
or whether, on my going thither, I should meet 
with any obstruction to my possessing my just right 
in the moiety. He told me he could not tell exactly 
to what degree the plantation was improved, but 
this he knew, that my partner was grown exceed- 
ing rich upon the enjoying his part of ft; and that, 
to the best of his remembrance, he had heard that 
the king's third of my part, which was, it seems, 
granted away to some other monastery or religious 
house, amounted to above two hundred moidores 
a year; that as to my being restored to a quiet pos- 
session of it, there was no question to be made of 
that, my partner being alive to witness my title, 
and my name being also enrolled in the register of 
the country: also he told me that the survivors of 
my two trustees were very fair honest people, and 
very weal thy; and he believed I would not only have 
their assistance for putting me in possession, but 
would find a very considerable sum of money in 
their hands for my account, being the produce of the 
farm while their fathers held the trust, and before 
it was given up, as above; which, as he remem- 
bered, was for about twelve years. 

I showed myself a little concerned and uneasy 
at this account, and inquired of the old captain how 
it came to pass that the trustees should thus dis- 
pose of my effects, when he knew that I had made 


my will, and had made him, the Portuguese captain, 
my universal heir, etc. 

He told me that was true; but that, as there was 
no proof of my being dead, he could not act as 
executor, until some certain account should come 
of my death ; and, besides, he was not willing to 
intermeddle with a thing so remote ; that it was true 
he had registered my will, and put in his claim; 
and could he have given any account of my being 
dead or alive, he would have acted by procuration, 
and taken possession of the ingenio (so they called 
the sugar-house), and have given his son, who was 
now at the Brazils, orders to do it. " But," says the 
old man, "I have one piece of news to tell you, 
which, perhaps, may not be so acceptable to you 
as the rest; and that is, believing you were lost, 
and all the world believing so also, your partner 
and trustees did offer to account with me, in your 
name, for six or eight of the first years' profits, 
which I received. There being at that time great 
disbursements for increasing the works, building 
an ingenio, and buying slaves, it did not amount 
to near so much as afterwards it produced ; how- 
ever," says the old man, " I shall give you a true 
account of what I have received in all, and how 
I have disposed of it." 

After a few days' further conference with this 
ancient friend, he brought me an account of the 
first six years' income of my plantation, signed by 
my partner and the merchant trustees, being always 
delivered in goods, viz., tobacco in roll, and sugar 


in chests, besides rum, molasses, etc., which is the 
consequence of a sugar-work ; and I found, by this 
account, that every year the income considerably 
increased; but, as above, the disbursements being 
large, the sum at first was small : however, the old 
man let me see that he was debtor to me four hun- 
dred and seventy moidores of gold, besides sixty 
chests of sugar, and fifteen double rolls of tobacco, 
which were lost in his ship ; he having been ship- 
wrecked coming home to Lisbon, about eleven years 
after my leaving the place. The good man then 
began to complain of his misfortunes, and how he 
had been obliged to make use of my money to re- 
cover his losses, and buy him a share in a new ship. 
" However, my old friend," says he, "you shall not 
want a supply in your necessity; and as soon as my 
son returns you shall be fully satisfied." Upon this, 
he pulls out an old pouch, and gives me one hun- 
dred and sixty Portugal moidores in gold ; and giv- 
ing the writings of his title to the ship, which his 
son was gone to the Brazils in, of which he was a 
quarter-part owner, and his son another, he puts 
them both into my hands, for security of the rest. 
I was too much moved with the honesty and 
kindness of the poor man to be able to bear this ; 
and remembering what he had done for me, how 
he had taken me up at sea, and how generously he 
had used me on all occasions, and particularly how 
sincere a friend he was now to me, I could hardly 
refrain weeping at what he had said to me ; there- 
fore I asked him if his circumstances admitted him 


to spare so much money at that time, and if it would 
not straiten him ? He told me he could not say but 
it might straiten him a little ; but, however, it was 
my money, and I might want it more than he. 

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

When this was past, the old man asked me if he 
should put me into a method to make my claim to 
my plantation ? I told him I thought to go over to 
it myself. He said I might do so if I pleased; but 
that, if I did not, there were ways enough to secure 
my right, and immediately to appropriate the pro- 
fits to my use : and as there were ships in the river 
of Lisbon just ready to go away to Brazil, he made 
me enter my name in a public register, with his affi- 
davit, affirming, upon oath, that I was alive, and that 
I was the same person who took up the land for 
the planting the said plantation at first. This being 
regularly attested by a notary, and a procuration 
affixed, he directed me to send it, with a letter of 


his writing, to a merchant of his acquaintance at the 
place; and then proposed my staying with him till 
an account came of the return. 

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

First, there was the account-current of the pro- 
duce of my farm or plantation, from the year when 
their fathers had balanced with my old Portugal 
captain, being for six years : the balance appeared 
to be one thousand one hundred and seventy-four 
moidores in my favour. 

Secondly, there was the account of four years 
more, while they kept the effects in their hands, 
before the government claimed the administration, 
as being the effects of a person not to be found, 
which they called civil death ; and the balance of this, 
the value of the plantation increasing, amounted to 
nineteen thousand four hundred and forty-six cru- 
sadoes, being about three thousand two hundred 
and forty moidores. 

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


There was a letter of my partner's, congratulat- 
ing me very affectionately upon my being alive, 
giving me an account how the estate was improved, 
and what it produced a year ; with a particular of 
the num ber of squares or acres that it contained, how 
planted, how many slaves there were upon it, and, 
making two and twenty crosses for blessings, told 
me he had said so many Ave Marias to thank the 
Blessed Virgin that I was alive ; inviting me very 
passionately to come over and take possession of 
my own ; and, in the mean time, to give him orders 
to whom he should deliver my effects, if I did not 
come myself; concluding with a hearty tender of 
his friendship and that of his family; and sent me, 
as a present, seven fine leopards' skins, which he 
had, it seems, received from Africa, by some other 
ship that he had sent thither, and who, it seems, had 
made a better voyage than I. He sent me also five 
chests of excellent sweetmeats, and a hundred pieces 
of gold uncoined, not quite so large as moidores. 
By the same fleet, my two merchant trustees shipped 
me one thousand two hundred chests of sugar, eight 
hundred rolls of tobacco, and the rest of the whole 
account in gold. 

I might well say now, indeed, that the latter end 
of Job was better than the beginning. It is im- 
possible to express the flutterings of my very heart 
when I found all my wealth about me ; for as the 
Brazil ships come all in fleets, the same ships which 
brought my letters brought my goods : and the 
effects were safe in the river before the letters came 


to my hand. In a word, I turned pale. and grew sick ; 
and had not the old man run and fetched me a cor- 
dial, I believe the sudden surprise of joy had over- 
set nature, and I had died upon the spot : nay, after 
that, I continued very ill, and was so some hours, 
till a physician being sent for, and something of 
the real cause of my illness being known, he or- 
dered me to be let blood ; after which I had relief, 
and grew well : but I verily believe, if I had not been 
eased by a vent given in that manner to the spirits, 
I should have died. 

I was now master, all on a sudden, of above five 
thousand pounds sterling in money, and had an 
estate, as I might well call it, in the Brazils of above 
a thousand pounds a year, as sure as an estate of 
lands in England; and, in a word, I was in a con- 
dition which I scarce knew how to understand, or 
how to compose myself for the enjoyment of it. 
The first thing I did was to recompense my orig- 
inal benefactor, my good old captain, who had been 
first charitable to me in my distress, kind to me 
in my beginning, and honest to me at the end. I 
showed him all that was sent to me ; I told him 
that next to the providence of Heaven, which dis- 
posed all things, it was owing to him; and that it 
now lay on me to reward him, which I would do a 
hundred-fold: so I first returned to him the hun- 
dred moidores I had received of him ; then I sent 
for a notary, and caused him to draw up a general 
release or discharge from the four hundred and 
seventy moidores, which he had acknowledged he 


owed me, in the fullest and firmest manner pos- 
sible. After which I caused a procuration to be 
drawn, empowering him to be my receiver of the 
annual profits of my plantation, and appointing my 
partner to account with him, and make the returns 
by the usual fleets to him in my name; and a clause 
in the end, being a grant of one hundred moidores 
a year to him during his life, out of the effects, and 
fifty moidores a year to his son after him, for his 
life : and thus I requited my old man. 

I was now to consider which way to steer my 
course next, and what to do with the estate that 
Providence had thus put into my hands ; and, in- 
deed, I had more care upon my head now than I 
had in my silent state of life in the island, where I 
wanted nothing but what I had, and had nothing 
but what I wanted; whereas I had now a great 
charge upon me, and my business was how to se- 
cure it. I had never a cave now to hide my money 
in, or a place where it might lie without lock or key, 
till it grew mouldy and tarnished, before anybody 
would meddle with it; on the contrary, I knew not 
where to put it, or whom to trust with it. My old 
patron, the captain, indeed, was honest, and that was 
the only refuge I had. In the next place, my inter- 
est in the Brazils seemed to summon me thither; 
but now I could not tell how to think of going 
thither till I had settled my affairs, and left my 
effects in some safe hands behind me. At first I 
thought of my old friend the widow, who I knew 
was honest, and would be just to me ; but then she 


was in years, and but poor, and for aught I knew, 
might be in debt: so that, in a word, I had no way 
but to go back to England myself, and take my 
effects with me. 

It was some months, however, before I resolved 
upon this ; and, therefore, as I had rewarded the old 
captain fully, and to his satisfaction, who had been 
my former benefactor, so I began to think of my 
poor widow, whose husband had been my first bene- 
factor, and she, while it was in her power, my faith- 
ful steward and instructor. So the first thing I did, 
I got a merchant in Lisbon to write to his corre- 
spondent in London, not only to pay a bill, but to 
go find her out, and carry her in money a hundred 
pounds for me, and to talk with her, and comfort 
her in her poverty; by telling her she should, if 
I lived, have a further supply : at the same time 
I sent my two sisters in the country a hundred 
pounds each, they being, though not in want, yet 
not in very good circumstances; one having been 
married and left a widow, and the other having a 
husband not so kind to her as he should be. But 
among all my relations or acquaintances, I could 
not yet pitch upon one to whom I durst commit 
the gross of my stock, that I might go away to the 
Brazils, and leave things safe behind me ; and this 
greatly perplexed me. 

I had once a mind to have gone to the Brazils, 
and have settled myself there; for I was, as it were, 
naturalized to the place; but I had some little 
scruple in my mind about religion, which insensibly 


drew me back. However, it was not religion that 
kept me from going there for the present; and 
as I had made no scruple of being openly of the 
religion of the country all the while I was among 
them, so neither did I yet; only that, now and then, 
having of late thought more of it than formerly, 
when I began to think of living and dying among 
them, I began to regret my having professed my- 
self a Papist, and thought it might not be the best 
religion to die with. 

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

In order to prepare things for my going home, 
I first, the Brazil fleet being just going away, re- 
solved to give answers suitable to the just and faith- 
ful account of things I had from thence; and, first, 
to the prior of St. Augustine I wrote a letter full 
of thanks for their just dealings, and the offer of 
the eight hundred and seventy-two moidores which 
were undisposed of, which I desired might be given, 
five hundred to the monastery, and three hundred 
and seventy-two to the poor, as the prior should 
direct; desiring the good padre's prayers for me, 
and the like. I wrote next a letter of thanks to my 
two trustees, with all the acknowledgment that so 


much justice and honesty called for; as for sending 
them any present, they were far above having any 
occasion for it. Lastly, I wrote to my partner, 
acknowledging his industry in the improving the 
plantation, and his integrity in increasing the stock 
of the works; giving him instructions for his future 
government of my part, according to the powers 
I had left with my old patron, to whom I desired 
him to send whatever became due to me, till he 
should hear from me more particularly; assuring 
him that it was my intention not only to come to 
him, but to settle myself there for the remainder 
of my life. To this I added a very handsome pre- 
sent of some Italian silks for his wife and two 
daughters, for such the captain's son informed me 
he had ; with two pieces of fine English broadcloth, 
the best I could get in Lisbon, five pieces of black 
baize, and some Flanders lace of a good value. 

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

It is true, I had been very unfortunate by sea, 
and this might be some of the reasons ; but let no 
man slight the strong impulses of his own thoughts 


in cases of such moment : two of the ships which 
I had singled out to go in, I mean more particu- 
larly singled out than any other, having put my 
things on board one of them, and in the other to 
have agreed with the captain ; I say, two of these 
ships miscarried, viz., one was taken by the Alge- 
rines, and the other was cast away on the Start, near 
Torbay, and all the people drowned, except three; 
so that in either of those vessels I had been made 

Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my 
old pilot, to whom I communicated everything, 
pressed me earnestly not to go by sea, but either 
to go by land to the Groyne (Corunna), and cross 
over the Bay of Biscay to Rochelle, from whence 
it was but an easy and safe journey by land to Paris, 
and so to Calais and Dover; or to go up to Madrid, 
and so all the way by land through France. In a 
word, I was so prepossessed against my going by 
sea at all, except from Calais to Dover, that I re- 
solved to travel all the way by land ; which, as I 
was not in haste, and did not value the charge, was 
by much the pleasanter way: and to make it more 
so, my old captain brought an English gentleman, 
the son of a merchant in Lisbon, who was willing 
to travel with me; after which we picked up two 
more English merchants also, and two young Por- 
tuguese gentlemen, the last going to Paris only; so 
that in all there were six of us, and five servants, 
the two merchants and the two Portuguese con- 
tenting themselves with one servant between two, 


to save the charge ; and as for me, I got an Eng- 
lish sailor to travel with me as a servant, besides 
my man Friday, who was too much a stranger to 
be capable of supplying the place of a servant on 
the road. 

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

As I have troubled you with none of my sea 
journals, so I shall trouble you now with none of 
my land journal ; but some adventures that hap- 
pened to us in this tedious and difficult journey 
I must not omit. 

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

When we came to Pampeluna itself, we found it 
so, indeed; and to me, that had been always used 
to a hot climate, and to countries where I could 


scarce bear any clothes on, the cold was insuffer- 
able : nor, indeed, was it more painful than surpris- 
ing to come but ten days before out of Old Castile, 
where the weather was not only warm but very hot, 
and immediately to feel a wind from the Pyrenean 
Mountains, so very keen, so severely cold, as to be 
intolerable, and to endanger the benumbing and 
perishing of our fingers and toes. 

Poor Friday was really frightened when he saw 
the mountains all covered with snow, and felt cold 
weather, which he had never seen or felt before in 
his life. To mend the matter, when we came to 
Pampeluna it continued snowing with so much 
violence, and so long, that the people said winter 
was come before its time, and the roads, which were 
difficult before, were now quite impassable ; for, in 
a word, the snow lay in some places too thick for 
us to travel, and being not hard frozen, as is the 
case in the northern countries, there was no going 
without being in danger of being buried alive every 
step. We stayed no less than twenty days at Pam- 
peluna ; when seeing the winter coming on, and no 
likelihood of its being better, for it was the severest 
winter all over Europe that had been known in the 
memory of man, I proposed that we should all go 
away to Fontarabia, and there take shipping for 
Bourdeaux, which was a very little voyage. But 
while I was considering this, there came in four 
French gentlemen, who, having been stopped on 
the French side of the passes as we were on the 
Spanish, had found out a guide, who, traversing the 


country near the head of Languedoc, had brought 
them over the mountains by such ways that they 
were not much incommoded with the snow ; for 
where they met with snow in any quantity, they 
said it was frozen hard enough to bear them and 
their horses. We sent for this guide, who told us 
he would undertake to carry us the same way with 
no hazard from the snow, provided we were armed 
sufficiently to protect ourselves from wild beasts : 
for, he said, upon these great snows it was frequent 
for some wolves to show themselves at the foot 
of the mountains, being made ravenous for want of 
food, the ground being covered with snow. We 
told him we were well enough prepared for such 
creatures as they were, if he would insure us from 
a kind of two-legged wolves, which, we were told, 
we were in most danger from, especially on the 
French side of the mountains. He satisfied us that 
there was no danger of that kind in the way that 
we were to go : so we readily agreed to follow him, 
as did also twelve other gentlemen, with their serv- 
ants, some French, some Spanish, who, as I said, 
had attempted to go, and were obliged to come 
back again. 

Accordingly, we set out from Pampeluna, with 
our guide, on the 15th of November ; and, indeed, 
I was surprised when, instead of going forward, he 
came directly back with us on the same road that 
we came from Madrid, about twenty miles ; when, 
having passed two rivers, and come into the plain 
country, we found ourselves in a warm climate 


again, where the country was pleasant, and no snow 
to be seen; but on a sudden turning to his left, he 
approached the mountains another way, and though 
it is true the hills and precipices looked dreadful, 
yet he made so many tours, such meanders, and 
led us by such winding ways, that we insensibly 
passed the height of the mountains without being 
much incumbered with the snow; and, all on a sud- 
den, he showed us the pleasant fruitful provinces 
of Languedoc and Gascony, all green and flourish- 
ing, though, indeed, at a great distance, and we had 
some rough way to pass still. 

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


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

It was happy for the poor man that it was my 
man Friday; for he having been used to such crea- 
tures in his country, he had no fear respecting 


them, but went close up to him and shot him as 
above ; whereas any other of us would have fired 
at a greater distance, and have perhaps either 
missed the wolf, or endangered shooting the 

But it was enough to have terrified a bolder man 
than I, and, indeed, it alarmed all our company, 
when, with the noise of Friday's pistol, we heard 
on both sides the most dismal howling of wolves ; 
and the noise, redoubled by the echo of the moun- 
tains, appeared to us as if there had been a prodi- 
gious number of them ; and, perhaps, there was not 
such a few as that we had no cause of apprehensions: 
however, as Friday had killed this wolf, the other 
that had fastened upon the horse left him imme- 
diately, and fled, without doing him any damage, 
having happily fastened upon his head, where the 
bosses of the bridle had stuck in his teeth. But the 
man was most hurt ; for the raging creature had 
bit him twice, once in the arm, and the other time 
a little above his knee; and though he had made 
some defence, he was just as it were tumbling down 
by the disorder of his horse, when Friday came up 
and shot the wolf. 

It is easy to suppose that at the noise of Friday's 
pistol we all mended our pace, and rode up as fast 
as the way, which was very difficult, would give us 
leave, to see what was the matter. As soon as we 
came clear of the trees, which blinded us before, we 
saw clearly what had been the case, and how Fri- 
day had disengaged the poor guide, though we did 


not presently discern what kind of creature it was 
he had killed. 

But never was a fight managed so hardily, and 
in such a surprising manner, as that which followed 
between Friday and the bear, which gave us all, 
though at first we were surprised and afraid for him, 
the greatest diversion imaginable. As the bear is a 
heavy, clumsy creature, and does not gallop as the 
wolf does, who is swift and light, so he has two par- 
ticular qualities, which generally are the rule of his 
actions : first, as to men, who are not his proper 
prey (he does not usually attempt them, except 
they first attack him, unless he be excessively hun- 
gry, which it is probable might now be the case, the 
ground being covered with snow), if you do not 
meddle with him, he will not meddle with you : but 
then you must take care to be very civil to him and 
give him the road, for he is a very nice gentleman ; 
he will not go a step out of his way for a prince ; 
nay, if you are really afraid, your best way is to look 
another way, and keep going on ; for sometimes, 
if you stop, and stand still, and look steadfastly at 
him, he takes it for an affront ; but if you throw or 
toss anything at him, and it hits him, though it 
were but a bit of stick as big as your finger, he thinks 
himself abused, and sets all other business aside to 
pursue his revenge, and will have satisfaction in 
point of honour, — this is his first quality : the next 
is, if he be once affronted, he will never leave you, 
night nor day, till he has his revenge, but follows, 
at a good round rate, till he overtakes you. 


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

I was surprised to see the fellow so well pleased : 
" You fool," says I, " he will eat you up." "Eatee 
me up ! eatee me up ! " says Friday, twice over 
again ; " me eatee him up ; me makee you good 
laugh : you all stay here, me show you good laugh." 
So down he sits, and gets off his boots in a mo- 
ment, and puts on a pair of pumps (as we call the 
flat shoes they wear, and which he had in his pocket), 
gives my other servant his horse, and with his gun 
away he flew, swift like the wind. 

The bear was walking softly on, and offered to 
meddle with nobody, till Friday, coming pretty 
near, calls to him, as if the bear could understand 
him, "Hark ye, hark ye," says Friday, "me speakee 
with you." We followed at a distance; for now, 
beingcome down on the Gascony side of the moun- 
tains, we were entered a vast great forest, where the 
country was plain and pretty open, though it had 
many trees in it scattered here and there. Friday, 


who had, as we say, the heels of the. bear, came up 
with him quickly, and takes up a great stone and 
throws it at him, and hit him just on the head, but 
did him no more harm than if he had thrown it 
against a wall ; but it answered Friday's end, for 
the rogue was so void of fear that he did it purely 
to make the bear follow him, and show us " some 
laugh," as he called it. As soon as the bear felt the 
blow, and saw him, he turns about, and comes after 
him, taking devilish long strides, and shuffling on 
at a strange rate, such as would have put a horse to 
a middling gallop ; away runs Friday, and takes his 
course as if he run towards us for help ; so 'we all 
resolved to fire at once upon the bear, and deliver 
my man ; though I was angry at him heartily for 
bringing the bear back upon us, when he was go- 
ing about his own business another way ; and 
especially I was angry that he had turned the bear 
upon us, and then run away ; and I called out, 
" You dog, is this your making us laugh ? Come 
away, and take your horse, that we may shoot the 
creature." He heard me, and cried out, " No shoot, 
no shoot ; stand still, and you get much laugh " ; and 
as the nimble creature ran two feet for the bear's 
one, he turned on a sudden, on one side of us, and 
seeing a great oak tree fit for his purpose, he beck- 
oned to us to follow ; and doubling his pace, he 
gets nimbly up the tree, laying his gun down upon 
the ground, at about five or six yards from the 
bottom of the tree. The bear soon came to the tree, 
and we followed at a distance: the first thing he 


did, he stopped at the gun, smelt to it, but let it 
lie, and up he scrambles into the tree, climbing like 
a cat, though so monstrous heavy. I was amazed at 
the folly, as I thought it, of my man, and could not 
for my life see anything to laugh at yet, till, seeing 
the bear get up the tree, we all rode near to him. 
When we came to the tree, there was Friday got 
out to the small end of a large branch, and the bear 
got about halfway to him. As soon as the bear got 
out to that part where the limb of the tree was 
weaker, — " Ha ! " says he to us, " now you see me 
teachee the bear dance" ; so he falls a-jumping and 
shaking the bough, at which the bear began to tot- 
ter, but stood still, and began to look behind him, 
to see how he should get back ; then, indeed, we 
did laugh heartily. But Friday had not done with 
him by a great deal; when, seeing him stand still, 
he calls out to him again, as if he had supposed the 
bear could speak English, " What, you come no far- 
ther ? pray you come farther" ; so he left jumping 
and shaking the tree, and the bear, just as if he 
understood what he said, did come a little farther; 
then he fell a-jumping again and the bear stopped 
again. We thought now was a good time to knock 
him on the head, and called to Friday to stand still, 
and we would shoot the bear ; but he cried out 
earnestly, " O pray ! O pray ! no shoot, me shoot 
by and then." He would have said " by and by." 
However, to shorten the story, Friday danced so 
much, and the bear stood so ticklish, that we had 
laughing enough, but still could not imagine what 


the fellow would do : for first we thought he de- 
pended upon shaking the bear off, and we found the 
bear was too cunning for that too ; for he would not 
go out far enough to be thrown down, but clings 
fast with his great broad claws and feet, so that we 
could not imagine what would be the end of it, and 
what the jest would be at last. But Friday puts us 
out of doubt quickly : for seeing the bear cling fast 
to the bough, and that he would not be persuaded 
to come any farther, — " Well, well," says Friday, 
"you no come farther, me go; you no come to me, 
me come to you " : and upon this he goes out to 
the smaller end of the bough, where it would bend 
with his weight, and gently lets himself down by it, 
sliding down the bough, till he came near enough to 
jump down on his feet, and away he runs to his gun, 
takes it up, and stands still. " Well," said I to him, 
" Friday, what will you do now ? Why don't you 
shoot him?" "No shoot," says Friday, "no yet; 
me no shoot now, me no kill; me stay, give you one 
more laugh." And, indeed, so he did, as you will 
see presently; for when the bear saw his enemy 
gone, he comes back from the bough where he 
stood, but did it mighty cautiously, looking behind 
him every step, and coming backward till he got 
into the body of the tree; then, with the same 
hinder-end foremost, he came down the tree, grasp- 
ing it with his claws, and moving one foot at a time, 
very leisurely. At this juncture, and just before 
he could set his hind-foot on the ground, Friday 
stepped up close to him, clapped the muzzle of his 


piece into his ear, and shot him dead. Then the 
rogue turned about, to see if we did not laugh ; and 
when he saw we were pleased, by our looks, he falls 
a-laughing himself very loud. " So we kill bear in 
my country," says Friday. " So you kill them ? " 
says I ; " why you have no guns." " No," says he, 
" no gun, but shoot great much long arrow." This 
was a good diversion to us ; but we were still in a 
wild place, and our guide very much hurt, and what 
to do we hardly knew : the howling of wolves run 
much in my head ; and, indeed, except the noise I 
once heard on the shore of Africa, of which I have 
said something already, I never heard anything that 
filled me with so much horror. 

These things, and the approach of night, called 
us off, or else, as Friday would have had us, we 
should certainly have taken the skin of this mon- 
strous creature off, which was worth saving ; but 
we had near three leagues to go, and our guide 
hastened us, so we left him, and went forward on 
our journey. 

The ground was still covered with snow, though 
not so deep and dangerous as on the mountains ; 
and the ravenous creatures, as we heard afterwards, 
were come down into the forest and plain country, 
pressed by hunger, to seek for food, and had done 
a great deal of mischief in the villages, where they 
surprised the country people, killed a great many 
of their sheep and horses, and some people too. 
We had one dangerous place to pass, of which our 
guide told us, if there were more wolves in the 


country, we should find them there; and this was a 
small plain, surrounded with woods on every side, 
and a long narrow defile, or lane, which we were to 
pass to get through the wood, and then we should 
come to the village where we were to lodge. It was 
within half an hour of sunset when we entered the 
first wood, and a little after sunset when we came 
into the plain. We met with nothing in the first 
wood, except that, in a little plain within the wood, 
which was not above two furlongs over, we saw five 
great wolves cross the road, full speed one after 
another, as if they had been in chase of some prey, 
and had it in view; they took no notice of us, and 
were gone out of sight in a few moments. Upon 
this our guide, who, by the way, was but a faint- 
hearted fellow, bid us keep in a ready posture, for 
he believed there were more wolves a-coming. We 
kept our arms ready, and our eyes about us ; but we 
saw no more wolves till we came through that wood, 
which was near half a league, and entered the plain. 
As soon as we came into the plain, we had occa- 
sion enough to look about us: the first object we 
met with was a dead horse, that is to say, a poor 
horse which the wolves had killed, and at least a 
dozen of them at work, we could not say eating of 
him, but picking of his bones rather: for they had 
eaten up all the flesh before. We did not think fit 
to disturb them at their feast; neither did they 
take much notice of us. Friday would have let fly 
at them, but I would not suffer him by any means; 
for I found we were like to have more business 


upon our hands than we were aware of. We were 
not gone half over the plain, when we began to hear 
the wolves howl in the wood on our left in a fright- 
ful manner, and presently after we saw about a hun- 
dred coming on directly towards us, all in a body, 
and most of them in a line, as regularly as an army 
drawn up by an experienced officer. I scarce knew 
in what manner to receive them, but found to draw 
ourselves in a close line was the only way; so we 
formed in a moment: but that we might not have 
too much interval, I ordered that only every other 
man should fire, and that the others who had not 
fired should stand ready to give them a second vol- 
ley immediately, if they continued to advance upon 
us ; and then that those who had fired at first should 
not pretend to load their fusees again, but stand 
ready every one with a pistol, for we were all armed 
with a fusee and a pair of pistols each man ; so we 
were, by this method, able to fire six volleys, half 
of us at a time. However, at present we had no 
necessity : for upon firing the first volley, the enemy 
made a full stop, being terrified as well with the 
noise as with the fire; four of them, being shot in 
the head, dropped; several others were wounded, 
and went bleeding off, as we could see by the snow. 
I found they stopped, but did not immediately re- 
treat ; whereupon, remembering that I had been 
told that the fiercest creatures were terrified at the 
voice of a man, I caused all the company to halloo 
as loud as we could; and I found the notion not 
altogether mistaken; for upon our shout they 


began to retire and turn about. I then ordered a 
second volley to be fired in their rear, which put 
them to the gallop, and away they went to the 
woods. This gave us leisure to charge our pieces 
again ; and that we might lose no time, we kept 
going; but we had but little more than loaded our 
fusees, and put ourselves in readiness, when we 
heard a terrible noise in the same wood, on our left, 
only that it was farther onward, the same way we 
were to go. 

The night was coming on, and the light began 
to be dusky, which made it worse on our side; but 
the noise increasing, we could easily perceive that 
it was the howling and yelling of those hellish crea- 
tures ; and on a sudden we perceived two or three 
troops of wolves, one on our left, one behind us, 
and one in our front, so that we seemed to be sur- 
rounded with them : however, as they did not fall 
upon us, we kept our way forward, as fast as we 
could make our horses go, which, the way being 
very rough, was only a good hard trot. In this man- 
ner we came in view of the entrance of the wood, 
through which we were to pass, at the farther side 
of the plain ; but we were greatly surprised, when, 
coming nearer the lane or pass, we saw a confused 
number of wolves standing just at the entrance. 
On a sudden, at another opening of the wood, we 
heard the noise of a gun, and looking that way out 
rushed a horse, with a saddle and a bridle on him 
flying like the wind, and sixteen or seventeen wolves 
after him full speed ; indeed, the horse had the heels 


of them, but as we supposed that he could not hold 
it at that rate, we doubted not but they would get 
up with him at last; no question but they did. 

But here we had a most horrible sight ; for rid- 
ing up to the entrance where the horse came out, 
we found the carcasses of another horse and of two 
men, devoured by the ravenous creatures ; and one 
of the men was no doubt the same whom we heard 
fire the gun, for there lay a gun just by him, fired 
off; but as to the man, his head and the upper 
part of his body were eaten up. This filled us with 
horror, and we knew not what course to take; but 
the creatures resolved us soon, for they gathered 
about us presently, in hopes of prey ; and I verily 
believe there were three hundred of them. It hap- 
pened very much to our advantage that at the en- 
trance into the wood, but a little way from it, there 
lay some large timber trees, which had been cut 
down the summer before, and I suppose lay there 
for carriage. I drew my little troop in among those 
trees, and, placing ourselves in a line behind one 
long tree, I advised them all to alight, and keeping 
that tree before us for a breastwork, to stand in 
a triangle or three fronts enclosing our horses in 
the centre. We did so, and it was well we did ; for 
never was a more furious charge than the creatures 
made upon us in this place. They came on with a 
growling kind of noise, and mounted the piece of 
timber, which, as I said, was our breastwork, as if 
they were only rushing upon their prey; and this 
fury of theirs, it seems, was principally occasioned 


by their seeing our horses behind us. I ordered our 
men to fire as before, every other man : and they 
took their aim so sure that they killed several of 
the wolves at the first volley; but there was a ne- 
cessity to keep a continual firing, for they came on 
like devils, those behind pushing on those before. 
When we had fired a second volley of our fusees, 
we thought they stopped a little, and I hoped 
they would have gone off; but it was but a mo- 
ment, for others came forward again : so we fired 
two volleys of our pistols ; and I believe in these 
four firings we had killed seventeen or eighteen of 
them, and lamed twice as many, yet they came on 
again. I was loth to spend our shot too hastily ; so I 
called my servant, not my man Friday, for he was 
better employed, for, with the greatest dexterity 
imaginable, he had charged my fusee and his own 
while we were engaged: but as I said, I called my 
other man, and giving him a horn of powder, I bade 
him lay a train all along the piece of timber, and let 
it be a large train. He did so; and had but just time 
to get away, when the wolves came up to it, and some 
got upon it, when I, snapping an uncharged pistol 
close to the powder, set it on fire : those that were 
upon the timber were scorched with it; and six 
or seven of them fell or rather jumped in among 
us, with the force and fright of the fire : we dis- 
patched these in an instant, and the rest were so 
frightened with the light, which the night, for it was 
now very near dark, made more terrible, that they 
drew back a little ; upon which I ordered our last 


pistols to be fired off in one volley, and after that 
we gave a shout: upon this the wolves turned tail, 
and we sallied immediately upon near twenty lame 
ones, that we found struggling on the ground, and 
fell a-cutting them with our swords, which an- 
swered our expectation ; for the crying and howl- 
ing they made was better understood by their fel- 
lows; so that they all fled and left us. 

We had, first and last, killed about threescore 
of them ; and had it been daylight, we had killed 
many more. The field of battle being thus cleared, 
we made forward again, for we had still near a 
league to go. We heard the ravenous creatures 
howl and yell in the woods as we went, several times, 
and sometimes we fancied we saw some of them, 
but the snow dazzling our eyes, we were not cer- 
tain : in about an hour more we came to the town 
where we were to lodge, which we found in a ter- 
rible fright, and all in arms ; for, it seems, the night 
before, the wolves and some bears had broke into 
the village, and put them in such terror that they 
were obliged to keep guard night and day, but 
especially in the night, to preserve their cattle, and, 
indeed, their people. 

The next morning our guide was so ill, and his 
limbs swelled so much with the rankling of his two 
wounds, that he could go no farther; so we were 
obliged to take a new guide here, and go to Thou- 
louse, where we found a warm climate, a fruitful 
pleasant country, and no snow, no wolves, nor any- 
thing like them; but when we told our story at 


Thoulouse, they told us it was nothing but what 
was ordinary in the great forest at the foot of the 
mountains, especially when the snow lay on the 
ground; but they inquired much what kind of a 
guide we had got, who would venture to bring us that 
way in such a severe season ; and told us it was sur- 
prising we were not all devoured. When we told 
them how we placed ourselves, and the horses in the 
middle, they blamed us exceedingly, and told us 
it was fifty to one but we had been all destroyed ; 
for it was the sight of the horses which made the 
wolves so furious, seeing their prey : and that, at 
other times, they are really afraid of a gun; but be- 
ing excessive hungry, and raging on that account, 
the eagerness to come at the horses had made them 
senseless of danger; and that if we had not, by the 
continued fire, and at last by the stratagem of the 
train of powder, mastered them, it had been great 
odds but that we had been torn to pieces : whereas, 
had we been content to have sat still on horseback, 
and fired as horsemen, they would not have taken 
the horses so much for their own, when men were 
on their backs, as otherwise; and withal they told 
us, that, at last, if we had stood altogether, and left 
our horses, they would have been so eager to have 
devoured them that we might have come off safe, 
especially having our fire-arms in our hands, and 
being so many in number. For my part, I was 
never so sensible of danger in my life ; for seeing 
above three hundred devils come roaring and open- 
mouthed to devour us, and having nothing to shel- 


ter us, or retreat to, I gave myself over for lost; and, 
as it was, I believe I shall never care to cross those 
mountains again: I think I would much rather go 
a thousand leagues by sea, though I was sure to 
meet with a storm once a week. 

I have nothing uncommon to take notice of in 
my passage through France, nothing but what other 
travellers have given an account of, with much 
more advantage than I can. I travelled from Thou- 
louse to Paris, and without any considerable stay 
came to Calais, and landed safe at Dover, the 14th 
of January, after having a severe cold season to 
travel in. 

I was now come to the centre of my travels, and 
had in a little time all my new discovered estate safe 
about me ; the bills of exchange which I brought 
with me having been very currently paid. 

My principal guide and privy counsellor was 
my good ancient widow, who, in gratitude for the 
money I had sent her, thought no pains too much, 
nor care too great, to employ for me ; and I trusted 
her so entirely with everything that I was per- 
fectly easy as to the security of my effects: and, 
indeed, I was very happy from the beginning, and 
now to the end, in the unspotted integrity of this 
good gentlewoman. 

I now resolved to dispose of my plantation in 
the Brazils, if I could find means. For this pur- 
pose, I wrote to my old friend at Lisbon, who hav- 
ing offered it to the two merchants, the survivors 
of my trustees, who lived in the Brazils, they ac- 


cepted the offer, and remitted thirty-three thou- 
sand pieces-of-eight to a correspondent of theirs 
at Lisbon, to pay for it. Having signed the in- 
strument of sale, and sent it to my old friend, he 
remitted me bills of exchange for thirty-two thou- 
sand eight hundred pieces-of-eight for the estate, 
reserving the payment of a hundred moidores a 
year to himself during his life, and fifty moidores 
afterwards to his son for life, which I had pro- 
mised them. 

Though I had sold my estate in the Brazils, yet 
I could not keep the country out of my head ; nor 
could I resist the strong inclination I had to see my 
island. My true friend, the widow, earnestly dis- 
suaded me from it, and so far prevailed with me 
that, for almost seven years, she prevented my run- 
ning abroad; during which time I took my two 
nephews, the children of one of my brothers, into 
my care: the eldest having something of his own, 
I bred up as a gentleman, and gave him a settle- 
ment of some addition to his estate, after my de- 
cease. The other I put out to a captain of a ship ; 
and after five years, finding him a sensible, bold, 
enterprising young fellow, I put him into a good 
ship, and sent him to sea: and this young fellow 
afterwards drew me in, old as I was, to further 
adventures myself. 

In the mean time, I in part settled myself here; 
for, first of all, I married, and that not either to my 
disadvantage or dissatisfaction, and had three 
children, two sons and one daughter; but my wife 


dying, and my nephew coming home with good 
success from a voyage to Spain, my inclination to go 
abroad and his importunity prevailed, and engaged 
me to go in his ship as a private trader to the East 
Indies: this was in the year 1694. 

But these things, with some very surprising in- 
cidents in some new adventures of my own, for ten 
years more, I may perhaps give a further account 
of hereafter.