The Life and Adventures


Life and Adventures


Robinson Crusoe


Daniel Defoe


With Illustrations by H. M.



Seeley, Service & Co. Limited

38 Great Russell Street


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

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

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

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

He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the
calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of
mankind, but that the middle station had the fewest disasters,
and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or
lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many
distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those
were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on the one
hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or
insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distemper upon
themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living;
that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of
virtue and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the
handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation,
quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all
desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle
station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly
through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed
with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life
of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed
circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest,
nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust
of ambition for great things; but, in easy circumstances, sliding
gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of
living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and
learning by every day’s experience to know it more

After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most
affectionate manner, not to play the young man, nor to
precipitate myself into miseries which nature, and the station of
life I was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was
under no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well for
me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life
which he had just been recommending to me; and that if I was not
very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or
fault that must hinder it; and that he should have nothing to
answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warning me against
measures which he knew would be to my hurt; in a word, that as he
would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at
home as he directed, so he would not have so much hand in my
misfortunes as to give me any encouragement to go away; and to
close all, he told me I had my elder brother for an example, to
whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from
going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young
desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed;
and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he
would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step,
God would not bless me, and I should have leisure hereafter to
reflect upon having neglected his counsel when there might be
none to assist in my recovery.

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

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

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

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

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though, in the meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all
proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulated
with my father and mother about their being so positively
determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted me
to.  But being one day at Hull, where I went casually, and
without any purpose of making an elopement at that time; but, I
say, being there, and one of my companions being about to sail to
London in his father’s ship, and prompting me to go with
them with the common allurement of seafaring men, that it should
cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither father nor
mother any more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but leaving
them to hear of it as they might, without asking God’s
blessing or my father’s, without any consideration of
circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows, on
the 1st of September 1651, I went on board a ship bound for
London.  Never any young adventurer’s misfortunes, I
believe, began sooner, or continued longer than mine.  The
ship was no sooner out of the Humber than the wind began to blow
and the sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had
never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body
and terrified in mind.  I began now seriously to reflect
upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the
judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father’s house,
and abandoning my duty.  All the good counsels of my
parents, my father’s tears and my mother’s
entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which
was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has since,
reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my
duty to God and my father.

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

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

I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick,
but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so
rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so
pleasant in so little a time after.  And now, lest my good
resolutions should continue, my companion, who had enticed me
away, comes to me; “Well, Bob,” says he, clapping me
upon the shoulder, “how do you do after it?  I warrant
you were frighted, wer’n’t you, last night, when it
blew but a capful of wind?”  “A capful
d’you call it?” said I; “’twas a terrible
storm.”  “A storm, you fool you,” replies
he; “do you call that a storm? why, it was nothing at all;
give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of
such a squall of wind as that; but you’re but a fresh-water
sailor, Bob.  Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and
we’ll forget all that; d’ye see what charming weather
’tis now?”  To make short this sad part of my
story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch was made and I
was made half drunk with it: and in that one night’s
wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon
my past conduct, all my resolutions for the future.  In a
word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and
settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of
my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being
swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my
former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises
that I made in my distress.  I found, indeed, some intervals
of reflection; and the serious thoughts did, as it were,
endeavour to return again sometimes; but I shook them off, and
roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and applying
myself to drinking and company, soon mastered the return of those
fits—for so I called them; and I had in five or six days
got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow
that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire.  But
I was to have another trial for it still; and Providence, as in
such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely
without excuse; for if I would not take this for a deliverance,
the next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened
wretch among us would confess both the danger and the mercy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was
the master’s son, was now less forward than I.  The
first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was
not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to
several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared
his tone was altered; and, looking very melancholy, and shaking
his head, he asked me how I did, and telling his father who I
was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to
go further abroad, his father, turning to me with a very grave
and concerned tone “Young man,” says he, “you
ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a
plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring
man.”  “Why, sir,” said I, “will you
go to sea no more?”  “That is another
case,” said he; “it is my calling, and therefore my
duty; but as you made this voyage on trial, you see what a taste
Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you
persist.  Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account,
like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish.  Pray,” continues
he, “what are you; and on what account did you go to
sea?”  Upon that I told him some of my story; at the
end of which he burst out into a strange kind of passion:
“What had I done,” says he, “that such an
unhappy wretch should come into my ship?  I would not set my
foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
pounds.”  This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of
his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss,
and was farther than he could have authority to go. 
However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorting me to
go back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin,
telling me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. 
“And, young man,” said he, “depend upon it, if
you do not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing
but disasters and disappointments, till your father’s words
are fulfilled upon you.”

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

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

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


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

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

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

I embraced the offer; and entering into a strict friendship
with this captain, who was an honest, plain-dealing man, I went
the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me,
which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I
increased very considerably; for I carried about £40 in
such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. 
These £40 I had mustered together by the assistance of some
of my relations whom I corresponded with; and who, I believe, got
my father, or at least my mother, to contribute so much as that
to my first adventure.

This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in all
my adventures, which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my
friend the captain; under whom also I got a competent knowledge
of the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned how to
keep an account of the ship’s course, take an observation,
and, in short, to understand some things that were needful to be
understood by a sailor; for, as he took delight to instruct me, I
took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a
sailor and a merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine ounces
of gold-dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my
return, almost £300; and this filled me with those aspiring
thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.

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

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

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

As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house,
so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went to
sea again, believing that it would some time or other be his fate
to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal man-of-war; and that then I
should be set at liberty.  But this hope of mine was soon
taken away; for when he went to sea, he left me on shore to look
after his little garden, and do the common drudgery of slaves
about his house; and when he came home again from his cruise, he
ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after the ship.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet such was the fright I had taken of the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I
would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind
continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days; and
then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if
any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give
over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and came to an anchor
in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, nor where,
neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what
river.  I neither saw, nor desired to see any people; the
principal thing I wanted was fresh water.  We came into this
creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it
was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite
dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and
howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the
poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go
on shore till day.  “Well, Xury,” said I,
“then I won’t; but it may be that we may see men by
day, who will be as bad to us as those lions.” 
“Then we give them the shoot gun,” says Xury,
laughing, “make them run wey.”  Such English
Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves.  However, I was
glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of
our patron’s case of bottles) to cheer him up.  After
all, Xury’s advice was good, and I took it; we dropped our
little anchor, and lay still all night; I say still, for we slept
none; for in two or three hours we saw vast great creatures (we
knew not what to call them) of many sorts, come down to the
sea-shore and run into the water, wallowing and washing
themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made
such hideous howlings and yellings, that I never indeed heard the

Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but we
were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty
creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could not see him,
but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous huge and
furious beast.  Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so
for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor
and row away; “No,” says I, “Xury; we can slip
our cable, with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they cannot
follow us far.”  I had no sooner said so, but I
perceived the creature (whatever it was) within two oars’
length, which something surprised me; however, I immediately
stepped to the cabin door, and taking up my gun, fired at him;
upon which he immediately turned about and swam towards the shore

But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises, and
hideous cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon the
edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or
report of the gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those
creatures had never heard before: this convinced me that there
was no going on shore for us in the night on that coast, and how
to venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to
have fallen into the hands of any of the savages had been as bad
as to have fallen into the hands of the lions and tigers; at
least we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.

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

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

But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for
water, for a little higher up the creek where we were we found
the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but a little
way up; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare he had
killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps
of any human creature in that part of the country.

As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very
well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verde
Islands also, lay not far off from the coast.  But as I had
no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we
were in, and not exactly knowing, or at least remembering, what
latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or when
to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now easily
have found some of these islands.  But my hope was, that if
I stood along this coast till I came to that part where the
English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon their
usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.

By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must
be that country which, lying between the Emperor of
Morocco’s dominions and the negroes, lies waste and
uninhabited, except by wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned
it and gone farther south for fear of the Moors, and the Moors
not thinking it worth inhabiting by reason of its barrenness; and
indeed, both forsaking it because of the prodigious number of
tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which
harbour there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only,
where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a time;
and indeed for near a hundred miles together upon this coast we
saw nothing but a waste, uninhabited country by day, and heard
nothing but howlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither was this all; for my goods being all English
manufacture, such as cloths, stuffs, baize, and things
particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found means
to sell them to a very great advantage; so that I might say I had
more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now
infinitely beyond my poor neighbour—I mean in the
advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought
me a negro slave, and an European servant also—I mean
another besides that which the captain brought me from

But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of
our greatest adversity, so it was with me.  I went on the
next year with great success in my plantation: I raised fifty
great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed
of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls,
being each of above a hundredweight, were well cured, and laid by
against the return of the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing
in business and wealth, my head began to be full of projects and
undertakings beyond my reach; such as are, indeed, often the ruin
of the best heads in business.  Had I continued in the
station I was now in, I had room for all the happy things to have
yet befallen me for which my father so earnestly recommended a
quiet, retired life, and of which he had so sensibly described
the middle station of life to be full of; but other things
attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own
miseries; and particularly, to increase my fault, and double the
reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have
leisure to make, all these miscarriages were procured by my
apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of
wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction
to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain
pursuit of those prospects, and those measures of life, which
nature and Providence concurred to present me with, and to make
my duty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my
fancy rather than my reason; and, accordingly, the ship being
fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done, as by
agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an
evil hour, the 1st September 1659, being the same day eight years
that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act
the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a
half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came
rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup de
.  It took us with such a fury, that it
overset the boat at once; and separating us as well from the boat
as from one another, gave us no time to say, “O God!”
for we were all swallowed up in a moment.

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt
when I sank into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I
could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath,
till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way
on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and
left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the water I
took in.  I had so much presence of mind, as well as breath
left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I
got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land as
fast as I could before another wave should return and take me up
again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw
the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as
an enemy, which I had no means or strength to contend with: my
business was to hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water
if I could; and so, by swimming, to preserve my breathing, and
pilot myself towards the shore, if possible, my greatest concern
now being that the sea, as it would carry me a great way towards
the shore when it came on, might not carry me back again with it
when it gave back towards the sea.

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

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

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

“For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at

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

I cast my eye to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and
froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so
far of; and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on

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

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


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

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

A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide
ebbed so far out that I could come within a quarter of a mile of
the ship.  And here I found a fresh renewing of my grief;
for I saw evidently that if we had kept on board we had been all
safe—that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I
had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all
comfort and company as I now was.  This forced tears to my
eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved,
if possible, to get to the ship; so I pulled off my
clothes—for the weather was hot to extremity—and took
the water.  But when I came to the ship my difficulty was
still greater to know how to get on board; for, as she lay
aground, and high out of the water, there was nothing within my
reach to lay hold of.  I swam round her twice, and the
second time I spied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did
not see at first, hung down by the fore-chains so low, as that
with great difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help of that
rope I got up into the forecastle of the ship.  Here I found
that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her
hold, but that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or,
rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her
head low, almost to the water.  By this means all her
quarter was free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you
may be sure my first work was to search, and to see what was
spoiled and what was free.  And, first, I found that all the
ship’s provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and
being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread room and
filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about other
things, for I had no time to lose.  I also found some rum in
the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had,
indeed, need enough of to spirit me for what was before me. 
Now I wanted nothing but a boat to furnish myself with many
things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.

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

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

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

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

As I imagined, so it was.  There appeared before me a
little opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the
tide set into it; so I guided my raft as well as I could, to keep
in the middle of the stream.

But here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck,
which, if I had, I think verily would have broken my heart; for,
knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran aground at one end of
it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it
wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the
end that was afloat, and to fallen into the water.  I did my
utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in
their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my
strength; neither durst I stir from the posture I was in; but
holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in that manner
near half-an-hour, in which time the rising of the water brought
me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water
still-rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off with
the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, I at
length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on
both sides, and a strong current of tide running up.  I
looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I
was not willing to be driven too high up the river: hoping in
time to see some ships at sea, and therefore resolved to place
myself as near the coast as I could.

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

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

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

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

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

I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship which would be useful to me, and
particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things
as might come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on
board the vessel, if possible.  And as I knew that the first
storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I
resolved to set all other things apart till I had got everything
out of the ship that I could get.  Then I called a
council—that is to say in my thoughts—whether I
should take back the raft; but this appeared impracticable: so I
resolved to go as before, when the tide was down; and I did so,
only that I stripped before I went from my hut, having nothing on
but my chequered shirt, a pair of linen drawers, and a pair of
pumps on my feet.

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

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

I was under some apprehension, during my absence from the
land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore: but
when I came back I found no sign of any visitor; only there sat a
creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I
came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood
still.  She sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked
full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with
me.  I presented my gun at her, but, as she did not
understand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she
offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit,
though by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was
not great: however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to
it, smelled at it, and ate it, and looked (as if pleased) for
more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement,
because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near the sea, and I
believed it would not be wholesome, and more particularly because
there was no fresh water near it; so I resolved to find a more
healthy and more convenient spot of ground.

I consulted several things in my situation, which I found
would be proper for me: 1st, health and fresh water, I just now
mentioned; 2ndly, shelter from the heat of the sun; 3rdly,
security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; 4thly, a
view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not
lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing
to banish all my expectation yet.

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

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

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

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

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

The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but
by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was
in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in and
fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently
slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done;
though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this
caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once
at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself as to
see if I could kill anything fit for food; and, as near as I
could, to acquaint myself with what the island produced. 
The first time I went out, I presently discovered that there were
goats in the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but
then it was attended with this misfortune to me—viz. that
they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was
the most difficult thing in the world to come at them; but I was
not discouraged at this, not doubting but I might now and then
shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had found their
haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed
if they saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks,
they would run away, as in a terrible fright; but if they were
feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no
notice of me; from whence I concluded that, by the position of
their optics, their sight was so directed downward that they did
not readily see objects that were above them; so afterwards I
took this method—I always climbed the rocks first, to get
above them, and then had frequently a fair mark.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it
was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little
pale, or surrounded my habitation.  The piles, or stakes,
which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in
cutting and preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in bringing
home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing
home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the
ground; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first,
but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows; which,
however, though I found it, made driving those posts or piles
very laborious and tedious work. 

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

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



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

But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship’s
company were.

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

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

I am divided from mankind—a solitaire; one banished
from human society.

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

I have no clothes to cover me.

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

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

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

I have no soul to speak to or relieve me.

But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the
shore, that I have got out as many necessary things as will
either supply my wants or enable me to supply myself, even as
long as I live.

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

Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition,
and given over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a
ship—I say, giving over these things, I began to apply
myself to arrange my way of living, and to make things as easy to
me as I could.

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

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this
pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me.  But I
must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of
goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my
place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge
my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a loose
sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it:
and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I
worked sideways, to the right hand, into the rock; and then,
turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made me a door
to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification. 
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it was a back way to
my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to store my

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov. 7.—Now it began to be settled fair
weather.  The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for
the 11th was Sunday) I took wholly up to make me a chair, and
with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to
please me; and even in the making I pulled it in pieces several

Note.—I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for,
omitting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was

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

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

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

Note.—Three things I wanted exceedingly for this
work—viz. a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow or basket;
so I desisted from my work, and began to consider how to supply
that want, and make me some tools.  As for the pickaxe, I
made use of the iron crows, which were proper enough, though
heavy; but the next thing was a shovel or spade; this was so
absolutely necessary, that, indeed, I could do nothing
effectually without it; but what kind of one to make I knew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 24.—Much rain all night and all day. 
No stirring out.

Dec. 25.—Rain all day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

N.B.—This wall being described before, I
purposely omit what was said in the journal; it is sufficient to
observe, that I was no less time than from the 2nd of January to
the 14th of April working, finishing, and perfecting this wall,
though it was no more than about twenty-four yards in length,
being a half-circle from one place in the rock to another place,
about eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the
centre behind it.

All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many
days, nay, sometimes weeks together; but I thought I should never
be perfectly secure till this wall was finished; and it is scarce
credible what inexpressible labour everything was done with,
especially the bringing piles out of the woods and driving them
into the ground; for I made them much bigger than I needed to
have done.

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

During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game every
day when the rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in
these walks of something or other to my advantage; particularly,
I found a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as wood-pigeons
in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the
rocks; and taking some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up
tame, and did so; but when they grew older they flew away, which
perhaps was at first for want of feeding them, for I had nothing
to give them; however, I frequently found their nests, and got
their young ones, which were very good meat.  And now, in
the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many
things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to
make; as, indeed, with some of them it was: for instance, I could
never make a cask to be hooped.  I had a small runlet or
two, as I observed before; but I could never arrive at the
capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks about
it; I could neither put in the heads, or join the staves so true
to one another as to make them hold water; so I gave that also
over.  In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles;
so that as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven
o’clock, I was obliged to go to bed.  I remembered the
lump of beeswax with which I made candles in my African
adventure; but I had none of that now; the only remedy I had was,
that when I had killed a goat I saved the tallow, and with a
little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I
added a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me
light, though not a clear, steady light, like a candle.  In
the middle of all my labours it happened that, rummaging my
things, I found a little bag which, as I hinted before, had been
filled with corn for the feeding of poultry—not for this
voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came from
Lisbon.  The little remainder of corn that had been in the
bag was all devoured by the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag
but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some
other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for
fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks of
corn out of it on one side of my fortification, under the

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

It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of
my thoughts on this occasion.  I had hitherto acted upon no
religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of
religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of anything
that had befallen me otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly
say, what pleases God, without so much as inquiring into the end
of Providence in these things, or His order in governing events
for the world.  But after I saw barley grow there, in a
climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially that
I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely, and I
began to suggest that God had miraculously caused His grain to
grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed
purely for my sustenance on that wild, miserable place.

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

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

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

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

But to return to my Journal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the
place where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice
of the hill; and which, if it should be shaken again, would
certainly fall upon my tent; and I spent the two next days, being
the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove
my habitation.  The fear of being swallowed up alive made me
that I never slept in quiet; and yet the apprehension of lying
abroad without any fence was almost equal to it; but still, when
I looked about, and saw how everything was put in order, how
pleasantly concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me
very loath to remove.  In the meantime, it occurred to me
that it would require a vast deal of time for me to do this, and
that I must be contented to venture where I was, till I had
formed a camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to
it.  So with this resolution I composed myself for a time,
and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a
wall with piles and cables, &c., in a circle, as before, and
set my tent up in it when it was finished; but that I would
venture to stay where I was till it was finished, and fit to
remove.  This was the 21st.

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

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

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

May 1.—In the morning, looking towards the sea
side, the tide being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger
than ordinary, and it looked like a cask; when I came to it, I
found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the
ship, which were driven on shore by the late hurricane; and
looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie
higher out of the water than it used to do.  I examined the
barrel which was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel
of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and the powder was caked as
hard as a stone; however, I rolled it farther on shore for the
present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could to the
wreck of the ship, to look for more.


When I came down to the ship I found it strangely
removed.  The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand,
was heaved up at least six feet, and the stern, which was broke
in pieces and parted from the rest by the force of the sea, soon
after I had left rummaging her, was tossed as it were up, and
cast on one side; and the sand was thrown so high on that side
next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of water
before, so that I could not come within a quarter of a mile of
the wreck without swimming I could now walk quite up to her when
the tide was out.  I was surprised with this at first, but
soon concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and as by this
violence the ship was more broke open than formerly, so many
things came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened, and which
the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.

This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing
my habitation, and I busied myself mightily, that day especially,
in searching whether I could make any way into the ship; but I
found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for all the inside
of the ship was choked up with sand.  However, as I had
learned not to despair of anything, I resolved to pull everything
to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that everything I
could get from her would be of some use or other to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 24.—Every day, to this day, I worked on the
wreck; and with hard labour I loosened some things so much with
the crow, that the first flowing tide several casks floated out,
and two of the seamen’s chests; but the wind blowing from
the shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber,
and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it; but the salt
water and the sand had spoiled it.  I continued this work
every day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get
food, which I always appointed, during this part of my
employment, to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready
when it was ebbed out; and by this time I had got timber and
plank and ironwork enough to have built a good boat, if I had
known how; and also I got, at several times and in several
pieces, near one hundredweight of the sheet lead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 24.—Much better.

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

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

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

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

I had, alas! no divine knowledge.  What I had received by
the good instruction of my father was then worn out by an
uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring wickedness,
and a constant conversation with none but such as were, like
myself, wicked and profane to the last degree.  I do not
remember that I had, in all that time, one thought that so much
as tended either to looking upwards towards God, or inwards
towards a reflection upon my own ways; but a certain stupidity of
soul, without desire of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely
overwhelmed me; and I was all that the most hardened, unthinking,
wicked creature among our common sailors can be supposed to be;
not having the least sense, either of the fear of God in danger,
or of thankfulness to God in deliverance.

In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be
the more easily believed when I shall add, that through all the
variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never had
so much as one thought of it being the hand of God, or that it
was a just punishment for my sin—my rebellious behaviour
against my father—or my present sins, which were
great—or so much as a punishment for the general course of
my wicked life.  When I was on the desperate expedition on
the desert shores of Africa, I never had so much as one thought
of what would become of me, or one wish to God to direct me
whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which
apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as
cruel savages.  But I was merely thoughtless of a God or a
Providence, acted like a mere brute, from the principles of
nature, and by the dictates of common sense only, and, indeed,
hardly that.  When I was delivered and taken up at sea by
the Portugal captain, well used, and dealt justly and honourably
with, as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness in
my thoughts.  When, again, I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in
danger of drowning on this island, I was as far from remorse, or
looking on it as a judgment.  I only said to myself often,
that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always

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

The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had at
first some little influence upon me, and began to affect me with
seriousness, as long as I thought it had something miraculous in
it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was removed, all
the impression that was raised from it wore off also, as I have
noted already.  Even the earthquake, though nothing could be
more terrible in its nature, or more immediately directing to the
invisible Power which alone directs such things, yet no sooner
was the first fright over, but the impression it had made went
off also.  I had no more sense of God or His
judgments—much less of the present affliction of my
circumstances being from His hand—than if I had been in the
most prosperous condition of life.  But now, when I began to
be sick, and a leisurely view of the miseries of death came to
place itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under the
burden of a strong distemper, and nature was exhausted with the
violence of the fever; conscience, that had slept so long, began
to awake, and I began to reproach myself with my past life, in
which I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness, provoked the
justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and to deal with
me in so vindictive a manner.  These reflections oppressed
me for the second or third day of my distemper; and in the
violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of
my conscience, extorted some words from me like praying to God,
though I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with
desires or with hopes: it was rather the voice of mere fright and
distress.  My thoughts were confused, the convictions great
upon my mind, and the horror of dying in such a miserable
condition raised vapours into my head with the mere
apprehensions; and in these hurries of my soul I knew not what my
tongue might express.  But it was rather exclamation, such
as, “Lord, what a miserable creature am I!  If I
should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of help; and what
will become of me!”  Then the tears burst out of my
eyes, and I could say no more for a good while.  In this
interval the good advice of my father came to my mind, and
presently his prediction, which I mentioned at the beginning of
this story—viz. that if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect
upon having neglected his counsel when there might be none to
assist in my recovery.  “Now,” said I, aloud,
“my dear father’s words are come to pass; God’s
justice has overtaken me, and I have none to help or hear
me.  I rejected the voice of Providence, which had
mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might
have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself nor
learn to know the blessing of it from my parents.  I left
them to mourn over my folly, and now I am left to mourn under the
consequences of it.  I abused their help and assistance, who
would have lifted me in the world, and would have made everything
easy to me; and now I have difficulties to struggle with, too
great for even nature itself to support, and no assistance, no
help, no comfort, no advice.”  Then I cried out,
“Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress.” 
This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made
for many years.

But to return to my Journal.

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

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

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

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

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

July 3.—I missed the fit for good and all, though
I did not recover my full strength for some weeks after. 
While I was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceedingly
upon this Scripture, “I will deliver thee”; and the
impossibility of my deliverance lay much upon my mind, in bar of
my ever expecting it; but as I was discouraging myself with such
thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my
deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the
deliverance I had received, and I was as it were made to ask
myself such questions as these—viz. Have I not been
delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness—from the most
distressed condition that could be, and that was so frightful to
me? and what notice had I taken of it?  Had I done my
part?  God had delivered me, but I had not glorified
Him—that is to say, I had not owned and been thankful for
that as a deliverance; and how could I expect greater
deliverance?  This touched my heart very much; and
immediately I knelt down and gave God thanks aloud for my
recovery from my sickness.

July 4.—In the morning I took the Bible; and
beginning at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and
imposed upon myself to read a while every morning and every
night; not tying myself to the number of chapters, but long as my
thoughts should engage me.  It was not long after I set
seriously to this work till I found my heart more deeply and
sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.  The
impression of my dream revived; and the words, “All these
things have not brought thee to repentance,” ran seriously
through my thoughts.  I was earnestly begging of God to give
me repentance, when it happened providentially, the very day,
that, reading the Scripture, I came to these words: “He is
exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and to give
remission.”  I threw down the book; and with my heart
as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of
joy, I cried out aloud, “Jesus, thou son of David! 
Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Saviour! give me
repentance!”  This was the first time I could say, in
the true sense of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for
now I prayed with a sense of my condition, and a true Scripture
view of hope, founded on the encouragement of the Word of God;
and from this time, I may say, I began to hope that God would
hear me.

Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, “Call
on Me, and I will deliver thee,” in a different sense from
what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything
being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the
captivity I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the
place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in
the worse sense in the world.  But now I learned to take it
in another sense: now I looked back upon my past life with such
horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought
nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore
down all my comfort.  As for my solitary life, it was
nothing.  I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it
or think of it; it was all of no consideration in comparison to
this.  And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall
read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they
will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than
deliverance from affliction.

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

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

From the 4th of July to the 14th I was chiefly employed in
walking about with my gun in my hand, a little and a little at a
time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit of
sickness; for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to
what weakness I was reduced.  The application which I made
use of was perfectly new, and perhaps which had never cured an
ague before; neither can I recommend it to any to practise, by
this experiment: and though it did carry off the fit, yet it
rather contributed to weakening me; for I had frequent
convulsions in my nerves and limbs for some time.  I learned
from it also this, in particular, that being abroad in the rainy
season was the most pernicious thing to my health that could be,
especially in those rains which came attended with storms and
hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which came in the dry season
was almost always accompanied with such storms, so I found that
rain was much more dangerous than the rain which fell in
September and October.


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

It was on the 15th of July that I began to take a more
particular survey of the island itself.  I went up the creek
first, where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore.  I
found after I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow
any higher, and that it was no more than a little brook of
running water, very fresh and good; but this being the dry
season, there was hardly any water in some parts of it—at
least not enough to run in any stream, so as it could be
perceived.  On the banks of this brook I found many pleasant
savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass; and
on the rising parts of them, next to the higher grounds, where
the water, as might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a
great deal of tobacco, green, and growing to a great and very
strong stalk.  There were divers other plants, which I had
no notion of or understanding about, that might, perhaps, have
virtues of their own, which I could not find out.  I
searched for the cassava root, which the Indians, in all that
climate, make their bread of, but I could find none.  I saw
large plants of aloes, but did not understand them.  I saw
several sugar-canes, but wild, and, for want of cultivation,
imperfect.  I contented myself with these discoveries for
this time, and came back, musing with myself what course I might
take to know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or
plants which I should discover, but could bring it to no
conclusion; for, in short, I had made so little observation while
I was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants in the
field; at least, very little that might serve to any purpose now
in my distress.

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

I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my
habitation; which, by the way, was the first night, as I might
say, I had lain from home.  In the night, I took my first
contrivance, and got up in a tree, where I slept well; and the
next morning proceeded upon my discovery; travelling nearly four
miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley, keeping
still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north
side of me.  At the end of this march I came to an opening
where the country seemed to descend to the west; and a little
spring of fresh water, which issued out of the side of the hill
by me, ran the other way, that is, due east; and the country
appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, everything being in
a constant verdure or flourish of spring that it looked like a
planted garden.  I descended a little on the side of that
delicious vale, surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure,
though mixed with my other afflicting thoughts, to think that
this was all my own; that I was king and lord of all this country
indefensibly, and had a right of possession; and if I could
convey it, I might have it in inheritance as completely as any
lord of a manor in England.  I saw here abundance of cocoa
trees, orange, and lemon, and citron trees; but all wild, and
very few bearing any fruit, at least not then.  However, the
green limes that I gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but
very wholesome; and I mixed their juice afterwards with water,
which made it very wholesome, and very cool and refreshing. 
I found now I had business enough to gather and carry home; and I
resolved to lay up a store as well of grapes as limes and lemons,
to furnish myself for the wet season, which I knew was
approaching.  In order to do this, I gathered a great heap
of grapes in one place, a lesser heap in another place, and a
great parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a
few of each with me, I travelled homewards; resolving to come
again, and bring a bag or sack, or what I could make, to carry
the rest home.  Accordingly, having spent three days in this
journey, I came home (so I must now call my tent and my cave);
but before I got thither the grapes were spoiled; the richness of
the fruit and the weight of the juice having broken them and
bruised them, they were good for little or nothing; as to the
limes, they were good, but I could bring but a few.

The next day, being the nineteenth, I went back, having made
me two small bags to bring home my harvest; but I was surprised,
when coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine
when I gathered them, to find them all spread about, trod to
pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance
eaten and devoured.  By this I concluded there were some
wild creatures thereabouts, which had done this; but what they
were I knew not.  However, as I found there was no laying
them up on heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack, but that
one way they would be destroyed, and the other way they would be
crushed with their own weight, I took another course; for I
gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung upon the
out-branches of the trees, that they might cure and dry in the
sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as I
could well stand under.

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

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

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

About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my
bower, and began to enjoy myself.  The 3rd of August, I
found the grapes I had hung up perfectly dried, and, indeed, were
excellent good raisins of the sun; so I began to take them down
from the trees, and it was very happy that I did so, for the
rains which followed would have spoiled them, and I had lost the
best part of my winter food; for I had above two hundred large
bunches of them.  No sooner had I taken them all down, and
carried the most of them home to my cave, than it began to rain;
and from hence, which was the 14th of August, it rained, more or
less, every day till the middle of October; and sometimes so
violently, that I could not stir out of my cave for several

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

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

During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked
daily two or three hours at enlarging my cave, and by degrees
worked it on towards one side, till I came to the outside of the
hill, and made a door or way out, which came beyond my fence or
wall; and so I came in and out this way.  But I was not
perfectly easy at lying so open; for, as I had managed myself
before, I was in a perfect enclosure; whereas now I thought I lay
exposed, and open for anything to come in upon me; and yet I
could not perceive that there was any living thing to fear, the
biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a

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

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

I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and
rice, which I had so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought,
of themselves, and I believe there were about thirty stalks of
rice, and about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper
time to sow it, after the rains, the sun being in its southern
position, going from me.  Accordingly, I dug up a piece of
ground as well as I could with my wooden spade, and dividing it
into two parts, I sowed my grain; but as I was sowing, it
casually occurred to my thoughts that I would not sow it all at
first, because I did not know when was the proper time for it, so
I sowed about two-thirds of the seed, leaving about a handful of
each.  It was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did
so, for not one grain of what I sowed this time came to anything:
for the dry months following, the earth having had no rain after
the seed was sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and
never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and then
it grew as if it had been but newly sown.  Finding my first
seed did not grow, which I easily imagined was by the drought, I
sought for a moister piece of ground to make another trial in,
and I dug up a piece of ground near my new bower, and sowed the
rest of my seed in February, a little before the vernal equinox;
and this having the rainy months of March and April to water it,
sprung up very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop; but
having part of the seed left only, and not daring to sow all that
I had, I had but a small quantity at last, my whole crop not
amounting to above half a peck of each kind.  But by this
experiment I was made master of my business, and knew exactly
when the proper season was to sow, and that I might expect two
seed-times and two harvests every year.

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

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

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

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

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

The rainy seasons sometimes held longer or shorter as the
winds happened to blow, but this was the general observation I
made.  After I had found by experience the ill consequences
of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with
provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out, and
I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet
months.  This time I found much employment, and very
suitable also to the time, for I found great occasion for many
things which I had no way to furnish myself with but by hard
labour and constant application; particularly I tried many ways
to make myself a basket, but all the twigs I could get for the
purpose proved so brittle that they would do nothing.  It
proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a boy, I
used to take great delight in standing at a basket-maker’s,
in the town where my father lived, to see them make their
wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to
help, and a great observer of the manner in which they worked
those things, and sometimes lending a hand, I had by these means
full knowledge of the methods of it, and I wanted nothing but the
materials, when it came into my mind that the twigs of that tree
from whence I cut my stakes that grew might possibly be as tough
as the sallows, willows, and osiers in England, and I resolved to
try.  Accordingly, the next day I went to my country house,
as I called it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found
them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came
the next time prepared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity,
which I soon found, for there was great plenty of them. 
These I set up to dry within my circle or hedge, and when they
were fit for use I carried them to my cave; and here, during the
next season, I employed myself in making, as well as I could, a
great many baskets, both to carry earth or to carry or lay up
anything, as I had occasion; and though I did not finish them
very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently serviceable for my
purpose; thus, afterwards, I took care never to be without them;
and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more, especially strong,
deep baskets to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should
come to have any quantity of it.

Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time
about it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to supply
two wants.  I had no vessels to hold anything that was
liquid, except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and
some glass bottles—some of the common size, and others
which were case bottles, square, for the holding of water,
spirits, &c.  I had not so much as a pot to boil
anything, except a great kettle, which I saved out of the ship,
and which was too big for such as I desired it—viz. to make
broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself.  The second thing I
fain would have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible to
me to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that, too, at
last.  I employed myself in planting my second rows of
stakes or piles, and in this wicker-working all the summer or dry
season, when another business took me up more time than it could
be imagined I could spare.


I mentioned before that I had a great mind to see the whole
island, and that I had travelled up the brook, and so on to where
I built my bower, and where I had an opening quite to the sea, on
the other side of the island.  I now resolved to travel
quite across to the sea-shore on that side; so, taking my gun, a
hatchet, and my dog, and a larger quantity of powder and shot
than usual, with two biscuit-cakes and a great bunch of raisins
in my pouch for my store, I began my journey.  When I had
passed the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within
view of the sea to the west, and it being a very clear day, I
fairly descried land—whether an island or a continent I
could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from the W. to
the W.S.W. at a very great distance; by my guess it could not be
less than fifteen or twenty leagues off.

I could not tell what part of the world this might be,
otherwise than that I knew it must be part of America, and, as I
concluded by all my observations, must be near the Spanish
dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I
had landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now; and
therefore I acquiesced in the dispositions of Providence, which I
began now to own and to believe ordered everything for the best;
I say I quieted my mind with this, and left off afflicting myself
with fruitless wishes of being there.

Besides, after some thought upon this affair, I considered
that if this land was the Spanish coast, I should certainly, one
time or other, see some vessel pass or repass one way or other;
but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish
country and Brazils, where are found the worst of savages; for
they are cannibals or men-eaters, and fail not to murder and
devour all the human bodies that fall into their hands.

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

I was exceedingly diverted with this journey.  I found in
the low grounds hares (as I thought them to be) and foxes; but
they differed greatly from all the other kinds I had met with,
nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed
several.  But I had no need to be venturous, for I had no
want of food, and of that which was very good too, especially
these three sorts, viz. goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise,
which added to my grapes, Leadenhall market could not have
furnished a table better than I, in proportion to the company;
and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause
for thankfulness that I was not driven to any extremities for
food, but had rather plenty, even to dainties.

I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in
a day, or thereabouts; but I took so many turns and re-turns to
see what discoveries I could make, that I came weary enough to
the place where I resolved to sit down all night; and then I
either reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row
of stakes set upright in the ground, either from one tree to
another, or so as no wild creature could come at me without
waking me.

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

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

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

I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I
could easily keep all the island so much in my view that I could
not miss finding my first dwelling by viewing the country; but I
found myself mistaken, for being come about two or three miles, I
found myself descended into a very large valley, but so
surrounded with hills, and those hills covered with wood, that I
could not see which was my way by any direction but that of the
sun, nor even then, unless I knew very well the position of the
sun at that time of the day.  It happened, to my further
misfortune, that the weather proved hazy for three or four days
while I was in the valley, and not being able to see the sun, I
wandered about very uncomfortably, and at last was obliged to
find the seaside, look for my post, and come back the same way I
went: and then, by easy journeys, I turned homeward, the weather
being exceeding hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other
things very heavy.

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

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

I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after
my long journey; during which most of the time was taken up in
the weighty affair of making a cage for my Poll, who began now to
be a mere domestic, and to be well acquainted with me.  Then
I began to think of the poor kid which I had penned in within my
little circle, and resolved to go and fetch it home, or give it
some food; accordingly I went, and found it where I left it, for
indeed it could not get out, but was almost starved for want of
food.  I went and cut boughs of trees, and branches of such
shrubs as I could find, and threw it over, and having fed it, I
tied it as I did before, to lead it away; but it was so tame with
being hungry, that I had no need to have tied it, for it followed
me like a dog: and as I continually fed it, the creature became
so loving, so gentle, and so fond, that it became from that time
one of my domestics also, and would never leave me

The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, and I
kept the 30th of September in the same solemn manner as before,
being the anniversary of my landing on the island, having now
been there two years, and no more prospect of being delivered
than the first day I came there, I spent the whole day in humble
and thankful acknowledgments of the many wonderful mercies which
my solitary condition was attended with, and without which it
might have been infinitely more miserable.  I gave humble
and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me
that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary
condition than I should have been in the liberty of society, and
in all the pleasures of the world; that He could fully make up to
me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human
society, by His presence and the communications of His grace to
my soul; supporting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend
upon His providence here, and hope for His eternal presence

It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy
this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances,
than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led all the past part
of my days; and now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my
very desires altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my
delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first
coming, or, indeed, for the two years past.

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

But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts: I daily
read the word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my
present state.  One morning, being very sad, I opened the
Bible upon these words, “I will never, never leave thee,
nor forsake thee.”  Immediately it occurred that these
words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a
manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition,
as one forsaken of God and man?  “Well, then,”
said I, “if God does not forsake me, of what ill
consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world
should all forsake me, seeing on the other hand, if I had all the
world, and should lose the favour and blessing of God, there
would be no comparison in the loss?”

From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was
possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary
condition than it was probable I should ever have been in any
other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was
going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place. 
I know not what it was, but something shocked my mind at that
thought, and I durst not speak the words.  “How canst
thou become such a hypocrite,” said I, even audibly,
“to pretend to be thankful for a condition which, however
thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, thou wouldst rather
pray heartily to be delivered from?”  So I stopped
there; but though I could not say I thanked God for being there,
yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my eyes, by
whatever afflicting providences, to see the former condition of
my life, and to mourn for my wickedness, and repent.  I
never opened the Bible, or shut it, but my very soul within me
blessed God for directing my friend in England, without any order
of mine, to pack it up among my goods, and for assisting me
afterwards to save it out of the wreck of the ship.

Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year;
and though I have not given the reader the trouble of so
particular an account of my works this year as the first, yet in
general it may be observed that I was very seldom idle, but
having regularly divided my time according to the several daily
employments that were before me, such as: first, my duty to God,
and the reading the Scriptures, which I constantly set apart some
time for thrice every day; secondly, the going abroad with my gun
for food, which generally took me up three hours in every
morning, when it did not rain; thirdly, the ordering, cutting,
preserving, and cooking what I had killed or caught for my
supply; these took up great part of the day.  Also, it is to
be considered, that in the middle of the day, when the sun was in
the zenith, the violence of the heat was too great to stir out;
so that about four hours in the evening was all the time I could
be supposed to work in, with this exception, that sometimes I
changed my hours of hunting and working, and went to work in the
morning, and abroad with my gun in the afternoon.

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

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

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

This I saw no remedy for but by making an enclosure about it
with a hedge; which I did with a great deal of toil, and the
more, because it required speed.  However, as my arable land
was but small, suited to my crop, I got it totally well fenced in
about three weeks’ time; and shooting some of the creatures
in the daytime, I set my dog to guard it in the night, tying him
up to a stake at the gate, where he would stand and bark all
night long; so in a little time the enemies forsook the place,
and the corn grew very strong and well, and began to ripen

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

This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that in a few days
they would devour all my hopes; that I should be starved, and
never be able to raise a crop at all; and what to do I could not
tell; however, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible,
though I should watch it night and day.  In the first place,
I went among it to see what damage was already done, and found
they had spoiled a good deal of it; but that as it was yet too
green for them, the loss was not so great but that the remainder
was likely to be a good crop if it could be saved.

I stayed by it to load my gun, and then coming away, I could
easily see the thieves sitting upon all the trees about me, as if
they only waited till I was gone away, and the event proved it to
be so; for as I walked off, as if I was gone, I was no sooner out
of their sight than they dropped down one by one into the corn
again.  I was so provoked, that I could not have patience to
stay till more came on, knowing that every grain that they ate
now was, as it might be said, a peck-loaf to me in the
consequence; but coming up to the hedge, I fired again, and
killed three of them.  This was what I wished for; so I took
them up, and served them as we serve notorious thieves in
England—hanged them in chains, for a terror to
others.  It is impossible to imagine that this should have
such an effect as it had, for the fowls would not only not come
at the corn, but, in short, they forsook all that part of the
island, and I could never see a bird near the place as long as my
scarecrows hung there.  This I was very glad of, you may be
sure, and about the latter end of December, which was our second
harvest of the year, I reaped my corn.

I was sadly put to it for a scythe or sickle to cut it down,
and all I could do was to make one, as well as I could, out of
one of the broadswords, or cutlasses, which I saved among the
arms out of the ship.  However, as my first crop was but
small, I had no great difficulty to cut it down; in short, I
reaped it in my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and
carried it away in a great basket which I had made, and so rubbed
it out with my hands; and at the end of all my harvesting, I
found that out of my half-peck of seed I had near two bushels of
rice, and about two bushels and a half of barley; that is to say,
by my guess, for I had no measure at that time.

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

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

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

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


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

It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, to
tell how many awkward ways I took to raise this paste; what odd,
misshapen, ugly things I made; how many of them fell in and how
many fell out, the clay not being stiff enough to bear its own
weight; how many cracked by the over-violent heat of the sun,
being set out too hastily; and how many fell in pieces with only
removing, as well before as after they were dried; and, in a
word, how, after having laboured hard to find the clay—to
dig it, to temper it, to bring it home, and work it—I could
not make above two large earthen ugly things (I cannot call them
jars) in about two months’ labour.

However, as the sun baked these two very dry and hard, I
lifted them very gently up, and set them down again in two great
wicker baskets, which I had made on purpose for them, that they
might not break; and as between the pot and the basket there was
a little room to spare, I stuffed it full of the rice and barley
straw; and these two pots being to stand always dry I thought
would hold my dry corn, and perhaps the meal, when the corn was

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

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

This set me to study how to order my fire, so as to make it
burn some pots.  I had no notion of a kiln, such as the
potters burn in, or of glazing them with lead, though I had some
lead to do it with; but I placed three large pipkins and two or
three pots in a pile, one upon another, and placed my firewood
all round it, with a great heap of embers under them.  I
plied the fire with fresh fuel round the outside and upon the
top, till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through, and
observed that they did not crack at all.  When I saw them
clear red, I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours,
till I found one of them, though it did not crack, did melt or
run; for the sand which was mixed with the clay melted by the
violence of the heat, and would have run into glass if I had gone
on; so I slacked my fire gradually till the pots began to abate
of the red colour; and watching them all night, that I might not
let the fire abate too fast, in the morning I had three very good
(I will not say handsome) pipkins, and two other earthen pots, as
hard burnt as could be desired, and one of them perfectly glazed
with the running of the sand.

After this experiment, I need not say that I wanted no sort of
earthenware for my use; but I must needs say as to the shapes of
them, they were very indifferent, as any one may suppose, when I
had no way of making them but as the children make dirt pies, or
as a woman would make pies that never learned to raise paste.

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

My next concern was to get me a stone mortar to stamp or beat
some corn in; for as to the mill, there was no thought of
arriving at that perfection of art with one pair of hands. 
To supply this want, I was at a great loss; for, of all the
trades in the world, I was as perfectly unqualified for a
stone-cutter as for any whatever; neither had I any tools to go
about it with.  I spent many a day to find out a great stone
big enough to cut hollow, and make fit for a mortar, and could
find none at all, except what was in the solid rock, and which I
had no way to dig or cut out; nor indeed were the rocks in the
island of hardness sufficient, but were all of a sandy, crumbling
stone, which neither would bear the weight of a heavy pestle, nor
would break the corn without filling it with sand.  So,
after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave
it over, and resolved to look out for a great block of hard wood,
which I found, indeed, much easier; and getting one as big as I
had strength to stir, I rounded it, and formed it on the outside
with my axe and hatchet, and then with the help of fire and
infinite labour, made a hollow place in it, as the Indians in
Brazil make their canoes.  After this, I made a great heavy
pestle or beater of the wood called the iron-wood; and this I
prepared and laid by against I had my next crop of corn, which I
proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound into meal to make

My next difficulty was to make a sieve or searce, to dress my
meal, and to part it from the bran and the husk; without which I
did not see it possible I could have any bread.  This was a
most difficult thing even to think on, for to be sure I had
nothing like the necessary thing to make it—I mean fine
thin canvas or stuff to searce the meal through.  And here I
was at a full stop for many months; nor did I really know what to
do.  Linen I had none left but what was mere rags; I had
goat’s hair, but neither knew how to weave it or spin it;
and had I known how, here were no tools to work it with. 
All the remedy that I found for this was, that at last I did
remember I had, among the seamen’s clothes which were saved
out of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or muslin; and with
some pieces of these I made three small sieves proper enough for
the work; and thus I made shift for some years: how I did
afterwards, I shall show in its place.

The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and how I
should make bread when I came to have corn; for first, I had no
yeast.  As to that part, there was no supplying the want, so
I did not concern myself much about it.  But for an oven I
was indeed in great pain.  At length I found out an
experiment for that also, which was this: I made some
earthen-vessels very broad but not deep, that is to say, about
two feet diameter, and not above nine inches deep.  These I
burned in the fire, as I had done the other, and laid them by;
and when I wanted to bake, I made a great fire upon my hearth,
which I had paved with some square tiles of my own baking and
burning also; but I should not call them square.

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

It need not be wondered at if all these things took me up most
part of the third year of my abode here; for it is to be observed
that in the intervals of these things I had my new harvest and
husbandry to manage; for I reaped my corn in its season, and
carried it home as well as I could, and laid it up in the ear, in
my large baskets, till I had time to rub it out, for I had no
floor to thrash it on, or instrument to thrash it with.

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

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

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

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

Now I wished for my boy Xury, and the long-boat with
shoulder-of-mutton sail, with which I sailed above a thousand
miles on the coast of Africa; but this was in vain: then I
thought I would go and look at our ship’s boat, which, as I
have said, was blown up upon the shore a great way, in the storm,
when we were first cast away.  She lay almost where she did
at first, but not quite; and was turned, by the force of the
waves and the winds, almost bottom upward, against a high ridge
of beachy, rough sand, but no water about her.  If I had had
hands to have refitted her, and to have launched her into the
water, the boat would have done well enough, and I might have
gone back into the Brazils with her easily enough; but I might
have foreseen that I could no more turn her and set her upright
upon her bottom than I could remove the island; however, I went
to the woods, and cut levers and rollers, and brought them to the
boat resolving to try what I could do; suggesting to myself that
if I could but turn her down, I might repair the damage she had
received, and she would be a very good boat, and I might go to
sea in her very easily.

I spared no pains, indeed, in this piece of fruitless toil,
and spent, I think, three or four weeks about it; at last finding
it impossible to heave it up with my little strength, I fell to
digging away the sand, to undermine it, and so to make it fall
down, setting pieces of wood to thrust and guide it right in the

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

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

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

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

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

When I had gone through this work I was extremely delighted
with it.  The boat was really much bigger than ever I saw a
canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life. 
Many a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure; and had I
gotten it into the water, I make no question, but I should have
begun the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed,
that ever was undertaken.

But all my devices to get it into the water failed me; though
they cost me infinite labour too.  It lay about one hundred
yards from the water, and not more; but the first inconvenience
was, it was up hill towards the creek.  Well, to take away
this discouragement, I resolved to dig into the surface of the
earth, and so make a declivity: this I began, and it cost me a
prodigious deal of pains (but who grudge pains who have their
deliverance in view?); but when this was worked through, and this
difficulty managed, it was still much the same, for I could no
more stir the canoe than I could the other boat.  Then I
measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a dock or
canal, to bring the water up to the canoe, seeing I could not
bring the canoe down to the water.  Well, I began this work;
and when I began to enter upon it, and calculate how deep it was
to be dug, how broad, how the stuff was to be thrown out, I found
that, by the number of hands I had, being none but my own, it
must have been ten or twelve years before I could have gone
through with it; for the shore lay so high, that at the upper end
it must have been at least twenty feet deep; so at length, though
with great reluctancy, I gave this attempt over also.

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

In the middle of this work I finished my fourth year in this
place, and kept my anniversary with the same devotion, and with
as much comfort as ever before; for, by a constant study and
serious application to the Word of God, and by the assistance of
His grace, I gained a different knowledge from what I had
before.  I entertained different notions of things.  I
looked now upon the world as a thing remote, which I had nothing
to do with, no expectations from, and, indeed, no desires about:
in a word, I had nothing indeed to do with it, nor was ever
likely to have, so I thought it looked, as we may perhaps look
upon it hereafter—viz. as a place I had lived in, but was
come out of it; and well might I say, as Father Abraham to Dives,
“Between me and thee is a great gulf fixed.”

In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of
the world here; I had neither the lusts of the flesh, the lusts
of the eye, nor the pride of life.  I had nothing to covet,
for I had all that I was now capable of enjoying; I was lord of
the whole manor; or, if I pleased, I might call myself king or
emperor over the whole country which I had possession of: there
were no rivals; I had no competitor, none to dispute sovereignty
or command with me: I might have raised ship-loadings of corn,
but I had no use for it; so I let as little grow as I thought
enough for my occasion.  I had tortoise or turtle enough,
but now and then one was as much as I could put to any use: I had
timber enough to have built a fleet of ships; and I had grapes
enough to have made wine, or to have cured into raisins, to have
loaded that fleet when it had been built.

But all I could make use of was all that was valuable: I had
enough to eat and supply my wants, and what was all the rest to
me?  If I killed more flesh than I could eat, the dog must
eat it, or vermin; if I sowed more corn than I could eat, it must
be spoiled; the trees that I cut down were lying to rot on the
ground; I could make no more use of them but for fuel, and that I
had no occasion for but to dress my food.

In a word, the nature and experience of things dictated to me,
upon just reflection, that all the good things of this world are
no farther good to us than they are for our use; and that,
whatever we may heap up to give others, we enjoy just as much as
we can use, and no more.  The most covetous, griping miser
in the world would have been cured of the vice of covetousness if
he had been in my case; for I possessed infinitely more than I
knew what to do with.  I had no room for desire, except it
was of things which I had not, and they were but trifles, though,
indeed, of great use to me.  I had, as I hinted before, a
parcel of money, as well gold as silver, about thirty-six pounds
sterling.  Alas! there the sorry, useless stuff lay; I had
no more manner of business for it; and often thought with myself
that I would have given a handful of it for a gross of
tobacco-pipes; or for a hand-mill to grind my corn; nay, I would
have given it all for a sixpenny-worth of turnip and carrot seed
out of England, or for a handful of peas and beans, and a bottle
of ink.  As it was, I had not the least advantage by it or
benefit from it; but there it lay in a drawer, and grew mouldy
with the damp of the cave in the wet seasons; and if I had had
the drawer full of diamonds, it had been the same case—they
had been of no manner of value to me, because of no use.

I had now brought my state of life to be much easier in itself
than it was at first, and much easier to my mind, as well as to
my body.  I frequently sat down to meat with thankfulness,
and admired the hand of God’s providence, which had thus
spread my table in the wilderness.  I learned to look more
upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark
side, and to consider what I enjoyed rather than what I wanted;
and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot
express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those
discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably
what God has given them, because they see and covet something
that He has not given them.  All our discontents about what
we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness
for what we have.

Another reflection was of great use to me, and doubtless would
be so to any one that should fall into such distress as mine was;
and this was, to compare my present condition with what I at
first expected it would be; nay, with what it would certainly
have been, if the good providence of God had not wonderfully
ordered the ship to be cast up nearer to the shore, where I not
only could come at her, but could bring what I got out of her to
the shore, for my relief and comfort; without which, I had wanted
for tools to work, weapons for defence, and gunpowder and shot
for getting my food.

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

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

I had another reflection, which assisted me also to comfort my
mind with hopes; and this was comparing my present situation with
what I had deserved, and had therefore reason to expect from the
hand of Providence.  I had lived a dreadful life, perfectly
destitute of the knowledge and fear of God.  I had been well
instructed by father and mother; neither had they been wanting to
me in their early endeavours to infuse a religious awe of God
into my mind, a sense of my duty, and what the nature and end of
my being required of me.  But, alas! falling early into the
seafaring life, which of all lives is the most destitute of the
fear of God, though His terrors are always before them; I say,
falling early into the seafaring life, and into seafaring
company, all that little sense of religion which I had
entertained was laughed out of me by my messmates; by a hardened
despising of dangers, and the views of death, which grew habitual
to me by my long absence from all manner of opportunities to
converse with anything but what was like myself, or to hear
anything that was good or tended towards it.

So void was I of everything that was good, or the least sense
of what I was, or was to be, that, in the greatest deliverances I
enjoyed—such as my escape from Sallee; my being taken up by
the Portuguese master of the ship; my being planted so well in
the Brazils; my receiving the cargo from England, and the
like—I never had once the words “Thank God!” so
much as on my mind, or in my mouth; nor in the greatest distress
had I so much as a thought to pray to Him, or so much as to say,
“Lord, have mercy upon me!” no, nor to mention the
name of God, unless it was to swear by, and blaspheme it.

I had terrible reflections upon my mind for many months, as I
have already observed, on account of my wicked and hardened life
past; and when I looked about me, and considered what particular
providences had attended me since my coming into this place, and
how God had dealt bountifully with me—had not only punished
me less than my iniquity had deserved, but had so plentifully
provided for me—this gave me great hopes that my repentance
was accepted, and that God had yet mercy in store for me.

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

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

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

The next thing to my ink being wasted was that of my
bread—I mean the biscuit which I brought out of the ship;
this I had husbanded to the last degree, allowing myself but one
cake of bread a-day for above a year; and yet I was quite without
bread for near a year before I got any corn of my own, and great
reason I had to be thankful that I had any at all, the getting it
being, as has been already observed, next to miraculous.

My clothes, too, began to decay; as to linen, I had had none a
good while, except some chequered shirts which I found in the
chests of the other seamen, and which I carefully preserved;
because many times I could bear no other clothes on but a shirt;
and it was a very great help to me that I had, among all the
men’s clothes of the ship, almost three dozen of
shirts.  There were also, indeed, several thick watch-coats
of the seamen’s which were left, but they were too hot to
wear; and though it is true that the weather was so violently hot
that there was no need of clothes, yet I could not go quite
naked—no, though I had been inclined to it, which I was
not—nor could I abide the thought of it, though I was
alone.  The reason why I could not go naked was, I could not
bear the heat of the sun so well when quite naked as with some
clothes on; nay, the very heat frequently blistered my skin:
whereas, with a shirt on, the air itself made some motion, and
whistling under the shirt, was twofold cooler than without
it.  No more could I ever bring myself to go out in the heat
of the sun without a cap or a hat; the heat of the sun, beating
with such violence as it does in that place, would give me the
headache presently, by darting so directly on my head, without a
cap or hat on, so that I could not bear it; whereas, if I put on
my hat it would presently go away.

Upon these views I began to consider about putting the few
rags I had, which I called clothes, into some order; I had worn
out all the waistcoats I had, and my business was now to try if I
could not make jackets out of the great watch-coats which I had
by me, and with such other materials as I had; so I set to work,
tailoring, or rather, indeed, botching, for I made most piteous
work of it.  However, I made shift to make two or three new
waistcoats, which I hoped would serve me a great while: as for
breeches or drawers, I made but a very sorry shift indeed till

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

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

Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being entirely
composed by resigning myself to the will of God, and throwing
myself wholly upon the disposal of His providence.  This
made my life better than sociable, for when I began to regret the
want of conversation I would ask myself, whether thus conversing
mutually with my own thoughts, and (as I hope I may say) with
even God Himself, by ejaculations, was not better than the utmost
enjoyment of human society in the world?


I cannot say that after this, for five years, any
extraordinary thing happened to me, but I lived on in the same
course, in the same posture and place, as before; the chief
things I was employed in, besides my yearly labour of planting my
barley and rice, and curing my raisins, of both which I always
kept up just enough to have sufficient stock of one year’s
provisions beforehand; I say, besides this yearly labour, and my
daily pursuit of going out with my gun, I had one labour, to make
a canoe, which at last I finished: so that, by digging a canal to
it of six feet wide and four feet deep, I brought it into the
creek, almost half a mile.  As for the first, which was so
vastly big, for I made it without considering beforehand, as I
ought to have done, how I should be able to launch it, so, never
being able to bring it into the water, or bring the water to it,
I was obliged to let it lie where it was as a memorandum to teach
me to be wiser the next time: indeed, the next time, though I
could not get a tree proper for it, and was in a place where I
could not get the water to it at any less distance than, as I
have said, near half a mile, yet, as I saw it was practicable at
last, I never gave it over; and though I was near two years about
it, yet I never grudged my labour, in hopes of having a boat to
go off to sea at last.

However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the size
of it was not at all answerable to the design which I had in view
when I made the first; I mean of venturing over to the terra
, where it was above forty miles broad; accordingly, the
smallness of my boat assisted to put an end to that design, and
now I thought no more of it.  As I had a boat, my next
design was to make a cruise round the island; for as I had been
on the other side in one place, crossing, as I have already
described it, over the land, so the discoveries I made in that
little journey made me very eager to see other parts of the
coast; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing
round the island.

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

I fixed my umbrella also in the step at the stern, like a
mast, to stand over my head, and keep the heat of the sun off me,
like an awning; and thus I every now and then took a little
voyage upon the sea, but never went far out, nor far from the
little creek.  At last, being eager to view the
circumference of my little kingdom, I resolved upon my cruise;
and accordingly I victualled my ship for the voyage, putting in
two dozen of loaves (cakes I should call them) of barley-bread,
an earthen pot full of parched rice (a food I ate a good deal
of), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder and shot for
killing more, and two large watch-coats, of those which, as I
mentioned before, I had saved out of the seamen’s chests;
these I took, one to lie upon, and the other to cover me in the

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

When I first discovered them, I was going to give over my
enterprise, and come back again, not knowing how far it might
oblige me to go out to sea; and above all, doubting how I should
get back again: so I came to an anchor; for I had made a kind of
an anchor with a piece of a broken grappling which I got out of
the ship.

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

In my viewing the sea from that hill where I stood, I
perceived a strong, and indeed a most furious current, which ran
to the east, and even came close to the point; and I took the
more notice of it because I saw there might be some danger that
when I came into it I might be carried out to sea by the strength
of it, and not be able to make the island again; and indeed, had
I not got first upon this hill, I believe it would have been so;
for there was the same current on the other side the island, only
that it set off at a further distance, and I saw there was a
strong eddy under the shore; so I had nothing to do but to get
out of the first current, and I should presently be in an

I lay here, however, two days, because the wind blowing pretty
fresh at ESE., and that being just contrary to the current, made
a great breach of the sea upon the point: so that it was not safe
for me to keep too close to the shore for the breach, nor to go
too far off, because of the stream.

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

And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to
make even the most miserable condition of mankind worse. 
Now I looked back upon my desolate, solitary island as the most
pleasant place in the world and all the happiness my heart could
wish for was to be but there again.  I stretched out my
hands to it, with eager wishes—“O happy
desert!” said I, “I shall never see thee more. 
O miserable creature! whither am going?”  Then I
reproached myself with my unthankful temper, and that I had
repined at my solitary condition; and now what would I give to be
on shore there again!  Thus, we never see the true state of
our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor
know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.  It
is scarcely possible to imagine the consternation I was now in,
being driven from my beloved island (for so it appeared to me now
to be) into the wide ocean, almost two leagues, and in the utmost
despair of ever recovering it again.  However, I worked hard
till, indeed, my strength was almost exhausted, and kept my boat
as much to the northward, that is, towards the side of the
current which the eddy lay on, as possibly I could; when about
noon, as the sun passed the meridian, I thought I felt a little
breeze of wind in my face, springing up from SSE.  This
cheered my heart a little, and especially when, in about
half-an-hour more, it blew a pretty gentle gale.  By this
time I had got at a frightful distance from the island, and had
the least cloudy or hazy weather intervened, I had been undone
another way, too; for I had no compass on board, and should never
have known how to have steered towards the island, if I had but
once lost sight of it; but the weather continuing clear, I
applied myself to get up my mast again, and spread my sail,
standing away to the north as much as possible, to get out of the

Just as I had set my mast and sail, and the boat began to
stretch away, I saw even by the clearness of the water some
alteration of the current was near; for where the current was so
strong the water was foul; but perceiving the water clear, I
found the current abate; and presently I found to the east, at
about half a mile, a breach of the sea upon some rocks: these
rocks I found caused the current to part again, and as the main
stress of it ran away more southerly, leaving the rocks to the
north-east, so the other returned by the repulse of the rocks,
and made a strong eddy, which ran back again to the north-west,
with a very sharp stream.

They who know what it is to have a reprieve brought to them
upon the ladder, or to be rescued from thieves just going to
murder them, or who have been in such extremities, may guess what
my present surprise of joy was, and how gladly I put my boat into
the stream of this eddy; and the wind also freshening, how gladly
I spread my sail to it, running cheerfully before the wind, and
with a strong tide or eddy underfoot.

This eddy carried me about a league on my way back again,
directly towards the island, but about two leagues more to the
northward than the current which carried me away at first; so
that when I came near the island, I found myself open to the
northern shore of it, that is to say, the other end of the
island, opposite to that which I went out from.

When I had made something more than a league of way by the
help of this current or eddy, I found it was spent, and served me
no further.  However, I found that being between two great
currents—viz. that on the south side, which had hurried me
away, and that on the north, which lay about a league on the
other side; I say, between these two, in the wake of the island,
I found the water at least still, and running no way; and having
still a breeze of wind fair for me, I kept on steering directly
for the island, though not making such fresh way as I did

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

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

I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my
boat!  I had run so much hazard, and knew too much of the
case, to think of attempting it by the way I went out; and what
might be at the other side (I mean the west side) I knew not, nor
had I any mind to run any more ventures; so I resolved on the
next morning to make my way westward along the shore, and to see
if there was no creek where I might lay up my frigate in safety,
so as to have her again if I wanted her.  In about three
miles or thereabouts, coasting the shore, I came to a very good
inlet or bay, about a mile over, which narrowed till it came to a
very little rivulet or brook, where I found a very convenient
harbour for my boat, and where she lay as if she had been in a
little dock made on purpose for her.  Here I put in, and
having stowed my boat very safe, I went on shore to look about
me, and see where I was.

I soon found I had but a little passed by the place where I
had been before, when I travelled on foot to that shore; so
taking nothing out of my boat but my gun and umbrella, for it was
exceedingly hot, I began my march.  The way was comfortable
enough after such a voyage as I had been upon, and I reached my
old bower in the evening, where I found everything standing as I
left it; for I always kept it in good order, being, as I said
before, my country house.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In my wicker-ware also I improved much, and made abundance of
necessary baskets, as well as my invention showed me; though not
very handsome, yet they were such as were very handy and
convenient for laying things up in, or fetching things
home.  For example, if I killed a goat abroad, I could hang
it up in a tree, flay it, dress it, and cut it in pieces, and
bring it home in a basket; and the like by a turtle; I could cut
it up, take out the eggs and a piece or two of the flesh, which
was enough for me, and bring them home in a basket, and leave the
rest behind me.  Also, large deep baskets were the receivers
of my corn, which I always rubbed out as soon as it was dry and
cured, and kept it in great baskets.

I began now to perceive my powder abated considerably; this
was a want which it was impossible for me to supply, and I began
seriously to consider what I must do when I should have no more
powder; that is to say, how I should kill any goats.  I had,
as is observed in the third year of my being here, kept a young
kid, and bred her up tame, and I was in hopes of getting a
he-goat; but I could not by any means bring it to pass, till my
kid grew an old goat; and as I could never find in my heart to
kill her, she died at last of mere age.

But being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and, as I
have said, my ammunition growing low, I set myself to study some
art to trap and snare the goats, to see whether I could not catch
some of them alive; and particularly I wanted a she-goat great
with young.  For this purpose I made snares to hamper them;
and I do believe they were more than once taken in them; but my
tackle was not good, for I had no wire, and I always found them
broken and my bait devoured.  At length I resolved to try a
pitfall; so I dug several large pits in the earth, in places
where I had observed the goats used to feed, and over those pits
I placed hurdles of my own making too, with a great weight upon
them; and several times I put ears of barley and dry rice without
setting the trap; and I could easily perceive that the goats had
gone in and eaten up the corn, for I could see the marks of their
feet.  At length I set three traps in one night, and going
the next morning I found them, all standing, and yet the bait
eaten and gone; this was very discouraging.  However, I
altered my traps; and not to trouble you with particulars, going
one morning to see my traps, I found in one of them a large old
he-goat; and in one of the others three kids, a male and two

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

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

It was a good while before they would feed; but throwing them
some sweet corn, it tempted them, and they began to be
tame.  And now I found that if I expected to supply myself
with goats’ flesh, when I had no powder or shot left,
breeding some up tame was my only way, when, perhaps, I might
have them about my house like a flock of sheep.  But then it
occurred to me that I must keep the tame from the wild, or else
they would always run wild when they grew up; and the only way
for this was to have some enclosed piece of ground, well fenced
either with hedge or pale, to keep them in so effectually, that
those within might not break out, or those without break in.

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

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

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

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

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

But this was not all; for now I not only had goat’s
flesh to feed on when I pleased, but milk too—a thing
which, indeed, in the beginning, I did not so much as think of,
and which, when it came into my thoughts, was really an agreeable
surprise, for now I set up my dairy, and had sometimes a gallon
or two of milk in a day.  And as Nature, who gives supplies
of food to every creature, dictates even naturally how to make
use of it, so I, that had never milked a cow, much less a goat,
or seen butter or cheese made only when I was a boy, after a
great many essays and miscarriages, made both butter and cheese
at last, also salt (though I found it partly made to my hand by
the heat of the sun upon some of the rocks of the sea), and never
wanted it afterwards.  How mercifully can our Creator treat
His creatures, even in those conditions in which they seemed to
be overwhelmed in destruction!  How can He sweeten the
bitterest providences, and give us cause to praise Him for
dungeons and prisons!  What a table was here spread for me
in the wilderness, where I saw nothing at first but to perish for


It would have made a Stoic smile to have seen me and my little
family sit down to dinner.  There was my majesty the prince
and lord of the whole island; I had the lives of all my subjects
at my absolute command; I could hang, draw, give liberty, and
take it away, and no rebels among all my subjects.  Then, to
see how like a king I dined, too, all alone, attended by my
servants!  Poll, as if he had been my favourite, was the
only person permitted to talk to me.  My dog, who was now
grown old and crazy, and had found no species to multiply his
kind upon, sat always at my right hand; and two cats, one on one
side of the table and one on the other, expecting now and then a
bit from my hand, as a mark of especial favour.

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

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

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

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

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

But all this is by-the-bye; for as to my figure, I had so few
to observe me that it was of no manner of consequence, so I say
no more of that.  In this kind of dress I went my new
journey, and was out five or six days.  I travelled first
along the sea-shore, directly to the place where I first brought
my boat to an anchor to get upon the rocks; and having no boat
now to take care of, I went over the land a nearer way to the
same height that I was upon before, when, looking forward to the
points of the rocks which lay out, and which I was obliged to
double with my boat, as is said above, I was surprised to see the
sea all smooth and quiet—no rippling, no motion, no
current, any more there than in other places.  I was at a
strange loss to understand this, and resolved to spend some time
in the observing it, to see if nothing from the sets of the tide
had occasioned it; but I was presently convinced how it
was—viz. that the tide of ebb setting from the west, and
joining with the current of waters from some great river on the
shore, must be the occasion of this current, and that, according
as the wind blew more forcibly from the west or from the north,
this current came nearer or went farther from the shore; for,
waiting thereabouts till evening, I went up to the rock again,
and then the tide of ebb being made, I plainly saw the current
again as before, only that it ran farther off, being near half a
league from the shore, whereas in my case it set close upon the
shore, and hurried me and my canoe along with it, which at
another time it would not have done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As this was also about half-way between my other habitation
and the place where I had laid up my boat, I generally stayed and
lay here in my way thither, for I used frequently to visit my
boat; and I kept all things about or belonging to her in very
good order.  Sometimes I went out in her to divert myself,
but no more hazardous voyages would I go, scarcely ever above a
stone’s cast or two from the shore, I was so apprehensive
of being hurried out of my knowledge again by the currents or
winds, or any other accident.  But now I come to a new scene
of my life.

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

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

I slept none that night; the farther I was from the occasion
of my fright, the greater my apprehensions were, which is
something contrary to the nature of such things, and especially
to the usual practice of all creatures in fear; but I was so
embarrassed with my own frightful ideas of the thing, that I
formed nothing but dismal imaginations to myself, even though I
was now a great way off.  Sometimes I fancied it must be the
devil, and reason joined in with me in this supposition, for how
should any other thing in human shape come into the place? 
Where was the vessel that brought them?  What marks were
there of any other footstep?  And how was it possible a man
should come there?  But then, to think that Satan should
take human shape upon him in such a place, where there could be
no manner of occasion for it, but to leave the print of his foot
behind him, and that even for no purpose too, for he could not be
sure I should see it—this was an amusement the other
way.  I considered that the devil might have found out
abundance of other ways to have terrified me than this of the
single print of a foot; that as I lived quite on the other side
of the island, he would never have been so simple as to leave a
mark in a place where it was ten thousand to one whether I should
ever see it or not, and in the sand too, which the first surge of
the sea, upon a high wind, would have defaced entirely.  All
this seemed inconsistent with the thing itself and with all the
notions we usually entertain of the subtlety of the devil.

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

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

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

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

Such is the uneven state of human life; and it afforded me a
great many curious speculations afterwards, when I had a little
recovered my first surprise.  I considered that this was the
station of life the infinitely wise and good providence of God
had determined for me; that as I could not foresee what the ends
of Divine wisdom might be in all this, so I was not to dispute
His sovereignty; who, as I was His creature, had an undoubted
right, by creation, to govern and dispose of me absolutely as He
thought fit; and who, as I was a creature that had offended Him,
had likewise a judicial right to condemn me to what punishment He
thought fit; and that it was my part to submit to bear His
indignation, because I had sinned against Him.  I then
reflected, that as God, who was not only righteous but
omnipotent, had thought fit thus to punish and afflict me, so He
was able to deliver me: that if He did not think fit to do so, it
was my unquestioned duty to resign myself absolutely and entirely
to His will; and, on the other hand, it was my duty also to hope
in Him, pray to Him, and quietly to attend to the dictates and
directions of His daily providence.

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

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

Now I began to take courage, and to peep abroad again, for I
had not stirred out of my castle for three days and nights, so
that I began to starve for provisions; for I had little or
nothing within doors but some barley-cakes and water; then I knew
that my goats wanted to be milked too, which usually was my
evening diversion: and the poor creatures were in great pain and
inconvenience for want of it; and, indeed, it almost spoiled some
of them, and almost dried up their milk.  Encouraging
myself, therefore, with the belief that this was nothing but the
print of one of my own feet, and that I might be truly said to
start at my own shadow, I began to go abroad again, and went to
my country house to milk my flock: but to see with what fear I
went forward, how often I looked behind me, how I was ready every
now and then to lay down my basket and run for my life, it would
have made any one have thought I was haunted with an evil
conscience, or that I had been lately most terribly frightened;
and so, indeed, I had.  However, I went down thus two or
three days, and having seen nothing, I began to be a little
bolder, and to think there was really nothing in it but my own
imagination; but I could not persuade myself fully of this till I
should go down to the shore again, and see this print of a foot,
and measure it by my own, and see if there was any similitude or
fitness, that I might be assured it was my own foot: but when I
came to the place, first, it appeared evidently to me, that when
I laid up my boat I could not possibly be on shore anywhere
thereabouts; secondly, when I came to measure the mark with my
own foot, I found my foot not so large by a great deal. 
Both these things filled my head with new imaginations, and gave
me the vapours again to the highest degree, so that I shook with
cold like one in an ague; and I went home again, filled with the
belief that some man or men had been on shore there; or, in
short, that the island was inhabited, and I might be surprised
before I was aware; and what course to take for my security I
knew not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I immediately went to work with this piece of ground; and in
less than a month’s time I had so fenced it round that my
flock, or herd, call it which you please, which were not so wild
now as at first they might be supposed to be, were well enough
secured in it: so, without any further delay, I removed ten young
she-goats and two he-goats to this piece, and when they were
there I continued to perfect the fence till I had made it as
secure as the other; which, however, I did at more leisure, and
it took me up more time by a great deal.  All this labour I
was at the expense of, purely from my apprehensions on account of
the print of a man’s foot; for as yet I had never seen any
human creature come near the island; and I had now lived two
years under this uneasiness, which, indeed, made my life much
less comfortable than it was before, as may be well imagined by
any who know what it is to live in the constant snare of the fear
of man.  And this I must observe, with grief, too, that the
discomposure of my mind had great impression also upon the
religious part of my thoughts; for the dread and terror of
falling into the hands of savages and cannibals lay so upon my
spirits, that I seldom found myself in a due temper for
application to my Maker; at least, not with the sedate calmness
and resignation of soul which I was wont to do: I rather prayed
to God as under great affliction and pressure of mind, surrounded
with danger, and in expectation every night of being murdered and
devoured before morning; and I must testify, from my experience,
that a temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and affection, is
much the more proper frame for prayer than that of terror and
discomposure: and that under the dread of mischief impending, a
man is no more fit for a comforting performance of the duty of
praying to God than he is for a repentance on a sick-bed; for
these discomposures affect the mind, as the others do the body;
and the discomposure of the mind must necessarily be as great a
disability as that of the body, and much greater; praying to God
being properly an act of the mind, not of the body.

But to go on.  After I had thus secured one part of my
little living stock, I went about the whole island, searching for
another private place to make such another deposit; when,
wandering more to the west point of the island than I had ever
done yet, and looking out to sea, I thought I saw a boat upon the
sea, at a great distance.  I had found a perspective glass
or two in one of the seamen’s chests, which I saved out of
our ship, but I had it not about me; and this was so remote that
I could not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it till
my eyes were not able to hold to look any longer; whether it was
a boat or not I do not know, but as I descended from the hill I
could see no more of it, so I gave it over; only I resolved to go
no more out without a perspective glass in my pocket.  When
I was come down the hill to the end of the island, where, indeed,
I had never been before, I was presently convinced that the
seeing the print of a man’s foot was not such a strange
thing in the island as I imagined: and but that it was a special
providence that I was cast upon the side of the island where the
savages never came, I should easily have known that nothing was
more frequent than for the canoes from the main, when they
happened to be a little too far out at sea, to shoot over to that
side of the island for harbour: likewise, as they often met and
fought in their canoes, the victors, having taken any prisoners,
would bring them over to this shore, where, according to their
dreadful customs, being all cannibals, they would kill and eat
them; of which hereafter.

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

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

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

In this frame of thankfulness I went home to my castle, and
began to be much easier now, as to the safety of my
circumstances, than ever I was before: for I observed that these
wretches never came to this island in search of what they could
get; perhaps not seeking, not wanting, or not expecting anything
here; and having often, no doubt, been up the covered, woody part
of it without finding anything to their purpose.  I knew I
had been here now almost eighteen years, and never saw the least
footsteps of human creature there before; and I might be eighteen
years more as entirely concealed as I was now, if I did not
discover myself to them, which I had no manner of occasion to do;
it being my only business to keep myself entirely concealed where
I was, unless I found a better sort of creatures than cannibals
to make myself known to.  Yet I entertained such an
abhorrence of the savage wretches that I have been speaking of,
and of the wretched, inhuman custom of their devouring and eating
one another up, that I continued pensive and sad, and kept close
within my own circle for almost two years after this: when I say
my own circle, I mean by it my three plantations—viz. my
castle, my country seat (which I called my bower), and my
enclosure in the woods: nor did I look after this for any other
use than an enclosure for my goats; for the aversion which nature
gave me to these hellish wretches was such, that I was as fearful
of seeing them as of seeing the devil himself.  I did not so
much as go to look after my boat all this time, but began rather
to think of making another; for I could not think of ever making
any more attempts to bring the other boat round the island to me,
lest I should meet with some of these creatures at sea; in which
case, if I had happened to have fallen into their hands, I knew
what would have been my lot.

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

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

As in my present condition there were not really many things
which I wanted, so indeed I thought that the frights I had been
in about these savage wretches, and the concern I had been in for
my own preservation, had taken off the edge of my invention, for
my own conveniences; and I had dropped a good design, which I had
once bent my thoughts upon, and that was to try if I could not
make some of my barley into malt, and then try to brew myself
some beer.  This was really a whimsical thought, and I
reproved myself often for the simplicity of it: for I presently
saw there would be the want of several things necessary to the
making my beer that it would be impossible for me to supply; as,
first, casks to preserve it in, which was a thing that, as I have
observed already, I could never compass: no, though I spent not
only many days, but weeks, nay months, in attempting it, but to
no purpose.  In the next place, I had no hops to make it
keep, no yeast to 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 perhaps brought it to pass
too; for I seldom gave anything over without accomplishing it,
when once I had it in my head to began it.  But my invention
now ran quite another way; for night and day I could think of
nothing but how I might destroy some of the monsters in their
cruel, bloody entertainment, and if possible save the victim they
should bring hither to destroy.  It would take up a larger
volume than this whole work is intended to be to set down all the
contrivances I hatched, or rather brooded upon, in my thoughts,
for the destroying these creatures, or at least frightening them
so as to prevent their coming hither any more: but all this was
abortive; nothing could be possible to take effect, unless I was
to be there to do it myself: and what could one man do among
them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty of them
together with their darts, or their bows and arrows, with which
they could shoot as true to a mark as I could with my gun?

Sometimes I thought if digging a hole under the place where
they made their fire, and putting in five or six pounds of
gunpowder, which, when they kindled their fire, would
consequently take fire, and blow up all that was near it: but as,
in the first place, I should be unwilling to waste so much powder
upon them, my store being now within the quantity of one barrel,
so neither could I be sure of its going off at any certain time,
when it might surprise them; and, at best, that it would do
little more than just blow the fire about their ears and fright
them, but not sufficient to make them forsake the place: so I
laid it aside; and then proposed that I would place myself in
ambush in some convenient place, with my three guns all
double-loaded, and in the middle of their bloody ceremony let fly
at them, when I should be sure to kill or wound perhaps two or
three at every shot; and then falling in upon them with my three
pistols and my sword, I made no doubt but that, if there were
twenty, I should kill them all.  This fancy pleased my
thoughts for some weeks, and I was so full of it that I often
dreamed of it, and, sometimes, that I was just going to let fly
at them in my sleep.  I went so far with it in my
imagination that I employed myself several days to find out
proper places to put myself in ambuscade, as I said, to watch for
them, and I went frequently to the place itself, which was now
grown more familiar to me; but while my mind was thus filled with
thoughts of revenge and a bloody putting twenty or thirty of them
to the sword, as I may call it, the horror I had at the place,
and at the signals of the barbarous wretches devouring one
another, abetted my malice.  Well, at length I found a place
in the side of the hill where I was satisfied I might securely
wait till I saw any of their boats coming; and might then, even
before they would be ready to come on shore, convey myself unseen
into some thickets of trees, in one of which there was a hollow
large enough to conceal me entirely; and there I might sit and
observe all their bloody doings, and take my full aim at their
heads, when they were so close together as that it would be next
to impossible that I should miss my shot, or that I could fail
wounding three or four of them at the first shot.  In this
place, then, I resolved to fulfil my design; and accordingly I
prepared two muskets and my ordinary fowling-piece.  The two
muskets I loaded with a brace of slugs each, and four or five
smaller bullets, about the size of pistol bullets; and the
fowling-piece I loaded with near a handful of swan-shot of the
largest size; I also loaded my pistols with about four bullets
each; and, in this posture, well provided with ammunition for a
second and third charge, I prepared myself for my expedition.

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

As long as I kept my daily tour to the hill, to look out, so
long also I kept up the vigour of my design, and my spirits
seemed to be all the while in a suitable frame for so outrageous
an execution as the killing twenty or thirty naked savages, for
an offence which I had not at all entered into any discussion of
in my thoughts, any farther than my passions were at first fired
by the horror I conceived at the unnatural custom of the people
of that country, who, it seems, had been suffered by Providence,
in His wise disposition of the world, to have no other guide than
that of their own abominable and vitiated passions; and
consequently were left, and perhaps had been so for some ages, to
act such horrid things, and receive such dreadful customs, as
nothing but nature, entirely abandoned by Heaven, and actuated by
some hellish degeneracy, could have run them into.  But now,
when, as I have said, I began to be weary of the fruitless
excursion which I had made so long and so far every morning in
vain, so my opinion of the action itself began to alter; and I
began, with cooler and calmer thoughts, to consider what I was
going to engage in; what authority or call I had to pretend to be
judge and executioner upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven
had thought fit for so many ages to suffer unpunished to go on,
and to be as it were the executioners of His judgments one upon
another; how far these people were offenders against me, and what
right I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood which they
shed promiscuously upon one another.  I debated this very
often with myself thus: “How do I know what God Himself
judges in this particular case?  It is certain these people
do not commit this as a crime; it is not against their own
consciences reproving, or their light reproaching them; they do
not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of
divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins we commit. 
They think it no more a crime to kill a captive taken in war than
we do to kill an ox; or to eat human flesh than we do to eat

When I considered this a little, it followed necessarily that
I was certainly in the wrong; that these people were not
murderers, in the sense that I had before condemned them in my
thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers who often
put to death the prisoners taken in battle; or more frequently,
upon many occasions, put whole troops of men to the sword,
without giving quarter, though they threw down their arms and
submitted.  In the next place, it occurred to me that
although the usage they gave one another was thus brutish and
inhuman, yet it was really nothing to me: these people had done
me no injury: that if they attempted, or I saw it necessary, for
my immediate preservation, to fall upon them, something might be
said for it: but that I was yet out of their power, and they
really had no knowledge of me, and consequently no design upon
me; and therefore it could not be just for me to fall upon them;
that this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards in all their
barbarities practised in America, where they destroyed millions
of these people; who, however they were idolators and barbarians,
and had several bloody and barbarous rites in their customs, such
as sacrificing human bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the
Spaniards, very innocent people; and that the rooting them out of
the country is spoken of with the utmost abhorrence and
detestation by even the Spaniards themselves at this time, and by
all other Christian nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a
bloody and unnatural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable either to
God or man; and for which the very name of a Spaniard is reckoned
to be frightful and terrible, to all people of humanity or of
Christian compassion; as if the kingdom of Spain were
particularly eminent for the produce of a race of men who were
without principles of tenderness, or the common bowels of pity to
the miserable, which is reckoned to be a mark of generous temper
in the mind.

These considerations really put me to a pause, and to a kind
of a full stop; and I began by little and little to be off my
design, and to conclude I had taken wrong measures in my
resolution to attack the savages; and that it was not my business
to meddle with them, unless they first attacked me; and this it
was my business, if possible, to prevent: but that, if I were
discovered and attacked by them, I knew my duty.  On the
other hand, I argued with myself that this really was the way not
to deliver myself, but entirely to ruin and destroy myself; for
unless I was sure to kill every one that not only should be on
shore at that time, but that should ever come on shore
afterwards, if but one of them escaped to tell their
country-people what had happened, they would come over again by
thousands to revenge the death of their fellows, and I should
only bring upon myself a certain destruction, which, at present,
I had no manner of occasion for.  Upon the whole, I
concluded that I ought, neither in principle nor in policy, one
way or other, to concern myself in this affair: that my business
was, by all possible means to conceal myself from them, and not
to leave the least sign for them to guess by that there were any
living creatures upon the island—I mean of human
shape.  Religion joined in with this prudential resolution;
and I was convinced now, many ways, that I was perfectly out of
my duty when I was laying all my bloody schemes for the
destruction of innocent creatures—I mean innocent as to
me.  As to the crimes they were guilty of towards one
another, I had nothing to do with them; they were national, and I
ought to leave them to the justice of God, who is the Governor of
nations, and knows how, by national punishments, to make a just
retribution for national offences, and to bring public judgments
upon those who offend in a public manner, by such ways as best
please Him.  This appeared so clear to me now, that nothing
was a greater satisfaction to me than that I had not been
suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe
would have been no less a sin than that of wilful murder if I had
committed it; and I gave most humble thanks on my knees to God,
that He had thus delivered me from blood-guiltiness; beseeching
Him to grant me the protection of His providence, that I might
not fall into the hands of the barbarians, or that I might not
lay my hands upon them, unless I had a more clear call from
Heaven to do it, in defence of my own life.

In this disposition I continued for near a year after this;
and so far was I from desiring an occasion for falling upon these
wretches, that in all that time I never once went up the hill to
see whether there were any of them in sight, or to know whether
any of them had been on shore there or not, that I might not be
tempted to renew any of my contrivances against them, or be
provoked by any advantage that might present itself to fall upon
them; only this I did: I went and removed my boat, which I had on
the other side of the island, and carried it down to the east end
of the whole island, where I ran it into a little cove, which I
found under some high rocks, and where I knew, by reason of the
currents, the savages durst not, at least would not, come with
their boats upon any account whatever.  With my boat I
carried away everything that I had left there belonging to her,
though not necessary for the bare going thither—viz. a mast
and sail which I had made for her, and a thing like an anchor,
but which, indeed, could not be called either anchor or grapnel;
however, it was the best I could make of its kind: all these I
removed, that there might not be the least shadow for discovery,
or appearance of any boat, or of any human habitation upon the
island.  Besides this, I kept myself, as I said, more
retired than ever, and seldom went from my cell except upon my
constant employment, to milk my she-goats, and manage my little
flock in the wood, which, as it was quite on the other part of
the island, was out of danger; for certain, it is that these
savage people, who sometimes haunted this island, never came with
any thoughts of finding anything here, and consequently never
wandered off from the coast, and I doubt not but they might have
been several times on shore after my apprehensions of them had
made me cautious, as well as before.  Indeed, I looked back
with some horror upon the thoughts of what my condition would
have been if I had chopped upon them and been discovered before
that; when, naked and unarmed, except with one gun, and that
loaded often only with small shot, I walked everywhere, peeping
and peering about the island, to see what I could get; what a
surprise should I have been in if, when I discovered the print of
a man’s foot, I had, instead of that, seen fifteen or
twenty savages, and found them pursuing me, and by the swiftness
of their running no possibility of my escaping them!  The
thoughts of this sometimes sank my very soul within me, and
distressed my mind so much that I could not soon recover it, to
think what I should have done, and how I should not only have
been unable to resist them, but even should not have had presence
of mind enough to do what I might have done; much less what now,
after so much consideration and preparation, I might be able to
do.  Indeed, after serious thinking of these things, I would
be melancholy, and sometimes it would last a great while; but I
resolved it all at last into thankfulness to that Providence
which had delivered me from so many unseen dangers, and had kept
me from those mischiefs which I could have no way been the agent
in delivering myself from, because I had not the least notion of
any such thing depending, or the least supposition of its being
possible.  This renewed a contemplation which often had come
into my thoughts in former times, when first I began to see the
merciful dispositions of Heaven, in the dangers we run through in
this life; how wonderfully we are delivered when we know nothing
of it; how, when we are in a quandary as we call it, a doubt or
hesitation whether to go this way or that way, a secret hint
shall direct us this way, when we intended to go that way: nay,
when sense, our own inclination, and perhaps business has called
us to go the other way, yet a strange impression upon the mind,
from we know not what springs, and by we know not what power,
shall overrule us to go this way; and it shall afterwards appear
that had we gone that way, which we should have gone, and even to
our imagination ought to have gone, we should have been ruined
and lost.  Upon these and many like reflections I afterwards
made it a certain rule with me, that whenever I found those
secret hints or pressings of mind to doing or not doing anything
that presented, or going this way or that way, I never failed to
obey the secret dictate; though I knew no other reason for it
than such a pressure or such a hint hung upon my mind.  I
could give many examples of the success of this conduct in the
course of my life, but more especially in the latter part of my
inhabiting this unhappy island; besides many occasions which it
is very likely I might have taken notice of, if I had seen with
the same eyes then that I see with now.  But it is never too
late to be wise; and I cannot but advise all considering men,
whose lives are attended with such extraordinary incidents as
mine, or even though not so extraordinary, not to slight such
secret intimations of Providence, let them come from what
invisible intelligence they will.  That I shall not discuss,
and perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are a proof of
the converse of spirits, and a secret communication between those
embodied and those unembodied, and such a proof as can never be
withstood; of which I shall have occasion to give some remarkable
instances in the remainder of my solitary residence in this
dismal place.

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

The mouth of this hollow was at the bottom of a great rock,
where, by mere accident (I would say, if I did not see abundant
reason to ascribe all such things now to Providence), I was
cutting down some thick branches of trees to make charcoal; and
before I go on I must observe the reason of my making this
charcoal, which was this—I was afraid of making a smoke
about my habitation, as I said before; and yet I could not live
there without baking my bread, cooking my meat, &c.; so I
contrived to burn some wood here, as I had seen done in England,
under turf, till it became chark or dry coal: and then putting
the fire out, I preserved the coal to carry home, and perform the
other services for which fire was wanting, without danger of
smoke.  But this is by-the-bye.  While I was cutting
down some wood here, I perceived that, behind a very thick branch
of low brushwood or underwood, there was a kind of hollow place:
I was curious to look in it; and getting with difficulty into the
mouth of it, I found it was pretty large, that is to say,
sufficient for me to stand upright in it, and perhaps another
with me: but I must confess to you that I made more haste out
than I did in, when looking farther into the place, and which was
perfectly dark, I saw two broad shining eyes of some creature,
whether devil or man I knew not, which twinkled like two stars;
the dim light from the cave’s mouth shining directly in,
and making the reflection.  However, after some pause I
recovered myself, and began to call myself a thousand fools, and
to think that he that was afraid to see the devil was not fit to
live twenty years in an island all alone; and that I might well
think there was nothing in this cave that was more frightful than
myself.  Upon this, plucking up my courage, I took up a
firebrand, and in I rushed again, with the stick flaming in my
hand: I had not gone three steps in before I was almost as
frightened as before; for I heard a very loud sigh, like that of
a man in some pain, and it was followed by a broken noise, as of
words half expressed, and then a deep sigh again.  I stepped
back, and was indeed struck with such a surprise that it put me
into a cold sweat, and if I had had a hat on my head, I will not
answer for it that my hair might not have lifted it off. 
But still plucking up my spirits as well as I could, and
encouraging myself a little with considering that the power and
presence of God was everywhere, and was able to protect me, I
stepped forward again, and by the light of the firebrand, holding
it up a little over my head, I saw lying on the ground a
monstrous, frightful old he-goat, just making his will, as we
say, and gasping for life, and, dying, indeed, of mere old
age.  I stirred him a little to see if I could get him out,
and he essayed to get up, but was not able to raise himself; and
I thought with myself he might even lie there—for if he had
frightened me, so he would certainly fright any of the savages,
if any of them should be so hardy as to come in there while he
had any life in him.

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

Accordingly, the next day I came provided with six large
candles of my own making (for I made very good candles now of
goat’s tallow, but was hard set for candle-wick, using
sometimes rags or rope-yarn, and sometimes the dried rind of a
weed like nettles); and going into this low place I was obliged
to creep upon all-fours as I have said, almost ten
yards—which, by the way, I thought was a venture bold
enough, considering that I knew not how far it might go, nor what
was beyond it.  When I had got through the strait, I found
the roof rose higher up, I believe near twenty feet; but never
was such a glorious sight seen in the island, I daresay, as it
was to look round the sides and roof of this vault or
cave—the wall reflected a hundred thousand lights to me
from my two candles.  What it was in the rock—whether
diamonds or any other precious stones, or gold which I rather
supposed it to be—I knew not.  The place I was in was
a most delightful cavity, or grotto, though perfectly dark; the
floor was dry and level, and had a sort of a small loose gravel
upon it, so that there was no nauseous or venomous creature to be
seen, neither was there any damp or wet on the sides or
roof.  The only difficulty in it was the
entrance—which, however, as it was a place of security, and
such a retreat as I wanted; I thought was a convenience; so that
I was really rejoiced at the discovery, and resolved, without any
delay, to bring some of those things which I was most anxious
about to this place: particularly, I resolved to bring hither my
magazine of powder, and all my spare arms—viz. two
fowling-pieces—for I had three in all—and three
muskets—for of them I had eight in all; so I kept in my
castle only five, which stood ready mounted like pieces of cannon
on my outmost fence, and were ready also to take out upon any
expedition.  Upon this occasion of removing my ammunition I
happened to open the barrel of powder which I took up out of the
sea, and which had been wet, and I found that the water had
penetrated about three or four inches into the powder on every
side, which caking and growing hard, had preserved the inside
like a kernel in the shell, so that I had near sixty pounds of
very good powder in the centre of the cask.  This was a very
agreeable discovery to me at that time; so I carried all away
thither, never keeping above two or three pounds of powder with
me in my castle, for fear of a surprise of any kind; I also
carried thither all the lead I had left for bullets.

I fancied myself now like one of the ancient giants who were
said to live in caves and holes in the rocks, where none could
come at them; for I persuaded myself, while I was here, that if
five hundred savages were to hunt me, they could never find me
out—or if they did, they would not venture to attack me
here.  The old goat whom I found expiring died in the mouth
of the cave the next day after I made this discovery; and I found
it much easier to dig a great hole there, and throw him in and
cover him with earth, than to drag him out; so I interred him
there, to prevent offence to my nose.


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

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

I was indeed terribly surprised at the sight, and stopped
short within my grove, not daring to go out, lest I might be
surprised; and yet I had no more peace within, from the
apprehensions I had that if these savages, in rambling over the
island, should find my corn standing or cut, or any of my works
or improvements, they would immediately conclude that there were
people in the place, and would then never rest till they had
found me out.  In this extremity I went back directly to my
castle, pulled up the ladder after me, and made all things
without look as wild and natural as I 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
impatient for intelligence abroad, for I had no spies to send
out.  After sitting a while longer, and musing what I should
do in this case, I was not able to bear sitting in ignorance
longer; so setting up my ladder to the side of the hill, where
there was a flat place, as I observed before, and then pulling
the ladder after me, I set it up again and mounted the top of the
hill, and pulling out my perspective glass, which I had taken on
purpose, I laid me down flat on my belly on the ground, and began
to look for the place.  I presently found there were no less
than nine naked savages sitting round a small fire they had made,
not to warm them, for they had no need of that, the weather being
extremely hot, but, as I supposed, to dress some of their
barbarous diet of human flesh which they had brought with them,
whether alive or dead I could not tell.

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

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

As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took two guns upon
my shoulders, and two pistols in my girdle, and my great sword by
my side without a scabbard, and with all the speed I was able to
make went away to the hill where I had discovered the first
appearance of all; and as soon as I got thither, which was not in
less than two hours (for I could not go quickly, being so loaded
with arms as I was), I perceived there had been three canoes more
of the savages at that place; and looking out farther, I saw they
were all at sea together, making over for the main.  This
was a dreadful sight to me, especially as, going down to the
shore, I could see the marks of horror which the dismal work they
had been about had left behind it—viz. the blood, the
bones, and part of the flesh of human bodies eaten and devoured
by those wretches with merriment and sport.  I was so filled
with indignation at the sight, that I now began to premeditate
the destruction of the next that I saw there, let them be whom or
how many soever.  It seemed evident to me that the visits
which they made thus to this island were not very frequent, for
it was above fifteen months before any more of them came on shore
there again—that is to say, I neither saw them nor any
footsteps or signals of them in all that time; for as to the
rainy seasons, then they are sure not to come abroad, at least
not so far.  Yet all this while I lived uncomfortably, by
reason of the constant apprehensions of their coming upon me by
surprise: from whence I observe, that the expectation of evil is
more bitter than the suffering, especially if there is no room to
shake off that expectation or those apprehensions.

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

The perturbation of my mind during this fifteen or sixteen
months’ interval was very great; I slept unquietly, dreamed
always frightful dreams, and often started out of my sleep in the
night.  In the day great troubles overwhelmed my mind; and
in the night I dreamed often of killing the savages and of the
reasons why I might justify doing it.

But to waive all this for a while.  It was in the middle
of May, on the sixteenth day, I think, as well as my poor wooden
calendar would reckon, for I marked all upon the post still; I
say, it was on the sixteenth of May that it blew a very great
storm of wind all day, with a great deal of lightning and
thunder, and; a very foul night it was after it.  I knew not
what was the particular occasion of it, but as I was reading in
the Bible, and taken up with very serious thoughts about my
present condition, I was surprised with the noise of a gun, as I
thought, fired at sea.  This was, to be sure, a surprise
quite of a different nature from any I had met with before; for
the notions this put into my thoughts were quite of another
kind.  I started up in the greatest haste imaginable; and,
in a trice, clapped my ladder to the middle place of the rock,
and pulled it after me; and mounting it the second time, got to
the top of the hill the very moment that a flash of fire bid me
listen for a second gun, which, accordingly, in about half a
minute I heard; and by the sound, knew that it was from that part
of the sea where I was driven down the current in my boat. 
I immediately considered that this must be some ship in distress,
and that they had some comrade, or some other ship in company,
and fired these for signals of distress, and to obtain
help.  I had the presence of mind at that minute to think,
that though I could not help them, it might be that they might
help me; so I brought together all the dry wood I could get at
hand, and making a good handsome pile, I set it on fire upon the
hill.  The wood was dry, and blazed freely; and, though the
wind blew very hard, yet it burned fairly out; so that I was
certain, if there was any such thing as a ship, they must needs
see it.  And no doubt they did; for as soon as ever my fire
blazed up, I heard another gun, and after that several others,
all from the same quarter.  I plied my fire all night long,
till daybreak: and when it was broad day, and the air cleared up,
I saw something at a great distance at sea, full east of the
island, whether a sail or a hull I could not
distinguish—no, not with my glass: the distance was so
great, and the weather still something hazy also; at least, it
was so out at sea.

I looked frequently at it all that day, and soon perceived
that it did not move; so I presently concluded that it was a ship
at anchor; and being eager, you may be sure, to be satisfied, I
took my gun in my hand, and ran towards the south side of the
island to the rocks where I had formerly been carried away by the
current; and getting up there, the weather by this time being
perfectly clear, I could plainly see, to my great sorrow, the
wreck of a ship, cast away in the night upon those concealed
rocks which I found when I was out in my boat; and which rocks,
as they checked the violence of the stream, and made a kind of
counter-stream, or eddy, were the occasion of my recovering from
the most desperate, hopeless condition that ever I had been in in
all my life.  Thus, what is one man’s safety is
another man’s destruction; for it seems these men, whoever
they were, being out of their knowledge, and the rocks being
wholly under water, had been driven upon them in the night, the
wind blowing hard at ENE.  Had they seen the island, as I
must necessarily suppose they did not, they must, as I thought,
have endeavoured to have saved themselves on shore by the help of
their boat; but their firing off guns for help, especially when
they saw, as I imagined, my fire, filled me with many
thoughts.  First, I imagined that upon seeing my light they
might have put themselves into their boat, and endeavoured to
make the shore: but that the sea running very high, they might
have been cast away.  Other times I imagined that they might
have lost their boat before, as might be the case many ways;
particularly by the breaking of the sea upon their ship, which
many times obliged men to stave, or take in pieces, their boat,
and sometimes to throw it overboard with their own hands. 
Other times I imagined they had some other ship or ships in
company, who, upon the signals of distress they made, had taken
them up, and carried them off.  Other times I fancied they
were all gone off to sea in their boat, and being hurried away by
the current that I had been formerly in, were carried out into
the great ocean, where there was nothing but misery and
perishing: and that, perhaps, they might by this time think of
starving, and of being in a condition to eat one another.

As all these were but conjectures at best, so, in the
condition I was in, I could do no more than look on upon the
misery of the poor men, and pity them; which had still this good
effect upon my side, that it gave me more and more cause to give
thanks to God, who had so happily and comfortably provided for me
in my desolate condition; and that of two ships’ companies,
who were now cast away upon this part of the world, not one life
should be spared but mine.  I learned here again to observe,
that it is very rare that the providence of God casts us into any
condition so low, or any misery so great, but we may see
something or other to be thankful for, and may see others in
worse circumstances than our own.  Such certainly was the
case of these men, of whom I could not so much as see room to
suppose any were saved; nothing could make it rational so much as
to wish or expect that they did not all perish there, except the
possibility only of their being taken up by another ship in
company; and this was but mere possibility indeed, for I saw not
the least sign or appearance of any such thing.  I cannot
explain, by any possible energy of words, what a strange longing
I felt in my soul upon this sight, breaking out sometimes thus:
“Oh that there had been but one or two, nay, or but one
soul saved out of this ship, to have escaped to me, that I might
but have had one companion, one fellow-creature, to have spoken
to me and to have conversed with!”  In all the time of
my solitary life I never felt so earnest, so strong a desire
after the society of my fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at
the want of it.

There are some secret springs in the affections which, when
they are set a-going by some object in view, or, though not in
view, yet rendered present to the mind by the power of
imagination, that motion carries out the soul, by its
impetuosity, to such violent, eager embracings of the object,
that the absence of it is insupportable.  Such were these
earnest wishings that but one man had been saved.  I believe
I repeated the words, “Oh that it had been but one!”
a thousand times; and my desires were so moved by it, that when I
spoke the words my hands would clinch together, and my fingers
would press the palms of my hands, so that if I had had any soft
thing in my hand I should have crushed it involuntarily; and the
teeth in my head would strike together, and set against one
another so strong, that for some time I could not part them
again.  Let the naturalists explain these things, and the
reason and manner of them.  All I can do is to describe the
fact, which was even surprising to me when I found it, though I
knew not from whence it proceeded; it was doubtless the effect of
ardent wishes, and of strong ideas formed in my mind, realising
the comfort which the conversation of one of my fellow-Christians
would have been to me.  But it was not to be; either their
fate or mine, or both, forbade it; for, till the last year of my
being on this island, I never knew whether any were saved out of
that ship or no; and had only the affliction, some days after, to
see the corpse of a drowned boy come on shore at the end of the
island which was next the shipwreck.  He had no clothes on
but a seaman’s waistcoat, a pair of open-kneed linen
drawers, and a blue linen shirt; but nothing to direct me so much
as to guess what nation he was of.  He had nothing in his
pockets but two pieces of eight and a tobacco pipe—the last
was to me of ten times more value than the first.

It was now calm, and I had a great mind to venture out in my
boat to this wreck, not doubting but I might find something on
board that might be useful to me.  But that did not
altogether press me so much as the possibility that there might
be yet some living creature on board, whose life I might not only
save, but might, by saving that life, comfort my own to the last
degree; and this thought clung so to my heart that I could not be
quiet night or day, but I must venture out in my boat on board
this wreck; and committing the rest to God’s providence, I
thought the impression was so strong upon my mind that it could
not be resisted—that it must come from some invisible
direction, and that I should be wanting to myself if I did not

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

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

Encouraged by this observation, I resolved the next morning to
set out with the first of the tide; and reposing myself for the
night in my canoe, under the watch-coat I mentioned, I launched
out.  I first made a little out to sea, full north, till I
began to feel the benefit of the current, which set eastward, and
which carried me at a great rate; and yet did not so hurry me as
the current on the south side had done before, so as to take from
me all government of the boat; but having a strong steerage with
my paddle, I went at a great rate directly for the wreck, and in
less than two hours I came up to it.  It was a dismal sight
to look at; the ship, which by its building was Spanish, stuck
fast, jammed in between two rocks.  All the stern and
quarter of her were beaten to pieces by the sea; and as her
forecastle, which stuck in the rocks, had run on with great
violence, her mainmast and foremast were brought by the
board—that is to say, broken short off; but her bowsprit
was sound, and the head and bow appeared firm.  When I came
close to her, a dog appeared upon her, who, seeing me coming,
yelped and cried; and as soon as I called him, jumped into the
sea to come to me.  I took him into the boat, but found him
almost dead with hunger and thirst.  I gave him a cake of my
bread, and he devoured it like a ravenous wolf that had been
starving a fortnight in the snow; I then gave the poor creature
some fresh water, with which, if I would have let him, he would
have burst himself.  After this I went on board; but the
first sight I met with was two men drowned in the cook-room, or
forecastle of the ship, with their arms fast about one
another.  I concluded, as is indeed probable, that when the
ship struck, it being in a storm, the sea broke so high and so
continually over her, that the men were not able to bear it, and
were strangled with the constant rushing in of the water, as much
as if they had been under water.  Besides the dog, there was
nothing left in the ship that had life; nor any goods, that I
could see, but what were spoiled by the water.  There were
some casks of liquor, whether wine or brandy I knew not, which
lay lower in the hold, and which, the water being ebbed out, I
could see; but they were too big to meddle with.  I saw
several chests, which I believe belonged to some of the seamen;
and I got two of them into the boat, without examining what was
in them.  Had the stern of the ship been fixed, and the
forepart broken off, I am persuaded I might have made a good
voyage; for by what I found in those two chests I had room to
suppose the ship had a great deal of wealth on board; and, if I
may guess from the course she steered, she must have been bound
from Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata, in the south part of
America, beyond the Brazils to the Havannah, in the Gulf of
Mexico, and so perhaps to Spain.  She had, no doubt, a great
treasure in her, but of no use, at that time, to anybody; and
what became of the crew I then knew not.

I found, besides these chests, a little cask full of liquor,
of about twenty gallons, which I got into my boat with much
difficulty.  There were several muskets in the cabin, and a
great powder-horn, with about four pounds of powder in it; as for
the muskets, I had no occasion for them, so I left them, but took
the powder-horn.  I took a fire-shovel and tongs, which I
wanted extremely, as also two little brass kettles, a copper pot
to make chocolate, and a gridiron; and with this cargo, and the
dog, I came away, the tide beginning to make home again—and
the same evening, about an hour within night, I reached the
island again, weary and fatigued to the last degree.  I
reposed that night in the boat and in the morning I resolved to
harbour what I had got in my new cave, and not carry it home to
my castle.  After refreshing myself, I got all my cargo on
shore, and began to examine the particulars.  The cask of
liquor I found to be a kind of rum, but not such as we had at the
Brazils; and, in a word, not at all good; but when I came to open
the chests, I found several things of great use to me—for
example, I found in one a fine case of bottles, of an
extraordinary kind, and filled with cordial waters, fine and very
good; the bottles held about three pints each, and were tipped
with silver.  I found two pots of very good succades, or
sweetmeats, so fastened also on the top that the salt-water had
not hurt them; and two more of the same, which the water had
spoiled.  I found some very good shirts, which were very
welcome to me; and about a dozen and a half of white linen
handkerchiefs and coloured neckcloths; the former were also very
welcome, being exceedingly refreshing to wipe my face in a hot
day.  Besides this, when I came to the till in the chest, I
found there three great bags of pieces of eight, which held about
eleven hundred pieces in all; and in one of them, wrapped up in a
paper, six doubloons of gold, and some small bars or wedges of
gold; I suppose they might all weigh near a pound.  In the
other chest were some clothes, but of little value; but, by the
circumstances, it must have belonged to the gunner’s mate;
though there was no powder in it, except two pounds of fine
glazed powder, in three flasks, kept, I suppose, for charging
their fowling-pieces on occasion.  Upon the whole, I got
very little by this voyage that was of any use to me; for, as to
the money, I had no manner of occasion for it; it was to me as
the dirt under my feet, and I would have given it all for three
or four pair of English shoes and stockings, which were things I
greatly wanted, but had had none on my feet for many years. 
I had, indeed, got two pair of shoes now, which I took off the
feet of two drowned men whom I saw in the wreck, and I found two
pair more in one of the chests, which were very welcome to me;
but they were not like our English shoes, either for ease or
service, being rather what we call pumps than shoes.  I
found in this seaman’s chest about fifty pieces of eight,
in rials, but no gold: I supposed this belonged to a poorer man
than the other, which seemed to belong to some officer. 
Well, however, I lugged this money home to my cave, and laid it
up, as I had done that before which I had brought from our own
ship; but it was a great pity, as I said, that the other part of
this ship had not come to my share: for I am satisfied I might
have loaded my canoe several times over with money; and, thought
I, if I ever escape to England, it might lie here safe enough
till I come again and fetch it.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After these thoughts had for some time entertained me, I came
to reflect seriously upon the real danger I had been in for so
many years in this very island, and how I had walked about in the
greatest security, and with all possible tranquillity, even when
perhaps nothing but the brow of a hill, a great tree, or the
casual approach of night, had been between me and the worst kind
of destruction—viz. that of falling into the hands of
cannibals and savages, who would have seized on me with the same
view as I would on a goat or turtle; and have thought it no more
crime to kill and devour me than I did of a pigeon or a
curlew.  I would unjustly slander myself if I should say I
was not sincerely thankful to my great Preserver, to whose
singular protection I acknowledged, with great humanity, all
these unknown deliverances were due, and without which I must
inevitably have fallen into their merciless 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
Governor of all things should give up any of His creatures to
such inhumanity—nay, to something so much below even
brutality itself—as to devour its own kind: but as this
ended in some (at that time) fruitless speculations, it occurred
to me to inquire what part of the world these wretches lived in?
how far off the coast was from whence they came? what they
ventured over so far from home for? what kind of boats they had?
and why I might not order myself and my business so that I might
be able to go over thither, as they were to come to me?

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

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

Upon this, however, I made this conclusion: that my only way
to go about to attempt an escape was, to endeavour to get a
savage into my possession: and, if possible, it should be one of
their prisoners, whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should
bring hither to kill.  But these thoughts still were
attended with this difficulty: that it was impossible to effect
this without attacking a whole caravan of them, and killing them
all; and this was not only a very desperate attempt, and might
miscarry, but, on the other hand, I had greatly scrupled the
lawfulness of it to myself; and my heart trembled at the thoughts
of shedding so much blood, though it was for my
deliverance.  I need not repeat the arguments which occurred
to me against this, they being the same mentioned before; but
though I had other reasons to offer now—viz. that those men
were enemies to my life, and would devour me if they could; that
it was self-preservation, in the highest degree, to deliver
myself from this death of a life, and was acting in my own
defence as much as if they were actually assaulting me, and the
like; I say though these things argued for it, yet the thoughts
of shedding human blood for my deliverance were very terrible to
me, and such as I could by no means reconcile myself to for a
great while.  However, at last, after many secret disputes
with myself, and after great perplexities about it (for all these
arguments, one way and another, struggled in my head a long
time), the eager prevailing desire of deliverance at length
mastered all the rest; and I resolved, if possible, to get one of
these savages into my hands, cost what it would.  My next
thing was to contrive how to do it, and this, indeed, was very
difficult to resolve on; but as I could pitch upon no probable
means for it, so I resolved to put myself upon the watch, to see
them when they came on shore, and leave the rest to the event;
taking such measures as the opportunity should present, let what
would be.

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

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

While I was thus looking on them, I perceived, by my
perspective, two miserable wretches dragged from the boats,
where, it seems, they were laid by, and were now brought out for
the slaughter.  I perceived one of them immediately fall;
being knocked down, I suppose, with a club or wooden sword, for
that was their way; and two or three others were at work
immediately, cutting him open for their cookery, while the other
victim was left standing by himself, till they should be ready
for him.  In that very moment this poor wretch, seeing
himself a little at liberty and unbound, Nature inspired him with
hopes of life, and he started away from them, and ran with
incredible swiftness along the sands, directly towards me; I mean
towards that part of the coast where my habitation was.  I
was dreadfully frightened, I must acknowledge, when I perceived
him run my way; and especially when, as I thought, I saw him
pursued by the whole body: and now I expected that part of my
dream was coming to pass, and that he would certainly take
shelter in my grove; but I could not depend, by any means, upon
my dream, that the other savages would not pursue him thither and
find him there.  However, I kept my station, and my spirits
began to recover when I found that there was not above three men
that followed him; and still more was I encouraged, when I found
that he outstripped them exceedingly in running, and gained
ground on them; so that, if he could but hold out for
half-an-hour, I saw easily he would fairly get away from them

There was between them and my castle the creek, which I
mentioned often in the first part of my story, where I landed my
cargoes out of the ship; and this I saw plainly he must
necessarily swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken there;
but when the savage escaping came thither, he made nothing of it,
though the tide was then up; but plunging in, swam through in
about thirty strokes, or thereabouts, landed, and ran with
exceeding strength and swiftness.  When the three persons
came to the creek, I found that two of them could swim, but the
third could not, and that, standing on the other side, he looked
at the others, but went no farther, and soon after went softly
back again; which, as it happened, was very well for him in the
end.  I observed that the two who swam were yet more than
twice as strong swimming over the creek as the fellow was that
fled from them.  It came very warmly upon my thoughts, and
indeed irresistibly, that now was the time to get me a servant,
and, perhaps, a companion or assistant; and that I was plainly
called by Providence to save this poor creature’s
life.  I immediately ran down the ladders with all possible
expedition, fetched my two guns, for they were both at the foot
of the ladders, as I observed before, and getting up again with
the same haste to the top of the hill, I crossed towards the sea;
and having a very short cut, and all down hill, placed myself in
the way between the pursuers and the pursued, hallowing aloud to
him that fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps as much
frightened at me as at them; but I beckoned with my hand to him
to come back; and, in the meantime, I slowly advanced towards the
two that followed; then rushing at once upon the foremost, I
knocked him down with the stock of my piece.  I was loath to
fire, because I would not have the rest hear; though, at that
distance, it would not have been easily heard, and being out of
sight of the smoke, too, they would not have known what to make
of it.  Having knocked this fellow down, the other who
pursued him stopped, as if he had been frightened, and I advanced
towards him: but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had a
bow and arrow, and was fitting it to shoot at me: so I was then
obliged to shoot at him first, which I did, and killed him at the
first shot.  The poor savage who fled, but had stopped,
though he saw both his enemies fallen and killed, as he thought,
yet was so frightened with the fire and noise of my piece that he
stood stock still, and neither came forward nor went backward,
though he seemed rather inclined still to fly than to come
on.  I hallooed again to him, and made signs to come
forward, which he easily understood, and came a little way; then
stopped again, and then a little farther, and stopped again; and
I could then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had been
taken prisoner, and had just been to be killed, as his two
enemies were.  I beckoned to him again to come to me, and
gave him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of;
and he came nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve
steps, in token of acknowledgment for saving his life.  I
smiled at him, and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to come
still nearer; at length he came close to me; and then he kneeled
down again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon the ground,
and taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his head; this, it
seems, was in token of swearing to be my slave for ever.  I
took him up and made much of him, and encouraged him all I
could.  But there was more work to do yet; for I perceived
the savage whom I had knocked down was not killed, but stunned
with the blow, and began to come to himself: so I pointed to him,
and showed him the savage, that he was not dead; upon this he
spoke some words to me, and though I could not understand them,
yet I thought they were pleasant to hear; for they were the first
sound of a man’s voice that I had heard, my own excepted,
for above twenty-five years.  But there was no time for such
reflections now; the savage who was knocked down recovered
himself so far as to sit up upon the ground, and I perceived that
my savage began to be afraid; but when I saw that, I presented my
other piece at the man, as if I would shoot him: upon this my
savage, for so I call him now, made a motion to me to lend him my
sword, which hung naked in a belt by my side, which I did. 
He no sooner had it, but he runs to his enemy, and at one blow
cut off his head so cleverly, no executioner in Germany could
have done it sooner or better; which I thought very strange for
one who, I had reason to believe, never saw a sword in his life
before, except their own wooden swords: however, it seems, as I
learned afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp, so
heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will even cut off heads
with them, ay, and arms, and that at one blow, too.  When he
had done this, he comes laughing to me in sign of triumph, and
brought me the sword again, and with abundance of gestures which
I did not understand, laid it down, with the head of the savage
that he had killed, just before me.  But that which
astonished him most was to know how I killed the other Indian so
far off; so, pointing to him, he made signs to me to let him go
to him; and I bade him go, as well as I could.  When he came
to him, he stood like one amazed, looking at him, turning him
first on one side, then on the other; looked at the wound the
bullet had made, which it seems was just in his breast, where it
had made a hole, and no great quantity of blood had followed; but
he had bled inwardly, for he was quite dead.  He took up his
bow and arrows, and came back; so I turned to go away, and
beckoned him to follow me, making signs to him that more might
come after them.  Upon this he made signs to me that he
should bury them with sand, that they might not be seen by the
rest, if they followed; and so I made signs to him again to do
so.  He fell to work; and in an instant he had scraped a
hole in the sand with his hands big enough to bury the first in,
and then dragged him into it, and covered him; and did so by the
other also; I believe he had him buried them both in a quarter of
an hour.  Then, calling away, I carried him, not to my
castle, but quite away to my cave, on the farther part of the
island: so I did not let my dream come to pass in that part, that
he came into my grove for shelter.  Here I gave him bread
and a bunch of raisins to eat, and a draught of water, which I
found he was indeed in great distress for, from his running: and
having refreshed him, I made signs for him to go and lie down to
sleep, showing him a place where I had laid some rice-straw, and
a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself sometimes;
so the poor creature lay down, and went to 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 a European in his countenance, too,
especially when he smiled.  His hair was long and black, not
curled like wool; his forehead very high and large; and a great
vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes.  The colour of
his skin was not quite black, but very tawny; and yet not an
ugly, yellow, nauseous tawny, as the Brazilians and Virginians,
and other natives of America are, but of a bright kind of a dun
olive-colour, that had in it something very agreeable, though not
very easy to describe.  His face was round and plump; his
nose small, not flat, like the negroes; a very good mouth, thin
lips, and his fine teeth well set, and as white as 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 subjection, servitude, and
submission imaginable, to let me know how he would serve me so
long as he lived.  I understood him in many things, and let
him know I was very well pleased with him.  In a little time
I began to speak to him; and teach him to speak to me; and first,
I let him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I
saved his life; I called him so for the memory of the time. 
I likewise taught him to say Master; and then let him know that
was to be my name; I likewise taught him to say Yes and No and to
know the meaning of them.  I gave him some milk in an
earthen pot, and let him see me drink it before him, and sop my
bread in it; and gave him a cake of bread to do the like, which
he quickly complied with, and made signs that it was very good
for him.  I kept there with him all that night; but as soon
as it was day I beckoned to him to come with me, and let him know
I would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, for
he was stark naked.  As we went by the place where he had
buried the two men, he pointed exactly to the place, and showed
me the marks that he had made to find them again, making signs to
me that we should dig them up again and eat them.  At this I
appeared very angry, expressed my abhorrence of it, made as if I
would vomit at the thoughts of it, and beckoned with my hand to
him to come away, which he did immediately, with great
submission.  I then led him up to the top of the hill, to
see if his enemies were gone; and pulling out my glass I looked,
and saw plainly the place where they had been, but no appearance
of them or their canoes; so that it was plain they were gone, and
had left their two comrades behind them, without any search after

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

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

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

The next day, after I came home to my hutch with him, I began
to consider where I should lodge him: and that I might do well
for him and yet be perfectly easy myself, I made a little tent
for him in the vacant place between my two fortifications, in the
inside of the last, and in the outside of the first.  As
there was a door or entrance there into my cave, I made a formal
framed door-case, and a door to it, of boards, and set it up in
the passage, a little within the entrance; and, causing the door
to open in the inside, I barred it up in the night, taking in my
ladders, too; so that Friday could no way come at me in the
inside of my innermost wall, without making so much noise in
getting over that it must needs awaken me; for my first wall had
now a complete roof over it of long poles, covering all my tent,
and leaning up to the side of the hill; which was again laid
across with smaller sticks, instead of laths, and then thatched
over a great thickness with the rice-straw, which was strong,
like reeds; and at the hole or place which was left to go in or
out by the ladder I had placed a kind of trap-door, which, if it
had been attempted on the outside, would not have opened at all,
but would have fallen down and made a great noise—as to
weapons, I took them all into my side every night.  But I
needed none of all this precaution; for never man had a more
faithful, loving, sincere servant than Friday was to me: without
passions, sullenness, or designs, perfectly obliged and engaged;
his very affections were tied to me, like those of a child to a
father; and I daresay he would have sacrificed his life to save
mine upon any occasion whatsoever—the many testimonies he
gave me of this put it out of doubt, and soon convinced me that I
needed to use no precautions for my safety on his account.

This frequently gave me occasion to observe, and that with
wonder, that however it had pleased God in His providence, and in
the government of the works of His hands, to take from so great a
part of the world of His creatures the best uses to which their
faculties and the powers of their souls are adapted, yet that He
has bestowed upon them the same powers, the same reason, the same
affections, the same sentiments of kindness and obligation, the
same passions and resentments of wrongs, the same sense of
gratitude, sincerity, fidelity, and all the capacities of doing
good and receiving good that He has given to us; and that when He
pleases to offer them occasions of exerting these, they are as
ready, nay, more ready, to apply them to the right uses for which
they were bestowed than we are.  This made me very
melancholy sometimes, in reflecting, as the several occasions
presented, how mean a use we make of all these, even though we
have these powers enlightened by the great lamp of instruction,
the Spirit of God, and by the knowledge of His word added to our
understanding; and why it has pleased God to hide the like saving
knowledge from so many millions of souls, who, if I might judge
by this poor savage, would make a much better use of it than we
did.  From hence I sometimes was led too far, to invade the
sovereignty of Providence, and, as it were, arraign the justice
of so arbitrary a disposition of things, that should hide that
sight from some, and reveal it to others, and yet expect a like
duty from both; but I shut it up, and checked my thoughts with
this conclusion: first, that we did not know by what light and
law these should be condemned; but that as God was necessarily,
and by the nature of His being, infinitely holy and just, so it
could not be, but if these creatures were all sentenced to
absence from Himself, it was on account of sinning against that
light which, as the Scripture says, was a law to themselves, and
by such rules as their consciences would acknowledge to be just,
though the foundation was not discovered to us; and secondly,
that still as we all are the clay in the hand of the potter, no
vessel could say to him, “Why hast thou formed me

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


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

I soon found a way to convince him that I would do him no
harm; and taking him up by the hand, laughed at him, and pointing
to the kid which I had killed, beckoned to him to run and fetch
it, which he did: and while he was wondering, and looking to see
how the creature was killed, I loaded my gun again. 
By-and-by I saw a great fowl, like a hawk, sitting upon a tree
within shot; so, to let Friday understand a little what I would
do, I called him to me again, pointed at the fowl, which was
indeed a parrot, though I thought it had been a hawk; I say,
pointing to the parrot, and to my gun, and to the ground under
the parrot, to let him see I would make it fall, I made him
understand that I would shoot and kill that bird; accordingly, I
fired, and bade him look, and immediately he saw the parrot
fall.  He stood like one frightened again, notwithstanding
all I had said to him; and I found he was the more amazed,
because he did not see me put anything into the gun, but thought
that there must be some wonderful fund of death and destruction
in that thing, able to kill man, beast, bird, or anything near or
far off; and the astonishment this created in him was such as
could not wear off for a long time; and I believe, if I would
have let him, he would have worshipped me and my gun.  As
for the gun itself, he would not so much as touch it for several
days after; but he would speak to it and talk to it, as if it had
answered him, when he was by himself; which, as I afterwards
learned of him, was to desire it not to kill him.  Well,
after his astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to
him to run and fetch the bird I had shot, which he did, but
stayed some time; for the parrot, not being quite dead, had
fluttered away a good distance from the place where she fell:
however, he found her, took her up, and brought her to me; and as
I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, I took this
advantage to charge the gun again, and not to let him see me do
it, that I might be ready for any other mark that might present;
but nothing more offered at that time: so I brought home the kid,
and the same evening I took the skin off, and cut it out as well
as I could; and having a pot fit for that purpose, I boiled or
stewed some of the flesh, and made some very good broth. 
After I had begun to eat some I gave some to my man, who seemed
very glad of it, and liked it very well; but that which was
strangest to him was to see me eat salt with it.  He made a
sign to me that the salt was not good to eat; and putting a
little into his own mouth, he seemed to nauseate it, and would
spit and sputter at it, washing his mouth with fresh water after
it: on the other hand, I took some meat into my mouth without
salt, and I pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as
much as he had done at the salt; but it would not do; he would
never care for salt with meat or in his broth; at least, not for
a great while, and then but a very little.

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

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

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

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

I had a mind once to try if he had any inclination for his own
country again; and having taught him English so well that he
could answer me almost any question, I asked him whether the
nation that he belonged to never conquered in battle?  At
which he smiled, and said—“Yes, yes, we always fight
the better;” that is, he meant always get the better in
fight; and so we began the following 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
over-beat 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

Master.—Where do they carry them?

Friday.—Go to other place, where they think.

Master.—Do they come hither?

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

Master.—Have you been here with them?

Friday.—Yes, I have been here (points to the NW.
side of the island, which, it seems, was their side).

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

I have told this passage, because it introduces what follows:
that after this discourse I had with him, I asked him how far it
was from our island to the shore, and whether the canoes were not
often lost.  He told me there was no danger, no canoes ever
lost: but that after a little way out to sea, there was a current
and wind, always one way in the morning, the other in the
afternoon.  This I understood to be no more than the sets of
the tide, as going out or coming in; but I afterwards understood
it was occasioned by the great draft and reflux of the mighty
river Orinoco, in the mouth or gulf of which river, as I found
afterwards, our island lay; and that this land, which I perceived
to be W. and NW., was the great island Trinidad, on the north
point of the mouth of the river.  I asked Friday a thousand
questions about the country, the inhabitants, the sea, the coast,
and what nations were near; he told me all he knew with the
greatest openness imaginable.  I asked him the names of the
several nations of his sort of people, but could get no other
name than Caribs; from whence I easily understood that these were
the Caribbees, which our maps place on the part of America which
reaches from the mouth of the river Orinoco to Guiana, and
onwards to St. Martha.  He told me that up a great way
beyond the moon, that was beyond the setting of the moon, which
must be west from their country, there dwelt white bearded men,
like me, and pointed to my great whiskers, which I mentioned
before; and that they had killed much mans, that was his word: by
all which I understood he meant the Spaniards, whose cruelties in
America had been spread over the whole country, and were
remembered by all the nations from father to son.

I inquired if he could tell me how I might go from this
island, and get among those white men.  He told me,
“Yes, yes, you may go in two canoe.”  I could
not understand what he meant, or make him describe to me what he
meant by two canoe, till at last, with great difficulty, I found
he meant it must be in a large boat, as big as two canoes. 
This part of Friday’s discourse I began to relish very
well; and from this time I entertained some hopes that, one time
or other, I might find an opportunity to make my escape from this
place, and that this poor savage might be a means to help me.

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

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

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

I found it was not so easy to imprint right notions in his
mind about the devil as it was about the being of a God. 
Nature assisted all my arguments to evidence to him even the
necessity of a great First Cause, an overruling, governing Power,
a secret directing Providence, and of the equity and justice of
paying homage to Him that made us, and the like; but there
appeared nothing of this kind in the notion of an evil spirit, of
his origin, his being, his nature, and above all, of his
inclination to do evil, and to draw us in to do so too; and the
poor creature puzzled me once in such a manner, by a question
merely natural and innocent, that I scarce knew what to say to
him.  I had been talking a great deal to him of the power of
God, His omnipotence, His aversion to sin, His being a consuming
fire to the workers of iniquity; how, as He had made us all, He
could destroy us and all the world in a moment; and he listened
with great seriousness to me all the while.  After this I
had been telling him how the devil was God’s enemy in the
hearts of men, and used all his malice and skill to defeat the
good designs of Providence, and to ruin the kingdom of Christ in
the world, and the like.  “Well,” says Friday,
“but you say God is so strong, so great; is He not much
strong, much might as the devil?”  “Yes,
yes,” says I, “Friday; God is stronger than the
devil—God is above the devil, and therefore we pray to God
to tread him down under our feet, and enable us to resist his
temptations and quench his fiery darts.” 
“But,” says he again, “if God much stronger,
much might as the wicked devil, why God no kill the devil, so
make him no more do wicked?”  I was strangely
surprised at this question; and, after all, though I was now an
old man, yet I was but a young doctor, and ill qualified for a
casuist or a solver of difficulties; and at first I could not
tell what to say; so I pretended not to hear him, and asked him
what he said; but he was too earnest for an answer to forget his
question, so that he repeated it in the very same broken words as
above.  By this time I had recovered myself a little, and I
said, “God will at last punish him severely; he is reserved
for the judgment, and is to be cast into the bottomless pit, to
dwell with everlasting fire.”  This did not satisfy
Friday; but he returns upon me, repeating my words,
“‘Reserve at last!’ me no
understand—but why not kill the devil now; not kill great
ago?”  “You may as well ask me,” said I,
“why God does not kill you or me, when we do wicked things
here that offend Him—we are preserved to repent and be
pardoned.”  He mused some time on this. 
“Well, well,” says he, mighty affectionately,
“that well—so you, I, devil, all wicked, all
preserve, repent, God pardon all.”  Here I was run
down again by him to the last degree; and it was a testimony to
me, how the mere notions of nature, though they will guide
reasonable creatures to the knowledge of a God, and of a worship
or homage due to the supreme being of God, as the consequence of
our nature, yet nothing but divine revelation can form the
knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of redemption purchased for us; of
a Mediator of the new covenant, and of an Intercessor at the
footstool of God’s throne; I say, nothing but a revelation
from Heaven can form these in the soul; and that, therefore, the
gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I mean the Word of
God, and the Spirit of God, promised for the guide and sanctifier
of His people, are the absolutely necessary instructors of the
souls of men in the saving knowledge of God and the means of

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

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

I continued in this thankful frame all the remainder of my
time; and the conversation which employed the hours between
Friday and me was such as made the three years which we lived
there together perfectly and completely happy, if any such thing
as complete happiness can be formed in a sublunary state. 
This savage was now a good Christian, a much better than I;
though I have reason to hope, and bless God for it, that we were
equally penitent, and comforted, restored penitents.  We had
here the Word of God to read, and no farther off from His Spirit
to instruct than if we had been in England.  I always
applied myself, in reading the Scripture, to let him know, as
well as I could, the meaning of what I read; and he again, by his
serious inquiries and questionings, made me, as I said before, a
much better scholar in the Scripture knowledge than I should ever
have been by my own mere private reading.  Another thing I
cannot refrain from observing here also, from experience in this
retired part of my life, viz. how infinite and inexpressible a
blessing it is that the knowledge of God, and of the doctrine of
salvation by Christ Jesus, is so plainly laid down in the Word of
God, so easy to be received and understood, that, as the bare
reading the Scripture made me capable of understanding enough of
my duty to carry me directly on to the great work of sincere
repentance for my sins, and laying hold of a Saviour for life and
salvation, to a stated reformation in practice, and obedience to
all God’s commands, and this without any teacher or
instructor, I mean human; so the same plain instruction
sufficiently served to the enlightening this savage creature, and
bringing him to be such a Christian as I have known few equal to
him in my life.

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

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

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

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

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

It was after this some considerable time, that being upon the
top of the hill at the east side of the island, from whence, as I
have said, I had, in a clear day, discovered the main or
continent of America, Friday, the weather being very serene,
looks very earnestly towards the mainland, and, in a kind of
surprise, falls a jumping and dancing, and calls out to me, for I
was at some distance from him.  I asked him what was the
matter.  “Oh, joy!” says he; “Oh, glad!
there see my country, there my nation!”  I observed an
extraordinary sense of pleasure appeared in his face, and his
eyes sparkled, and his countenance discovered a strange
eagerness, as if he had a mind to be in his own country
again.  This observation of mine put a great many thoughts
into me, which made me at first not so easy about my new man
Friday as I was before; and I made no doubt but that, if Friday
could get back to his own nation again, he would not only forget
all his religion but all his obligation to me, and would be
forward enough to give his countrymen an account of me, and come
back, perhaps with a hundred or two of them, and make a feast
upon me, at which he might be as merry as he used to be with
those of his enemies when they were taken in war.  But I
wronged the poor honest creature very much, for which I was very
sorry afterwards.  However, as my jealousy increased, and
held some weeks, I was a little more circumspect, and not so
familiar and kind to him as before: in which I was certainly
wrong too; the honest, grateful creature having no thought about
it but what consisted with the best principles, both as a
religious Christian and as a grateful friend, as appeared
afterwards to my full satisfaction.

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

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

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


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

Upon the whole, as I found by all his discourse a settled
affection to me, and that nothing could part him from me, so I
found all the foundation of his desire to go to his own country
was laid in his ardent affection to the people, and his hopes of
my doing them good; a thing which, as I had no notion of myself,
so I had not the least thought or intention, or desire of
undertaking it.  But still I found a strong inclination to
attempting my escape, founded on the supposition gathered from
the discourse, that there were seventeen bearded men there; and
therefore, without any more delay, I went to work with Friday to
find out a great tree proper to fell, and make a large periagua,
or canoe, to undertake the voyage.  There were trees enough
in the island to have built a little fleet, not of periaguas or
canoes, but even of good, large vessels; but the main thing I
looked at was, to get one so near the water that we might launch
it when it was made, to avoid the mistake I committed at
first.  At last Friday pitched upon a tree; for I found he
knew much better than I what kind of wood was fittest for it; nor
can I tell to this day what wood to call the tree we cut down,
except that it was very like the tree we call fustic, or between
that and the Nicaragua wood, for it was much of the same colour
and smell.  Friday wished to burn the hollow or cavity of
this tree out, to make it for a boat, but I showed him how to cut
it with tools; which, after I had showed him how to use, he did
very handily; and in about a month’s hard labour we
finished it and made it very handsome; especially when, with our
axes, which I showed him how to handle, we cut and hewed the
outside into the true shape of a boat.  After this, however,
it cost us near a fortnight’s time to get her along, as it
were inch by inch, upon great rollers into the water; but when
she was in, she would have carried twenty men with great

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

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

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

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

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

When the settled season began to come in, as the thought of my
design returned with the fair weather, I was preparing daily for
the voyage.  And the first thing I did was to lay by a
certain quantity of provisions, being the stores for our voyage;
and intended in a week or a fortnight’s time to open the
dock, and launch out our boat.  I was busy one morning upon
something of this kind, when I called to Friday, and bid him to
go to the sea-shore and see if he could find a turtle or a
tortoise, a thing which we generally got once a week, for the
sake of the eggs as well as the flesh.  Friday had not been
long gone when he came running back, and flew over my outer wall
or fence, like one that felt not the ground or the steps he set
his foot on; and before I had time to speak to him he cries out
to me, “O master! O master! O sorrow! O
bad!”—“What’s the matter, Friday?”
says I.  “O yonder there,” says he, “one,
two, three canoes; one, two, three!”  By this way of
speaking I concluded there were six; but on inquiry I found there
were but three.  “Well, Friday,” says I,
“do not be frightened.”  So I heartened him up
as well as I could.  However, I saw the poor fellow was most
terribly scared, for nothing ran in his head but that they were
come to look for him, and would cut him in pieces and eat him;
and the poor fellow trembled so that I scarcely knew what to do
with him.  I comforted him as well as I could, and told him
I was in as much danger as he, and that they would eat me as well
as him.  “But,” says I, “Friday, we must
resolve to fight them.  Can you fight, Friday?” 
“Me shoot,” says he, “but there come many great
number.”  “No matter for that,” said I
again; “our guns will fright them that we do not
kill.”  So I asked him whether, if I resolved to
defend him, he would defend me, and stand by me, and do just as I
bid him.  He said, “Me die when you bid die,
master.”  So I went and fetched a good dram of rum and
gave him; for I had been so good a husband of my rum that I had a
great deal left.  When we had drunk it, I made him take the
two fowling-pieces, which we always carried, and loaded them with
large swan-shot, as big as small pistol-bullets.  Then I
took four muskets, and loaded them with two slugs and five small
bullets each; and my two pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets
each.  I hung my great sword, as usual, naked by my side,
and gave Friday his hatchet.  When I had thus prepared
myself, I took my perspective glass, and went up to the side of
the hill, to see what I could discover; and I found quickly by my
glass that there were one-and-twenty savages, three prisoners,
and three canoes; and that their whole business seemed to be the
triumphant banquet upon these three human bodies: a barbarous
feast, indeed! but nothing more than, as I had observed, was
usual with them.  I observed also that they had landed, not
where they had done when Friday made his escape, but nearer to my
creek, where the shore was low, and where a thick wood came
almost close down to the sea.  This, with the abhorrence of
the inhuman errand these wretches came about, filled me with such
indignation that I came down again to Friday, and told him I was
resolved to go down to them and kill them all; and asked him if
he would stand by me.  He had now got over his fright, and
his spirits being a little raised with the dram I had given him,
he was very cheerful, and told me, as before, he would die when I
bid die.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I immediately cut the twisted flags or rushes which they had
bound him with, and would have helped him up; but he could not
stand or speak, but groaned most piteously, believing, it seems,
still, that he was only unbound in order to be killed.  When
Friday came to him I bade him speak to him, and tell him of his
deliverance; and pulling out my bottle, made him give the poor
wretch a dram, which, with the news of his being delivered,
revived him, and he sat up in the boat.  But when Friday
came to hear him speak, and look in his face, it would have moved
any one to tears to have seen how Friday kissed him, embraced
him, hugged him, cried, laughed, hallooed, jumped about, danced,
sang; then cried again, wrung his hands, beat his own face and
head; and then sang and jumped about again like a distracted
creature.  It was a good while before I could make him speak
to me or tell me what was the matter; but when he came a little
to himself he told me that it was his father.

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

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

But to return to Friday; he was so busy about his father that
I could not find in my heart to take him off for some time; but
after I thought he could leave him a little, I called him to me,
and he came jumping and laughing, and pleased to the highest
extreme: then I asked him if he had given his father any
bread.  He shook his head, and said, “None; ugly dog
eat all up self.”  I then gave him a cake of bread out
of a little pouch I carried on purpose; I also gave him a dram
for himself; but he would not taste it, but carried it to his
father.  I had in my pocket two or three bunches of raisins,
so I gave him a handful of them for his father.  He had no
sooner given his father these raisins but I saw him come out of
the boat, and run away as if he had been bewitched, for he was
the swiftest fellow on his feet that ever I saw: I say, he ran at
such a rate that he was out of sight, as it were, in an instant;
and though I called, and hallooed out too after him, it was all
one—away he went; and in a quarter of an hour I saw him
come back again, though not so fast as he went; and as he came
nearer I found his pace slacker, because he had something in his
hand.  When he came up to me I found he had been quite home
for an earthen jug or pot, to bring his father some fresh water,
and that he had got two more cakes or loaves of bread: the bread
he gave me, but the water he carried to his father; however, as I
was very thirsty too, I took a little of it.  The water
revived his father more than all the rum or spirits I had given
him, for he was fainting with 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 Spaniard too, who was indeed very weak, and was reposing
himself upon a green place under the shade of a tree; and whose
limbs were also very stiff, and very much swelled with the rude
bandage he had been tied with.  When I saw that upon
Friday’s coming to him with the water he sat up and drank,
and took the bread and began to eat, I went to him and gave him a
handful of raisins.  He looked up in my face with all the
tokens of gratitude and thankfulness that could appear in any
countenance; but was so weak, notwithstanding he had so exerted
himself in the fight, that he could not stand up upon his
feet—he tried to do it two or three times, but was really
not able, his ankles were so swelled and so painful to him; so I
bade him sit still, and caused Friday to rub his ankles, and
bathe them with rum, as he had done his father’s.

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

To remedy this, I went to work in my thought, and calling to
Friday to bid them sit down on the bank while he came to me, I
soon made a kind of hand-barrow to lay them on, and Friday and I
carried them both up together upon it between us.

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

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

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

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

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


In a little time, however, no more canoes appearing, the fear
of their coming wore off; and I began to take my former thoughts
of a voyage to the main into consideration; being likewise
assured by Friday’s father that I might depend upon good
usage from their nation, on his account, if I would go.  But
my thoughts were a little suspended when I had a serious
discourse with the Spaniard, and when I understood that there
were sixteen more of his countrymen and Portuguese, who having
been cast away and made their escape to that side, lived there at
peace, indeed, with the savages, but were very sore put to it for
necessaries, and, indeed, for life.  I asked him all the
particulars of their voyage, and found they were a Spanish ship,
bound from the Rio de la Plata to the Havanna, being directed to
leave their loading there, which was chiefly hides and silver,
and to bring back what European goods they could meet with there;
that they had five Portuguese seamen on board, whom they took out
of another wreck; that five of their own men were drowned when
first the ship was lost, and that these escaped through infinite
dangers and hazards, and arrived, almost starved, on the cannibal
coast, where they expected to have been devoured every
moment.  He told me they had some arms with them, but they
were perfectly useless, for that they had neither powder nor
ball, the washing of the sea having spoiled all their powder but
a little, which they used at their first landing to provide
themselves with some food.

I asked him what he thought would become of them there, and if
they had formed any design of making their escape.  He said
they had many consultations about it; but that having neither
vessel nor tools to build one, nor provisions of any kind, their
councils always ended in tears and despair.  I asked him how
he thought they would receive a proposal from me, which might
tend towards an escape; and whether, if they were all here, it
might not be done.  I told him with freedom, I feared mostly
their treachery and ill-usage of me, if I put my life in their
hands; for that gratitude was no inherent virtue in the nature of
man, nor did men always square their dealings by the obligations
they had received so much as they did by the advantages they
expected.  I told him it would be very hard that I should be
made the instrument of their deliverance, and that they should
afterwards make me their prisoner in New Spain, where an
Englishman was certain to be made a sacrifice, what necessity or
what accident soever brought him thither; and that I had rather
be delivered up to the savages, and be devoured alive, than fall
into the merciless claws of the priests, and be carried into the
Inquisition.  I added that, otherwise, I was persuaded, if
they were all here, we might, with so many hands, build a barque
large enough to carry us all away, either to the Brazils
southward, or to the islands or Spanish coast northward; but that
if, in requital, they should, when I had put weapons into their
hands, carry me by force among their own people, I might be
ill-used for my kindness to them, and make my case worse than it
was before.

He answered, with a great deal of candour and ingenuousness,
that their condition was so miserable, and that they were so
sensible of it, that he believed they would abhor the thought of
using any man unkindly that should contribute to their
deliverance; and that, if I pleased, he would go to them with the
old man, and discourse with them about it, and return again and
bring me their answer; that he would make conditions with them
upon their solemn oath, that they should be absolutely under my
direction as their commander and captain; and they should swear
upon the holy sacraments and gospel to be true to me, and go to
such Christian country as I should agree to, and no other; and to
be directed wholly and absolutely by my orders till they were
landed safely in such country as I intended, and that he would
bring a contract from them, under their hands, for that
purpose.  Then he told me he would first swear to me himself
that he would never stir from me as long as he lived till I gave
him orders; and that he would take my side to the last drop of
his blood, if there should happen the least breach of faith among
his countrymen.  He told me they were all of them very
civil, honest men, and they were under the greatest distress
imaginable, having neither weapons nor clothes, nor any food, but
at the mercy and discretion of the savages; out of all hopes of
ever returning to their own country; and that he was sure, if I
would undertake their relief, they would live and die by me.

Upon these assurances, I resolved to venture to relieve them,
if possible, and to send the old savage and this Spaniard over to
them to treat.  But when we had got all things in readiness
to go, the Spaniard himself started an objection, which had so
much prudence in it on one hand, and so much sincerity on the
other hand, that I could not but be very well satisfied in it;
and, by his advice, put off the deliverance of his comrades for
at least half a year.  The case was thus: he had been with
us now about a month, during which time I had let him see in what
manner I had provided, with the assistance of Providence, for my
support; and he saw evidently what stock of corn and rice I had
laid up; which, though it was more than sufficient for myself,
yet it was not sufficient, without good husbandry, for my family,
now it was increased to four; but much less would it be
sufficient if his countrymen, who were, as he said, sixteen,
still alive, should come over; and least of all would it be
sufficient to victual our vessel, if we should build one, for a
voyage to any of the Christian colonies of America; so he told me
he thought it would be more advisable to let him and the other
two dig and cultivate some more land, as much as I could spare
seed to sow, and that we should wait another harvest, that we
might have a supply of corn for his countrymen, when they should
come; for want might be a temptation to them to disagree, or not
to think themselves delivered, otherwise than out of one
difficulty into another.  “You know,” says he,
“the children of Israel, though they rejoiced at first for
their being delivered out of Egypt, yet rebelled even against God
Himself, that delivered them, when they came to want bread in the

His caution was so seasonable, and his advice so good, that I
could not but be very well pleased with his proposal, as well as
I was satisfied with his fidelity; so we fell to digging, all
four of us, as well as the wooden tools we were furnished with
permitted; and in about a month’s time, by the end of which
it was seed-time, we had got as much land cured and trimmed up as
we sowed two-and-twenty bushels of barley on, and sixteen jars of
rice, which was, in short, all the seed we had to spare: indeed,
we left ourselves barely sufficient, for our own food for the six
months that we had to expect our crop; that is to say reckoning
from the time we set our seed aside for sowing; for it is not to
be supposed it is six months in the ground in that country.

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

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

And now, having a full supply of food for all the guests I
expected, I gave the Spaniard leave to go over to the main, to
see what he could do with those he had left behind him
there.  I gave him a strict charge not to bring any man who
would not first swear in the presence of himself and the old
savage that he would in no way injure, fight with, or attack the
person he should find in the island, who was so kind as to send
for them in order to their deliverance; but that they would stand
by him and defend him against all such attempts, and wherever
they went would be entirely under and subjected to his command;
and that this should be put in writing, and signed in their
hands.  How they were to have done this, when I knew they
had neither pen nor ink, was a question which we never
asked.  Under these instructions, the Spaniard and the old
savage, the father of Friday, went away in one of the canoes
which they might be said to have come in, or rather were brought
in, when they came as prisoners to be devoured by the
savages.  I gave each of them a musket, with a firelock on
it, and about eight charges of powder and ball, charging them to
be very good husbands of both, and not to use either of them but
upon urgent occasions.

This was a cheerful work, being the first measures used by me
in view of my deliverance for now twenty-seven years and some
days.  I gave them provisions of bread and of dried grapes,
sufficient for themselves for many days, and sufficient for all
the Spaniards—for about eight days’ time; and wishing
them a good voyage, I saw them go, agreeing with them about a
signal they should hang out at their return, by which I should
know them again when they came back, at a distance, before they
came on shore.  They went away with a fair gale on the day
that the moon was at full, by my account in the month of October;
but as for an exact reckoning of days, after I had once lost it I
could never recover it again; nor had I kept even the number of
years so punctually as to be sure I was right; though, as it
proved when I afterwards examined my account, I found I had kept
a true reckoning of years.

It was no less than eight days I had waited for them, when a
strange and unforeseen accident intervened, of which the like has
not, perhaps, been heard of in history.  I was fast asleep
in my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came running in to
me, and called aloud, “Master, master, they are come, they
are come!”  I jumped up, and regardless of danger I
went, as soon as I could get my clothes on, through my little
grove, which, by the way, was by this time grown to be a very
thick wood; I say, regardless of danger I went without my arms,
which was not my custom to do; but I was surprised when, turning
my eyes to the sea, I presently saw a boat at about a league and
a half distance, standing in for the shore, with a
shoulder-of-mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing
pretty fair to bring them in: also I observed, presently, that
they did not come from that side which the shore lay on, but from
the southernmost end of the island.  Upon this I called
Friday in, and bade him lie close, for these were not the people
we looked for, and that we might not know yet whether they were
friends or enemies.  In the next place I went in to fetch my
perspective glass to see what I could make of them; and having
taken the ladder out, I climbed up to the top of the hill, as I
used to do when I was apprehensive of anything, and to take my
view the plainer without being discovered.  I had scarce set
my foot upon the hill when my eye plainly discovered a ship lying
at anchor, at about two leagues and a half distance from me,
SSE., but not above a league and a half from the shore.  By
my observation it appeared plainly to be an English ship, and the
boat appeared to be an English long-boat.

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

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

The present question abundantly confirms me in the justice of
this reasoning; for had I not been made cautious by this secret
admonition, come it from whence it will, I had been done
inevitably, and in a far worse condition than before, as you will
see presently.  I had not kept myself long in this posture
till I saw the boat draw near the shore, as if they looked for a
creek to thrust in at, for the convenience of landing; however,
as they did not come quite far enough, they did not see the
little inlet where I formerly landed my rafts, but ran their boat
on shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from me, which was
very happy for me; for otherwise they would have landed just at
my door, as I may say, and would soon have beaten me out of my
castle, and perhaps have plundered me of all I had.  When
they were on shore I was fully satisfied they were Englishmen, at
least most of them; one or two I thought were Dutch, but it did
not prove so; there were in all eleven men, whereof three of them
I found were unarmed and, as I thought, bound; and when the first
four or five of them were jumped on shore, they took those three
out of the boat as prisoners: one of the three I could perceive
using the most passionate gestures of entreaty, affliction, and
despair, even to a kind of extravagance; the other two, I could
perceive, lifted up their hands sometimes, and appeared concerned
indeed, but not to such a degree as the first.  I was
perfectly confounded at the sight, and knew not what the meaning
of it should be.  Friday called out to me in English, as
well as he could, “O master! you see English mans eat
prisoner as well as savage mans.”  “Why,
Friday,” says I, “do you think they are going to eat
them, then?”  “Yes,” says Friday,
“they will eat them.”  “No no,” says
I, “Friday; I am afraid they will murder them, indeed; but
you may be sure they will not eat them.”

All this while I had no thought of what the matter really was,
but stood trembling with the horror of the sight, expecting every
moment when the three prisoners should be killed; nay, once I saw
one of the villains lift up his arm with a great cutlass, as the
seamen call it, or sword, to strike one of the poor men; and I
expected to see him fall every moment; at which all the blood in
my body seemed to run chill in my veins.  I wished heartily
now for the Spaniard, and the savage that had gone with him, or
that I had any way to have come undiscovered within shot of them,
that I might have secured the three men, for I saw no firearms
they had among them; but it fell out to my mind another
way.  After I had observed the outrageous usage of the three
men by the insolent seamen, I observed the fellows run scattering
about the island, as if they wanted to see the country.  I
observed that the three other men had liberty to go also where
they pleased; but they sat down all three upon the ground, very
pensive, and looked like men in despair.  This put me in
mind of the first time when I came on shore, and began to look
about me; how I gave myself over for lost; how wildly I looked
round me; what dreadful apprehensions I had; and how I lodged in
the tree all night for fear of being devoured by wild
beasts.  As I knew nothing that night of the supply I was to
receive by the providential driving of the ship nearer the land
by the storms and tide, by which I have since been so long
nourished and supported; so these three poor desolate men knew
nothing how certain of deliverance and supply they were, how near
it was to them, and how effectually and really they were in a
condition of safety, at the same time that they thought
themselves lost and their case desperate.  So little do we
see before us in the world, and so much reason have we to depend
cheerfully upon the great Maker of the world, that He does not
leave His creatures so absolutely destitute, but that in the
worst circumstances they have always something to be thankful
for, and sometimes are nearer deliverance than they imagine; nay,
are even brought to their deliverance by the means by which they
seem to be brought to their destruction.

It was just at high-water when these people came on shore; and
while they rambled about to see what kind of a place they were
in, they had carelessly stayed till the tide was spent, and the
water was ebbed considerably away, leaving their boat
aground.  They had left two men in the boat, who, as I found
afterwards, having drunk a little too much brandy, fell asleep;
however, one of them waking a little sooner than the other and
finding the boat too fast aground for him to stir it, hallooed
out for the rest, who were straggling about: upon which they all
soon came to the boat: but it was past all their strength to
launch her, the boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side
being a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand.  In this
condition, like true seamen, who are, perhaps, the least of all
mankind given to forethought, they gave it over, and away they
strolled about the country again; and I heard one of them say
aloud to another, calling them off from the boat, “Why, let
her alone, Jack, can’t you? she’ll float next
tide;” by which I was fully confirmed in the main inquiry
of what countrymen they were.  All this while I kept myself
very close, not once daring to stir out of my castle any farther
than to my place of observation near the top of the hill: and
very glad I was to think how well it was fortified.  I knew
it was no less than ten hours before the boat could float again,
and by that time it would be dark, and I might be at more liberty
to see their motions, and to hear their discourse, if they had
any.  In the meantime I fitted myself up for a battle as
before, though with more caution, knowing I had to do with
another kind of enemy than I had at first.  I ordered Friday
also, whom I had made an excellent marksman with his gun, to load
himself with arms.  I took myself two fowling-pieces, and I
gave him three muskets.  My figure, indeed, was very fierce;
I had my formidable goat-skin coat on, with the great cap I have
mentioned, a naked sword by my side, two pistols in my belt, and
a gun upon each shoulder.

It was my design, as I said above, not to have made any
attempt till it was dark; but about two o’clock, being the
heat of the day, I found that they were all gone straggling into
the woods, and, as I thought, laid down to sleep.  The three
poor distressed men, too anxious for their condition to get any
sleep, had, however, sat down under the shelter of a great tree,
at about a quarter of a mile from me, and, as I thought, out of
sight of any of the rest.  Upon this I resolved to discover
myself to them, and learn something of their condition;
immediately I marched as above, my man Friday at a good distance
behind me, as formidable for his arms as I, but not making quite
so staring a spectre-like figure as I did.  I came as near
them undiscovered as I could, and then, before any of them saw
me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, “What are ye,
gentlemen?”  They started up at the noise, but were
ten times more confounded when they saw me, and the uncouth
figure that I made.  They made no answer at all, but I
thought I perceived them just going to fly from me, when I spoke
to them in English. “Gentlemen,” said I, “do
not be surprised at me; perhaps you may have a friend near when
you did not expect it.”  “He must be sent
directly from heaven then,” said one of them very gravely
to me, and pulling off his hat at the same time to me; “for
our condition is past the help of man.”  “All
help is from heaven, sir,” said I, “but can you put a
stranger in the way to help you? for you seem to be in some great
distress.  I saw you when you landed; and when you seemed to
make application to the brutes that came with you, I saw one of
them lift up his sword to kill you.”

The poor man, with tears running down his face, and trembling,
looking like one astonished, returned, “Am I talking to God
or man?  Is it a real man or an angel?” 
“Be in no fear about that, sir,” said I; “if
God had sent an angel to relieve you, he would have come better
clothed, and armed after another manner than you see me; pray lay
aside your fears; I am a man, an Englishman, and disposed to
assist you; you see I have one servant only; we have arms and
ammunition; tell us freely, can we serve you?  What is your
case?”  “Our case, sir,” said he,
“is too long to tell you while our murderers are so near
us; but, in short, sir, I was commander of that ship—my men
have mutinied against me; they have been hardly prevailed on not
to murder me, and, at last, have set me on shore in this desolate
place, with these two men with me—one my mate, the other a
passenger—where we expected to perish, believing the place
to be uninhabited, and know not yet what to think of
it.”  “Where are these brutes, your
enemies?” said I; “do you know where they are
gone?  There they lie, sir,” said he, pointing to a
thicket of trees; “my heart trembles for fear they have
seen us and heard you speak; if they have, they will certainly
murder us all.”  “Have they any firearms?”
said I.  He answered, “They had only two pieces, one
of which they left in the boat.”  “Well,
then,” said I, “leave the rest to me; I see they are
all asleep; it is an easy thing to kill them all; but shall we
rather take them prisoners?”  He told me there were
two desperate villains among them that it was scarce safe to show
any mercy to; but if they were secured, he believed all the rest
would return to their duty.  I asked him which they
were.  He told me he could not at that distance distinguish
them, but he would obey my orders in anything I would
direct.  “Well,” says I, “let us retreat
out of their view or hearing, lest they awake, and we will
resolve further.”  So they willingly went back with
me, till the woods covered us from them.

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

He gave me all the assurances that the invention or faith of
man could devise that he would comply with these most reasonable
demands, and besides would owe his life to me, and acknowledge it
upon all occasions as long as he lived.  “Well,
then,” said I, “here are three muskets for you, with
powder and ball; tell me next what you think is proper to be
done.”  He showed all the testimonies of his gratitude
that he was able, but offered to be wholly guided by me.  I
told him I thought it was very hard venturing anything; but the
best method I could think of was to fire on them at once as they
lay, and if any were not killed at the first volley, and offered
to submit, we might save them, and so put it wholly upon
God’s providence to direct the shot.  He said, very
modestly, that he was loath to kill them if he could help it; but
that those two were incorrigible villains, and had been the
authors of all the mutiny in the ship, and if they escaped, we
should be undone still, for they would go on board and bring the
whole ship’s company, and destroy us all. 
“Well, then,” says I, “necessity legitimates my
advice, for it is the only way to save our lives.” 
However, seeing him still cautious of shedding blood, I told him
they should go themselves, and manage as they found

In the middle of this discourse we heard some of them awake,
and soon after we saw two of them on their feet.  I asked
him if either of them were the heads of the mutiny?  He
said, “No.”  “Well, then,” said I,
“you may let them escape; and Providence seems to have
awakened them on purpose to save themselves.  Now,”
says I, “if the rest escape you, it is your
fault.”  Animated with this, he took the musket I had
given him in his hand, and a pistol in his belt, and his two
comrades with him, with each a piece in his hand; the two men who
were with him going first made some noise, at which one of the
seamen who was awake turned about, and seeing them coming, cried
out to the rest; but was too late then, for the moment he cried
out they fired—I mean the two men, the captain wisely
reserving his own piece.  They had so well aimed their shot
at the men they knew, that one of them was killed on the spot,
and the other very much wounded; but not being dead, he started
up on his feet, and called eagerly for help to the other; but the
captain stepping to him, told him it was too late to cry for
help, he should call upon God to forgive his villainy, and with
that word knocked him down with the stock of his musket, so that
he never spoke more; there were three more in the company, and
one of them was slightly wounded.  By this time I was come;
and when they saw their danger, and that it was in vain to
resist, they begged for mercy.  The captain told them he
would spare their lives if they would give him an assurance of
their abhorrence of the treachery they had been guilty of, and
would swear to be faithful to him in recovering the ship, and
afterwards in carrying her back to Jamaica, from whence they
came.  They gave him all the protestations of their
sincerity that could be desired; and he was willing to believe
them, and spare their lives, which I was not against, only that I
obliged him to keep them bound hand and foot while they were on
the island.

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

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

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

I mused for some time on what he had said, and found it was a
very rational conclusion, and that therefore something was to be
resolved on speedily, as well to draw the men on board into some
snare for their surprise as to prevent their landing upon us, and
destroying us.  Upon this, it presently occurred to me that
in a little while the ship’s crew, wondering what was
become of their comrades and of the boat, would certainly come on
shore in their other boat to look for them, and that then,
perhaps, they might come armed, and be too strong for us: this he
allowed to be rational.  Upon this, I told him the first
thing we had to do was to stave the boat which lay upon the
beach, so that they might not carry her of, and taking everything
out of her, leave her so far useless as not to be fit to
swim.  Accordingly, we went on board, took the arms which
were left on board out of her, and whatever else we found
there—which was a bottle of brandy, and another of rum, a
few biscuit-cakes, a horn of powder, and a great lump of sugar in
a piece of canvas (the sugar was five or six pounds): all which
was very welcome to me, especially the brandy and sugar, of which
I had had none left for many years.

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


While we were thus preparing our designs, and had first, by
main strength, heaved the boat upon the beach, so high that the
tide would not float her off at high-water mark, and besides, had
broke a hole in her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and
were set down musing what we should do, we heard the ship fire a
gun, and make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to
come on board—but no boat stirred; and they fired several
times, making other signals for the boat.  At last, when all
their signals and firing proved fruitless, and they found the
boat did not stir, we saw them, by the help of my glasses, hoist
another boat out and row towards the shore; and we found, as they
approached, that there were no less than ten men in her, and that
they had firearms with 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 captain knew
the persons and characters of all the men in the boat, of whom,
he said, there were three very honest fellows, who, he was sure,
were led into this conspiracy by the rest, being over-powered and
frightened; but that as for the boatswain, who it seems was the
chief officer among them, and all the rest, they were as
outrageous as any of the ship’s crew, and were no doubt
made desperate in their new enterprise; and terribly apprehensive
he was that they would be too powerful for us.  I smiled at
him, and told him that men in our circumstances were past the
operation of fear; that seeing almost every condition that could
be was better than that which we were supposed to be in, we ought
to expect that the consequence, whether death or life, would be
sure to be a deliverance.  I asked him what he thought of
the circumstances of my life, and whether a deliverance were not
worth venturing for?  “And where, sir,” said I,
“is your belief of my being preserved here on purpose to
save your life, which elevated you a little while ago?  For
my part,” said I, “there seems to be but one thing
amiss in all the prospect of it.”  “What is
that?” say he.  “Why,” said I, “it
is, that as you say there are three or four honest fellows among
them which should be spared, had they been all of the wicked part
of the crew I should have thought God’s providence had
singled them out to deliver them into your hands; for depend upon
it, every man that comes ashore is our own, and shall die or live
as they behave to us.”  As I spoke this with a raised
voice and cheerful countenance, I found it greatly encouraged
him; so we set vigorously to our 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 effectually.  Two of them, of whom
the captain was less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday,
and one of the three delivered men, to my cave, where they were
remote enough, and out of danger of being heard or discovered, or
of finding their way out of the woods if they could have
delivered themselves.  Here they left them bound, but gave
them provisions; and promised them, if they continued there
quietly, to give them their liberty in a day or two; but that if
they attempted their escape they should be put to death without
mercy.  They promised faithfully to bear their confinement
with patience, and were very thankful that they had such good
usage as to have provisions and light left them; for Friday gave
them candles (such as we made ourselves) for their comfort; and
they did not know but that he stood sentinel over them at the

The other prisoners had better usage; two of them were kept
pinioned, indeed, because the captain was not able to trust them;
but the other two were taken into my service, upon the
captain’s recommendation, and upon their solemnly engaging
to live and die with us; so with them and the three honest men we
were seven men, well armed; and I made no doubt we should be able
to deal well enough with the ten that were coming, considering
that the captain had said there were three or four honest men
among them also.  As soon as they got to the place where
their other boat lay, they ran their boat into the beach and came
all on shore, hauling the boat up after them, which I was glad to
see, for I was afraid they would rather have left the boat at an
anchor some distance from the shore, with some hands in her to
guard her, and so we should not be able to seize the boat. 
Being on shore, the first thing they did, they ran all to their
other boat; and it was easy to see they were under a great
surprise to find her stripped, as above, of all that was in her,
and a great hole in her bottom.  After they had mused a
while upon this, they set up two or three great shouts, hallooing
with all their might, to try if they could make their companions
hear; but all was to no purpose.  Then they came all close
in a ring, and fired a volley of their small arms, which indeed
we heard, and the echoes made the woods ring.  But it was
all one; those in the cave, we were sure, could not hear; and
those in our keeping, though they heard it well enough, yet durst
give no answer to them.  They were so astonished at the
surprise of this, that, as they told us afterwards, they resolved
to go all on board again to their ship, and let them know that
the men were all murdered, and the long-boat staved; accordingly,
they immediately launched their boat again, and got all of them
on board.

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

They had not been long put off with the boat, when we
perceived them all coming on shore again; but with this new
measure in their conduct, which it seems they consulted together
upon, viz. to leave three men in the boat, and the rest to go on
shore, and go up into the country to look for their
fellows.  This was a great disappointment to us, for now we
were at a loss what to do, as our seizing those seven men on
shore would be no advantage to us if we let the boat escape;
because they would row away to the ship, and then the rest of
them would be sure to weigh and set sail, and so our recovering
the ship would be lost.  However we had no remedy but to
wait and see what the issue of things might present.  The
seven men came on shore, and the three who remained in the boat
put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to an
anchor to wait for them; so that it was impossible for us to come
at them in the boat.  Those that came on shore kept close
together, marching towards the top of the little hill under which
my habitation lay; and we could see them plainly, though they
could not perceive us.  We should have been very glad if
they would have come nearer us, so that we might have fired at
them, or that they would have gone farther off, that we might
come abroad.  But when they were come to the brow of the
hill where they could see a great way into the valleys and woods,
which lay towards the north-east part, and where the island lay
lowest, they shouted and hallooed till they were weary; and not
caring, it seems, to venture far from the shore, nor far from one
another, they sat down together under a tree to consider
it.  Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as
the other part of them had done, they had done the job for us;
but they were too full of apprehensions of danger to venture to
go to sleep, though they could not tell what the danger was they
had to fear.

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

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

They were just going into the boat when Friday and the mate
hallooed; and they presently heard them, and answering, ran along
the shore westward, towards the voice they heard, when they were
stopped by the creek, where the water being up, they could not
get over, and called for the boat to come up and set them over;
as, indeed, I expected.  When they had set themselves over,
I observed that the boat being gone a good way into the creek,
and, as it were, in a harbour within the land, they took one of
the three men out of her, to go along with them, and left only
two in the boat, having fastened her to the stump of a little
tree on the shore.  This was what I wished for; and
immediately leaving Friday and the captain’s mate to their
business, I took the rest with me; and, crossing the creek out of
their sight, we surprised the two men before they were
aware—one of them lying on the shore, and the other being
in the boat.  The fellow on shore was between sleeping and
waking, and going to start up; the captain, who was foremost, ran
in upon him, and knocked him down; and then called out to him in
the boat to yield, or he was a dead man.  They needed very
few arguments to persuade a single man to yield, when he saw five
men upon him and his comrade knocked down: besides, this was, it
seems, one of the three who were not so hearty in the mutiny as
the rest of the crew, and therefore was easily persuaded not only
to yield, but afterwards to join very sincerely with us.  In
the meantime, Friday and the captain’s mate so well managed
their business with the rest that they drew them, by hallooing
and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to
another, till they not only heartily tired them, but left them
where they were, very sure they could not reach back to the boat
before it was dark; and, indeed, they were heartily tired
themselves also, by the time they came back to us.

We had nothing now to do but to watch for them in the dark,
and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them. 
It was several hours after Friday came back to me before they
came back to their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them,
long before they came quite up, calling to those behind to come
along; and could also hear them answer, and complain how lame and
tired they were, and not able to come any faster: which was very
welcome news to us.  At length they came up to the boat: but
it is impossible to express their confusion when they found the
boat fast aground in the creek, the tide ebbed out, and their two
men gone.  We could hear them call one to another in a most
lamentable manner, telling one another they were got into an
enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in it, and
they should all be murdered, or else there were devils and
spirits in it, and they should be all carried away and
devoured.  They hallooed again, and called their two
comrades by their names a great many times; but no answer. 
After some time we could see them, by the little light there was,
run about, wringing their hands like men in despair, and
sometimes they would go and sit down in the boat to rest
themselves: then come ashore again, and walk about again, and so
the same thing over again.  My men would fain have had me
give them leave to fall upon them at once in the dark; but I was
willing to take them at some advantage, so as to spare them, and
kill as few of them as I could; and especially I was unwilling to
hazard the killing of any of our men, knowing the others were
very well armed.  I resolved to wait, to see if they did not
separate; and therefore, to make sure of them, I drew my
ambuscade nearer, and ordered Friday and the captain to creep
upon their hands and feet, as close to the ground as they could,
that they might not be discovered, and get as near them as they
could possibly before they offered to fire.

They had not been long in that posture when the boatswain, who
was the principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shown
himself the most dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came
walking towards them, with two more of the crew; the captain was
so eager at having this principal rogue so much in his power,
that he could hardly have patience to let him come so near as to
be sure of him, for they only heard his tongue before: but when
they came nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up on their
feet, let fly at them.  The boatswain was killed upon the
spot: the next man was shot in the body, and fell just by him,
though he did not die till an hour or two after; and the third
ran for it.  At the noise of the fire I immediately advanced
with my whole army, which was now eight men, viz. myself,
generalissimo; Friday, my lieutenant-general; the captain and his
two men, and the three prisoners of war whom we had trusted with
arms.  We came upon them, indeed, in the dark, so that they
could not see our number; and I made the man they had left in the
boat, who was now one of us, to call them by name, to try if I
could bring them to a parley, and so perhaps might reduce them to
terms; which fell out just as we desired: for indeed it was easy
to think, as their condition then was, they would be very willing
to capitulate.  So he calls out as loud as he could to one
of them, “Tom Smith!  Tom Smith!”  Tom
Smith answered immediately, “Is that Robinson?” for
it seems he knew the voice.  The other answered, “Ay,
ay; for God’s sake, Tom Smith, throw down your arms and
yield, or you are all dead men this moment.” 
“Who must we yield to?  Where are they?” says
Smith again.  “Here they are,” says he;
“here’s our captain and fifty men with him, have been
hunting you these two hours; the boatswain is killed; Will Fry is
wounded, and I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield you are all
lost.”  “Will they give us quarter, then?”
says Tom Smith, “and we will yield.” 
“I’ll go and ask, if you promise to yield,”
said Robinson: so he asked the captain, and the captain himself
then calls out, “You, Smith, you know my voice; if you lay
down your arms immediately and submit, you shall have your lives,
all but Will Atkins.”

Upon this Will Atkins cried out, “For God’s sake,
captain, give me quarter; what have I done?  They have all
been as bad as I:” which, by the way, was not true; for it
seems this Will Atkins was the first man that laid hold of the
captain when they first mutinied, and used him barbarously in
tying his hands and giving him injurious language.  However,
the captain told him he must lay down his arms at discretion, and
trust to the governor’s mercy: by which he meant me, for
they all called me governor.  In a word, they all laid down
their arms and begged their lives; and I sent the man that had
parleyed with them, and two more, who bound them all; and then my
great army of fifty men, which, with those three, were in all but
eight, came up and seized upon them, and upon their boat; only
that I kept myself and one more out of sight for reasons of

Our next work was to repair the boat, and think of seizing the
ship: and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley with
them, he expostulated with them upon the villainy of their
practices with him, and upon the further wickedness of their
design, and how certainly it must bring them to misery and
distress in the end, and perhaps to the gallows.  They all
appeared very penitent, and begged hard for their lives.  As
for that, he told them they were not his prisoners, but the
commander’s of the island; that they thought they had set
him on shore in a barren, uninhabited island; but it had pleased
God so to direct them that it was inhabited, and that the
governor was an Englishman; that he might hang them all there, if
he pleased; but as he had given them all quarter, he supposed he
would send them to England, to be dealt with there as justice
required, except Atkins, whom he was commanded by the governor to
advise to prepare for death, for that he would be hanged in the

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

It now occurred to me that the time of our deliverance was
come, and that it would be a most easy thing to bring these
fellows in to be hearty in getting possession of the ship; so I
retired in the dark from them, that they might not see what kind
of a governor they had, and called the captain to me; when I
called, at a good distance, one of the men was ordered to speak
again, and say to the captain, “Captain, the commander
calls for you;” and presently the captain replied,
“Tell his excellency I am just coming.”  This
more perfectly amazed them, and they all believed that the
commander was just by, with his fifty men.  Upon the captain
coming to me, I told him my project for seizing the ship, which
he liked wonderfully well, and resolved to put it in execution
the next morning.  But, in order to execute it with more
art, and to be secure of success, I told him we must divide the
prisoners, and that he should go and take Atkins, and two more of
the worst of them, and send them pinioned to the cave where the
others lay.  This was committed to Friday and the two men
who came on shore with the captain.  They conveyed them to
the cave as to a prison: and it was, indeed, a dismal place,
especially to men in their condition.  The others I ordered
to my bower, as I called it, of which I have given a full
description: and as it was fenced in, and they pinioned, the
place was secure enough, considering they were upon their

To these in the morning I sent the captain, who was to enter
into a parley with them; in a word, to try them, and tell me
whether he thought they might be trusted or not to go on board
and surprise the ship.  He talked to them of the injury done
him, of the condition they were brought to, and that though the
governor had given them quarter for their lives as to the present
action, yet that if they were sent to England they would all be
hanged in chains; but that if they would join in so just an
attempt as to recover the ship, he would have the
governor’s engagement for their pardon.

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

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

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

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

The captain now had no difficulty before him, but to furnish
his two boats, stop the breach of one, and man them.  He
made his passenger captain of one, with four of the men; and
himself, his mate, and five more, went in the other; and they
contrived their business very well, for they came up to the ship
about midnight.  As soon as they came within call of the
ship, he made Robinson hail them, and tell them they had brought
off the men and the boat, but that it was a long time before they
had found them, and the like, holding them in a chat till they
came to the ship’s side; when the captain and the mate
entering first with their arms, immediately knocked down the
second mate and carpenter with the butt-end of their muskets,
being very faithfully seconded by their men; they secured all the
rest that were upon the main and quarter decks, and began to
fasten the hatches, to keep them down that were below; when the
other boat and their men, entering at the forechains, secured the
forecastle of the ship, and the scuttle which went down into the
cook-room, making three men they found there prisoners. 
When this was done, and all safe upon deck, the captain ordered
the mate, with three men, to break into the round-house, where
the new rebel captain lay, who, having taken the alarm, had got
up, and with two men and a boy had got firearms in their hands;
and when the mate, with a crow, split open the door, the new
captain and his men fired boldly among them, and wounded the mate
with a musket ball, which broke his arm, and wounded two more of
the men, but killed nobody.  The mate, calling for help,
rushed, however, into the round-house, wounded as he was, and,
with his pistol, shot the new captain through the head, the
bullet entering at his mouth, and came out again behind one of
his ears, so that he never spoke a word more: upon which the rest
yielded, and the ship was taken effectually, without any more
lives lost.

As soon as the ship was thus secured, the captain ordered
seven guns to be fired, which was the signal agreed upon with me
to give me notice of his success, which, you may be sure, I was
very glad to hear, having sat watching upon the shore for it till
near two o’clock in the morning.  Having thus heard
the signal plainly, I laid me down; and it having been a day of
great fatigue to me, I slept very sound, till I was surprised
with the noise of a gun; and presently starting up, I heard a man
call me by the name of “Governor!  Governor!”
and presently I knew the captain’s voice; when, climbing up
to the top of the hill, there he stood, and, pointing to the
ship, he embraced me in his arms, “My dear friend and
deliverer,” says he, “there’s your ship; for
she is all yours, and so are we, and all that belong to
her.”  I cast my eyes to the ship, and there she rode,
within little more than half a mile of the shore; for they had
weighed her anchor as soon as they were masters of her, and, the
weather being fair, had brought her to an anchor just against the
mouth of the little creek; and the tide being up, the captain had
brought the pinnace in near the place where I had first landed my
rafts, and so landed just at my door.  I was at first ready
to sink down with the surprise; for I saw my deliverance, indeed,
visibly put into my hands, all things easy, and a large ship just
ready to carry me away whither I pleased to go.  At first,
for some time, I was not able to answer him one word; but as he
had taken me in his arms I held fast by him, or I should have
fallen to the ground.  He perceived the surprise, and
immediately pulled a bottle out of his pocket and gave me a dram
of cordial, which he had brought on purpose for me.  After I
had drunk it, I sat down upon the ground; and though it brought
me to myself, yet it was a good while before I could speak a word
to him.  All this time the poor man was in as great an
ecstasy as I, only not under any surprise as I was; and he said a
thousand kind and tender things to me, to compose and bring me to
myself; but such was the flood of joy in my breast, that it put
all my spirits into confusion: at last it broke out into tears,
and in a little while after I recovered my speech; I then took my
turn, and embraced him as my deliverer, and we rejoiced
together.  I told him I looked upon him as a man sent by
Heaven to deliver me, and that the whole transaction seemed to be
a chain of wonders; that such things as these were the
testimonies we had of a secret hand of Providence governing the
world, and an evidence that the eye of an infinite Power could
search into the remotest corner of the world, and send help to
the miserable whenever He pleased.  I forgot not to lift up
my heart in thankfulness to Heaven; and what heart could forbear
to bless Him, who had not only in a miraculous manner provided
for me in such a wilderness, and in such a desolate condition,
but from whom every deliverance must always be acknowledged to

When we had talked a while, the captain told me he had brought
me some little refreshment, such as the ship afforded, and such
as the wretches that had been so long his masters had not
plundered him of.  Upon this, he called aloud to the boat,
and bade his men bring the things ashore that were for the
governor; and, indeed, it was a present as if I had been one that
was not to be carried away with them, but as if I had been to
dwell upon the island still.  First, he had brought me a
case of bottles full of excellent cordial waters, six large
bottles of Madeira wine (the bottles held two quarts each), two
pounds of excellent good tobacco, twelve good pieces of the
ship’s beef, and six pieces of pork, with a bag of peas,
and about a hundred-weight of biscuit; he also brought me a box
of sugar, a box of flour, a bag full of lemons, and two bottles
of lime-juice, and abundance of other things.  But besides
these, and what was a thousand times more useful to me, he
brought me six new clean shirts, six very good neckcloths, two
pair of gloves, one pair of shoes, a hat, and one pair of
stockings, with a very good suit of clothes of his own, which had
been worn but very little: in a word, he clothed me from head to
foot.  It was a very kind and agreeable present, as any one
may imagine, to one in my circumstances, but never was anything
in the world of that kind so unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy as
it was to me to wear such clothes at first.

After these ceremonies were past, and after all his good
things were brought into my little apartment, we began to consult
what was to be done with the prisoners we had; for it was worth
considering whether we might venture to take them with us or no,
especially two of them, whom he knew to be incorrigible and
refractory to the last degree; and the captain said he knew they
were such rogues that there was no obliging them, and if he did
carry them away, it must be in irons, as malefactors, to be
delivered over to justice at the first English colony he could
come to; and I found that the captain himself was very anxious
about it.  Upon this, I told him that, if he desired it, I
would undertake to bring the two men he spoke of to make it their
own request that he should leave them upon the island. 
“I should be very glad of that,” says the captain,
“with all my heart.”  “Well,” says
I, “I will send for them up and talk with them for
you.”  So I caused Friday and the two hostages, for
they were now discharged, their comrades having performed their
promise; I say, I caused them to go to the cave, and bring up the
five men, pinioned as they were, to the bower, and keep them
there till I came.  After some time, I came thither dressed
in my new habit; and now I was called governor again.  Being
all met, and the captain with me, I caused the men to be brought
before me, and I told them I had got a full account of their
villainous behaviour to the captain, and how they had run away
with the ship, and were preparing to commit further robberies,
but that Providence had ensnared them in their own ways, and that
they were fallen into the pit which they had dug for
others.  I let them know that by my direction the ship had
been seized; that she lay now in the road; and they might see
by-and-by that their new captain had received the reward of his
villainy, and that they would see him hanging at the yard-arm;
that, as to them, I wanted to know what they had to say why I
should not execute them as pirates taken in the fact, as by my
commission they could not doubt but I had authority so to do.

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

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

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

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

I left them my firearms—viz. five muskets, three
fowling-pieces, and three swords.  I had above a barrel and
a half of powder left; for after the first year or two I used but
little, and wasted none.  I gave them a description of the
way I managed the goats, and directions to milk and fatten them,
and to make both butter and cheese.  In a word, I gave them
every part of my own story; and told them I should prevail with
the captain to leave them two barrels of gunpowder more, and some
garden-seeds, which I told them I would have been very glad
of.  Also, I gave them the bag of peas which the captain had
brought me to eat, and bade them be sure to sow and increase


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

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

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board, for
relics, the great goat-skin cap I had made, my umbrella, and one
of my parrots; also, I forgot not to take the money I formerly
mentioned, which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown
rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for silver till it had
been a little rubbed and handled, as also the money I found in
the wreck of the Spanish ship.  And thus I left the island,
the 19th of December, as I found by the ship’s account, in
the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight-and-twenty years,
two months, and nineteen days; being delivered from this second
captivity the same day of the month that I first made my escape
in the long-boat from among the Moors of Sallee.  In this
vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England the 11th of
June, in the year 1687, having been thirty-five years absent.

When I came to England I was as perfect a stranger to all the
world as if I had never been known there.  My benefactor and
faithful steward, whom I had left my money in trust with, was
alive, but had had great misfortunes in the world; was become a
widow the second time, and very low in the world.  I made
her very easy as to what she owed me, assuring her I would give
her no trouble; but, on the contrary, in gratitude for her former
care and faithfulness to me, I relieved her as my little stock
would afford; which at that time would, indeed, allow me to do
but little for her; but I assured her I would never forget her
former kindness to me; nor did I forget her when I had sufficient
to help her, as shall be observed in its proper place.  I
went down afterwards into Yorkshire; but my father was dead, and
my mother and all the family extinct, except that I found two
sisters, and two of the children of one of my brothers; and as I
had been long ago given over for dead, there had been no
provision made for me; so that, in a word, I found nothing to
relieve or assist me; and that the little money I had would not
do much for me as to settling in the world.

I met with one piece of gratitude indeed, which I did not
expect; and this was, that the master of the ship, whom I had so
happily delivered, and by the same means saved the ship and
cargo, having given a very handsome account to the owners of the
manner how I had saved the lives of the men and the ship, they
invited me to meet them and some other merchants concerned, and
all together made me a very handsome compliment upon the subject,
and a present of almost £200 sterling.

But after making several reflections upon the circumstances of
my life, and how little way this would go towards settling me in
the world, I resolved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not
come at some information of the state of my plantation in the
Brazils, and of what was become of my partner, who, I had reason
to suppose, had some years past given me over for dead. 
With this view I took shipping for Lisbon, where I arrived in
April following, my man Friday accompanying me very honestly in
all these ramblings, and proving a most faithful servant upon all
occasions.  When I came to Lisbon, I found out, by inquiry,
and to my particular satisfaction, my old friend, the captain of
the ship who first took me up at sea off the shore of
Africa.  He was now grown old, and had left off going to
sea, having put his son, who was far from a young man, into his
ship, and who still used the Brazil trade.  The old man did
not know me, and indeed I hardly knew him.  But I soon
brought him to my remembrance, and as soon brought myself to his
remembrance, when I told him who I was.

After some passionate expressions of the old acquaintance
between us, I inquired, you may 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 trustees whom I
had joined with him to take cognisance of my part were both dead:
that, however, he believed I would have a very good account of
the improvement of the plantation; for that, upon the general
belief of my being cast away and drowned, my trustees had given
in the account of the produce of my part of the plantation to the
procurator-fiscal, who had appropriated it, in case I never came
to claim it, one-third to the king, and two-thirds to the
monastery of St. Augustine, to be expended for the benefit of the
poor, and for the conversion of the Indians to the Catholic
faith: but that, if I appeared, or any one for me, to claim the
inheritance, it would be restored; only that the improvement, or
annual production, being distributed to charitable uses, could
not be restored: but he assured me that the steward of the
king’s revenue from lands, and the providore, or steward of
the monastery, had taken great care all along that the incumbent,
that is to say my partner, gave every year a faithful account of
the produce, of which they had duly received my moiety.  I
asked him if he knew to what height of improvement he had brought
the plantation, and whether he thought it might be worth looking
after; or whether, on my going thither, I should meet with any
obstruction to my possessing my just right in the moiety. 
He told me he could not tell exactly to what degree the
plantation was improved; but this he knew, that my partner was
grown exceeding rich upon the enjoying his part of it; and that,
to the best of his remembrance, he had heard that the
king’s third of my part, which was, it seems, granted away
to some other monastery or religious house, amounted to above two
hundred moidores a year: that as to my being restored to a quiet
possession of it, there was no question to be made of that, my
partner being alive to witness my title, and my name being also
enrolled in the register of the country; also he told me that the
survivors of my two trustees were very fair, honest people, and
very wealthy; and he believed I would not only have their
assistance for putting me in possession, but would find a very
considerable sum of money in their hands for my account, being
the produce of the farm while their fathers held the trust, and
before it was given up, as above; which, as he remembered, was
for about twelve years.

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

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

After a few days’ further conference with this ancient
friend, he brought me an account of the first six years’
income of my plantation, signed by my partner and the
merchant-trustees, being always delivered in goods, viz. tobacco
in roll, and sugar in chests, besides rum, molasses, &c.,
which is the consequence of a sugar-work; and I found by this
account, that every year the income considerably increased; but,
as above, the disbursements being large, the sum at first was
small: however, the old man let me see that he was debtor to me
four hundred and seventy moidores of gold, besides sixty chests
of sugar and fifteen double rolls of tobacco, which were lost in
his ship; he having been shipwrecked coming home to Lisbon, about
eleven years after my having the place.  The good man then
began to complain of his misfortunes, and how he had been obliged
to make use of my money to recover his losses, and buy him a
share in a new ship.  “However, my old friend,”
says he, “you shall not want a supply in your necessity;
and as soon as my son returns you shall be fully
satisfied.”  Upon this he pulls out an old pouch, and
gives me one hundred and sixty Portugal moidores in gold; and
giving the writings of his title to the ship, which his son was
gone to the Brazils in, of which he was quarter-part owner, and
his son another, he puts them both into my hands for security of
the rest.

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

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

When this was past, the old man asked me if he should put me
into a method to make my claim to my plantation.  I told him
I thought to go over to it myself.  He said I might do so if
I pleased, but that if I did not, there were ways enough to
secure my right, and immediately to appropriate the profits to my
use: and as there were ships in the river of Lisbon just ready to
go away to Brazil, he made me enter my name in a public register,
with his affidavit, affirming, upon oath, that I was alive, and
that I was the same person who took up the land for the planting
the said plantation at first.  This being regularly attested
by a notary, and a procuration affixed, he directed me to send
it, with a letter of his writing, to a merchant of his
acquaintance at the place; and then proposed my staying with him
till an account came of the 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 produce of my farm
or plantation, from the year when their fathers had balanced with
my old Portugal captain, being for six years; the balance
appeared to be one thousand one hundred and seventy-four moidores
in my favour.

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

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

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

I might well say now, indeed, that the latter end of Job was
better than the beginning.  It is impossible to express the
flutterings of my very heart when I found all my wealth about me;
for as the Brazil ships come all in fleets, the same ships which
brought my letters brought my goods: and the effects were safe in
the river before the letters came to my hand.  In a word, I
turned pale, and grew sick; and, had not the old man run and
fetched me a cordial, I believe the sudden surprise of joy had
overset nature, and I had died upon the spot: nay, after that I
continued very ill, and was so some hours, till a physician being
sent for, and something of the real cause of my illness being
known, he ordered me to be let blood; after which I had relief,
and grew well: but I 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
condition which I scarce knew how to understand, or how to
compose myself for the enjoyment of it.  The first thing I
did was to recompense my original benefactor, my good old
captain, who had been first charitable to me in my distress, kind
to me in my beginning, and honest to me at the end.  I
showed him all that was sent to me; I told him that, next to the
providence of Heaven, which disposed all things, it was owing to
him; and that it now lay on me to reward him, which I would do a
hundred-fold: so I first returned to him the hundred moidores I
had received of him; then I sent for a notary, and caused him to
draw up a general release or discharge from the four hundred and
seventy moidores, which he had acknowledged he owed me, in the
fullest and firmest manner possible.  After which I caused a
procuration to be drawn, empowering him to be the receiver of the
annual profits of my plantation: and appointing my partner to
account with him, and make the returns, by the usual fleets, to
him in my name; and by a clause in the end, made a grant of one
hundred moidores a year to him during his life, out of the
effects, and fifty moidores a year to his son after him, for his
life: and thus I requited my old man.

I had now to consider which way to steer my course next, and
what to do with the estate that Providence had thus put into my
hands; and, indeed, I had more care upon my head now than I had
in my state of life in the island where I wanted nothing but what
I had, and had nothing but what I wanted; whereas I had now a
great charge upon me, and my business was how to secure it. 
I had not a cave now to hide my money in, or a place where it
might lie without lock or key, till it grew mouldy and tarnished
before anybody would meddle with it; on the contrary, I knew not
where to put it, or whom to trust with it.  My old patron,
the captain, indeed, was honest, and that was the only refuge I
had.  In the next place, my interest in the Brazils seemed
to summon me thither; but now I could not tell how to think of
going thither till I had settled my affairs, and left my effects
in some safe hands behind me.  At first I thought of my old
friend the widow, who I knew was honest, and would be just to me;
but then she was in years, and but poor, and, for aught I knew,
might be in debt: so that, in a word, I had no way but to go back
to England myself and take my effects with 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 the poor widow, whose husband had been my first
benefactor, and she, while it was in her power, my faithful
steward and instructor.  So, the first thing I did, I got a
merchant in Lisbon to write to his correspondent in London, not
only to pay a bill, but to go find her out, and carry her, in
money, a hundred pounds from me, and to talk with her, and
comfort her in her poverty, by telling her she should, if I
lived, have a further supply: at the same time I sent my two
sisters in the country a hundred pounds each, they being, though
not in want, yet not in very good circumstances; one having been
married and left a widow; and the other having a husband not so
kind to her as he should be.  But among all my relations or
acquaintances I could not yet pitch upon one to whom I durst
commit the gross of my stock, that I might go away to the
Brazils, and leave things safe behind me; and this greatly
perplexed me.

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

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

In order to prepare things for my going home, I first (the
Brazil fleet being just going away) resolved to give answers
suitable to the just and faithful account of things I had from
thence; and, first, to the Prior of St. Augustine I wrote a
letter full of thanks for his just dealings, and the offer of the
eight hundred and seventy-two moidores which were undisposed of,
which I desired might be given, five hundred to the monastery,
and three hundred and seventy-two to the poor, as the prior
should direct; desiring the good padre’s prayers for me,
and the like.  I wrote next a letter of thanks to my two
trustees, with all the acknowledgment that so much justice and
honesty called for: as for sending them any present, they were
far above having any occasion of it.  Lastly, I wrote to my
partner, acknowledging his industry in the improving the
plantation, and his integrity in increasing the stock of the
works; giving him instructions for his future government of my
part, according to the powers I had left with my old patron, to
whom I desired him to send whatever became due to me, till he
should hear from me more particularly; assuring him that it was
my intention not only to come to him, but to settle myself there
for the remainder of my life.  To this I added a very
handsome present of some Italian silks for his wife and two
daughters, for such the captain’s son informed me he had;
with two pieces of fine English broadcloth, the best I could get
in Lisbon, five pieces of black baize, and some Flanders lace of
a good value.

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

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

Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my old pilot, to
whom I communicated everything, pressed me earnestly not to go by
sea, but either to go by land to the Groyne, and cross over the
Bay of Biscay to Rochelle, from whence it was but an easy and
safe journey by land to Paris, and so to Calais and Dover; or to
go up to Madrid, and so all the way by land through France. 
In a word, I was so prepossessed against my going by sea at all,
except from Calais to Dover, that I resolved to travel all the
way by land; which, as I was not in haste, and did not value the
charge, was by much the pleasanter way: and to make it more so,
my old captain brought an English gentleman, the son of a
merchant in Lisbon, who was willing to travel with me; after
which we picked up two more English merchants also, and two young
Portuguese gentlemen, the last going to Paris only; so that in
all there were six of us and five servants; the two merchants and
the two Portuguese, contenting themselves with one servant
between two, to save the charge; and as for me, I got an English
sailor to travel with me as a servant, besides my man Friday, who
was too much a stranger to be capable of supplying the place of a
servant on the road.

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

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

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

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

Poor Friday was really frightened when he saw the mountains
all covered with snow, and felt cold weather, which he had never
seen or felt before in his life.  To mend the matter, when
we came to Pampeluna it continued snowing with so much violence
and so long, that the people said winter was come before its
time; and the roads, which were difficult before, were now quite
impassable; for, in a word, the snow lay in some places too thick
for us to travel, and being not hard frozen, as is the case in
the northern countries, there was no going without being in
danger of being buried alive every step.  We stayed no less
than twenty days at Pampeluna; when (seeing the winter coming on,
and no likelihood of its being better, for it was the severest
winter all over Europe that had been known in the memory of man)
I proposed that we should go away to Fontarabia, and there take
shipping for Bordeaux, which was a very little voyage.  But,
while I was considering this, there came in four French
gentlemen, who, having been stopped on the French side of the
passes, as we were on the Spanish, had found out a guide, who,
traversing the country near the head of Languedoc, had brought
them over the mountains by such ways that they were not much
incommoded with the snow; for where they met with snow in any
quantity, they said it was frozen hard enough to bear them and
their horses.  We sent for this guide, who told us he would
undertake to carry us the same way, with no hazard from the snow,
provided we were armed sufficiently to protect ourselves from
wild beasts; for, he said, in these great snows it was frequent
for some wolves to show themselves at the foot of the mountains,
being made ravenous for want of food, the ground being covered
with snow.  We told him we were well enough prepared for
such creatures as they were, if he would insure us from a kind of
two-legged wolves, which we were told we were in most danger
from, especially on the French side of the mountains.  He
satisfied us that there was no danger of that kind in the way
that we were to go; so we readily agreed to follow him, as did
also twelve other gentlemen with their servants, some French,
some Spanish, who, as I said, had attempted to go, and were
obliged to come back again.

Accordingly, we set out from Pampeluna with our guide on the
15th of November; and indeed I was surprised when, instead of
going forward, he came directly back with us on the same road
that we came from Madrid, about twenty miles; when, having passed
two rivers, and come into the plain country, we found ourselves
in a warm climate again, where the country was pleasant, and no
snow to be seen; but, on a sudden, turning to his left, he
approached the mountains another way; and though it is true the
hills and precipices looked dreadful, yet he made so many tours,
such meanders, and led us by such winding ways, that we
insensibly passed the height of the mountains without being much
encumbered with the snow; and all on a sudden he showed us the
pleasant and fruitful provinces of Languedoc and Gascony, all
green and flourishing, though at a great distance, and we had
some rough way to pass still.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The bear was walking softly on, and offered to meddle with
nobody, till Friday coming pretty near, calls to him, as if the
bear could understand him.  “Hark ye, hark ye,”
says Friday, “me speakee with you.”  We followed
at a distance, for now being down on the Gascony side of the
mountains, we were entered a vast forest, where the country was
plain and pretty open, though it had many trees in it scattered
here and there.  Friday, who had, as we say, the heels of
the bear, came up with him quickly, and took up a great stone,
and threw it at him, and hit him just on the head, but did him no
more harm than if he had thrown it against a wall; but it
answered Friday’s end, for the rogue was so void of fear
that he did it purely to make the bear follow him, and show us
some laugh as he called it.  As soon as the bear felt the
blow, and saw him, he turns about and comes after him, taking
very long strides, and shuffling on at a strange rate, so as
would have put a horse to a middling gallop; away reins Friday,
and takes his course as if he ran towards us for help; so we all
resolved to fire at once upon the bear, and deliver my man;
though I was angry at him for bringing the bear back upon us,
when he was going about his own business another way; and
especially I was angry that he had turned the bear upon us, and
then ran away; and I called out, “You dog! is this your
making us laugh?  Come away, and take your horse, that we
may shoot the creature.”  He heard me, and cried out,
“No shoot, no shoot; stand still, and you get much
laugh:” and as the nimble creature ran two feet for the
bear’s one, he turned on a sudden on one side of us, and
seeing a great oak-tree fit for his purpose, he beckoned to us to
follow; and doubling his pace, he got nimbly up the tree, laying
his gun down upon the ground, at about five or six yards from the
bottom of the tree.  The bear soon came to the tree, and we
followed at a distance: the first thing he did he stopped at the
gun, smelt at it, but let it lie, and up he scrambles into the
tree, climbing like a cat, though so monstrous heavy.  I was
amazed at the folly, as I thought it, of my man, and could not
for my life see anything to laugh at, till seeing the bear get up
the tree, we all rode near to him.

When we came to the tree, there was Friday got out to the
small end of a large branch, and the bear got about half-way to
him.  As soon as the bear got out to that part where the
limb of the tree was weaker, “Ha!” says he to us,
“now you see me teachee the bear dance:” so he began
jumping and shaking the bough, at which the bear began to totter,
but stood still, and began to look behind him, to see how he
should get back; then, indeed, we did laugh heartily.  But
Friday had not done with him by a great deal; when seeing him
stand still, he called out to him again, as if he had supposed
the bear could speak English, “What, you come no farther?
pray you come farther;” so he left jumping and shaking the
tree; and the bear, just as if he understood what he said, did
come a little farther; then he began jumping again, and the bear
stopped again.  We thought now was a good time to knock him
in the head, and called to Friday to stand still and we should
shoot the bear: but he cried out earnestly, “Oh,
pray!  Oh, pray! no shoot, me shoot by and then:” he
would have said by-and-by.  However, to shorten the story,
Friday danced so much, and the bear stood so ticklish, that we
had laughing enough, but still could not imagine what the fellow
would do: for first we thought he depended upon shaking the bear
off; and we found the bear was too cunning for that too; for he
would not go out far enough to be thrown down, but clung fast
with his great broad claws and feet, so that we could not imagine
what would be the end of it, and what the jest would be at
last.  But Friday put us out of doubt quickly: for seeing
the bear cling fast to the bough, and that he would not be
persuaded to come any farther, “Well, well,” says
Friday, “you no come farther, me go; you no come to me, me
come to you;” and upon this he went out to the smaller end,
where it would bend with his weight, and gently let himself down
by it, sliding down the bough till he came near enough to jump
down on his feet, and away he ran to his gun, took it up, and
stood still.  “Well,” said I to him,
“Friday, what will you do now?  Why don’t you
shoot him?”  “No shoot,” says Friday,
“no yet; me shoot now, me no kill; me stay, give you one
more laugh:” and, indeed, so he did; for when the bear saw
his enemy gone, he came back from the bough, where he stood, but
did it very cautiously, looking behind him every step, and coming
backward till he got into the body of the tree, then, with the
same hinder end foremost, he came down the tree, grasping it with
his claws, and moving one foot at a time, very leisurely. 
At this juncture, and just before he could set his hind foot on
the ground, Friday stepped up close to him, clapped the muzzle of
his piece into his ear, and shot him dead.  Then the rogue
turned about to see if we did not laugh; and when he saw we were
pleased by our looks, he began to laugh very loud. 
“So we kill bear in my country,” says Friday. 
“So you kill them?” says I; “why, you have no
guns.”—“No,” says he, “no gun, but
shoot great much long arrow.”  This was a good
diversion to us; but we were still in a wild place, and our guide
very much hurt, and what to do we hardly knew; the howling of
wolves ran much in my head; and, indeed, except the noise I once
heard on the shore of Africa, of which I have said something
already, I never heard anything that filled me with so much

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

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

We had one dangerous place to pass,
and our guide told us if there were more wolves in the country we
should find them there; and this was a small plain, surrounded
with woods on every side, and a long, narrow defile, or lane,
which we were to pass to get through the wood, and then we should
come to the village where we were to lodge. 

It was within
half-an-hour of sunset when we entered the wood, and a little
after sunset when we came into the plain: we met with nothing in
the first wood, except that in a little plain within the wood,
which was not above two furlongs over, we saw five great wolves
cross the road, full speed, one after another, as if they had
been in chase of some prey, and had it in view; they took no
notice of us, and were gone out of sight in a few moments. 
Upon this, our guide, who, by the way, was but a fainthearted
fellow, bid us keep in a ready posture, for he believed there
were more wolves a-coming.  We kept our arms ready, and our
eyes about us; but we saw no more wolves till we came through
that wood, which was near half a league, and entered the
plain.  As soon as we came into the plain, we had occasion
enough to look about us.  The first object we met with was a
dead horse; that is to say, a poor horse which the wolves had
killed, and at least a dozen of them at work, we could not say
eating him, but picking his bones rather; for they had eaten up
all the flesh before.  We did not think fit to disturb them
at their feast, neither did they take much notice of us. 
Friday would have let fly at them, but I would not suffer him by
any means; for I found we were like to have more business upon
our hands than we were aware of.  We had not gone half over
the plain when we began to hear the wolves howl in the wood on
our left in a frightful manner, and presently after we saw about
a hundred coming on directly towards us, all in a body, and most
of them in a line, as regularly as an army drawn up by
experienced officers.  I scarce knew in what manner to
receive them, but found to draw ourselves in a close line was the
only way; so we formed in a moment; but that we might not have
too much interval, I ordered that only every other man should
fire, and that the others, who had not fired, should stand ready
to give them a second volley immediately, if they continued to
advance upon us; and then that those that had fired at first
should not pretend to load their fusees again, but stand ready,
every one with a pistol, for we were all armed with a fusee and a
pair of pistols each man; so we were, by this method, able to
fire six volleys, half of us at a time; however, at present we
had no necessity; for upon firing the first volley, the enemy
made a full stop, being terrified as well with the noise as with
the fire.  Four of them being shot in the head, dropped;
several others were wounded, and went bleeding off, as we could
see by the snow.  I found they stopped, but did not
immediately retreat; whereupon, remembering that I had been told
that the fiercest creatures were terrified at the voice of a man,
I caused all the company to halloo as loud as they could; and I
found the notion not altogether mistaken; for upon our shout they
began to retire and turn about.  I then ordered a second
volley to be fired in their rear, which put them to the gallop,
and away they went to the woods.  This gave us leisure to
charge our pieces again; and that we might lose no time, we kept
going; but we had but little more than loaded our fusees, and put
ourselves in readiness, when we heard a terrible noise in the
same wood on our left, only that it was farther onward, the same
way we were to go.

The night was coming on, and the light began to be dusky,
which made it worse on our side; but the noise increasing, we
could easily perceive that it was the howling and yelling of
those hellish creatures; and on a sudden we perceived three
troops of wolves, one on our left, one behind us, and one in our
front, so that we seemed to be surrounded with them: however, as
they did not fall upon us, we kept our way forward, as fast as we
could make our horses go, which, the way being very rough, was
only a good hard trot.  In this manner, we came in view of
the entrance of a wood, through which we were to pass, at the
farther side of the plain; but we were greatly surprised, when
coming nearer the lane or pass, we saw a confused number of
wolves standing just at the entrance.  On a sudden, at
another opening of the wood, we heard the noise of a gun, and
looking that way, out rushed a horse, with a saddle and a bridle
on him, flying like the wind, and sixteen or seventeen wolves
after him, full speed: the horse had the advantage of them; but
as we supposed that he could not hold it at that rate, we doubted
not but they would get up with him at last: no question but they

But here we had a most horrible sight; for riding up to the
entrance where the horse came out, we found the carcasses of
another horse and of two men, devoured by the ravenous creatures;
and one of the men was no doubt the same whom we heard fire the
gun, for there lay a gun just by him fired off; but as to the
man, his head and the upper part of his body was eaten up. 
This filled us with horror, and we knew not what course to take;
but the creatures resolved us soon, for they gathered about us
presently, in hopes of prey; and I verily believe there were
three hundred of them.  It happened, very much to our
advantage, that at the entrance into the wood, but a little way
from it, there lay some large timber-trees, which had been cut
down the summer before, and I suppose lay there for
carriage.  I drew my little troop in among those trees, and
placing ourselves in a line behind one long tree, I advised them
all to alight, and keeping that tree before us for a breastwork,
to stand in a triangle, or three fronts, enclosing our horses in
the centre.  We did so, and it was well we did; for never
was a more furious charge than the creatures made upon us in this
place.  They came on with a growling kind of noise, and
mounted the piece of timber, which, as I said, was our
breastwork, as if they were only rushing upon their prey; and
this fury of theirs, it seems, was principally occasioned by
their seeing our horses behind us.  I ordered our men to
fire as before, every other man; and they took their aim so sure
that they killed several of the wolves at the first volley; but
there was a necessity to keep a continual firing, for they came
on like devils, those behind pushing on those 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 moment, for others came forward again; so we fired
two volleys of our pistols; and I believe in these four firings
we had killed seventeen or eighteen of them, and lamed twice as
many, yet they came on again.  I was loth to spend our shot
too hastily; so I called my servant, not my man Friday, for he
was better employed, for, with the greatest dexterity imaginable,
he had charged my fusee and his own while we were
engaged—but, as I said, I called my other man, and giving
him a horn of powder, I had him lay a train all along the piece
of timber, and let it be a large train.  He did so, and had
but just time to get away, when the wolves came up to it, and
some got upon it, when I, snapping an unchanged pistol close to
the powder, set it on fire; those that were upon the timber were
scorched with it, and six or seven of them fell; or rather jumped
in among us with the force and fright of the fire; we despatched
these in an instant, and the rest were so frightened with the
light, which the night—for it was now very near
dark—made more terrible that they drew back a little; upon
which I ordered our last pistols to be fired off in one volley,
and after that we gave a shout; upon this the wolves turned tail,
and we sallied immediately upon near twenty lame ones that we
found struggling on the ground, and fell to cutting them with our
swords, which answered our expectation, for the crying and
howling they made was better understood by their fellows; so that
they all fled and left us.

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

The next morning our guide was so ill, and his limbs swelled
so much with the rankling of his two wounds, that he could go no
farther; so we were obliged to take a new guide here, and go to
Toulouse, where we found a warm climate, a fruitful, pleasant
country, and no snow, no wolves, nor anything like them; but when
we told our story at Toulouse, they told us it was nothing but
what was ordinary in the great forest at the foot of the
mountains, especially when the snow lay on the ground; but they
inquired much what kind of guide we had got who would venture to
bring us that way in such a severe season, and told us it was
surprising we were not all devoured.  When we told them how
we placed ourselves and the horses in the middle, they blamed us
exceedingly, and told us it was fifty to one but we had been all
destroyed, for it was the sight of the horses which made the
wolves so furious, seeing their prey, and that at other times
they are really afraid of a gun; but being excessively hungry,
and raging on that account, the eagerness to come at the horses
had made them senseless of danger, and that if we had not by the
continual fire, and at last by the stratagem of the train of
powder, mastered them, it had been great odds but that we had
been torn to pieces; whereas, had we been content to have sat
still on horseback, and fired as horsemen, they would not have
taken the horses so much for their own, when men were on their
backs, as otherwise; and withal, they told us that at last, if we
had stood altogether, and left our horses, they would have been
so eager to have devoured them, that we might have come off safe,
especially having our firearms in our hands, being so many in
number.  For my part, I was never so sensible of danger in
my life; for, seeing above three hundred devils come roaring and
open-mouthed to devour us, and having nothing to shelter us or
retreat to, I gave myself over for lost; and, as it was, I
believe I shall never care to cross those mountains again: I
think I would much rather go a thousand leagues by sea, though I
was sure to meet with a storm once a-week.

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

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

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

And now, having resolved to dispose of my plantation in the
Brazils, I wrote to my old friend at Lisbon, who, having offered
it to the two merchants, the survivors of my trustees, who lived
in the Brazils, they accepted the offer, and remitted
thirty-three thousand pieces of eight to a correspondent of
theirs at Lisbon to pay for it.

In return, I signed the instrument of sale in the form which
they sent from Lisbon, and sent it to my old man, who sent me the
bills of exchange for thirty-two thousand eight hundred pieces of
eight for the estate, reserving the payment of one hundred
moidores a year to him (the old man) during his life, and fifty
moidores afterwards to his son for his life, which I had promised
them, and which the plantation was to make good as a
rent-charge.  And thus I have given the first part of a life
of fortune and adventure—a life of Providence’s
chequer-work, and of a variety which the world will seldom be
able to show the like of; beginning foolishly, but closing much
more happily than any part of it ever gave me leave so much as to
hope for.

Any one would think that in this state of complicated good
fortune I was past running any more hazards—and so, indeed,
I had been, if other circumstances had concurred; but I was
inured to a wandering life, had no family, nor many relations;
nor, however rich, had I contracted fresh acquaintance; and
though I had sold my estate in the Brazils, yet I could not keep
that country out of my head, and had a great mind to be upon the
wing again; especially I could not resist the strong inclination
I had to see my island, and to know if the poor Spaniards were in
being there.  My true friend, the widow, earnestly dissuaded
me from it, and so far prevailed with me, that for almost seven
years she prevented my running abroad, during which time I took
my two nephews, the children of one of my brothers, into my care;
the eldest, having something of his own, I bred up as a
gentleman, and gave him a settlement of some addition to his
estate after my decease.  The other I placed with the
captain of a ship; and after five years, finding him a sensible,
bold, enterprising young fellow, I put him into a good ship, and
sent him to sea; and this young fellow afterwards drew me in, as
old as I was, to further adventures myself.

In the meantime, I in part settled myself here; for, first of
all, I married, and that not either to my disadvantage or
dissatisfaction, and had three children, two sons and one
daughter; but my wife dying, and my nephew coming home with good
success from a voyage to Spain, my inclination to go abroad, and
his importunity, prevailed, and engaged me to go in his ship as a
private trader to the East Indies; this was in the year 1694.

In this voyage I visited my new colony in the island, saw my
successors the Spaniards, had the old story of their lives and of
the villains I left there; how at first they insulted the poor
Spaniards, how they afterwards agreed, disagreed, united,
separated, and how at last the Spaniards were obliged to use
violence with them; how they were subjected to the Spaniards, how
honestly the Spaniards used them—a history, if it were
entered into, as full of variety and wonderful accidents as my
own part—particularly, also, as to their battles with the
Caribbeans, who landed several times upon the island, and as to
the improvement they made upon the island itself, and how five of
them made an attempt upon the mainland, and brought away eleven
men and five women prisoners, by which, at my coming, I found
about twenty young children on the island.

Here I stayed about twenty days, left them supplies of all
necessary things, and particularly of arms, powder, shot,
clothes, tools, and two workmen, which I had brought from England
with me, viz. a carpenter and a smith.

Besides this, I shared the lands into parts with them,
reserved to myself the property of the whole, but gave them such
parts respectively as they agreed on; and having settled all
things with them, and engaged them not to leave the place, I left
them there.

From thence I touched at the Brazils, from whence I sent a
bark, which I bought there, with more people to the island; and
in it, besides other supplies, I sent seven women, being such as
I found proper for service, or for wives to such as would take
them.  As to the Englishmen, I promised to send them some
women from England, with a good cargo of necessaries, if they
would apply themselves to planting—which I afterwards could
not perform.  The fellows proved very honest and diligent
after they were mastered and had their properties set apart for
them.  I sent them, also, from the Brazils, five cows, three
of them being big with calf, some sheep, and some hogs, which
when I came again were considerably increased.

But all these things, with an account how three hundred
Caribbees came and invaded them, and ruined their plantations,
and how they fought with that whole number twice, and were at
first defeated, and one of them killed; but at last, a storm
destroying their enemies’ canoes, they famished or
destroyed almost all the rest, and renewed and recovered the
possession of their plantation, and still lived upon the

All these things, with some very surprising incidents in some
new adventures of my own, for ten years more, I shall give a
farther account of in the Second Part of my Story.