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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Part 5 out of 6

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young cedar-tree, which I found near the place, and which there
were great plenty of in the island, and I set Friday to work to cut
it down, and gave him directions how to shape and order it. But as
to the sail, that was my particular care. I knew I had old sails,
or rather pieces of old sails, enough; but as I had had them now
six-and-twenty years by me, and had not been very careful to
preserve them, not imagining that I should ever have this kind of
use for them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten; and,
indeed, most of them were so. However, I found two pieces which
appeared pretty good, and with these I went to work; and with a
great deal of pains, and awkward stitching, you may be sure, for
want of needles, I at length made a three-cornered ugly thing, like
what we call in England a shoulder-of-mutton sail, to go with a
boom at bottom, and a little short sprit at the top, such as
usually our ships' long-boats sail with, and such as I best knew
how to manage, as it was such a one as I had to the boat in which I
made my escape from Barbary, as related in the first part of my

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


WHILE we were thus preparing our designs, and had first, by main
strength, heaved the boat upon the beach, so high that the tide
would not float her off at high-water mark, and besides, had broke
a hole in her bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and were set
down musing what we should do, we heard the ship fire a gun, and
make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to come on
board - but no boat stirred; and they fired several times, making
other signals for the boat. At last, when all their signals and
firing proved fruitless, and they found the boat did not stir, we
saw them, by the help of my glasses, hoist another boat out and row
towards the shore; and we found, as they approached, that there
were no less than ten men in her, and that they had firearms with

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full
view of them as the came, and a plain sight even of their faces;
because the tide having set them a little to the east of the other
boat, they rowed up under shore, to come to the same place where
the other had landed, and where the boat lay; by this means, I say,
we had a full view of them, and the captain knew the persons and
characters of all the men in the boat, of whom, he said, there were
three very honest fellows, who, he was sure, were led into this
conspiracy by the rest, being over-powered and frightened; but that
as for the boatswain, who it seems was the chief officer among
them, and all the rest, they were as outrageous as any of the
ship's crew, and were no doubt made desperate in their new
enterprise; and terribly apprehensive he was that they would be too
powerful for us. I smiled at him, and told him that men in our
circumstances were past the operation of fear; that seeing almost
every condition that could be was better than that which we were
supposed to be in, we ought to expect that the consequence, whether
death or life, would be sure to be a deliverance. I asked him what
he thought of the circumstances of my life, and whether a
deliverance were not worth venturing for? "And where, sir," said
I, "is your belief of my being preserved here on purpose to save
your life, which elevated you a little while ago? For my part,"
said I, "there seems to be but one thing amiss in all the prospect
of it." "What is that?" say she. "Why," said I, "it is, that as
you say there are three or four honest fellows among them which
should be spared, had they been all of the wicked part of the crew
I should have thought God's providence had singled them out to
deliver them into your hands; for depend upon it, every man that
comes ashore is our own, and shall die or live as they behave to
us." As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheerful countenance,
I found it greatly encouraged him; so we set vigorously to our

We had, upon the first appearance of the boat's coming from the
ship, considered of separating our prisoners; and we had, indeed,
secured them effectually. Two of them, of whom the captain was
less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and one of the
three delivered men, to my cave, where they were remote enough, and
out of danger of being heard or discovered, or of finding their way
out of the woods if they could have delivered themselves. Here
they left them bound, but gave them provisions; and promised them,
if they continued there quietly, to give them their liberty in a
day or two; but that if they attempted their escape they should be
put to death without mercy. They promised faithfully to bear their
confinement with patience, and were very thankful that they had
such good usage as to have provisions and light left them; for
Friday gave them candles (such as we made ourselves) for their
comfort; and they did not know but that he stood sentinel over them
at the entrance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I might well say now, indeed, that the latter end of Job was better
than the beginning. It is impossible to express the flutterings of
my very heart when I found all my wealth about me; for as the
Brazil ships come all in fleets, the same ships which brought my
letters brought my goods: and the effects were safe in the river
before the letters came to my hand. In a word, I turned pale, and
grew sick; and, had not the old man run and fetched me a cordial, I
believe the sudden surprise of joy had overset nature, and I had
died upon the spot: nay, after that I continued very ill, and was
so some hours, till a physician being sent for, and something of
the real cause of my illness being known, he ordered me to be let
blood; after which I had relief, and grew well: but I verify
believe, if I had not been eased by a vent given in that manner to
the spirits, I should have died.

I was now master, all on a sudden, of above five thousand pounds
sterling in money, and had an estate, as I might well call it, in
the Brazils, of above a thousand pounds a year, as sure as an
estate of lands in England: and, in a word, I was in a condition
which I scarce knew how to understand, or how to compose myself for
the enjoyment of it. The first thing I did was to recompense my
original benefactor, my good old captain, who had been first
charitable to me in my distress, kind to me in my beginning, and
honest to me at the end. I showed him all that was sent to me; I
told him that, next to the providence of Heaven, which disposed all
things, it was owing to him; and that it now lay on me to reward
him, which I would do a hundred-fold: so I first returned to him
the hundred moidores I had received of him; then I sent for a
notary, and caused him to draw up a general release or discharge
from the four hundred and seventy moidores, which he had
acknowledged he owed me, in the fullest and firmest manner
possible. After which I caused a procuration to be drawn,
empowering him to be the receiver of the annual profits of my
plantation: and appointing my partner to account with him, and make
the returns, by the usual fleets, to him in my name; and by a
clause in the end, made a grant of one hundred moidores a year to
him during his life, out of the effects, and fifty moidores a year
to his son after him, for his life: and thus I requited my old man.

I had now to consider which way to steer my course next, and what
to do with the estate that Providence had thus put into my hands;
and, indeed, I had more care upon my head now than I had in my
state of life in the island where I wanted nothing but what I had,
and had nothing but what I wanted; whereas I had now a great charge
upon me, and my business was how to secure it. I had not a cave
now to hide my money in, or a place where it might lie without lock
or key, till it grew mouldy and tarnished before anybody would
meddle with it; on the contrary, I knew not where to put it, or
whom to trust with it. My old patron, the captain, indeed, was
honest, and that was the only refuge I had. In the next place, my
interest in the Brazils seemed to summon me thither; but now I
could not tell how to think of going thither till I had settled my
affairs, and left my effects in some safe hands behind me. At
first I thought of my old friend the widow, who I knew was honest,
and would be just to me; but then she was in years, and but poor,
and, for aught I knew, might be in debt: so that, in a word, I had
no way but to go back to England myself and take my effects with

It was some months, however, before I resolved upon this; and,
therefore, as I had rewarded the old captain fully, and to his
satisfaction, who had been my former benefactor, so I began to
think of the poor widow, whose husband had been my first
benefactor, and she, while it was in her power, my faithful steward
and instructor. So, the first thing I did, I got a merchant in
Lisbon to write to his correspondent in London, not only to pay a
bill, but to go find her out, and carry her, in money, a hundred
pounds from me, and to talk with her, and comfort her in her
poverty, by telling her she should, if I lived, have a further
supply: at the same time I sent my two sisters in the country a
hundred pounds each, they being, though not in want, yet not in

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