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The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe [Robinson Crusoe Part 2] by Daniel Defoe

Part 2 out of 5

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went, pretending to go and choose a place where they would settle
themselves; and some provisions were given them, but no weapons.
About four or five days after, they came again for some victuals,
and gave the governor an account where they had pitched their
tents, and marked themselves out a habitation and plantation; and
it was a very convenient place indeed, on the remotest part of the
island, NE., much about the place where I providentially landed in
my first voyage, when I was driven out to sea in my foolish attempt
to sail round the island.

Here they built themselves two handsome huts, and contrived them in
a manner like my first habitation, being close under the side of a
hill, having some trees already growing on three sides of it, so
that by planting others it would be very easily covered from the
sight, unless narrowly searched for. They desired some dried goat-
skins for beds and covering, which were given them; and upon giving
their words that they would not disturb the rest, or injure any of
their plantations, they gave them hatchets, and what other tools
they could spare; some peas, barley, and rice, for sowing; and, in
a word, anything they wanted, except arms and ammunition.

They lived in this separate condition about six months, and had got
in their first harvest, though the quantity was but small, the
parcel of land they had planted being but little. Indeed, having
all their plantation to form, they had a great deal of work upon
their hands; and when they came to make boards and pots, and such
things, they were quite out of their element, and could make
nothing of it; therefore when the rainy season came on, for want of
a cave in the earth, they could not keep their grain dry, and it
was in great danger of spoiling. This humbled them much: so they
came and begged the Spaniards to help them, which they very readily
did; and in four days worked a great hole in the side of the hill
for them, big enough to secure their corn and other things from the
rain: but it was a poor place at best compared to mine, and
especially as mine was then, for the Spaniards had greatly enlarged
it, and made several new apartments in it.

About three quarters of a year after this separation, a new frolic
took these rogues, which, together with the former villainy they
had committed, brought mischief enough upon them, and had very near
been the ruin of the whole colony. The three new associates began,
it seems, to be weary of the laborious life they led, and that
without hope of bettering their circumstances: and a whim took
them that they would make a voyage to the continent, from whence
the savages came, and would try if they could seize upon some
prisoners among the natives there, and bring them home, so as to
make them do the laborious part of the work for them.

The project was not so preposterous, if they had gone no further.
But they did nothing, and proposed nothing, but had either mischief
in the design, or mischief in the event. And if I may give my
opinion, they seemed to be under a blast from Heaven: for if we
will not allow a visible curse to pursue visible crimes, how shall
we reconcile the events of things with the divine justice? It was
certainly an apparent vengeance on their crime of mutiny and piracy
that brought them to the state they were in; and they showed not
the least remorse for the crime, but added new villanies to it,
such as the piece of monstrous cruelty of wounding a poor slave
because he did not, or perhaps could not, understand to do what he
was directed, and to wound him in such a manner as made him a
cripple all his life, and in a place where no surgeon or medicine
could be had for his cure; and, what was still worse, the
intentional murder, for such to be sure it was, as was afterwards
the formed design they all laid to murder the Spaniards in cold
blood, and in their sleep.

The three fellows came down to the Spaniards one morning, and in
very humble terms desired to be admitted to speak with them. The
Spaniards very readily heard what they had to say, which was this:
that they were tired of living in the manner they did, and that
they were not handy enough to make the necessaries they wanted, and
that having no help, they found they should be starved; but if the
Spaniards would give them leave to take one of the canoes which
they came over in, and give them arms and ammunition proportioned
to their defence, they would go over to the main, and seek their
fortunes, and so deliver them from the trouble of supplying them
with any other provisions.

The Spaniards were glad enough to get rid of them, but very
honestly represented to them the certain destruction they were
running into; told them they had suffered such hardships upon that
very spot, that they could, without any spirit of prophecy, tell
them they would be starved or murdered, and bade them consider of
it. The men replied audaciously, they should be starved if they
stayed here, for they could not work, and would not work, and they
could but be starved abroad; and if they were murdered, there was
an end of them; they had no wives or children to cry after them;
and, in short, insisted importunately upon their demand, declaring
they would go, whether they gave them any arms or not.

The Spaniards told them, with great kindness, that if they were
resolved to go they should not go like naked men, and be in no
condition to defend themselves; and that though they could ill
spare firearms, not having enough for themselves, yet they would
let them have two muskets, a pistol, and a cutlass, and each man a
hatchet, which they thought was sufficient for them. In a word,
they accepted the offer; and having baked bread enough to serve
them a month given them, and as much goats' flesh as they could eat
while it was sweet, with a great basket of dried grapes, a pot of
fresh water, and a young kid alive, they boldly set out in the
canoe for a voyage over the sea, where it was at least forty miles
broad. The boat, indeed, was a large one, and would very well have
carried fifteen or twenty men, and therefore was rather too big for
them to manage; but as they had a fair breeze and flood-tide with
them, they did well enough. They had made a mast of a long pole,
and a sail of four large goat-skins dried, which they had sewed or
laced together; and away they went merrily together. The Spaniards
called after them "Bon voyajo;" and no man ever thought of seeing
them any more.

The Spaniards were often saying to one another, and to the two
honest Englishmen who remained behind, how quietly and comfortably
they lived, now these three turbulent fellows were gone. As for
their coming again, that was the remotest thing from their thoughts
that could be imagined; when, behold, after two-and-twenty days'
absence, one of the Englishmen being abroad upon his planting work,
sees three strange men coming towards him at a distance, with guns
upon their shoulders.

Away runs the Englishman, frightened and amazed, as if he was
bewitched, to the governor Spaniard, and tells him they were all
undone, for there were strangers upon the island, but he could not
tell who they were. The Spaniard, pausing a while, says to him,
"How do you mean--you cannot tell who? They are the savages, to be
sure." "No, no," says the Englishman, "they are men in clothes,
with arms." "Nay, then," says the Spaniard, "why are you so
concerned! If they are not savages they must be friends; for there
is no Christian nation upon earth but will do us good rather than
harm." While they were debating thus, came up the three
Englishmen, and standing without the wood, which was new planted,
hallooed to them. They presently knew their voices, and so all the
wonder ceased. But now the admiration was turned upon another
question--What could be the matter, and what made them come back
again?

It was not long before they brought the men in, and inquiring where
they had been, and what they had been doing, they gave them a full
account of their voyage in a few words: that they reached the land
in less than two days, but finding the people alarmed at their
coming, and preparing with bows and arrows to fight them, they
durst not go on, shore, but sailed on to the northward six or seven
hours, till they came to a great opening, by which they perceived
that the land they saw from our island was not the main, but an
island: that upon entering that opening of the sea they saw
another island on the right hand north, and several more west; and
being resolved to land somewhere, they put over to one of the
islands which lay west, and went boldly on shore; that they found
the people very courteous and friendly to them; and they gave them
several roots and some dried fish, and appeared very sociable; and
that the women, as well as the men, were very forward to supply
them with anything they could get for them to eat, and brought it
to them a great way, on their heads. They continued here for four
days, and inquired as well as they could of them by signs, what
nations were this way, and that way, and were told of several
fierce and terrible people that lived almost every way, who, as
they made known by signs to them, used to eat men; but, as for
themselves, they said they never ate men or women, except only such
as they took in the wars; and then they owned they made a great
feast, and ate their prisoners.

The Englishmen inquired when they had had a feast of that kind; and
they told them about two moons ago, pointing to the moon and to two
fingers; and that their great king had two hundred prisoners now,
which he had taken in his war, and they were feeding them to make
them fat for the next feast. The Englishmen seemed mighty desirous
of seeing those prisoners; but the others mistaking them, thought
they were desirous to have some of them to carry away for their own
eating. So they beckoned to them, pointing to the setting of the
sun, and then to the rising; which was to signify that the next
morning at sunrising they would bring some for them; and
accordingly the next morning they brought down five women and
eleven men, and gave them to the Englishmen to carry with them on
their voyage, just as we would bring so many cows and oxen down to
a seaport town to victual a ship.

As brutish and barbarous as these fellows were at home, their
stomachs turned at this sight, and they did not know what to do.
To refuse the prisoners would have been the highest affront to the
savage gentry that could be offered them, and what to do with them
they knew not. However, after some debate, they resolved to accept
of them: and, in return, they gave the savages that brought them
one of their hatchets, an old key, a knife, and six or seven of
their bullets; which, though they did not understand their use,
they seemed particularly pleased with; and then tying the poor
creatures' hands behind them, they dragged the prisoners into the
boat for our men.

The Englishmen were obliged to come away as soon as they had them,
or else they that gave them this noble present would certainly have
expected that they should have gone to work with them, have killed
two or three of them the next morning, and perhaps have invited the
donors to dinner. But having taken their leave, with all the
respect and thanks that could well pass between people, where on
either side they understood not one word they could say, they put
off with their boat, and came back towards the first island; where,
when they arrived, they set eight of their prisoners at liberty,
there being too many of them for their occasion. In their voyage
they endeavoured to have some communication with their prisoners;
but it was impossible to make them understand anything. Nothing
they could say to them, or give them, or do for them, but was
looked upon as going to murder them. They first of all unbound
them; but the poor creatures screamed at that, especially the
women, as if they had just felt the knife at their throats; for
they immediately concluded they were unbound on purpose to be
killed. If they gave them thing to eat, it was the same thing;
they then concluded it was for fear they should sink in flesh, and
so not be fat enough to kill. If they looked at one of them more
particularly, the party presently concluded it was to see whether
he or she was fattest, and fittest to kill first; nay, after they
had brought them quite over, and began to use them kindly, and
treat them well, still they expected every day to make a dinner or
supper for their new masters.

When the three wanderers had give this unaccountable history or
journal of their voyage, the Spaniard asked them where their new
family was; and being told that they had brought them on shore, and
put them into one of their huts, and were come up to beg some
victuals for them, they (the Spaniards) and the other two
Englishmen, that is to say, the whole colony, resolved to go all
down to the place and see them; and did so, and Friday's father
with them. When they came into the hut, there they sat, all bound;
for when they had brought them on shore they bound their hands that
they might not take the boat and make their escape; there, I say,
they sat, all of them stark naked. First, there were three comely
fellows, well shaped, with straight limbs, about thirty to thirty-
five years of age; and five women, whereof two might be from thirty
to forty, two more about four or five and twenty; and the fifth, a
tall, comely maiden, about seventeen. The women were well-
favoured, agreeable persons, both in shape and features, only
tawny; and two of them, had they been perfect white, would have
passed for very handsome women, even in London, having pleasant
countenances, and of a very modest behaviour; especially when they
came afterwards to be clothed and dressed, though that dress was
very indifferent, it must be confessed.

The sight, you may be sure, was something uncouth to our Spaniards,
who were, to give them a just character, men of the most calm,
sedate tempers, and perfect good humour, that ever I met with:
and, in particular, of the utmost modesty: I say, the sight was
very uncouth, to see three naked men and five naked women, all
together bound, and in the most miserable circumstances that human
nature could be supposed to be, viz. to be expecting every moment
to be dragged out and have their brains knocked out, and then to be
eaten up like a calf that is killed for a dainty.

The first thing they did was to cause the old Indian, Friday's
father, to go in, and see first if he knew any of them, and then if
he understood any of their speech. As soon as the old man came in,
he looked seriously at them, but knew none of them; neither could
any of them understand a word he said, or a sign he could make,
except one of the women. However, this was enough to answer the
end, which was to satisfy them that the men into whose hands they
were fallen were Christians; that they abhorred eating men or
women; and that they might be sure they would not be killed. As
soon as they were assured of this, they discovered such a joy, and
by such awkward gestures, several ways, as is hard to describe; for
it seems they were of several nations. The woman who was their
interpreter was bid, in the next place, to ask them if they were
willing to be servants, and to work for the men who had brought
them away, to save their lives; at which they all fell a-dancing;
and presently one fell to taking up this, and another that,
anything that lay next, to carry on their shoulders, to intimate
they were willing to work.

The governor, who found that the having women among them would
presently be attended with some inconvenience, and might occasion
some strife, and perhaps blood, asked the three men what they
intended to do with these women, and how they intended to use them,
whether as servants or as wives? One of the Englishmen answered,
very boldly and readily, that they would use them as both; to which
the governor said: "I am not going to restrain you from it--you
are your own masters as to that; but this I think is but just, for
avoiding disorders and quarrels among you, and I desire it of you
for that reason only, viz. that you will all engage, that if any of
you take any of these women as a wife, he shall take but one; and
that having taken one, none else shall touch her; for though we
cannot marry any one of you, yet it is but reasonable that, while
you stay here, the woman any of you takes shall be maintained by
the man that takes her, and should be his wife--I mean," says he,
"while he continues here, and that none else shall have anything to
do with her." All this appeared so just, that every one agreed to
it without any difficulty.

Then the Englishmen asked the Spaniards if they designed to take
any of them? But every one of them answered "No." Some of them
said they had wives in Spain, and the others did not like women
that were not Christians; and all together declared that they would
not touch one of them, which was an instance of such virtue as I
have not met with in all my travels. On the other hand, the five
Englishmen took them every one a wife, that is to say, a temporary
wife; and so they set up a new form of living; for the Spaniards
and Friday's father lived in my old habitation, which they had
enlarged exceedingly within. The three servants which were taken
in the last battle of the savages lived with them; and these
carried on the main part of the colony, supplied all the rest with
food, and assisted them in anything as they could, or as they found
necessity required.

But the wonder of the story was, how five such refractory, ill-
matched fellows should agree about these women, and that some two
of them should not choose the same woman, especially seeing two or
three of them were, without comparison, more agreeable than the
others; but they took a good way enough to prevent quarrelling
among themselves, for they set the five women by themselves in one
of their huts, and they went all into the other hut, and drew lots
among them who should choose first.

Him that drew to choose first went away by himself to the hut where
the poor naked creatures were, and fetched out her he chose; and it
was worth observing, that he that chose first took her that was
reckoned the homeliest and oldest of the five, which made mirth
enough amongst the rest; and even the Spaniards laughed at it; but
the fellow considered better than any of them, that it was
application and business they were to expect assistance in, as much
as in anything else; and she proved the best wife of all the
parcel.

When the poor women saw themselves set in a row thus, and fetched
out one by one, the terrors of their condition returned upon them
again, and they firmly believed they were now going to be devoured.
Accordingly, when the English sailor came in and fetched out one of
them, the rest set up a most lamentable cry, and hung about her,
and took their leave of her with such agonies and affection as
would have grieved the hardest heart in the world: nor was it
possible for the Englishmen to satisfy them that they were not to
be immediately murdered, till they fetched the old man, Friday's
father, who immediately let them know that the five men, who were
to fetch them out one by one, had chosen them for their wives.
When they had done, and the fright the women were in was a little
over, the men went to work, and the Spaniards came and helped them:
and in a few hours they had built them every one a new hut or tent
for their lodging apart; for those they had already were crowded
with their tools, household stuff, and provisions. The three
wicked ones had pitched farthest off, and the two honest ones
nearer, but both on the north shore of the island, so that they
continued separated as before; and thus my island was peopled in
three places, and, as I might say, three towns were begun to be
built.

And here it is very well worth observing that, as it often happens
in the world (what the wise ends in God's providence are, in such a
disposition of things, I cannot say), the two honest fellows had
the two worst wives; and the three reprobates, that were scarce
worth hanging, that were fit for nothing, and neither seemed born
to do themselves good nor any one else, had three clever, careful,
and ingenious wives; not that the first two were bad wives as to
their temper or humour, for all the five were most willing, quiet,
passive, and subjected creatures, rather like slaves than wives;
but my meaning is, they were not alike capable, ingenious, or
industrious, or alike cleanly and neat. Another observation I must
make, to the honour of a diligent application on one hand, and to
the disgrace of a slothful, negligent, idle temper on the other,
that when I came to the place, and viewed the several improvements,
plantings, and management of the several little colonies, the two
men had so far out-gone the three, that there was no comparison.
They had, indeed, both of them as much ground laid out for corn as
they wanted, and the reason was, because, according to my rule,
nature dictated that it was to no purpose to sow more corn than
they wanted; but the difference of the cultivation, of the
planting, of the fences, and indeed, of everything else, was easy
to be seen at first view.

The two men had innumerable young trees planted about their huts,
so that, when you came to the place, nothing was to be seen but a
wood; and though they had twice had their plantation demolished,
once by their own countrymen, and once by the enemy, as shall be
shown in its place, yet they had restored all again, and everything
was thriving and flourishing about them; they had grapes planted in
order, and managed like a vineyard, though they had themselves
never seen anything of that kind; and by their good ordering their
vines, their grapes were as good again as any of the others. They
had also found themselves out a retreat in the thickest part of the
woods, where, though there was not a natural cave, as I had found,
yet they made one with incessant labour of their hands, and where,
when the mischief which followed happened, they secured their wives
and children so as they could never be found; they having, by
sticking innumerable stakes and poles of the wood which, as I said,
grew so readily, made the grove impassable, except in some places,
when they climbed up to get over the outside part, and then went on
by ways of their own leaving.

As to the three reprobates, as I justly call them, though they were
much civilised by their settlement compared to what they were
before, and were not so quarrelsome, having not the same
opportunity; yet one of the certain companions of a profligate mind
never left them, and that was their idleness. It is true, they
planted corn and made fences; but Solomon's words were never better
verified than in them, "I went by the vineyard of the slothful, and
it was all overgrown with thorns": for when the Spaniards came to
view their crop they could not see it in some places for weeds, the
hedge had several gaps in it, where the wild goats had got in and
eaten up the corn; perhaps here and there a dead bush was crammed
in, to stop them out for the present, but it was only shutting the
stable-door after the steed was stolen. Whereas, when they looked
on the colony of the other two, there was the very face of industry
and success upon all they did; there was not a weed to be seen in
all their corn, or a gap in any of their hedges; and they, on the
other hand, verified Solomon's words in another place, "that the
diligent hand maketh rich"; for everything grew and thrived, and
they had plenty within and without; they had more tame cattle than
the others, more utensils and necessaries within doors, and yet
more pleasure and diversion too.

It is true, the wives of the three were very handy and cleanly
within doors; and having learned the English ways of dressing, and
cooking from one of the other Englishmen, who, as I said, was a
cook's mate on board the ship, they dressed their husbands'
victuals very nicely and well; whereas the others could not be
brought to understand it; but then the husband, who, as I say, had
been cook's mate, did it himself. But as for the husbands of the
three wives, they loitered about, fetched turtles' eggs, and caught
fish and birds: in a word, anything but labour; and they fared
accordingly. The diligent lived well and comfortably, and the
slothful hard and beggarly; and so, I believe, generally speaking,
it is all over the world.

But I now come to a scene different from all that had happened
before, either to them or to me; and the origin of the story was
this: Early one morning there came on shore five or six canoes of
Indians or savages, call them which you please, and there is no
room to doubt they came upon the old errand of feeding upon their
slaves; but that part was now so familiar to the Spaniards, and to
our men too, that they did not concern themselves about it, as I
did: but having been made sensible, by their experience, that
their only business was to lie concealed, and that if they were not
seen by any of the savages they would go off again quietly, when
their business was done, having as yet not the least notion of
there being any inhabitants in the island; I say, having been made
sensible of this, they had nothing to do but to give notice to all
the three plantations to keep within doors, and not show
themselves, only placing a scout in a proper place, to give notice
when the boats went to sea again.

This was, without doubt, very right; but a disaster spoiled all
these measures, and made it known among the savages that there were
inhabitants there; which was, in the end, the desolation of almost
the whole colony. After the canoes with the savages were gone off,
the Spaniards peeped abroad again; and some of them had the
curiosity to go to the place where they had been, to see what they
had been doing. Here, to their great surprise, they found three
savages left behind, and lying fast asleep upon the ground. It was
supposed they had either been so gorged with their inhuman feast,
that, like beasts, they were fallen asleep, and would not stir when
the others went, or they had wandered into the woods, and did not
come back in time to be taken in.

The Spaniards were greatly surprised at this sight and perfectly at
a loss what to do. The Spaniard governor, as it happened, was with
them, and his advice was asked, but he professed he knew not what
to do. As for slaves, they had enough already; and as to killing
them, there were none of them inclined to do that: the Spaniard
governor told me they could not think of shedding innocent blood;
for as to them, the poor creatures had done them no wrong, invaded
none of their property, and they thought they had no just quarrel
against them, to take away their lives. And here I must, in
justice to these Spaniards, observe that, let the accounts of
Spanish cruelty in Mexico and Peru be what they will, I never met
with seventeen men of any nation whatsoever, in any foreign
country, who were so universally modest, temperate, virtuous, so
very good-humoured, and so courteous, as these Spaniards: and as
to cruelty, they had nothing of it in their very nature; no
inhumanity, no barbarity, no outrageous passions; and yet all of
them men of great courage and spirit. Their temper and calmness
had appeared in their bearing the insufferable usage of the three
Englishmen; and their justice and humanity appeared now in the case
of the savages above. After some consultation they resolved upon
this; that they would lie still a while longer, till, if possible,
these three men might be gone. But then the governor recollected
that the three savages had no boat; and if they were left to rove
about the island, they would certainly discover that there were
inhabitants in it; and so they should be undone that way. Upon
this, they went back again, and there lay the fellows fast asleep
still, and so they resolved to awaken them, and take them
prisoners; and they did so. The poor fellows were strangely
frightened when they were seized upon and bound; and afraid, like
the women, that they should be murdered and eaten: for it seems
those people think all the world does as they do, in eating men's
flesh; but they were soon made easy as to that, and away they
carried them.

It was very happy for them that they did not carry them home to the
castle, I mean to my palace under the hill; but they carried them
first to the bower, where was the chief of their country work, such
as the keeping the goats, the planting the corn, &c.; and afterward
they carried them to the habitation of the two Englishmen. Here
they were set to work, though it was not much they had for them to
do; and whether it was by negligence in guarding them, or that they
thought the fellows could not mend themselves, I know not, but one
of them ran away, and, taking to the woods, they could never hear
of him any more. They had good reason to believe he got home again
soon after in some other boats or canoes of savages who came on
shore three or four weeks afterwards, and who, carrying on their
revels as usual, went off in two days' time. This thought
terrified them exceedingly; for they concluded, and that not
without good cause indeed, that if this fellow came home safe among
his comrades, he would certainly give them an account that there
were people in the island, and also how few and weak they were; for
this savage, as observed before, had never been told, and it was
very happy he had not, how many there were or where they lived; nor
had he ever seen or heard the fire of any of their guns, much less
had they shown him any of their other retired places; such as the
cave in the valley, or the new retreat which the two Englishmen had
made, and the like.

The first testimony they had that this fellow had given
intelligence of them was, that about two mouths after this six
canoes of savages, with about seven, eight, or ten men in a canoe,
came rowing along the north side of the island, where they never
used to come before, and landed, about an hour after sunrise, at a
convenient place, about a mile from the habitation of the two
Englishmen, where this escaped man had been kept. As the chief
Spaniard said, had they been all there the damage would not have
been so much, for not a man of them would have escaped; but the
case differed now very much, for two men to fifty was too much
odds. The two men had the happiness to discover them about a
league off, so that it was above an hour before they landed; and as
they landed a mile from their huts, it was some time before they
could come at them. Now, having great reason to believe that they
were betrayed, the first thing they did was to bind the two slaves
which were left, and cause two of the three men whom they brought
with the women (who, it seems, proved very faithful to them) to
lead them, with their two wives, and whatever they could carry away
with them, to their retired places in the woods, which I have
spoken of above, and there to bind the two fellows hand and foot,
till they heard farther. In the next place, seeing the savages
were all come on shore, and that they had bent their course
directly that way, they opened the fences where the milch cows were
kept, and drove them all out; leaving their goats to straggle in
the woods, whither they pleased, that the savages might think they
were all bred wild; but the rogue who came with them was too
cunning for that, and gave them an account of it all, for they went
directly to the place.

When the two poor frightened men had secured their wives and goods,
they sent the other slave they had of the three who came with the
women, and who was at their place by accident, away to the
Spaniards with all speed, to give them the alarm, and desire speedy
help, and, in the meantime, they took their arms and what
ammunition they had, and retreated towards the place in the wood
where their wives were sent; keeping at a distance, yet so that
they might see, if possible, which way the savages took. They had
not gone far but that from a rising ground they could see the
little army of their enemies come on directly to their habitation,
and, in a moment more, could see all their huts and household stuff
flaming up together, to their great grief and mortification; for
this was a great loss to them, irretrievable, indeed, for some
time. They kept their station for a while, till they found the
savages, like wild beasts, spread themselves all over the place,
rummaging every way, and every place they could think of, in search
of prey; and in particular for the people, of whom now it plainly
appeared they had intelligence.

The two Englishmen seeing this, thinking themselves not secure
where they stood, because it was likely some of the wild people
might come that way, and they might come too many together, thought
it proper to make another retreat about half a mile farther;
believing, as it afterwards happened, that the further they
strolled, the fewer would be together. Their next halt was at the
entrance into a very thick-grown part of the woods, and where an
old trunk of a tree stood, which was hollow and very large; and in
this tree they both took their standing, resolving to see there
what might offer. They had not stood there long before two of the
savages appeared running directly that way, as if they had already
had notice where they stood, and were coming up to attack them; and
a little way farther they espied three more coming after them, and
five more beyond them, all coming the same way; besides which, they
saw seven or eight more at a distance, running another way; for in
a word, they ran every way, like sportsmen beating for their game.

The poor men were now in great perplexity whether they should stand
and keep their posture or fly; but after a very short debate with
themselves, they considered that if the savages ranged the country
thus before help came, they might perhaps find their retreat in the
woods, and then all would be lost; so they resolved to stand them
there, and if they were too many to deal with, then they would get
up to the top of the tree, from whence they doubted not to defend
themselves, fire excepted, as long as their ammunition lasted,
though all the savages that were landed, which was near fifty, were
to attack them.

Having resolved upon this, they next considered whether they should
fire at the first two, or wait for the three, and so take the
middle party, by which the two and the five that followed would be
separated; at length they resolved to let the first two pass by,
unless they should spy them the tree, and come to attack them. The
first two savages confirmed them also in this resolution, by
turning a little from them towards another part of the wood; but
the three, and the five after them, came forward directly to the
tree, as if they had known the Englishmen were there. Seeing them
come so straight towards them, they resolved to take them in a line
as they came: and as they resolved to fire but one at a time,
perhaps the first shot might hit them all three; for which purpose
the man who was to fire put three or four small bullets into his
piece; and having a fair loophole, as it were, from a broken hole
in the tree, he took a sure aim, without being seen, waiting till
they were within about thirty yards of the tree, so that he could
not miss.

While they were thus waiting, and the savages came on, they plainly
saw that one of the three was the runaway savage that had escaped
from them; and they both knew him distinctly, and resolved that, if
possible, he should not escape, though they should both fire; so
the other stood ready with his piece, that if he did not drop at
the first shot, he should be sure to have a second. But the first
was too good a marksman to miss his aim; for as the savages kept
near one another, a little behind in a line, he fired, and hit two
of them directly; the foremost was killed outright, being shot in
the head; the second, which was the runaway Indian, was shot
through the body, and fell, but was not quite dead; and the third
had a little scratch in the shoulder, perhaps by the same ball that
went through the body of the second; and being dreadfully
frightened, though not so much hurt, sat down upon the ground,
screaming and yelling in a hideous manner.

The five that were behind, more frightened with the noise than
sensible of the danger, stood still at first; for the woods made
the sound a thousand times bigger than it really was, the echoes
rattling from one side to another, and the fowls rising from all
parts, screaming, and every sort making a different noise,
according to their kind; just as it was when I fired the first gun
that perhaps was ever shot off in the island.

However, all being silent again, and they not knowing what the
matter was, came on unconcerned, till they came to the place where
their companions lay in a condition miserable enough. Here the
poor ignorant creatures, not sensible that they were within reach
of the same mischief, stood all together over the wounded man,
talking, and, as may be supposed, inquiring of him how he came to
be hurt; and who, it is very rational to believe, told them that a
flash of fire first, and immediately after that thunder from their
gods, had killed those two and wounded him. This, I say, is
rational; for nothing is more certain than that, as they saw no man
near them, so they had never heard a gun in all their lives, nor so
much as heard of a gun; neither knew they anything of killing and
wounding at a distance with fire and bullets: if they had, one
might reasonably believe they would not have stood so unconcerned
to view the fate of their fellows, without some apprehensions of
their own.

Our two men, as they confessed to me, were grieved to be obliged to
kill so many poor creatures, who had no notion of their danger;
yet, having them all thus in their power, and the first having
loaded his piece again, resolved to let fly both together among
them; and singling out, by agreement, which to aim at, they shot
together, and killed, or very much wounded, four of them; the
fifth, frightened even to death, though not hurt, fell with the
rest; so that our men, seeing them all fall together, thought they
had killed them all.

The belief that the savages were all killed made our two men come
boldly out from the tree before they had charged their guns, which
was a wrong step; and they were under some surprise when they came
to the place, and found no less than four of them alive, and of
them two very little hurt, and one not at all. This obliged them
to fall upon them with the stocks of their muskets; and first they
made sure of the runaway savage, that had been the cause of all the
mischief, and of another that was hurt in the knee, and put them
out of their pain; then the man that was not hurt at all came and
kneeled down to them, with his two hands held up, and made piteous
moans to them, by gestures and signs, for his life, but could not
say one word to them that they could understand. However, they
made signs to him to sit down at the foot of a tree hard by; and
one of the Englishmen, with a piece of rope-yarn, which he had by
great chance in his pocket, tied his two hands behind him, and
there they left him; and with what speed they could made after the
other two, which were gone before, fearing they, or any more of
them, should find way to their covered place in the woods, where
their wives, and the few goods they had left, lay. They came once
in sight of the two men, but it was at a great distance; however,
they had the satisfaction to see them cross over a valley towards
the sea, quite the contrary way from that which led to their
retreat, which they were afraid of; and being satisfied with that,
they went back to the tree where they left their prisoner, who, as
they supposed, was delivered by his comrades, for he was gone, and
the two pieces of rope-yarn with which they had bound him lay just
at the foot of the tree.

They were now in as great concern as before, not knowing what
course to take, or how near the enemy might be, or in what number;
so they resolved to go away to the place where their wives were, to
see if all was well there, and to make them easy. These were in
fright enough, to be sure; for though the savages were their own
countrymen, yet they were most terribly afraid of them, and perhaps
the more for the knowledge they had of them. When they came there,
they found the savages had been in the wood, and very near that
place, but had not found it; for it was indeed inaccessible, from
the trees standing so thick, unless the persons seeking it had been
directed by those that knew it, which these did not: they found,
therefore, everything very safe, only the women in a terrible
fright. While they were here they had the comfort to have seven of
the Spaniards come to their assistance; the other ten, with their
servants, and Friday's father, were gone in a body to defend their
bower, and the corn and cattle that were kept there, in case the
savages should have roved over to that side of the country, but
they did not spread so far. With the seven Spaniards came one of
the three savages, who, as I said, were their prisoners formerly;
and with them also came the savage whom the Englishmen had left
bound hand and foot at the tree; for it seems they came that way,
saw the slaughter of the seven men, and unbound the eighth, and
brought him along with them; where, however, they were obliged to
bind again, as they had the two others who were left when the third
ran away.

The prisoners now began to be a burden to them; and they were so
afraid of their escaping, that they were once resolving to kill
them all, believing they were under an absolute necessity to do so
for their own preservation. However, the chief of the Spaniards
would not consent to it, but ordered, for the present, that they
should be sent out of the way to my old cave in the valley, and be
kept there, with two Spaniards to guard them, and have food for
their subsistence, which was done; and they were bound there hand
and foot for that night.

When the Spaniards came, the two Englishmen were so encouraged,
that they could not satisfy themselves to stay any longer there;
but taking five of the Spaniards, and themselves, with four muskets
and a pistol among them, and two stout quarter-staves, away they
went in quest of the savages. And first they came to the tree
where the men lay that had been killed; but it was easy to see that
some more of the savages had been there, for they had attempted to
carry their dead men away, and had dragged two of them a good way,
but had given it over. From thence they advanced to the first
rising ground, where they had stood and seen their camp destroyed,
and where they had the mortification still to see some of the
smoke; but neither could they here see any of the savages. They
then resolved, though with all possible caution, to go forward
towards their ruined plantation; but, a little before they came
thither, coming in sight of the sea-shore, they saw plainly the
savages all embarked again in their canoes, in order to be gone.
They seemed sorry at first that there was no way to come at them,
to give them a parting blow; but, upon the whole, they were very
well satisfied to be rid of them.

The poor Englishmen being now twice ruined, and all their
improvements destroyed, the rest all agreed to come and help them
to rebuild, and assist them with needful supplies. Their three
countrymen, who were not yet noted for having the least inclination
to do any good, yet as soon as they heard of it (for they, living
remote eastward, knew nothing of the matter till all was over),
came and offered their help and assistance, and did, very friendly,
work for several days to restore their habitation and make
necessaries for them. And thus in a little time they were set upon
their legs again.

About two days after this they had the farther satisfaction of
seeing three of the savages' canoes come driving on shore, and, at
some distance from them, two drowned men, by which they had reason
to believe that they had met with a storm at sea, which had overset
some of them; for it had blown very hard the night after they went
off. However, as some might miscarry, so, on the other hand,
enough of them escaped to inform the rest, as well of what they had
done as of what had happened to them; and to whet them on to
another enterprise of the same nature, which they, it seems,
resolved to attempt, with sufficient force to carry all before
them; for except what the first man had told them of inhabitants,
they could say little of it of their own knowledge, for they never
saw one man; and the fellow being killed that had affirmed it, they
had no other witness to confirm it to, them.

CHAPTER V--A GREAT VICTORY

It was five or six months after this before they heard any more of
the savages, in which time our men were in hopes they had either
forgot their former bad luck, or given over hopes of better; when,
on a sudden, they were invaded with a most formidable fleet of no
less than eight-and-twenty canoes, full of savages, armed with bows
and arrows, great clubs, wooden swords, and such like engines of
war; and they brought such numbers with them, that, in short, it
put all our people into the utmost consternation.

As they came on shore in the evening, and at the easternmost side
of the island, our men had that night to consult and consider what
to do. In the first place, knowing that their being entirely
concealed was their only safety before and would be much more so
now, while the number of their enemies would be so great, they
resolved, first of all, to take down the huts which were built for
the two Englishmen, and drive away their goats to the old cave;
because they supposed the savages would go directly thither, as
soon as it was day, to play the old game over again, though they
did not now land within two leagues of it. In the next place, they
drove away all the flocks of goats they had at the old bower, as I
called it, which belonged to the Spaniards; and, in short, left as
little appearance of inhabitants anywhere as was possible; and the
next morning early they posted themselves, with all their force, at
the plantation of the two men, to wait for their coming. As they
guessed, so it happened: these new invaders, leaving their canoes
at the east end of the island, came ranging along the shore,
directly towards the place, to the number of two hundred and fifty,
as near as our men could judge. Our army was but small indeed;
but, that which was worse, they had not arms for all their number.
The whole account, it seems, stood thus: first, as to men,
seventeen Spaniards, five Englishmen, old Friday, the three slaves
taken with the women, who proved very faithful, and three other
slaves, who lived with the Spaniards. To arm these, they had
eleven muskets, five pistols, three fowling-pieces, five muskets or
fowling-pieces which were taken by me from the mutinous seamen whom
I reduced, two swords, and three old halberds.

To their slaves they did not give either musket or fusee; but they
had each a halberd, or a long staff, like a quarter-staff, with a
great spike of iron fastened into each end of it, and by his side a
hatchet; also every one of our men had a hatchet. Two of the women
could not be prevailed upon but they would come into the fight, and
they had bows and arrows, which the Spaniards had taken from the
savages when the first action happened, which I have spoken of,
where the Indians fought with one another; and the women had
hatchets too.

The chief Spaniard, whom I described so often, commanded the whole;
and Will Atkins, who, though a dreadful fellow for wickedness, was
a most daring, bold fellow, commanded under him. The savages came
forward like lions; and our men, which was the worst of their fate,
had no advantage in their situation; only that Will Atkins, who now
proved a most useful fellow, with six men, was planted just behind
a small thicket of bushes as an advanced guard, with orders to let
the first of them pass by and then fire into the middle of them,
and as soon as he had fired, to make his retreat as nimbly as he
could round a part of the wood, and so come in behind the
Spaniards, where they stood, having a thicket of trees before them.

When the savages came on, they ran straggling about every way in
heaps, out of all manner of order, and Will Atkins let about fifty
of them pass by him; then seeing the rest come in a very thick
throng, he orders three of his men to fire, having loaded their
muskets with six or seven bullets apiece, about as big as large
pistol-bullets. How many they killed or wounded they knew not, but
the consternation and surprise was inexpressible among the savages;
they were frightened to the last degree to hear such a dreadful
noise, and see their men killed, and others hurt, but see nobody
that did it; when, in the middle of their fright, Will Atkins and
his other three let fly again among the thickest of them; and in
less than a minute the first three, being loaded again, gave them a
third volley.

Had Will Atkins and his men retired immediately, as soon as they
had fired, as they were ordered to do, or had the rest of the body
been at hand to have poured in their shot continually, the savages
had been effectually routed; for the terror that was among them
came principally from this, that they were killed by the gods with
thunder and lightning, and could see nobody that hurt them. But
Will Atkins, staying to load again, discovered the cheat: some of
the savages who were at a distance spying them, came upon them
behind; and though Atkins and his men fired at them also, two or
three times, and killed above twenty, retiring as fast as they
could, yet they wounded Atkins himself, and killed one of his
fellow-Englishmen with their arrows, as they did afterwards one
Spaniard, and one of the Indian slaves who came with the women.
This slave was a most gallant fellow, and fought most desperately,
killing five of them with his own hand, having no weapon but one of
the armed staves and a hatchet.

Our men being thus hard laid at, Atkins wounded, and two other men
killed, retreated to a rising ground in the wood; and the
Spaniards, after firing three volleys upon them, retreated also;
for their number was so great, and they were so desperate, that
though above fifty of them were killed, and more than as many
wounded, yet they came on in the teeth of our men, fearless of
danger, and shot their arrows like a cloud; and it was observed
that their wounded men, who were not quite disabled, were made
outrageous by their wounds, and fought like madmen.

When our men retreated, they left the Spaniard and the Englishman
that were killed behind them: and the savages, when they came up
to them, killed them over again in a wretched manner, breaking
their arms, legs, and heads, with their clubs and wooden swords,
like true savages; but finding our men were gone, they did not seem
inclined to pursue them, but drew themselves up in a ring, which
is, it seems, their custom, and shouted twice, in token of their
victory; after which, they had the mortification to see several of
their wounded men fall, dying with the mere loss of blood.

The Spaniard governor having drawn his little body up together upon
a rising ground, Atkins, though he was wounded, would have had them
march and charge again all together at once: but the Spaniard
replied, "Seignior Atkins, you see how their wounded men fight; let
them alone till morning; all the wounded men will be stiff and sore
with their wounds, and faint with the loss of blood; and so we
shall have the fewer to engage." This advice was good: but Will
Atkins replied merrily, "That is true, seignior, and so shall I
too; and that is the reason I would go on while I am warm." "Well,
Seignior Atkins," says the Spaniard, "you have behaved gallantly,
and done your part; we will fight for you if you cannot come on;
but I think it best to stay till morning:" so they waited.

But as it was a clear moonlight night, and they found the savages
in great disorder about their dead and wounded men, and a great
noise and hurry among them where they lay, they afterwards resolved
to fall upon them in the night, especially if they could come to
give them but one volley before they were discovered, which they
had a fair opportunity to do; for one of the Englishmen in whose
quarter it was where the fight began, led them round between the
woods and the seaside westward, and then turning short south, they
came so near where the thickest of them lay, that before they were
seen or heard eight of them fired in among them, and did dreadful
execution upon them; in half a minute more eight others fired after
them, pouring in their small shot in such a quantity that abundance
were killed and wounded; and all this while they were not able to
see who hurt them, or which way to fly.

The Spaniards charged again with the utmost expedition, and then
divided themselves into three bodies, and resolved to fall in among
them all together. They had in each body eight persons, that is to
say, twenty-two men and the two women, who, by the way, fought
desperately. They divided the firearms equally in each party, as
well as the halberds and staves. They would have had the women
kept back, but they said they were resolved to die with their
husbands. Having thus formed their little army, they marched out
from among the trees, and came up to the teeth of the enemy,
shouting and hallooing as loud as they could; the savages stood all
together, but were in the utmost confusion, hearing the noise of
our men shouting from three quarters together. They would have
fought if they had seen us; for as soon as we came near enough to
be seen, some arrows were shot, and poor old Friday was wounded,
though not dangerously. But our men gave them no time, but running
up to them, fired among them three ways, and then fell in with the
butt-ends of their muskets, their swords, armed staves, and
hatchets, and laid about them so well that, in a word, they set up
a dismal screaming and howling, flying to save their lives which
way soever they could.

Our men were tired with the execution, and killed or mortally
wounded in the two fights about one hundred and eighty of them; the
rest, being frightened out of their wits, scoured through the woods
and over the hills, with all the speed that fear and nimble feet
could help them to; and as we did not trouble ourselves much to
pursue them, they got all together to the seaside, where they
landed, and where their canoes lay. But their disaster was not at
an end yet; for it blew a terrible storm of wind that evening from
the sea, so that it was impossible for them to go off; nay, the
storm continuing all night, when the tide came up their canoes were
most of them driven by the surge of the sea so high upon the shore
that it required infinite toil to get them off; and some of them
were even dashed to pieces against the beach. Our men, though glad
of their victory, yet got little rest that night; but having
refreshed themselves as well as they could, they resolved to march
to that part of the island where the savages were fled, and see
what posture they were in. This necessarily led them over the
place where the fight had been, and where they found several of the
poor creatures not quite dead, and yet past recovering life; a
sight disagreeable enough to generous minds, for a truly great man
though obliged by the law of battle to destroy his enemy, takes no
delight in his misery. However, there was no need to give any
orders in this case; for their own savages, who were their
servants, despatched these poor creatures with their hatchets.

At length they came in view of the place where the more miserable
remains of the savages' army lay, where there appeared about a
hundred still; their posture was generally sitting upon the ground,
with their knees up towards their mouth, and the head put between
the two hands, leaning down upon the knees. When our men came
within two musket-shots of them, the Spaniard governor ordered two
muskets to be fired without ball, to alarm them; this he did, that
by their countenance he might know what to expect, whether they
were still in heart to fight, or were so heartily beaten as to be
discouraged, and so he might manage accordingly. This stratagem
took: for as soon as the savages heard the first gun, and saw the
flash of the second, they started up upon their feet in the
greatest consternation imaginable; and as our men advanced swiftly
towards them, they all ran screaming and yelling away, with a kind
of howling noise, which our men did not understand, and had never
heard before; and thus they ran up the hills into the country.

At first our men had much rather the weather had been calm, and
they had all gone away to sea: but they did not then consider that
this might probably have been the occasion of their coming again in
such multitudes as not to be resisted, or, at least, to come so
many and so often as would quite desolate the island, and starve
them. Will Atkins, therefore, who notwithstanding his wound kept
always with them, proved the best counsellor in this case: his
advice was, to take the advantage that offered, and step in between
them and their boats, and so deprive them of the capacity of ever
returning any more to plague the island. They consulted long about
this; and some were against it for fear of making the wretches fly
to the woods and live there desperate, and so they should have them
to hunt like wild beasts, be afraid to stir out about their
business, and have their plantations continually rifled, all their
tame goats destroyed, and, in short, be reduced to a life of
continual distress.

Will Atkins told them they had better have to do with a hundred men
than with a hundred nations; that, as they must destroy their
boats, so they must destroy the men, or be all of them destroyed
themselves. In a word, he showed them the necessity of it so
plainly that they all came into it; so they went to work
immediately with the boats, and getting some dry wood together from
a dead tree, they tried to set some of them on fire, but they were
so wet that they would not burn; however, the fire so burned the
upper part that it soon made them unfit for use at sea.

When the Indians saw what they were about, some of them came
running out of the woods, and coming as near as they could to our
men, kneeled down and cried, "Oa, Oa, Waramokoa," and some other
words of their language, which none of the others understood
anything of; but as they made pitiful gestures and strange noises,
it was easy to understand they begged to have their boats spared,
and that they would be gone, and never come there again. But our
men were now satisfied that they had no way to preserve themselves,
or to save their colony, but effectually to prevent any of these
people from ever going home again; depending upon this, that if
even so much as one of them got back into their country to tell the
story, the colony was undone; so that, letting them know that they
should not have any mercy, they fell to work with their canoes, and
destroyed every one that the storm had not destroyed before; at the
sight of which, the savages raised a hideous cry in the woods,
which our people heard plain enough, after which they ran about the
island like distracted men, so that, in a word, our men did not
really know what at first to do with them. Nor did the Spaniards,
with all their prudence, consider that while they made those people
thus desperate, they ought to have kept a good guard at the same
time upon their plantations; for though it is true they had driven
away their cattle, and the Indians did not find out their main
retreat, I mean my old castle at the hill, nor the cave in the
valley, yet they found out my plantation at the bower, and pulled
it all to pieces, and all the fences and planting about it; trod
all the corn under foot, tore up the vines and grapes, being just
then almost ripe, and did our men inestimable damage, though to
themselves not one farthing's worth of service.

Though our men were able to fight them upon all occasions, yet they
were in no condition to pursue them, or hunt them up and down; for
as they were too nimble of foot for our people when they found them
single, so our men durst not go abroad single, for fear of being
surrounded with their numbers. The best was they had no weapons;
for though they had bows, they had no arrows left, nor any
materials to make any; nor had they any edge-tool among them. The
extremity and distress they were reduced to was great, and indeed
deplorable; but, at the same time, our men were also brought to
very bad circumstances by them, for though their retreats were
preserved, yet their provision was destroyed, and their harvest
spoiled, and what to do, or which way to turn themselves, they knew
not. The only refuge they had now was the stock of cattle they had
in the valley by the cave, and some little corn which grew there,
and the plantation of the three Englishmen. Will Atkins and his
comrades were now reduced to two; one of them being killed by an
arrow, which struck him on the side of his head, just under the
temple, so that he never spoke more; and it was very remarkable
that this was the same barbarous fellow that cut the poor savage
slave with his hatchet, and who afterwards intended to have
murdered the Spaniards.

I looked upon their case to have been worse at this time than mine
was at any time, after I first discovered the grains of barley and
rice, and got into the manner of planting and raising my corn, and
my tame cattle; for now they had, as I may say, a hundred wolves
upon the island, which would devour everything they could come at,
yet could be hardly come at themselves.

When they saw what their circumstances were, the first thing they
concluded was, that they would, if possible, drive the savages up
to the farther part of the island, south-west, that if any more
came on shore they might not find one another; then, that they
would daily hunt and harass them, and kill as many of them as they
could come at, till they had reduced their number; and if they
could at last tame them, and bring them to anything, they would
give them corn, and teach them how to plant, and live upon their
daily labour. In order to do this, they so followed them, and so
terrified them with their guns, that in a few days, if any of them
fired a gun at an Indian, if he did not hit him, yet he would fall
down for fear. So dreadfully frightened were they that they kept
out of sight farther and farther; till at last our men followed
them, and almost every day killing or wounding some of them, they
kept up in the woods or hollow places so much, that it reduced them
to the utmost misery for want of food; and many were afterwards
found dead in the woods, without any hurt, absolutely starved to
death.

When our men found this, it made their hearts relent, and pity
moved them, especially the generous-minded Spaniard governor; and
he proposed, if possible, to take one of them alive and bring him
to understand what they meant, so far as to be able to act as
interpreter, and go among them and see if they might be brought to
some conditions that might be depended upon, to save their lives
and do us no harm.

It was some while before any of them could be taken; but being weak
and half-starved, one of them was at last surprised and made a
prisoner. He was sullen at first, and would neither eat nor drink;
but finding himself kindly used, and victuals given to him, and no
violence offered him, he at last grew tractable, and came to
himself. They often brought old Friday to talk to him, who always
told him how kind the others would be to them all; that they would
not only save their lives, but give them part of the island to live
in, provided they would give satisfaction that they would keep in
their own bounds, and not come beyond it to injure or prejudice
others; and that they should have corn given them to plant and make
it grow for their bread, and some bread given them for their
present subsistence; and old Friday bade the fellow go and talk
with the rest of his countrymen, and see what they said to it;
assuring them that, if they did not agree immediately, they should
be all destroyed.

The poor wretches, thoroughly humbled, and reduced in number to
about thirty-seven, closed with the proposal at the first offer,
and begged to have some food given them; upon which twelve
Spaniards and two Englishmen, well armed, with three Indian slaves
and old Friday, marched to the place where they were. The three
Indian slaves carried them a large quantity of bread, some rice
boiled up to cakes and dried in the sun, and three live goats; and
they were ordered to go to the side of a hill, where they sat down,
ate their provisions very thankfully, and were the most faithful
fellows to their words that could be thought of; for, except when
they came to beg victuals and directions, they never came out of
their bounds; and there they lived when I came to the island and I
went to see them. They had taught them both to plant corn, make
bread, breed tame goats, and milk them: they wanted nothing but
wives in order for them soon to become a nation. They were
confined to a neck of land, surrounded with high rocks behind them,
and lying plain towards the sea before them, on the south-east
corner of the island. They had land enough, and it was very good
and fruitful; about a mile and a half broad, and three or four
miles in length. Our men taught them to make wooden spades, such
as I made for myself, and gave among them twelve hatchets and three
or four knives; and there they lived, the most subjected, innocent
creatures that ever were heard of.

After this the colony enjoyed a perfect tranquillity with respect
to the savages, till I came to revisit them, which was about two
years after; not but that, now and then, some canoes of savages
came on shore for their triumphal, unnatural feasts; but as they
were of several nations, and perhaps had never heard of those that
came before, or the reason of it, they did not make any search or
inquiry after their countrymen; and if they had, it would have been
very hard to have found them out.

Thus, I think, I have given a full account of all that happened to
them till my return, at least that was worth notice. The Indians
were wonderfully civilised by them, and they frequently went among
them; but they forbid, on pain of death, any one of the Indians
coming to them, because they would not have their settlement
betrayed again. One thing was very remarkable, viz. that they
taught the savages to make wicker-work, or baskets, but they soon
outdid their masters: for they made abundance of ingenious things
in wicker-work, particularly baskets, sieves, bird-cages,
cupboards, &c.; as also chairs, stools, beds, couches, being very
ingenious at such work when they were once put in the way of it.

My coming was a particular relief to these people, because we
furnished them with knives, scissors, spades, shovels, pick-axes,
and all things of that kind which they could want. With the help
of those tools they were so very handy that they came at last to
build up their huts or houses very handsomely, raddling or working
it up like basket-work all the way round. This piece of ingenuity,
although it looked very odd, was an exceeding good fence, as well
against heat as against all sorts of vermin; and our men were so
taken with it that they got the Indians to come and do the like for
them; so that when I came to see the two Englishmen's colonies,
they looked at a distance as if they all lived like bees in a hive.

As for Will Atkins, who was now become a very industrious, useful,
and sober fellow, he had made himself such a tent of basket-work as
I believe was never seen; it was one hundred and twenty paces round
on the outside, as I measured by my steps; the walls were as close
worked as a basket, in panels or squares of thirty-two in number,
and very strong, standing about seven feet high; in the middle was
another not above twenty-two paces round, but built stronger, being
octagon in its form, and in the eight corners stood eight very
strong posts; round the top of which he laid strong pieces, knit
together with wooden pins, from which he raised a pyramid for a
handsome roof of eight rafters, joined together very well, though
he had no nails, and only a few iron spikes, which he made himself,
too, out of the old iron that I had left there. Indeed, this
fellow showed abundance of ingenuity in several things which he had
no knowledge of: he made him a forge, with a pair of wooden
bellows to blow the fire; he made himself charcoal for his work;
and he formed out of the iron crows a middling good anvil to hammer
upon: in this manner he made many things, but especially hooks,
staples, and spikes, bolts and hinges. But to return to the house:
after he had pitched the roof of his innermost tent, he worked it
up between the rafters with basket-work, so firm, and thatched that
over again so ingeniously with rice-straw, and over that a large
leaf of a tree, which covered the top, that his house was as dry as
if it had been tiled or slated. He owned, indeed, that the savages
had made the basket-work for him. The outer circuit was covered as
a lean-to all round this inner apartment, and long rafters lay from
the thirty-two angles to the top posts of the inner house, being
about twenty feet distant, so that there was a space like a walk
within the outer wicker-wall, and without the inner, near twenty
feet wide.

The inner place he partitioned off with the same wickerwork, but
much fairer, and divided into six apartments, so that he had six
rooms on a floor, and out of every one of these there was a door:
first into the entry, or coming into the main tent, another door
into the main tent, and another door into the space or walk that
was round it; so that walk was also divided into six equal parts,
which served not only for a retreat, but to store up any
necessaries which the family had occasion for. These six spaces
not taking up the whole circumference, what other apartments the
outer circle had were thus ordered: As soon as you were in at the
door of the outer circle you had a short passage straight before
you to the door of the inner house; but on either side was a wicker
partition and a door in it, by which you went first into a large
room or storehouse, twenty feet wide and about thirty feet long,
and through that into another not quite so long; so that in the
outer circle were ten handsome rooms, six of which were only to be
come at through the apartments of the inner tent, and served as
closets or retiring rooms to the respective chambers of the inner
circle; and four large warehouses, or barns, or what you please to
call them, which went through one another, two on either hand of
the passage, that led through the outer door to the inner tent.
Such a piece of basket-work, I believe, was never seen in the
world, nor a house or tent so neatly contrived, much less so built.
In this great bee-hive lived the three families, that is to say,
Will Atkins and his companion; the third was killed, but his wife
remained with three children, and the other two were not at all
backward to give the widow her full share of everything, I mean as
to their corn, milk, grapes, &c., and when they killed a kid, or
found a turtle on the shore; so that they all lived well enough;
though it was true they were not so industrious as the other two,
as has been observed already.

One thing, however, cannot be omitted, viz. that as for religion, I
do not know that there was anything of that kind among them; they
often, indeed, put one another in mind that there was a God, by the
very common method of seamen, swearing by His name: nor were their
poor ignorant savage wives much better for having been married to
Christians, as we must call them; for as they knew very little of
God themselves, so they were utterly incapable of entering into any
discourse with their wives about a God, or to talk anything to them
concerning religion.

The utmost of all the improvement which I can say the wives had
made from them was, that they had taught them to speak English
pretty well; and most of their children, who were near twenty in
all, were taught to speak English too, from their first learning to
speak, though they at first spoke it in a very broken manner, like
their mothers. None of these children were above six years old
when I came thither, for it was not much above seven years since
they had fetched these five savage ladies over; they had all
children, more or less: the mothers were all a good sort of well-
governed, quiet, laborious women, modest and decent, helpful to one
another, mighty observant, and subject to their masters (I cannot
call them husbands), and lacked nothing but to be well instructed
in the Christian religion, and to be legally married; both of which
were happily brought about afterwards by my means, or at least in
consequence of my coming among them.

CHAPTER VI--THE FRENCH CLERGYMAN'S COUNSEL

Having thus given an account of the colony in general, and pretty
much of my runagate Englishmen, I must say something of the
Spaniards, who were the main body of the family, and in whose story
there are some incidents also remarkable enough.

I had a great many discourses with them about their circumstances
when they were among the savages. They told me readily that they
had no instances to give of their application or ingenuity in that
country; that they were a poor, miserable, dejected handful of
people; that even if means had been put into their hands, yet they
had so abandoned themselves to despair, and were so sunk under the
weight of their misfortune, that they thought of nothing but
starving. One of them, a grave and sensible man, told me he was
convinced they were in the wrong; that it was not the part of wise
men to give themselves up to their misery, but always to take hold
of the helps which reason offered, as well for present support as
for future deliverance: he told me that grief was the most
senseless, insignificant passion in the world, for that it regarded
only things past, which were generally impossible to be recalled or
to be remedied, but had no views of things to come, and had no
share in anything that looked like deliverance, but rather added to
the affliction than proposed a remedy; and upon this he repeated a
Spanish proverb, which, though I cannot repeat in the same words
that he spoke it in, yet I remember I made it into an English
proverb of my own, thus:-

"In trouble to be troubled,
Is to have your trouble doubled."

He then ran on in remarks upon all the little improvements I had
made in my solitude: my unwearied application, as he called it;
and how I had made a condition, which in its circumstances was at
first much worse than theirs, a thousand times more happy than
theirs was, even now when they were all together. He told me it
was remarkable that Englishmen had a greater presence of mind in
their distress than any people that ever he met with; that their
unhappy nation and the Portuguese were the worst men in the world
to struggle with misfortunes; for that their first step in dangers,
after the common efforts were over, was to despair, lie down under
it, and die, without rousing their thoughts up to proper remedies
for escape.

I told him their case and mine differed exceedingly; that they were
cast upon the shore without necessaries, without supply of food, or
present sustenance till they could provide for it; that, it was
true, I had this further disadvantage and discomfort, that I was
alone; but then the supplies I had providentially thrown into my
hands, by the unexpected driving of the ship on the shore, was such
a help as would have encouraged any creature in the world to have
applied himself as I had done. "Seignior," says the Spaniard, "had
we poor Spaniards been in your case, we should never have got half
those things out of the ship, as you did: nay," says he, "we
should never have found means to have got a raft to carry them, or
to have got the raft on shore without boat or sail: and how much
less should we have done if any of us had been alone!" Well, I
desired him to abate his compliments, and go on with the history of
their coming on shore, where they landed. He told me they
unhappily landed at a place where there were people without
provisions; whereas, had they had the common sense to put off to
sea again, and gone to another island a little further, they had
found provisions, though without people: there being an island
that way, as they had been told, where there were provisions,
though no people--that is to say, that the Spaniards of Trinidad
had frequently been there, and had filled the island with goats and
hogs at several times, where they had bred in such multitudes, and
where turtle and sea-fowls were in such plenty, that they could
have been in no want of flesh, though they had found no bread;
whereas, here they were only sustained with a few roots and herbs,
which they understood not, and which had no substance in them, and
which the inhabitants gave them sparingly enough; and they could
treat them no better, unless they would turn cannibals and eat
men's flesh.

They gave me an account how many ways they strove to civilise the
savages they were with, and to teach them rational customs in the
ordinary way of living, but in vain; and how they retorted upon
them as unjust that they who came there for assistance and support
should attempt to set up for instructors to those that gave them
food; intimating, it seems, that none should set up for the
instructors of others but those who could live without them. They
gave me dismal accounts of the extremities they were driven to; how
sometimes they were many days without any food at all, the island
they were upon being inhabited by a sort of savages that lived more
indolent, and for that reason were less supplied with the
necessaries of life, than they had reason to believe others were in
the same part of the world; and yet they found that these savages
were less ravenous and voracious than those who had better supplies
of food. Also, they added, they could not but see with what
demonstrations of wisdom and goodness the governing providence of
God directs the events of things in this world, which, they said,
appeared in their circumstances: for if, pressed by the hardships
they were under, and the barrenness of the country where they were,
they had searched after a better to live in, they had then been out
of the way of the relief that happened to them by my means.

They then gave me an account how the savages whom they lived
amongst expected them to go out with them into their wars; and, it
was true, that as they had firearms with them, had they not had the
disaster to lose their ammunition, they could have been serviceable
not only to their friends, but have made themselves terrible both
to friends and enemies; but being without powder and shot, and yet
in a condition that they could not in reason decline to go out with
their landlords to their wars; so when they came into the field of
battle they were in a worse condition than the savages themselves,
for they had neither bows nor arrows, nor could they use those the
savages gave them. So they could do nothing but stand still and be
wounded with arrows, till they came up to the teeth of the enemy;
and then, indeed, the three halberds they had were of use to them;
and they would often drive a whole little army before them with
those halberds, and sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their
muskets. But for all this they were sometimes surrounded with
multitudes, and in great danger from their arrows, till at last
they found the way to make themselves large targets of wood, which
they covered with skins of wild beasts, whose names they knew not,
and these covered them from the arrows of the savages: that,
notwithstanding these, they were sometimes in great danger; and
five of them were once knocked down together with the clubs of the
savages, which was the time when one of them was taken prisoner--
that is to say, the Spaniard whom I relieved. At first they
thought he had been killed; but when they afterwards heard he was
taken prisoner, they were under the greatest grief imaginable, and
would willingly have all ventured their lives to have rescued him.

They told me that when they were so knocked down, the rest of their
company rescued them, and stood over them fighting till they were
come to themselves, all but him whom they thought had been dead;
and then they made their way with their halberds and pieces,
standing close together in a line, through a body of above a
thousand savages, beating down all that came in their way, got the
victory over their enemies, but to their great sorrow, because it
was with the loss of their friend, whom the other party finding
alive, carried off with some others, as I gave an account before.
They described, most affectionately, how they were surprised with
joy at the return of their friend and companion in misery, who they
thought had been devoured by wild beasts of the worst kind--wild
men; and yet, how more and more they were surprised with the
account he gave them of his errand, and that there was a Christian
in any place near, much more one that was able, and had humanity
enough, to contribute to their deliverance.

They described how they were astonished at the sight of the relief
I sent them, and at the appearance of loaves of bread--things they
had not seen since their coming to that miserable place; how often
they crossed it and blessed it as bread sent from heaven; and what
a reviving cordial it was to their spirits to taste it, as also the
other things I had sent for their supply; and, after all, they
would have told me something of the joy they were in at the sight
of a boat and pilots, to carry them away to the person and place
from whence all these new comforts came. But it was impossible to
express it by words, for their excessive joy naturally driving them
to unbecoming extravagances, they had no way to describe them but
by telling me they bordered upon lunacy, having no way to give vent
to their passions suitable to the sense that was upon them; that in
some it worked one way and in some another; and that some of them,
through a surprise of joy, would burst into tears, others be stark
mad, and others immediately faint. This discourse extremely
affected me, and called to my mind Friday's ecstasy when he met his
father, and the poor people's ecstasy when I took them up at sea
after their ship was on fire; the joy of the mate of the ship when
he found himself delivered in the place where he expected to
perish; and my own joy, when, after twenty-eight years' captivity,
I found a good ship ready to carry me to my own country. All these
things made me more sensible of the relation of these poor men, and
more affected with it.

Having thus given a view of the state of things as I found them, I
must relate the heads of what I did for these people, and the
condition in which I left them. It was their opinion, and mine
too, that they would be troubled no more with the savages, or if
they were, they would be able to cut them off, if they were twice
as many as before; so they had no concern about that. Then I
entered into a serious discourse with the Spaniard, whom I call
governor, about their stay in the island; for as I was not come to
carry any of them off, so it would not be just to carry off some
and leave others, who, perhaps, would be unwilling to stay if their
strength was diminished. On the other hand, I told them I came to
establish them there, not to remove them; and then I let them know
that I had brought with me relief of sundry kinds for them; that I
had been at a great charge to supply them with all things
necessary, as well for their convenience as their defence; and that
I had such and such particular persons with me, as well to increase
and recruit their number, as by the particular necessary
employments which they were bred to, being artificers, to assist
them in those things in which at present they were in want.

They were all together when I talked thus to them; and before I
delivered to them the stores I had brought, I asked them, one by
one, if they had entirely forgot and buried the first animosities
that had been among them, and would shake hands with one another,
and engage in a strict friendship and union of interest, that so
there might be no more misunderstandings and jealousies.

Will Atkins, with abundance of frankness and good humour, said they
had met with affliction enough to make them all sober, and enemies
enough to make them all friends; that, for his part, he would live
and die with them, and was so far from designing anything against
the Spaniards, that he owned they had done nothing to him but what
his own mad humour made necessary, and what he would have done, and
perhaps worse, in their case; and that he would ask them pardon, if
I desired it, for the foolish and brutish things he had done to
them, and was very willing and desirous of living in terms of
entire friendship and union with them, and would do anything that
lay in his power to convince them of it; and as for going to
England, he cared not if he did not go thither these twenty years.

The Spaniards said they had, indeed, at first disarmed and excluded
Will Atkins and his two countrymen for their ill conduct, as they
had let me know, and they appealed to me for the necessity they
were under to do so; but that Will Atkins had behaved himself so
bravely in the great fight they had with the savages, and on
several occasions since, and had showed himself so faithful to, and
concerned for, the general interest of them all, that they had
forgotten all that was past, and thought he merited as much to be
trusted with arms and supplied with necessaries as any of them;
that they had testified their satisfaction in him by committing the
command to him next to the governor himself; and as they had entire
confidence in him and all his countrymen, so they acknowledged they
had merited that confidence by all the methods that honest men
could merit to be valued and trusted; and they most heartily
embraced the occasion of giving me this assurance, that they would
never have any interest separate from one another.

Upon these frank and open declarations of friendship, we appointed
the next day to dine all together; and, indeed, we made a splendid
feast. I caused the ship's cook and his mate to come on shore and
dress our dinner, and the old cook's mate we had on shore assisted.
We brought on shore six pieces of good beef and four pieces of
pork, out of the ship's provisions, with our punch-bowl and
materials to fill it; and in particular I gave them ten bottles of
French claret, and ten bottles of English beer; things that neither
the Spaniards nor the English had tasted for many years, and which
it may be supposed they were very glad of. The Spaniards added to
our feast five whole kids, which the cooks roasted; and three of
them were sent, covered up close, on board the ship to the seamen,
that they might feast on fresh meat from on shore, as we did with
their salt meat from on board.

After this feast, at which we were very innocently merry, I brought
my cargo of goods; wherein, that there might be no dispute about
dividing, I showed them that there was a sufficiency for them all,
desiring that they might all take an equal quantity, when made up,
of the goods that were for wearing. As, first, I distributed linen
sufficient to make every one of them four shirts, and, at the
Spaniard's request, afterwards made them up six; these were
exceeding comfortable to them, having been what they had long since
forgot the use of, or what it was to wear them. I allotted the
thin English stuffs, which I mentioned before, to make every one a
light coat, like a frock, which I judged fittest for the heat of
the season, cool and loose; and ordered that whenever they decayed,
they should make more, as they thought fit; the like for pumps,
shoes, stockings, hats, &c. I cannot express what pleasure sat
upon the countenances of all these poor men when they saw the care
I had taken of them, and how well I had furnished them. They told
me I was a father to them; and that having such a correspondent as
I was in so remote a part of the world, it would make them forget
that they were left in a desolate place; and they all voluntarily
engaged to me not to leave the place without my consent.

Then I presented to them the people I had brought with me,
particularly the tailor, the smith, and the two carpenters, all of
them most necessary people; but, above all, my general artificer,
than whom they could not name anything that was more useful to
them; and the tailor, to show his concern for them, went to work
immediately, and, with my leave, made them every one a shirt, the
first thing he did; and, what was still more, he taught the women
not only how to sew and stitch, and use the needle, but made them
assist to make the shirts for their husbands, and for all the rest.
As to the carpenters, I scarce need mention how useful they were;
for they took to pieces all my clumsy, unhandy things, and made
clever convenient tables, stools, bedsteads, cupboards, lockers,
shelves, and everything they wanted of that kind. But to let them
see how nature made artificers at first, I carried the carpenters
to see Will Atkins' basket-house, as I called it; and they both
owned they never saw an instance of such natural ingenuity before,
nor anything so regular and so handily built, at least of its kind;
and one of them, when he saw it, after musing a good while, turning
about to me, "I am sure," says he, "that man has no need of us; you
need do nothing but give him tools."

Then I brought them out all my store of tools, and gave every man a
digging-spade, a shovel, and a rake, for we had no barrows or
ploughs; and to every separate place a pickaxe, a crow, a broad
axe, and a saw; always appointing, that as often as any were broken
or worn out, they should be supplied without grudging out of the
general stores that I left behind. Nails, staples, hinges,
hammers, chisels, knives, scissors, and all sorts of ironwork, they
had without reserve, as they required; for no man would take more
than he wanted, and he must be a fool that would waste or spoil
them on any account whatever; and for the use of the smith I left
two tons of unwrought iron for a supply.

My magazine of powder and arms which I brought them was such, even
to profusion, that they could not but rejoice at them; for now they
could march as I used to do, with a musket upon each shoulder, if
there was occasion; and were able to fight a thousand savages, if
they had but some little advantages of situation, which also they
could not miss, if they had occasion.

I carried on shore with me the young man whose mother was starved
to death, and the maid also; she was a sober, well-educated,
religious young woman, and behaved so inoffensively that every one
gave her a good word; she had, indeed, an unhappy life with us,
there being no woman in the ship but herself, but she bore it with
patience. After a while, seeing things so well ordered, and in so
fine a way of thriving upon my island, and considering that they
had neither business nor acquaintance in the East Indies, or reason
for taking so long a voyage, both of them came to me and desired I
would give them leave to remain on the island, and be entered among
my family, as they called it. I agreed to this readily; and they
had a little plot of ground allotted to them, where they had three
tents or houses set up, surrounded with a basket-work, palisadoed
like Atkins's, adjoining to his plantation. Their tents were
contrived so that they had each of them a room apart to lodge in,
and a middle tent like a great storehouse to lay their goods in,
and to eat and to drink in. And now the other two Englishmen
removed their habitation to the same place; and so the island was
divided into three colonies, and no more--viz. the Spaniards, with
old Friday and the first servants, at my habitation under the hill,
which was, in a word, the capital city, and where they had so
enlarged and extended their works, as well under as on the outside
of the hill, that they lived, though perfectly concealed, yet full
at large. Never was there such a little city in a wood, and so
hid, in any part of the world; for I verify believe that a thousand
men might have ranged the island a month, and, if they had not
known there was such a thing, and looked on purpose for it, they
would not have found it. Indeed the trees stood so thick and so
close, and grew so fast woven one into another, that nothing but
cutting them down first could discover the place, except the only
two narrow entrances where they went in and out could be found,
which was not very easy; one of them was close down at the water's
edge, on the side of the creek, and it was afterwards above two
hundred yards to the place; and the other was up a ladder at twice,
as I have already described it; and they had also a large wood,
thickly planted, on the top of the hill, containing above an acre,
which grew apace, and concealed the place from all discovery there,
with only one narrow place between two trees, not easily to be
discovered, to enter on that side.

The other colony was that of Will Atkins, where there were four
families of Englishmen, I mean those I had left there, with their
wives and children; three savages that were slaves, the widow and
children of the Englishman that was killed, the young man and the
maid, and, by the way, we made a wife of her before we went away.
There were besides the two carpenters and the tailor, whom I
brought with me for them: also the smith, who was a very necessary
man to them, especially as a gunsmith, to take care of their arms;
and my other man, whom I called Jack-of-all-trades, who was in
himself as good almost as twenty men; for he was not only a very
ingenious fellow, but a very merry fellow, and before I went away
we married him to the honest maid that came with the youth in the
ship I mentioned before.

And now I speak of marrying, it brings me naturally to say
something of the French ecclesiastic that I had brought with me out
of the ship's crew whom I took up at sea. It is true this man was
a Roman, and perhaps it may give offence to some hereafter if I
leave anything extraordinary upon record of a man whom, before I
begin, I must (to set him out in just colours) represent in terms
very much to his disadvantage, in the account of Protestants; as,
first, that he was a Papist; secondly, a Popish priest; and
thirdly, a French Popish priest. But justice demands of me to give
him a due character; and I must say, he was a grave, sober, pious,
and most religious person; exact in his life, extensive in his
charity, and exemplary in almost everything he did. What then can
any one say against being very sensible of the value of such a man,
notwithstanding his profession? though it may be my opinion
perhaps, as well as the opinion of others who shall read this, that
he was mistaken.

The first hour that I began to converse with him after he had
agreed to go with me to the East Indies, I found reason to delight
exceedingly in his conversation; and he first began with me about
religion in the most obliging manner imaginable. "Sir," says he,
"you have not only under God" (and at that he crossed his breast)
"saved my life, but you have admitted me to go this voyage in your
ship, and by your obliging civility have taken me into your family,
giving me an opportunity of free conversation. Now, sir, you see
by my habit what my profession is, and I guess by your nation what
yours is; I may think it is my duty, and doubtless it is so, to use
my utmost endeavours, on all occasions, to bring all the souls I
can to the knowledge of the truth, and to embrace the Catholic
doctrine; but as I am here under your permission, and in your
family, I am bound, in justice to your kindness as well as in
decency and good manners, to be under your government; and
therefore I shall not, without your leave, enter into any debate on
the points of religion in which we may not agree, further than you
shall give me leave."

I told him his carriage was so modest that I could not but
acknowledge it; that it was true we were such people as they call
heretics, but that he was not the first Catholic I had conversed
with without falling into inconveniences, or carrying the questions
to any height in debate; that he should not find himself the worse
used for being of a different opinion from us, and if we did not
converse without any dislike on either side, it should be his
fault, not ours.

He replied that he thought all our conversation might be easily
separated from disputes; that it was not his business to cap
principles with every man he conversed with; and that he rather
desired me to converse with him as a gentleman than as a
religionist; and that, if I would give him leave at any time to
discourse upon religious subjects, he would readily comply with it,
and that he did not doubt but I would allow him also to defend his
own opinions as well as he could; but that without my leave he
would not break in upon me with any such thing. He told me
further, that he would not cease to do all that became him, in his
office as a priest, as well as a private Christian, to procure the
good of the ship, and the safety of all that was in her; and
though, perhaps, we would not join with him, and he could not pray
with us, he hoped he might pray for us, which he would do upon all
occasions. In this manner we conversed; and as he was of the most
obliging, gentlemanlike behaviour, so he was, if I may be allowed
to say so, a man of good sense, and, as I believe, of great
learning.

He gave me a most diverting account of his life, and of the many
extraordinary events of it; of many adventures which had befallen
him in the few years that he had been abroad in the world; and
particularly, it was very remarkable, that in the voyage he was now
engaged in he had had the misfortune to be five times shipped and
unshipped, and never to go to the place whither any of the ships he
was in were at first designed. That his first intent was to have
gone to Martinico, and that he went on board a ship bound thither
at St. Malo; but being forced into Lisbon by bad weather, the ship
received some damage by running aground in the mouth of the river
Tagus, and was obliged to unload her cargo there; but finding a
Portuguese ship there bound for the Madeiras, and ready to sail,
and supposing he should meet with a ship there bound to Martinico,
he went on board, in order to sail to the Madeiras; but the master
of the Portuguese ship being but an indifferent mariner, had been
out of his reckoning, and they drove to Fayal; where, however, he
happened to find a very good market for his cargo, which was corn,
and therefore resolved not to go to the Madeiras, but to load salt
at the Isle of May, and to go away to Newfoundland. He had no
remedy in this exigence but to go with the ship, and had a pretty
good voyage as far as the Banks (so they call the place where they
catch the fish), where, meeting with a French ship bound from
France to Quebec, and from thence to Martinico, to carry
provisions, he thought he should have an opportunity to complete
his first design, but when he came to Quebec, the master of the
ship died, and the vessel proceeded no further; so the next voyage
he shipped himself for France, in the ship that was burned when we
took them up at sea, and then shipped with us for the East Indies,
as I have already said. Thus he had been disappointed in five
voyages; all, as I may call it, in one voyage, besides what I shall
have occasion to mention further of him.

But I shall not make digression into other men's stories which have
no relation to my own; so I return to what concerns our affair in
the island. He came to me one morning (for he lodged among us all
the while we were upon the island), and it happened to be just when
I was going to visit the Englishmen's colony, at the furthest part
of the island; I say, he came to me, and told me, with a very grave
countenance, that he had for two or three days desired an
opportunity of some discourse with me, which he hoped would not be
displeasing to me, because he thought it might in some measure
correspond with my general design, which was the prosperity of my
new colony, and perhaps might put it, at least more than he yet
thought it was, in the way of God's blessing.

I looked a little surprised at the last of his discourse, and
turning a little short, "How, sir," said I, "can it be said that we
are not in the way of God's blessing, after such visible
assistances and deliverances as we have seen here, and of which I
have given you a large account?" "If you had pleased, sir," said
he, with a world of modesty, and yet great readiness, "to have
heard me, you would have found no room to have been displeased,
much less to think so hard of me, that I should suggest that you
have not had wonderful assistances and deliverances; and I hope, on
your behalf, that you are in the way of God's blessing, and your
design is exceeding good, and will prosper. But, sir, though it
were more so than is even possible to you, yet there may be some
among you that are not equally right in their actions: and you
know that in the story of the children of Israel, one Achan in the
camp removed God's blessing from them, and turned His hand so
against them, that six-and-thirty of them, though not concerned in
the crime, were the objects of divine vengeance, and bore the
weight of that punishment."

I was sensibly touched with this discourse, and told him his
inference was so just, and the whole design seemed so sincere, and
was really so religious in its own nature, that I was very sorry I
had interrupted him, and begged him to go on; and, in the meantime,
because it seemed that what we had both to say might take up some
time, I told him I was going to the Englishmen's plantations, and
asked him to go with me, and we might discourse of it by the way.
He told me he would the more willingly wait on me thither, because
there partly the thing was acted which he desired to speak to me
about; so we walked on, and I pressed him to be free and plain with
me in what he had to say.

"Why, then, sir," said he, "be pleased to give me leave to lay down
a few propositions, as the foundation of what I have to say, that
we may not differ in the general principles, though we may be of
some differing opinions in the practice of particulars. First,
sir, though we differ in some of the doctrinal articles of religion
(and it is very unhappy it is so, especially in the case before us,
as I shall show afterwards), yet there are some general principles
in which we both agree--that there is a God; and that this God
having given us some stated general rules for our service and
obedience, we ought not willingly and knowingly to offend Him,
either by neglecting to do what He has commanded, or by doing what
He has expressly forbidden. And let our different religions be
what they will, this general principle is readily owned by us all,
that the blessing of God does not ordinarily follow presumptuous
sinning against His command; and every good Christian will be
affectionately concerned to prevent any that are under his care
living in a total neglect of God and His commands. It is not your
men being Protestants, whatever my opinion may be of such, that
discharges me from being concerned for their souls, and from
endeavouring, if it lies before me, that they should live in as
little distance from enmity with their Maker as possible,
especially if you give me leave to meddle so far in your circuit."

I could not yet imagine what he aimed at, and told him I granted
all he had said, and thanked him that he would so far concern
himself for us: and begged he would explain the particulars of
what he had observed, that like Joshua, to take his own parable, I
might put away the accursed thing from us.

"Why, then, sir," says he, "I will take the liberty you give me;
and there are three things, which, if I am right, must stand in the
way of God's blessing upon your endeavours here, and which I should
rejoice, for your sake and their own, to see removed. And, sir, I
promise myself that you will fully agree with me in them all, as
soon as I name them; especially because I shall convince you, that
every one of them may, with great ease, and very much to your
satisfaction, be remedied. First, sir," says he, "you have here
four Englishmen, who have fetched women from among the savages, and
have taken them as their wives, and have had many children by them
all, and yet are not married to them after any stated legal manner,
as the laws of God and man require. To this, sir, I know, you will
object that there was no clergyman or priest of any kind to perform
the ceremony; nor any pen and ink, or paper, to write down a
contract of marriage, and have it signed between them. And I know
also, sir, what the Spaniard governor has told you, I mean of the
agreement that he obliged them to make when they took those women,
viz. that they should choose them out by consent, and keep
separately to them; which, by the way, is nothing of a marriage, no
agreement with the women as wives, but only an agreement among
themselves, to keep them from quarrelling. But, sir, the essence
of the sacrament of matrimony" (so he called it, being a Roman)
"consists not only in the mutual consent of the parties to take one
another as man and wife, but in the formal and legal obligation
that there is in the contract to compel the man and woman, at all
times, to own and acknowledge each other; obliging the man to
abstain from all other women, to engage in no other contract while
these subsist; and, on all occasions, as ability allows, to provide
honestly for them and their children; and to oblige the women to
the same or like conditions, on their side. Now, sir," says he,
"these men may, when they please, or when occasion presents,
abandon these women, disown their children, leave them to perish,
and take other women, and marry them while these are living;" and
here he added, with some warmth, "How, sir, is God honoured in this
unlawful liberty? And how shall a blessing succeed your endeavours
in this place, however good in themselves, and however sincere in
your design, while these men, who at present are your subjects,
under your absolute government and dominion, are allowed by you to
live in open adultery?"

I confess I was struck with the thing itself, but much more with
the convincing arguments he supported it with; but I thought to
have got off my young priest by telling him that all that part was
done when I was not there: and that they had lived so many years
with them now, that if it was adultery, it was past remedy; nothing
could be done in it now.

"Sir," says he, "asking your pardon for such freedom, you are right
in this, that, it being done in your absence, you could not be
charged with that part of the crime; but, I beseech you, flatter
not yourself that you are not, therefore, under an obligation to do
your utmost now to put an end to it. You should legally and
effectually marry them; and as, sir, my way of marrying may not be
easy to reconcile them to, though it will be effectual, even by
your own laws, so your way may be as well before God, and as valid
among men. I mean by a written contract signed by both man and
woman, and by all the witnesses present, which all the laws of
Europe would decree to be valid."

I was amazed to see so much true piety, and so much sincerity of
zeal, besides the unusual impartiality in his discourse as to his
own party or church, and such true warmth for preserving people
that he had no knowledge of or relation to from transgressing the
laws of God. But recollecting what he had said of marrying them by
a written contract, which I knew he would stand to, I returned it
back upon him, and told him I granted all that he had said to be
just, and on his part very kind; that I would discourse with the
men upon the point now, when I came to them; and I knew no reason
why they should scruple to let him marry them all, which I knew
well enough would be granted to be as authentic and valid in
England as if they were married by one of our own clergymen.

I then pressed him to tell me what was the second complaint which
he had to make, acknowledging that I was very much his debtor for
the first, and thanking him heartily for it. He told me he would
use the same freedom and plainness in the second, and hoped I would
take it as well; and this was, that notwithstanding these English
subjects of mine, as he called them, had lived with these women
almost seven years, had taught them to speak English, and even to
read it, and that they were, as he perceived, women of tolerable
understanding, and capable of instruction, yet they had not, to
this hour, taught them anything of the Christian religion--no, not
so much as to know there was a God, or a worship, or in what manner
God was to be served, or that their own idolatry, and worshipping
they knew not whom, was false and absurd. This he said was an
unaccountable neglect, and what God would certainly call them to
account for, and perhaps at last take the work out of their hands.
He spoke this very affectionately and warmly.

"I am persuaded," says he, "had those men lived in the savage
country whence their wives came, the savages would have taken more
pains to have brought them to be idolaters, and to worship the
devil, than any of these men, so far as I can see, have taken with
them to teach the knowledge of the true God. Now, sir," said he,
"though I do not acknowledge your religion, or you mine, yet we
would be glad to see the devil's servants and the subjects of his
kingdom taught to know religion; and that they might, at least,
hear of God and a Redeemer, and the resurrection, and of a future
state--things which we all believe; that they might, at least, be
so much nearer coming into the bosom of the true Church than they
are now in the public profession of idolatry and devil-worship."

I could hold no longer: I took him in my arms and embraced him
eagerly. "How far," said I to him, "have I been from understanding
the most essential part of a Christian, viz. to love the interest
of the Christian Church, and the good of other men's souls! I
scarce have known what belongs to the being a Christian."--"Oh,
sir! do not say so," replied he; "this thing is not your fault."--
"No," said I; "but why did I never lay it to heart as well as
you?"--"It is not too late yet," said he; "be not too forward to
condemn yourself."--"But what can be done now?" said I: "you see I
am going away."--"Will you give me leave to talk with these poor
men about it?"--"Yes, with all my heart," said I: "and oblige them
to give heed to what you say too."--"As to that," said he, "we must
leave them to the mercy of Christ; but it is your business to
assist them, encourage them, and instruct them; and if you give me
leave, and God His blessing, I do not doubt but the poor ignorant
souls shall be brought home to the great circle of Christianity, if
not into the particular faith we all embrace, and that even while
you stay here." Upon this I said, "I shall not only give you
leave, but give you a thousand thanks for it."

I now pressed him for the third article in which we were to blame.
"Why, really," says he, "it is of the same nature. It is about
your poor savages, who are, as I may say, your conquered subjects.
It is a maxim, sir, that is or ought to be received among all
Christians, of what church or pretended church soever, that the
Christian knowledge ought to be propagated by all possible means
and on all possible occasions. It is on this principle that our
Church sends missionaries into Persia, India, and China; and that
our clergy, even of the superior sort, willingly engage in the most
hazardous voyages, and the most dangerous residence amongst
murderers and barbarians, to teach them the knowledge of the true
God, and to bring them over to embrace the Christian faith. Now,
sir, you have such an opportunity here to have six or seven and
thirty poor savages brought over from a state of idolatry to the
knowledge of God, their Maker and Redeemer, that I wonder how you
can pass such an occasion of doing good, which is really worth the
expense of a man's whole life."

I was now struck dumb indeed, and had not one word to say. I had
here the spirit of true Christian zeal for God and religion before
me. As for me, I had not so much as entertained a thought of this
in my heart before, and I believe I should not have thought of it;
for I looked upon these savages as slaves, and people whom, had we
not had any work for them to do, we would have used as such, or
would have been glad to have transported them to any part of the
world; for our business was to get rid of them, and we would all
have been satisfied if they had been sent to any country, so they
had never seen their own. I was confounded at his discourse, and
knew not what answer to make him.

He looked earnestly at me, seeing my confusion. "Sir," says he, "I
shall be very sorry if what I have said gives you any offence."--
"No, no," said I, "I am offended with nobody but myself; but I am
perfectly confounded, not only to think that I should never take
any notice of this before, but with reflecting what notice I am
able to take of it now. You know, sir," said I, "what
circumstances I am in; I am bound to the East Indies in a ship
freighted by merchants, and to whom it would be an insufferable
piece of injustice to detain their ship here, the men lying all
this while at victuals and wages on the owners' account. It is
true, I agreed to be allowed twelve days here, and if I stay more,
I must pay three pounds sterling per diem demurrage; nor can I stay
upon demurrage above eight days more, and I have been here thirteen
already; so that I am perfectly unable to engage in this work
unless I would suffer myself to be left behind here again; in which
case, if this single ship should miscarry in any part of her
voyage, I should be just in the same condition that I was left in
here at first, and from which I have been so wonderfully
delivered." He owned the case was very hard upon me as to my
voyage; but laid it home upon my conscience whether the blessing of
saving thirty-seven souls was not worth venturing all I had in the
world for. I was not so sensible of that as he was. I replied to
him thus: "Why, sir, it is a valuable thing, indeed, to be an
instrument in God's hand to convert thirty-seven heathens to the
knowledge of Christ: but as you are an ecclesiastic, and are given
over to the work, so it seems so naturally to fall in the way of
your profession; how is it, then, that you do not rather offer
yourself to undertake it than to press me to do it?"

Upon this he faced about just before me, as he walked along, and
putting me to a full stop, made me a very low bow. "I most
heartily thank God and you, sir," said he, "for giving me so
evident a call to so blessed a work; and if you think yourself
discharged from it, and desire me to undertake it, I will most
readily do it, and think it a happy reward for all the hazards and
difficulties of such a broken, disappointed voyage as I have met
with, that I am dropped at last into so glorious a work."

I discovered a kind of rapture in his face while he spoke this to
me; his eyes sparkled like fire; his face glowed, and his colour
came and went; in a word, he was fired with the joy of being
embarked in such a work. I paused a considerable while before I
could tell what to say to him; for I was really surprised to find a
man of such sincerity, and who seemed possessed of a zeal beyond
the ordinary rate of men. But after I had considered it a while, I
asked him seriously if he was in earnest, and that he would
venture, on the single consideration of an attempt to convert those
poor people, to be locked up in an unplanted island for perhaps his
life, and at last might not know whether he should be able to do
them good or not? He turned short upon me, and asked me what I
called a venture? "Pray, sir," said he, "what do you think I
consented to go in your ship to the East Indies for?"--"ay," said
I, "that I know not, unless it was to preach to the Indians."--
"Doubtless it was," said he; "and do you think, if I can convert
these thirty-seven men to the faith of Jesus Christ, it is not
worth my time, though I should never be fetched off the island
again?--nay, is it not infinitely of more worth to save so many
souls than my life is, or the life of twenty more of the same
profession? Yes, sir," says he, "I would give God thanks all my
days if I could be made the happy instrument of saving the souls of
those poor men, though I were never to get my foot off this island
or see my native country any more. But since you will honour me
with putting me into this work, for which I will pray for you all
the days of my life, I have one humble petition to you besides."--
"What is that?" said I.--"Why," says he, "it is, that you will
leave your man Friday with me, to be my interpreter to them, and to
assist me; for without some help I cannot speak to them, or they to
me."

I was sensibly touched at his requesting Friday, because I could
not think of parting with him, and that for many reasons: he had
been the companion of my travels; he was not only faithful to me,
but sincerely affectionate to the last degree; and I had resolved
to do something considerable for him if he out-lived me, as it was
probable he would. Then I knew that, as I had bred Friday up to be
a Protestant, it would quite confound him to bring him to embrace
another religion; and he would never, while his eyes were open,
believe that his old master was a heretic, and would be damned; and

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