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The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Of York, Mariner, Vol. 1 by Daniel Defoe

Part 2 out of 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I consulted several things in my situation, which I found would be
proper for me: 1st, Health and fresh water, I just now mentioned: 2dly,
Shelter from the heat of the sun: 3dly, Security from ravenous
creatures, whether men or beasts: 4thly, A view to the sea, that if God
sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my
deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish all my
expectation yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing
all the earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid
them up within my fence in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised
the ground within about a foot and an half; and thus I made me a cave,
just behind my tent, which served me like a cellar to my house. It cost
me much labour and many days, before all these things were brought to
perfection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took
up some of my thoughts. At the same time it happened, after I had laid
my scheme for the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm
of rain falling from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning
happened, and after that, a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the
effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning, as I was
with a thought, which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning
itself: O my powder! My very heart sunk within me when I thought, that
at one blast, all my powder might be destroyed; on which, not my defence
only, but the providing me food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was
nothing near so anxious about my own danger, though, had the powder took
fire, I had never known who had hurt me.

Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm was over, I
laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying, and applied myself
to make bags and boxes, to separate the powder, and to keep it a little
and a little in a parcel, in hope that whatever might come, it might not
all take fire at once; and to keep it so apart, that it should not be
possible to make one part fire another. I finished this work in about a
fortnight; and I think my powder, which in all was about 240 lb. weight,
was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to the barrel that
had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that; so I placed it
in my new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen, and the rest I
hid up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to
it, marking very carefully where I laid it.

In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least once
every day with my gun, as well to divert myself, as to see if I could
kill any thing fit for food; and, as near as I could, to acquaint myself
with what the island produced. The first time I went out, I presently
discovered that there were goats upon the island, which was a great
satisfaction to me; but then it was attended with this misfortune to me,
viz. that they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was
the most difficult thing in the world to come at them: but I was not
discouraged at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as
it soon happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid
wait in this manner for them: I observed, if they saw me in the valleys,
though they were upon the rocks, they would run away as in a terrible
fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the
rocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I concluded, that by the
position of their optics, their sight was so directed downward, that
they did not readily see objects that were above them: so, afterwards, I
took this method--I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them,
and then had frequently a fair mark. The first shot I made among these
creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by her, which she
gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; but when the old one fell, the
kid stood stock still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only
so, but when I carried the old one with me, upon my shoulders, the kid
followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which, I laid down the dam, and
took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have
bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to kill it, and
eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I ate
sparingly, and preserved my provisions (my bread especially) as much as
possibly I could.

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

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

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

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

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

And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent
life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall
take it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was, by my
account, the 30th of September, when, in the manner as above said, I
first set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun being to us in its
autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head: for I reckoned myself,
by observation, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north
of the Line.

After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my
thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and
pen and ink, and should even forget the sabbath days from the working
days: but, to prevent this, I cut it with my knife upon a large post, in
capital letters; and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the
shore where I first landed, viz. "I came on shore here on the 30th of
September, 1659." Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a
notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the
rest, and every first day of the month as long again as that long one:
and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning
of time.

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

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

This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was near
a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or
surrounded my habitation. The piles or stakes, which were as heavy as I
could well lift, were a long time in cutting and preparing in the woods,
and more, by far, in bringing home; so that I spent sometimes two days
in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in
driving it into the ground; for which purpose, I got a heavy piece of
wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows;
which, however, though I found it, yet it made driving these posts or
piles very laborious and tedious work. But what need I have been
concerned at the tediousness of any thing I had to do, seeing I had time
enough to do it in? nor had I any other employment, if that had been
over, at least that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to
seek for food; which I did, more or less, every day.

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


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

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

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

I have no clothes to cover

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

I have no soul to speak to,
or relieve me.


But I am alive; and not
drowned, as all my ship's company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and
into the cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that
at first this was a confused heap of goods, which, as they lay in no
order, so they took up all my place; I had no room to turn myself: so I
set myself to enlarge my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it
was a loose, sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed
on it: and when I found I was pretty safe as to the beasts of prey, I
worked sideways, to the right hand, into the rock, and then turning to
the right again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come out in the
outside of my pale or fortification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


_September_ 30th, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being
shipwrecked, during a dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on
this dismal unfortunate island, which I called the ISLAND OF DESPAIR;
all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and myself
almost dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Nov. 17._ This day I began to dig behind my tent, into the rock, to
make room for my farther convenience.

_Note._ Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work, viz. a
pick-axe, a shovel, and a wheel-barrow, or basket; so I desisted from my
work, and began to consider how to supply these wants, and make me some
tools. As for a pick-axe, I made use of the iron crows, which were
proper enough, though heavy: but, the next thing was a shovel or spade;
this was so absolutely necessary, that, indeed, I could do nothing
effectually without it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Dec. 17._ From this day to the 30th, I placed shelves, and knocked up
nails on the posts, to hang every thing up that could be hung up: and
now I began to be in some order within doors.

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

_Dec. 24._ Much rain all night and all day: no stirring out.

_Dec. 25._ Rain all day.

_Dec. 26._ No rain; and the earth much cooler than before, and

_Dec. 27._ Killed a young goat; and lamed another, so that I catched it,
and led it home in a string: when I had it home, I bound and splintered
up its leg, which was broke.

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

_Dec. 28, 29, 30, 31._ Great heats, and no breeze; so that there was no
stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food: this time I spent in
putting all my things in order within doors.

_January 1._ Very hot still; but I went abroad early and late with my
gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther
into the vallies which lay towards the centre of the island, I found
there was plenty of goats, though exceeding shy, and hard to come at;
however, I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them
down. Accordingly, the next day, I went out with my dog, and set him
upon the goats: but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon the
dog: and he knew his danger too well, for he would not come near them.

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

_N.B._ This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was said
in the journal: it is sufficient to observe, that I was no less time
than from the 3d of January to the 14th of April, working, finishing,
and perfecting this wall; though it was no more than about 25 yards in
length, being a half-circle, from one place in the rock to another
place, about twelve yards from it, the door of the cave being in the
centre, behind it.

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

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

During this time, I made my rounds in the woods for game every day,
when the rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries, in these
walks, of something or other to my advantage; particularly, I found a
kind of wild pigeons, who build, not as wood-pigeons, in a tree, but
rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks: and, taking some
young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when
they grew older, they flew all away; which, perhaps, was at first for
want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them: however, I
frequently found their nests, and got their young ones, which were very
good meat. And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself
wanting in many things, which I thought at first it was impossible for
me to make; as indeed, as to some of them, it was: for instance, I could
never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I
observed before; but I could never arrive to the capacity of making one
by them, though I spent many weeks about it: I could neither put in the
heads, nor join the staves so true to one another as to make them hold
water; so I gave that also over. In the next place, I was at a great
loss for candle; so that as soon as it was dark, which was generally by
seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remember the lump of
bees-wax with which I made candles in my African adventure; but I had
none of that now; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a
goat, I saved the tallow; and with a little dish made of clay, which I
baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a
lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear steady light like a
candle. In the middle of all my labours it happened, that in rummaging
my things, I found a little bag; which, as I hinted before, had been
filled with corn, for the feeding of poultry; not for this voyage, but
before, as I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon. What little
remainder of corn had been in the bag was all devoured with the rats,
and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to
have the bag for some other use (I think, it was to put powder in, when
I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use,) I shook the
husks of corn out of it, on one side of my fortification, under
the rock.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_April_ 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to put this
measure into execution; but I was at a great loss about the tools. I had
three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets
for traffic with the Indians;) but with much chopping and cutting knotty
hard wood, they were all full of notches, and dull; and though I had a
grind-stone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This caused me
as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point
of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I
contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might
have both my hands at liberty.

_Note._ I had never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to
take notice how it was done, though since I have observed it is very
common there: besides that, my grind-stone was very large and heavy.
This machine cost me a full week's work to bring it to perfection.

_April 28, 29._ These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my
machine for turning my grind-stone performing very well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_May 10--14._ Went every day to the wreck; and got a great many pieces
of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three hundred weight
of iron.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_June 19._ Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.

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

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

_June 22._ A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of

_June 23._ Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent

_June 24._ Much better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I went, directed by Heaven no doubt: for in this chest I found a cure
both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for,
viz. the tobacco; and as the few books I had saved lay there too, I took
out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before, and which to this time I
had not found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into. I say, I
took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, nor
whether it was good for it or not; but I tried several experiments with
it, as if I was resolved it should hit one way or other. I first took a
piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth; which, indeed, at first,
almost stupified my brain; the tobacco being green and strong, and such
as I had not been much used to. Then I took some and steeped it an hour
or two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down:
and, lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close
over the smoke of it as long as I could bear it; as well for the heat,
as almost for suffocation. In the interval of this operation, I took up
the Bible, and began to read; but my head was too much disturbed with
the tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only, having opened
the book casually, the first words that occurred to me were these: "Call
on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt
glorify me." These words were very apt to my case; and made some
impression upon my thoughts at the time of reading them, though not so
much as they did afterwards; for, as for being _delivered_, the word had
no sound, as I may say, to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in
my apprehension of things, that, as the children of Israel said when
they were promised flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the
wilderness?" so I began to say, Can even God himself deliver me from
this place? And as it was not for many years that any hopes appeared,
this prevailed very often upon my thoughts: but, however, the words made
a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It now
grew late; and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much, that I
inclined to sleep: so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should
want any thing in the night, and went to bed. But before I lay down, I
did what I never had done in all my life; I kneeled down, and prayed to
God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon him in the day of
trouble, he would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was
over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco; which was so
strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could scarce get it down:
immediately upon this I went to bed. I found presently the rum flew up
into my head violently; but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no
more till, by the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the
afternoon the next day: nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion, that I
slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after;
for otherwise, I know not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in
the days of the week, as it appeared some years after I had done; for if
I had lost it by crossing and re-crossing the Line, I should have lost
more than one day; but certainly I lost a day in my account, and never
knew which way. Be that, however, one way or the other, when I awaked I
found myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful:
when I got up, I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach
better, for I was hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but
continued much altered for the better. This was the 29th.

The 30th was my well day, of course; and I went abroad with my gun, but
did not care to travel too far. I killed a sea-fowl or two, something
like a brand goose, and brought them home; but was not very forward to
eat them; so I ate some more of the turtle's eggs, which were very good.
This evening I renewed the medicine, which I had supposed did me good
the day before, viz. the tobacco steeped in rum; only I did not take so
much as before, nor did I chew any of the leaf, or hold my head over the
smoke: however, I was not so well the next day, which was the 1st of
July, as I hoped I should have been; for I had a little of the cold fit,
but it was not much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and after going
something farther than I had gone the day before, I found the brook and
the savannahs begin to cease, and the country become more woody than
before. In this part I found different fruits; and particularly I found
melons upon the ground, in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees:
the vines, indeed, had spread over the trees, and the clusters of grapes
were now just in their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising
discovery, and I was exceedingly glad of them, but I was warned by my
experience to eat sparingly of them; remembering that when I was ashore
in Barbary, the eating of grapes killed several of our Englishmen, who
were slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and fevers. I found,
however, an excellent use for these grapes; and that was, to cure or dry
them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept;
which I thought would be (as indeed they were) as wholesome and as
agreeable to eat, when no grapes were to be had.

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

The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made me two small bags
to bring home my harvest; but I was surprised, when, coming to my heap
of grapes, which were so rich and fine when I gathered them, I found
them all spread about, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here,
some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I concluded there
were some wild creatures thereabouts which had done this, but what they
were I knew not. However, as I found there was no laying them up in
heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack; but that one way they would
be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed with their own
weight; I took another course: I then gathered a large quantity of the
grapes, and hung them upon the out-branches of the trees, that they
might cure and dry in the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I
carried as many back as I could well stand under.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not
into summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the
dry seasons, which were generally thus: From the middle of February to
the middle of April, rainy; the sun being then on or near the equinox.
From the middle of April till the middle of August, dry; the sun being
then north of the line. From the middle of August till the middle of
October, rainy; the sun being then come back to the line. From the
middle of October till the middle of February, dry; the sun being then
to the south of the line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long
journey: during which, most of the time was taken up in the weighty
affair of making a cage for my Pol, who began now to be more domestic,
and to be mighty well acquainted with me. Then I began to think of the
poor kid which I had penned within my little circle, and resolved to
fetch it home, or give it some food: accordingly I went, and found it
where I left it (for indeed it could not get out,) but was almost
starved for want of food. I went and cut boughs of trees, and branches
of such shrubs as I could find, and threw it over, and having fed it, I
tied it as I did before, to lead it away; but it was so tame with being
hungry, that I had no need to have tied it, for it followed me like a
dog: and as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving, so
gentle, and so fond, that it was from that time one of my domestics

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