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

Part 3 out of 6

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also, and would never leave me afterwards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the fire-wood was burned into embers, or live coals, I drew them
forward upon the hearth, so as to cover it all over, and there let them
lie till the hearth was very hot; then sweeping away all the embers, I
set down my loaf, or loaves, and covering them with the earthen pot,
drew the embers all round the outside of the pot, to keep in and add to
the heat; and thus, as well as in the best oven in the world, I baked my
barley-loaves, and became, in a little time, a good pastry-cook into the
bargain; for I made myself several cakes and puddings of the rice; but
made no pies, as I had nothing to put into them except the flesh of
fowls or goats.

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

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

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

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

But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such a
condition, and that I might fall into the hands of savages, and perhaps
such as I might have reason to think far worse than the lions and tigers
of Africa; that if I once came in their power, I should run a hazard of
more than a thousand to one of being killed, and perhaps of being eaten;
for I had heard that the people of the Caribbean coast were cannibals,
or man-eaters; and I knew, by the latitude, that I could not be far off
from that shore. Then supposing they were not cannibals, yet that they
might kill me, as they had many Europeans who had fallen into their
hands, even when they have been ten or twenty together; much more I, who
was but one, and could makee little or no defence; all these things, I
say, which I ought to have considered well of, and did cast up in my
thoughts afterwards, took up none of my apprehensions at first; yet my
head ran mightily upon the thought of getting over to the shore.

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

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

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

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

One would imagine, if I had had the least reflection upon my mind of my
circumstances while I was making this boat, I should have immediately
thought how I was to get it into the sea: but my thoughts were so intent
upon my voyage in it, that I never once considered how I should get it
off the land; and it was really, in its own nature, more easy for me to
guide it over forty-five miles of sea, than the forty-five fathoms of
land, where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.

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

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

When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it.
The boat was really much bigger than ever I saw a canoe or periagua,
that was made of one tree, in my life. Many a weary stroke it had cost,
you may be sure; and there remained nothing but to get it into the
water; which, had I accomplished, I make no question but I should have
begun the maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed, that
ever was undertaken.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had now been here so long, that many things which I brought on shore
for my help were either quite gone, or very much wasted, and near spent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that indeed it could
be nobody else, it was a good while before I could compose myself.
First, I was amazed how the creature got thither, and then, how he
should just keep about the place, and no where else: but as I was well
satisfied it could be nobody but honest Pol, I got over it; and holding
out my hand, and calling him by his name, Pol, the sociable creature
came to me, and sat upon my thumb, as he used to do and continued
talking to me, Poor Robin Crusoe! and how did I come here? and where had
I been? just as if he had been overjoyed to see me again: and so I
carried him home along with me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My hedge was begun and carried on, I believe about fifty yards, when
this thought occurred to me; so I presently stopped short, and, for the
first beginning, I resolved to enclose a piece of about 150 yards in
length, and 100 yards in breadth; which, as it would maintain as many as
I should have in any reasonable time, so, as my stock increased, I could
add more ground to my enclosure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As this was also about half-way between my other habitation and the
place where I had laid up my boat, I generally stayed and lay here in my
way thither; for I used frequently to visit my boat; and I kept all
things about, or belonging to her, in very good order: sometimes I went
out in her to divert myself, but no more hazardous voyages would I go,
nor scarce ever above a stone's cast or two from the shore, I was so
apprehensive of being hurried out of my knowledge again by the currents
or winds, or any other accident. But now I come to a new scene of
my life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As long as I kept my daily tour to the hill to look out, so long also I
kept up the vigour of my design, and my spirits seemed to be all the
while in a suitable form for so outrageous an execution as the killing
twenty or thirty naked savages, for an offence which I had not at all
entered into a discussion of in my thoughts, any farther than my
passions were at first fired by the horror I conceived at the unnatural
custom of the people of that country; who, it seems, had been suffered
by Providence, in his wise disposition of the world, to have no other
guide than that of their own abominable and vitiated passions; and,
consequently, were left, and perhaps had been so for some ages, to act
such horrid things, and receive such dreadful customs, as nothing but
nature, entirely abandoned by Heaven, and actuated by some hellish
degeneracy, could have run them into. But now, when, as I have said, I
began to be weary of the fruitless excursion which I had made so long
and so far every morning in vain, so my opinion of the action itself
began to alter; and I began, with cooler and calmer thoughts, to
consider what I was going to engage in; what authority or call I had to
pretend to be judge and executioner upon these men as criminals, whom
Heaven had thought fit, for so many ages, to suffer, unpunished, to go
on, and to be, as it were, the executioners of his judgments one upon
another. How far these people were offenders against me, and what right
I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood which they shed
promiscuously upon one another, I debated this very often with myself,
thus: How do I know what God himself judges in this particular case? It
is certain these people do not commit this as a crime; it is not against
their own consciences reproving, or their light reproaching them; they
do not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of
divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins we commit. They think it
no more a crime to kill a captive taken in war, than we do to kill an
ox; nor to eat human flesh, than we do to eat mutton.

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

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

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