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The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) by Daniel Defoe

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Various tales have been included in the different
versions, usually under the names of "The Adventures
of Robinson Crusoe," "The Further Adventures of
Robinson Crusoe," and "Robinson Crusoe's Vision of
the Angelic World." Even an account of the
adventures of Alexander Selkirk, who was marooned
for four years on an island in the Pacific Ocean,
has been incorporated into some versions of the
Robinson Crusoe stories. This e-book, taken from an
1808 edition, includes "The Adventures of Robinson
Crusoe" and "The Further Adventures of Robinson





[Illustration: I had one labour to make me a Canoe,
which at last I finished.]


Daniel De Foe was descended from a respectable family in the county of
Northampton, and born in London, about the year 1663. His father, James
Foe, was a butcher, in the parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, and a
protestant dissenter. Why the subject of this memoir prefixed the _De_
to his family name cannot now be ascertained, nor did he at any period
of his life think it necessary to give his reasons to the public. The
political scribblers of the day, however, thought proper to remedy this
lack of information, and accused him of possessing so little of the
_amor patriae_, as to make the addition in order that he might not be
taken for an Englishman; though this idea could have had no other
foundation than the circumstance of his having, in consequence of his
zeal for King William, attacked the prejudices of his countrymen in his
"True-born Englishman."

After receiving a good education at an academy at Newington, young De
Foe, before he had attained his twenty-first year, commenced his career
as an author, by writing a pamphlet against a very prevailing sentiment
in favour of the Turks who were at that time laying siege to Vienna.
This production, being very inferior to those of his maturer years, was
very little read, and the indignant author, despairing of success with
his pen, had recourse to the sword; or, as he termed it, when boasting
of the exploit in his latter years, "displayed his attachment to
liberty, and protestantism," by joining the ill-advised insurrection
under the Duke of Monmouth, in the west. On the failure of that
unfortunate enterprise, he returned again to the metropolis; and it is
not improbable, but that the circumstance of his being a native of
London, and his person not much known in that part of the kingdom where
the rebellion took place, might facilitate his escape, and be the means
of preventing his being brought to trial for his share in the
transaction. With the professions of a writer and a soldier, Mr. De Foe,
in the year 1685, joined that of a trader; he was first engaged as a
hosier, in Cornhill, and afterwards as a maker of bricks and pantiles,
near Tilbury Fort, in Essex; but in consequence of spending those hours
in the hilarity of the tavern which he ought to have employed in the
calculations of the counting-house, his commercial schemes proved
unsuccessful; and in 1694 he was obliged to abscond from his creditors,
not failing to attribute those misfortunes to the war and the severity
of the times, which were doubtless owing to his own misconduct. It is
much to his credit however, that after having been freed from his debts
by composition, and being in prosperous circumstances from King
William's favour, he voluntarily paid most of his creditors both the
principal and interest of their claims. This is such an example of
honesty as it would be unjust to De Foe and to the world to conceal. The
amount of the sums thus paid must have been very considerable, as he
afterwards feelingly mentions to Lord Haversham, who had reproached him
with covetousness; "With a numerous family, and no helps but my own
industry, I have forced my way through a sea of misfortunes, and reduced
my debts, exclusive of composition, from seventeen thousand to less than
five thousand pounds."

At the beginning of the year 1700, Mr. De Foe published a satire in
verse, which excited very considerable attention, called the "True-born
Englishman." Its purpose was to furnish a reply to those who were
continually abusing King William and some of his friends as
_foreigners_, by shewing that the present race of Englishmen was a mixed
and heterogeneous brood, scarcely any of which could lay claim to native
purity of blood. The satire was in many parts very severe; and though
it gave high offence, it claimed a considerable share of the public
attention. The reader will perhaps be gratified by a specimen of this
production, wherein he endeavours to account for--

"What makes this discontented land appear
Less happy now in times of peace, than war;
Why civil feuds disturb the nation more,
Than all our bloody wars had done before:
Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
And men are always honest in disgrace:
The court preferments make men knaves in course,
But they, who would be in them, would be worse.
'Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
The grand contention's plainly to be seen,
To get some men put out, and some put in."

It will be immediately perceived that De Foe could have no pretentious
to the character of a _poet_; but he has, notwithstanding, some nervous
and well-versified lines, and in choice of subject and moral he is in
general excellent. The True-born Englishman concludes thus:

Could but our ancestors retrieve their fate,
And see their offspring thus degenerate;
How we contend for birth and names unknown,
And build on their past actions, not our own;
They'd cancel records, and their tombs deface,
And openly disown the vile, degenerate race.
For fame of families is all a cheat;

For this defence of foreigners De Foe was amply rewarded by King
William, who not only ordered him a pension, but as his opponents
denominated it, appointed him _pamphlet-writer general to the court_; an
office for which he was peculiarly well calculated, possessing, with a
strong mind and a ready wit, that kind of yielding conscience which
allowed him to support the measures of his benefactors though convinced
they were injurious to his country. De Foe now retired to Newington
with his family, and for a short time lived at ease; but the death of
his royal patron deprived him of a generous protector, and opened a
scene of sorrow which probably embittered his future life.

He had always discovered a great inclination to engage in religious
controversy, and the furious contest, civil and ecclesiastical, which
ensued on the accession of Queen Anne, gave him an opportunity of
gratifying his favourite passion. He therefore published a tract
entitled "The shortest Way with the Dissenters, or Proposals for the
Establishment of the Church," which contained an ironical recommendation
of persecution, but written in so serious a strain, that many persons,
particularly Dissenters, at first mistook its real intention. The high
church party however saw, and felt the ridicule, and, by their
influence, a prosecution was commenced against him, and a proclamation
published in the Gazette, offering a reward for his apprehension[1].
When De Foe found with how much rigour himself and his pamphlet were
about to be treated, he at first secreted himself; but his printer and
bookseller being taken into custody, he surrendered, being resolved, as
he expresses it, "to throw himself upon the favour of government, rather
than that others should be ruined for his mistakes." In July, 1703, he
was brought to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned, to
stand in the pillory, and to pay a fine of two hundred marks. He
underwent the infamous part of the punishment with great fortitude, and
it seems to have been generally thought that he was treated with
unreasonable severity. So far was he from being ashamed of his fate
himself, that he wrote a hymn to the pillory, which thus ends, alluding
to his accusers:

Tell them, the men that plac'd him here
Are scandals to the times;
Are at a loss to find his guilt,
And can't commit his crimes.

Pope, who has thought fit to introduce him in his Dunciad (probably from
no other reason than party difference) characterises him in the
following line:

Earless on high stood unabash'd De Foe.

[Footnote 1: St. James's, January 10, 1702-3. "Whereas Daniel De Foe,
alias De Fooe, is charged with writing a scandalous and seditious
pamphlet, entitled 'The shortest Way with the Dissenters:' he is a
middle-sized spare man, about 40 years old, of a brown complexion, and
dark-brown coloured hair, but wears a wig, a hooked nose, a sharp chin,
grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth, was born in London, and for
many years was a hose-factor, in Freeman's Yard, in Cornhill, and now is
owner of the brick and pantile works near Tilbury Fort, in Essex;
whoever shall discover the said Daniel De Foe, to one of her Majesty's
Principal Secretaries of State, or any of her Majesty's Justices of
Peace, so as he may be apprehended, shall have a reward of 50_l_. which
her Majesty has ordered immediately to be paid upon such discovery."

_London Gaz_. No. 3679.]

This is one of those instances of injustice and malignity which so
frequently occur in the Dunciad, and which reflect more dishonour on the
author than on the parties traduced. De Foe lay friendless and
distressed in Newgate, his family ruined, and himself without hopes of
deliverance, till Sir Robert Harley, who approved of his principles, and
foresaw that during a factious age such a genius could be converted to
many uses, represented his unmerited sufferings to the Queen, and at
length procured his release. The treasurer, Lord Godolphin, also sent a
considerable sum to his wife and family, and to him money to pay his
fine and the expense of his discharge. Gratitude and fidelity are
inseparable from an honest man; and it was this benevolent act that
prompted De Foe to support Harley, with his able and ingenious pen, when
Anne lay lifeless, and his benefactor in the vicissitude of party was
persecuted by faction, and overpowered, though not conquered,
by violence.

The talents and perseverance of De Foe began now to be properly
estimated, and as a firm supporter of the administration, he was sent
by Lord Godolphin to Scotland, on an errand which, as he says, was far
from being unfit for a sovereign to direct, or an honest man to perform.
His knowledge of commerce and revenue, his powers of insinuation, and
above all, his readiness of pen, were deemed of no small utility, in
promoting the union of the two kingdoms; of which he wrote an able
history, in 1709, with two dedications, one to the Queen, and another to
the Duke of Queensbury. Soon afterwards he unhappily, by some equivocal
writings, rendered himself suspected by both parties, so that he once
more retired to Newington in hopes of spending the remainder of his days
in peace. His pension being withdrawn, and wearied with politics, he
began to compose works of a different kind.--The year 1715 may therefore
be regarded as the period of De Foe's political life. Faction henceforth
found other advocates, and parties procured other writers to disseminate
their suggestions, and to propagate their falsehoods.

In 1715 De Foe published the "Family Instructor;" a work inculcating the
domestic duties in a lively manner, by narration and dialogue, and
displaying much knowledge of life in the middle ranks of society.
"Religious Courtship" also appeared soon after, which, like the "Family
Instructor," is eminently religious and moral in its tendency, and
strongly impresses on the mind that spirit of sobriety and private
devotion for which the dissenters have generally been distinguished. The
most celebrated of all his works, "The Life and Adventures of Robinson
Crusoe," appeared in 1719. This work has passed through numerous
editions, and been translated into almost all modern languages. The
great invention which is displayed in it, the variety of incidents and
circumstances which it contains, related in the most easy and natural
manner, together with the excellency of the moral and religious
reflections, render it a performance of very superior and uncommon
merit, and one of the most interesting works that ever appeared. It is
strongly recommended by Rosseau as a book admirably calculated to
promote the purposes of natural education; and Dr. Blair says, "No
fiction, in any language, was ever better supported than the Adventures
of Robinson Crusoe. While it is carried on with that appearance of truth
and simplicity, which takes a strong hold of the imagination of all
readers, it suggests, at the same time, very useful instruction; by
shewing how much the native powers of man may be exerted for surmounting
the difficulties of any external situation." It has been pretended, that
De Foe surreptitiously appropriated the papers of Alexander Selkirk, a
Scotch mariner, who lived four years alone on the island of Juan
Fernandez, and a sketch of whose story had before appeared in the voyage
of Captain Woodes Rogers. But this charge, though repeatedly and
confidently brought, appears to be totally destitute of any foundation.
De Foe probably took some general hints for his work from the story of
Selkirk, but there exists no proof whatever, nor is it reasonable to
suppose that he possessed any of his papers or memoirs, which had been
published seven years before the appearance of Robinson Crusoe. As a
farther proof of De Foe's innocence, Captain Rogers's Account of Selkirk
may be produced, in which it is said that the latter had neither
preserved pen, ink, or paper, and had, in a great measure, lost his
language; consequently De Foe could not have received any written
assistance, and we have only the assertion of his enemies to prove that
he had any verbal.

The great success of Robinson Crusoe induced its author to write a
number of other lives and adventures, some of which were popular in
their times, though at present nearly forgotten. One of his latest
publications was "A Tour through the Island of Great Britain," a
performance of very inferior merit; but De Foe was now the garrulous old
man, and his spirit (to use the words of an ingenious biographer) "like
a candle struggling in the socket, blazed and sunk, blazed and sunk,
till it disappeared at length in total darkness." His laborious and
unfortunate life was finished on the 26th of April, 1731, in the parish
of St. Giles's, Cripplegate.

Daniel De Foe possessed very extraordinary talents; as a commercial
writer, he is fairly entitled to stand in the foremost rank among his
contemporaries, whatever may be their performances or their fame. His
distinguishing characteristics are originality, spirit, and a profound
knowledge of his subject, and in these particulars he has seldom been
surpassed. As the author of Robinson Crusoe he has a claim, not only to
the admiration, but to the gratitude of his countrymen; and so long as
we have a regard for supereminent merit, and take an interest in the
welfare of the rising generation, that gratitude will not cease to
exist. But the opinion of the learned and ingenious Dr. Beattie will be
the best eulogium that can be pronounced on that celebrated romance:
"Robinson Crusoe," says the Doctor, "must be allowed by the most rigid
moralist, to be one of those novels which one may read, not only with
pleasure, but also with profit. It breathes throughout a spirit of piety
and benevolence; it sets in a very striking light the importance of the
mechanic arts, which they, who know not what it is to be without them,
are so apt to undervalue; it fixes in the mind a lively idea of the
horrors of solitude, and, consequently, of the sweets of social life,
and of the blessings we derive from conversation and mutual aid; and it
shews, how, by labouring with one's own hands, one may secure
independence, and open for one's self many sources of health and
amusement. I agree, therefore, with Rosseau, that it is one of the best
books that can be put into the hands of children."






&c. &c.

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of
life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the
middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many
vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not
subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or
mind, as those were, who by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances,
on one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or
insufficient diet, on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves
by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle
station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of
enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle
fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all
agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings
attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently
and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not
embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to
the life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed
circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; not
enraged with the passion of envy, or secret burning lust of ambition for
great things; but in easy circumstances sliding gently through the
world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter,
feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to
know it more sensibly.

After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate
manner, not to play the young man, not to precipitate myself into
miseries which nature and the station of life I was born in seemed to
have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking my
bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly
into the station of life which he had been just recommending to me; and
that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere
fate or fault that must hinder it, and that he should have nothing to
answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warning me against
measures which he knew would be to my hurt: in a word, that as he would
do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home as he
directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes, as to
give me any encouragement to go away: and to close all, he told me I had
my elder brother for an example, to whom he had used the same earnest
persuasions to keep him from going into the Low Country wars, but could
not prevail, his young desires prompting him to run into the army, where
he was killed; and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet
he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon
having neglected his counsel when there might be none to assist in
my recovery.

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

I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who could be
otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to
settle at home according to my father's desire. But, alas! a few days
wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my father's farther
importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from
him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my first heat of
resolution prompted, but I took my mother, at a time when I thought her
a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my thoughts were
so entirely bent upon seeing the world, that I should never settle to
any thing with resolution enough to go through with it, and my father
had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I
was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a
trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should
never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my master
before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my
father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and did not
like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double diligence
to recover that time I had lost.

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

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

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in
the meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling
to business, and frequently expostulating with my father and mother
about their being so positively determined against what they knew my
inclinations prompted me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went
casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement that time; but
I say, being there, and one of my companions being going by sea to
London, in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the
common allurement of seafaring men, viz. that it should cost me nothing
for my passage, I consulted neither father or mother any more, not so
much as sent them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they
might, without asking God's blessing, or my father's, without any
consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, God
knows, on the first of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for
London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began
sooner, or continued longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out
of the Humber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise in a
most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was
most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in mind. I began now
seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was
overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's
house, and abandoning my duty; all the good counsel of my parents, my
father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into my mind;
and my conscience, which was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to
which it has been since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and
the breach of my duty to God and my father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my
thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at
among the neighbours, and should be ashamed to see, not my father and
mother only, but even every body else; from whence I have since often
observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind
is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in
such cases, viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed
to repent; nor ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be
esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make
them be esteemed wise men.

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

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

It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship
myself as a sailor; whereby, though I might indeed have worked a little
harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I had learnt the duty and
office of a foremastman; and in time might have qualified myself for a
mate or lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it was always my fate to
choose for the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket, and
good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit of a
gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship, or learnt
to do any.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out directly
to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might
think me gone towards the Straits' mouth; (as indeed any one that had
been in their wits must have been supposed to do) for who would have
supposed we were sailed on to the southward to the truly Barbarian
coast, where whole nations of Negroes were sure to surround us with the
canoes, and destroy us; where we could never once go on shore but we
should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of
human kind?

But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and
steered directly south and by east, bending my course a little toward
the east, that I might keep in with the shore; and having a fair, fresh
gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea, I made such sail that I believe
by the next day at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the
land, I could not be less than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond
the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king
thereabouts, for we saw no people.

Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful
apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop,
or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing fair till I
had sailed in that manner five days, and then the wind shifting to the
southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase of
me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast,
and come to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what,
or where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what
river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people; the principal thing
I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening,
resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the
country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard, such dreadful
noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we
knew not what kinds that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and
begged of me not to go on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I, "then I
won't; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be as bad to us as
those lions."--"Then we give them the shoot gun," says Xury, laughing,
"make them run wey." Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us
slaves. However, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a
dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up. After all,
Xury's advice was good, and I took it; we dropped our little anchor, and
lay still all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three
hours we saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of
many sorts, come down to the sea-shore and run into the water, wallowing
and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they
made such hideous howlings and yellings, that I never indeed heard
the like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I had passed this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said,
I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places,
as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look at us; we
could also perceive that they were quite black, and stark naked. I was
once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my better
counsellor, and said to me, "No go, no go." However, I hauled in nearer
the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they run along the
shore by me a good way: I observed they had no weapons in their hands,
except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance,
and that they would throw, them a great way with good aim; so I kept at
a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I could; and
particularly made signs for something to eat; they beckoned to me to
stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this I lowered the
top of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and
in less than half an hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of
dry flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we
neither knew what the one nor the other was: however, we were willing to
accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for
venturing on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us: but they
took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it
down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board,
and then came close to us again.

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

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

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

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and,
leaving my friendly Negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more,
without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a
great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues
before me; and, the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make
this point: at length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the
land, I saw plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I concluded,
as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those
the _islands_, called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they
were at a great distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to
do, for if I should be taken with a fresh of wind I might neither reach
one nor the other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our
greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next year with
great success in my plantation: I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on
my own ground, more than I had disposed of for necessaries among my
neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a hundred weight,
were well cured and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon.
And now, increasing in business and in wealth, my head began to be full
of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are indeed often
the ruin of the best heads in business.

Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all the
happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so earnestly
recommended a quiet retired life, and of which he had so sensibly
described the middle station of life to be full; but other things
attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own
miseries; and particularly to increase my fault, and double the
reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have
leisure to make; all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent
obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and
pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of
doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and
those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present
me with, and to make my duty.

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

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

They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads,
but especially to that part which related to the buying Negroes, which
was a trade at that time not only not far entered into, but, as far as
it was, had been carried on by the Assientos for permission of the
kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public, so that few
Negroes were brought, and those excessive dear.

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

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

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

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

But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather
than my reason: and accordingly the ship being fitted out, and the cargo
furnished, and all things done as by agreement, by my partners in the
voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st of September, 1650,
being the same day eight years that I went from my father and mother at
Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my
own interest.

Our ship was about one hundred and twenty ton burden, carrying six guns,
and fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself; we had on
board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our
trade with the Negroes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd
trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissars, hatchets,
and the like.

The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward
upon our own coast, with design to stretch over for the African coast;
when they came about 10 or 12 degrees of northern latitude, which it
seems was the manner of their course in those days. We had very good
weather, only excessive hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we
made the height of Cape St. Augustino, from whence keeping farther off
at sea we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the
isle Fernand de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N. and leaving those
isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve
days time, and were by our last observation in 7 degrees 22 min.
northern latitude, when a violent tornado or hurricane took us quite out
of our knowledge; it began from the south-east, came about to the
north-west, and then settled into the north-east, from whence it blew in
such a terrible manner, that for twelve days together we could do
nothing but drive; and scudding away before it, let it carry us whither
ever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and during these twelve
days, I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up, nor
indeed did any in the ship expect to save their lives.

In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our
men die of the calenture, and one man and the boy washed overboard;
about the twelfth day the weather abating a little, the master made an
observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about 11
degrees north latitude, but that he was 22 degrees of longitude
difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was gotten
upon the coast of Guinea, or the north part of Brasil, beyond the river
Amazones, toward that of the river Oronoque, commonly called the Great
River, and began to consult with me what course he should take, for the
ship was leaky and very much disabled, and he was going directly back to
the coast of Brasil.

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

With this design we changed our course, and steered away N.W. by W. in
order to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for relief;
but our voyage was otherwise determined; for being in the latitude of 12
deg. 18 min. a second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the
same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very way of all
human commerce, that had all our lives been saved, as to the sea, we
were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than ever returning
to our own country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a half, as we
reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us,
and plainly had us expect the _coup-de-grace_. In a word, it took us
with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once; and separating us as
well from the boat, as from one another, gave us not time hardly to say
O God! for we were all swallowed up in a moment.

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

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

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

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

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good
fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols: these I secured
first, with some powder horns, and a small bag of shot, and two old
rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship,
but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I
found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water; those
two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty
well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them,
having neither sail, oar, or rudder, and the least capful of wind would
have overset all my navigation.

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

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

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

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

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

Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work
to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of that day; and
what to do with myself at night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest;

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