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

Part 5 out of 11

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another year in this place. However, I went on with my husbandry,
digging, planting, and fencing, as usual; I gathered and cured my
grapes, and did every necessary thing, as before.

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

When the settled season began to come in, as the thought of my design
returned with the fair weather, I was preparing daily for the voyage;
and the first thing I did was to lay up a certain quantity of provision,
being the store for the voyage; and intended, in a week or a fortnight's
time, to open the dock, and launch out our boat. I was busy one morning
upon something of this kind, when I called to Friday, and bid him go to
the sea-shore, and see if he could find a turtle or tortoise, a thing
which we generally got once a week, for the sake of the eggs, as well as
the flesh. Friday had not been long gone, when he came running back, and
flew over my outward wall, or fence, like one that felt not the ground,
or the steps he set his feet on; and before I had time to speak to him,
he cried out to me, "O master! O master! O sorrow! O bad!"--"What's the
matter, Friday?" said I. "O yonder there," says he, "one, two, three,
canoe! one, two, three!" By this way of speaking I concluded there were
six; but on inquiry I found there were but three. "Well, Friday," said
I, "do not be frighted;" so I heartened him up as well as I could.
However, I saw the poor fellow most terribly scared; for nothing ran in
his head, but that they were come to look for him, and would cut him in
pieces, and eat him; the poor fellow trembled so, that I scarce knew
what to do with him; I comforted him as well as I could, and told him I
was in as much danger as he, and that they would eat me as well as him.
"But," said I, "Friday, we must resolve to fight them: can you fight,
Friday?" "Me shoot," says he, "but there come many great number." "No
matter for that," said I again; "our guns will fright them that we do
not kill." So I asked him, whether, if I resolved to defend him, he
would defend me, and stand by me, and do just as I bade him? He said,
"Me die, when you bid die, master;" so I went and fetched a good dram of
rum, and gave him; for I had been so good a husband of my rum, that I
had a great deal left. When he had drank it, I made him take the two
fowling-pieces which we always carried, and load them with large
swan-shot as big as small pistol bullets; then I took four muskets, and
loaded them with two slugs and five small bullets each; and my two
pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets each: I hung my great sword, as
usual, naked by my side, and gave Friday his hatchet.

When I had thus prepared myself, I took my perspective-glass, and went
up to the side of the hill, to see what I could discover; and I found
quickly, by my glass, that there were one and twenty savages, three
prisoners, and three canoes; and that their whole business seemed to be
the triumphant banquet upon these three human bodies; a barbarous feast
indeed, but nothing more than as I had observed was usual with them.

I observed also, that they were landed, not where they had done when
Friday made his escape, but nearer to my creek, where the shore was low,
and where a thick wood came close almost down to the sea: this, with the
abhorrence of the inhuman errand these wretches came about, so filled me
with indignation, that I came down again to Friday, and told him, I was
resolved to go down to them, and kill them all; and asked him if he
would stand by me. He was now gotten over his fright, and his spirits
being a little raised with the dram I had given him, he was very
cheerful; and told me, as before, he would die when I bid die.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Killed at our shot from the tree.
2 Killed at the next shot.
2 Killed by Friday in the boat.
2 Killed by ditto, of those at first wounded.
1 Killed by ditto, in the wood.
3 Killed by the Spaniard.
4 Killed, being found dropt here and there of their
wounds, or killed by Friday in his chase of
4 Escaped in the boat, whereof one wounded, if
not dead.


21 in all.

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

I immediately cut the twisted flags, or rushes, which they had bound him
with, and would have helped him up; but he could not stand, or speak,
but groaned most piteously, believing, it seems still, that he was only
unbound in order to be killed.

When Friday came to him, I bade him speak to him, and tell him of his
deliverance; and pulling out my bottle, made him give the poor wretch a
dram, which, with the news of his being delivered, revived him, and he
sat up in the boat; but when Friday came to hear him speak, and looked
in his face, it would have moved any one to tears, to have seen how
Friday kissed him, embraced him, hugged him, cried, laughed, hallooed,
jumped about, danced, sung, then cried again, wrung his hands, beat his
own face and head, and then sung and jumped about again like a
distracted creature. It was a good while before I could make him speak
to me, or tell me what was the matter; but when he came a little to
himself, he told me that it was his father.

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

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

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

When he came up to me, I found he had been quite home for an earthen
jug, or pot, to bring his father some fresh water; and that he had get
two more cakes or loaves of bread. The bread he gave me, but the water
he carried to his father: however, as I was very thirsty too, I took a
little sip of it: this water revived his father more than all the rum or
spirits I had given him; for he was just fainting with thirst.

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

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

To remedy this, I went to work in my thought, and calling to Friday to
bid them sit down on the bank while he came to me, I soon made a kind of
hand-barrow to lay them on, and Friday and I carried them up both
together upon it between us; but when we got them to the outside of our
wall or fortification, we were at a worse loss than before; for it was
impossible to get them over; and I was resolved not to break it down: so
I set to work again; and Friday and I, in about two hours time, made a
very handsome tent, covered with old sails, and above that with boughs
of trees, being in the space without our outward fence, and between that
and the grove of young wood which I had planted: and here we made two
beds of such things as I had; viz. of good rice-straw, with blankets
laid upon it to lie on, and another to cover them on each bed.

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in subjects;
and it was a merry reflection which I frequently made, how like a king
I looked: first of all, the whole country was my own mere property; so
that I had an undoubted right of dominion: 2dly, My people were
perfectly subjected: I was absolute lord and lawgiver; they all owed
their lives to me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had
been occasion for it, for me: it was remarkable too, I had but three
subjects, and they were of three different religions. My man Friday was
a Protestant, his father a Pagan and a cannibal; and the Spaniard was a
Papist: however, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my
dominions: but this by the way.

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

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

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

This, however, I knew not, and therefore was under continual
apprehensions for a good while, and kept always upon my guard, I and all
my army; for as there were now four of us, I would have ventured a
hundred of them fairly in the open field at any time.

In a little time, however, no more canoes appearing, the fear of their
coming wore off, and I began to take my former thoughts of a voyage to
the main into consideration, being likewise assured by Friday's father,
that I might depend upon good usage from their nation on his account, if
I would go.

But my thoughts were a little suspended, when I had a serious discourse
with the Spaniard, and when I understood, that there were sixteen more
of his countrymen and Portuguese, who having been cast away, and made
their escape to that side, lived there at peace indeed with the savages,
but were very sore put to it for necessaries, and indeed for life: I
asked him all the particulars of their voyage; and found they were a
Spanish ship, bound from the Rio de la Plata to the Havanna, being
directed to leave their loading there, which was chiefly hides and
silver, and to bring back what European goods they could meet with
there; that they had five Portuguese seamen on board, whom they took out
of another wreck; that five of their own men were drowned when first the
ship was lost; and that these escaped through infinite dangers and
hazards, and arrived almost starved on the cannibal coast, where they
expected to have been devoured every moment.

He told me, they had some arms with them, but they were perfectly
useless, for that they had neither powder nor ball, the washing of the
sea having spoiled all their powder, but a little which they used at
their first landing to provide themselves some food.

I asked him what he thought would become of them there; and if they had
formed no design of making any escape? He said, they had many
consultations about it, but that having neither vessel, nor tools to
build one, or provisions of any kind, their counsels always ended in
tears and despair.

I asked him, how be thought they would receive a proposal from me,
which might tend towards an escape; and whether, if they were all here,
it might not be done? I told him with freedom, I feared mostly their
treachery and ill usage of me, if I put my life in their hands; for that
gratitude was no inherent virtue in the nature of man; nor did men
always square their dealings by the obligations they had received, so
much as they did by the advantages they expected: I told him, it would
be very hard, that I should be the instrument of their deliverance, and
that they should afterwards make me their prisoner in New Spain, where
an Englishman was certain to be made a sacrifice, what necessity, or
what accident soever, brought him thither; and that I had rather be
delivered up to the savages, and be devoured alive, than fall into the
merciless claws of the priests, and be carried into the Inquisition. I
added, that otherwise I was persuaded, if they were all here, we might,
with so many hands, build a bark large enough to carry us all away
either to the Brasils southward, or to the islands or Spanish coast
northward: but that if in requital they should, when I had put weapons
into their hands, carry me by force among their own people, I might be
ill used for my kindness to them, and make my case worse than it
was before.

He answered, with a great deal of candour and ingenuity, that their
condition was so miserable, and they were so sensible of it, that he
believed they would abhor the thought of using any man unkindly that
should contribute to their deliverance; and that, if I pleased, he would
go to them with the old man, and discourse with them about it, and
return again, and bring me their answer: that he would make conditions
with them upon their solemn oath, that they would be absolutely under my
leading, as their commander and captain; and that they should swear upon
the holy Sacraments and Gospel, to be true to me, and go to such
Christian country as I should agree to, and no other; and to be directed
wholly and absolutely by my orders, till they were landed safely in
such country as I intended; and that he would bring a contract from
them under their hands for that purpose.

Then he told me, he would first swear to me himself, that he would never
stir from me as long as he lived, till I gave him order; and that he
would take my side to the last drop of blood, if there should happen the
least breach of faith among his countrymen.

He told me, they were all of them very civil honest men, and they were
under the greatest distress imaginable, having neither weapons or
clothes, nor any food, but at the mercy and discretion of the savages;
out of all hopes of ever returning to their own country: and that he was
sure, if I would undertake their relief, they would live and die by me.

Upon these assurances, I resolved to venture to relieve them, if
possible, and to send the old savage and the Spaniard over to them to
treat: but when he had gotten all things in readiness to go, the
Spaniard himself started an objection, which had so much prudence in it
on one hand, and so much sincerity on the other hand, that I could not
but be very well satisfied in it; and, by his advice, put off the
deliverance of his comrades for at least half a year. The case was thus:

He had been with us now about a month; during which time I had let him
see in what manner I had provided, with the assistance of Providence,
for my support; and he saw evidently what stock of corn and rice I had
laid up; which, as it was more, than sufficient for myself, so it was
not sufficient, at least without good husbandry, for my family, now it
was increased to number four: but much less would it be sufficient, if
his countrymen, who were, as he said, fourteen still alive, should come
over; and least of all would it be sufficient to victual our vessel, if
we should build one, for a voyage to any of the Christian colonies of
America. So he told me, he thought it would be more adviseable, to let
him and the other two dig and cultivate some more land, as much as I
could spare seed to sow; and that we should wait another harvest, that
we might have a supply of corn for his countrymen when they should come;
for want might be a temptation to them to disagree, or not to think
themselves delivered, otherwise than out of one difficulty into another:
"You know," says he, "The children of Israel, though they rejoiced at
first at their being delivered out of Egypt, yet rebelled even against
God himself, that delivered them, when they came to want bread in the

His caution was so seasonable, and his advice so good, that I could not
but be very well pleased with his proposal, as well as I was satisfied
with his fidelity. So we fell to digging, all four of us, as well as the
wooden tools we were furnished with permitted; and in about a month's
time, by the end of which it was seed time, we had gotten as much land
cured and trimmed up as we sowed twenty-two bushels of barley on, and
sixteen jars of rice, which was, in short, all the seed we had to spare;
nor indeed did we leave ourselves barley sufficient for our own food for
the six months that we had to expect our crop, that is to say, reckoning
from the time we set our seed aside for sowing; for it is not to be
supposed it is six months in the ground in that country.

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

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

It was now harvest, and our crop in good order; it was not the most
plentiful increase I had seen in the island, but, however, it was enough
to answer our end; for from twenty two bushels of barley, we brought in
and threshed out above two hundred and twenty bushels, and the like in
proportion of the rice, which was store enough for our food to the next
harvest, though all the sixteen Spaniards had been on shore with me; or,
if we had been ready for a voyage, it would very plentifully have
victualled our ship, to have carried us to any part of the world, that
is to say, of America. When we had thus housed and secured our magazine
of corn, we fell to work to make more wicker-work; viz., great baskets,
in which we kept it; and the Spaniard was very handy and dexterous at
this part, and often blamed me, that I did not make some things for
defence of this kind of work; but I saw no need of it. And now having a
full supply of food for all the guests expected, I gave the Spaniard
leave to go over to the main, to see what he could do with those he left
behind him there: I gave him a strict charge in writing not to bring any
man with him, who would not first swear, in the presence of himself and
of the old savage, that he would no way injure, fight with, or attack
the person he should find in the island, who was so kind to send for
them in order to their deliverance; but that they would stand by and
defend him against all such attempts; and wherever they went, would be
entirely under, and subjected to his command; and that this should be
put in writing, and signed with their hands: how we were to have this
done, when I knew they had neither pen or ink, that indeed was a
question which we never asked.

Under these instructions, the Spaniard, and the old savage, (the father
of Friday) went away in one of the canoes, which they might be said to
come in, or rather were brought in, when they came as prisoners to be
devoured by the savages.

I gave each of them a musket with a firelock on it, and about eight
charges of powder and ball, charging them to be very good husbands of
both, and not to use either of them but upon urgent occasions.

This was a cheerful work, being the first measures used by me in view of
my deliverance for now twenty-seven years and some days. I gave them
provisions of bread, and of dried grapes, sufficient for themselves for
many days, and sufficient for their countrymen for about eight days
time; and wishing them a good voyage, I let them go, agreeing with them
about a signal they should hang out at their return, by which I should
know them again, when they came back, at a distance, before they came
on shore.

They went away with a fair gale on the day that the moon was at the
full; by my account in the month of October; but as for the exact
reckoning of days, after I had once lost it, I could never recover it
again; nor had I kept even the number of years so punctually, as to be
sure that I was right, though, as it proved when I afterwards examined
my account, I found I had kept a true reckoning of years.

It was no less than eight days I waited for them, when a strange and
unforeseen accident intervened, of which the like has not, perhaps, been
heard of in history. I was fast asleep in my hutch one morning, when my
man Friday came running in to me, and called aloud, "Master, master,
they are come, they are come."

I jumped up, and, regardless of danger, I went out as soon as I could
get my clothes on, through my little grove, which (by the way) was by
this time grown to be a very thick wood; I say, regardless of danger, I
went without my arms, which was not my custom to do; but I was
surprised, when, turning my eyes to the sea, I presently saw a boat at
about a league and a half's distance, standing in for the shore, with a
shoulder of mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind blowing pretty
fair to bring them in. Also I observed presently, that they did not come
from that side which the shore lay on, but from the southernmost end of
the island. Upon this I called Friday in, and bid him be close, for
these were not the people we looked for, and that we did not know yet
whether they were friends or enemies.

In the next place, I went in to fetch my perspective glass, to see what
I could make of them; and having taken the ladder out, I climbed up to
the top of the hill, as I used to do when I was apprehensive of any
thing, and to take my view the plainer without being discovered.

I had scarce set my foot on the hill, when my eye plainly discovered a
ship lying at an anchor, at about two leagues and a half's distance from
me, S.S.E. but not above a league and a half from the shore. By my
observation it appeared plainly to be an English ship, and the boat
appeared to be an English long-boat.

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

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

The present question abundantly confirms me in the justice of this
reasoning; for had I not been made cautious by this secret admonition,
come from whence it will, I had been undone inevitably, and in a far
worse condition than before, as you will see presently.

I had not kept myself long in this posture, but I saw the boat draw near
the shore, as if they looked for a creek to thrust in at for the
convenience of landing; however, as they did not come quite far enough,
they did not see the little inlet where I formerly landed my rafts, but
run their boat on shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from me,
which was very happy for me; for otherwise they would have landed just,
as I may say, at my door, and would have soon beaten me out of my
castle, and, perhaps, have plundered me of all I had.

When they were on shore, I was fully satisfied they were Englishmen, at
least most of them; one or two I thought were Dutch, but it did not
prove so. There were in all eleven men, whereof three of them I found
were unarmed, and (as I thought) bound; and when the first four or five
of them were jumped on shore, they took those three out of the boat as
prisoners: one of the three I could perceive using the most passionate
gestures of entreaty, affliction, and despair, even to a kind of
extravagance; the other two, I could perceive, lifted up their hands
sometimes, and appeared concerned indeed, but not to such a degree as
the first.

I was perfectly confounded at the sight, and knew not what the meaning
of it should be; Friday called out to me in English, as well as he
could, "O master! you see English mans eat prisoners as well as savage
mans."--"Why," said I, "Friday, do you think they are going to eat them
then"--"Yes," says Friday, "they will eat them."--"No, no," said I,
"Friday; I am afraid they will murder them indeed; but you may be sure
they will not eat them."

All this while I had no thought of what the matter really was, but stood
trembling with the horror of the sight, expecting every moment when the
three prisoners should be killed; nay, once I saw one of the villains
lift up his arm with a great cutlass (as the seamen call it) or sword,
to strike one of the poor men; and I expected to see him fall every
moment, at which all the blood in my body seemed to run chill in
my veins.

I wished heartily now for our Spaniard, and the savage that was gone
with him; or that I had any way to have come undiscovered within shot of
them, that I might have rescued the three men; for I saw no fire-arms
they had among them; but it fell out to my mind another way.

After I had observed the outrageous usage of the three men by the
insolent seamen, I observed the fellows ran scattering about the land,
as if they wanted to see the country. I observed also, that the three
other men had liberty to go where they pleased; but they sat down all
three upon the ground very pensive, and looked like men in despair.

This put me in mind of the finest time when I came on shore, and began
to look about me; how I gave myself over for lost, how wildly I looked
round me, what dreadful apprehensions I had, and how I lodged in the
tree all night for fear of being devoured by wild beasts.

As I knew nothing that night of the supply I was to receive by the
providential driving of the ship nearer the land, by the storms and
tides, by which I have since been so long nourished and supported; so
these three poor desolate men knew nothing how certain of deliverance
and supply they were, how near it was to them, and how effectually and
really they were in a condition of safety, at the same time they thought
themselves lost, and their case desperate.

So little do we see before us in the world, and so much reason have we
to depend cheerfully upon the great Maker of the world, that he does not
leave his creatures so absolutely destitute, but that in the worst
circumstances they have always something to be thankful for, and
sometimes are nearer their deliverance than they imagine; nay, are even
brought to their deliverance by the means by which they seem to be
brought to their destruction.

It was just at the top of high water when these people came on shore,
and while, partly they stood parleying with the prisoners they brought,
and partly while they rambled about to see what kind of place they were
in, they had carelessly staid till the tide was spent, and the water was
ebbed considerably away, leaving their boat aground.

They had left two men in the boat, who, as I found afterwards, having
drank a little too much brandy, fell asleep; however, one of them waking
sooner than the other, and finding the boat too fast aground for him to
stir it, hallooed for the rest who were straggling about, upon which
they all soon came to the boat but it was past all their strength to
launch her, the boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side being
a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand.

In this condition, like true seamen, who are, perhaps, the least of all
mankind given to fore-thought, they gave it over, and away they strolled
about the country again; and I heard one of them say aloud to another,
(calling them off from the boat) "Why, let her alone, Jack, can't ye?
she'll float next tide." By which I was fully confirmed in the main
inquiry, of what countrymen they were.

All this while I kept myself close, not once daring to stir out of my
castle, any further than to my place of observation, near the top of the
hill; and very glad I was, to think how well it was fortified. I know it
was no less then ten hours before the boat could be on float again, and
by that time it would be dark and I might be more at liberty to see
their motions, and to hear their discourse, if they had any.

In the meantime I fitted myself up for a battle, as before, though with
more caution, knowing I had to do with another kind of enemy than I had
at first: I ordered Friday also, whom I had made an excellent marksman
with his gun, to load himself with arms: I took myself two
fowling-pieces, and I gave him three muskets. My figure, indeed, was
very fierce; I had my formidable goat-skin coat on, with the great cap I
mentioned, a naked sword, two pistols in my belt, and a gun upon
each shoulder.

It was my design, as I said above, not to have made any attempt till it
was dark; but about two o'clock, being the heat of the day, I found that
in short they were all gone straggling into the woods, and, as I
thought, were all laid down to sleep. The three poor distressed men, too
anxious for their condition to get any sleep, were however set down
under the shelter of a great tree, at about a quarter of a mile from me,
and, as I thought, out of sight of any of the rest.

Upon this I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn something of
their condition. Immediately I marched in the figure above, my man
Friday at a good distance behind me, as formidable for his arms as I,
but not making quite so staring a spectre-like figure as I did.

I came as near them undiscovered as I could, and then before any of them
saw me, I called aloud to them in Spanish, What are ye gentlemen?

They started up at the noise, but were ten times more confounded when
they saw me, and the uncouth figure that I made. They made no answer at
all, but I thought I perceived them just going to fly from me, when I
spoke to them in English, gentlemen, said I, do not be surprized at me;
perhaps you may have a friend near you when you did not expect it. He
must be sent directly from Heaven then, said one of them very gravely to
me, and pulling off his hat at the same time to me, for our condition is
past the help of man. All help is from Heaven, sir, said I. But can you
put a stranger in the way how to help you, for you seem to me to be in
some great distress? I saw you when you landed, and when you seemed to
make applications to the brutes that came with you, I saw one of them
lift up his sword to kill you.

The poor man with tears running down his face, and trembling, looking
like one astonished, returned, am I talking to God, or man! Is it a real
man, or an angel! Be in no fear about that, sir, said I, if God had sent
an angel to relieve you, he would have come better cloathed, and armed
after another manner than you see me in; pray lay aside your fears, I am
a man, an Englishman, and disposed to assist you, you see; I have one
servant only; we have arms and ammunition; tell us freely, can we serve
you?--What is your case?

Our case, said he, sir, is too long to tell you, while our murtherers
are so near; but in short, sir, I was commander of that ship, my men
have mutinied against me; they have been hardly prevailed on not to
murther me, and at last have set me on shore in this desolate place,
with these two men with me; one my mate, the other a passenger, where we
expected to perish, believing the place to be uninhabited, and know not
yet what to think of it.

Where are those brutes, your enemies, said I, do you know where they are
gone? There they lye, sir, said he, pointing to a thicket of trees; my
heart trembles, for fear they have seen us, and heard you speak, if they
have, they will certainly murther us all.

Have they any fire-arms, said I, he answered they had only two pieces,
and one which they left in the boat. Well then, said I, leave the rest
to me; I see they are all asleep, it is an easy thing to kill them all;
but shall we rather take them prisoners? He told me there were two
desperate villains among them, that it was scarce safe to shew any mercy
to; but if they were secured, he believed all the rest would return to
their duty. I asked him, which they were? He told me he could not at
that distance describe them; but he would obey my orders in any thing I
would direct. Well, says I, let us retreat out of their view or hearing,
least they awake, and we will resolve further; so they willingly went
back with me, till the woods covered us from them.

Look you, sir, said I, if I venture upon your deliverance, are you
willing to make two conditions with me? he anticipated my proposals, by
telling me, that both he and the ship, if recovered, should be wholly
directed and commanded by me in every thing; and if the ship was not
recovered, he would live and dye with me in what part of the world
soever I would send him; and the two other men said the same.

Well, says I, my conditions are but two. 1. That while you stay on this
island with me, you will not pretend to any authority here; and if I put
arms into your hands, you will upon all occasions give them up to me,
and do no prejudice to me or mine, upon this island, and in the mean
time be governed by my orders.

"2. That if the ship is or may be recovered, you will carry me and my
man to England, passage free."

He gave me all the assurance that the invention and faith of a man could
devise, that he would comply with these most reasonable demands, and
besides would owe his life to me, and acknowledge it upon all occasions
as long as he lived.

"Well then," said I, "here are three muskets for you, with powder and
ball; tell me next what you think is proper to be done." He shewed all
the testimony of his gratitude that he was able; but offered to be
wholly guided by me: I told him, I thought it was hard venturing any
thing, but the best method I could think of, was to fire upon them at
once, as they lay; and if any were not killed at the first volley, and
offered to submit, we might save them, and so put it wholly upon God's
providence to direct the shot.

He said, very modestly, that he was loath to kill them, if he could help
it; but that those two were incorrigible villains, and had been the
authors of all the mutiny in the ship; and if they escaped, we should be
undone still; for they would go on board, and bring the whole ship's
company, and destroy us all. "Well then," said I, "necessity legitimates
my advice; for it is the only way to save our lives." However, seeing
him still cautious of shedding blood, I told him, they should go
themselves, and manage as they found convenient.

In the middle of this discourse we heard some of them awake, and soon
after we saw two of them on their feet. I asked him, if either of them
were the men who he had said were the heads of the mutiny? He said, No.
"Well then," said I, "you may let them escape, and Providence seems to
have wakened them on purpose to save themselves."--"Now," said I, "if
the rest escape you, it is your fault."

Animated with this, he took the musket I had given him in his hand, and
pistol in his belt, and his two comrades with him, with each man a piece
in his hand: the two men, who were with him, going first, made some
noise, at which one of the seamen, who was awake, turned about, and
seeing them coming, cried out to the rest; but it was too late then; for
the moment he cried out, they fired, I mean the two men, the captain
wisely reserving his own piece: they had so well aimed their shot at the
men they knew, that one of them was killed on the spot, and the other
very much wounded; but not being dead he started up on his feet, and
called eagerly for help to the other; but the captain, stepping to him,
told him it was too late to cry for help; he should call upon God to
forgive his villany; and with that word knocked him down with the stock
of his musket, so that he never spoke more: there were three more in the
company, and one of them was also slightly wounded. By this time I was
come; and when they saw their danger, and that it was in vain to resist,
they begged for mercy. The captain told them, he would spare their
lives, if they would give him any assurance of their abhorrence of the
treachery they had been guilty of, and would swear to be faithful to him
in recovering the ship, and afterwards in carrying her back to Jamaica,
from whence they came. They gave him all the protestations of their
sincerity that could be desired, and he was willing to believe them, and
spare their lives, which I was not against; only I obliged him to keep
them bound hand and foot while they were upon the island.

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

It now remained, that the captain and I should inquire into one
another's circumstances: I began first, and told him my whole history,
which he heard with an attention even to amazement, and particularly at
the wonderful manner of my being furnished with provisions and
ammunition; and indeed, as my story is a whole collection of wonders, it
affected him deeply; but when he reflected from thence upon himself, and
how I seemed to have been preserved there on purpose to save his life,
the tears ran down his face, and he could not speak a word more.

After this communication was at an end, I carried him and his two men
into my apartments, leading them in just where I came out, viz. at the
top of the house; where I refreshed them with such provisions as I had,
and shewed them all the contrivances I had made during my long, long
inhabiting that place.

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

I mused for some time upon what he had said, and found it was a very
rational conclusion, and that therefore something was to be resolved on
very speedily, as well to draw the men on board into some snare for
their surprise, as to prevent their landing upon us, and destroying us.
Upon this it presently occurred to me, that in a little while the ship's
crew, wondering what was become of their comrades, and of the boat,
would certainly come on shore in their other boat to see for them; and
that then perhaps they might come armed, and be too strong for us: this
he allowed was rational.

Upon this I told him, the first thing we had to do was to stave the
boat, which lay upon the beach, so that they might not carry her off;
and taking every thing out of her, leaving her so far useless as not to
be fit to swim; accordingly we went on board, took the arms which were
left on board out of her, and whatever else we found there, which was a
bottle of brandy, and another of rum, a few biscuit cakes, an horn of
powder, and a great lump of sugar in a piece of canvas; the sugar was
five or six pounds; all which was very welcome to me, especially the
brandy and sugar, of which I had had none left for many years.

When we had carried all these things on shore, (the oars, mast, sail,
and rudder of the boat were carried before as above,) we knocked a great
hole in her bottom, that if they had come strong enough to master us,
yet they could not carry off the boat.

Indeed it was not much in my thoughts, that we could be capable to
recover the ship; but my view was, that if they went away without the
boat, I did not much question to make her fit again to carry us away to
the Leeward Islands, and call upon our friends the Spaniards in my way,
for I had them still in my thoughts.

While we were thus preparing our designs, and had first by main strength
heaved the boat up upon the beach, so high that the tide would not float
her off at high water mark; and, besides, had broken a hole in her
bottom too big to be quickly stopped, and were sat down musing what we
should do; we heard the ship fire a gun, and saw her make a waft with
her ancient, as a signal for the boat to come on board; but no boat
stirred; and they fired several times, making other signals for
the boat.

At last, when all their signals and firings proved fruitless, and they
found the boat did not stir, we saw them (by the help of our glasses)
hoist another boat out, and row towards the shore; and we found, as they
approached, that there were no less than ten men in her, and that they
had fire-arms with them.

As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full view of
them as they came, and a plain sight of the men, even of their faces;
because the tide having set them a little to the east of the other boat,
they rowed up under shore, to come to the same place where the other had
landed, and where the boat lay.

By this means, I say, we had a full view of them, and the captain knew
the persons and characters of all the men in the boat; of whom he said
that there were three very honest fellows, who he was sure were led into
this conspiracy by the rest, being overpowered and frighted: but that
for the boatswain, who, it seems, was the chief officer among them, and
all the rest, they were as outrageous as any of the ship's crew; and
were, no doubt, made desperate in their new enterprise; and terribly
apprehensive he was, that they would be too powerful for us.

I smiled at him, and told him, that men in our circumstances were past
the operations of fear: that seeing almost every condition that could be
was better than that we were supposed to be in, we ought to expect that
the consequence, whether death or life, would be sure to be a
deliverance: I asked him, what he thought of the circumstances of my
life, and whether a deliverance were not worth venturing for? "And
where, Sir," said I, "is your belief of my being preserved here on
purpose to save your life, which elevated you a little while ago? For my
part," said I, "there seems to be but one thing amiss in all the
prospect of it."--"What's that?" says he. "Why," said I, "'tis that as
you say, there are three or four honest fellows among them, which should
be spared; had they been all of the wicked part of the crew, I should
have thought God's providence had singled them out to deliver them into
your hands; for, depend upon it, every man of them that comes ashore,
are our own, and shall die or live as they behave to us."

As I spoke this with a raised voice and cheerful countenance, I found it
greatly encouraged him; so we set vigorously to our business. We had,
upon the first appearance of the boat's coming from the ship, considered
of separating our prisoners, and had indeed secured them effectually.

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

The other prisoners had better usage; two of them were kept pinioned
indeed, because the captain was not free to trust them; but the other
two were taken into my service upon their captain's recommendation, and
upon their solemnly engaging to live and die with us; so, with them and
the three honest men, we were seven men well armed; and I made no doubt
we should be able to deal well enough with the ten that were a-coming,
considering that the captain had said, there were three or four honest
men among them also.

As soon as they got to the place where their other boat lay, they ran
their boat into the beach, and came all on shore, hauling the boat up
after them, which I was glad to see; for I was afraid they would rather
have left the boat at an anchor, some distance from the shore, with some
hands in her to guard her; and so we should not be able to seize
the boat.

Being on shore, the first thing they did, they ran all to the other
boat; and it was easy to see they were under a great surprise to find
her stripped as above, of all that was in her, and a great hole in
her bottom.

After they had mused awhile upon this, they set up two or three great
shouts, hallooing with all their might, to try if they could make their
companions hear; but all was to no purpose: then they came all close in
a ring, and fired a volley of their small arms, which indeed we heard,
and the echoes made the woods ring; but it was all one: those in the
cave, we were sure, could not hear; and those in our keeping, though
they heard it well enough, yet durst give no answer to them.

They were so astonished at the surprise of this, that, as they told us
afterwards, they resolved to go all on board again to their ship, and
let them know there, that the men were all murdered, and the long-boat
staved; accordingly, they immediately launched the boat again, and got
all of them on board.

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

They had not been long put off with the boat, but we perceived them all
coming on shore again; but with this new measure in their conduct, which
it seems they consulted together upon; viz. to leave three men in the
boat, and the rest to go on shore, and go up into the country to look
for their fellows.

This was a great disappointment to us; for now we were at a loss what to
do; for our seizing those seven men on shore would be no advantage to us
if we let the boat escape, because they would then row away to the ship;
and then the rest of them would be sure to weigh, and set sail, and so
our recovering the ship would be lost.

However, we had no remedy but to wait and see what the issue of things
might present. The seven men came on shore, and the three who remained
in the boat put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to
an anchor to wait for them; so that it was impossible for us to come at
them in the boat.

Those that came on shore kept close together, marching towards the top
of the little hill, under which my habitation lay; and we could see them
plainly, though they could not perceive us; we could have been very glad
they would have come nearer to us, so that we might have fired at them;
or that they would have gone farther off, that we might have
come abroad.

But when they were come to the brow of the hill, where they could see a
great way in the valley and woods, which lay towards the north-east
part, and where the island lay lowest, they shouted and hallooed till
they were weary; and not caring, it seems, to venture far from the
shore, nor far from one another, they sat down together under a tree, to
consider of it: had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the
other party of them had done, they had done the job for us; but they
were too full of apprehensions of danger, to venture to go to sleep,
though they could not tell what the danger was they had to fear neither.

The captain made a very just proposal to me upon this consultation of
theirs; viz. that perhaps they would all fire a volley again, to
endeavour to make their fellows hear, and that we should all sally upon
them, just at the juncture when their pieces were all discharged, and
they would certainly yield, and we should have them without bloodshed: I
liked the proposal, provided it was done while we heard, when they were
presently stopped by the creek, where the water being up, they could not
get over, and called for the boat to come up, and set them over, as
indeed I expected.

When they had set themselves over, I observed, that the boat being gone
up a good way into the creek, and as it were, in a harbour within the
land, they took one of the three men out of her to go along with them,
and left only two in the boat, having fastened her to the stump of a
little tree on the shore.

This was what I wished for, and immediately leaving Friday and the
captain's mate to their business, I took the rest with me, and crossing
the creek out of their sight, we surprized the two men before they were
aware; one of them lying on shore, and the other being in the boat; the
fellow on shore, was between sleeping and waking, and going to start up,
the captain who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knocked him down, and
then called out to him in the boat, to yield, or he was a dead man.

There needed very few arguments to persuade a single man to yield, when
he saw five men upon him, and his comrade knocked down; besides, this
was it seems one of the three who were not so hearty in the mutiny as
the rest of the crew, and therefore was easily persuaded, not only to
yield, but afterwards to join very sincere with us.

In the mean time, Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their
business with the rest, that they drew them by hollowing and answering,
from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not
only heartily tired them but left them, where they were very sure they
could not reach back to the boat, before it was dark; and indeed they
were heartily tired themselves also by the time they came back to us.

We had nothing now to do, but to watch for them, in the dark, and to
fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them.

It was several hours after Friday came back to me before they came back
to their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them, long before they
came quite up, calling to those behind to come along; and could also
hear them answer, and complain how lame and tired they were, and not
being able to come any faster, which was very welcome news to us.

At length they came up to the boat; but it is impossible to express
their confusion, when they found the boat fast aground in the creek, the
tide ebbed out, and their two men gone: we could hear them call to one
another in a most lamentable manner, telling one another they were
gotten into an enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in
it, and they should all be murdered; or else there were devils or
spirits in it, and they should be all carried away and devoured.

They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by their names a
great many times, but no answer: after some time, we could see them, by
the little light there was, run about wringing their hands, like men in
despair; and that sometimes they would go and sit down in the boat to
rest themselves, then come ashore, and walk about again, and so the same
thing over again.

My men would fain have had me given them leave to fall upon them at once
in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some advantage, so to
spare them, and kill as few of them as I could; and especially I was
unwilling to hazard the killing any of our men, knowing the other men
were very well armed: I resolved to wait to see if they did not
separate; and therefore, to make sure of them, I drew my ambuscade
nearer; and ordered Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands and
feet as close to the ground as they could, that they might not be
discovered, and get as near them as they could possibly, before they
offered to fire.

They had not been long in that posture, till the boatswain, who was the
principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shewn himself the most
dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking towards them with
two more of the crew; the captain was so eager, at having the principal
rogue so much in his power, that he could hardly have patience to let
him come so near as to be sure of him; for they only heard his tongue
before: but when they came nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up
on their feet, let fly at them.

The boatswain was killed upon the spot; the next man was shot in the
body, and fell just by him, though he did not die till an hour or two
after; and the third ran for it.

At the noise of the fire, I immediately advanced with my whole army,
which was now eight men; viz. myself generalissimo; Friday my
lieutenant-general; the captain and his two men, and the three prisoners
of war, whom he had trusted with arms.

We came upon them indeed in the dark, so that they could not see our
number; and I made the man they had left in the boat, who was now one of
us, to call them by name, to try if I could bring them to a parley, and
so might perhaps reduce them to terms; which fell out just as we
desired: for indeed it was easy to think, as their condition then was,
they would be very-willing to capitulate; so he calls out, as loud as he
could, to one of them, "Tom Smith, Tom Smith." Tom Smith answered
immediately, "Who's that? Robinson?" For it seems he knew his voice. The
other answered, "Ay, ay; for God's sake, Tom Smith, throw down your
arms, and yield, or you are all dead men this moment."

"Who must we yield to? where are they?" says Smith again. "Here they
are," says he; "here is our captain and fifty men with him, have been
hunting you this two hours; the boatswain is killed, Will Frye is
wounded, and I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield, your are
all lost."

"Will they give us quarter then?" says Tom Smith, "and we will
yield."--"I'll go and ask, if you promise to yield," says Robinson. So
he asked the captain, and the captain himself then calls out, "You
Smith, you know my voice, if you lay down your arms immediately, and
submit, you shall have your lives, all but Will Atkins."

Upon this Will Atkins cried out, "For God's sake, captain, give me
quarter: what have I done? they have been all as bad us I," (which by
the way was not true, either; for it seems this Will Atkins was the
first man that laid hold of the captain when they first mutinied, and
used him barbarously, in tying his hands, and giving him injurious
language:) however, the captain told him he must lay down his arms at
discretion, and trust to the governor's mercy, by which he meant me; for
they all called me governor.

In a word, they all laid down their arms, and begged their lives; and I
sent the man that had parleyed with them, and two more, who bound them
all; and then my great army of fifty men, which, particularly with those
three, were all but eight, came up and seized upon them all, and upon
their boat, only that I kept myself and one more out of sight, for
reasons of state.

Our next work was to repair the boat, and to think of seizing the ship;
and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley with them, he
expostulated with them upon the villany of their practices with him, and
at length, upon the farther wickedness of their design; and how
certainly it must bring them to misery and distress in the end, and
perhaps to the gallows.

They all appeared very penitent, and begged hard for their lives: as for
that, he told them they were none of his prisoners, but the commander's
of the island; that they thought they had set him on shore in a barren
uninhabited island; but it had pleased God so to direct them, that the
island was inhabited, and that the governor was an Englishman: that he
might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he had given them all
quarter, he supposed he would send them to England, to be dealt with
there as justice required, except Atkins, whom he was commanded by the
governor to advise to prepare for death; for that he would be hanged in
the morning.

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

It now occurred to me, that the time of our deliverance was come, and
that it would be a most easy thing to bring these fellows in to be
hearty in getting possession of the ship; so I retired in the dark from
them, that they might not see what kind of a governor they had, and
called the captain to me: when I called, as at a good distance, one of
the men was ordered to speak again, and say to the captain, "Captain,
the commander calls for you;" and presently the captain replied, "Tell
his excellency I am just a-coming." This more perfectly amused them; and
they all believed that the commander was just by with his fifty men.

Upon the captain's coming to me, I told him my project for seizing the
ship, which he liked wonderfully well, and resolved to put it in
execution the next morning.

But, in order to execute it with more art, and to be secure of success,
I told him we must divide the prisoners, and that he should go and take
Atkins, and two more of the worst of them, and send them pinioned to the
cave where the others lay: this was committed to Friday, and the two men
who came on shore with the captain.

They conveyed them to the cave, as to a prison; and it was indeed a
dismal place, especially to men in their condition.

The others I ordered to my bower, as I called it, of which I have given
a full description; and as it was fenced in, and they pinioned, the
place was secure enough, considering they were upon their behaviour.

To these in the morning I sent the captain, who was to enter into a
parley with them; in a word, to try them, and tell me, whether he
thought they might be trusted or no, to go on board, and surprise the
ship. He talked to them of the injury done him, of the condition they
were brought to; and that though the governor had given them quarter for
their lives, as to the present action, yet that if they were sent to
England, they would all be hanged in chains, to be sure; but that if
they would join in such an attempt as to recover the ship, he would have
the governor's engagement for their pardon.

Any one may guess how readily such a proposal would be accepted by men
in their condition: they fell down on their knees to the captain, and
promised with the deepest imprecations, that they would be faithful to
him to the last drop, and that they should owe their lives to him, and
would go with him all over the world; that they would own him for a
father to them as long as they lived.

"Well," says the captain, "I must go and tell the governor what you say,
and see what I can do to bring him to consent to it." So he brought me
an account of the temper he found them in; and that he verily believed
they would be faithful.

However, that we might be very secure, I told him he should go back
again, and choose out five of them, and tell them, that they should see
that they did not want men; but he would take out those five to be his
assistants, and that the governor would keep the other two, and the
three that were sent prisoners to the castle, (my cave) as hostages for
the fidelity of those five; and that if they proved unfaithful in the
execution, the five hostages should be hanged in chains alive upon
the shore.

This looked severe, and convinced them that the governor was in earnest;
however, they had no way left them but to accept it; and it was now the
business of the prisoners, as much as of the captain, to persuade the
other five to do their duty.

Our strength was now thus ordered for the expedition: 1. The captain,
his mate, and passenger. 2. Then the two prisoners of the first gang, to
whom, having their characters from the captain, I had given their
liberty, and trusted them with arms. 3. The other two whom I kept till
now in my bower pinioned; but, upon the captain's motion, had now
released. 4. These five released at last; so that they were twelve in
all, besides five we kept prisoners in the cave for hostages.

I asked the captain if he was willing to venture with these hands on
board the ship: for, as for me, and my man Friday, I did not think it
was proper for us to stir, having seven men left behind; and it was
employment enough for us to keep them asunder, and supply them
with victuals.

As to the five in the cave, I resolved to keep them fast; but Friday
went twice a day to them, to supply them with necessaries; and I made
the other two carry provisions to a certain distance, where Friday was
to take it.

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

The captain now had no difficulty before him, but to furnish his two
boats, stop the breach of one, and man them: he made his passenger
captain of one, with four other men; and himself, and his mate, and five
more, went in the other: and they contrived their business very well;
for they came up to the ship about midnight. As soon as they came
within call of the ship, he made Robinson hail them, and tell them he
had brought off the men and the boat, but that it was a long time before
they had found them, and the like; holding them in a chat, till they
came to the ship's side; when the captain and the mate, entering first
with their arms, immediately knocked down the second mate and carpenter
with the but end of their muskets; being very faithfully seconded by
their men, they seemed all the rest that were upon the main and quarter
decks, and began to fasten the hatches to keep them down who were below;
when the other boat and their men, entering at the fore chains, secured
the forecastle of the ship, and the skuttle which went down into the
cook-room, making three men they found there prisoners.

When this was done, and all safe upon the deck, the captain ordered the
mate with three men to break into the round-house, where the new rebel
captain lay, and, having taken the alarm, was gotten up, and with two
men and a boy had gotten fire arms in their hands; and when the mate
with a crow split upon the door, the new captain and his men fired
boldly among them, and wounded the mate with a musket-ball, which broke
his arm, and wounded two more of the men, but killed nobody.

The mate, calling for help, rushed, however, into the round-house,
wounded as he was, and with his pistol shot the new captain through the
head, the bullets entering at his mouth, and came out again behind one
of his ears; so that he never spoke a word; upon which the rest yielded,
and the ship was taken effectually without any more lives being lost.

As soon as the ship was thus secured, the captain ordered seven guns to
be fired, which was the signal agreed upon with me, to give me notice of
his success; which you may be sure I was very glad to hear, having sat
watching upon the shore for it, till near two of the clock in
the morning.

Having thus heard the signal plainly, I laid me down; and it having
been a day of great fatigue to me, I slept very sound, till I was
something surprised with the noise of a gun; and presently starting up,
I heard a man call me by the name of governor, governor; and presently I
knew the captain's voice; when climbing up to the top of the hill, there
he stood, and pointing to the ship, he embraced me in his arms: "My dear
friend and deliverer," says he, "there's your ship, for she is all
yours, and so are we, and all that belong to her." I cast my eyes to the
ship, and there she rode within a little more than half a mile of the
shore; for they had weighed her anchor as soon as they were masters of
her; and the weather being fair, had brought her to an anchor just
against the mouth of a little creek; and the tide being up, the captain
had brought the pinnace in near the place where I first landed my rafts,
and so landed just at my door.

I was, at first, ready to sink down with the surprise; for I saw my
deliverance indeed visibly put into my hands, all things easy, and a
large ship just ready to carry me away whither I pleased to go; at
first, for some time, I was not able to answer one word; but as he had
taken me in his arms, I held fast by him, or I should have fallen to
the ground.

He perceived the surprise, and immediately pulled a bottle out of his
pocket, and gave me a dram of cordial, which he had brought on purpose
for me: after I drank it, I sat down upon the ground, and though it
brought me to myself, yet it was a good while before I could speak a
word to him.

All this while the poor man was in as great an ecstasy as I, only not
under any surprise, as I was; and he said a thousand kind tender things
to me, to compose and bring me to myself; but such was the flood of joy
in my breast, that it put all my spirits into confusion; at last it
broke into tears, and in a little while after I recovered my speech.

Then I took my turn, and embraced him as my deliverer; and we rejoiced
together; I told him, I looked upon him as a man sent from Heaven to
deliver me, and that the whole transaction seemed to be a chain of
wonders; that such things as these were the testimonies we had of a
secret hand of Providence governing the world, and an evidence, that the
eyes of an infinite Power could search into the remotest corner of the
world, and send help to the miserable whenever he pleased.

I forgot not to lift up my heart in thankfulness to Heaven; and what
heart could forbear to bless Him, who had not only in a miraculous
manner provided for one in such a wilderness, and in such a desolate
condition, but from whom every deliverance must always be acknowledged
to proceed?

When we had talked awhile, the captain told me, he had brought me some
little refreshments, such as the ship afforded, and such as the wretches
who had been so long his masters, had not plundered him of. Upon this he
called aloud to the boat, and bids his men bring the things ashore that
were for the governor; and indeed it was a present, as if I had been
one, not that I was to be carried along with them, but as if I had been
to dwell upon the island still, and they were to go without me.

First, he had brought me a case of bottles full of excellent cordial
waters; six large bottles of Madeira wine, the bottles held two quarts
apiece; two pounds of excellent good tobacco, twelve good pieces of the
ship's beef, and six pieces of pork, with a bag of peas, and about a
hundred weight of biscuit.

He brought me also a box of sugar, a box of flour, a bag full of lemons,
and two bottles of lime-juice, and abundance of other things: but
besides these, and what was a thousand times more useful to me, he
brought me six clean new shirts, six very good neckcloths, two pair of
gloves, one pair of shoes, a hat, and one pair of stockings, and a very
good suit of clothes of his own, which had been worn but very little. In
a word, he clothed me from head to foot.

It was a very kind and agreeable present, as any one may imagine, to
one in my circumstances; but never was any thing in the world of that
kind so unpleasant, awkward, and uneasy, as it was to me to wear such
clothes at their first putting on.

After these ceremonies passed, and after all his things were brought
into my little apartment, we began to consult what was to be done with
the prisoners we had; for it was worth considering whether we might
venture to take them away with us or no, especially two of them, whom we
knew to be incorrigible and refractory to the last degree; and the
captain said, he knew they were such rogues, that there was no obliging
them; and if he did carry them away, it must he in irons, as
malefactors, to be delivered over to justice at the first English colony
he could come at; and I found that the captain himself was very
anxious about it.

Upon this, I told him, that, if he desired it, I durst undertake to
bring the two men he spoke of to make their own request that he should
leave them upon the island; "I should be very glad of that," says the
captain, "with all my heart."

"Well," said I, "I will send for them, and talk with them for you:" so I
caused Friday and the two hostages, for they were now discharged, their
comrades having performed their promise; I say, I caused them to go to
the cave, and bring up the five men, pinioned as they were, to the
bower, and keep them there till I came.

After some time, I came thither dressed in my new habit, and now I was
called governor again. Being all met, and the captain with me, I caused
the men to be brought before me, and I told them, I had had a full
account of their villanous behaviour to the captain, and how they had
run away with the ship, and were preparing to commit farther robberies;
but that Providence, had ensnared them in their own ways, and that they
were fallen into the pit which they had digged for others.

I let them know, that by my direction the ship had been seized, that
she lay now in the road, and they might see by and by, that their new
captain had received the reward of his villany; for that they might see
him hanging at the yard-arm: that as to them, I wanted to know what they
had to say, why I should not execute them as pirates taken in the fact,
as by my commission they could not doubt I had authority to do.

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

However, the captain seemed to make some difficulty of it, as if he
durst not leave them there: upon this I seemed to be a little angry with
the captain, and told him, that they were my prisoners, not his; and
that seeing I had offered them so much favour, I would be as good as my
word; and that if he did not think fit to consent to it, I would set
them at liberty as I found them; and if he did not like that, he might
take them again if he could catch them.

Upon this they appeared very thankful, and I accordingly set them at
liberty, and bade them retire into the woods, to the place whence they
came, and I would leave them some fire-arms, some ammunition, and some
directions how they should live very well, if they thought fit.

Upon this, I prepared to go on board the ship; but told the captain,
that I would stay that night to prepare my things; and desired him to go
on board in the meantime, and keep all right in the ship, and send the
boat on shore the next day for me; ordering him in the meantime to cause
the new captain who was killed, to be hanged at the yard-arm, that these
men might see him.

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

When they had all declared their willingness to stay, I then told them,
I would let them into the story of my living there, and put them into
the way of making it easy to them: accordingly I gave them the whole
history of the place, and of my coming to it: shewed them my
fortifications, the way I made my bread, planted my corn, cured my
grapes; and, in a word, all that was necessary to make them easy. I told
them the story of the sixteen Spaniards that were to be expected; for
whom I left a letter, and made them promise to treat them in common with

I left them my fire-arms; viz. five muskets, three fowling-pieces, and
three swords: I had about a barrel of powder left; for after the first
year or two I used but little, and wasted none. I gave them a
description of the way I managed the goats, and directions to milk and
fatten them, to make both butter and cheese.

In a word, I gave them every part of my own story; and I told them, I
would prevail with the captain to leave them two barrels of gunpowder
more, and some garden-seed, which I told them I would have been very
glad of; also I gave them the bag of peas which the captain had brought
me to eat, and bade them be sure to sow and increase them.

Having done all this, I left them the next day, and went on board the
ship: we prepared immediately to sail, but did not weigh that night: the
next morning early, two of the five men came swimming to the ship's
side, and making a most lamentable complaint of the other three, begged
to be taken into the ship for God's sake, for they should be murdered;
and begged the captain to take them on board though he hanged them

Upon this the captain pretended to have no power without me; but after
some difficulty, and after their solemn promises of amendment, they were
taken on board, and were some time after soundly whipped and pickled;
after which they proved very honest and quiet fellows.

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

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board for relics the
great goat-skin cap I had made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots; also
I forgot not to take the money I formerly mentioned, which had lain by
me so long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could
hardly pass for silver, till it had been a little rubbed and handled;
and also the money I found in the wreck of the Spanish ship.

And thus I left the island the nineteenth of December, as I found by the
ship's account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it
eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days: being delivered
from the second captivity the same day of the month that I first made
my escape in the barco-longo, from among the Moors of Sallee.

In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England the eleventh
of June, in the year 1687; having been thirty and five years absent.

When I came to England, I was a perfect stranger to all the world, as if
I had never been known there: my benefactor, and faithful steward, whom
I had left in trust with my money, was alive, but had had great
misfortunes in the world, was become a widow the second time, and very
low in the world: I made her easy as to what she owed me, assuring her I
would give her no trouble; but on the contrary, in gratitude to her
former care and faithfulness to me, I relieved her as my little stock
would afford, which at that time would indeed allow me to do but little
for her: but I assured her, I would never forget her former kindness to
me; nor did I forget her, when I had sufficient to help her; as shall be
observed in its place.

I went down afterwards into Yorkshire; but my father was dead, and my
mother and all the family extinct; except that I found two sisters, and
two of the children of one of my brothers: and as I had been long ago
given over for dead, there had been no provision made for me, so that,
in a word, I found nothing to relieve or assist me; and that little
money I had, would not do much for me as to settling in the world.

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

But after making several reflections upon the circumstances of my life,
and how little way this would go towards settling me in the world, I
resolved to go to Lisbon, and see if I might not come by some
information of the state of my plantation in the Brasils, and what was
become of my partner, who, I had reason to suppose, had some years now
given me over for dead.

With this view I took shipping for Lisbon, where I arrived in April
following; my man Friday accompanying me very honestly in all these
ramblings, and proving a most faithful servant upon all occasions.

When I came to Lisbon, I found out, by inquiry, and to my particular
satisfaction, my old friend the captain of the ship, who first took me
up at sea, off the shore of Africa: he was now grown old, and had left
off the sea, having put his son, who was far from a young man, into his
ship; and who still used the Brasil trade. The old man did not know me,
and, indeed, I hardly knew him; but I soon brought myself to his
remembrance, when I told him who I was.

After some passionate expressions of our old acquaintance, I inquired,
you may be sure, after my plantation and my partner; the old man told
me, he had not been in the Brasils for about nine years; but that he
could assure me, that when he came away, my partner was living; but the
trustees, whom I had joined with him, to take cognizance of my part,
were both dead; that, however, he believed that I would have a very good
account of the improvement of the plantation; for that, upon the general
belief of my being cast away and drowned, my trustees had given in the
account of the produce of my part of the plantation, to the procurator
fiscal; who had appropriated it, in case I never came to claim it, one
third to the king, and two thirds to the monastery of St. Augustine, to
be expended for the benefit of the poor, and for the conversion of the
Indians to the Catholic faith; but that if I appeared, or any one for
me, to claim the inheritance, it would be restored; only that the
improvement, or annual production, being distributed to charitable uses,
could not be restored; but he assured me, that the steward of the
king's revenue, (from lands) and the provedore, or steward of the
monastery, had taken great care all along, that the incumbent, that is
to say, my partner, gave every year a faithful account of the produce,
of which they received duly my moiety.

I asked him, if he knew to what height of improvement he had brought the
plantation; and whether he thought it might be worth looking after; or
whether, on my going thither, I should meet with no obstruction to my
possessing my just right in the moiety.

He told me, he could not tell exactly to what degree the plantation was
improved; but this he knew, that my partner was growing exceeding rich
upon the enjoying but one half of it; and that, to the best of his
remembrance, he had heard, that the king's third of my part, which was,
it seems, granted away to some other monastery, or religious house,
amounted to above two hundred moidores a year; that, as to my being
restored to a quiet possession of it, there was no question to be made
of that, my partner being alive to witness my title, and my name being
also enrolled in the register of the county. Also he told me, that the
survivors of my two trustees were very fair, honest people, and very
wealthy, and he believed I would not only have their assistance for
putting me in possession, but would find a very considerable sum of
money in their hands for my account, being the produce of the farm,
while their fathers held the trust, and before it was given up, as
above, which, as he remembered, was about twelve years.

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

He told me that was true; but that, as there was no proof of my being
dead, he could not act as executor, until some certain account should
come of my death; and that, besides, he was not willing to intermeddle
with a thing so remote: that it was true, he had registered my will, and
put in his claim; and could he have given any account of my being dead
or alive, he would have acted by procuration, and taken possession of
the _ingenio_, (so they called the sugarhouse) and had given his son,
who was now at the Brasils, order to do it.

"But," says the old man, "I have one piece of news to tell you, which
perhaps may not be so acceptable to you as the rest; and that is, that
believing you were lost, and all the world believing so also, your
partner and trustees did offer to account to me in your name, for six or
eight of the first years of profit, which I received; but there being at
that time," says he, "great disbursements for increasing the works,
building an _ingenio_ and buying slaves, it did not amount to near so
much as afterwards it produced: however," says the old man, "I shall
give you a true account of what I have received in all, and how I have
disposed of it."

After a few days farther conference with this ancient friend, be brought
me an account of the six first years income of my plantation, signed by
my partner, and the merchants' trustees, being always delivered in
goods; viz. tobacco in roll, and sugar in chests, besides rum, molasses,
&c. which is the consequence of a sugar-work; and I found by this
account, that every year the income considerably increased: but, as
above, the disbursement being large, the sum at first was small:
however, the old man let me see, that he was debtor to me four hundred
and seventy moidores of gold, besides sixty chests of sugar, and fifteen
double rolls of tobacco, which were lost in his ship, he having been
shipwrecked coming home to Lisbon, about eleven years after my leaving
the place.

The good man then began to complain of his misfortunes, and how he had
been obliged to make use of my money to recover his losses, and buy him
a share in a new ship; "however, my old friend," says he, "you shall
not want a supply in your necessity; and as soon as my son returns, you
shall be fully satisfied."

Upon this he pulls out an old pouch, and gives me two hundred Portugal
moidores in gold; and giving me the writings of his title to the ship
which his son was gone to the Brasils in, of which he was a quarter part
owner, and his son another, he puts them both in my hands for security
of the rest.

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

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

When this was past, the old man began to ask me if he should put me in a
method to make my claim to my plantation. I told him, I thought to go
over to it myself. He said, I might do so if I pleased; but that if I
did not, there were ways enough to secure my right, and immediately to
appropriate the profits to my use; and as there were ships in the river
of Lisbon, just ready to go away to Brasil, he made me enter my name in
a public register, with his affidavit, affirming upon oath that I was
alive, and that I was the same person who took up the land for the
planting the said plantation at first.

This being regularly attested by a notary, and the procuration affixed,
he directed me to send it with a letter of his writing, to a merchant of
his acquaintance at the place; and then proposed my staying with him
till an account came of the return.

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

First, There was the account current of the produce of my farm, or
plantation, from the year when their fathers had balanced with my old
Portugal captain, being for six years; the balance appeared to be 1171
moidores in my favour.

Secondly, There was the account of four years more while they kept the
effects in their hands, before the government claimed the
administration, as being the effects of a person not to be found, which
they call _civil-death_; and the balance of this, the value of
plantation increasing, amounted to crusadoes, which made 3241 moidores.

Thirdly, There was the prior of the Augustines account, who had received
the profits for above fourteen years; but not being able to account for
what was disposed to the hospital, very honestly declared he had 872
moidores not distributed, which he acknowledged to my account. As to the
king's part, that refunded nothing.

There was also a letter of my partner's, congratulating me very
affectionately upon my being alive; giving me an account how the estate
was improved, and what it produced a year, with a particular of the
number of squares or acres that it contained; how planted, how many
slaves there were upon it, and making two and twenty crosses for
blessings, told me he had said so many Ave Marias to thank the Blessed
Virgin that I was alive; inviting me very passionately to come over and
take possession of my own; and in the mean time to give him orders to
whom he should deliver my effects, if I did not come my self; concluding
with a hearty tender of his friendship, and that of his family, and sent
me, as a present, seven fine leopard's skins, which he had it seems
received from Africa, by some other ship which he had sent thither, and
who it seems had made a better voyage than I: he sent me also five
chests of excellent sweetmeats, and an hundred pieces of gold uncoined,
not quite so large as moidores.

By the same fleet, my two merchant trustees shipped me 1,200 chests of
sugar, 800 rolls of tobacco, and the rest of the whole Account in gold.

I might well say, now indeed, that the latter end of Job was better than
the beginning. It is impossible to express here the flutterings of my
very heart, when I looked over these letters, and especially when I
found all my wealth about me; for as the Brasil ships come all in
fleets, the same ships which brought my letters, brought my goods; and
the effects were safe in the river before the letters came to my hand.
In a word, I turned pale, and grew sick; and had not the old man run and
fetched me a cordial, I believe the sudden surprize of joy had overset
nature, and I had died upon the spot.

Nay after that, I continued very ill, and was so some hours, 'till a
physician being sent for, and something of the real cause of my illness
being known, he ordered me to be let blood; after which, I had relief,
and grew well: but I verily believe, if it had not been eased by a vent
given in that manner, to the spirits, I should have died.

I was now master, all on a sudden, of above 5000_l_. sterling in money,
and had an estate, as I might well call it, in the Brasils, of above a
thousand pounds a year, as sure as an estate of lands in England: and in
a word, I was in a condition which I scarce knew how to understand, or
how to compose my self, for the enjoyment of it.

The first thing I did, was to recompense my original benefactor, my good
old captain, who had been first charitable to me in my distress, kind to
me in my beginning, and honest to me at the end: I shewed him all that
was sent me, I told him, that next to the Providence of Heaven, which
disposes all things, it was owing to him; and that it now lay on me to
reward him, which I would do a hundred fold: so I first returned to him
the hundred moidores I had received of him, then I sent for a notary,
and caused him to draw up a general release or discharge for the 470
moidores, which he had acknowledged he owed me in the fullest and
firmest manner possible; after which, I caused a procuration to be
drawn, impowering him to be my receiver of the annual profits of my
plantation, and appointing my partner to account to him, and make the
returns by the usual fleets to him in my name; and a clause in the end,
being a grant of 100 moidores a year to him, during his life, out of the
effects, and 50 moidores a year to his son after him, for his life: and
thus I requited my old man.

I was now to consider which way to steer my course next, and what to do
with the estate that Providence had thus put into my hands; and indeed I
had more care upon my head now, than I had in my silent state of life in
the island, where I wanted nothing but what I had, and had nothing but
what I wanted: whereas I had now a great charge upon me, and my business
was how to secure it. I had ne'er a cave now to hide my money in, or a
place where it might lie without lock or key, 'till it grew mouldy and
tarnished before any body would meddle with it: on the contrary, I knew
not where to put it, or who to trust with it. My old patron, the
captain, indeed was honest, and that was the only refuge I had.

In the next place, my interest in the Brasils seemed to summon me
thither, but now I could not tell, how to think of going thither, 'till
I had settled my affairs, and left my effects in some safe hands behind
me. At first I thought of my old friend the widow, who I knew was
honest, and would be just to me; but then she was in years, and but
poor, and for ought I knew, might be in debt; so that in a word, I had
no way but to go back to England my self, and take my effects with me.

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

But among all my relations, or acquaintances, I could not yet pitch upon
one, to whom I durst commit the gross of my stock, that I might go away
to the Brasils, and leave things safe behind me; and this greatly
perplexed me.

I had once a mind to have gone to the Brasils, and have settled my self
there; for I was, as it were, naturalized to the place; but I had some
little scruple in my mind about religion, which insensibly drew me back,
of which I shall say more presently. However, it was not religion that
kept me from going thither for the present; and as I had made no scruple
of being openly of the religion of the country, all the while I was
among them, so neither did I yet; only that now and then having of late
thought more of it than formerly, when I began to think of living and
dying among them, I began to regret my having professed myself a Papist,
and thought it might not be the best religion to die in.

But, as I have said, this was not the main thing that kept me from going
to the Brasils, but that really I did not know with whom to leave my
effects behind me; so I resolved at last to go to England with them,
where if I arrived, I concluded I should make some acquaintance, or find
some relations, that would be faithful to me; and accordingly I prepared
to go for England with all my wealth.

In order to prepare things for my going home, I first (the Brasil fleet
being just going away) resolved to give answers suitable to the just and
faithful account of things I had from thence; and first to the prior of
St. Augustine I wrote a letter full of thanks for his just dealings, and
the offer of the eight hundred and seventy-two moidores, which was
undisposed of, which I desired might be given, five hundred to the
monastery, and three hundred and seventy-two to the poor, as the prior
should direct, desiring the good Padre's prayers for me, and the like.

I wrote next a letter of thanks to my two trustees, with all the
acknowledgment that so much justice and honesty called for; as for
sending them any present, they were far above having any occasion of it.

Lastly, I wrote to my partner, acknowledging his industry in the
improving the plantation, and his integrity in increasing the stock of
the works, giving him instructions for his future government of my part
according to the powers I had left with my old patron, to whom I desired
him to send whatever became due to me, till he should hear from me more
particularly; assuring him, that it was my intention, not only to come
to him, but to settle myself there for the remainder of my life. To this
I added a very handsome present of some Italian silks for his wife and
two daughters, for such the captain's son informed me he had; with two
pieces of fine English broad-cloth, the best I could get in Lisbon, five
pieces of black bays, and some Flanders lace of a good value.

Having thus settled my affairs, sold my cargo, and turned all my effects
into good bills of exchange, my next difficulty was, which way to go to
England. I had been accustomed enough to the sea, and yet I had a
strange aversion to go to England by sea at that time; and though I
could give no reason for it, yet the difficulty increased upon me so
much, that though I had once shipped my baggage in order to go, yet I
altered my mind, and that not once, but two or three times.

It is true, I had been very unfortunate by sea, and this might be one of
the reasons. But let no man slight the strong impulses of his own
thoughts in cases of such moment. Two of the ships which I had singled
out to go in, I mean more particularly singled out than any other, that
is to say, so as in one of them to put my things on board, and in the
other to have agreed with the captain; I say, two of these ships
miscarried, viz. one was taken by the Algerines, and the other was cast
away on the Start, near Torbay, and all the people drowned except three;

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