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

Part 6 out of 11

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so that in either of those vessels I had been made miserable, and in
which most, it was hard to say.

Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my old pilot, to whom I
communicated every thing, pressed me earnestly not to go to sea; but
either to go by land to the Groyne, and cross over the Bay of Biscay to
Rochelle, from whence it was but an easy and safe journey by land to
Paris, and so to Calais and Dover; or to go up to Madrid, and so all the
way by land through France.

In a word, I was so prepossessed against my going by sea at all, except
from Calais to Dover, that I resolved to travel all the way by land;
which, as I was not in haste, and did not value the charge, was by much
the pleasanter way; and to make it more so, my old captain brought an
English gentleman, the son of a merchant in Lisbon, who was willing to
travel with me; after which, we picked up two who were English, and
merchants also, and two young Portuguese gentlemen, the last going to
Paris only; so that we were in all six of us, and five servants, the two
merchants and the two Portuguese contenting themselves with one servant
between two, to save the charge; and as for me, I got an English sailor
to travel with me as a servant, besides my man Friday, who was too much
a stranger to be capable of supplying the place of a servant upon
the road.

In this manner I set out from Lisbon; and our company being all very
well mounted and armed, we made a little troop whereof they did me the
honour to call me captain, as well because I was the oldest man, as
because I had two servants, and indeed was the original of the
whole journey.

As I have troubled you with none of my sea journals, so shall I trouble
you with none of my land journals. But some adventures that happened to
us in this tedious and difficult journey, I must not omit.

When we came to Madrid, we, being all of us strangers to Spain, were
willing to stay some time to sec the court of Spain, and to see what was
worth observing; but it being the latter part of the summer, we hastened
away, and set out from Madrid about the middle of October. But when we
came to the edge of Navarre, we were alarmed at several towns on the
way, with an account that so much snow was fallen on the French side of
the mountains, that several travellers were obliged to come back to
Pampeluna, after having attempted, at an extreme hazard, to pass on.

When we came to Pampeluna itself, we found it so indeed; and to me that
had been always used to a hot climate, and indeed to countries where we
could scarce bear any clothes on, the cold was insufferable; nor,
indeed, was it more painful than it was surprising: to come but ten days
before out of the Old Castile, where the weather was not only warm, but
very hot, and immediately to feel a wind from the Pyrenees mountains, so
very keen, so severely cold, as to be intolerable, and to endanger
benumbing and perishing of our fingers and toes, was very strange.

Poor Friday was really frighted when he saw the mountains all covered
with snow, and felt cold weather, which he had never seen or felt before
in his life.

To mend the matter, after we came to Pampeluna, it continued snowing
with so much violence, and so long, that the people said, winter was
come before its time; and the roads, which were difficult before, were
now quite impassable: in a word, the snow lay in some places too thick
for us to travel; and being not hard frozen, as is the case in northern
countries, there was no going without being in danger of being buried
alive every step. We staid no less than twenty days at Pampeluna; when
(seeing the winter coming on, and no likelihood of its being better, for
it was the severest winter all over Europe that had been known in many
years) proposed that we should all go away to Fontarabia, and there take
shipping for Boardeaux, which was a very little voyage.

But while we were considering this, there came in four French gentlemen,
who, having been stopped on the French side of the passes, as we were on
the Spanish, had found out a guide, who traversing the country near the
head of Languedoc, had brought them over the mountains by such ways,
that they were not much incommoded with the snow; and where they met
with snow in any quantity, they said it was frozen hard enough to bear
them and their horses.

We sent for this guide, who told us, he would undertake to carry us the
same way, with no hazard from the snow, provided we were armed
sufficiently to protect us from wild beasts: for he said, upon these
great snows, it was frequent for some wolves to show themselves at the
foot of the mountains, being made ravenous for want of food, the ground
being covered with snow. We told him we were well enough prepared for
such creatures as they were, if he would ensure us from a kind of
two-legged wolves, which we were told we were in most danger from,
especially on the French side of the mountains.

He satisfied us there was no danger of that kind in the way that we were
to go: so we readily agreed to follow him; as did also twelve other
gentlemen, with their servants, some French, some Spanish, who, as I
said, had attempted to go, and were obliged to come back again.

Accordingly we all set out from Pampeluna, with our guide, on the
fifteenth of November; and indeed I was surprised, when, instead of
going forward, he came directly back with us, on the same road that we
came from Madrid, above twenty miles; when having passed two rivers, and
come into the plain country, we found ourselves in a warm climate again,
where the country was pleasant, and no snow to be seen; but on a sudden,
turning to the left, he approached the mountains another way; and though
it is true, the hills and the precipices looked dreadfully, yet he made
so many tours, such meanders, and led us by such winding ways, we
insensibly passed the height of the mountains, without being much
encumbered with the snow; and all on a sudden he shewed us the pleasant
fruitful provinces of Languedoc and Gascoigne, all green and
flourishing; though indeed they were at a great distance, and we had
some rough way to pass yet.

We were a little uneasy, however, when we found it snowed one whole day
and a night, so fast, that we could not travel; but he bid us be easy,
we should soon be past it all: we found, indeed, that we began to
descend every day, and to come more north than before; and so, depending
upon our guide, we went on.

It was about two hours before night, when our guide being something
before us, and not just in sight, out rushed three monstrous wolves, and
after them a bear, out of a hollow way, adjoining to a thick wood. Two
of the wolves flew upon the guide, and had he been half a mile before
us, he had been devoured indeed, before we could have helped him; one of
them fastened upon his horse, and the other attacked the man with that
violence, that he had not time, or not presence of mind enough, to draw
his pistol, but hallooed and cried out to us most lustily. My man Friday
being next to me, I bid him ride up, and see what was the matter. As
soon as Friday came in sight of the man, he hallooed, as loud as the
other, "O master' O master!" But, like a bold fellow, rode directly up
to the man, and with his pistol shot the wolf that attacked him in
the head.

It was happy for the poor man that it was my man Friday; for he, having
been used to that kind of creature in his country, had no fear upon him,
but went close up to him, and shot him as above; whereas any of us would
have fired at a farther distance, and have perhaps either missed the
wolf, or endangered shooting the man.

But it was enough to have terrified a bolder man than I, and indeed it
alarmed all our company, when, with the noise of Friday's pistol, we
heard on both sides the dismallest howlings of wolves, and the noise
redoubled by the echo of the mountains, that it was to us as if there
had been a prodigious multitude of them; and perhaps indeed there was
not such a few, as that we had no cause of apprehensions.

However, as Friday had killed this wolf, the other, that had fastened
upon the horse, left him immediately, and fled, having happily fastened
upon his head, where the bosses of the bridle had stuck in his teeth, so
that he had not done him much hurt; the man, indeed, was most hurt; for
the raging creature had bit him twice, once on the arm, and the other
time a little above his knee; and he was just as it were tumbling down
by the disorder of the horse, when Friday came up and shot the wolf.

It is easy to suppose, that at the noise of Friday's pistol we all
mended our pace, and rid up as fast as the way (which was very
difficult) would give us leave, to see what was the matter. As soon as
we came clear of the trees which blinded us before, we saw plainly what
had been the case, and how Friday had disengaged the poor guide; though
we did not presently discern wind kind of creature it was he had killed.

But never was a fight managed so hardily, and in such a surprising
manner, as that which followed between Friday and the bear, which gave
us all (though at first we were surprised and afraid for him) the
greatest diversion imaginable. As the bear is a heavy, clumsy creature,
and does not gallop as the wolf does, which is swift and light; so he
has two particular qualities, which generally are the rule of his
actions: first, as to men, who are not his proper prey, I say not his
proper prey, because though I can't say what excessive hunger might do,
which was now their case, the ground being all covered with snow; yet as
to men, he does not usually attempt them, unless they first attack him;
on the contrary, if you meet him in the woods, if you don't meddle with
him, he won't meddle with you; yet then you must take care to be very
civil to him, and give him the road; for he is a very nice gentleman, he
won't go a step out of the way for a prince; nay, if you are really
afraid, your best way is to look another way, and keep going on; for
sometimes, if you stop, and stand still, and look steadfastly at him, he
takes it for an affront; and if you throw or toss any thing at him, and
it hits him, though it were but a bit of stick as big as your finger, he
takes it for an affront, and sets all other business aside to pursue his
revenge; for he will have satisfaction in point of honour, and this is
his first quality; the next is, that if he be once affronted, he will
never leave you, night or day, till he has his revenge, but follow at a
good round rate till he overtakes you.

My man Friday had delivered our guide, and when we came up to him, he
was helping him off from his horse; for the man was both hurt and
frighted, and indeed the last more than the first; when, on a sudden, we
espied the bear come out of the wood, and a very monstrous one it was,
the biggest by far that ever I saw: we were all a little surprised when
we saw him; but when Friday saw him, it was easy to see joy and courage
in the fellow's countenance: "O! O! O!" says Friday, three times,
pointing to him, "O master! you give me te leave, me shakee te hand with
him, me makee you good laugh."

I was surprised to see the fellow so pleased: "You fool you," said I,
"he will eat you up."--"Eatee me up! eatee me up!" says Friday, twice
over again; "me eatee him up; me make you good laugh; you all stay here,
me shew you good laugh." So down he sits and gets his boots off in a
moment, and put on a pair of pumps, (as we call the flat shoes they
wear) and which he had in his pocket, and gives my other servant his
horse, and with his gun away he flew, swift like the wind.

The bear was walking softly on, and offered to meddle with nobody, till
Friday coming pretty near, calls to him, as if the bear could understand
him: "Hark ye, hark ye," says Friday, "me speakee wit you," We followed
at a distance; for now being come down to the Gascoigne side of the
mountains, we were entered a vast great forest, where the country was
plain, and pretty open, though many trees in it scattered here
and there.

Friday, who had, as we say, the heels of the bear, came up with him
quickly, and takes up a great stone, and throws at him, and hit him just
on the head; but did him no more harm than if he had thrown it against a
wall; but it answered Friday's end; for the rogue was so void of fear,
that he did it purely to make the bear follow him, and shew us some
laugh, as he called it.

As soon as the bear felt the stone, and saw him, he turns about, and
comes after him, taking devilish long strides, and strolling along at a
strange rate, so as he would put a horse to a middling gallop. Away runs
Friday, and takes his course, as if he ran towards us for help; so we
all resolved to fire at once upon the bear, and deliver my man; though I
was angry at him heartily for bringing the bear back upon us, when he
was going about his own business another way; and especially I was angry
that he had turned the bear upon us, and then run away; and I called
out, "You dog," said I, "is this your making us laugh? Come away, and
take your horse, that we may shoot the creature." He hears me, and cries
out, "No shoot, no shoot, stand still, you get much laugh;" and as the
nimble creature ran two feet for the beast's one, he turned on a sudden,
on one side of us, and seeing a great oak tree, fit for his purpose, he
beckoned us to follow, and doubling his pace, he gets nimbly up the
tree, laying his gun down upon the ground, at about five or six yards
from the bottom of the tree.

The bear soon came to the tree, and we followed at a distance. The first
thing he did, he stopped at the gun, smelt to it, but let it lie, and up
he scrambles into the tree, climbing like a cat, though so monstrous
heavy. I was amazed at the folly, as I thought it, of my man, and could
not for my life see any thing to laugh at yet, till seeing the bear get
up the tree, we all rode nearer to him.

When we came to the tree, there was Friday got out to the small of a
large limb of the tree, and the bear got about half way to him. As soon
as the bear got out to that part where the limb of the tree was weaker,
"Ha," says he to us, "now you see me teachee the bear dance;" so he
falls a-jumping, and shaking the bough, at which the bear began to
totter, but stood still, and began to look behind him, to see how he
should get back; then indeed we did laugh heartily. But Friday had not
done with him by a great deal: when he sees him stand still, he calls
out to him again, as if he had supposed the bear could speak English,
"What, you come no farther? Pray you come farther." So he left jumping
and shaking the bough; and the bear, just as if he understood what he
said, did come a little farther; then he fell a-jumping again, and the
bear stopped again.

We thought now was a good time to knock him on the head, and called to
Friday to stand still, and we would shoot the bear; but he cried out
earnestly, "O pray! O pray! no shoot, me shoot by and then;" he would
have said by and by. However, to shorten the story, Friday danced so
much, and the bear stood so ticklish, that we had laughing enough
indeed, but still could not imagine what the fellow would do; for first
we thought he depended upon shaking the bear off; and we found the bear
was too cunning for that too; for he would not get out far enough to be
thrown down, but clings fast with his great broad claws and feet, so
that we could not imagine what would be the end of it, and where the
jest would be at last.

But Friday put us out of doubt quickly; for seeing the bear cling fast
to the bough, and that he would not be persuaded to come any farther;
"Well, well," said Friday, "you no come farther, me go, me go; you no
come to me, me come to you;" and upon this he goes out to the smallest
end of the bough, where it would bend with his weight, and gently lets
himself down by it, sliding down the bough, till he came near enough to
jump down on his feet; and away he ran to his gun, takes it up, and
stands still.

"Well," said I to him, "Friday, what will you do now? Why don't you
shoot him?"--"No shoot," says Friday, "no yet; me shoot now me no kill;
me stay, give you one more laugh;" and indeed so he did, as you will see
presently; for when the bear saw his enemy gone, he comes back from the
bough where he stood, but did it mighty leisurely, looking behind him
every step, and coming backward till he got into the body of the tree;
then with the same hinder end foremost, he came down the tree; grasping
it with his claws, and moving one foot at a time, very leisurely. At
this juncture, and just before he could set his hind feet upon the
ground, Friday stepped close to him, clapped the muzzle of his piece
into his ear, and shot him as dead as a stone.

Then the rogue turned about to see if we did not laugh; and when he saw
we were pleased by our looks, he falls a-laughing himself very loud; "So
we kill bear in my country," says Friday. "So you kill them?" said I;
"why, you have no guns."--"No," says he, "no guns, but shoot great much
long arrow."

This was, indeed, a good diversion to us; but we were still in a wild
place, and our guide very much hurt, and what to do we hardly knew: the
howling of wolves ran much in my head; and indeed except the noise I
once heard on the shore of Africa, of which I have said something
already, I never heard any thing that filled me with so much horror.

These things, and the approach of night, called us off, or else, as
Friday would have had us, we should certainly have taken the skin of
this monstrous creature off, which was worth saving; but we had three
leagues to go, and our guide hastened us; so we left him, and went
forward on our journey.

The ground was still covered with snow, though not so deep and dangerous
as on the mountains; and the ravenous creatures, as we heard afterwards,
were come down into the forest and plain country, pressed by hunger, to
seek for food, and had done a great deal of mischief in the villages,
where they surprised the country-people, killed a great many of their
sheep and horses, and some people too.

We had one dangerous place to pass, of which our guide told us, if there
were any more wolves in the country, we should find them there; and this
was a small plain, surrounded with woods on every side, and a long
narrow defile or lane, which we were to pass to get through the wood,
and then we should come to the village where we were to lodge.

It was within half an hour of sunset when we entered the first wood; and
a little after sunset, when we came into the plain. We met with nothing
in the first wood, except that in a little plain within the wood, which
was not above two furlongs over, we saw five great wolves cross the
road, full speed one after another, as if they had been in chase of some
prey, and had it in view: they took no notice of us, and were gone and
out of sight in a few moments.

Upon this our guide, who, by the way, was a wretched faint-hearted
fellow, bade us keep in a ready posture; for he believed there were more
wolves a-coming.

We kept our arms ready, and our eyes about us; but we saw no more wolves
till we came through that wood, which was near half a league, and
entered the plain: as soon as we came into the plain, we had occasion
enough to look about us. The first object we met with was a dead horse,
that is to say, a poor horse which the wolves had killed, and at least a
dozen of them at work; we could not say eating of him, but picking of
his bones rather; for they had eaten up all the flesh before.

We did not think fit to disturb them at their feast, neither did they
take much notice of us: Friday would have let fly at them, but I would
not suffer him by any means; for I found we were like to have more
business upon our hands than we were aware of. We were not half gone
over the plain, but we began to hear the wolves howl in the woods, on
our left, in a frightful manner; and presently after we saw about a
hundred coming on directly towards us, all in a body, and most of them
in a line, as regularly as an army drawn up by experienced officers. I
scarce knew in what manner to receive them; but found to draw ourselves
in a close line was the only way; so we formed in a moment; but, that we
might not have too much interval, I ordered, that only every other man
should fire; and that the others, who had not fired, should stand ready
to give them a second volley immediately, if they continued to advance
upon us; and that then those who had fired at first, should not pretend
to load their fusils again, but stand ready, with every one a pistol,
for we were all armed with a fusil and a pair of pistols each man; so we
were, by this method, able to fire six vollies, half of us at a time;
however, at present we had no necessity; for, upon firing the first
volley, the enemy made a full stop, being terrified, as well with the
noise as with the fire; four of them being shot in the head, dropped;
several others were wounded, and went bleeding off, as we could see by
the snow. I found they stopped, but did not immediately retreat;
whereupon, remembering that I had been told, that the fiercest creatures
were terrified at the voice of a man, I caused all our company to halloo
as loud as we could, and I found the notion not altogether mistaken; for
upon our shout, they began to retire, and turn about; then I ordered a
second volley to be fired in their rear, which put them to the gallop,
and away they went to the woods.

This gave us leisure to charge our pieces again, and that we might lose
no time, we kept doing; but we had but little more than loaded our
fusils, and put ourselves into a readiness, when we heard a terrible
noise in the same wood on our left; only that it was farther onward the
same way we were to go.

The night was coming on, and the night began to be dusky, which made it
the worse on our side; but, the noise increasing, we could easily
perceive that it was the howling and yelling of those hellish creatures;
and, on a sudden, we perceived two or three troops of wolves on our
left, one behind us, and one on our front, so that we seemed to be
surrounded with them; however, as they did not fall upon us, we kept our
way forward, as fast as we could make our horses go, which, the way
being very rough, was only a good large trot; and in this manner we only
came in view of the entrance of the wood through which we were to pass,
at the farther side of the plain; but we were greatly surprised, when,
coming near the lane, or pass, we saw a confused number of wolves
standing just at the entrance.

On a sudden, at another opening of the wood, we heard the noise of a
gun; and, looking that way, out rushed a horse, with a saddle and a
bridle on him, flying like the wind, and sixteen or seventeen wolves
after him full speed: indeed the horse had the heels of them; but as we
supposed that he could not hold it at that rate, we doubted not but they
would get up with him at last; and no question but they did.

Here we had a most horrible sight; for, riding up to the entrance where
the horse came out, we found the carcass of another horse, and of two
men devoured by these ravenous creatures, and of one the man was no
doubt the same whom we heard fire a gun, for there lay a gun just by him
fired off; but as to the man, his head, and the upper part of his body,
were eaten up.

This filled us with horror, and we knew not what course to take; but the
creatures resolved us soon, for they gathered about us presently, in
hopes of prey; and I verily believe there were three hundred of them. It
happened very much to our advantage, that at the entrance into the wood,
but a little way from it, there by some large timber trees, which had
been cut down the summer before, and I suppose lay there for carriage: I
drew my little troop in among these trees, and placing ourselves in a
line behind one long tree, I advised them all to alight, and keeping
that tree before us for a breastwork, to stand in a triangle, or three
fronts, enclosing our horses in the centre.

We did so, and it was well we did; for never was a more furious charge
than the creatures made upon us in this place; they came on us with a
growling kind of a noise, and mounted the piece of timber (which, as I
said, was our breastwork,) as if they were only rushing upon their prey;
and this fury of theirs, it seems, was principally occasioned by their
seeing our horses behind us, which was the prey they aimed at. I ordered
our men to fire as before, every man; and they took their aim so sure,
that indeed they killed several of the wolves at the first volley; but
there was a necessity to keep a continual firing, for they came on like
devils, those behind pushing on those before.

When we had fired our second volley of fusils, we thought they stopped a
little, and I hoped they would have gone off, but it was but a moment,
for others came forward again; so we fired our vollies of pistols; and I
believe in these four firings we killed seventeen or eighteen of them,
and lamed twice as many; yet they came on again.

I was loath to spend our last shot too hastily; so I called my servant,
not my man Friday, for he was better employed; for, with the greatest
dexterity imaginable, he charged my fusil and his own, while we were
engaged; but, as I said, I called my other man; and giving him a horn of
powder, I bade him lay a train all along the piece of timber, and let it
be a large train; he did so, and had but time to get away, when the
wolves came up to it, and some were got up upon it; when I, snapping an
uncharged pistol close to the powder, set it on fire; and those that
were upon the timber were scorched with it, and six or seven of them
fell, or rather jumped in among us, with the force and fright of the
fire; we dispatched these in an instant, and the rest were so frighted
with the light, which the night, for now it was very near dark, made
more terrible, that they drew back a little.

Upon which I ordered our last pistols to be fired off in one volley, and
after that we gave a shout; upon this the wolves turned tail, and we
sallied immediately upon near twenty lame ones, which we found
struggling on the ground, and fell a-cutting them with our swords, which
answered our expectation; for the crying and howling they made were
better understood by their fellows; so that they fled and left us.

We had, first and last, killed about three score of them; and had it
been daylight, we had killed many more. The field of battle being thus
cleared, we made forward again; for we had still near a league to go. We
heard the ravenous creatures howl and yell in the woods as we went,
several times; and sometimes we fancied we saw some of them, but the
snow dazzling our eyes, we were not certain; so in about an hour more we
came to the town, where we were to lodge, which we found in a terrible
fright, and all in arms; for it seems, that, the night before, the
wolves and some bears had broken into that village, and put them in a
terrible fright; and they were obliged to keep guard night and day, but
especially in the night, to preserve their cattle, and indeed
their people.

The next morning our guide was so ill, and his limbs so swelled with the
rankling of his two wounds, that he could go no farther; so we were
obliged to take a new guide there, and go to Tholouse, where we found a
warm climate, a fruitful pleasant country, and no snow, no wolves, or
any thing like them; but when we told our story at Tholouse, they told
us it was nothing but what was ordinary in the great forest at the foot
of the mountains, especially when the snow lay on the ground; but they
inquired much what kind of a guide we had gotten, that would venture to
bring us that way in such a severe season; and told us, it was very much
we were not all devoured. When we told them how we placed ourselves, and
the horses in the middle, they blamed us exceedingly, and told us it was
fifty to one but we had been all destroyed; for it was the sight of the
horses that made the wolves so furious, seeing their prey; and that at
other times they are really afraid of a gun; but they being excessive
hungry, and raging on that account, the eagerness to come at the horses
had made them senseless of danger; and that if we had not by the
continued fire, and at last by the stratagem of the train of powder,
mastered them, it had been great odds but that we had been torn to
pieces; whereas, had we been content to have sat still on horseback, and
fired as horsemen, they would not have taken the horses so much for
their own, when men were on their backs, as otherwise; and withal they
told us, that at last, if we had stood all together, and left our
horses, they would have been so eager to have devoured them, that we
might have come off safe, especially having our fire-arms in our hands,
and being so many in number.

For my part, I was never so sensible of danger in my life; for seeing
above three hundred devils come roaring and open-mouthed to devour us,
and having nothing to shelter us, or retreat to, I gave myself over for
lost; and as it was, I believe, I shall never care to cross those
mountains again; I think I would much rather go a thousand leagues by
sea, though I were sure to meet with a storm once a week.

I have nothing uncommon to take notice of in my passage through France;
nothing but what other travellers have given an account of, with much
more advantage than I can. I travelled from Tholouse to Paris, and
without any considerable stay came to Calais, and landed safe at Dover,
the fourteenth of January, after having had a severe cold season to
travel in.

I was now come to the centre of my travels, and had in a little time all
my new-discovered estate safe about me, the bills of exchange, which I
brought with me, having been very currently paid.

My principal guide and privy-counsellor was my good ancient widow, who,
in gratitude for the money I had sent her, thought no pains too much, or
care too great, to employ for me; and I trusted her so entirely with
every thing, that I was perfectly easy as to the security of my effects;
and indeed I was very happy from my beginning, and now to the end, in
the unspotted integrity of this good gentlewoman.

And now I began to think of leaving my effects with this woman, and
setting out for Lisbon, and so to the Brasils. But now another scruple
came in the way, and that was religion; for as I had entertained some
doubts about the Roman religion, even while I was abroad, especially in
my state of solitude; so I knew there was no going to the Brasils for
me, much less going to settle there, unless I resolved to embrace the
Roman Catholic religion, without any reserve; except on the other hand I
resolved to be a sacrifice to my principles, be a martyr for religion,
and die in the Inquisition: so I resolved to stay at home, and, if I
could find means for it, to dispose of my plantation.

To this purpose I wrote to my old friend at Lisbon, who in return gave
me notice, that he could easily dispose of it there: but that if I
thought fit to give him leave to offer it in my name to the two
merchants, the survivors of my trustees, who lived in the Brasils, who
must fully understand the value of it, who lived just upon the spot, and
who I knew to be very rich, so that he believed they would be fond of
buying it; he did not doubt, but I should make 4 or 5000 pieces of eight
the more of it.

Accordingly I agreed, gave him orders to offer it to them, and he did
so; and in about eight months more, the ship being then returned, he
sent me an account, that they had accepted the offer, and had remitted
33,000 pieces of eight to a correspondent of theirs at Lisbon, to
pay for it.

In return, I signed the instrument of sale in the form which they sent
from Lisbon, and sent it to my old man, who sent me the bills of
exchange for 32,800 pieces of eight for the estate; reserving the
payment of 100 moidores a year, to him (the old man) during his life,
and 50 moidores afterwards to his son for his life, which I had promised
them; and which the plantation was to make good as a rent charge. And
thus I have given the first part of a life of fortune and adventure, a
life of Providence's chequer-work, and of a variety which the world will
seldom be able to shew the like of: beginning foolishly, but closing
much more happily than any part of it ever gave me leave to much as
to hope for.

Any one would think, that in this state of complicated good fortune, I
was past running any more hazards, and so indeed I had been, if other
circumstances had concurred: but I was inured to a wandering life, had
no family, nor many relations; nor, however rich, had I contracted much
acquaintance; and though I had sold my estate in the Brasils, yet I
could not keep that country out of my head, and had a great mind to be
upon the wing again; especially I could not resist the strong
inclination I had to see my island, and to know if the poor Spaniards
were in being there; and how the rogues I left there had used them.

My true friend the widow earnestly dissuaded me from it, and so far
prevailed with me, that almost for seven years she prevented my running
abroad; during which time I took my two nephews, the children of one of
my brothers, into my care: the eldest having something of his own, I
bred up as a gentleman and gave him a settlement of some addition to his
estate, after my decease; the other I put out to a captain of a ship;
and after five years, finding him a sensible, bold, enterprising young
fellow, I put him into a good ship, and sent him to sea: and this young
fellow afterwards drew me in, as old as I was, to farther
adventures myself.

In the meantime, I in part settled myself here; for, first of all, I
married, and that not either to my disadvantage or dissatisfaction; and
had three children, two sons and one daughter: but my wife dying, and my
nephew coming home with good success from a voyage to Spain, my
inclination to go abroad, and his importunity, prevailed, and engaged me
to go in his ship as a private trader to the East Indies. This in the
year 1694.

In this voyage I visited my new colony in the island, saw my successors
the Spaniards, had the whole story of their lives, and of the villains I
left there; how at first they insulted the poor Spaniards, how they
afterwards agreed, disagreed, united, separated, and how at last the
Spaniards were obliged to use violence with them; how they were
subjected to the Spaniards; how honestly the Spaniards used them; an
history, if it were entered into, as full of variety and wonderful
accidents as my own part: particularly also as to their battles with the
Caribbeans, who landed several times upon the island, and as to the
improvement they made upon the island itself; and how five of them made
an attempt upon the main land, and brought away eleven men and five
women prisoners; by which, at my coming, I found about twenty young
children on the island.

Here I stayed about twenty days; left them supplies of all necessary
things, and particularly of arms, powder, shot, clothes, tools, and two
workmen, which I brought from England with me; viz. a carpenter and
a smith.

Besides this, I shared the lands into parts with them, reserved to
myself the property of the whole, but gave them such parts respectively,
as they agreed on; and, having settled all things with them, and engaged
them not to leave the place, I left them there.

From thence I touched at the Brasils, from whence I sent a bark, which I
bought there, with more people to the island; and in it, besides other
supplies, I sent seven women, being such as I found proper for service,
or for wives to such as would take them. As for the Englishmen, I
promised them to send them some women from England, with a good cargo of
necessaries, if they would apply themselves to planting; which I
afterwards could not perform: the fellows proved very honest and
diligent, after they were mastered, and had their properties set apart
for them, I sent them also from the Brasils five cows, three of them
being big with calf, some sheep, and some hogs, which, when I came
again, were considerably increased.

But all these things, with an account how three hundred Caribbees came
and invaded them, and ruined their plantations, and how they fought with
that whole number twice, and were at first defeated and some of them
killed; but at last a storm destroying their enemies' canoes, they
famished or destroyed almost all the rest, and renewed and recovered the
possession of their plantation, and still lived upon the island:--

All these things, with some very surprising incidents in some new
adventures of my own, for ten years more I may, perhaps, give a further
account of hereafter.

* * * * *

That homely proverb used on so many occasions in England, viz. "That
what is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh," was never more
verified than in the story of my Life. Any one would think, that after
thirty-five years affliction, and a variety of unhappy circumstances,
which few men, if any, ever went through before, and after near seven
years of peace and enjoyment in the fulness of all things; grown old,
and when, if ever, it might be allowed me to have had experience of
every state of middle life, and to know which was most adapted to make a
man completely happy; I say, after all this, any one would have thought
that the native propensity to rambling, which I gave an account of in my
first setting out into the world to have been so predominant in my
thoughts, should be worn out, the volatile part be fully evacuated, or
at least condensed, and I might at sixty-one years of age have been a
little inclined to stay at home, and have done venturing life and
fortune any more.

Nay farther, the common motive of foreign adventures was taken away in
me; for I had no fortune to make, I had nothing to seek: if I had gained
ten thousand pounds, I had been no richer; for I had already sufficient
for me, and for those I had to leave it to, and that I had was visibly
increasing; for having no great family, I could not spend the income of
what I had, unless I would set up for an expensive way of living, such
as a great family, servants, equipage, gaiety, and the like, which were
things I had no notion of, or inclination to; so that I had nothing
indeed to do, but to sit still, and fully enjoy what I had got, and see
it increase daily upon my hands.

Yet all these things, had no effect upon me, or at least not enough to
resist the strong inclination I had to go abroad again, which hung about
me like a chronical distemper; particularly the desire of seeing my new
plantation in the island, and the colony I left there, ran in my head
continually. I dreamed of it all night, and my imagination ran upon it
all day; it was uppermost in all my thoughts, and my fancy worked so
steadily and strongly upon it, that I talked of it in my sleep; in
short, nothing could remove it out of my mind; it even broke so
violently into all my discourses, that it made my conversation tiresome;
for I could talk of nothing else, all my discourse ran into it, even to
impertinence, and I saw it myself.

I have often heard persons of good judgment say, that all the stir
people make in the world about ghosts and apparitions, is owing to the
strength of imagination, and the powerful operation of fancy in their
minds; that there is no such thing as a spirit appearing, or a ghost
walking, and the like; that people's poring affectionately upon the past
conversation of their deceased friends so realizes it to them, that they
are capable of fancying upon some extraordinary circumstances that they
see them, talk to them, and are answered by them, when, in truth, there
is nothing but shadow and vapour in the thing; and they really know
nothing of the matter.

For my part, I know not to this hour whether there are any such things
as real apparitions, spectres, or walking of people after they are dead,
or whether there is any thing in the stories they tell us of that kind,
more than the product of vapours, sick minds, and wandering fancies. But
this I know, that my imagination worked up to such a height, and brought
me into such excess of vapours, or what else I may call it, that I
actually supposed myself oftentimes upon the spot, at my old castle
behind the trees, saw my old Spaniard, Friday's father, and the
reprobate sailors whom I left upon the island; nay, I fancied I talked
with them, and looked at them so steadily, though I was broad awake, as
at persons just before me; and this I did till I often frightened myself
with the images my fancy represented to me: one time in my sleep I had
the villany of the three pirate sailors so lively related to me, by the
first Spaniard and Friday's father, that it was surprising; they told me
how they barbarously attempted to murder all the Spaniards, and that
they set fire to the provisions they had laid up, on purpose to distress
and starve them; things that I had never heard of, and that were yet all
of them true in fact; but it was so warm in my imagination, and so
realized to me, that to the hour I saw them, I could not be persuaded
but that it was or would be true; also how I resented it when the
Spaniard complained to me, and how I brought them to justice, tried them
before me, and ordered them all three to be hanged. What there was
really in this, shall be seen in its place; for however I came to form
such things in my dream, and what secret converse of spirits injected
it, yet there was, I say, very much of it true. I own, that this dream
had nothing literally and specifically true; but the general part was so
true, the base and villanous behaviour of these three hardened rogues
was such, and had been so much worse than all I can describe, that the
dream had too much similitude of the fact; and as I would afterwards
have punished them severely, so if I had hanged them all, I had been
much in the right, and should have been justifiable both by the laws of
God and man.

But to return to my story.--In this kind of temper I had lived some
years, I had no enjoyment of my life, no pleasant hours, no agreeable
diversion but what had something or other of this in it; so that my
wife, who saw my mind so wholly bent upon it, told me very seriously one
night, that she believed there was some secret powerful impulse of
Providence upon me, which had determined me to go thither again; and
that she found nothing hindered my going, but my being engaged to a wife
and children. She told me, that it was true she could not think of
parting with me; but as she was assured, that if she was dead it would
be the first thing I would do; so, as it seemed to her that the thing
was determined above, she would not be the only obstruction; for if I
thought fit, and resolved to go--Here she found me very intent upon her
words, and that I looked very earnestly at her; so that it a little
disordered her, and she stopped. I asked her why she did not go on, and
say out what she was going to say? But I perceived her heart was too
full, and some tears stood in her eyes: "Speak out, my dear," said I;
"are you willing I should go?"--"No," says she, very affectionately, "I
am far from willing: but if you are resolved to go," says she, "and
rather than I will be the only hindrance, I will go with you; for though
I think it a preposterous thing for one of your years, and in your
condition, yet if it must be," said she again, weeping, "I won't leave
you; for if it be of Heaven, you must do it; there is no resisting it;
and if Heaven makes it your duty to go, he will also make it mine to go
with you, or otherwise dispose of me, that I may not obstruct it."

This affectionate behaviour of my wife brought me a little out of the
vapours, and I began to consider what I was doing; I corrected my
wandering fancy, and began to argue with myself sedately, what business
I had, after threescore years, and after such a life of tedious
sufferings and disasters, and closed in so happy and easy a manner, I
say, what business had I to rush into new hazards, and put myself upon
adventures, fit only for youth and poverty to run into?

With those thoughts, I considered my new engagement; that I had a wife,
one child born, and my wife then great with child of another; that I had
all the world could give me and had no need to seek hazards for gain;
that I was declining in years, and ought to think rather of leaving what
I had gained, than of seeking to increase it; that as to what my wife
had said, of its being an impulse from Heaven, and that it should be my
duty to go, I had no notion of that; so after many of these cogitations,
I struggled with the power of my imagination, reasoned myself out of it,
_as I believe people may always do in like cases, if they will_; and, in
a word, I conquered it; composed myself with such arguments as occurred
to my thoughts, and which my present condition furnished me plentifully
with; and particularly, as the most effectual method, I resolved to
divert myself with other things, and to engage in some business that
might effectually tie me up from any more excursions of this kind; for I
found the thing return upon me chiefly when I was idle, had nothing to
do, or any thing of moment immediately before me.

To this purpose I bought a little farm in the county of Bedford, and
resolved to remove myself thither. I had a little convenient house upon
it, and the land about it I found was capable of great improvement, and
that it was many ways suited to my inclination, which delighted in
cultivating, managing, planting, and improving of land; and
particularly, being an inland country, I was removed from conversing
among ships, sailors, and things relating to the remote part of
the world.

In a word, I went down to my farm, settled my family, bought me ploughs,
harrows, a cart, waggon, horses, cows, sheep; and setting seriously to
work, became in one half year a mere country gentleman; my thoughts were
entirely taken up in managing my servants, cultivating the ground,
enclosing, planting, &c.; and I lived, as I thought, the most agreeable
life that nature was capable of directing, or that a man always bred to
misfortunes was capable of being retreated to.

I farmed upon my own land, I had no rent to pay, was limited by no
articles; I could pull up or cut down as I pleased; what I planted was
for myself, and what I improved, was for my family; and having thus left
off the thoughts of wandering, I had not the least discomfort in any
part of my life, as to this world. Now I thought indeed, that I enjoyed
the middle state of life which my father so earnestly recommended to me,
a kind of heavenly life, something like what is described by the poet
upon the subject of a country life:

Free from vices, free from care,
Age has no pains, and youth no snare.

But in the middle of all this felicity, one blow from unforeseen
Providence unhinged me at once; and not only made a breach upon me,
inevitable and incurable, but drove me, by its consequence, upon a deep
relapse into the wandering disposition; which, as I may say, being born
in my very blood, soon recovered its hold of me, and, like the returns
of a violent distemper, came on with an irresistible force upon me; so
that nothing could make any more impression upon me. This blow was the
loss of my wife.

It is not my business here to write an elegy upon my wife, to give a
character of her particular virtues, and make my court to the sex by the
flattery of a funeral sermon. She was, in a few words, the stay of all
my affairs, the centre of all my enterprises, the engine that by her
prudence reduced me to that happy compass I was in, from the most
extravagant and ruinous project that fluttered in my head as above; and
did more to guide my rambling genius, than a mother's tears, a father's
instructions, a friend's counsel, or all my own reasoning powers could
do. I was happy in listening to her tears, and in being moved by her
entreaties, and to the last degree desolate and dislocated in the world
by the loss of her.

When she was gone the world looked awkwardly round me, I was as much a
stranger in it in my thoughts as I was in the Brasils when I went first
on shore there; and as much alone, except as to the assistance of
servants, as I was in my island. I knew neither what to do, or what not
to do; I saw the world busy round me, one part labouring for bread, and
the other part squandering in vile excesses or empty pleasures, equally
miserable, because the end they proposed still fled from them; for the
men of pleasure every day surfeited of their vice, and heaped up work
for sorrow and repentance, and the men of labour spent their strength in
daily strugglings for bread to maintain the vital strength they laboured
with; so living in a daily circulation of sorrow, living but to work,
and working but to live, as if daily bread were the only end of a
wearisome life, and a wearisome life the only occasion of daily bread.

This put me in mind of the life I lived in my kingdom the island, where
I suffered no more corn to grow, because I did not want it; and bred no
more goats, because I had no more use for them; where the money lay in
the drawer till it grew mildewed, and had scarce the favour to be looked
upon in twenty years.

All these things, had I improved them as I ought to have done, and as
reason and religion had dictated to me, would have taught me to search
farther than human enjoyments for a full felicity, and that there was
something which certainly was the reason and end of life, superior to
all these things, and which was either to be possessed, or at least
hoped for, on this side the grave.

But my sage counsellor was gone, I was like a ship without a pilot, that
could only run before the wind; my thoughts run all away again into the
old affair, my head was quite turned with the whimsies of foreign
adventures; and all the pleasing innocent amusements of my farm and my
garden, my cattle and my family, which before entirely possessed me,
were nothing to me, had no relish, and were like music to one that has
no ear, or food to one that has no taste: in a word, I resolved to leave
off housekeeping, let my farm, and return to London; and in a few months
after I did so.

When I came to London I was still as uneasy as before; I had no relish
to the place, no employment in it, nothing to do but to saunter about
like an idle person, of whom it may be said, he is perfectly useless in
God's creation, and it is not one farthing matter to the rest of his
kind whether he be dead or alive. This also was the thing which of all
circumstances of life was the most my aversion, who had been all my days
used to an active life; and I would often say to myself, "A state of
idleness is the very dregs of life;" and indeed I thought I was much
more suitably employed when I was twenty-six days making me a
deal board.

It was now the beginning of the year 1693, when my nephew, whom, as I
have observed before, I had brought up to the sea, and had made him
commander of a ship, was come home from a short voyage to Bilboa, being
the first he had made; he came to me, and told me, that some merchants
of his acquaintance had been proposing to him to go a voyage for them to
the East Indies and to China, as private traders; "And now, uncle," says
he, "if you will go to sea with me, I'll engage to land you upon your
old habitation in the island, for we are to touch at the Brasils."

Nothing can be a greater demonstration of a future state, and of the
existence of an invisible world, than the concurrence of second causes
with the ideas of things which we form in our minds, perfectly reserved,
and not communicated to any in the world.

My nephew knew nothing how far my distemper of wandering was returned
upon me, and I knew nothing of what he had in his thoughts to say, when
that very morning, before he came to me, I had, in a great deal of
confusion of thought, and revolving every part of my circumstances in my
mind, come to this resolution, viz. that I would go to Lisbon, and
consult with my old sea-captain; and so, if it was rational and
practicable, I would go and see the island again, and see what was
become of my people there. I had pleased myself also with the thoughts
of peopling the place, and carrying inhabitants from hence, getting a
patent for the possession, and I know not what; when in the middle of
all this, in comes my nephew, as I have said, with his project of
carrying me thither, in his way to the East Indies.

I paused awhile at his words, and looking steadily at him, "What devil,"
said I, "sent you of this unlucky errand?" My nephew startled, as if he
had been frighted at first; but perceiving I was not much displeased
with the proposal, he recovered himself. "I hope it may not be an
unlucky proposal, Sir," says he; "I dare say you would be pleased to see
your new colony there, where you once reigned with more felicity than
most of your brother-monarchs in the world."

In a word, the scheme hit so exactly with my temper, that is to say,
with the prepossession I was under, and of which I have said so much,
that I told him, in a few words, if he agreed with the merchants I would
go with him: but I told him I would not promise to go any farther than
my own island. "Why, Sir," says he, "you don't want to be left there
again, I hope?"--"Why," said I, "can you not take me up again in your
return?" He told me, it could not be possible that the merchants would
allow him to come that way with a loaden ship of such value, it being a
month's sail out of his way, and might be three or four: "Besides, Sir,
if I should miscarry," said he, "and not return at all, then you would
be just reduced to the condition you were in before."

This was very rational; but we both found out a remedy for it, which was
to carry a framed sloop on board the ship, which, being taken in pieces
and shipped on board the ship, might, by the help of some carpenters,
whom we agreed to carry with us, be set up again in the island, and
finished, fit to go to sea in a few days.

I was not long resolving; for indeed the importunities of my nephew
joined in so effectually with my inclination, that nothing could oppose
me: on the other hand, my wife being dead, I had nobody concerned
themselves so much for me, as to persuade me one way or other, except my
ancient good friend the widow, who earnestly struggled with me to
consider my years, my easy circumstances, and the needless hazard of a
long voyage; and, above all, my young children: but it was all to no
purpose; I had an irresistible desire to the voyage; and I told her I
thought there was something so uncommon in the impressions I had upon
my mind for the voyage, that it would be a kind of resisting Providence,
if I should attempt to stay at home; after which she ceased her
expostulations, and joined with me, not only in making provision for my
voyage, but also in settling my family affairs in my absence, and
providing for the education of my children.

In order to this I made my will, and settled the estate I had in such a
manner for my children, and placed in such hands, that I was perfectly
easy and satisfied they would have justice done them, whatever might
befal me; and for their education, I left it wholly to my widow, with a
sufficient maintenance to herself for her care: all which she richly
deserved; for no mother could have taken more care in their education,
or understood it better; and as she lived till I came home, I also lived
to thank her for it.

My nephew was ready to sail about the beginning of January 1694--5, and
I with my man Friday went on board in the Downs the 8th, having, besides
that sloop which I mentioned above, a very considerable cargo of all
kinds of necessary things for my colony, which if I did not find in good
condition, I resolved to leave so.

First, I carried with me some servants, whom I purposed to place there
as inhabitants, or at least to set on work there upon my own account
while I stayed, and either to leave them there, or carry them forward,
as they should appear willing; particularly, I carried two carpenters, a
smith, and a very handy, ingenious fellow, who was a cooper by trade,
but was also a general mechanic; for he was dexterous at making wheels,
and hand-mills to grind corn, was a good turner, and a good potmaker; he
also made any thing that was proper to make of earth, or of wood; in a
word, we called him our Jack of all Trades.

With these I carried a tailor, who had offered himself to go passenger
to the East Indies with my nephew, but afterwards consented to stay on
our new plantation, and proved a most necessary handy fellow as could
be desired, in many other businesses besides that of this trade; for, as
I observed formerly, necessity arms us for all employments.

My cargo, as near as I can recollect, for I have not kept an account of
the particulars, consisted of a sufficient quantity of linen, and some
thin English stuffs for clothing the Spaniards that I expected to find
there, and enough of them as by my calculation might comfortably supply
them for seven years: if I remember right, the materials which I carried
for clothing them, with gloves, hats, shoes, stockings, and all such
things as they could want for wearing, amounted to above two hundred
pounds, including some beds, bedding, and household-stuff, particularly
kitchen utensils, with pots, kettles, pewter, brass, &c. besides near a
hundred pounds more in iron-work, nails, tools of every kind, staples,
hooks, hinges, and every necessary thing I could think of.

I carried also a hundred spare arms, muskets, and fuzees, besides some
pistols, a considerable quantity of shot of all sizes, three or four
tons of lead, and two pieces of brass cannon; and because I knew not
what time and what extremities I was providing for, I carried an hundred
barrels of powder, besides swords, cutlasses, and the iron part of some
pikes and halberts; so that, in short, we had a large magazine of all
sorts of stores; and I made my nephew carry two small quarter-deck guns
more than he wanted for his ship, to leave behind if there was occasion;
that when they came there we might build a fort, and man it against all
sorts of enemies: and indeed I at first thought there would be need
enough of it all, and much more, if we hoped to maintain our possession
of the island, as shall be seen in the course of the story.

I had not such bad luck in this voyage as I had been used to meet with;
and therefore shall have the less occasion to interrupt the reader, who
perhaps may be impatient to hear how matters went with my colony; yet
some odd accidents, cross winds, and bad weather happened on this first
setting out, which made the voyage longer than I expected it at first;
and I, who had never made but one voyage, viz. my first voyage to
Guinea, in which I might be said to come back again as the voyage was at
first designed, began to think the same ill fate still attended me; and
that I was born to be never contented with being on shore, and yet to be
always unfortunate at sea.

Contrary winds first put us to the northward, and we were obliged to put
in at Galway, in Ireland, where we lay wind bound two-and-thirty days;
but we had this satisfaction with the disaster, that provisions were
here, exceeding cheap, and in the utmost plenty; so that while we lay
here we never touched the ship's stores, but rather added to them: here
also I took several hogs, and two cows with their calves, which I
resolved, if I had a good passage, to put on shore in my island; but we
found occasion to dispose otherwise of them.

We set out the 5th of February from Ireland, and had a very fair gale of
wind for some days; as I remember, it might be about the 20th of
February in the evening late, when the mate having the watch, came into
the round-house, and told us he saw a flash of fire, and heard a gun
fired; and while he was telling us of it, a boy came in, and told us the
boatswain heard another. This made us all run out upon the quarter-deck,
where for a while we heard nothing, but in a few minutes we saw a very
great light, and found that there was some very terrible fire at a
distance. Immediately we had recourse to our reckonings, in which we all
agreed that there could be no land that way in which the fire shewed
itself, no, not for five hundred leagues, for it appeared at W.N.W. Upon
this we concluded it must be some ship on fire at sea; and as by our
hearing the noise of guns just before, we concluded it could not be far
off, we stood directly towards it, and were presently satisfied we
should discover it, because the farther we sailed the greater the light
appeared, though the weather being hazy we could not perceive any thing
but the light for a while; in about half an hour's sailing, the wind
being fair for us, though not much of it, and the weather clearing up a
little, we could plainly discern that it was a great ship on fire in the
middle of the sea.

I was most sensibly touched with this disaster, though not at all
acquainted with the persons engaged in it; I presently recollected my
former circumstances, in what condition I was in when taken up by the
Portugal captain; and how much more deplorable the circumstances of the
poor creatures belonging to this ship must be if they had no other ship
in company with them: upon this I immediately ordered that five guns
should be fired, one soon after another, that, if possible, we might
give notice to them that there was help for them at hand, and that they
might endeavour to save themselves in their boat; for though we could
see the flame in the ship, yet they, it being night, could see
nothing of us.

We lay by some time upon this, only driving as the burning ship drove,
waiting for daylight; when on a sudden, to our great terror, though we
had reason to expect it, the ship blew up in the air, and immediately
sunk. This was terrible, and indeed an afflicting sight, for the sake of
the poor men, who, I concluded, must be either all destroyed in the
ship, or be in the utmost distress in their boats in the middle of the
ocean, which, at present, by reason it was dark, I could not see:
however, to direct them as well as I could, I caused lights to be hung
out in all the parts of the ship where we could, and which we had
lanterns for, and kept firing guns all the night long; letting them know
by this, that there was a ship not far off.

About eight o'clock in the morning we discovered the ship's boats, by
the help of our perspective-glasses; and found there were two of them,
both thronged with people, and deep in the water; we perceived they
rowed, the wind being against them; that they saw our ship, and did the
utmost to make us see them.

We immediately spread our ancient, to let them know we saw them; and
hung a waft out, as a signal for them to come on board; and then made
more sail, standing directly to them. In a little more than half an hour
we came up with them, and in a word took them all in, being no less than
sixty-four men, women, and children; for there were a great many

Upon the whole, we found it was a French merchant-ship of three hundred
tons, homeward-bound from Quebec, in the river of Canada. The master
gave us a long account of the distress of his ship, how the fire began
in the steerage by the negligence of the steersman; but, on his crying
out for help, was, as everybody thought, entirely put out: but they soon
found that some sparks of the first fire had gotten into some part of
the ship, so difficult to come at, that they could not effectually
quench it; and afterwards getting in between the timbers, and within the
ceiling of the ship, it proceeded into the hold, and mastered all the
skill and all the application they were able to exert.

They had no more to do then but to get into their boats, which, to their
great comfort, were pretty large; being their long-boat, and a great
shallop, besides a small skiff, which was of no great service to them,
other than to get some fresh water and provisions into her, after they
had secured themselves from the fire. They had indeed small hope of
their lives by getting into these boats at that distance from any land;
only, as they said well, that they were escaped from the fire, and had a
possibility, that some ship might happen to be at sea, and might take
them in. They had sails, oars, and a compass; and were preparing to make
the best of their way to Newfoundland, the wind blowing pretty fair; for
it blew an easy gale at S.E. by E. They had as much provisions and
water, as, with sparing it so as to be next door to starving, might
support them about twelve days; in which, if they had no bad weather,
and no contrary winds, the captain said, he hoped he might get to the
banks of Newfoundland, and might perhaps take some fish to sustain them
till they might go on shore. But there were so many chances against them
in all these cases; such as storms to overset and founder them; rains
and cold to benumb and perish their limbs; contrary winds to keep them
out and starve them; that it must have been next to miraculous if they
had escaped.

In the midst of their consultations, every one being hopeless, and ready
to despair, the captain with tears in his eyes told me, they were on a
sudden surprised with the joy of hearing a gun fire, and after that four
more; these were the five guns which I caused to be fired at first
seeing the light: this revived their hearts, and gave them the notice
which, as above, I designed it should, viz. that there was a ship at
hand for their help.

It was upon the hearing these guns, that they took down their masts and
sails; and the sound coming from the windward, they resolved to lie by
till morning. Some time after this, hearing no more guns, they fired
three muskets, one a considerable while after another; but these, the
wind being contrary, we never heard.

Some time after that again, they were still more agreeably surprised
with seeing our lights, and hearing the guns, which, as I have said, I
caused to be fired all the rest of the night: this set them to work with
their oars to keep their boats ahead, at least that we might the sooner
come up with them; and at last, to their inexpressible joy, they found
we saw them.

It is impossible for me to express the several gestures, the strange
ecstasies, the variety of postures, which these poor delivered people
ran into, to express the joy of their souls at so unexpected a
deliverance; grief and fear are easily described; sighs, tears, groans,
and a very few motions of head and hands, make up the sum of its
variety: but an excess of joy, a surprise of joy, has a thousand
extravagances in it; there were some in tears, some raging and tearing
themselves, as if they had been in the greatest agonies of sorrow; some
stark raving and downright lunatic; some ran about the ship stamping
with their feet, others wringing their hands; some were dancing, several
singing, some laughing, more crying; many quite dumb, not able to speak
a word; others sick and vomiting, several swooning, and ready to faint;
and a few were crossing themselves and giving God thanks.

I would not wrong them neither; there might he many that were thankful
afterward; but the passion was too strong for them at first, and they
were not able to master it; they were thrown into ecstasies and a kind
of frenzy, and so there were but a very few who were composed and
serious in their joy.

Perhaps also the case may have some addition to it, from the particular
circumstance of the nation they belonged to; I mean the French, whose
temper is allowed to be more volatile, more passionate, and more
sprightly, and their spirits more fluid, than of other nations. I am not
philosopher to determine the cause, but nothing I had ever seen before
came up to it: the ecstasies poor Friday, my trusty savage, was in, when
he found his father in the boat, came the nearest to it; and the
surprise of the master, and his two companions, whom I delivered from
the two villains that set them on shore in the island, came a little way
towards it; but nothing was to compare to this, either that I saw in
Friday, or any where else in my life.

It is farther observable, that these extravagances did not shew
themselves in that different manner I have mentioned, in different
persons only: but all the variety would appear in a short succession of
moments, in one and the same person. A man that we saw this minute dumb,
and, as it were, stupid and confounded, should the next minute be
dancing and hallooing like an antic; and the next moment a-tearing his
hair, or pulling his clothes to pieces, and stamping them under his feet
like a madman; a few minutes after that, we should have him all in
tears, then sick, then swooning; and had not immediate help been had,
would in a few moments more have been dead; and thus it was, not with
one or two, or ten or twenty, but with the greatest part of them; and,
if I remember right, our surgeon was obliged to let above thirty of
them blood.

There were two priests among them, one an old man, and the other a young
man; and that which was strangest was, that the oldest man was
the worst.

As soon as he set his foot on board our ship, and saw himself safe, he
dropped down stone dead, to all appearance; not the least sign of life
could be perceived in him; our surgeon immediately applied proper
remedies to recover him; and was the only man in the ship that believed
he was not dead: and at length he opened a vein in his arm, having first
chafed and rubbed the part, so as to warm it as much as possible: upon
this the blood, which only dropped at first, flowed something freely; in
three minutes after the man opened his eyes; and about a quarter of an
hour after that he spoke, grew better, and, in a little time, quite
well; after the blood was stopped he walked about, told us he was
perfectly well, took a dram of cordial which the surgeon gave him, and
was, what we called, come to himself; about a quarter of an hour after
this they came running into the cabin to the surgeon, who was bleeding a
French woman that had fainted, and told him the priest was gone stark
mad. It seems he had begun to revolve the change of his circumstances in
his mind, and this put him into an ecstasy of joy: his spirits whirled
about faster than the vessels could convey them; the blood grew hot and
feverish; and the man was as fit for Bedlam as any creature that ever
was in it; the surgeon would not bleed him again in that condition, but
gave him something to doze and put him to sleep, which, after some time,
operated upon him, and he waked next morning perfectly composed
and well.

The younger priest behaved himself with great command of his passion,
and was really an example of a serious, well-governed mind; at his first
coming on board the ship, he threw himself flat on his face,
prostrating himself in thankfulness for his deliverance; in which I
unhappily and unseasonably disturbed him, really thinking he had been in
a swoon: but he spoke calmly; thanked me; told me he was giving God
thanks for his deliverance; begged me to leave him a few moments, and
that next to his Maker he would give me thanks also.

I was heartily sorry that I disturbed him, and not only left him, but
kept others from interrupting him also; he continued in that posture
about three minutes, or a little more, after I left him, then came to
me, as he had said he would, and with a great deal of seriousness and
affection, but with tears in his eyes, thanked me that had, under God,
given him and so many miserable creatures their lives: I told him, I had
no room to move him to thank God for it rather than me; for I had seen
that he had done that already: but I added, that it was nothing but what
reason and humanity dictated to all men, and that we had as much reason
as he to give thanks to God, who had blessed us so far as to make us the
instruments of his mercy to so many of his creatures.

After this the young priest applied himself to his country-folks;
laboured to compose them; persuaded, entreated, argued, reasoned with
them, and did his utmost to keep them within the exercise of their
reason; and with some he had success, though others were, for a time,
out of all government of themselves.

I cannot help committing this to writing, as perhaps it may be useful to
those into whose hands it may fall, in the guiding themselves in all the
extravagances of their passions; for if an excess of joy can carry men
out to such a length beyond the reach of their reason, what will not the
extravagances of anger, rage, and a provoked mind, carry us to? And,
indeed, here I saw reason for keeping an exceeding watch over our
passions of every kind, as well those of joy and satisfaction, as those
of sorrow and anger.

We were something disordered by these extravagances among our new
guests for the first day; but when they had been retired, lodgings
provided for them as well as our ship would allow, and they had slept
heartily, as most of them did, being fatigued and frightened, they were
quite another sort of people the next day.

Nothing of good manners, or civil acknowledgments for the kindness shown
them, was wanting; the French, it is known, are naturally apt enough to
exceed that way. The captain and one of the priests came to me the next
day; and, desiring to speak with me and my nephew, the commander, began
to consult with us what should be done with them; and first they told
us, that as we had saved their lives, so all they had was little enough
for a return to us for the kindness received. The captain said, they had
saved some money, and some things of value in their boats, catched
hastily out of the flames: and if we would accept it, they were ordered
to make an offer of it all to us; they only desired to be set on shore
somewhere in our way, where, if possible, they might get a passage
to France.

My nephew was for accepting their money at first word, and to consider
what to do with them afterwards; but I overruled him in that part; for I
knew what it was to be set on shore in a strange country; and if the
Portugal captain that took me up at sea had served me so, and took all I
had for my deliverance, I must have starved, or have been as much a
slave at the Brasils as I had been at Barbary, the being sold to a
Mahometan only excepted; and perhaps a Portuguese is not a much better
master than a Turk, if not, in some cases, a much worse.

I therefore told the French captain that we had taken them up in their
distress, it was true; but that it was our duty to do so, as we were
fellow-creatures, and as we would desire to be so delivered, if we were
in the like or any other extremity; that we had done nothing for them
but what we believed they would have done for us if we had been in their
case and they in ours; but that we took them up to serve them, not to
plunder them; and that it would be a most barbarous thing, to take that
little from them which they had saved out of the fire, and then set them
on shore and leave them; that this would be first to save them from
death and then kill them ourselves; save them from drowning and then
abandon them to starving; and therefore I would not let the least thing
be taken from them: as to setting them on shore, I told them indeed that
was an exceeding difficulty to us, for that the ship was bound to the
East Indies; and though we were driven out of our course to the westward
a very great way, which perhaps was directed by Heaven on purpose for
their deliverance, yet it was impossible for us wilfully to change our
voyage on this particular account; nor could my nephew, the captain,
answer it to the freighters, with whom he was under charter-party to
pursue his voyage by the way of Brasil; and all I knew he could do for
them was, to put ourselves in the way of meeting with other ships
homeward-bound from the West Indies, and get them passage, if possible,
to England or France.

The first part of the proposal was so generous and kind, they could not
but be very thankful for it; but they were in a great consternation,
especially the passengers, at the notion of being carried away to the
East Indies: they then entreated me, that seeing I was driven so far to
the westward before I met with them, I would at least keep on the same
course to the banks of Newfoundland, where it was possible I might meet
some ship or sloop that they might hire to carry them back to Canada,
from whence they came.

I thought this was but a reasonable request on their part, and therefore
I inclined to agree to it; for indeed I considered, that to carry this
whole company to the East Indies would not only be an intolerable
severity to the poor people, but would be ruining our voyage by
devouring all our provisions; so I thought it no breach of
charter-party, but what an unforeseen accident made absolutely necessary
to us; and in which no one could say we were to blame; for the laws of
God and nature would have forbid, that we should refuse to take up two
boats full of people in such a distressed condition; and the nature of
the thing, as well respecting ourselves as the poor people, obliged us
to see them on shore somewhere or other, for their deliverance; so I
consented that we would carry them to Newfoundland, if wind and weather
would permit; and, if not, that I would carry them to Martinico in the
West Indies.

The wind continued fresh easterly, but the weather pretty good; and as
it had blowed continually in the points between N.E. and S.E. a long
time, we missed several opportunities of sending them to France; for we
met several ships bound to Europe, whereof two were French, from St.
Christopher's; but they had been so long beating up against the wind,
that they durst take in no passengers for fear of wanting provisions for
the voyage, as well for themselves as for those they should take in; so
we were obliged to go on. It was about a week after this, that we made
the banks of Newfoundland, where, to shorten my story, we put all our
French people on board a bark, which they hired at sea there, to put
them on shore, and afterwards to carry them to France, if they could get
provisions to victual themselves with: when, I say, all the French went
on shore, I should remember that the young priest I spoke of, hearing we
were bound to the East Indies, desired to go the voyage with us, and to
be set on shore on the coast of Coromandel: I readily agreed to that;
for I wonderfully liked the man, and had very good reason, as will
appear afterwards; also four of the seamen entered themselves in our
ship, and proved very useful fellows.

From hence we directed our course for the West Indies, steering away S.
and S. by E. for about twenty days together, sometimes little or no wind
at all, when we met with another subject for our humanity to work upon,
almost as deplorable as that before.

It was in the latitude of 27 degrees 5 minutes N. and the 19th day of
March 1684--5, when we espied a sail, our course S.E. and by S. We soon
perceived it was a large vessel, and that she bore up to us; but could
not at first know what to make of her, till, after coming a little
nearer, we found she had lost her main-topmast, fore-mast, and bowsprit;
and presently she fires a gun as a signal of distress. The weather was
pretty good, wind at N.N.W. a fresh gale, and we soon came to speak
with her.

We found her a ship of Bristol bound home from Barbadoes, but had been
blown out of the road at Barbadoes, a few days before she was ready to
sail, by a terrible hurricane, while the captain and chief mate were
both gone on shore; so that beside the terror of the storm, they were
but in an indifferent case for good artists to bring the ship home; they
had been already nine weeks at sea, and had met with another terrible
storm after the hurricane was over, which had blown them quite out of
their knowledge to the westward, and in which they had lost their masts,
as above; they told us, they expected to have seen the Bahama Islands,
but were then driven away again to the south-east by a strong gale of
wind at N.N.W. the same that blew now, and having no sails to work the
ship with, but a main-course, and a kind of square sail upon a
jury-foremast, which they had set up, they could not lie near the wind,
but were endeavouring to stand away for the Canaries.

But that which was worst of all, was, that they were almost starved for
want of provisions, besides the fatigues they had undergone; their bread
and flesh was quite gone, they had not an ounce left in the ship, and
had had none for eleven days; the only relief they had, was, their water
was not all spent, and they had about half a barrel of flour left; they
had sugar enough; some succades or sweetmeats they had at first, but
they were devoured; and they had seven casks of rum.

There was a youth and his mother, and a maid-servant, on board, who were
going passengers, and thinking the ship was ready to sail, unhappily
came on board the evening before the hurricane began; and having no
provisions of their own left, they were in a more deplorable condition
than the rest; for the seamen, being reduced to such an extreme
necessity themselves, had no compassion, we may be sure, for the poor
passengers; and they were indeed in a condition that their misery is
very hard to describe.

I had perhaps not known this part, if my curiosity had not led me, the
weather being fair, and the wind abated, to go on board the ship: the
second mate, who upon this occasion commanded the ship, had been on
board our ship; and he told me indeed, that they had three passengers in
the great cabin, that they were in a deplorable condition; "Nay," says
he, "I believe they are dead, for I have heard nothing of them for above
two days; and I was afraid to inquire after them," said he, "for I had
nothing to relieve them with."

We immediately applied ourselves to give them what relief we could
spare; and indeed I had so far overruled things with my nephew, that I
would have victualled them, though we had gone away to Virginia, or any
part of the coast of America, to have supplied ourselves; but there was
no necessity for that.

But now they were in a new danger, for they were afraid of eating too
much, even of that little we gave them. The mate or commander brought
six men with him in his boat, but these poor wretches looked like
skeletons, and were so weak they could hardly sit to their oars; the
mate himself was very ill, and half-starved, for he declared he had
reserved nothing from the men, and went share and share alike with them
in every bit they ate.

I cautioned him to eat sparingly, but set meat before him immediately,
and he had not eaten three mouthfuls before he began to be sick, and out
of order; so he stopped awhile, and our surgeon mixed him up something
with some broth, which he said would be to him both food and physic; and
after he had taken it, he grew better: in the meantime I forgot not the
men; I ordered victuals to be given them, and the poor creatures rather
devoured than ate it; they were so exceeding hungry, that they were in a
manner ravenous, and had no command of themselves; and two of them ate
with so much greediness, that they were in danger of their lives the
next morning.

The sight of these people's distress was very moving to me, and brought
to mind what I had a terrible respect of at my first coming on shore in
my island, where I had not the least mouthful of food, or any hopes of
procuring it; besides the hourly apprehension I had of being made the
food of other creatures. But all the while the mate was thus relating to
me the miserable condition of the ship's company, I could not put out of
my thought the story he had told me of the three poor creatures in the
great cabin; viz. the mother, her son, and the maid-servant, whom he had
heard nothing of for two or three days; and whom he seemed to confess
they had wholly neglected, their own extremities being so great; by
which I understood that they had really given them no food at all; and
that therefore they must be perished, and be all lying dead perhaps on
the floor or deck of the cabin.

As I therefore kept the mate, whom we then called captain, on board with
his men to refresh them, so I also forgot not the starving crew that
were left on board, but ordered my own boat to go on board the ship and
with my mate and twelve men to carry them a sack of bread, and four or
five pieces of beef to boil. Our surgeon charged the men to cause the
meat to be boiled while they stayed, and to keep guard in the cook-room,
to prevent the men's taking it to eat raw, or taking it out of the pot
before it was well boiled, and then to give every man but a little at a
time; and by this caution he preserved the men, who would otherwise have
killed themselves with that very food that was given them on purpose to
save their lives.

At the same time I ordered the mate to go into the great cabin, and see
what condition the poor passengers were in, and, if they were alive, to
comfort them and give them what refreshment was proper; and the surgeon
gave him a large pitcher with some of the prepared broth which he had
given the mate that was on board, and which he did not question would
restore them gradually.

I was not satisfied with this; but, as I said above, having a great mind
to see the scene of misery, which I knew the ship itself would present
me with, in a more lively manner than I could have it by report, I took
the captain of the ship, as we now called him, with me, and went myself
a little after in their boat.

I found the poor men on board almost in a tumult to get the victuals out
of the boiler before it was ready; but my mate observed his order, and
kept a good guard at the cook-room door; and the man he placed there,
after using all possible persuasion to have patience, kept them off by
force: however, he caused some biscuit cakes to be dipped in the pot,
and softened them with the liquor of the meat, which they call brewis,
and gave every one one, to stay their stomachs, and told them it was for
their own safety that he was obliged to give them but little at a time.
But it was all in vain, and had I not come on board, and their own
commander and officers with me, and with good words, and some threats
also of giving them no more, I believe they would have broke into the
cook-room by force, and torn the meat out of the furnace; for words
indeed are of a very small force to an hungry belly: however, we
pacified them, and fed them gradually and cautiously for the first time,
and the next time gave them more, and at last filled their bellies, and
the men did well enough.

But the misery of the poor passengers in the cabin was of another
nature, and far beyond the rest; for as, first, the ship's company had
so little for themselves, it was but too true, that they had at first
kept them very low, and at last totally neglected them; so that for six
or seven days, it might be said, they had really had no food at all, and
for several days before, very little.

The poor mother, who, as the first mate reported, was a woman of good
sense and good breeding, had spared all she could get so affectionately
for her son, that at last she entirely sunk under it; and when the mate
of our ship went in, she sat upon the floor or deck, with her back up
against the sides, between two chairs, which were lashed fast, and her
head sunk in between her shoulders, like a corpse, though not quite
dead. My mate said all he could to revive and encourage her, and with a
spoon put some broth into her mouth; she opened her lips, and lifted up
one hand, but could not speak: yet she understood what he said, and made
signs to him, intimating, that it was too late for her; but pointed to
her child, as if she would have said, they should take care of him.

However, the mate, who was exceedingly moved with the sight, endeavoured
to get some of the broth into her mouth; and, as he said, got two or
three spoonfuls down, though I question whether he could be sure of it
or not; but it was too late, and she died the same night.

The youth, who was preserved at the price of his most affectionate
mother's life, was not so far gone; yet he lay in a cabin-bed as one
stretched out, with hardly any life left in him; he had a piece of an
old glove in his mouth, having eaten up the rest of it; however, being
young, and having more strength than his mother, the mate got something
down his throat, and he began sensibly to revive, though, by giving him
some time after but two or three spoonfuls extraordinary, he was very
sick, and brought it up again.

But the next care was the poor maid; she lay all along upon the deck
hard by her mistress, and just like one that had fallen down with an
apoplexy, and struggled for life: her limbs were distorted, one of her
hands was clasped round the frame of one chair, and she griped it so
hard, that we could not easily make her let it go; her other arm lay
over her head, and her feet lay both together, set fast against the
frame of the cabin-table; in short, she lay just like one in the last
agonies of death; and yet she was alive too.

The poor creature was not only starved with hunger, and terrified with
the thoughts of death, but, as the men told us afterwards, was
broken-hearted for her mistress, whom she saw dying two or three days
before, and whom she loved most tenderly.

We knew not what to do with this poor girl; for when our surgeon, who
was a man of very great knowledge and experience, and with great
application recovered her as to life, he had her upon his hand as to her
senses, for she was little less than distracted for a considerable time
after; as shall appear presently.

Whoever shall read these memorandums, must be desired to consider, that
visits at sea are not like a journey into the country, where sometimes
people stay a week or a fortnight at a place. Our business was to
relieve this distressed ship's crew, but not lie by for them; and though
they were willing to steer the same course with us for some days, yet we
could carry no sail to keep pace with a ship that had no masts: however,
as their captain begged of us to help him to set up a main-topmast, and
a kind of topmast to his jury-foremast, we did, as it were, lie by him
for three or four days, and then having given him five barrels of beef
and pork, two hogsheads of biscuit, and a proportion of peas, flour, and
what other things we could spare; and taking three casks of sugar and
some rum, and some pieces of eight of them for satisfaction, we left
them, taking on board with us, at their own earnest request, the youth
and the maid, and all their goods.

The young lad was about seventeen years of age, a pretty, well-bred,
modest, and sensible youth; greatly dejected with the loss of his
mother, and, as it happened had lost his father bit a few months before
at Barbados. He begged of the surgeon to speak to me, to take him out of
the ship; for he said, the cruel fellows had murdered his mother; and
indeed so they had, that is to say, passively; for they might have
spared a small sustenance to the poor helpless widow, that might have
preserved her life, though it had been just to keep her alive. But
hunger knows no friend, no relation, no justice, no right; and therefore
is remorseless, and capable of no compassion.

The surgeon told him how far we were going, and how it would carry him
away from all his friends, and put him perhaps in as bad circumstance,
almost, as we found them in; that is to say, starving in the world. He
said it mattered not whither he went, if he was but delivered from the
terrible crew that he was among: that the captain (by which he meant me,
for he could know nothing of my nephew) had saved his life, and he was
sure would not hurt him; and as for the maid, he was sure, if she came
to herself, she would he very thankful for it, let us carry them whither
we would. The surgeon represented the case so affectionately to me, that
I yielded, and we took them both on board with all their goods, except
eleven hogsheads of sugar, which could not be removed, or come at; and
as the youth had a bill of lading for them, I made his commander sign a
writing, obliging him to go, as soon as he came to Bristol, to one Mr.
Rogers, a merchant there, to whom the youth said he was related, and to
deliver a letter which I wrote to him, and all the goods he had
belonging to the deceased widow; which I suppose was not done; for I
could never learn that the ship came to Bristol; but was, as is most
probable, lost at sea, being in so disabled a condition, and so far from
any land, that I am of opinion, the first storm she met with afterwards
she might founder in the sea; for she was leaky, and had damage in her
hold when I met with her.

I was now in the latitude of 19 deg. 32 min. and had hitherto had a
tolerable voyage as to weather, though at first the winds had been
contrary. I shall trouble nobody with the little incidents of wind,
weather, currents, &c. on the rest of our voyage; but, shortening my
story for the sake of what is to follow, shall observe, that I came to
my old habitation, the island, on the 10th of April, 1695. It was with
no small difficulty that I found the place; for as I came to it, and
went from it before, on the south and east side of the island, as coming
from the Brasils; so now coming in between the main and the island, and
having no chart for the coast, nor any land-mark, I did not know it when
I saw it, or know whether I saw it or no.

We beat about a great while, and went on shore on several islands in the
mouth of the great river Oroonoque, but none for my purpose: only this I
learnt by my coasting the shore, that I was under one great mistake
before, viz. that the continent which I thought I saw from the island I
lived in, was really no continent, but a long island, or rather a ridge
of islands reaching from one to the other side of the extended mouth of
that great river; and that the savages who came to my island, were not
properly those which we call Caribbees, but islanders, and other
barbarians of the same kind, who inhabited something nearer to our side
than the rest.

In short, I visited several of the islands to no purpose; some I found
were inhabited, and some were not. On one of them I found some
Spaniards, and thought they had lived there; but speaking with them,
found they had a sloop lay in a small creek hard by, and that they came
thither to make salt, and catch some pearl-muscles, if they could; but
they belonged to the Isle de Trinidad, which lay farther north, in the
latitude of 10 and 11 degrees.

Thus coasting from one island to another, sometimes with the ship,
sometimes with the Frenchman's shallop (which we had found a convenient
boat, and therefore kept her with their very good will,) at length I
came fair on the south side of my island, and I presently knew the very
countenance of the place; so I brought the ship safe to an anchor
broadside with the little creek where was my old habitation.

As soon as I saw the place, I called for Friday, and asked him, if he
knew where he was? He looked about a little, and presently clapping his
hands, cried, "O yes, O there, O yes, O there!" pointing to our old
habitation, and fell a-dancing and capering like a mad fellow; and I had
much ado to keep him from jumping into the sea, to swim ashore to
the place.

"Well, Friday," said I, "do you think we shall find any body here, or
no? and what do you think, shall we see your father?" The fellow stood
mute as a stock a good while; but when I named his father, the poor
affectionate creature looked dejected; and I could see the tears run
down his face very plentifully. "What is the matter, Friday?" said I;
"are you troubled because you may see your father"--"No, no," says he,
shaking his head, "no see him more, no ever more see again."--"Why so,"
said I, "Friday? how do you know that?"--"O no, O no," says Friday, "he
long ago die; long ago, he much old man."--"Well, well," said I,
"Friday, you don't know; but shall we see any one else then?" The
fellow, it seems, had better eyes than I, and he points just to the hill
above my old house; and though we lay half a league off, he cries out,
"Me see! me see! yes, yes, me see much man there, and there, and there."
I looked, but I could see nobody, no, not with a perspective-glass;
which was, I suppose, because I could not hit the place; for the fellow
was right, as I found upon inquiry the next day, and there were five or
six men all together stood to look at the ship, not knowing what to
think of us.

As soon as Friday had told me he saw people, I caused the English
ancient to be spread, and fired three guns, to give them notice we were
friends; and about half a quarter of an hour after, we perceived a smoke
rise from the side of the creek; so I immediately ordered a boat out,
taking Friday with me; and hanging out a white flag, or a flag of
truce, I went directly on shore, taking with me the young friar I
mentioned, to whom I had told the whole story of living there, and the
manner of it, and every particular both of myself and those that I left
there, and who was on that account extremely desirous to go with me, We
had besides about sixteen men very well armed, if we had found any new
guest there which we did not know of; but we had no need of weapons.

As we went on shore upon the tide of flood near high water, we rowed
directly into the creek; and the first man I fixed my eye upon was the
Spaniard whose life I had saved, and whom I knew by his face perfectly
well; as to his habit, I shall describe it afterwards. I ordered nobody
to go on shore at first but myself; but there was no keeping Friday in
the boat; for the affectionate creature had spied his father at a
distance, a good way off of the Spaniards, where indeed I saw nothing of
him; and if they had not let him go on shore he would have jumped into
the sea. He was no sooner on shore, but he flew away to his father like
an arrow out of a bow. It would have made any man shed tears in spite of
the firmest resolution to have seen the first transports of this poor
fellow's joy, when he came to his father; how he embraced him, kissed
him, stroked his face, took him in his arms, set him down upon a tree,
and lay down by him; then stood and looked at him as any one would look
at a strange picture, for a quarter of an hour together; then lay down
upon the ground, and stroked his legs, and kissed them, and then got up
again, and stared at him; one would have thought the fellow bewitched:
but it would have made a dog laugh to see how the next day his passion
run out another way: in the morning he walked along the shore to and
again, with his father, several hours, always leading him by the hand as
if he had been a lady and every now and then would come to fetch
something or other for him from the boat, either a lump of sugar, or a
dram, a biscuit, or something or other that was good. In the afternoon
his frolics ran another way; for then he would set the old man down upon
the ground, and dance about him, and made a thousand antic postures and
gestures; and all the while he did this be would be talking to him, and
telling him one story or another of his travels, and of what had
happened to him abroad, to divert him. In short, if the same filial
affection was to be found in Christians to their parents in our parts of
the world, one would be tempted to say there hardly would have been any
need of the fifth commandment.

But this is a digression; I return to my landing. It would be endless to
take notice of all the ceremonies and civilities that the Spaniards
received me with. The first Spaniard whom, as I said, I knew very well,
was he whose life I saved; he came towards the boat attended by one
more, carrying a flag of truce also; and he did not only not know me at
first, but he had no thoughts, no notion, of its being me that was come
til I spoke to him. "Seignior," said I, in Portuguese, "do you not know
me?" At which he spoke not a word; but giving his musket to the, man
that was with him, threw his arms abroad, and saying something in
Spanish that I did not perfectly hear, came forward, and embraced me,
telling me, he was inexcusable not to know that face again that he had
once seen, as of an angel from Heaven sent to save his life: he said
abundance of very handsome things, as a well-bred Spaniard always knows
how: and then beckoning to the person that attended him, bade him go and
call out his comrades. He then asked me if I would walk to my old
habitation, where he would give me possession of my own house again, and
where I should see there, had been but mean improvements; so I walked
along with him; but alas! I could no more find the place again than if I
had never been there; for they had planted so many trees, and placed
them in such a posture, so thick and close to one another, in ten years
time they were grown so big, that, in short, the place was
inaccessible, except by such windings and blind ways as they themselves
only who made them could find.

I asked them, what put them upon all these fortifications? He told me, I
would say there was need enough of it, when they had given an account
how they had passed their time since their arriving in the island,
especially after they had the misfortune to find that I was gone: he
told me he could not but have some satisfaction in my good fortune, when
he heard that I was gone in a good ship, and to my satisfaction; and
that he had oftentimes a strong persuasion that one time or other he
should see me again: but nothing that ever befel him in his life, he
said, was so surprising and afflicting to him at first, as the
disappointment he was under when he came back to the island, and found I
was not there.

As to the three barbarians (so he called them) that were left behind,
and of whom he said he had a long story to tell me; the Spaniards all
thought themselves much better among the savages, only that their number
was so small. "And," says he, "had they been strong enough, we had been
all long ago in purgatory and with that he crossed himself upon the
breast. But, Sir," says he, "I hope you will not be displeased, when I
shall tell you how, forced by necessity, we were obliged, for our own
preservation, to disarm them, and making them our subjects, who would
not be content with being moderately our masters, but would be our
murderers." I answered, I was heartily afraid of it when I left them
there; and nothing troubled me at my parting from the island, but that
they were not come back, that I might have put them in possession of
every thing first, and left the other in a state of subjection, as they
deserved; but if they had reduced them to it, I was very glad, and
should be very far from finding any fault with it; for I knew they were
a parcel of refractory, ungovernable villains, and were fit for any
manner of mischief.

While I was saying this came the man whom he had sent back, and with
him eleven men more: in the dress they were in, it was impossible to
guess what nation they were of; but he made all clear both to them and
to me. First he turned to me, and pointing to them, said, "These, Sir,
are some of the gentlemen who owe their lives to you;" and then turning
to them, and pointing to me, he let them know who I was; upon which they
all came up one by one, not as if they had been sailors, and ordinary
fellows, and I the like, but really as if they had been ambassadors or
noblemen, and I a monarch or a great conqueror: their behaviour was to
the last degree obliging and courteous, and yet mixed with a manly
majestic gravity, which very well became them; and, in short, they had
so much more manners than I, that I scarce knew how to receive their
civilities, much less how to return them in kind.

The history of their coming to, and conduct in the island after my going
away, is so remarkable, and has so many incidents, which the former part
of my relation will help to understand, and which will, in most of the
particulars, refer to that account I have already given, that I cannot
but commit them with great delight to the reading of those that
come after me.

I shall no longer trouble the story with a relation in the first person,
which will put me to the expense of ten thousand Said I's, and Said
he's, and He told me's, and I told him's, and the like; but I shall
collect the facts historically as near as I can gather them out of my
memory from what they related to me, and from what I met with in my
conversing with them, and with the place.

In order to do this succinctly, and as intelligibly as I can, I must go
back to the circumstance in which I left the island, and which the
persons were in of whom I am to speak. At first it is necessary to
repeat, that I had sent away Friday's father and the Spaniard, the two
whose lives I had rescued from the savages; I say, I had sent them away
in a large canoe to the main, as I then thought it, to fetch over the
Spaniard's companions whom he had left behind him, in order to save them
from the like calamity that he had been in, and in order to succour them
for the present, and that, if possible, we might together find some way
for our deliverance afterward.

When I sent them away, I had no visible appearance of, or the least room
to hope for, my own deliverance, any more than I had twenty years
before; much less had I any foreknowledge of what after happened, I mean
of an English ship coming on shore there to fetch them off; and it could
not but be a very great surprise to them when they came back, not only
to find that I was gone, but to find three strangers left on the spot,
possessed of all that I had left behind me, which would otherwise have
been their own.

The first thing, however, which I inquired into, that I might begin
where I left off, was of their own part; and I desired he would give me
a particular account of his voyage back to his countrymen with the boat,
when I sent him to fetch them over. He told me there was little variety
in that part; for nothing remarkable happened to them on the way, they
having very calm weather and a smooth sea; for his countrymen it could
not be doubted, he said, but that they were overjoyed to see him (it
seems he was the principal man among them, the captain of the vessel
they had been shipwrecked in having been dead some time:) they were, he
said, the more surprised to see him, because they knew that he was
fallen into the hands of savages, who, they were satisfied, would devour
him, as they did all the rest of their prisoners; that when he told them
the story of the deliverance, and in what manner he was furnished for
carrying them away, it was like a dream to them; and their astonishment,
they said, was something like that of Joseph's brethren, when he told
them who he was, and told them the story of his exaltation in Pharaoh's
court; but when he shewed them the arms, the powder, the ball, and the
provisions that he brought them for their journey or voyage, they were
restored to themselves, took a just share of the joy of their
deliverance, and immediately prepared to come away with him.

Their first business was to get canoes; and in this they were obliged
not to stick so much upon the honest part of it, but to trespass upon
their friendly savages, and to borrow two large canoes or periaguas, on
pretence of going out a-fishing, or for pleasure.

In these they came away the next morning; it seems they wanted no time
to get themselves ready, for they had no baggage, neither clothes, or
provisions, or any thing in the world, but what they had on them, and a
few roots to eat, of which they used to make their bread.

They were in all three weeks absent, and in that time, unluckily for
them, I had the occasion offered for my escape, as I mentioned in my
other part, and to get off from the island; leaving three of the most
impudent, hardened, ungoverned, disagreeable villains behind me that any
man could desire to meet with, to the poor Spaniards' great grief and
disappointment you may be sure.

The only just thing the rogues did, was, that when the Spaniards came on
shore, they gave my letter to them, and gave them provisions and other
relief, as I had ordered them to do; also they gave them the long paper
of directions, which I had left with them, containing the particular
methods which I took for managing every part of my life there; the way
how I baked my bread, bred up my tame goats, and planted my corn; how I
cured my grapes, made my pots, and, in a word, every thing I did; all
this being written down, they gave to the Spaniards, two of whom
understood English well enough; nor did they refuse to accommodate the
Spaniards with any thing else, for they agreed very well for some time;
they gave them an equal admission into the house, or cave, and they
began to live very sociably; and the head Spaniard, who had seen pretty
much of my method, and Friday's father together, managed all their
affairs; for as for the Englishmen, they did nothing but ramble about
the island, shoot parrots, and catch tortoises, and when they came home
at night, the Spaniards provided their suppers for them.

The Spaniards would have been satisfied with this would the other but
have left them alone; which however, they could not find in their hearts
to do long; but, like the dog in the manger, they would not eat
themselves, and would not let others eat neither: the differences,
nevertheless, were at first but trivial and such as are not worth
relating: but at last it broke out into open war, and it began with all
the rudeness and insolence that can be imagined, without reason, without
provocation, contrary to nature, and indeed to common sense; and though,
it is true, the first relation of it came from the Spaniards themselves,
whom I may call the accusers, yet when I came to examine the fellows,
they could not deny a word of it.

But before I come to the particulars of this part, I must supply a
defect in my former relation; and this was, that I forgot to set down
among the rest, that just as we were weighing the anchor to set sail,
there happened a little quarrel on board our ship, which I was afraid
once would turn to a second mutiny; nor was it appeased till the
captain, rousing up his courage, and taking us all to his assistance,
parted them by force, and making two of the most refractory fellows
prisoners, he laid them in irons; and as they had been active in the
former disorders, and let fall some ugly dangerous words the second
time, he threatened to carry them in irons to England, and have them
hanged there for mutiny, and running away with the ship.

This, it seems, though the captain did not intend to do it, frighted
some other men in the ship; and some of them had put it in the heads of
the rest, that the captain only gave them good words for the present
till they should come to some English port, and that then they should
be all put into a gaol, and tried for their lives.

The mate got intelligence of this, and acquainted us with it; upon which
it was desired that I, who still passed for a great man among them,
should go down with the mate and satisfy the men, and tell them, that
they might be assured, if they behaved well the rest of the voyage, all
they had done for the time past should be pardoned. So I went, and after
passing my honour's word to them they appeared easy, and the more so,
when I caused the two men who were in irons to be released and forgiven.

But this mutiny had brought us to an anchor for that night, the wind
also falling calm. Next morning we found that our two men who had been
laid in irons, had stole each of them a musket and some other weapons;
what powder or shot they had we knew not; and had taken the ship's
pinnace, which was not yet haled up, and run away with her to their
companions in roguery on shore.

As soon as we found this, I ordered the long-boat on shore, with twelve
men and the mate, and away they went to seek the rogues; but they could
neither find them, nor any of the rest; for they all fled into the woods
when they saw the boat coming on shore. The mate was once resolved, in
justice to their roguery, to have destroyed their plantations, burnt all
their household stuff and furniture, and left them to shift without it;
but having no order, he let all alone, left every thing as they found
it, and bringing the pinnace away, came on board without them.

These two men made their number five: but the other three villains were
so much wickeder than these, that after they had been two or three days
together, they turned their two new-comers out of doors to shift for
themselves, and would have nothing to do with them; nor could they, for
a good while, be persuaded to give them any food: as for the Spaniards,
they were not yet come.

When the Spaniards came first on shore, the business began to go
forward; the Spaniards would have persuaded the three English brutes to
have taken in their two countrymen again, that, as they said, they might
be all one family; but they would not hear of it: so the two poor
fellows lived by themselves, and finding nothing but industry and
application would make them live comfortable, they pitched their tents
on the north shore of the island, but a little more to the west, to be
out of the danger of the savages, who always landed on the east parts of
the island.

Here they built two huts, one to lodge in, and the other to lay up their
magazines and stores in; and the Spaniards having given them some corn
for seed, and especially some of the peas which I had left them, they
dug and planted, and enclosed, after the pattern I had set for them all,
and began to live pretty well; their first crop of corn was on the
ground, and though it was but a little bit of land which they had dug up
at first, having had but a little time, yet it was enough to relieve
them, and find them with bread or other eatables; and one of the
fellows, being the cook's mate of the ship, was very ready at making
soup, puddings, and such other preparations, as the rice and the milk,
and such little flesh as they got, furnished him to do.

They were going on in a little thriving posture, when the three
unnatural rogues, their own countrymen too, in mere humour, and to
insult them, came and bullied them, and told them the island was theirs;
that the governor, meaning me, had given them possession of it, and
nobody else had any right to it; and, damn them, they should build no
houses upon their ground, unless they would pay them rent for them.

The two men thought they had jested at first, and asked them to come and
sit down, and see what fine houses they were that they had built, and
tell them what rent they demanded: and one of them merrily told them, if
they were ground-landlords, he hoped if they built tenements upon the
land and made improvements, they would, according to the custom of all
landlords, grant them a long lease; and bid them go fetch a scrivener to
draw the writings. One of the three, damning and raging, told them they
should see they were not in jest; and going to a little place at a
distance, where the honest men had made a fire to dress their victuals,
he takes a firebrand and claps it to the outside of their hut, and very
fairly set it on fire; and it would have been all burnt down in a few
minutes, if one of the two had not run to the fellow, thrust him away,
and trod the fire out with his feet, and that not without some
difficulty too.

The fellow was in such a rage at the honest man's thrusting him away,
that he turned upon him with a pole he had in his hand; and had not the
man avoided the blow very nimbly, and run into the hut, he had ended his
days at once. His comrade, seeing the danger they were both in, ran in
after him, and immediately they came both out with their muskets; and
the man that was first struck at with the pole knocked the fellow down
who began the quarrel with the stock of his musket, and that before the
other two could come to help him; and then seeing the rest come at them,
they stood together, and presenting the other ends of their pieces to
them, bade them stand off.

The others had fire-arms with them too; but one of the two honest men,
bolder than his comrade, and made desperate by his danger, told them if
they offered to move hand or foot they were all dead men, and boldly
commanded them to lay down their arms. They did not indeed lay down
their arms; but seeing him resolute, it brought them to a parley, and
they consented to take their wounded man with them, and be gone; and,
indeed, it seems the fellow was wounded sufficiently with the blow:
however, they were much in the wrong, since they had the advantage, that
they did not disarm them effectually, as they might have done, and have
gone immediately to the Spaniards, and given them an account how the
rogues treated them; for the three villains studied nothing but
revenge, and every day gave them some intimation that they did so.

But not to crowd this part with an account of the lesser part of their
rogueries, such as treading down their corn, shooting three young kids
and a she-goat, which the poor men had got to breed up tame for their
store; and in a word, plaguing them night and day in this manner, it
forced the two men to such a desperation, that they resolved to fight
them all three the first time they had a fair opportunity. In order to
this they resolved to go to the castle, as they called it, that was my
old dwelling, where the three rogues and the Spaniards all lived
together at that time, intending to have a fair battle, and the
Spaniards should stand by to see fair play. So they got up in the
morning before day, and came to the place, and called the Englishmen by
their names, telling a Spaniard that answered, that they wanted to speak
with them.

It happened that the day before two of the Spaniards, having been in the
woods, had seen one of the two Englishmen, whom, for distinction, I call
the honest men; and he had made a sad complaint to the Spaniards, of the
barbarous usage they had met with from their three countrymen, and how
they had ruined their plantation, and destroyed their corn, that they
had laboured so hard to bring forward, and killed the milch-goat, and
their three kids, which was all they had provided for their sustenance;
and that if he and his friends, meaning the Spaniards, did not assist
them again, they should be starved. When the Spaniards came home at
night, and they were all at supper, he took the freedom to reprove the
three Englishmen, though in gentle and mannerly terms, and asked them,
how they could be so cruel, they being harmless inoffensive fellows, and
that they were putting themselves in a way to subsist by their labour,
and that it had cost them a great deal of pains to bring things to such
perfection as they had?

One of the Englishmen returned very briskly, "What had they to do there?
That they came on shore without leave, and that they should not plant
or build upon the island; it was none of their ground."--"Why," says the
Spaniard, very calmly, "Seignior Inglese, they must not starve." The
Englishman replied, like a true rough-hewn tarpaulin, "they might starve
and be d--ed, they should not plant nor build in that place."--"But what
must they do then, Seignior?" says the Spaniard. Another of the brutes
returned, "Do! d--n them, they should be servants, and work for
them."--"But how can you expect that of them? They are not bought with
your money; you have no right to make them servants." The Englishman
answered, "The island was theirs, the governor had given it to them, and
no man had any thing to do there but themselves;" and with that swore by
his Maker, that he would go and burn all their new huts; they should
build none upon their land.

"Why, Seignior," says the Spaniard, "by the same rule, we must be your
servants too."--"Ay," says the bold dog, "and so you shall too, before
we have done with you;" mixing two or three G--d d--mme's in the proper
intervals of his speech. The Spaniard only smiled at that, and made him
no answer. However, this little discourse had heated them; and starting
up, one says to the other, I think it was he they called Will Atkins,
"Come, Jack, let us go and have the other brush with them; we will
demolish their castle, I will warrant you; they shall plant no colony in
our dominions."

Upon this they were all trooping away, with every man a gun, a pistol,

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