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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Part 3 out of 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the firewood was burned pretty much into embers or live coals,
I drew them forward upon this hearth, so as to cover it all over,
and there I let them lie till the hearth was very hot. Then
sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf or loaves, and
whelming down the earthen pot upon them, drew the embers all round
the outside of the pot, to keep in and add to the heat; and thus as
well as in the best oven in the world, I baked my barley-loaves,
and became in little time a good pastrycook into the bargain; for I
made myself several cakes and puddings of the rice; but I made no
pies, neither had I anything to put into them supposing I had,
except the flesh either of fowls or goats.

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

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

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

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

But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such an
undertaking, and how I might fall into the hands of savages, and
perhaps such as I might have reason to think far worse than the
lions and tigers of Africa: that if I once came in their power, I
should run a hazard of more than a thousand to one of being killed,
and perhaps of being eaten; for I had heard that the people of the
Caribbean coast were cannibals or man-eaters, and I knew by the
latitude that I could not be far from that shore. Then, supposing
they were not cannibals, yet they might kill me, as many Europeans
who had fallen into their hands had been served, even when they had
been ten or twenty together - much more I, that was but one, and
could make little or no defence; all these things, I say, which I
ought to have considered well; and did come into my thoughts
afterwards, yet gave me no apprehensions at first, and my head ran
mightily upon the thought of getting over to the shore.

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

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

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

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

One would have thought I could not have had the least reflection
upon my mind of my circumstances while I was making this boat, but
I should have immediately thought how I should get it into the sea;
but my thoughts were so intent upon my voyage over the sea in it,
that I never once considered how I should get it off the land: and
it was really, in its own nature, more easy for me to guide it over
forty-five miles of sea than about forty-five fathoms of land,
where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.

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

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

When I had gone through this work I was extremely delighted with
it. The boat was really much bigger than ever I saw a canoe or
periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life. Many a weary
stroke it had cost, you may be sure; and had I gotten it into the
water, I make no question, but I should have begun the maddest
voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed, that ever was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that indeed it
could be nobody else, it was a good while before I could compose
myself. First, I was amazed how the creature got thither; and
then, how he should just keep about the place, and nowhere else;
but as I was well satisfied it could be nobody but honest Poll, I
got over it; and holding out my hand, and calling him by his name,
"Poll," the sociable creature came to me, and sat upon my thumb, as
he used to do, and continued talking to me, "Poor Robin Crusoe! and
how did I come here? and where had I been?" just as if he had been
overjoyed to see me again; and so I carried him home along with me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As this was also about half-way between my other habitation and the
place where I had laid up my boat, I generally stayed and lay here
in my way thither, for I used frequently to visit my boat; and I
kept all things about or belonging to her in very good order.
Sometimes I went out in her to divert myself, but no more hazardous
voyages would I go, scarcely ever above a stone's cast or two from
the shore, I was so apprehensive of being hurried out of my
knowledge again by the currents or winds, or any other accident.
But now I come to a new scene of my life. It happened one day,
about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with
the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain
to be seen on the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I
had seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, but I could
hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to
look farther; I went up the shore and down the shore, but it was
all one; I could see no other impression but that one. I went to
it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might
not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was
exactly the print of a foot - toes, heel, and every part of a foot.
How it came thither I knew not, nor could I in the least imagine;
but after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly
confused and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, not
feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last
degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking
every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a
man. Nor is it possible to describe how many various shapes my
affrighted imagination represented things to me in, how many wild
ideas were found every moment in my fancy, and what strange,
unaccountable whimsies came into my thoughts by the way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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