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

Part 7 out of 11

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and a sword, and muttered some insolent things among themselves, of what
they would do to the Spaniards too, when opportunity offered; but the
Spaniards, it seems, did not so perfectly understand them as to know all
the particulars; only that, in general, they threatened them hard for
taking the two Englishmen's part.

Whither they went, or how they bestowed their time that evening, the
Spaniards said they did not know; but it seems they wandered about the
country part of the night; and then lying down in the place which I
used to call my bower, they were weary, and overslept themselves. The
case was this: they had resolved to stay till midnight, and so to take
the poor men when they were asleep; and they acknowledged it afterwards,
intending to set fire to their huts while they were in them, and either
burn them in them, or murder them as they came out: and, as malice
seldom sleeps very sound, it was very strange they should not have been
kept waking.

However, as the two men had also a design upon them, as I have said,
though a much fairer one than that of burning and murdering, it
happened, and very luckily for them all, that they were up, and gone
abroad, before the bloody-minded rogues came to their huts.

When they came thither, and found the men gone, Atkins, who it seems was
the forwardest man, called out to his comrades, "Ha! Jack, here's the
nest; but d--n them, the birds are flown." They mused awhile to think
what should be the occasion of their being gone abroad so soon, and
suggested presently, that the Spaniards had given them notice of it; and
with that they shook hands, and swore to one another, that they would be
revenged of the Spaniards. As soon as they had made this bloody bargain,
they fell to work with the poor men's habitation; they did not set fire
indeed to any thing, but they pulled down both their houses, and pulled
them so limb from limb, that they left not the least stick standing, or
scarce any sign on the ground where they stood; they tore all their
little collected household-stuff in pieces, and threw every thing about
in such a manner, that the poor men found, afterwards, some of their
things a mile off from their habitation.

When they had done this, they pulled up all the young trees which the
poor men had planted; pulled up the enclosure they had made to secure
their cattle and their corn; and, in a word, sacked and plundered every
thing, as completely as a herd of Tartars would have done.

The two men were at this juncture gone to find them out, and had
resolved to fight them wherever they had been, though they were but two
to three; so that, had they met, there certainly would have been
bloodshed among them; for they were all very stout, resolute fellows, to
give them their due.

But Providence took more care to keep them asunder, than they themselves
could do to meet; for, as they had dogged one another, when the three
were gone thither, the two were here; and afterwards, when the two went
back to find them, the three were come to the old habitation again: we
shall see their differing conduct presently. When the three came back,
like furious creatures, flushed with the rage which the work they had
been about put them into, they came up to the Spaniards, and told them
what they had done, by way of scoff and bravado; and one of them
stepping up to one of the Spaniards, as if they had been a couple of
boys at play, takes hold of his hat, as it was upon his head, and giving
it a twirl about, jeering in his face, says he to him, "And you,
Seignior Jack Spaniard, shall have the same sauce, if you do not mend
your manners." The Spaniard, who, though quite a civil man, was as brave
as a man could desire to be, and withal a strong well-made man, looked
steadily at him for a good while; and then, having no weapon in his
hand, stepped gravely up to him, and with one blow of his fist knocked
him down, as an ox is felled with a pole-axe; at which one of the
rogues, insolent as the first, fixed his pistol at the Spaniard
immediately; he missed his body indeed, for the bullets went through his
hair, but one of them touched the tip of his ear, and he bled pretty
much. The blood made the Spaniard believe he was more hurt than he
really was, and that put him into some heat, for before he acted all in
a perfect calm; but now resolving to go through with his work, he
stooped and took the fellow's musket whom he had knocked down, and was
just going to shoot the man who had fired at him; when the rest of the
Spaniards, being in the cave, came out, and calling to him not to
shoot, they stepped in, secured the other two, and took their arms
from them.

When they were thus disarmed, and found they had made all the Spaniards
their enemies, as well as their own countrymen, they began to cool; and
giving the Spaniards better words, would have had their arms again; but
the Spaniards, considering the feud that was between them and the other
two Englishmen, and that it would be the best method they could take to
keep them from one another, told them they would do them no harm; and if
they would live peaceably they would be very willing to assist and
associate with them, as they did before; but that they could not think
of giving them their arms again, while they appeared so resolved to do
mischief with them to their own countrymen, and had even threatened them
all to make them their servants.

The rogues were now more capable to hear reason than to act reason; but
being refused their arms, they went raving away, and raging like madmen,
threatening what they would do, though they had no fire-arms: but the
Spaniards, despising their threatening, told them they should take care
how they offered any injury to their plantation or cattle; for if they
did, they would shoot them, as they would do ravenous beasts, wherever
they found them; and if they fell into their hands alive, they would
certainly be hanged. However, this was far from cooling them; but away
they went, swearing and raging like furies of hell. As soon as they were
gone, came back the two men in passion and rage enough also, though of
another kind; for, having been at their plantation, and finding it all
demolished and destroyed, as above, it will easily be supposed they had
provocation enough; they could scarce have room to tell their tale, the
Spaniards were so eager to tell them theirs; and it was strange enough
to find, that three men should thus bully nineteen, and receive no
punishment at all.

The Spaniards indeed despised them, and especially having thus disarmed
them, made light of their threatenings; but the two Englishmen resolved
to have their remedy against them, what pains soever it cost to
find them out.

But the Spaniards interposed here too, and told them, that they were
already disarmed: they could not consent that they (the two) should
pursue them with fire-arms, and perhaps kill them: "But," said the grave
Spaniard, who was their governor, "we will endeavour to make them do you
justice, if you will leave it to us; for, as there is no doubt but they
will come to us again when their passion is over, being not able to
subsist without our assistance, we promise you to make no peace with
them, without having full satisfaction for you; and upon this condition
we hope you will promise to use no violence with them, other than in
your defence."

The two Englishmen; yielded to this very awkwardly and with great
reluctance; but the Spaniards protested, they did it only to keep them
from bloodshed, and to make all easy at last; "For," said they, "we are
not so many of us; here is room enough for us all, and it is great pity
we should not be all good friends." At length they did consent, and
waited for the issue of the thing, living for some days with the
Spaniards; for their own habitation was destroyed.

In about five days time the three vagrants, tired with wandering, and
almost starved with hunger, having chiefly lived on turtles' eggs all
that while, came back to the grove: and finding my Spaniard, who, as I
have said, was the governor, and two more with him, walking by the side
of the creek; they came up in a very submissive humble manner, and
begged to be received again into the family. The Spaniards used them
civilly, but told them, they had acted so unnaturally by their
countrymen, and so very grossly by them, (the Spaniards) that they could
not come to any conclusion without consulting the two Englishmen, and
the rest; but however they would go to them and discourse about it, and
they should know in half-an-hour. It may be guessed that they were very
hard put to it; for, as they were to wait this half-hour for an answer,
they begged they would send them out some bread in the meantime, which
they did, sending at the same time a large piece of goat's flesh and a
boiled parrot, which they ate very eagerly.

After half-an-hour's consultation they were called in, and a long debate
ensued, their two countrymen charging them with the ruin of all their
labour, and a design to murder them; all which they owned before, and
therefore could not deny now. Upon the whole, the Spaniards acted the
moderators between them; and as they had obliged the two Englishmen not
to hurt the three while they were naked and unarmed, so they now obliged
the three to go and rebuild their fellows' two huts, one to be of the
same and the other of larger dimensions than they were before; to fence
their ground again, plant trees in the room of those pulled up, dig up
the land again for planting corn, and, in a word, to restore everything
to the same state as they found it, that is, as near as they could.

Well, they submitted to all this; and as they had plenty of provisions
given them all the while, they grew very orderly, and the whole society
began to live pleasantly and agreeably together again; only that these
three fellows could never be persuaded to work--I mean for
themselves--except now and then a little, just as they pleased. However,
the Spaniards told them plainly that if they would but live sociably and
friendly together, and study the good of the whole plantation, they
would be content to work for them, and let them walk about and be as
idle as they pleased; and thus, having lived pretty well together for a
month or two, the Spaniards let them have arms again, and gave them
liberty to go abroad with them as before.

It was not above a week after they had these arms, and went abroad,
before the ungrateful creatures began to be as insolent and troublesome
as ever. However, an accident happened presently upon this, which
endangered the safety of them all, and they were obliged to lay by all
private resentments, and look to the preservation of their lives.

It happened one night that the governor, the Spaniard whose life I had
saved, who was now the governor of the rest, found himself very uneasy
in the night, and could by no means get any sleep: he was perfectly well
in body, only found his thoughts tumultuous; his mind ran upon men
fighting and killing one another; but he was broad awake, and could not
by any means get any sleep; in short, he lay a great while, but growing
more and more uneasy, he resolved to rise. As they lay, being so many of
them, on goat-skins laid thick upon such couches and pads as they made
for themselves, so they had little to do, when they were willing to
rise, but to get upon their feet, and perhaps put on a coat, such as it
was, and their pumps, and they were ready for going any way that their
thoughts guided them. Being thus got up, he looked out; but being dark,
he could see little or nothing, and besides, the trees which I had
planted, and which were now grown tall, intercepted his sight, so that
he could only look up, and see that it was a starlight night, and
hearing no noise, he returned and lay down again; but to no purpose; he
could not compose himself to anything like rest; but his thoughts were
to the last degree uneasy, and he knew not for what.

Having made some noise with rising and walking about, going out and
coming in, another of them waked, and, calling, asked who it was that
was up? The governor told him how it had been with him. "Say you so?"
says the other Spaniard; "such things are not to be slighted, I assure
you; there is certainly some mischief working," says he, "near us;" and
presently he asked him, "Where are the Englishmen?" "They are all in
their huts," says he, "safe enough." It seems, the Spaniards had kept
possession of the main apartment, and had made a place, where the three
Englishmen, since their last mutiny, always quartered by themselves, and
could not come at the rest. "Well," says the Spaniard, "there is
something in it, I am persuaded from my own experience; I am satisfied
our spirits embodied have converse with, and receive intelligence from,
the spirits unembodied, and inhabiting the invisible world; and this
friendly notice is given for our advantage, if we know how to make use
of it. Come," says he, "let us go out and look abroad; and if we find
nothing at all in it to justify our trouble, I'll tell you a story of
the purpose, that shall convince you of the justice of my proposing it."

In a word, they went out to go to the top of the hill, where I used to
go; but they, being strong, and in good company, nor alone, as I was,
used none of my cautions to go up by the ladder, and then pulling it up
after them, to go up a second stage to the top but were going round
through the grove unconcerned and unwary, when they were surprised with
seeing a light as of fire, a very little way off from them, and hearing
the voices of men, not of one or two, but of a great number.

In all the discoveries I had made of the savage landing on the island,
it was my constant care to prevent them making the least discovery of
there being any inhabitant upon the place; and when by any necessity
they came to know it, they felt it so effectively, that they that got
away, were scarce able to give any account of it, for we disappeared as
soon as possible, nor did ever any that had seen me, escape to tell any
one else, except it were the three savages in our last encounter, who
jumped into the boat, of whom I mentioned that I was afraid they should
go home, and bring more help.

Whether it was the consequence of the escape of those men, that so great
a number came now together; or whether they came ignorantly, and by
accident, on their usual bloody errand, the Spaniards could not, it
seems, understand: but whatever it was, it had been their business,
either to have: concealed themselves, and not have seen them at all;
much less to have let the savages have seen, that there were any
inhabitants in the place; but to have fallen upon them so effectually,
as that not a man of them should have escaped, which could only have
been by getting in between them and their boats: but this presence of
mind was wanting to them; which was the ruin of their tranquillity for a
great while.

We need not doubt but that the governor, and the man with him, surprised
with this sight, ran back immediately, and raised their fellows, giving
them an account of the imminent danger they were all in; and they again
as readily took the alarm, but it was impossible to persuade them to
stay close within where they were, but that they must all run out to see
how things stood.

While it was dark indeed, they were well enough, and they had
opportunity enough, for some hours, to view them by the light of three
fires they had made at some distance from one another; what they were
doing they knew not, and what to do themselves they knew not; for,
first, the enemy were too many; and, secondly, they did not keep
together, but were divided into several parties, and were on shore in
several places.

The Spaniards were in no small consternation at this sight; and as they
found that the fellows ran straggling all over the shore, they made no
doubt, but, first or last, some of them would chop in upon their
habitation, or upon some other place, where they would see the tokens of
inhabitants; and they were in great perplexity also for fear of their
flock of goats, which would have been little less than starving them, if
they should have been destroyed; so the first thing they resolved upon,
was to dispatch three men away before it was light, viz. two Spaniards
and one Englishman, to drive all the goats away to the great valley
where the cave was, and, if need were, to drive them into the very
cave itself.

Could they have seen the savages all together in one body, and at a
distance from their canoes, they resolved, if there had been an hundred
of them, to have attacked them; but that could not be obtained, for
there were some of them two miles off from the other, and, as it
appeared afterwards, were of two different nations.

After having mused a great while on the course they should take, and
beaten their brains in considering their present circumstances, they
resolved, at last while it was dark, to send the old savage (Friday's
father) out as a spy, to learn if possible something concerning them, as
what they came for, and what they intended to do, and the like. The old
man readily undertook it, and stripping himself quite naked, as most of
the savages were, away he went. After he had been gone an hour or two,
he brings word that he had been among them undiscovered, that he found
they were two parties, and of two several nations who had war with one
another, and had had a great battle in their own country, and that both
sides having had several prisoners taken in the fight, they were by mere
chance landed in the same island for the devouring their prisoners, and
making merry; but this coming so by chance to the same place had spoiled
all their mirth; that they were in a great rage at one another, and were
so near, that he believed they would fight again as soon as daylight
began to appear; he did not perceive that they had any notion of
anybody's being on the island but themselves. He had hardly made an end
of telling the story, when they could perceive, by the unusual noise
they made, that the two little armies were engaged in a bloody fight.

Friday's father used all the arguments he could to persuade our people
to lie close, and not be seen; he told them their safety consisted in
it, and that they had nothing to do but to lie still, and the savages
would kill one another to their hands, and the rest would go away; and
it was so to a tittle. But it was impossible to prevail, especially upon
the Englishmen, their curiosity was so importunate upon their
prudentials, that they must run out and see the battle; however, they
used some caution, viz. they did not go openly just by their own
dwelling, but went farther into the woods, and placed themselves to
advantage, where they might securely see them manage the fight, and, as
they thought, not to be seen by them; but it seems the savages did see
them, as we shall find hereafter.

The battle was very fierce, and if I might believe the Englishmen, one
of them said he could perceive that some of them were men of great
bravery, of invincible spirits, and of great policy in guiding the
fight. The battle, they said, held two hours before they could guess
which party would be beaten; but then that party which was nearest our
people's habitation began to appear weakest, and, after some time more,
some of them began to fly; and this put our men again into a great
consternation, lest any of those that fled should run into the grove
before their dwelling for shelter, and thereby involuntarily discover
the place, and that by consequence the pursuers should do the like in
search for them. Upon this they resolved, that they would stand armed
within the wall, and whoever came into the grove they should sally out
over the wall, and kill them, so that if possible not one should return
to give an account of it; they ordered also, that it should be done with
their swords, or by knocking them down with the stock of the musket,
not by shooting them, for fear of raising an alarm by the noise.

As they expected it fell out: three of the routed army fled for life,
and crossing the creek ran directly into the place, not in the least
knowing whither they went, but running as into a thick wood for shelter.
The scout they kept to look abroad gave notice of this within, with this
addition to our men's great satisfaction, viz. that the conquerors had
not pursued them, or seen which way they were gone. Upon this the
Spaniard governor, a man of humanity, would not suffer them to kill the
three fugitives; but sending three men out by the top of the hill,
ordered them to go round and come in behind them, surprise and take them
prisoners; which was done: the residue of the conquered people fled to
their canoes, and got off to sea; the victors retired, and made no
pursuit, or very little, but drawing themselves into a body together,
gave two great screaming shouts, which they suppose were by way of
triumph, and so the fight ended; and the same day, about three o'clock
in the afternoon, they also marched to their canoes. And thus the
Spaniards had their island again free to themselves, their fright was
over, and they saw no savages in several years after.

After they were all gone, the Spaniards came out of their den, and
viewing the field of battle, they found about two-and-thirty dead men
upon the spot; some were killed with great long arrows, several of which
were found sticking in their bodies, but most of them were killed with
their great wooden swords, sixteen or seventeen of which they found in
the field of battle, and as many bows, with a great many arrows. These
swords were great unwieldy things, and they must be very strong men that
used them; most of those men that were killed with them had their heads
mashed to pieces, as we may say, or, as we call it in English, their
brains knocked out, and several of their arms and legs broken; so that
it is evident they fight with inexpressible rage and fury. They found
not one wounded man that was not stone dead; for either they stay by
their enemy till they have quite killed them, or they carry all the
wounded men, that are not quite dead, away with them.

This deliverance tamed our Englishmen for a great while; the sight had
filled them with horror, and the consequence appeared terrible to the
last degree; especially upon supposing that some time or other they
should fall into the hands of those creatures, who would not only kill
them as enemies, but kill them for food as we kill our cattle. And they
professed to me, that the thoughts of being eaten up like beef or
mutton, though it was supposed it was not to be till they were dead, had
something in it so horrible that it nauseated their very stomachs, made
them sick when they thought of it, and filled their minds with unusual
terror, that they were not themselves for some weeks after.

This, as I said, tamed even the three English brutes I have been
speaking of, and for a great while after they were very tractable, and
went about the common business of the whole society well enough;
planted, sowed, reaped, and began to be all naturalized to the country;
but some time after this they fell all into such simple measures again
as brought them into a great deal of trouble.

They had taken three prisoners, as I had observed; and these three being
lusty stout young fellows, they made them servants, and taught them to
work for them; and as slaves they did well enough; but they did not take
their measures with them as I did by my man Friday, viz. to begin with
them upon the principle of having saved their lives, and then instructed
them in the rational principles of life, much less of religion,
civilizing and reducing them by kind usage and affectionate arguings;
but as they gave them their food every day, so they gave them their work
too, and kept them fully employed in drudgery enough; but they failed in
this by it, that they never had them to assist them and fight for them
as I had my man Friday, who was as true to me as the very flesh upon
my bones.

But to come to the family part: Being all now good friends (for common
danger, as I said above, had effectually reconciled them,) they began to
consider their general circumstances; and the first thing that came
under their consideration was, whether, seeing the savages particularly
haunted that side of the island, and that there were more remote and
retired parts of it equally adapted to their way of living, and
manifestly to their advantage, they should not rather remove their
habitation, and plant in some more proper place for their safety, and
especially for the security of their cattle and corn.

Upon this, after long debate, it was conceived that they should not
remove their habitation, because that some time or other they thought
they might hear from their governor again, meaning me; and if I should
send any one to seek them, I would be sure to direct them on that side,
where if they should find the place demolished they would conclude the
savages had killed us all, and we were gone, and so our supply would
go away too.

But as to their corn and cattle, they agreed to remove them into the
valley where my cave was, where the land was as proper to both, and
where indeed there was land enough; however, upon second thoughts they
altered one part of that resolution too, and resolved only to remove
part of their cattle thither, and plant part of their corn there; and
so, if one part was destroyed, the other might be saved; and one piece
of prudence they used, which it was very well they did; viz. that they
never trusted these three savages, which they had taken prisoners, with
knowing any thing of the plantation they had made in that valley, or of
any cattle they had there; much less of the cave there, which they kept
in case of necessity as a safe retreat; and thither they carried also
the two barrels of powder which I had left them at my coming away.

But however they resolved not to change their habitation; yet they
agreed, that as I had carefully covered it first with a wall and
fortification, and then with a grove of trees; so seeing their safety
consisted entirely in their being concealed, of which they were now
fully convinced, they set to work to cover and conceal the place yet
more effectually than before: to this purpose, as I had planted trees
(or rather thrust in stakes which in time all grew to be trees) for some
good distance before the entrance into my apartment, they went on in the
same manner, and filled up the rest of that whole space of ground, from
the trees I had set quite down to the side of the creek, where, as I
said, I landed my floats, and even into the very ooze where the tide
flowed, not so much as leaving any place to land, or any sign that there
had been any landing thereabout. These stakes also being of a wood very
forward to grow, as I had noted formerly, they took care to have
generally very much larger and taller than those which I had planted,
and placed them so very thick and close, that when they had been three
or four years grown there was no piercing with the eye any considerable
way into the plantation. As for that part which I had planted, the trees
were grown as thick as a man's thigh; and among them they placed so many
other short ones, and so thick, that, in a word, it stood like a
palisado a quarter of a mile thick, and it was next to impossible to
penetrate it but with a little army to cut it all down; for a little dog
could hardly get between the trees, they stood so close.

But this was not all; for they did the same by all the ground to the
right hand, and to the left, and round even to the top of the hill,
leaving no way, not so much as for themselves to come out, but by the
ladder placed up to the side of the hill, and then lifted up and placed
again from the first stage up to the top; which ladder, when it was
taken down, nothing but what had wings or witchcraft to assist it, could
come at them.

This was excellently well contrived, nor was it less than what they
afterwards found occasion for; which served to convince me, that as
human prudence has authority of Providence to justify it, so it has,
doubtless, the direction of Providence to set it to work, and, would we
listen carefully to the voice of it, I am fully persuaded we might
prevent many of the disasters which our lives are now by our own
negligence subjected to: but this by the way.

I return to the story: They lived two years after this in perfect
retirement, and had no more visits from the savages; they had indeed an
alarm given them one morning, which put them in a great consternation
for some of the Spaniards being out early one morning on the west side,
or rather end of the island which, by the way, was that end where I
never went, for fear of being discovered, they were surprised with
seeing above twenty canoes of Indians just coming on shore.

They made the best of their way home in hurry enough, and, giving the
alarm to their comrades, they kept close all that day and the next,
going out only at night to make observation; but they had the good luck
to be mistaken, for wherever the savages went, they did not land at that
time on the island, but pursued some other design.

And now they had another broil with the three Englishmen, one of which,
a most turbulent fellow, being in a rage at one of the three slaves
which I mentioned they had taken, because the fellow had not done
something right which he bid him do, and seemed a little untractable in
his shewing him, drew a hatchet out of a frog-belt, in which he bore it
by his side, and fell upon him, the poor savage, not to correct him but
to kill him. One of the Spaniards who was by, seeing him give the fellow
a barbarous cut with the hatchet which he aimed at his head, but struck
into his shoulder, so that he thought he had cut the poor creature's arm
off, ran to him, and entreating him not to murder the poor man, clapt
in between him and the savage to prevent the mischief.

The fellow being enraged the more at this, struck at the Spaniard with
his hatchet, and swore he would serve him as he intended to serve the
savage; which the Spaniard perceiving, avoided the blow, and with a
shovel which he had in his hand (for they were working in the field
about the corn-land) knocked the brute down; another of the Englishmen
running at the same time to help his comrade, knocked the Spaniard down,
and then two Spaniards more came to help their man, and a third
Englishman fell upon them. They had none of them any fire-arms, or any
other weapons but hatchets and other tools, except the third Englishman;
he had one of my old rusty cutlasses, with which he made at the last
Spaniards, and wounded them both. This fray set the whole family in an
uproar, and more help coming in, they took the three Englishmen
prisoners. The next question was, what should be done with them? they
had been so often mutinous, and were so furious, so desperate, and so
idle withal, that they knew not what course to take with them, for they
were mischievous to the highest degree, and valued not what hurt they
did any man; so that, in short, it was not safe to live with them.

The Spaniard who was governor, told them in so many words, that if they
had been his own countrymen he would have hanged them all; for all laws
and all governors were to preserve society, and those who were dangerous
to the society ought to be expelled out of it; but as they were
Englishmen, and that it was to the generous kindness of an Englishman
that they all owed their preservation and deliverance, he would use them
with all possible lenity, and would leave them to the judgment of the
other two Englishmen, who were their countrymen.

One of the two honest Englishmen stood up, and said they desired it
might not be left to them; "For," says he, "I am sure we ought to
sentence them to the gallows," and with that gives an account how Will
Atkins, one of the three, had proposed to have all the five Englishmen
join together, and murder all the Spaniards when they were in
their sleep.

When the Spanish governor heard this, he calls to Will Atkins: "How,
Seignior Atkins," says he, "will you murder us all? What have you to say
to that?" That hardened villain was so far from denying it, that he said
it was true, and G-d d-mn him they would do it still before they had
done with them. "Well, but Seignior Atkins," said the Spaniard, "what
have we done to you that you will kill us? And what would you get by
killing us? And what must we do to prevent your killing us? Must we kill
you, or will you kill us? Why will you put us to the necessity of this,
Seignior Atkins?" says the Spaniard very calmly and smiling.

Seignior Atkins was in such a rage at the Spaniard's making a jest of
it, that had he not been held by three men, and withal had no weapons
with him, it was thought he would have attempted to have killed the
Spaniard in the middle of all the company.

This harebrained carriage obliged them to consider seriously what was to
be done. The two Englishmen and the Spaniard who saved the poor savage,
were of the opinion that they should hang one of the three for an
example to the rest; and that particularly it should be he that had
twice attempted to commit murder with his hatchet; and indeed there was
some reason to believe he had done it, for the poor savage was in such a
miserable condition with the wound he had received, that it was thought
he could not live.

But the governor Spaniard still said, no, it was an Englishman that had
saved all their lives, and he would never consent to put an Englishman
to death though he had murdered half of them; nay, he said if he had
been killed himself by an Englishman, and had time left to speak, it
should be that they should pardon him.

This was so positively insisted on by the governor Spaniard, that there
was no gainsaying it; and as merciful counsels are most apt to prevail,
where they are so earnestly pressed, so they all came into it; but then
it was to be considered what should be done to keep them from the
mischief they designed; for all agreed, governor and all, that means
were to be used for preserving the society from danger. After a long
debate it was agreed, first, that they should be disarmed, and not
permitted to have either gun, or powder, or shot, or sword, or any
weapon, and should be turned out of the society, and left to live where
they would, and how they could by themselves; but that none of the rest,
either Spaniards or English, should converse with them, speak with them,
or have any thing to do with them; that they should be forbid to come
within a certain distance of the place where the rest dwelt; and that if
they offered to commit any disorder, so as to spoil, burn, kill, or
destroy any of the corn, plantings, buildings, fences, or cattle
belonging to the society, that they should die without mercy, and would
shoot them wherever they could find them.

The governor, a man of great humanity, musing upon the sentence,
considered a little upon it, and turning to the two honest Englishmen,
said, "Hold, you must reflect, that it will be long ere they can raise
corn and cattle of their own, and they must not starve; we must
therefore allow them provisions." So he caused to be added, that they
should have a proportion of corn given them to last them eight months,
and for seed to sow, by which time they might be supposed to raise some
of their own; that they should have six milch-goats, four he-goats, and
six kids given them, as well for present subsistence as for a store; and
that they should have tools given them for their work in the field; such
as six hatchets, an axe, a saw, and the like: but they should have none
of these tools or provisions unless they would swear solemnly that they
would not hurt or injure any of the Spaniards with them, or of their
fellow Englishmen.

Thus they dismissed them the society, and turned them out to shift for
themselves. They went away sullen and refractory, as neither contented
to go away or to stay; but as there was no remedy they went, pretending
to go and choose a place where they should settle themselves, to plant
and live by themselves; and some provisions were given, but no weapons.

About four or five days after they came again for some victuals, and
gave the governor an account where they had pitched their tents, and
marked themselves out an habitation or plantation: it was a very
convenient place indeed, on the remotest part of the island, N.E. much
about the place where I providentially landed in my first voyage when I
was driven out to sea, the Lord alone knows whither, in my foolish
attempt to surround the island.

Here they built themselves two handsome huts, and contrived them in a
manner like my first habitation being close under the side of a hill,
having some trees growing already to the three sides of it; so that by
planting others it would be very easily covered from the sight, unless
narrowly searched for. They desired some dry goat-skins for beds and
covering, which were given them; and upon their giving their words that
they would not disturb the rest, or injure any of their plantations,
they gave them hatchets, and what other tools they could spare; some
peas, barley, and rice, for sowing, and, in a word, any thing they
wanted but arms and ammunition.

They lived in this separate condition about six months, and had got in
their first harvest, though the quantity was but small, the parcel of
land they had planted being but little; for indeed having all their
plantation to form, they had a great deal of work upon their hands; and
when they came to make boards, and pots, and such things, they were
quite out of their element, and could make nothing of it; and when the
rainy season came on, for want of a cave in the earth, they could not
keep their grain dry, and it was in great danger of spoiling: and this
humbled them much; so they came and begged the Spaniards to help them,
which they very readily did; and in four days worked a great hole in
the side of the hill for them, big enough to secure their corn and other
things from the rain: but it was but a poor place at best compared to
mine; and especially as mine was then; for the Spaniards had greatly
enlarged it, and made several new apartments in it.

About three quarters of a year after this separation a new frolic took
these rogues, which, together with the former villany they had
committed, brought mischief enough upon them, and had very near been the
ruin of the whole colony. The three new associates began, it seems, to
be weary of the laborious life they led, and that without hope of
bettering their circumstances; and a whim took them that they would make
a voyage to the continent from whence the savages came, and would try if
they could not seize upon some prisoners among the natives there, and
bring them home, so as to make them do the laborious part of the
work for them.

The project was not so preposterous if they had gone no farther; but
they did nothing and proposed nothing but had either mischief in the
design or mischief in the event; and if I may give my opinion, they
seemed to be under a blast from Heaven; for if we will not allow a
visible curse to pursue visible crimes, how shall we reconcile the
events of things with divine justice? It was certainly an apparent
vengeance on their crime of mutiny and piracy that brought them to the
state they were in; and as they shewed not the least remorse for the
crime, but added new villanies to it, such as particularly that piece of
monstrous cruelty of wounding a poor slave because he did not, or
perhaps could not understand to do what he was directed, and to wound
him in such a manner as, no question, made him a cripple all his life,
and in a place where no surgeon or medicine could be had for his cure;
and what was still worse, the murderous intent, or, to do justice to the
crime, the intentional murder, for such to be sure it was, as was
afterwards the formed design they all laid to murder the Spaniards in
cold blood, and in their sleep.

But I leave observing, and return to the story: The three fellows came
down to the Spaniards one morning, and in very humble terms desired to
be admitted to speak with them; the Spaniards very readily heard what
they had to say, which was this, that they were tired of living in the
manner they did, that they were not handy enough to make the necessaries
they wanted; and that, having no help, they found they should be
starved; but if the Spaniards would give them leave to take one of the
canoes which they came over in, and give them arms and ammunition
proportioned for their defence, they would go over to the main, and seek
their fortune, and so deliver them from the trouble of supplying them
with any other provisions.

The Spaniards were glad enough to be rid of them; but yet very honestly
represented to them the certain destruction they were running into; told
them they had suffered such hardships upon that very spot, that they
could, without any spirit of prophecy, tell them that they would be
starved or murdered, and bade them consider of it.

The men replied audaciously, they should be starved if they stayed here,
for they could not work, and would not work; and they could but be
starved abroad; and if they were murdered, there was an end of them,
they had no wives or children to cry after them; and, in short, insisted
importunately upon their demand, declaring that they would go, whether
they would give them any arms or no.

The Spaniards told them with great kindness, that if they were resolved
to go, they should not go like naked men, and be in no condition to
defend themselves, and that though they could ill spare their fire-arms,
having not enough for themselves, yet they would let them have two
muskets, a pistol, and a cutlass, and each man a hatchet, which they
thought sufficient for them.

In a word, they accepted the offer, and having baked them bread enough
to serve them a month, and given them as much goat's flesh as they could
eat while it was sweet, and a great basket full of dried grapes, a pot
full of fresh water, and a young kid alive to kill, they boldly set out
in a canoe for a voyage over the sea, where it was at least forty
miles broad.

The boat was indeed a large one, and would have very well carried
fifteen or twenty men, and therefore was rather too big for them to
manage; but as they had a fair breeze and the flood-tide with them, they
did well enough; they had made a mast of a long pole, and a sail of four
large goat-skins dried, which they had sewed or laced together; and away
they went merrily enough; the Spaniards called after them, "Bon veajo;"
and no man ever thought of seeing them any more.

The Spaniards would often say to one another, and the two honest
Englishmen who remained behind, how quietly and comfortably they lived
now those three turbulent fellows were gone; as for their ever coming
again, that was the remotest thing from their thoughts could be
imagined; when, behold, after twenty-two days absence, one of the
Englishmen being abroad upon his planting work, sees three strange men
coming towards him at a distance, two of them with guns upon their

Away runs the Englishman, as if he was bewitched, and became frighted
and amazed, to the governor Spaniard, and tells him they were all
undone, for there were strangers landed upon the island, he could not
tell who. The Spaniard pausing a while, says to him, "How do you mean,
you cannot tell who? They are savages to be sure."--"No, no," says the
Englishman, "they are men in clothes, with arms."--"Nay then," says the
Spaniard, "why are you concerned? If they are not savages, they must be
friends; for there is no Christian nation upon earth but will do us good
rather than harm."

While they were debating thus, came the three Englishmen, and standing
without the wood which was new-planted, hallooed to them; they presently
knew their voices, and so all the wonder of that kind ceased. But now
the admiration was turned upon another question, viz. What could be the
matter, and what made them come back again?

It was not long before they brought the men in; and inquiring where they
had been, and what they had been doing? they gave them a full account of
their voyage in a few words, viz. that they reached the land in two
days, or something less, but finding the people alarmed at their coming,
and preparing with bows and arrows to fight them, they durst not go on
shore, but sailed on to the northward six or seven hours, till they came
to a great opening, by which they perceived that the land they saw from
our island was not the main, but an island: that entering that opening
of the sea, they saw another island on the right hand north, and several
more west; and being resolved to land somewhere, they put over to one of
the islands which lay west, and went boldly on shore; that they found
the people were courteous and friendly to them, and they gave them
several roots, and some dried fish, and appeared very sociable: and the
women, as well as the men, were very forward to supply them with any
thing they could get for them to eat, and brought it to them a great way
upon their heads.

They continued here four days, and inquired, as well as they could of
them by signs, what nations were this way, and that way; and were told
of several fierce and terrible people, that lived almost every way; who,
as they made known by signs to them, used to eat men; but as for
themselves, they said, that they never ate men or women, except only
such as they took in the wars; and then they owned that they made a
great feast, and ate their prisoners.

The Englishmen inquired when they had a feast of that kind, and they
told them two moons ago, pointing to the moon, and then to two-fingers;
and that their great king had two hundred prisoners now which he had
taken in his war, and they were feeding them to make them fat for the
next feast. The Englishmen seemed mighty desirous to see those
prisoners, but the others mistaking them, thought they were desirous to
have some of them to carry away for their own eating. So they beckoned
to them, pointing to the setting of the sun, and then to the rising;
which was to signify, that the next morning at sun-rising they would
bring some for them; and accordingly the next morning they brought down
five women and eleven men, and gave them to the Englishmen to carry with
them on their voyage, just as we would bring so many cows and oxen down
to a sea-port town to victual a ship.

As brutish and barbarous as these fellows were at home, their stomachs
turned at this sight, and they did not know what to do; to refuse the
prisoners would have been the highest affront to the savage gentry that
offered them; and what to do with them they knew not; however, upon some
debate, they resolved to accept of them; and in return they gave the
savages that brought them one of their hatchets, an old key, a knife,
and six or seven of their bullets, which, though they did not
understand, they seemed extremely pleased with; and then tying the poor
creatures' hands behind them, they (the people) dragged the prisoners
into the boat for our men.

The Englishmen were obliged to come away as soon as they had them, or
else they that gave them his noble present would certainly have expected
that they should have gone to work with them, have killed two or three
of them the next morning, and perhaps have invited the donors to dinner.

But having taken their leave with all the respect and thanks that could
well pass between people, where, on either side, they understood not one
word they could say, they put off with their boat, and came back towards
the first island, where when they arrived, they set eight of their
prisoners at liberty, there being too many of them for their occasion.

In their voyage they endeavoured to have some communication with their
prisoners, but it was impossible to make them understand any thing;
nothing they could say to them, or give them, or do for them, but was
looked upon as going about to murder them: they first of all unbound
them, but the poor creatures screamed at that, especially the women, as
if they had just felt the knife at their throats; for they immediately
concluded they were unbound on purpose to be killed.

If they gave them any thing to eat, it was the same thing; then they
concluded it was for fear they should sink in flesh, and so not be fat
enough to kill; if they looked at one of them more particularly, the
party presently concluded it was to see whether he or she was fattest
and fittest to kill first; nay, after they had brought them quite over,
and began to use them kindly and treat them well, still they expected
every day to make a dinner or supper for their new masters.

When the three wanderers had given this unaccountable history or journal
of their voyage, the Spaniard asked them where their new family was? And
being told that they had brought them on shore, and put them into one of
their huts, and were come to beg some victuals for them; they (the
Spaniards) and the other two Englishmen, that is to say, the whole
colony, resolved to go all down to the place and see them, and did so,
and Friday's father with them.

When they came into the hut, there they sat all bound; for when they had
brought them on shore they bound their hands, that they might not take
the boat and make their escape; there, I say, they sat all of them stark
naked. First, there were three men, lusty, comely fellows, well shaped,
straight and fair limbs, about thirty or thirty-five years of age, and
five women; whereof two might be from thirty to forty, two more not
above twenty-four or twenty-five, and the fifth, a tall, comely maiden,
about sixteen or seventeen. The women were well-favoured, agreeable
persons, both in shape and features, only tawny; and two of them, had
they been perfect white, would have passed for handsome women, even in
London itself, having very pleasant, agreeable countenances, and of a
very modest behaviour, especially when they came afterwards to be
clothed, and dressed, as they called it, though that dress was very
indifferent it must be confessed, of which hereafter.

The sight, you may be sure, was something uncouth to our Spaniards, who
were (to give them a just character) men of the best behaviour, of the
most calm, sedate tempers, and perfect good humour that ever I met with;
and, in particular, of the most modesty, as will presently appear: I say
the sight was very uncouth, to see three naked men and five naked women,
all together bound, and in the most miserable circumstances that human
nature could be supposed to be, viz. to be expecting every moment to be
dragged out, and have their brains knocked out, and then to be eaten up
like a calf that is killed for a dainty.

The first thing they did was to cause the old Indian, Friday's father,
to go in and see first if he knew any of them, and then if he understood
any of their speech. As soon as the old man came in, he looked seriously
at them, but knew none of them; neither could any of them understand a
word he said, or a sign he could make, except one of the women.

However, this was enough to answer the end, which was to satisfy them,
that the men into whose hands they were fallen were Christians; that
they abhorred eating of men or women, and that they might be sure they
would not be killed. As soon as they were assured of this, they
discovered such a joy, and by such awkward and several ways as is hard
to describe, for it seems they were of several nations.

The woman who was their interpreter was bid, in the next place, to ask
them if they were willing to be servants, and to work for the men who
had brought them away to save their lives? At which they all fell a
dancing; and presently one fell to taking up this, and another that, any
thing that lay next, to carry on their shoulders, to intimate that they
were willing to work.

The governor, who found that the having women among them would presently
be attended with some inconveniency, and might occasion some strife, and
perhaps blood, asked the three men what they intended to do with these
women, and how they intended to use them, whether as servants or as
women? One of the Englishmen answered very boldly and readily, that they
would use them as both. To which the governor said, "I am not going to
restrain you from it; you are your own masters as to that: but this I
think is but just, for avoiding disorders and quarrels among you, and I
desire it of you for that reason only, viz. that you will all engage,
that if any of you take any of these women as a woman, or wife, he shall
take but one; and that, having taken one, none else should touch her;
for though we cannot marry any of you, yet it is but reasonable that
while you stay here, the woman any of you takes should be maintained by
the man that takes her, and should be his wife; I mean," says he, "while
he continues here; and that none else should have any thing to do with
her." All this appeared so just, that every one agreed to it without any

Then the Englishmen asked the Spaniards if they designed to take any of
them? But every one answered, "No;" some of them said they had wives in
Spain; and the others did not like women that were not Christians; and
all together declared, that they would not touch one of them; which was
an instance of such virtue as I have not met with in all my travels. On
the other hand, to be short, the five Englishmen took them every one a
wife; that is to say, a temporary wife; and so they set up a new form of
living; for the Spaniards and Friday's father lived in my old
habitation, which they had enlarged exceedingly within; the three
servants, which they had taken in the late battle of the savages, lived
with them; and these carried on the main part of the colony, supplying
all the rest with food, and assisting them in any thing as they could,
or as they found necessity required.

But the wonder of this story was, how five such refractory, ill-matched
fellows should agree about these women, and that two of them should not
pitch upon the same woman, especially seeing two or three of them were,
without comparison, more agreeable than the others: but they took a good
way enough to prevent quarrelling among themselves; for they set the
five women by themselves in one of their huts, and they went all into
the other hut, and drew lots among them who should choose first.

He that drew to choose first, went away by himself to the hut where the
poor naked creatures were, and fetched out her he chose; and it was
worth observing that he that chose first took her that was reckoned the
homeliest and the oldest of the five, which made mirth enough among the
rest; and even the Spaniards laughed at it; but the fellow considered
better than any of them, that it was application and business that they
were to expect assistance in as much as any thing else, and she proved
the best wife in the parcel.

When the poor women saw themselves in a row thus, and fetched out one by
one, the terrors of their condition returned upon them again, and they
firmly believed that they were now going to be devoured: accordingly,
when the English sailor came in and fetched out one of them, the rest
set up a most lamentable cry, and hung about her, and took their leave
of her with such agonies and such affection as would have grieved the
hardest heart in the world; nor was it possible for the Englishmen to
satisfy them that they were not to be immediately murdered, till they
fetched the old man, Friday's father, who instantly let them know, that
the five men who had fetched them out one by one, had chosen them for
their wives.

When they had done this, and the fright the women were in was a little
over, the men went to work, and the Spaniards came and helped them; and
in a few hours they had built them every one a new hut or tent for their
lodging apart; for those they had already were crowded with their tools,
household stuff, and provisions. The three wicked ones had pitched
farthest off, and the two honest ones nearer, but both on the north
shore of the island, so that they continued separate as before: and thus
my island was peopled in three places, and, as I might say, three towns
were begun to be planted.

And here it is very well worth observing, that as it often happens in
the world, (what the wise ends of God's providences are in such a
disposition of things I cannot say) the two honest fellows had the two
worst wives; and the three reprobates, that were scarce worth hanging,
that were fit for nothing, and neither seemed born to do themselves
good, or any one else, had three clever, diligent, careful, and
ingenious wives, not that the two first were ill wives as to their
temper or humour; for all the five were most willing, quiet, passive,
and subjected creatures, rather like slaves than wives; but my meaning
is, they were not alike, capable, ingenious, or industrious, or alike
cleanly and neat.

Another observation I must make, to the honour of a diligent application
on the one hand, and to the disgrace of a slothful, negligent, idle
temper on the other, that when I came to the place, and viewed the
several improvements, planting, and management of the several little
colonies, the two men had so far out-gone the three, that there was no
comparison; they had indeed both of them as much ground laid out for
corn as they wanted; and the reason was, because according to my rule,
nature dictated, that it was to no purpose to sow more corn than they
wanted; but the difference of the cultivation, of the planting, of the
fences, and indeed every thing else, was easy to be seen at first view.

The two men had innumerable young trees planted about their huts, that
when you came to the place nothing was to be seen but a wood; and
though they had their plantation twice demolished, once by their own
countrymen, and once by the enemy, as shall be shewn in its place; yet
they had restored all again, and every thing was flourishing and
thriving about them: they had grapes planted in order, and managed like
a vineyard, though they had themselves never seen any thing of that
kind; and by their good ordering their vines their grapes were as good
again as any of the others. They had also formed themselves a retreat in
the thickest part of the woods, where, though there was not a natural
cave, as I had found, yet they made one with incessant labour of their
hands, and where, when the mischief which followed happened, they
secured their wives and children so as they could never be found; they
having, by sticking innumerable stakes and poles of the wood, which, as
I said, grow so easily, made a grove impassable except in one place,
where they climbed up to get over the outside part, and then went in by
ways of their own leaving.

As to the three reprobates, as I justly call them, though they were much
civilized by their new settlement compared to what they were before, and
were not so quarrelsome, having not the same opportunity, yet one of the
certain companions of a profligate mind never left them, and that was
their idleness. It is true, they planted corn and made fences; but
Solomon's words were never better verified than in them: "I went by the
vineyard of the slothful, and it was overgrown with thorns;" for when
the Spaniards came to view their crop, they could not see it in some
places for weeds; the hedge had several gaps in it, where the wild goats
had gotten in and eaten up the corn; perhaps here and there a dead bush
was crammed in to stop them out for the present, but it was only
shutting the stable door after the steed was stolen; whereas, when they
looked on the colony of the other two, here was the very face of
industry and success upon all they did; there was not a weed to be seen
in all their corn, or a gap in any of their hedges; and they, on the
other hand, verified Solomon's words in another place: "The diligent
hand maketh rich;" for every thing grew and thrived, and they had plenty
within and without; they had more tame cattle than the others, more
utensils and necessaries within doors, and yet more pleasure and
diversion too.

It is true, the wives of the three were very handy and cleanly within
doors; and having learnt the English ways of dressing and cooking from
one of the other Englishmen, who, as I said, was a cook's mate on board
the ship, they dressed their husbands' victuals very nicely; whereas the
other could not be brought to understand it; but then the husband, who
as I said, had been cook's mate, did it himself; but as for the husbands
of the three wives, they loitered about, fetched turtles' eggs, and
caught fish and birds; in a word, any thing but labour, and they fared
accordingly. The diligent lived well and comfortably and the slothful
lived hard and beggarly; and so I believe, generally speaking, it is all
over the world.

But now I come to a scene different from all that had happened before,
either to them or me; and the origin of the story was this:

Early one morning there came on shore five or six canoes of Indians, or
savages, call them which you please; and there is no room to doubt that
they came upon the old errand of feeding upon their slaves; but that
part was now so familiar to the Spaniards, and to our men too, that they
did not concern themselves about it as I did; but having been made
sensible by their experience, that their only business was to lie
concealed, and that, if they were not seen by any of the savages, they
would go off again quietly when the business was done, having as yet not
the least notion of there being any inhabitants in the island; I say
having been made sensible of this, they had nothing to do but to give
notice to all the three plantations to keep within doors, and not to
shew themselves; only placing a scout in a proper place, to give notice
when the boats went off to sea again.

This was, without doubt, very right; but a disaster spoiled all these
measures, and made it known among the savages that there were
inhabitants there, which was, in the end, the desolation of almost the
whole colony. After the canoes with the savages were gone off, the
Spaniards peeped abroad again, and some of them had the curiosity to go
to the place where they had been, to see what they had been doing. Here,
to their great surprise, they found three savages left behind, and lying
fast asleep upon the ground; it was supposed they had either been so
gorged with their inhuman feast, that, like beasts, they were asleep,
and would not stir when the others went, or they were wandered into the
woods, and did not come back in time to be taken in.

The Spaniards were greatly surprised at this sight, and perfectly at a
loss what to do; the Spaniard governor, as it happened, was with them,
and his advice was asked; but he professed he knew not what to do; as
for slaves, they had enough already; and as to killing them, they were
none of them inclined to that. The Spaniard governor told me they could
not think of shedding innocent blood; for as to them, the poor creatures
had done no wrong, invaded none of their property; and they thought they
had no just quarrel against them to take away their lives.

And here I must, in justice to these Spaniards, observe, that let all
the accounts of Spanish cruelty in Mexico and Peru be what they will, I
never met with seventeen men, of any nation whatsoever, in any foreign
country, who were so universally modest, temperate, virtuous, so very
good-humoured, and so courteous as these Spaniards; and, as to cruelty,
they had nothing of it in their very nature; no inhumanity, no
barbarity, no outrageous passions, and yet all of them men of great
courage and spirit.

Their temper and calmness had appeared in their bearing the insufferable
usage of the three Englishmen; and their justice and humanity appeared
now in the case of the savages as above. After some consultation they
resolved upon this, that they would lie still a while longer, till, if
possible, these three men might be gone; but then the governor Spaniard
recollected that the three savages had no boat; and that if they were
left to rove about the island, they would certainly discover that there
were inhabitants in it, and so they should be undone that way.

Upon this they went back again, and there lay the fellows fast asleep
still; so they resolved to awaken them, and take them prisoners; and
they did so. The poor fellows were strangely frighted when they were
seized upon and bound, and afraid, like the women, that they should be
murdered and eaten; for it seems those people think all the world do as
they do, eating mens' flesh; but they were soon made easy as to that:
and away they carried them.

It was very happy for them that they did not carry them home to their
castle; I mean to my palace under the hill; but they carried them first
to the bower, where was the chief of their country work; such as the
keeping the goats, the planting the corn, &c.; and afterwards they
carried them to the habitation of the two Englishmen.

Here they were set to work, though it was not much, they had for them to
do; and whether it was by negligence in guarding them, or that they
thought the fellows could not mend themselves, I know not, but one of
them ran away, and taking into the woods, they could never hear of
him more.

They had good reason to believe he got home again soon after in some
other boats or canoes of savages, who came on shore three or four weeks
afterwards, and who, carrying on their revels as usual, went off again
in two days time. This thought terrified them exceedingly; for they
concluded, and that not without good cause indeed, that if this fellow
got safe home among his comrades, he would certainly give them an
account that there were people in the island, as also how weak and few
they were; for this savage, as I observed before, had never been told,
as it was very happy he had not, how many they were, or where they
lived, nor had he ever seen or heard the fire of any of their guns, much
less had they shewn him any other of their retired places, such as the
cave in the valley, or the new retreat which the two Englishmen had
made, and the like.

The first testimony they had that this fellow had given intelligence of
them was, that about two months after this, six canoes of savages, with
about seven or eight, or ten men in a canoe, came rowing along the north
side of the island, where they never used to come before, and landed
about an hour after sunrise, at a convenient place, about a mile from
the habitation of the two Englishmen, where this escaped man had been
kept. As the Spaniard governor said, had they been all there the damage
would not have been so much, for not a man of them would have escaped:
but the case differed now very much; for two men to fifty were too much
odds. The two men had the happiness to discover them about a league off,
so that it was about an hour before they landed, and as they landed
about a mile from their huts, it was some time before they could come at
them. Now having great reason to believe that they were betrayed, the
first thing they did was to bind the slaves which were left, and cause
two of the three men whom they brought with the women, who, it seems,
proved very faithful to them, to lead them with their two wives, and
whatever they could carry away with them, to their retired place in the
woods, which I have spoken of above, and there to bind the two fellows
hand and foot till they heard farther.

In the next place, seeing the savages were all come on shore, and that
they bent their course directly that way, they opened the fences where
their milch-goats were kept, and drove them all out, leaving their goats
to straggle into the wood, whither they pleased, that the savages might
think they were all bred wild; but the rogue who came with them was too
cunning for that, and gave them an account of it all, for they went
directly to the place.

When the poor frighted men had secured their wives and goods, they sent
the other slave they had of the three, who came with the women, and who
was at their place by accident, away to the Spaniards with all speed, to
give them the alarm, and desire speedy help; and in the mean time they
took their arms, and what ammunition they had, and retreated towards the
place in the wood where their wives were sent, keeping at a distance;
yet so that they might see, if possible, which way the savages took.

They had not gone far but that, from a rising ground, they could see the
little army of their enemies come on directly to their habitation, and
in a moment more could see all their huts and household-stuff flaming up
together, to their great grief and mortification; for they had a very
great loss, and to them irretrievable, at least for some time. They kept
their station for a while, till they found the savages, like wild
beasts, spread themselves all over the place, rummaging every way, and
every place they could think of, in search for prey, and in particular
for the people, of whom it plainly appeared they had intelligence.

The two Englishmen, seeing this, thinking themselves not secure where
they stood, as it was likely some of the wild people might come that
way, so they might come too many together, thought it proper to make
another retreat about half a mile farther, believing, as it afterwards
happened, that the farther they strolled, the fewer would be together.

The next halt was at the entrance into a very thick grown part of the
woods, and where an old trunk of a tree stood, which was hollow, and
vastly large; and in this tree they both took their standing, resolving
to see what might offer.

They had not stood there long, but two of the savages appeared running
directly that way, as if they had already notice where they stood, and
were coming up to attack them; and a little way farther they espied
three more coming after them, and five more beyond them, all coming the
same way; besides which, they saw seven or eight more at a distance,
running another way; for, in a word, they ran every way, like sportsmen
beating for their game.

The poor men were now in great perplexity, whether they should stand and
keep their posture, or fly; but after a very short debate with
themselves, they considered that if the savages ranged the country thus
before help came, they might, perhaps, find out their retreat in the
woods, and then all would be lost; so they resolved to stand them there;
and if there were too many to deal with, then they would get to the top
of the tree, from whence they doubted not to defend themselves, fire
excepted, as long as their ammunition lasted, though all the savages
that were landed, which were near fifty, were to attack them.

Having resolved upon this, they next considered whether they should fire
at the two first, or wait for the three, and so take the middle party,
by which the two and the five that followed would be separated: at
length they resolved to let the two first pass by, unless they should
spy them in the tree, and come to attack them. The two first savages
also confirmed them in this resolution, by turning a little from them
towards another part of the wood; but the three, and the five after
them, came forwards directly to the tree, as if they had known the
Englishmen were there.

Seeing them come so straight towards them, they resolved to take them in
a line as they came; and as they resolved to fire but one at a time,
perhaps the first shot might hit them all three; to which purpose, the
man who was to fire put three or four bullets into his piece, and having
a fair loop-hole, as it were, from a broken hole in the tree, he took a
sure aim, without being seen, waiting till they were within about thirty
yards of the tree, so that he could not miss.

While they were thus waiting, and the savages came on, they plainly saw,
that one of the three was the runaway savage that had escaped from them;
and they both knew him distinctly, and resolved that, if possible, he
should not escape, though they should both fire; so the other stood
ready with his piece, that if he did not drop at the first shot, he
should be sure to have a second. But the first was too good a marksman
to miss his aim; for as the savages kept near one another, a little
behind in a line, he fired, and hit two of them directly; the foremost
was killed outright, being shot in the head; the second, which was the
runaway Indian, was shot through the body, and fell, but was not quite
dead; and the third had a little scratch in the shoulder, perhaps by the
same ball that went through the body of the second; and being dreadfully
frightened, though not so much hurt, sat down upon the ground, screaming
and yelling in a hideous manner.

The five that were behind, more frightened with the noise than sensible
of the danger, stood still at first; for the woods made the sound a
thousand times bigger than it really was, the echoes rattling from one
side to another, and the fowls rising from all parts, screaming, and
every sort making a different noise, according to their kind; just as it
was when I fired the first gun that perhaps was ever shot off in
the island.

However, all being silent again, and they not knowing what the matter
was, came on unconcerned, till they came to the place where their
companions lay in a condition miserable enough. Here the poor ignorant
creatures, not sensible that they were within reach of the same
mischief, stood all together over the wounded man, talking, and, as may
be supposed, inquiring of him how he came to be hurt; and who, it is
very rational to believe, told them that a flash of fire first, and
immediately after that thunder from their gods, had killed those two and
wounded him. This, I say, is rational; for nothing is more certain than
that, as they saw no man near them, so they had never heard a gun in all
their lives, nor so much as heard of a gun; neither knew they anything
of killing and wounding at a distance with fire and bullets: if they
had, one might reasonably believe they would not have stood so
unconcerned to view the fate of their fellows, without some
apprehensions of their own.

Our two men, as they confessed to me, were grieved to be obliged to kill
so many poor creatures, who had no notion of their danger; yet, having
them all thus in their power, and the first having loaded his piece
again, resolved to let fly both together among them; and singling out,
by agreement, which to aim at, they shot together, and killed, or very
much wounded, four of them; the fifth, frightened even to death, though
not hurt, fell with the rest; so that our men, seeing them all fall
together, thought they had killed them all.

The belief that the savages were all killed made our two men come boldly
out from the tree before they had charged their guns, which was a wrong
step; and they were under some surprise when they came to the place, and
found no less than four of them alive, and of them two very little hurt,
and one not at all. This obliged them to fall upon them with the stocks
of their muskets; and first they made sure of the runaway savage, that
had been the cause of all the mischief, and of another that was hurt in
the knee, and put them out of their pain; then the man that was not hurt
at all came and kneeled down to them, with his two hands held up, and
made piteous moans to them, by gestures and signs, for his life, but
could not say one word to them that they could understand. However, they
made signs to him to sit down at the foot of a tree hard by; and one of
the Englishmen, with a piece of rope-yarn, which he had by great chance
in his pocket, tied his two hands behind him, and there they left him;
and with what speed they could made after the other two, which were gone
before, fearing they, or any more of them, should find the way to their
covered place in the woods, where their wives, and the few goods they
had left, lay. They came once in sight of the two men, but it was at a
great distance; however, they had the satisfaction to see them cross
over a valley towards the sea, the quite contrary way from that which
led to their retreat, which they were afraid of; and being satisfied
with that, they went back to the tree where they left their prisoner,
who as they supposed was delivered by his comrades; for he was gone, and
the two pieces of rope-yarn with which they had bound him, lay just at
the foot of the tree.

They were now in as great a concern as before, not knowing what course
to take, or how near the enemy might be, or in what numbers; so they
resolved to go away to the place where their wives were, to see if all
was well there, and to make them easy, who were in fright enough to be
sure; for though the savages were their own country-folks, yet they were
most terribly afraid of them, and perhaps the more, for the knowledge
they had of them.

When they came thither, they found the savages had been in the wood, and
very near the place, but had not found it; for indeed it was
inaccessible, by the trees standing so thick, as before, unless the
persons seeking it had been directed by those that knew it, which these
were not; they found, therefore, every thing very safe, only the women
in a terrible fright. While they were here they had the comfort of seven
of the Spaniards coming to their assistance: the other ten with their
servants, and old Friday, I mean Friday's father, were gone in a body to
defend their bower, and the corn and cattle that were kept there, in
case the savages should have roved over to that side of the country; but
they did not spread so far. With the seven Spaniards came one of the
savages, who, as I said, were their prisoners formerly, and with them
also came the savage whom the Englishmen had left bound hand and foot at
the tree; for it seems they came that way, saw the slaughter of the
seven men, and unbound the eighth, and brought him along with them,
where, however, they were obliged to bind him again, us they had done
the two others, who were left when the third run away.

The prisoners began now to be a burden to them; and they were so afraid
of their escaping, that they thought they were under an absolute
necessity to kill them for their own preservation: however, the Spaniard
governor would not consent to it; but ordered, that they should be sent
out of the way to my old cave in the valley, and be kept there, with two
Spaniards to guard them and give them food; which was done; and they
were bound there hand and foot for that night.

When the Spaniards came, the two Englishmen were so encouraged, that
they could not satisfy themselves to stay any longer there; but taking
five of the Spaniards, and themselves, with four muskets and a pistol
among them, and two stout quarter-staves, away they went in quest of the
savages. And first, they came to the tree where the men lay that had
been killed; but it was easy to see that some more of the savages had
been there; for they attempted to carry their dead men away, and had
dragged two of them a good way, but had given it over; from thence they
advanced to the first rising ground, where they had stood and seen their
camp destroyed, and where they had the mortification still to see some
of the smoke; but neither could they here see any of the savages: they
then resolved, though with all possible caution, to go forward towards
their ruined plantation; but a little before they came thither, coming
in sight of the sea-shore, they saw plainly the savages all embarking
again in their canoes, in order to be gone.

They seemed sorry at first that there was no way to come at them to give
them a parting blow; but upon the whole were very well satisfied to be
rid of them.

The poor Englishmen being now twice ruined, and all their improvements
destroyed, the rest all agreed to come and help them to rebuild, and to
assist them with needful supplies. Their three countrymen, who were not
yet noted for having the least inclination to do any thing good, yet, as
soon as they heard of it (for they, living remote, knew nothing till all
was over), came and offered their help and assistance, and did very
friendly work for several days to restore their habitations and make
necessaries for them; and thus in a little time they were set upon their
legs again.

About two days after this they had the farther satisfaction of seeing
three of the savages' canoes come driving onshore, and at some distance
from them, with two drowned men; by which they had reason to believe
that they had met with a storm at sea, which had overset some of them,
for it blew very hard the night after they went off.

However, as some might miscarry, so on the other hand enough of them
escaped to inform the rest, as well of what they had done, as of what
happened to them; and to whet them on to another enterprise of the same
nature, which they, it seems, resolved to attempt, with sufficient force
to carry all before them; for except what the first man told them of
inhabitants, they could say little to it of their own knowledge; for
they never saw one man, and the fellow being killed that had affirmed
it, they had no other witness to confirm it to them.

It was five or six months after this before they heard any more of the
savages, in which time our men were in hopes they had not forgot their
former bad luck, or had given over the hopes of better; when on a sudden
they were invaded with a most formidable fleet of no less than
twenty-eight canoes, full of savages, armed with bows and arrows, great
clubs, wooden swords, and such-like engines of war; and they brought
such numbers with them, that in short it put all our people into the
utmost consternation.

As they came on shore in the evening, and at the easternmost side of the
island, our men had that night to consult and consider what to do; and
in the first place, knowing that their being entirely concealed was
their only safety before, and would much more be so now, while the
number of their enemies was so great, they therefore resolved, first of
all, to take down the huts which were built for the two Englishmen, and
drive away their goats to the old cave; because they supposed the
savages would go directly thither as soon as it was day, to play the old
game over again, though they did not now land within two leagues of it.

In the next place, they drove away all the flock of goats they had at
the old bower, as I called it, which belonged to the Spaniards; and, in
short, left as little appearance of inhabitants any where as possible;
and the next morning early they posted themselves with all their force
at the plantation of the two men, waiting for their coming. As they
guessed, so it happened: these new invaders, leaving their canoes at the
east end of the island, came ranging along the shore, directly towards
the place, to the number of two hundred and fifty, as near as our men
could judge. Our army was but small indeed; but that which was worse,
they had not arms for all their number neither: the whole account, it
seems, stood thus:--first, as to men:

17 Spaniards.
5 Englishmen.
1 Old Friday, or Friday's father.
3 Slaves, taken with the women, who proved very
3 Other slaves who lived with the Spaniards.
To arm these they had:
11 Muskets.
5 Pistols.
3 Fowling-pieces.
5 Muskets, or fowling-pieces, which were taken by
me from the mutinous seamen whom I reduced.
2 Swords.
3 Old halberts.

To their slaves they did not give either musket or fusil, but they had
every one an halbert, or a long staff, like a quarter-staff, with a
great spike of iron fastened into each end of it, and by his side a
hatchet; also every one of our men had hatchets. Two of the women could
not be prevailed upon but they would come into the fight, and they had
bows and arrows, which the Spaniards had taken from the savages when the
first action happened, which I have spoken of, where the Indians fought
with one another; and the women had hatchets too.

The Spaniard governor, whom I have described so often, commanded the
whole; and William Atkins, who, though a dreadful fellow for wickedness,
was a most daring, bold fellow, commanded under him. The savages came
forward like lions, and our men, which was the worst of their fate, had
no advantage in their situation; only that Will Atkins, who now proved a
most useful fellow, with six men, was planted just behind a small
thicket of bushes, as an advanced guard, with orders to let the first of
them pass by, and then fire into the middle of them; and as soon as he
had fired to make his retreat, as nimbly as he could, round a part of
the wood, and so come in behind the Spaniards where they stood, having a
thicket of trees all before them.

When the savages came on, they ran straggling about every way in heaps,
out of all manner of order, and Will Atkins let about fifty of them pass
by him; then seeing the rest come in a very thick throng, he orders
three of his men to fire, having loaded their muskets with six or seven
bullets apiece, about as big as large pistol-bullets. How many they
killed or wounded they knew not; but the consternation and surprise was
inexpressible among the savages, who were frighted to the last degree,
to hear such a dreadful noise, and see their men killed, and others
hurt, but see nobody that did it. When in the middle of their fright,
William Atkins and his other three let fly again among the thickest of
them and in less than a minute the first three, being loaded again, gave
them a third volley.

Had William Atkins and his men retired immediately, as soon as they had
fired, as they were ordered to do; or had the rest of the body been at
hand to have poured in their shot continually, the savages had been
effectually routed; for the terror that was among them came principally
from this; viz. that they were killed by the gods with thunder and
lightning, and could see nobody that hurt them: but William Atkins
staying to load again, discovered the cheat; some of the savages who
were at a distance, spying them, came upon them behind; and though
Atkins and his men fired at them also, two or three times, and killed
above twenty, retiring as fast as they could, yet they wounded Atkins
himself, and killed one of his fellow Englishmen with their arrows, as
they did afterwards one Spaniard, and one of the Indian slaves who came
with the women. This slave was a most gallant fellow, and fought most
desperately, killing five of them with his own hand, having no weapon
but one of the armed staves and a hatchet.

Our men being thus hard laid at, Atkins wounded, and two other men
killed, retreated to a rising ground in the wood; and the Spaniards,
after firing three vollies upon them, retreated also; for their number
was so great, and they were so desperate, that though above fifty of
them were killed, and more than so many wounded, yet they came on in the
teeth of our men, fearless of danger, and shot their arrows like a
cloud; and it was observed, that their wounded men, who were not quite
disabled, were made outrageous by their wounds, and fought like madmen.

When our men retreated, they left the Spaniard and the Englishman that
were killed behind them; and the savages, when they came up to them,
killed them over again in a wretched manner, breaking their arms, legs,
and heads, with their clubs and wooden swords, like true savages. But
finding our men were gone, they did not seem inclined to pursue them,
but drew themselves up in a kind of ring, which is, it seems, their
custom, and shouted twice in token of their victory; after which, they
had the mortification to see several of their wounded men fall, dying
with the mere loss of blood.

The Spaniard governor having drawn his little body up together upon a
rising ground, Atkins, though he was wounded, would have had him march,
and charge them again all together at once: but the Spaniard replied,
"Seignior Atkins, you see how their wounded men fight; let them alone
till morning; all these wounded men will be stiff and sore with their
wounds, and faint with the loss of blood, and so we shall have the fewer
to engage."

The advice was good; but Will Atkins replied merrily, "That's true,
Seignior, and so shall I too; and that's the reason I would go on while
I am warm."--"Well, Seignior Atkins," says the Spaniard, "you have
behaved gallantly, and done your part; we will fight for you, if you
cannot come on; but I think it best to stay till morning:" so
they waited.

But as it was a clear moonlight night, and they found the savages in
great disorder about their dead and wounded men, and a great hurry and
noise among them where they lay, they afterwards resolved to fall upon
them in the night, especially if they could come to give them but one
volley before they were discovered. This they had a fair opportunity to
do; for one of the two Englishmen, in whose quarter it was where the
fight began, led them round between the woods and the sea-side,
westward, and turning short south, they came so near where the thickest
of them lay, that before they were seen or heard, eight of them fired in
among them, and did dreadful execution upon them; in half a minute more
eight others fired after them, pouring in their small shot in such a
quantity, that abundance were killed and wounded; and all this while
they were not able to see who hurt them, or which way to fly.

The Spaniards charged again with the utmost expedition, and then
divided themselves into three bodies, and resolved to fall in among them
all together. They had in each body eight persons; that is to say,
twenty-four, whereof were twenty-two men, and the two women, who, by the
way, fought desperately.

They divided the fire-arms equally in each party, and so of the halberts
and staves. They would have had the women keep back; but they said they
were resolved to die with their husbands. Having thus formed their
little army, they marched out from among the trees, and came up to the
teeth of the enemy, shouting and hallooing as loud as they could. The
savages stood all together, but were in the utmost confusion, hearing
the noise of our men shouting from three quarters together; they would
have fought if they had seen us; and as soon as we came near enough to
be seen, some arrows were shot, and poor old Friday was wounded, though
not dangerously. But our men gave them no time, but running up to them,
fired among them three ways, and then fell in with the butt ends of
their muskets, their swords, armed staves, and hatchets; and laid about
them so well, that in a word they set up a dismal screaming and howling,
flying to save their lives which way soever they could.

Our men were tired with the execution; and killed, or mortally wounded,
in the two fights, about one hundred and eighty of them: the rest, being
frighted out of their wits, scoured through the woods and over the
hills, with all the speed that fear and nimble feet could help them to
do; and as we did not trouble ourselves much to pursue them, they got
all together to the sea-side, where they landed, and where their canoes
lay. But their disaster was not at an end yet, for it blew a terrible
storm of wind that evening from the seaward, so that it was impossible
for them to put off; nay, the storm continuing all night, when the tide
came up their canoes were most of them driven by the surge of the sea so
high upon the shore, that it required infinite toil to get them off; and
some of them were even dashed to pieces against the beach, or against
one another.

Our men, though glad of their victory, yet got little rest that night;
but having refreshed themselves as well as they could, they resolved to
march to that part of the island where the savages were fled, and see
what posture they were in. This necessarily led them over the place
where the fight had been, and where they found several of the poor
creatures not quite dead, and yet past recovering life; a sight
disagreeable enough to generous minds; for a truly great man, though
obliged by the law of battle to destroy his enemy, takes no delight in
his misery.

However, there was no need to give any order in this case; for their own
savages, who were their servants, dispatched those poor creatures with
their hatchets.

At length they came in view of the place where the more miserable
remains of the savages' army lay, where there appeared about one hundred
still: their posture was generally sitting upon the ground, with their
knees up towards their mouth, and the head put between the hands,
leaning down upon the knees.

When our men came within two musket-shot of them, the Spaniard governor
ordered two muskets to be fired without ball, to alarm them; this he
did, that by their countenance he might know what to expect, viz.
whether they were still in heart to fight, or were so heartily beaten,
as to be dispirited and discouraged, and so he might manage accordingly.

This stratagem took; for as soon as the savages heard the first gun, and
saw the flash of the second, they started up upon their feet in the
greatest consternation imaginable; and as our men advanced swiftly
towards them, they all ran screaming and yawling away, with a kind of an
howling noise, which our men did not understand, and had never heard
before; and thus they ran up the hills into the country.

At first our men had much rather the weather had been calm, and they
had all gone away to sea; but they did not then consider, that this
might probably have been the occasion of their coming again in such
multitudes as not to be resisted; or, at least, to come so many and so
often, as would quite desolate the island and starve them. Will Atkins
therefore, who, notwithstanding his wound, kept always with them, proved
the best counsellor in this case. His advice was, to take the advantage
that offered, and clap in between them and their boats, and so deprive
them of the capacity of ever returning any more to plague the island.

They consulted long about this, and some were against it, for fear of
making the wretches fly into the woods, and live there desperate; and so
they should have them to hunt like wild beasts, be afraid to stir about
their business, and have their plantation continually rifled, all their
tame goats destroyed, and, in short, be reduced to a life of
continual distress.

Will Atkins told them they had better have to do with one hundred men
than with one hundred nations; that as they must destroy their boats, so
they must destroy the men, or be all of them destroyed themselves. In a
word, he shewed them the necessity of it so plainly, that they all came
into it; so they went to work immediately with the boats, and getting
some dry wood together from a dead tree, they tried to set some of them
on fire; but they were so wet that they would scarce burn. However, the
fire so burned the upper part, that it soon made them unfit for swimming
in the sea as boats. When the Indians saw what they were about, some of
them came running out of the woods, and coming as near as they could to
our men, kneeled down and cried, _Oa, Oa, Waramokoa_, and some other
words of their language, which none of the others understood any thing
of; but as they made pitiful gestures and strange noises, it was easy to
understand they begged to have their boats spared, and that they would
be gone, and never return thither again.

But our men were now satisfied, that they had no way to preserve
themselves or to save their colony, but effectually to prevent any of
these people from ever going home again; depending upon this, that if
ever so much as one of them got back into their country to tell the
story, the colony was undone; so that letting them know that they should
not have any mercy, they fell to work with their canoes, and destroyed
them, every one that the storm had not destroyed before; at the sight of
which the savages raised a hideous cry in the woods, which our people
heard plain enough; after which they ran about the island like
distracted men; so that, in a word, our men did not really know at first
what to do with them.

Nor did the Spaniards, with all their prudence, consider that while they
made those people thus desperate, they ought to have kept good guard at
the same time upon their plantations; for though it is true they had
driven away their cattle, and the Indians did not find their main
retreat, I mean my old castle at the hill, nor the cave in the valley;
yet they found out my plantation at the bower, and pulled it all to
pieces, and all the fences and planting about it; trod all the corn
under foot; tore up the vines and grapes, being just then almost ripe,
and did our men an inestimable damage, though to themselves not one
farthing's-worth of service.

Though our men were able to fight them upon all occasions, yet they were
in no condition to pursue them, or hunt them up and down; for as they
were too nimble of foot for our men when they found them single, so our
men durst not go about single for fear of being surrounded with their
numbers: the best was, they had no weapons; for though they had bows
they had no arrows left, nor any materials to make any, nor had they any
edged tool or weapon among them. The extremity and distress they were
reduced to was great, and indeed deplorable, but at the same time our
men were also brought to very hard circumstances by them; for though
their retreats were preserved, yet their provision was destroyed, and
their harvest spoiled; and what to do or which way to turn themselves,
they knew not; the only refuge they had now was the stock of cattle they
had in the valley by the cave, and some little corn which grew there.
The three Englishmen, William Atkins and his comrades, were now reduced
to two, one of them being killed by an arrow, which struck him on the
side of his head, just under the temples, so that he never spoke more;
and it was very remarkable, that this was the same barbarous fellow who
cut the poor savage slave with his hatchet, and who afterwards intended
to have murdered the Spaniards.

I look upon their case to have been worse at this time than mine was at
any time after I first discovered the grains of barley and rice, and got
into the method of planting and raising my corn, and my tame cattle; for
now they had, as I may say, an hundred wolves upon the island, which
would devour every thing they could come at, yet could be very hardly
come at themselves.

The first thing they concluded when they saw what their circumstances
were, was, that they would, if possible, drive them up to the farther
part of the island, south-east, that if any more savages came on shore,
they might not find one another; then that they would daily hunt and
harass them, and kill as many of them as they could come at, till they
had reduced the number; and if they could at last tame them, and bring
them to any thing, they would give them corn, and teach them how to
plant, and live upon their daily Labour.

In order to this they followed them, and so terrified them with their
guns, that in a few days, if any of them fired a gun at an Indian, if he
did not hit him, yet he would fall down for fear; and so dreadfully
frighted they were, that they kept out of sight farther and farther,
till at last our men following them, and every day almost killing and
wounding some of them, they kept up in the woods and hollow places so
much, that it reduced them to the utmost misery for want of food; and
many were afterwards found dead in the woods, without any hurt, but
merely starved to death.

When our men found this, it made their hearts relent, and pity moved
them; especially the Spaniard governor, who was the most gentleman-like,
generous-minded man that ever I met with in my life; and he proposed, if
possible, to take one of them alive, and bring him to understand what
they meant, so far as to be able to act as interpreter, and to go among
them, and see if they might be brought to some conditions that might be
depended upon, to save their lives, and do us no spoil.

It was some time before any of them could be taken; but being weak, and
half-starved, one of them was at last surprised, and made a prisoner: he
was sullen at first, and would neither eat nor drink; but finding
himself kindly used, and victuals given him, and no violence offered
him, he at last grew tractable, and came to himself.

They brought old Friday to him, who talked often with him, and told him
how kind the others would be to them all: that they would not only save
their lives, but would give them a part of the island to live in,
provided they would give satisfaction; that they should keep in their
own bounds, and not come beyond them, to injure or prejudice others; and
that they should have corn given them, to plant and make it grow for
their bread, and some bread given them for their present subsistence;
and old Friday bade the fellow go and talk with the rest of his
countrymen, and hear what they said to it, assuring them that if they
did not agree immediately they should all be destroyed.

The poor wretches, thoroughly humbled, and reduced in number to about
thirty-seven, closed with the proposal at the first offer, and begged to
have some food given them; upon which twelve Spaniards and two
Englishmen, well armed, and three Indian slaves, and old Friday, marched
to the place where they were; the three Indian slaves carried them a
large quantity of bread, and some rice boiled up to cakes, and dried in
the sun, and three live goats; and they were ordered to go to the side
of an hill, where they sat down, ate the provisions very thankfully, and
were the most faithful fellows to their words that could be thought of;
for except when they came to beg victuals and directions they never came
out of their bounds; and there they lived when I came to the island, and
I went to see them.

They had taught them both to plant corn, make read, breed tame goats,
and milk them; they wanted nothing but wives, and they soon would have
been a nation: they were confined to a neck of land surrounded with high
rocks behind them, and lying plain towards the sea before them, on the
south-east corner of the island; they had land enough, and it was very
good and fruitful; for they had a piece of land about a mile and a half
broad, and three or four miles in length.

Our men taught them to make wooden spades, such as I made for myself;
and gave among them twelve hatchets, and three or four knives; and there
they lived, the most subjected innocent creatures that were ever
heard of.

After this the colony enjoyed a perfect tranquillity with respect to the
savages, till I came to revisit them, which was in about two years. Not
but that now and then some canoes of savages came on shore for their
triumphal, unnatural feasts; but as they were of several nations, and,
perhaps, had never heard of those that came before, or the reason of it,
they did not make any search or inquiry after their countrymen; and if
they had, it would have been very hard for them to have found them out.

Thus, I think, I have given a full account of all that happened to them
to my return, at least that was worth notice. The Indians, or savages,
were wonderfully civilized by them, and they frequently went among them;
but forbid, on pain of death, any of the Indians coming to them,
because they would not have their settlement betrayed again.

One thing was very remarkable, viz. that they taught the savages to make
wicker-work, or baskets; but they soon outdid their masters; for they
made abundance of most ingenious things in wicker-work; particularly all
sorts of baskets, sieves, bird-cages, cupboards, &c. as also chairs to
sit on, stools, beds, couches, and abundance of other things, being very
ingenious at such work when they were once put in the way of it.

My coming was a particular relief to these people, because we furnished
them with knives, scissars, spades, shovels, pickaxes, and all things of
that kind which they could want.

With the help of these tools they were so very handy, that they came at
last to build up their huts, or houses, very handsomely; raddling, or
working it up like basket-work all the way round, which was a very
extraordinary piece of ingenuity, and looked very odd; but was an
exceeding good fence, as well against heat, as against all sorts of
vermin; and our men were so taken with it, that they got the wild
savages to come and do the like for them; so that when I came to see the
two Englishmen's colonies, they looked, at a distance, as if they lived
all like bees in a hive; and as for Will Atkins, who was now become a
very industrious, necessary, and sober fellow, he had made himself such
a tent of basket work as I believe was never seen. It was one hundred
and twenty paces round on the outside, as I measured by my steps; the
walls were as close worked as a basket, in pannels or squares,
thirty-two in number, and very strong, standing about seven feet high:
in the middle was another not above twenty-two paces round, but built
stronger, being eight-square in its form, and in the eight corners stood
eight very strong posts, round the top of which he laid strong pieces,
joined together with wooden pins, from which he raised a pyramid before
the roof of eight rafters, very handsome I assure you, and joined
together very well, though he had no nails, and only a few iron spikes,
which he had made himself too, out of the old iron that I had left
there; and indeed this fellow shewed abundance of ingenuity in several
things which he had no knowledge of; he made himself a forge, with a
pair of wooden bellows to blow the fire; he made himself charcoal for
his work, and he formed out of one of the iron crows a middling good
anvil to hammer upon; in this manner he made many things, but especially
hooks, staples and spikes, bolts and hinges. But to return to the house:
after he pitched the roof of his innermost tent, he worked it up between
the rafters with basket-work, so firm, and thatched that over again so
ingeniously with rice-straw, and over that a large leaf of a tree, which
covered the top, that his house was as dry as if it had been tiled or
slated. Indeed he owned that the savages made the basket-work for him.

The outer circuit was covered, as a lean-to, all round his inner,
apartment, and long rafters lay from the thirty two angles to the top
posts of the inner house, being about twenty feet distant; so that there
was a space like a walk within the outer wicker wall, and without the
inner, near twenty feet wide.

The inner place he partitioned off with the same wicker work, but much
fairer, and divided into six apartments, for that he had six rooms on a
floor, and out of every one of these there was a door: first, into the
entry, or coming into the main tent; and another door into the space or
walk that was round it; so that this walk was also divided into six
equal parts, which served not only for a retreat, but to store up any
necessaries which the family had occasion for. These six spaces not
taking up the whole circumference, what other apartments the outer
circle had, were thus ordered: as soon as you were in at the door of the
outer circle, you had a short passage straight before you to the door of
the inner house; but on either side was a wicker partition, and a door
in it, by which you went first into a large room or storehouse, twenty
feet wide, and about thirty feet long, and through that into another
not quite so long: so that in the outer circle were ten handsome rooms,
six of which were only to be come at through the apartments of the inner
tent, and served as closets or retired rooms to the respective chambers
of the inner circle; and four large warehouses or barns, or what you
please to call them, which went in through one another, two on either
hand of the passage that led through the outer door to the inner tent.

Such a piece of basket-work, I believe, was never seen in the world; nor
an house or tent so neatly contrived, much less so built. In this great
beehive lived the three families; that is to say, Will Atkins and his
companions; the third was killed, but his wife remained with three
children; for she was, it seems, big with child when he died, and the
other two were not at all backward to give the widow her full share of
every thing, I mean as to their corn, milk, grapes, &c. and when they
killed a kid, or found a turtle on the shore; so that they all lived
well enough, though it was true, they were not so industrious as the
other two, as has been observed already.

One thing, however, cannot be omitted, viz. that, as for religion, I
don't know that there was any thing of that kind among them; they pretty
often indeed put one another in mind that there was a God, by the very
common method of seamen, viz. swearing by his name; nor were their poor,
ignorant, savage wives much the better for having been married to
Christians as we must call them; for as they knew very little of God
themselves, so they were utterly incapable of entering into any
discourse with their wives about a God or to talk any thing to them
concerning religion.

The utmost of all the improvement which I can say the wives had made
from them, was, that they had taught them to speak English pretty well;
and all the children they had, which were near twenty in all were taught
to speak English too, from their first learning to speak, though they at
first spoke it in a very broken manner, like their mothers. There were
none of those children above six years old when I came thither; for it
was not much above seven years that they had fetched these five savage
ladies over, but they had all been pretty fruitful, for they had all
children, more or less: I think the cook's mate's wife was big of her
sixth child; and the mothers were all a good sort of well-governed,
quiet, laborious women, modest and decent, helpful to one another,
mighty observant and subject to their masters, I cannot call them
husbands; and wanted nothing but to be well instructed in the Christian
religion, and to be legally married; both which were happily brought
about afterwards by my means, or at least by the consequence of my
coming among them.

Having thus given an account of the colony in general, and pretty much
of my five runagate Englishmen, I must say something of the Spaniards,
who were the main body of the family, and in whose story there are some
incidents also remarkable enough.

I had a great many discourses with them about their circumstances when
they were among the savages; they told me readily, that they had no
instances to give of their application or ingenuity in that country;
that they were a poor, miserable, dejected handful of people; that if
means had been put into their hands, they had yet so abandoned
themselves to despair, and so sunk under the weight of their
misfortunes, that they thought of nothing but starving. One of them, a
grave and very sensible man, told me he was convinced they were in the
wrong; that it was not the part of wise men to give up themselves to
their misery, but always to take hold of the helps which reason offered,
as well for present support, as for future deliverance; he told me that
grief was the most senseless insignificant passion in the world, for
that it regarded only things past, which were generally impossible to he
recalled or to be remedied, but had no view to things to come, and had
no share in any thing that looked like deliverance, but rather added to
the affliction than proposed a remedy; and upon this he repeated a
Spanish proverb, which though I cannot repeat in just the same words
that he spoke it, yet I remember I made it into an English proverb of my
own, thus;

In trouble to be troubled,
Is to have your trouble doubled.

He then ran on in remarks upon all the little improvements I had made in
my solitude; my unwearied application, as he called it, and how I had
made a condition, which in its circumstances was at first much worse
than theirs, a thousand times more happy than theirs was, even now when
they were all together. He told me it was remarkable that Englishmen had
a greater presence of mind in their distress than any people that ever
he met with; that their unhappy nation, and the Portuguese, were the
worst men in the world to struggle with misfortunes; for that their
first step in dangers, after common efforts are over, was always to
despair, lie down under it and die, without rousing their thoughts up to
proper remedies for escape.

I told him their case and mine differed exceedingly; that they were cast
upon the shore without necessaries, without supply of food, or of
present sustenance, till they could provide it; that it is true, I had
this disadvantage and discomfort, that I was alone; but then the
supplies I had providentially thrown into my hands, by the unexpected
driving of the ship on shore, was such a help as would have encouraged
any creature in the world to have applied himself as I had done.
"Seignior," says the Spaniard, "had we poor Spaniards been in your case
we should never have gotten half those things out of the ship as you
did." "Nay," says he, "we should never have found means to have gotten a
raft to carry them, or to have gotten a raft on shore without boat or
sail; and how much less should we have done," said he, "if any of us had
been alone!" Well, I desired him to abate his compliment, and go on
with the history of their coming on shore, where they landed. He told me
they unhappily landed at a place where there were people without
provisions; whereas, had they had the common sense to have put off to
sea again, and gone to another island a little farther, they had found
provisions though without people; there being an island that way, as
they had been told, where there were provisions though no people; that
is to say, that the Spaniards of Trinidad had frequently been there, and
filled the island with goats and hogs at several times, where they have
bred in such multitudes, and where turtle and sea-fowls were in such
plenty, that they could have been in no want of flesh though they had
found no bread; whereas here they were only sustained with a few roots
and herbs, which they understood not, and which had no substance in
them, and which the inhabitants gave them sparingly enough, and who
could treat them no better unless they would turn cannibals, and eat
men's flesh, which was the great dainty of the country.

They gave me an account how many ways they strove to civilize the
savages they were with, and to teach them rational customs in the
ordinary way of living, but in vain; and how they retorted it upon them
as unjust, that they, who came thither for assistance and support,
should attempt to set up for instructors of those that gave them bread;
intimating, it seems, that none should set up for the instructors of
others but those who could live without them.

They gave me dismal accounts of the extremities they were driven to; how
sometimes they were many days without any food at all, the island they
were upon being inhabited by a sort of savages that lived more indolent,
and for that reason were less supplied with the necessaries of life than
they had reason to believe others were in the same part of the world;
and yet they found that these savages were less ravenous and voracious
than those who had better supplies of food.

Also they added, that they could not but see with what demonstrations
of wisdom and goodness the governing providence of God directs the event
of things in the world, which they said appeared in their circumstances;
for if, pressed by the hardships they were under, and the barrenness of
the country where they were, they had searched after a better place to
live in, they had then been out of the way of the relief that happened
to them by my means.

Then they gave me an account how the savages whom they lived among
expected them to go out with them into their wars; and it was true, that
as they had fire-arms with them, had they not had the disaster to lose
their ammunition, they should not have been serviceable only to their
friends, but have made themselves terrible both to friends and enemies;
but being without powder and shot, and in a condition that they could
not in reason deny to go out with their landlords to their wars; when
they came in the field of battle they were in a worse condition than the
savages themselves, for they neither had bows nor arrows, nor could they
use those the savages gave them, so that they could do nothing but stand
still and be wounded with arrows, till they came up to the teeth of
their enemy; and then indeed the three halberts they had were of use to
them, and they would often drive a whole little army before them with
those halberts and sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their
muskets: but that for all this, they were sometimes surrounded with
multitudes, and in great danger from their arrows; till at last they
found the way to make themselves large targets of wood, which they
covered with skins of wild beasts, whose names they knew not, and these
covered them from the arrows of the savages; that notwithstanding these,
they were sometimes in great danger, and were once five of them knocked
down together with the clubs of the savages, which was the time when one
of them was taken prisoner, that is to say, the Spaniard whom I had
relieved; that at first they thought he had been killed, but when
afterwards they heard he was taken prisoner, they were under the
greatest grief imaginable, and would willingly have all ventured their
lives to have rescued him.

They told me, that when they were so knocked down, the rest of their
company rescued them, and stood over them fighting till they were come
to themselves, all but he who they thought had been dead; and then they
made their way with their halberts and pieces, standing close together
in a line, through a body of above a thousand savages, beating down all
that came in their way, got the victory over their enemies, but to their
great sorrow, because it was with the loss of their friend; whom the
other party, finding him alive, carried off with some others, as I gave
an account in my former.

They described, most affectionately, how they were surprised with joy at
the return of their friend and companion in misery, who they thought had
been devoured by wild beasts of the worst kind, viz. by wild men; and
yet how more and more they were surprised with the account he gave them
of his errand, and that there was a Christian in a place near, much more
one that was able, and had humanity enough to contribute to their

They described how they were astonished at the sight of the relief I
sent them, and at the appearance of loaves of bread, things they had not
seen since their coming to that miserable place; how often they crossed
it, and blessed it as bread sent from heaven; and what a reviving
cordial it was to their spirits to taste it, as also of the other things
I had sent for their supply. And, after all, they would have told me
something of the joy they were in at the sight of a boat and pilots to
carry them away to the person and place from whence all these new
comforts came; but they told me it was impossible to express it by
words, for their excessive joy driving them to unbecoming
extravagancies, they had no way to describe them but by telling me that
they bordered upon lunacy, having no way to give vent to their passion
suitable to the sense that was upon them; that in some it worked one
way, and in some another; and that some of them, through a surprise of
joy, would burst out into tears; others be half mad, and others
immediately faint. This discourse extremely affected me, and called to
my mind Friday's ecstasy when he met his father, and the poor people's
ecstasy when I took them up at sea, after their ship was on fire; the
mate of the ship's joy, when he found himself delivered in the place
where he expected to perish; and my own joy, when after twenty-eight
years captivity I found a good ship ready to carry me to my own country.
All these things made me more sensible of the relation of these poor
men, and more affected with it.

Having thus given a view of the state of things as I found them, I must
relate the heads of what I did for these people, and the condition in
which I left them. It was their opinion, and mine too, that they would
be troubled no more with the savages; or that, if they were, they would
be able to cut them off, if they were twice as many as before; so that
they had no concern about that. Then I entered into a serious discourse
with the Spaniard whom I called governor, about their stay in the
island; for as I was not come to carry any of them off, so it would not
be just to carry off some and leave others, who perhaps would be
unwilling to stay if their strength was diminished.

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