Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of by Daniel Defoe

Part 4 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

"These Englishmen perceiving they had made all of us their enemies,
began to cool; but not withstanding their better words the Spaniards
would not return them their arms again, telling them, 'they would do
them no manner of harm, if they would live peaceably; but if they
offered any injury to the plantation or castle, they would shoot them as
they would do ravenous beasts. This made them so mad, that they went
away raging like furies of hell. They were no sooner gone, but in came
the two honest men, fired with the justest rage, if such can be, having
been ruined as aforesaid. And indeed it was very hard, that nineteen of
us should be bullied by three villains, continually offending
with impunity.

"It was a great while, Sir, before we could persuade the two Englishmen
from pursuing, and undoubtedly killing them with their fire-arms; but we
promised them 'justice should be done them, and, in the mean time, they
should reside with us in our habitation.' In about five days after,
these three vagrants, almost starved with hunger, drew near our grove,
and perceiving me, the governor, & two others walking by the side of the
creek, they very submissively desired to be received into the family
again. We told them of 'their great incivility to us, and of their
unnatural barbarity to their countrymen; but yet we would see what the
rest agreed to, and in half an hour's time would bring them word.'
After some debate, we called them in, where their two countrymen laid a
heavy charge against them, for not only ruining, but designing to murder
them, which they could not deny. But here I was forced to interpose as a
mediator, by obliging the two Englishmen not to hurt them, being naked &
unarmed, and that the other three should make them restitution, by
building their two huts, and fencing their ground in the same manner as
it was before. Well, being in a miserable condition, they submitted to
this at present, and lived some time regularly enough, except as to the
working part, which they did not care for, but the Spaniards would have
dispensed with that, had they continued easy and quiet. Their arms being
given them again, they scarce had them a week when they became as
troublesome as ever; but an accident happening soon after, obliged us to
lay aside private resentments, and look to our common preservation.

"One night, Sir, I went to bed, perfectly well in health, and yet by no
means could I compose myself to sleep; upon which, being very uneasy, I
got up and looked out, but it being dark, I could perceive nothing but
the trees around the castle. I went to bed again, but it was all one, I
could not sleep; when one of my Spaniards, hearing me walk about, asked
who it was up? I answered, _It is I_. When I told him the occasion,
_Sir_, said he, _such things are not to be slighted; for certainly there
is some mischief plotting against us. Where are the Englishmen?_ said I.
He answered _In their huts_; for they lay separate from us, Sir, since
the last mutiny. _Well,_ said I, _some kind spirit gives this
information for advantage. Come let us go abroad, and see if any thing
offers to justify our fears._ Upon which I and some of my Spaniards went
up the mountain, not by the ladder, but through the grove, and then we
were struck with a panic fear on seeing a light, as though it were a
fire, at a very little distance, and hearing the voices of several men.
Hereupon we retreated immediately, and raised the rest of our forces,
and made them sensible of the impending danger; but with all my
authority, I could not make them stay where they were, so earnest were
they to see how things went. Indeed the darkness of the night gave them
opportunity enough to view them by the light of the fire undiscovered.
As they were in different parties, and straggling over the shore, we
were much afraid that they should find out our habitations, and destroy
our flocks of goats: to prevent which, we sent immediately an Englishman
and two Spaniards to drive the goats into the valley where the cave lay;
or, if there was occasion, into the cave itself: As to ourselves,
resuming our native courage and prudent conduct, had we not been
divided, we durst venture to attack an hundred of them; but before it
was very light, we resolved to send out Friday's father as a spy, who,
immediately stripping himself naked, gets among them undiscovered, and
in two hours time brings word, that 'they were two parties of two
different nations, who lately having a bloody battle with one another,
happened to land by mere chance on the same island, to devour their
miserable prisoners; that they were entirely ignorant of any person's
inhabiting here; but rather filled with rage and fury against one
another, he believed, that as soon as day light appeared, there would be
a terrible engagement.' Old Friday had scarce ended his relation, when
we heard an uncommon noise, and perceived that there was a horrid
engagement between the two armies.

"Such was the curiosity of our party, especially the Englishmen, that
they would not lie close, tho' Old Friday told them, 'their safety
depended upon it; and that if we had patience, we should behold the
savages kill one another.' However they used some caution, by going
farther into the woods, and placing themselves in a convenient place to
behold the battle.

"Never could there be a more bloody engagement, or men of more
invincible spirits and prudent conduct, according to their manner and
way of fighting. It lasted near two hours, till the party which was
nearest our castle began to decline, and at last to fly from their
conquerors. We were undoubtedly put into a great consternation on this
account, lest they should run into our grove, and consequently bring us
into the like danger. Hereupon we resolved to kill the first that came,
to prevent discovery, and that too with our swords, and the butt end of
our muskets, for fear the report of our guns should be heard.

"And so indeed, as we thought, it happened; for three of the vanquished
army crossing the creek, ran directly to the place, as to a thick wood
for shelter; nor was it long before our scout gave us notice of it: as
also, that the victors did not think fit to pursue them. Upon this I
would not suffer them to be slain, but had them surprised and taken by
our party; afterwards they proved very good servants to us, being stout
young creatures, and able to do a great deal of work. The remainder of
the conquered savages fled to their canoes, and put out into the ocean,
while the conquerors, joining together, shouted by way of triumph, and
about three in the afternoon they also embarked for their own nation.
Thus we were freed at once from these savages and our fears, not
perceiving any of these creatures for some considerable time after. We
found two and thirty men dead in the field of battle; some were slain
with long arrows, which we found sticking in their bodies; & the rest
were killed with great unwieldy wooden swords, which denoted their vast
strength, and of which we found seventeen, besides bows and arrows: but
we could not find one wounded creature among them alive; for they either
kill their enemies quite, or carry those wounded away with them.

"This terrible fight tamed the Englishmen for some time, considering
how unfortunate they might have been had they fallen into their hands,
who would not only kill them as enemies, but also for food, as we do
cattle; and indeed so much did this nauseate their stomachs, that it not
only made them very sick, but more tractable to the common necessary
business of the whole society, planting, sowing, and reaping, with the
greatest signs of amity and friendship; so, that being now all good
friends, we began to consider of circumstances in general; and the first
thing we thought of was, whether, as we perceived the savages haunted
that side of the island, and there being more retired parts of it, and
yet as well suited to our manner of living, and equally to our
advantage, we ought not rather to move our place of residence, & plant
it in a much safer place, both for the security of our corn and cattle.

"After a long debate on this head; it was resolved, or rather voted,
_nemine comradicente_, not to remove our ancient castle, and that for
this very good reason, that some time or other we expected to hear from
our supreme governor, (meaning you, Sir) whose messengers not finding us
there, might think the place demolished, and all his subjects destroyed
by the savages.

"As to the next concern relating to our corn and cattle, we consented to
have them removed to the valley where the cave was, that being most
proper and sufficient for both. But yet when we considered farther, we
altered one part of our resolution, which was to remove part of our
cattle thither and plant only part of our corn there; so that in case
one part was destroyed, the other might be preserved. Another resolution
we took, which really had a great deal of prudence in it; and that was,
in not trusting the three savages whom we had taken prisoners, with any
knowledge of the plantations we had made in the valley, of what number
of cattle we had there, much less of the cave, wherein we kept several
arms, and two barrels of powder you left for us at your departure from
this island. But though we could not change our habitation, we resolved
to make it more fortified and more secret. To this end, Sir, as you
planted trees at some distance before the entrance of your palace; so
we, imitating your example, planted and filled up the whole space of
ground, even to the banks of the creek, nay, into the very ooze where
the tide flowed, not leaving a place for landing; and among those I had
planted, they had intermingled so many short ones, all of which growing
wonderfully fast and thick, a little dog could scarcely find a passage
through them. Nor was this sufficient, as we thought, for we did the
same to all the ground, on the right and left hand of us, even to the
top of the hill, without so much as leaving a passage for ourselves,
except by the ladder; which being taken down, nothing but what had
wings or witchcraft could pretend to come near us. And indeed this was
exceedingly well-contrived, especially to serve that occasion for which
we afterwards found it necessary.

"Thus we lived two years in a happy retirement, having, all this time,
not one visit from the savages. Indeed one morning we had an alarm,
which put us in some amazement; for a few of my Spaniards being out very
early, perceived no less than twenty canoes, as it were coming on shore:
upon which returning home, with great precipitation, they gave us the
alarm, which obliged us to keep at home all that day and the next, going
out only in the night-time to make our observations; but, as good luck
would have it, they were upon another design, and did not land that time
upon the island.

"But now there happened another quarrel between the three wicked
Englishmen, and some of my Spaniards.--- The occasion was this: One of
them being enraged at one of the savages, whom he had taken prisoner,
for not being able to comprehend something which he was showing him,
snatched up a hatchet in a great fury not to correct, but to kill him;
yet missing his head gave him such a barbarous--cut in the shoulder,
that he had like to have struck off his arm; at which one of my
good-natured Spaniards interposing between the Englishman and the savage
beseeched the former, not to murder the poor creature, but this kindness
had like to have cost the Spaniard his life, for the Englishman, struck
at him in the same manner; which he nimbly and wisely avoiding, returned
suddenly upon him with his shovel, (being all at work about their corn
land), and very fairly knocked the brutish creature down. Hereupon
another Englishman coming to his fellow's assistance, laid the good
Spaniard on the earth; when immediately two others coming to his relief
were attacked by the third Englishman, armed with an old cutlass, who
wounded them both. This uproar soon reached our ears, when we rushing
out upon them, took the three Englishmen prisoners, and then our next
question was, what would be done to such mutinous, and impudent fellows,
so furious, desperate, and idle, that they were mischievious to the
highest degree and consequently not safe for the society to let them
live among them.

"Now, Sir, as I was governor in your absence, so I also took the
authority of a judge, and, having them brought before me; I told them,
that if they had been of my country, I would have hanged every mother's
son of them, but since it was an Englishman (meaning you, kind Sir,) to
whom we were indebted for our preservation and deliverance, I would, in
gratitude, use them with all possible mildness, but at the same time
leave them to the judgment of the other two Englishmen who, I hoped,
forgetting their resentments, would deal impartially by them.'

"Hereupon one of his countrymen stood up: _Sir_, said he, _leave it not
for us, for you may be sensible we have reason to sentence them to the
gallows: besides, Sir, this fellow, Will Atkins, and the two others,
proposed to us, that we might murder you all in your sleep, which we
could not consent to: but knowing their inability, and your vigilance,
we did not think fit to discover it before now.

"_How, Signor_, said I, _do you hear what is alledged against you? What
can you say to justify so horrid an action, as to murder us in cold
blood?_ So far, Sir, was the wretch from denying it, that he swore,
_damn him but he would do it still. But what have we done to you, Seignor
Atkins_, said I, _or what will you gain by killing us? What shall we do
to prevent you? Must we kill you, or you kill us? Why will you Seignor
Atkins,_ said I, smiling, _put us to such an unhappy dilemma, such a
fatal necessity?_ But so great a rage did my scoffing and yet severe
jest put him into, that he was going to fly at me and undoubtedly had
attempted to kill me if he had been possessed of weapons, and had not
been prevented by three Spaniards. This unparalleled and villainous
carriage, made us seriously consider what was to be done. The two
Englishmen and the Spaniard, who had saved the poor Indian's life,
mightily petitioned me to hang one of them, for an example to the
others, which should be him that had twice attempted to commit murder
with his hatchet, it being at that time thought impossible the poor
slave should recover. But they could never gain my consent to put him to
death, for the reasons above mentioned, since it was an Englishman (even
yourself) who was my deliverer; and as merciful counsels are most
prevailing when earnestly pressed, so I got them to be of the same
opinion as to clemency. But to prevent them doing us any farther
mischief; we all agreed, that they should have no weapons, as sword,
gun, powder, or shot, but be expelled from the society, to live as they
pleased by themselves; that neither the two Englishmen, nor the rest of
the Spaniards, should have conversation with them upon any account
whatsoever; that they should be kept from coming within a certain
distance of our castle; and if they dared to offer us any violence,
either by spoiling, burning, killing, or destroying any of the corn,
plantings, buildings, fences, or cattle, belonging to the society, we
would shoot them as freely as we would do beasts of prey, in whatsoever
places we should find them.

"This sentence seemed very just to all but themselves; when, like a
merciful judge, I called out to the two honest Englishmen, saying, _You
must consider they ought not to be starved neither: and since it will be
some time before they can raise corn and cattle of their own, let us
give them some corn to last them eight months, and for seed to sow, by
which time they'll raise some for themselves; let us also bestow upon
them six milch goats, four he ones, and six kids, as well for their
present support, as for a further increase; with tools necessary for
their work, as hatchets, an ax, saw, and other things convenient to
build them huts:_ all which were agreed: but before they took them into
possession, I obliged them solemnly to swear, never to attempt any thing
against us, or their countrymen for the future. Thus dismissing them
from our society, They went away, sullen & refractory, as though neither
willing to go nor stay; however seeing no remedy, they took what
provision was given them, proposing to choose a convenient place where
they might live by themselves.

"About five days after, they came to those limits appointed, in order
for more victuals, and sent me word by one of my Spaniards, whom they
called to, where they had pitched their tents; and marked themselves out
an habitation and plantation, at the N.E. and most remote part of the
island. And, indeed, there they built themselves two very handsome
cottages, resembling our little castle, being under the side of a
mountain, with some trees already growing on three sides of it; so that
planting a few more, it would be obscured from sight, unless
particularly sought for. When these huts were finished, we gave them
some dry goat-skins for bedding and covering; & upon their giving us
fuller assurances of their good behaviour for the future, we gave them
some pease, barley, and rice for sowing and whatever tools we
could spare.

"Six months did they live in this separate condition, in which they got
their first harvest in, the quantity of which was but small, because
they had planted but little land; for, indeed, all their plantations
being to form, made it more difficult; especially as it was a thing out
of their element; and when they were obliged to make their boards and
pots, &c. they could make little or nothing of it. But the rainy season
coming on, put them into a greater perplexity for want of a cave to keep
their corn dry, and prevent it from spoiling: and so much did this
humble them, that they begged of my Spaniards to help them, to which the
good-natured men readily consented, and in four days space, worked a
great hole in the side of the hill for them, large enough for their
purpose, to secure their corn and other things from the rain, though not
comparable to ours, which had several additional appartments.

"But a new whim possessed these rogues about three quarters of a year
after, which had like to have ruined us, and themselves too: for it
seems, being tired and weary of this sort of living, which made them
work for themselves, without hopes of changing their condition, nothing
would serve them, but that they would make a voyage to the continent,
and try if they could seize upon some of the savages, and bring them
over as slaves, to do their drudgery, while they lived at ease
and pleasure.

"Indeed the project was not so preposterous, if they had not gone
farther; but they neither did, nor proposed any thing, but what had
mischief in the design, or the event. One morning, these three fellows
came down to the limited station, and humbly desired to be admitted to
talk with us, which we readily granted; they told us in short, that
_being tired of their manner of living, and the labour of their hands in
such employments, not being sufficient to procure the necessaries of
life, they only desired one of the canoes we came over in, with some
arms and ammunition for their defence, and they would seek their
fortunes abroad, and never trouble us any more._ To be sure we were glad
enough to get rid of such wretched plagues; but yet honesty made us
ingenuously represent to them, by what we ourselves had suffered, the
certain destruction they were running into, either of being starved to
death or murdered by the savages. To this they very audaciously replied,
_that they neither could nor would work: and consequently that they
might as well be starved abroad as at home: & neither had they any wives
or children to cry after them: nay, so intent were they upon their
voyage, that if the Spaniards had not given them arms, so they had but
the canoe they would have gone without them._

"Though we could not well spare our fire arms, rather than they should
go like naked men, we let them have two muskets, a pistol, a cutlass,
and three hatchets, which were thought very sufficient: we gave them
also goat's flesh, a great basket full of dried grapes, a pot of fresh
butter, a young live kid, and a large canoe sufficient to carry twenty
men. And thus, with a mast made of a long pole, and a sail of six large
goat-skins dried, having a fair breeze, and a flood-tide with them, they
merrily sailed away, the Spaniards calling after them, _Bon voyaje_, no
man ever expecting to see them more.

"When they were gone, the Spaniards and Englishmen would often say to
one another, _O how peaceably do we now live, since these turbulent
fellows have left us!_ Nothing could be farther from their thoughts than
to behold their faces any more; and yet scarce two and twenty days had
passed over their heads, but one of the Englishmen, being abroad a
planting, perceived at a distance, three men well armed, approaching
towards him. Away he flies with speed to our castle, and tells me and
the rest, that we were all undone, for that strangers were landed upon
the island, and who they were he could not tell; but added that they
were not savages but men habited, bearing arms. _Why then,_ said I, _we
have the less occasion to be concerned, since, if they were not Indians,
they must be friends; for I am sure there is no Christian people upon
earth, but what will do us good rather than harm._ But while we were
considering of the event, up came the three Englishmen, whose voices we
quickly knew, and so all our admiration of that nature ceased at once.
And our wonder was succeeded by another sort of inquiry, which was, what
could be the occasion of their returning so quickly to the island, when
we little expected, and much less desired their company? But as this was
better to be related by themselves, I ordered them to be brought in,
when they gave me the following relation of their voyage.

"After two days sail, or something less, they reached land, where they
found the people coming to give them another sort of reception than what
they expected or desired; for, as the savages were armed with bows and
arrows, they durst not venture on shore, but steered northward, six or
seven hours, till they gained an opening, by which they plainly
perceived, that the land that appeared from this place, was not the main
land, but an island. At their entrance into the opening of the sea, they
discovered another island, on the right hand northward, and several more
lying to the westward; but being resolved to go on shore some where or
other, they put over to one of the western islands. Here they found the
natives very courteous to them, giving them several roots and dried
fish; nay, even their women too were as willing to supply them with what
they could procure them to eat, bringing it a great way to them upon
their heads. Among these hospitable Indians. they continued some days,
inquiring by signs and tokens, what nations lay around them; and were
informed, that there were, several fierce and terrible people lived
every way, accustomed to eat mankind; but for themselves they never used
such diet, except those that were taken in battle, and of them they made
a solemn feast.

"The Englishmen inquired how long it was since they had a feast of that
kind? They answered, _about two moons ago_, pointing to the moon, and
then two fingers; that, _at this time, their king had two hundred
prisoners, which were fattening up for the slaughter_. The Englishmen
were mighty desirous of seeing the prisoners, which the others
mistaking, thought that they wanted some of them for their own food:
upon which they beckoned to them, pointing to the rising, and then to
the setting of the sun; meaning, that by the time it appeared in the
east next morning, they would bring them some: and indeed they were as
good as their word; for by that time they brought eleven men & five
women, just as so many cows & oxen are brought to sea-port towns to
victual a ship. But as brutish as these Englishmen were, their stomachs
turned at the sight. What to do in this case, they could not tell: to
refuse the prisoner, would have been the highest affront offered to the
savage gentry; and to dispose of them, they knew not, in what manner;
however, they resolved to accept them, and so gave them, in return, one
of their hatchets, an old key, a knife, and six or seven of their
bullets; things which, tho' they were wholly ignorant of, yet of seemed
entirely contented with; & dragging the poor wretches into the boat,
with their hands bound behind them, delivered them to the Englishmen.
But this obliged them to put off as soon as they had these presents,
lest the donors should have expected two or three of them to be killed,
and to be invited to dinner the next day; and so taking leave with all
possible respect and thanks, though neither of them understood what the
others said, they sailed away back to the first island, and there set
eight of the prisoners at liberty. In their voyage they endeavoured to
comfort, and have some conversation with the poor captives; but it was
impossible to make them sensible of any thing; and nothing they could
say or give, or do for them, could make them otherwise persuaded, but
that they were unbound only to be devoured: if they gave them any food,
they thought it was only to fatten them for the slaughter; or looked at
any one more particularly, the poor creature supposed itself to be the
'first sacrifice'; and even when we brought them to our island, and
began to use them with the greatest humanity and kindness, yet they
expected every day that their new masters would devour them.

"And thus, Sir, did these three strange wanderers conclude their
unaccountable relation of their voyage, which was both amazing and
entertaining. Hereupon, I asked them, where there new family was? They
told me _they had put them into one of their huts, and they came to beg
some victuals for them_. This, indeed, made us all long to see them; and
taking Friday's father with us, leaving only two at our castle, we came
down to behold these poor creatures.

"When we arrived at the hut, (they being bound again by the Englishmen,
for fear of escaping) we found them stark naked, expecting their fatal
tragedy: there were three lusty men, well shaped, with straight and good
limbs, between thirty and five and thirty years old; and five women, two
of them might be from thirty to forty, two more not above four and
twenty; and the last, a comely tall maiden of about seventeen. Indeed,
all the women were very agreeable, both in proportion and features,
except that they were tawny, which their modest behaviour, and other
graces, made amends for, when they afterwards came to be clothed.

"This naked appearance, together with their miserable circumstances, was
no very comfortable sight to my Spaniards, who, for their parts, I may
venture, Sir, without flattery, to say, are men of the best behaviour,
calmest tempers, and sweetest nature, that can possibly be; for they
immediately ordered Friday's father to see if he knew any of them, or if
he understood what they could say. No sooner did the old Indian appear,
but he looked at them with great seriousness; yet, as they were not of
his nation, they were utter strangers to him, and none could understand
his speech or signs, but one woman. This was enough to answer the
design, which was to assure them they would not be killed, being fallen
into the hands of Christians, who abhorred such barbarity. When they
were fully satisfied of this, they expressed their joy by such strange
gestures, and uncommon tones, as it is not possible for me to describe.
But the woman their interpreter, was ordered next to enquire, whether
they were content to be servants, and would work for the men who had
brought them hither to save their lives? Hereupon, (being at this time
unbound) they fell a capering and dancing, one taking this thing upon
her shoulders, and the other that, intimating, that they were willing to
do any thing for them. But now, Sir, having women among us, and dreading
that it might occasion some strife, if not blood, I asked the three men
'what they would do, and how they intended to use these creatures,
whether as servants or women?' One of them very pertly and readily
answered, 'they would use them as both,' _Gentlemen_, said I _as you are
your own masters, I am not going to restrain you from that; but
methinks, for avoiding dissentions among you, I would only desire you to
engage, that none of you will take more than one for a woman or wife,
and that having taken this one, none else should presume to touch her;
for though we have not yet a priestly authority to marry you, yet it is
but reasonable, that whoever thus takes a woman, should be obliged to
maintain her, since nobody has any thing to do with her_; and this,
indeed, appeared so just to all present, that it was unanimously agreed
to. The Englishmen then asked my Spaniards, 'whether they designed to
take any of them? but they all answered, _No_; some declaring they had
already wives in Spain; and others that they cared not to join with
infidels. On the reverse, the Englishmen took each of them a temporary
wife, and so set up a new method of living. As to Friday's father, the
Spaniards, and the three savage servants we had taken in the late
battle, they all lived with me in our ancient castle; and indeed we
supplied the main part of the island with food, as necessity required.
But the most remarkable part of the story is, how these Englishmen, who
had been so much at variance, should agree about the choice of those
women; yet they took a way good enough to prevent quarreling among
themselves. They let the five women in one of their huts, and going
themselves to the other, drew lots which should have the first choice.
Now, he that had the first lot went to the hut, and fetched out her he
chose; and it is remarkable, that he took her that was the most homely
and eldest of the number, which made the rest of the Englishmen
exceedingly merry; the Spaniards themselves could not help but smile at
it; but as it happened, the fellow had the best thought, in choosing
one fit for application and business; and indeed she proved the best
wife of all the parcel.

"But when the poor creatures perceived themselves placed in a row, and
separated one by one, they were again seized with an unspeakable terror,
as now thinking they were going to be slain in earnest; and when the
Englishmen came to take the first, the rest set up a lamentable cry,
clasped their arms around her neck, and hanging about her, took their
last farewell, as they thought, in such trembling agonies, and
affectionate embraces, as would have softened the hardest heart in the
world, and made the driest eyes melt into tears; nor could they be
persuaded but that they were going to die, till such time as Friday's
father made them sensible that the Englishmen had chosen them for their
wives, which ended all their terror and concern upon this occasion.

"Well, after this, the Englishmen went to work, and being assisted by my
good natured Spaniards, in a few hours they, erected every one of them a
new hut or tent for their separate lodging, since those they had already
were, filled with tools, household stuff, and provision. They all
continued on the north shore of the island, but separate as before; the
three wicked ones pitching farther off, and the two honest men nearer
our castle; so that the island seemed to be peopled in three places,
three towns beginning to be built for that purpose. And here I cannot
but remark, what is very common, that the two honest men had the worst
wives, (I mean as to industry, cleanliness, and ingenuity) while the
three reprobates enjoyed women of quite contrary qualities.

"But another observation I made was, in favour of the two honest men, to
show what disparity there is between a diligent application to business,
on the one hand, and a slothful negligent, and idle temper, on the
other. Both of them had the same parcel of ground laid out, and corn to
sow, sufficient either in their cultivation or their planting. The two
honest men had a multitude of young trees planted about their
habitations, so that when you approached near them, nothing appeared but
a wood, very pleasing and delightful. Every thing they did prospered and
flourished: their grapes, planted in order, seemed as though managed in
a vineyard and were infinitely preferable to any of the others. Nor were
they wanting to find out a place of retreat, but dug a cave in the most
retired part of a thick wood, to secure their wives and children, with
their provision and chiefest goods, surrounded with innumerable stakes,
and having a most subtle entrance, in case any mischief should happen
either from their fellow countrymen, or the devouring savages.

"As to the reprobates, (though I must own they were much more civilized
than before) instead of delightful wood surrounding their dwellings, we
found the words of King Solomon too truly verified: _I went by the
vineyard of the slothful, and it was all overgrown with thorns_. In many
places their crop was obliterated by weeds: the hedges having several
gaps in them, the wild goats had got in, and eaten up the corn, and here
and there was a dead bush to stop these gaps for the present, which was
no more than shutting the stable door after the steed was stolen away.
But as to their wives, they (as I observed before) were more diligent,
and cleanly enough, especially in their victuals, being instructed by
one of the honest men, who had been a cook's mate on board a ship: &
very well it was so, for as he cooked himself, his companion and their
families lived as well as the idle husbands, who did nothing but loiter
about, fetch turtle's eggs, catch fish and birds, and do any thing but
work, and lived accordingly; while the diligent lived very handsomely
and plentifully, in the most comfortable manner.

"And now, Sir, I come to lay before your eyes a scene quite different
from any thing that ever happened to us before, and perhaps ever befel
you in all the time of your residence on this island. I shall inform you
of its original in the following manner.

"One morning, Sir, very early, there came five or six canoes of Indians
on shore, indisputably upon their old custom of devouring their
prisoners. All that we had to do upon such an occasion, was to lie
concealed, that they, not having any notice of inhabitants, might depart
quietly after performing their bloody execution: whoever first
discovered the savages, was to give notice to all the three plantations
to keep within doors, and then a proper scout was to be placed to give
intelligence of their departure. But notwithstanding these wise
measures, an unhappy disaster discovered us to the savages, which was
like to have caused the desolation of the whole island; for, after the
savages were gone off in their canoes, some of my Spaniards and I
looking abroad; and being inflamed with a curiosity to see what they had
been doing, to our great amazement beheld three savages fast asleep on
the ground, who, either being gorged, could not awake when the others
went off, or having wandered too far into the woods, did not come
back in time.

"What to do with them as first, we could not tell; as for slaves we had
enough of them already; and as to killing them, neither Christianity or
humanity would suffer us to shed the blood of persons who never did us
wrong. We perceived they had no boat left them to transport them to
their own nation; and that, by letting them wander about, they might
discover us, and inform the first savages that should happen to land
upon the same bloody occasion, which information might entirely ruin us;
and therefore I counselled my Spaniards to secure them, and set them
about some work or other, till we could better dispose of them.

"Hereupon we all went back, and making them awake, took them prisoners.
It is impossible to express the horror they were in, especially when
bound, as thinking they were going to be murdered and eaten, but we soon
eased them of their fear as to that point. We first took them to the
bower, where the chief of our country work lay as keeping goats,
planting corn, &c and then carried them to the two Englishmen's
habitation, to help them in their business; but happy it was for us all
we did not carry them to our castle, as by the sequel will appear. The
Englishmen, indeed, found them work to do; but whether they did not
guard them strictly, or that they thought they could not better
themselves, I cannot tell; but certainly one of them ran away into the
woods, and they could not hear of him for a long time after.

"Undoubtedly there was reason enough to suppose he got home in some of
the canoes, the savages returning in about four weeks time, and going
off in the space of two days. You may be certain, Sir, this thought
could not but terrify us exceedingly, and make us justly conclude, that
the savage would inform his countrymen of our abode in the island, how
few and weak we were in comparison to their numbers & we expected it
would not be long before the Englishmen would be attacked in their
habitations; but the savages had not seen their places of safety in the
woods, nor our castle, which it was a great happiness they did not know.

"Nor were we mistaken in our thoughts upon this occasion: for, about
eight months after this, six canoes, with about ten men in each canoe,
came sailing by the north side of the island, which they were never
accustomed to do before, and landed about an hour after sunrise, near a
mile from the dwelling of the two Englishman, who, it seems, had the
good fortune to discover them about a league off: to that it was an hour
before they could come at them. And now being confirmed in this opinion
that they were certainly betrayed, they immediately bound the two slaves
which were left, causing two of the three men, whom they brought with
the women, and who proved very faithful to lead them with their wives,
and other conveniences, into their retired care in the wood, and there
to bind the two fellows hand and foot till they had further orders. They
then opened their fences, where they kept their milch goats, and drove
them all out, giving the goats liberty to ramble in the woods, to make
the savages believe that they were wild ones; but the slave had given a
truer information, which made them come to the very inclosures. The two
frighted men sent the other slave of the three, who had been with them
by accident, to alarm the Spaniards, and desire their assistance; in
the mean time they took their arms and ammunition, and made to the cave
where they had sent their wives, and securing their slaves, seated
themselves in a private place, from whence they might behold all the
actions of the savages. Nor had they gone far, when ascending a rising
ground, they could see a little army of Indians approach to their
beautiful dwelling, and in a few moments more, perceive the same, and
their furniture, to their unspeakable grief, burning in a consuming
flame, and when this war done, they spread here and there, searching
every bush and place for the people, of whom it was very evident, they
had information. Upon which the two Englishmen, not thinking themselves
secure where they stood, retreated about half a mile higher in the
country, rightly concluding, that the farther the savages strolled,
there would be less numbers together: upon which they next took their
stand by the trunk of an old tree, very hollow and large, whence they
resolved to see what would offer: but they had not stood long there,
before two savages came running directly towards them, as though having
knowledge of their being there, who seemed resolved to attack them; a
little farther were three more, and five more behind them again, all
running the same way. It cannot be imagined the perplexity the poor men
were in at this sight, thinking that if assistance did not speedily come
their cave in the wood would be discovered, and consequently all therein
lost; so they resolved to resist them there, and, when overpowered, to
ascend to the top of the trees, where they might defend themselves as
long as their ammunition lasted, and sell their lives as dear as
possible to those devouring savages. Thus fixed in their resolution,
they next considered, whether they should fire at the first two, or wait
for the three, and so take the middle party, by which the two first &
the five last would be separated. In this regulation the two savages
also confirmed them, by turning a little to another part of the wood:
but the three, & the five after them, came directly towards the tree.
Hereupon they resolved to take them in a direct line, as they approached
nearer, because perhaps the first shot might hit them all three; and
upon this occasion, the man who was to fire, charged his piece with
three or four bullets. And thus while they were waiting, the savages
came on, one of them was the runaway, who had caused all the mischief;
so they resolved he should not escape, if they both fired at once. But,
however, though they did not fire together, they were ready charged;
when the first that let fly, was too good a marksman to miss his aim;
for he killed the foremost outright, the second (_who was the runaway
Indian_) fell to the ground, being shot through the body, but not dead
and the third was a little wounded in the shoulder, who, sitting down on
the ground, fell a screaming in a most fearful manner. The noise of the
guns, which not only made the most resounding echoes, from one side to
the other, but raised the birds of all sorts, fluttering with the most
confused noise, so much terrified the five savages behind that they
stood still at first, like so many inanimate images. But when all things
were in profound silence, they came to the place where there companions
lay; and here, not being sensible that they were liable to the same
fate, stood over the wounded man, undoubtedly inquiring the occasion of
this sad calamity; and 'tis as reasonable to suppose he told them, that
it came by thunder and lightning from the gods, having never seen or
heard of a gun before, in the whole course of their lives. By this time
the Englishmen, having loaded their pieces, fired both together a second
time, when seeing them all fall immediately on the ground, they thought
they had killed every creature of them. This made them come up boldly
before they had charged their guns, which indeed was a wrong step; for,
when they came to the place, they found four alive, two of them very
little wounded, and one not at all, which obliged them to fall upon them
with their muskets: they first knocked the runaway savage on the head,
and another that was but a little wounded in the arm, & then put the
other languishing wretches out of their pain: while he that was not
hurt, with bended knees and uplifted hands, made piteous moans, and
signs to them to spare his life; nor, indeed, were they unmerciful to
the poor wretch, but pointed to him to sit down at the root of a tree
hard by; and then, one of the Englishmen, with a piece of rope twine he
had in his pocket, by mere chance, tying his two feet fast together, and
his two hands behind him, they left him there, making all the haste they
could after the other two, fearing they should find out their cave; but
though they could not overtake them, they had the satisfaction to
perceive them at a distance, cross a valley towards the sea, a quite
contrary way to their retreat: upon which they returned to the tree, to
look after their prisoner; but when they came there, he was gone,
leaving the piece of rope-yarn, wherewith he was bound, behind him.

"Well, now they were as much concerned as ever, as not knowing how near
their enemies might be, or in what numbers. Immediately they repaired to
the cave, to see if all was well there, and found every thing safe,
except the women, who were frightened upon their husbands account, whom
they now loved entirely. They had not been long here, before seven of my
Spaniards came to assist them; while the other ten, their servants, and
Friday's father, were gone to defend their bower, corn, and cattle, in
case the savages should have rambled so far. There accompanied the seven
Spaniards, one of the three savages that had formerly been taken
prisoner; and with them also that very Indian whom the Englishmen had,
a little before, left under the tree; for it seems, they passed by that
way where the slaughter was made, and so carried along with them that
poor wretch that was left bound. But so many prisoners now becoming a
burthen to us, and fearing the dreadful consequence of their escaping,
most of the Spaniards and English urged the absolute necessity there was
of killing them for our common preservation; but, Sir, the authority I
bore, as a governor, over-ruled that piece of cruelty; and then I
ordered them to be sent prisoners to the old cave in the valley, bound
hands and feet, with two Spaniards to guard them.

"So much encouraged were the Englishmen at the approach of the
Spaniards, and so great was their fury against the savages for
destroying their habitations, that they had not patience to stay any
longer; but, taking five Spaniards along with them, armed with four
muskets, a pistol, and a quarter staff, away they went in pursuit of
their enemies. As they passed by the place where the savages were slain,
it was very easy to be perceived that more of them had been there,
having attempted to carry off their dead bodies, but found it
impracticable. From a rising ground our party had the mortification to
see the smoke that proceeded from their ruins; when coming farther in
flight of the shore, they plainly perceived that the savages had
embarked in their canoes, and were putting out to sea. This they were
very sorry for, there being no coming at them to give them a parting
salute, but however, they were glad enough to get clear of such
unwelcome guests.

"Thus the two honest, but unfortunate Englishmen, being ruined a second
time, and their improvements quite destroyed, most of my good natured
Spaniards helped them to rebuild, and we all assisted them with needful
supplies; nay, what is more remarkable, their three mischievous
countrymen, when they heard of it _(which was after all these disasters
were over, they living more remote eastward)_ very friendly sympathised
with them, and worked for them several days; so that, in a little, their
habitations were rebuilt, their necessities supplied, and themselves
restored to their former tranquility.

"Though the savages had nothing to boast of in this adventure, _(several
canoes being driven ashore, followed by two drowned creatures, having
undoubtedly met with a storm at sea that very night they departed)_ yet
it was natural to be supposed, that those whose better fortune it was to
attain their native shore, would inflame their nation to another ruinous
attempt, with a greater force, to carry all before them. And, indeed, so
it happened: for about seven months after, our island was invaded with a
most formidable navy, no less than eight and twenty canoes full of
savages, armed with wooden swords, monstrous clubs, bows and arrows, and
such like instruments of war, landing at the east end of the island.

"You may well, Sir, imagine what consternation our men were in upon
this account, and how speedy they were to execute their resolution,
having only that night's time allowed them. They knew that since they
could not withstand their enemies, concealment was the only way to
procure their safety; and, therefore, they took down the huts that were
built for the two Englishmen, and drove their flocks of goats together
with their own at the bower, to the old cave in the valley, leaving as
little appearance of inhabitants as possible; and then posted
themselves, with all their force, at the plantation of the two men. As
they expected, so it happened: for early the next morning, the Indians,
leaving their canoes at the east-end of the island, came running along
the shore, about two hundred and fifty in number, as near as could be
guessed. Our army was but little indeed; and what was our greatest
misfortune, we had not arms sufficient for them. The account, as to the
men, Sir, is an follows: viz. 17 _Spaniards_, 5 _Englishmen, Old Friday,
the three savages, taken with the five women, who proved faithful
servants, and three other slaves, living with the Spaniards. To arm
these they had_ 11 _muskets_, 5 _pistols_, 3 _fowling-pieces_, 2
_swords_, 3 _old halberts_, 5 _muskets, or fowling-pieces, taken from
the sailors whom you reduced. As to the slaves, we gave three of them
halberts, and the other three long staves, with great iron spikes at the
end of them, with hatchets by their sides; we also had hatchets sticking
in our girdles, besides the fire-arms: nay, two of the women, inspired
with Amazonian fortitude, could not be dissuaded from fighting along
with their dear husbands, and if they died, to die with them, Seeing
their resolution, we gave them hatchets likewise; but what pleased them
best, were the bows and arrows (which they dexterously knew how to use)
that the Indians had left behind them, after their memorable battle one
against another_.

"Over this army, which though little, was of great intrepidity, I was
constituted chief general and commander: and knowing Will Atkins, though
exceedingly wicked, yet a man of invincible courage, I gave him the
power of commanding under me: he had six men with their muskets loaded
with six or seven bullets a-piece, and were planted just behind a small
thicket of bushes, as an advanced guard, having orders to let the first
pass by; and then, when he fired into the middle of them, making a
nimble retreat round a part of the wood, and so come in the rear of the
Spaniards, who were shaded by a thicket of trees: for though the savages
came on with the fierceness of lions, yet they wanted the subtility of
foxes, being out of all manner of order, and straggling in heaps every
way: and, indeed, when Will Atkins, after fifty of the savages had
passed by, had ordered three of his men to give fire, so great was their
consternation, to see so many men killed and wounded, and hear such a
dreadful noise, and yet knew not whence it came, that they were
frightened to the highest degree: and when the second volley was given,
they concluded no less but that their companions were slain by thunder
and lightning from Heaven. In this notion they would have continued, had
Will Atkins and his men retired, as soon as they fired, according to
order: or had the rest been near them, to pour in their shot
continually, their might have been a complete victory obtained: but
staying to load their pieces again, discovered the whole matter. They
were perceived by some of the scattering savages at a distance, who let
fly their arrows among them, wounded Atkins himself, and killed his
fellow Englishman, and one of the Indians taken with the women. Our
party did not fail to answer them, and in their retreat killed about
twenty savages. Here I cannot but take notice of our poor dying slave,
who, tho' stopt from his retreat by a fatal arrow, yet with his staff
and hatchet, desperately and gallantly assailed his pursuers, and killed
five of the savages, before his life submitted to a multiplicity of
wounds. Nor is the cruelty or malice of the Indians to be less remarked,
in breaking the arms, legs, and heads of the two dead bodies, with their
clubs and wooden swords, after a most wretched manner. As Atkins
retreated our party advanced, to interpose between him and the savages:
but after three vollies, we were obliged to retreat also: for they were
so numerous and desperate, that they came up to our very teeth, shot
their arrows like a cloud, and their wounded men, enraged with cruel
pain, fought like madmen. They did not, however, think fit to follow us,
but drawing themselves up in a circle, they gave two triumphant shouts
in token of victory, though they had the grief to see several of their
wounded men bleed to death before them.

"After I had, Sir, drawn up our little army together, upon a rising
ground, Atkins, wounded as he was, would have had us attack the whole
body of the savages at once, I was extremely well pleased with the
gallantry of the man: but, upon consideration, I replied, _You perceive,
Seignor Atkins, how their wounded men fight; let them alone till
morning, when they will be faint, stiff, and sore, and then we shall
have fewer to combat with_. To which Atkins, smiling, replied, _That's
very true, Seignor, so shall I too; and that's the reason I would fight
them now I am warm_. We all answered, _Seignor Atkins for your part you
have behaved very gallantly; and, if you are not able to approach the
enemy in the morning, we will fight for you, till then we think it
convenient to wait_, and so we tarried.

"By the brightness of the moon that night, we perceived the savages in
great disorder about their dead and wounded men. This made us change our
resolution, and resolve to fall upon them in the night, if we could
give them one volley undiscovered. This we had a fair opportunity to do,
by one of the two Englishmen leading us round, between the woods and the
sea-side westward, and turning short south, came privately to a place
where the thickest of them were. Unheard and unperceived, eight of us
fired among them, and did dreadful execution; and in half a minute
after, eight more of us let fly, killing and wounding abundance of them;
and then dividing ourselves into three bodies, eight persons in each
body we marched from among the trees, to the very teeth of the enemy,
sending forth the greatest shouts and acclamations. The savages hearing
a different noise from three quarters at once, stood in the utmost
confusion; but coming in sight of us, let fly a volley of arrows, which
wounded poor old Friday, yet happily it did not prove mortal. We did
not, however, give them a second opportunity; but rushing in among them,
we fired three several ways, and then fell to work with our swords,
staves, hatchets, and the butt-end of our muskets, with a fury not to be
resisted; so that with the most dismal screaming and howling they had
recourse to their feet, to save their lives by a speedy flight. Nor must
we forget the valour of the two women; for they exposed themselves to
the greatest dangers, killed many with their arrows, and valiantly
destroyed several more with their hatchets.

"In fighting these two battles, we were so much tired, that we did not
then trouble ourselves to pursue them to their canoes, in which we
thought they would presently put to the ocean; but their happening a
dreadful storm at sea, which continuing all that night, it not only
prevented their voyage, but dashed several of their boats to pieces
against the beach, and drove the rest so high upon the shore, that it
required infinite labour to get them off. After our men had taken some
refreshment and a little repose, they resolved early in the morning to
go towards the place of their landing, and see whether they were gone
off, or in what posture they remained. This necessarily led them to the
place of battle, where several of the savages were expiring, a sight no
way pleasing to generous minds, to delight in misery, though obliged to
conquer them by the law of arms; but our own Indian slaves put them out
of their pain, by dispatching them with their hatchets. At length,
coming in view of the remainder of the army, we found them leaning upon
their knees, which were bended towards their mouth, and the head between
the two hands. Hereupon, coming within musket shot of them, I ordered
two pieces to be fired without ball, in order to alarm them, that we
might plainly know, whether they had the courage to venture another
battle, or were utterly dispirited from such an attempt, that so we
might accordingly manage them. And indeed, the prospect took very well;
for, no sooner did the savages hear the first gun, and perceive the
flash of the second, but they suddenly started upon their feet in the
greatest consternation; and when we approached towards them, they ran
howling and screaming away up the hill into the country.

"We could rather, at first, have wished, that the weather had permitted
them to have gone off to the sea; but when we considered, that their
escape might occasion the approach of multitudes, to our utter ruin and
dissolution; we were very well pleased the contrary happened; and Will
Atkins (who, tho' wounded, would not part from us all this while)
advised us not to let slip this advantage, but clapping between them and
their boats, deprive them of the capacity of ever returning to plague
the island: _I know_, said he, _there is but on objection you can make,
which is, that these creatures, living like beasts in the wood, may make
excursions, rifle the plantations, and destroy the tame goats; but then,
consider, we had better to do with an hundred men whom we can kill, or
make slaves of at leisure, than with an hundred nations, whom it is
impossible we should save ourselves from, much less subdue_. This
advice, and these arguments being approved of, we set fire to their
boats; and though they were so wet that we could not burn them entirely,
yet we made them incapable for swimming in the seas. As soon as the
Indians perceived what we were doing, many of them ran out of the woods,
in fight of us, and kneeling down, piteously cried out, _Oa, Oa!
Waramakoa_. Intimating, I suppose, that, if we would but spare their
canoes, they would never trouble us again.

"But all their complaints, submissions, and entreaties, were in vain;
for self-preservation obliging us to the contrary, we destroyed every
one of them that had escaped the fury of the ocean. When the Indians
perceived this, they raised a lamentable cry, and ran into the woods,
where they continued ranging about; making the woods ring with their
lamentation. Here we should have considered, that making these
creatures, thus desperate, we ought, at the same time to have set a
sufficient guard upon the plantations: for the savages, in their ranging
about, found out the bower, destroyed the fences, trod the corn down
under their feet, and tore up the vines and grapes. It is true, we were
always able to fight these creatures; but, as they were too swift for
us, and very numerous, we durst not go out single, for fear of them;
though that too was needless, they having no weapons, nor any materials
to make them; and, indeed, their extremity appeared in a little
time after.

[ILLUSTRATION: The Spaniard, &c. burning the Indian canoes. _Dr. & Eng.
by A. Carse, Edin._]

"Though the savages, as already mentioned, had destroyed our bower, and
all our corns, grapes, &c. yet we had still left our flock of cattle in
the valley, by the cave, with some little corn that grew there, and the
plantation of Will Atkins and his companions, one of whom being killed
by an arrow, they were now reduced to two: it is remarkable that this
was the fellow who cut the poor Indian with his hatchet, and had design
to murder me and my countrymen the Spaniards. As our condition was low,
we came to the resolution to drive the savages up to the farther part of
the island, where no Indians landed, to kill as many of them as we
could, till we had reduced their number; and then to give the remainder
some corn to plant, and to teach them how to live by their daily labour,
accordingly we pursued them with our guns, at the hearing of which they
were so terrified, that they would fall to the ground. Every day we
killed and wounded some of them, and many were found starved to death,
so that our hearts began to relent at the sight of such miserable
objects. At last, with great difficulty, taking one of them alive, and
using him with kindness, & tenderness, we brought him to Old Friday, who
talked to him, & told him how good we would be to them all, giving them
corn and land to plant and live in, and present nourishment, provided
they should keep within such bounds as should be allotted them, and not
do prejudice to others: _Go then_, said he, _and inform your countrymen
of this; which, if they will not agree to, every one of them shall
be slain_.

"The poor creatures, thoroughly humbled, being reduced to about
thirty-seven, joyfully accepted the offer, and earnestly begged for
food; hereupon we sent twelve Spaniards and two Englishmen well armed,
together with Old Friday, and three Indian slaves were loaded with a
large quantity of bread and rice cakes, with three live goats: and the
poor Indians being ordered to sit down on the side of the hill, they ate
the victuals very thankfully, and have proved faithful to the last,
never trespassing beyond their bounds, where at this day they quietly
and happily remain, and where we now and then visit them. They are
confined to a neck of land about a mile and a half broad, and three or
four in length, on the south-east corner of the island, the sea being
before, and lofty mountains behind them, free from the appearance of
canoes; and indeed their countrymen never made any inquiry after them.
We gave them twelve hatchets, and three or four knives; have taught them
to build huts, make wooden spades, plant corn, make bread, breed tame
goats and milk them, as likewise to make wicker work, in which I must
ingenuously confess, they infinitely out do us, having made themselves
several pretty necessaries and fancies, as baskets, sieves, bird-cages,
and cupboards, as also stools, beds and couches, no less useful than
delightful; and now they live the most innocent and inoffensive
creatures that ever were subdued in the world, wanting nothing but wives
to make them a nation.

"Thus, kind Sir, have I given you, according to my ability, an
impartial account of the various transactions that have happened, in the
island since your departure to this day; and we have great reason to
acknowledge the kind providence of Heaven in our merciful deliverance.
When you inspect your little kingdom, you will find in it some little
improvement, your flocks increased, and your subjects augmented, so that
from a desolate island, as this was before your wonderful deliverance
upon it, here is a visible prospect of its becoming a populous and well
governed little kingdom, to your immortal fame and glory."

There is no doubt to suppose but that the preceeding relation of my
faithful Spaniard was very agreeable and no less surprising to me, to
the young priest, and to all who heard it: now were these people less
pleased with those necessary utensils that I brought them, such as the
knives, scissars, spades, shovels, and pick-axes, with which they now
adorn their habitations.

So much had they addicted themselves to wicker-work, prompted by the
ingenuity of the Indians, who assisted them, that when I viewed the
Englishmen's colonies, they seemed at a distance as though they had
lived like bees in a hive: for Will Atkins, who was now become a very
industrious and sober man, had made himself a tent of basket-work round
the outside; the walls were worked in as a basket, in pannels or strong
squares of thirty-two in number, standing about seven feet high: in the
middle was another, not above twenty-two paces round, but much stronger
built, being of an octagonal form, and in the eight corners stood eight
strong poles, round the top of which he raised a pyramid for the roof,
mighty pretty, I assure you, and joined very well together, with iron
spikes, which he made himself; for he had made him a forge, with a pair
of wooden bellows and charcoal for his work, forming an anvil cut of one
of the iron crows, to work upon, and in the manner would he make himself
hooks, staples, spikes, bolts, and hinges. After he had pitched the roof
of his innermost tent, he made it so firm between the rafters with
basket-work, thatching that over again with rice-straw, and over that a
large leaf of a tree, that his house was as dry as if it had been tiled
or slated. The outer circuit was covered as a lean-to, quite round this
inner appartment, laying long rafters from the thirty-two angles to the
top posts of the inner house, about twenty-feet distant, so that there
was a space like a wall between the outer and inner wall, near twenty
feet in breadth. The inner place he partitioned off with the same
wicker-work, dividing it into six neat apartments every one of which had
a door, first into the entry of the main tent, and another into the
space and walk that was round it, not only convenient for retreat, but
for family necessaries. Within the door of the outer circle, there was
a passage directly to the door of the inner house; on either side was a
wicker partition, and a door, by which you go into a room twenty-two
feet wide, and about thirty long, and through that into another of a
smaller length; 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, serving as retiring rooms to the respective chambers of the inner
circle, and four large warehouses, which went in through one another,
two on either hand of the passage that led through the outer door to the
inner tent. In short, nothing could be built more ingeniously, kept more
neat, or have better conveniences; and here lived the three families,
Will Atkins, his companion, their wives and children, and the widow of
the deceased. As to religion, the men seldom taught their wives the
knowledge of God, any more than the sailors' custom of swearing by his
name. The greatest improvement their wives had, was, they taught them to
speak English, so as to be understood.

None of their children were then above six years old; they were all
fruitful enough; and I think the cook's mate's wife was big of her
sixth child.

When I inquired of the Spaniards about their circumstances while among
the savages, they told me, _that they abandoned themselves to despair,
reckoning themselves a poor and miserable people, that had no means put
into their hands, and consequently must soon be starved to death._ They
owned, however, that they were in the wrong to think so, and for
refusing the assistance that reason offered for their support, as well
as future deliverance, confessing that grief was a most insignificant
passion, as it looked upon things as without remedy, and having no hope
of things to come; all which verified this noted proverb,

_In trouble to be troubled,
Is to have your trouble doubled._

Nor did his remarks end here, for, making observations upon my
improvement, and on my condition at first, infinitely worse than theirs,
he told me that Englishmen had, in their distress, greater presence of
mind than those of any other country that he had met with; and that they
and the Portuguese were the worst men in the world to struggle under
misfortunes. When they landed among the savages, they found but little
provision except they would turn cannibals, there being but a few roots
and herbs, with little substance in them, and of which the natives gave
them but very sparingly. Many were the ways they took to civilize and
teach the savages, but in vain; for they would not own them to be their
instructors, whose lives were owing to their bounty. Their extremities
were very great and many days being entirely without food, the savages
there being more indolent and less devouring than those who had better
supplies. When they went out to battle they were obliged to assist these
people, in one of which my faithful Spaniard being taken, had like to
have been devoured. They had lost their ammunition, which rendered their
fire-arms useless; nor could they use the bows and arrows that were
given them, so that while the armies were at a distance, they had no
chance but when close, then they could be of service with halberts, &
sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their muskets. They made
themselves targets of wood covered with the skins of wild beasts; and
when one happened to be knocked down, the rest of the company fought
over him till he recovered; and then standing close in a line, they
would make their way through a thousand savages. At the return of their
friend, who they thought had been entombed in the bowels of their
enemies, their joy was inconceivable. Nor were they less surprised at
the sight of the loaves of bread I had sent them, things that they had
not seen for several years, at the same time crossing and blessing it,
as though it was manna sent from Heaven: but when they knew the errand,
and perceived the boat which was to carry them back to the person and
place from whence such relief came, this struck them with such a
surprise of joy as made some of them faint away, and others burst out
into tears.

This was the summary account that I had from them. I shall now inform
the reader what I next did for them, and in what condition I left them.
As we were all of opinion that the savages would scarce trouble them any
more, so we had no apprehensions on the score. I told them I was come
purely to establish, and not to remove them; and upon that occasion, had
not only brought them necessaries for convenience and defence, but also
artificers, and other persons, both for their necessary employments, and
to add to their number. They were altogether when I thus talked to them;
and before I delivered to them the stores I brought, I asked them, one
by one, if they had entirely forgot their first animosities, would
engage in the strictest friendship; and shake hands with one another? On
this Will Atkins, with abundance of good humour, said, _they had
afflictions enough to make them all sober, and enemies enough to make
them all friends: as for himself, be would live and die among them,
owning that what the Spaniards had done to him, his own mad humour had
made necessary for them to do_. Nor had the Spaniards occasion to
justify their proceeding to me; but they told me, _that since Will
Atkins had behaved himself so valiantly in fight, and at other times
showed such a regard to the common interest of them all, they had not
only forgotten all that was past, but thought he ought as much to be
trusted with arms and necessaries as any of them, which they testified
by making him next in command to the governor: and they most heartily
embraced the occasion of giving me this solemn assurance, that they
would never separate their interest again, as long as they lived_.

After these kind declarations of friendship, we appointed all of us to
dine together the next day; upon this I caused the ship's cook and his
mate to come on shore for that purpose, to assist in dressing our
dinner. We brought from the ship six pieces of beef, and four of pork,
together with our punch bowl, and materials to fill it; and in
particular I gave them ten bottles of French claret, and ten of English
beer, which was very acceptable to them. The Spaniards added to our
feast, five whose kids, which being roasted, three of them were sent as
fresh meat to the sailors on board, and the other two we ate ourselves.
After our merry and innocent feast was over, I began to distribute my
cargo among them. First, I gave them linen sufficient to make every one
four shirts, and at the Spaniard's request made them up six. The thin
English stuffs I allotted to make every one a light coat like a frock,
agreeable to the climate, and left them such a quantity as to make more
upon their decay; as also pumps, shoes, hats, and stockings. It is not
to be expressed the pleasing satisfaction which sat upon the
countenances of these poor men, when they perceived what care I took of
them, as if I had been a common father to them all; and they all engaged
never to leave the island, till I gave my consent for their departure. I
then presented to them the people I brought, viz. the tailor, smith, and
the two carpenters; but my Jack-of-all-trades was the most acceptable
present I could make them. My tailor fell immediately to work, and made
every one of them a shirt; after which, he learned the women how to sew
and stitch, thereby to become the more helpful to their husbands.
Neither were the carpenters less useful, taking in pieces their clumsy
things; instead of which they made convenient and handsome tables,
stools, bedsteads, cupboards, lockers, and shelves. But when I carried
them to see Will Atkins's basket-house, they owned they never saw such a
piece of natural ingenuity before: _I am sure,_ said one of the
carpenters, _the man that built this has no need of us; you need, Sir,
do nothing but give him tools._

I divided the tools among them in this manner: to every man I gave a
digging spade, a shovel, and a rake, as having no harrows or ploughs;
and to every separate place a pickax, a crow, a broad ax, and a saw,
with a store for a general supply, should any be broken or worn out. I
left them also nails, staples, hinges, hammers, chisels, knives,
scissors, and all sorts of tools and iron work; & for the use of the
smith, gave them three tons of unwrought iron, for a supply; and as to
arms and ammunition, I stored them even to profusion; or at least to
equip a sufficient little army against all opposers whatsoever.

The young man (whose mother was unfortunately starved to death) together
with the maid, a pious and well educated young woman, seeing things so
well ordered on shore (for I made them accompany me) and considering
they had no occasion to go so far a voyage as to the East Indies, they
both desired of me, that I would leave them there, and enter them among
my subjects. This I readily agreed to, ordering them a plat of ground,
on which were three little houses erected, environed with basket-work,
pallisadoed like Atkins's and adjoining to his plantation. So contrived
were their tents that each of them had a room apart to lodge in, while
the middle tent was not only their store-house, but their place for
eating and drinking. At this time the two Englishmen removed their
habitation to their former place; in that now the island was divided
into three colonies: first, Those I have just now mentioned; secondly
That of Will Atkins, where there were four families of Englishmen, with
their wives and children, the widow and her children; the young man and
the maid, who, by the way, we made a wife of before our departure; three
savages, who were slaves; the tailor, smith, (who served also as a
gunsmith) and my other celebrated person called Jack-of-all-trades.
Thirdly, my chief colony, which consisted of the Spaniards, with Old
Friday, who still remained at my old habitation, which was my capital
city, and surely never was there such a metropolis, it now being hid in
so obscure a grove, that a thousand men might have ranged the island a
month, and looked purposely for it, without being able to find it,
though the Spaniards had enlarged its boundaries, both without and
within, in a most surprising manner.

But now I think it high time to speak of the young French priest of the
order of St. Benedict, whose judicious and pious discourses, upon sundry
occasions, merit an extraordinary observation; nor can his being a
French Papist priest, I presume, give offence to any of my readers, when
they have this assurance from me, that he was a person of the most
courteous disposition, extensive charity, and exalted piety. His
arguments were always agreeable to reason, and his conversation the most
acceptable of any person that I had ever yet met with in my life.

_Sir,_ said he, to me, one day, _since, under God,_ at the same time
crossing his breast, _you have not only saved my life; but, by
permitting me to go this voyage, have granted me the happiness of free
conversation, I think is my duty as my profession obliges me, to save
what souls I can, by bringing them to the knowledge of some Catholic
doctrine, necessary to salvation; and since these people are under your
immediate government, in gratitude, justice, and decency, for what you
have done for me, I shall offer no farther points in religion, that what
shall merit your approbation_. Being a-pleased with the modesty of his
carriage, I told him he should not be worse used for being of a
different persuasion, if upon that very account, we did not differ in
points of faith, not decent in a part of the country where the poor
Indians ought to be instructed in the knowledge of the true God, and his
Son Jesus Christ. To this he replied, that conversation might easily be
separated from disputes; that he would discourse with me rather as a
gentleman than a religious: but that, if we did enter upon religious
argument, upon my desiring the same, I would give him liberty to defend
his own principles. He farther added, that he would do all that became
him in his office, as a priest as well as a Christian, to procure the
happiness of all that were in the ship: that though he could not pray
with, he would pray for us on all occasions; and then he told me several
extraordinary events of his life, within a few years past; but
particularly in this last, which was the most remarkable: that, in this
voyage, he had the misfortune to be five times shipped and unshipped:
his first design was to have gone to Martinico; for which, taking ship
at St. Malos, he was forced into Lisbon by bad weather, the vessel
running aground in the mouth of the Tagus; that from thence he went on
board a Portuguese ship, bound to the Madeiras, whose master being but
an indifferent mariner, and out of his reckoning, they were drove to
Fial, where selling their commodity, which was corn, they resolved to
take in their loading at the Isle of May, and to sail to Newfoundland;
at the banks of which, meeting a French ship bound to Quebec, in the
river of Canada, and from thence to Martinico, in this ship he embarked;
the master of which dying at Quebec, that voyage was suspended; and
lastly, shipping himself for France, this last ship was destroyed by
fire, as before has been related.

At this time we talked no further; but another morning he comes to me,
just as I was going to visit the Englishman's colony, and tells me, that
as he knew; the prosperity of the island, was my principal desire, he
had something to communicate agreeable to my design, by which perhaps be
might put it, more than he yet thought it was, in the way of the
benediction of heaven. _How, Sir,_ said I, in a surprise, _are we not
yet in the way of God's blessings, after all these signal providences
and deliverances, of which you have had such an ample relation?_ He
replied, _Nope, Sir, you are in the way, and that your good design will
prosper: but still there are some among you that are not equally right
in their actions; and remember, I beseech you, Sir, that Achan, by his
crime, removed God's blessing from the camp of the children of Israel;
that though six and thirty where entirely innocent, yet they became the
object of divine vengeance, and bore the weight of his punishment

So sensibly was I touched with this discourse, and so satisfied with
that ardent piety that inflamed his soul, that I desired him to
accompany me to the Englishman's plantations, which he was very glad of,
by reason they were the subject of what he designed to discourse with me
about: and while we walked on together, he began in the
following manner:

"Sir, said he, I must confess it as a great unhappiness that we disagree
in several doctrinal articles of religion; but surely both of us
acknowledge this, that there is a God, who having given us some stated
rules for our service and obedience, we ought not willingly and
knowingly to offend him; either by neglecting what he has commanded, or
by doing what he has forbidden. This truth every Christian owns, that
when any one presumptuously sins against God's command, the Almighty
then withdraws his blessing from him; every good man therefore ought
certainly to prevent such neglect of, or sin against, God and his
commands." I thanked the young priest for expressing so great a concern
for us, and desired him to explain the particulars of what he had
observed, that according to the parable of Achan, I _might remove the
accursed thing from among us_ "Why then, Sir, said he, in the first
place, you have four Englishmen, who have taken savage women to their
wives, by whom they have several children, though none of them are
legally married, as the law of God and man requires; they, I say, Sir,
are no less than adulterers, and as they still live in adultery, are
liable to the curse of God. I know, Sir, you may object the want of a
priest or clergyman of any kind; as also, pen, ink and paper, to write
down a contract of marriage, and have it signed between them. But
neither this, nor what the Spanish governor has told you of their
choosing by consent, can be reckoned a marriage, nor any more than an
agreement to keep them from quarrelling among themselves; for, Sir, the
essence or sacrament of matrimony (so he called it) not only consists in
mutual consent, but in the legal obligation, which compels them to own
and acknowledge one another, to abstain from other persons, the men to
provide for their wives and children, and the woman to the same and like
conditions, _nutatis mutandis,_ on their side: whereas, Sir, these men,
upon their own pleasure, on any occasion, may forsake those women and
marry others, and by disowning their children, suffer them utterly to
perish. Now, Sir, 'added he, 'can God be honoured in such an unlawful
liberty as this; how can a blessing succeed to the best endeavours, if
men are allowed to live in so licentious a way?" I was indeed struck
with the thing myself, and thought that they were much to blame, that no
formal contract had been made, though it had been but breaking a stick
between them, to engage them to live as man and wife, never to separate,
but love, cherish, and comfort one another all their lives; _yet Sir,_
said I, _when they took these wommen, I was not here, and if it is
adultery, it is past my remedy, and I cannot help it_. "True, Sir,'
answered the young priest, you cannot be charged with that part of the
crime which was done in your absence: but I beseech you, don't flatter
yourself, that you are under no obligation now to put a period to it:
which if you neglect to do, the guilt will be entirely on you alone,
since it is certainly in nobody's power but yours, to alter their
condition." I must confess, I was so dull, that I thought he meant, I
should part them, and knowing that this would put the whole island in
confusion, I told him, I could not consent to it upon any account
whatsoever. "Sir,' said he, in a great surprise, 'I do not mean that you
should separate, but marry them, by a written contract, signed by both
man and woman, and by all the witnesses present, which all the European
laws decree to be of sufficient efficacy." Amazed with such true piety
and sincerity, and considering the validity of a written contract, I
acknowledged all that he said to be very just and kind, and that I would
discourse with the man about it; neither could I see what reason they
could have not to let him marry them, whose authority in that affair is
owned to be as authentic as if they were married by any of our clergymen
in England.

The next complaint he had to make to me was this, that though these
English subjects of mine have lived with these women seven years, and
though they were of good understanding, and capable of instruction,
having learned not only to speak, but to read English, yet all this
while they had never taught them any thing of the Christian religion, or
the knowledge of God, much less in what manner he ought to be served.
"And is not this an unaccountable neglect:' said he warmly. 'Depend upon
it, God Almighty will call them to account for such contempt. And though
I am not of your religion, yet I should be glad to see these people
released from the devil's power, and be saved by the principles of the
Christian religion, the knowledge of God, of a Redeemer, the
resurrection, and of a future state. But as it is not too late, if you
please to give me leave to instruct them, I doubt not but I shall supply
this great defect, by bringing them into the great circle of
Christianity, even while you continue in the island."

I could hold no longer, but embracing him, told him, with a thousand
thanks, I would grant whatever he requested, and desired him to proceed
in the third article, which he did in the following manner;

"Sir,' said he, 'it should be a maxim among all Christians, that
Christian knowledge ought to be propagated by all possible means, and on
all occasion. Upon this account our church sends missionaries into
Persia, India, and China, men who are willing to die for the sake of God
& the Christian faith, in order to bring poor infidels into the way of
salvation. Now, Sir, as here is an opportunity to convert seven & thirty
poor savages, I wonder how you can pass by such an occasion of doing
good, which is really worth the expence of a man's whole life."

I must confess I was so confounded at this discourse, that I could not
tell how to answer him. "Sir,' said he, feeling me in disorder, 'I shall
be very sorry if I have given you offence." _No Sir,_ said I, _I am
rather confounded; and you know my circumstances, that being bound to
the East Indies in a merchant ship, I cannot wrong the owners so much,
as to detain the ship here, the men lying at victuals and savages on
their account. If I stay aboard several days, I must pay 3l. sterling_
per diem _demurage, nor must the ship stop above eight days more; so
that I am unable to engage in this work, unless I would leave the ship,
and be reduced to my former condition._ The priest, though he owned this
was hard upon me, yet laid it to my conscience, whether the blessing of
saving seven and thirty souls was not worth venturing all that I had in
the world? _Sir,_ said I, _it is very true; but as you are an
ecclesiastic, it naturally falls into your profession: why, therefore,
don't you rather offer to undertake it yourself than press me to it?_
upon this he turned about, making a very low bow, "I most humbly thank
God and you, Sir, (said he) for so blessed a call; and most willingly
undertake so glorious an office, which will sufficiently compensate all
the hazards and difficulties I have gone through in a long and
uncomfortable voyage."

While he was thus speaking, I could discover a rapture in his face, by
his colour going and coming; at the same time his eyes sparkled like
fire, and all the signs of the most zealous transports. And when I asked
whether he was in earnest? _Sir,_ said he, _it was to preach to the
Indians I consented to come along with you; these infidels, even in this
little island, are infinitely of more worth than my poor life: if so
that I should prove the happy instrument of saving these poor creatures'
souls, I care not if I never see my native country again. One thing I
only beg of you more is, that you would leave Friday with me, to be my
interpreter, without whose assistance neither of us will understand
each other._

This request very sensibly troubled me; first, upon Friday's being bred
a Protestant; and secondly, for the affection I bore to him for his
fidelity: But, immediately the remembrance of Friday's father coming
into my head, I recommended him to him as having learned Spanish, which
the priest also understood; and so was thoroughly satisfied with him.

When we came to the Englishmen, after I had told them what necessary
things I had done for them, I talked to them of the scandalous life they
led, told them what notice the clergyman had taken of it, and asked them
if they were married men or bachelors? They answered, two of them were
widowers, and the other three single men. But, said I, with what
conscience can you call these your wives, by whom you have so many
children, and yet are not lawfully married? They all said that they took
them before the governor as such, having nobody else to marry them,
which they thought as legal, as if they had had a parson. No doubt, said
I, but in the eye of God it is so: but unless I am assured of your
honest intent, never to desert these poor creatures, I can do nothing
more for you, neither can you expect God's blessing while you live in
such an open course of adultery. Hereupon, Will Atkins, who spoke for
the rest, told me 'That they believed their wives the most innocent and
virtuous creatures in the world; that they would never forsake them
while they had breath; and that, if there was a clergyman in the ship,
they would be married to them with all their hearts.' I told you before,
said I, that I have a minister with me, who shall marry you to-morrow
morning, if you are willing; so I would have you consult to-night with
the rest about it. I told him the clergyman was a Frenchman, and knew
not a word of English, but that I would act as clerk between them. And
indeed this business met with such speedy success, that they all told
me, in a few minutes after, 'that they were ready to be formally married
as soon as I pleased;' with which informing the priest, he was
exceedingly rejoiced.

Nothing now remained, but that the women should be made sensible of the
meaning of the thing; with which being well satisfied, they with their
husbands attended at my apartment the next morning; there was my priest,
habited in a black vest, something like a cassock, with a sash round it;
much resembling a minister, and I was his interpreter. But the
seriousness of his behaviour, and the scruples he made of marrying the
women, who were not baptized, gave them, an exceeding reverence for his
person: nor indeed would he marry them at all, till he obtained my
liberty to discourse both with the men and women, and then he told them,
'That in the sight of all indifferent men, and in the sense of the laws
of society, they had lived in open adultery, which nothing new, but
their consent to marry, or final separation, could put an end to; and
even here was a difficulty with respect to the laws of Christian
matrimony, in marrying a professed Christian to a heathen idolater,
unbaptized; but yet there was time enough to make them profess the name
of Christ, without which nothing could be done; that, besides, he
believed themselves very indifferent Christians; and consequently had
not discoursed with their wives upon that subject; and that unless they
promised him to do so, he could not marry them, as being expressly
forbidden by the laws of God.'

All this they heard attentively, and owned readily.

_But, Lord, Sir,_ said Will Atkins to me _how could we teach them
religion, who know nothing of it ourselves? How can we talk to our wives
of God, Jesus Christ, heaven, and hell? Why they would only laugh at us,
who never yet have practiced religion, but on the contrary all manner of
wickedness. Will Atkins,_ said I, _cannot you tell your wife she is in
the wrong, and that her gods are idols, which can neither speak nor
understand; but that our God, who has made, can destroy all things; that
he rewards the good and punishes the wicked; and at last will bring us
to judgment; cannot you tell her these things? That's true,_ said
Atkins, _but then she'll tell me it is utterly false, since I am not
punished and sent to the devil, who hath been such a wicked creature._
These words I interpreted to the priest. "Oh!" said he, "tell him, his
repentance will make him a very good minister to his spouse, and qualify
him to preach on the mercy and long suffering of a merciful Being, who
desires not the death of a sinner, and even defers damnation to the last
judgment; this will lead him to the doctrine of the resurrection and
will make him an excellent preacher to his wife." I repeated this to
Atkins, who being more than ordinary affected with it, replied, _I know
all this, Sir, and a great deal more; but how can I have the impudence
to talk thus to my wife, given my conscience witnesses against me?
Alas!_ said he (with tears in his eye, and giving a great sigh) _as for
repenting, that is for ever past me. Past you! Atkins,_ said I, _what do
you mean? You know well enough,_ said he, _what I mean, I mean it is
too late._

When I told the priest what he said, the poor affectionate man could not
refrain from weeping; but recovering himself "Pray, Sir," said he, "ask
him if he is contented that it is too late; or is he concerned, and
wishes it were not so?" This question I put fairly to Atkins, who
replied in a passion, _How can I be easy in a state which I know must
terminate in my ruin? for I really believe, some time or other, I shall
cut my threat, to put a period both to my life, and to the terrors of my

At this, the clergyman shook his head, "Sir," said he, "pray tell him it
is not too late; Christ will give him repentance, if he has recourse to
the merit of his passion. Does he think he is beyond the power of Divine
mercy? There may indeed be a time when provoked mercy will no longer
strive, but never too late for men to repent in this world." I told
Atkins every word the priest had said, who then parted from us to walk
with his wife, while we discoursed with the rest. But these were very
stupid in religious matters; yet all of them promised to do their
endeavours to make their wives turn Christians; and upon which promises
the priest married the three couple. But as Atkins was the only sincere
convert and of more sense than the rest, my clergyman was earnestly
inquiring after him: "Sir," said he, "let us walk out of this labyrinth,
& I dare say we shall find this poor man preaching to his wife already."
And indeed we found it true; for coming to the edge of the wood, we
perceived Atkins and his savage wife sitting under the shade of a bush,
in very earnest discourse; he pointed to the sun, to the quarters of the
earth, to himself, to her, the woods, and the trees. Immediately we
could perceive him start upon his feet, fall down upon his knees, and
lift up both his hands; at which the tears ran down my clergyman's
cheeks; but our great misfortune was, we could not hear one word that
passed between them. Another time he would embrace her, wiping the tears
from her eyes, kissing her with the greatest transports, and then both
kneel down for some minutes together. Such raptures of joy did this
confirm in my young priest, that he could scarcely contain himself: And
a little after this, we observed by her motion, as frequently lifting up
her hands, and laying them on her breast, that she was mightily affected
with his discourse, and so they withdrew from our sight.

When we came back, we found them both waiting to be called in; upon
which he agreed to examine him alone, and so I began thus to discourse
him. "Prithee, Will Atkins," said I, "what education have you? What was
your father?"

_W.A._ A better man than ever I shall be; he was, Sir, a clergyman, who
gave me good instruction, or correction, which I despised like a brute
as I was, and murdered my poor father.

_Pr._ Ha! a murderer!

[_Here the priest started and looked pale, as thinking he had really
killed his father_.]

_R.C._ What, did you kill him with your hands?

_W.A._ No, Sir, I cut not his throat, but broke his heart by the most
unnatural turn of disobedience to the tenderest and best of fathers.

_R.C._ Well, I pray God grant you repentance: I did not ask you to
exhort a confession; but I asked you because I see you have more
knowledge of what is good than your companions.

_W.A._ O Sir, whenever I look back upon my past life, conscience
upbraids me with my father: the sins against our parents make the
deepest wounds, and their weight lies the heaviest upon the mind.

_R.C._ You talk, Will, too feelingly and sensibly for me; I am not able
to bear it.

_W.A._ You bear it, Sir! you know nothing of it.

_R.C._ But yes, Atkins, I do; and every shore, valley, and tree in this
island, witness the anguish of my soul for my undutifulness to my kind
father, whom I have murdered likewise; yet my repentance falls
infinitely short of yours. But, Will, how comes the sense of this matter
to touch you just now?

_W.A._ Sir, the work you have set me about, has occasioned it; for
talking to my wife about God and religion, she has preached me such a
sermon, that I shall retain it in lasting remembrance.

_R.C._ No, no, it is your own moving pious arguments to her, has made
conscience fling them back upon you. But pray, Atkins, inform us what
passed between you and your wife, and in what manner you did begin.

_W.A._ I talked to her of the laws of marriage, the reason of such
compacts, whereby order and justice is maintained; without which men
would run from their wives and children, to the dissolution of families
or inheritances.

_R.C._ Well, and what did she say to all this?

_W.A._ Sir, we began our discourse in the following manner, which I
shall exactly repeat according to my mean capacity, if you think it
worth you while to honour it with your attention.

* * * * *

_The DIALOGUE between WILL ATKINS and his Wife in the wood._

_Wife._ You tell me marriage God appoint, have you God in your country?

_W.A._ Yes, child, God is in every nation.

_Wife._ No; great old Benamuckee God is in my country, not yours.

_A._ My dear, God is in heaven, which he made; he also made the earth,
the sea and all that is therein.

_Wife._ Why you no tell me much long ago?

_A._ My dear I have been a wicked wretch, having a long time lived
without the knowledge of God in the world.

_Wife._ What, not know great God in own nation? No do good ting? No say
O to him? that's strange!

_A._ But, my dear, many live as if there was no God in heaven for all

_Wife._ Why God suffer them? why makee not live well?

_A._ It is our own faults, child.

_Wife._ But if he is much great, can makee kill, why no makee kill when
no serve him? No be good mans, no cry O to him?

_A._ That's true, my dear, he may strike us dead, but his abundant mercy
spareth us.

_Wife._ Did not you tell God thanked for that?

_A._ No, I have neither thanked him for his mercy, nor feared him for
his power.

_Wife._ Then me not believe your God be good, nor makee kill, when you
makee him angry.

_A._ Alas! must my wicked life hinder you from believing in him?

_Wife_. How can me tink your God lives there? _(pointing to heaven.)_
Sure he no ken what you do here.

_A._ Yes, my dear, he hears us speak, sees what we do, and knows what we
even think.

_Wife._ Where then makee power strong, when he hears you curse, swear de
great damn?

_A._ My dear, this shows indeed he is a God and not a man who has such
tender mercy.

_Wife._ Mercy I what you call mercy?

_A._ He pities and spares us: as he is our great Creator, so he is also
our tender Father.

_Wife._ So God never angry, never kill wicked, then he no good, no great

_A._ O my dear, don't say so, he is both; and many times he shows
terrible examples of his judgment and vengeance.

_Wife._ Then you makee de bargain with him; you do bad ting, he no hurt
you, he hurt other mans.

_A._ No, indeed, my lips are all presumptions upon his goodness.

_Wife._ Well, and yet no makee you dead; and you give him no tankee

_A._ It is true, I an ungrateful, unthankful dog, that I am.

_Wife._ Why, you say, he makee you, why makee you no much better then?

_A._ It is I alone that have deformed myself, and abused his goodness.

_Wife._ Pray makee God know me, me no makee him angry, no do bad ting.

_A._ You mean, my dear, that you desire I would teach you to know God:
alas! poor dear creature, he must teach thee, and not I. But I'll pray
earnestly to him to direct thee, and to forgive me, a miserable sinner.
_(Hereupon he went a little distance, and kneeling down, prayed
earnestly to God to enlighten her mind, and to pardon his sins; when
this was done, they continued their discourse thus.)_

_Wife._ What you put down knee for? For what hold up hand? Who you speak

_A._ My dear, I bowed in token of submission to him that made me, and
prayed that he would open your eyes and understanding.

_Wife._ And can he do that too? And will he hear what you say?

_A._ Yes, my dear, he bids us pray, and has given us promise that he
will hear us.

_Wife._ When did he bid you pray? What I do you hear him speak?

_A._ No, my dear, but God has spoken formerly to good men from heaven;
and by divine revelation they have written all his laws down in a book.

_Wife_. O where dat good book?

_A_. I have it not now by me; but one time or other I shall get it for
you to read. _Then he embraced her with great affection_.

_Wife_. Pray tell a mee, did God, teachee them write that book?

_A_. Yes, and by that rule we know him to be God.

_Wife_. What way, what rule you know him?

_A_. Because he teaches what is good, just, and holy; and forbids all
wicked and abominable actions that incur his displeasure.

_Wife_. O me fain understand that, and if he do all things you say he
do, surely he hear me say O to him; he makee me good if I wish to be
good, he no kill me if I love him; me tink, believe him great God; me
say O to him, along with you, my dear.

_Here the poor man fell upon his knees, and made her kneel down by him
praying with the greatest fervency, that God would instruct her by his
Holy Spirit; and that God by his providence would send them a Bible for
both their instructions. And such was the early piety of this new
convert, that she made him promise never to forsake God any more, lest
being_ made dead, _as she called it; she should not only want her
instructor, but himself be miserable in a long eternity_.

Such a surprising account as this was, proved very affecting to us both,
but particularly to the young clergyman, who was mightily concerned he
could not talk to her himself. "Sir," said he, "there, is something more
to be done to this woman then to marry her; I mean that she ought to be
baptized." To this, I presently agreed: "Pray," said he, "ask her
husband, whether he has ever talked to her of Jesus Christ, the
salvation of sinners, the nature of faith, and redemption in and by him,
of the Holy Spirit, the resurection, last judgment, and a future state;"
but the poor fellow melted into tears at this question, saying, that he
had said something to her of these things, but his inability to talk of
them, made him afraid, lest her knowledge of them should rather make her
contemn religion, than be benefited by it; but that if I would discourse
with her, it would be very evident my labour would not be in vain.
Accordingly I called her in, and placing myself as interpreter between
the religious priest and the woman, I entreated him to go on; but surely
never was such a sermon preached by any clergyman in these latter days,
with so much zeal, knowledge, and sincerity; in short, he brought the
woman to embrace the knowledge of Christ, and of redemption by him, with
so surprising a degree of understanding, that she made it her own
request to be baptized.

He than performed his office in the sacrament of baptism, first, by
saying some words over to himself in Latin, and then asking me to give
her a name, as being her godfather, and pouring a whole dish-full of
water upon the woman's head, he said, "_Mary_, I baptize thee in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" so that none
could know of what religion he was. After this he pronounced the
benediction in Latin. Thus the woman being made a Christian, he married
her to Will Atkins; which being finished, he affectionately exhorted him
to lead a holy life for the future; and since the Almighty, for the
convictions of his conscience, had honoured him to be the instrument or
his wife's conversion, he should not dishonor the grace of God, that
while the savage was converted, the instrument should be cast away. Thus
ended a ceremony, to me the most pleasant and agreeable I ever passed
in my life.

The affairs of the island being settled, I was preparing to go on board,
when the young man (whose mother was starved) came to me, saying, that
as he understood I had a clergyman with me, who had married the
Englishmen with savages, he had a match to make between two Christians,
which he desired might be finished before I departed. Thinking that it
was he himself that had courted his mother's maid, I persuaded him not
to do any thing rashly upon the account of his solitary circumstances;
that the maid was an unequal match for him, both in respect to substance
and years; and that it was very probable he would live to return to his
own country, where he might have a far better choice. At these words,
smiling, he interrupted me, thanking me for my good-advice; that as he
had nothing to beg of me but a small settlement, with a servant or two,
or some new necessaries, so he hoped I would not be unmindful of him
when I returned to England, but give his letter to his friends; and that
when he was redeemed, the plantation, and all its improvements, however
valuable, should be returned to me again. But as for the marriage he
proposed, that it was not himself, but that it was between my
Jack-of-all-trades and the maid Susan.

I was indeed agreeably surprised at the mentioning this match, which
seemed very suitable, the one being a very ingenious fellow, and the
other an excellent, dexterous, and sensible housewife, fit to be
governess of the whole island; so we married them the same day; and as I
was her father, and gave her away, so I gave her a handsome portion,
appointing her and her husband a convenient large space of ground for
their plantation. The sharing out of the land I left to Will Atkins, who
really divided if very justly, to every person's satisfaction; they only
desired one general writing under my hand for the whole, which I caused
to be drawn up, signed, and sealed to them, setting out their bounds,
and giving them a right to the whole possession of their respective
plantations, with their improvements, to them and their heirs, reserving
all the rest of the island as my own property, and a certain rent for
every particular plantation, after eleven years. As to their laws and
government, I exhorted them to love one another; and as to the Indians
who lived in a nook by themselves, I allotted three or four of them
plantations, and the rest willingly chose to become servants to the
other families, by which means they were employed in useful labour, and
fared much better than they did before. Besides the savages thus mixed
with the Christians, the work of their conversion might be set on foot
by the latter, in the clergyman's absence, to our equal satisfaction.
The young priest, however, was a little anxious lest the Christians
should not be willing to do their parts in instructing these poor
Indians; I therefore told him we should call them all together; that he
should speak to the Spaniards who were Papists, and I to the English,
who were Protestants, and make them promise that they would never make
any distinction in religion, but teach the general true knowledge of
God, and his son Jesus Christ, in order to convert the poor savages. And
this, indeed, they all promised us accordingly.

When I came to Will Atkins's house, I found his baptized wife, and the
young woman newly married to my Jack-of-all-trades, were become great
intimates, and discoursing of religion together. _O, Sir,_ says Will
Atkins, _when God has sinners to reconcile to himself, he never wants an
instructor; I knew I was unworthy of so good a work, and therefore this
young woman has been sent hither as it were from heaven, who is
sufficient to convert a whole nation of savages_. The young woman
blushed, and was going to rise; but I desired her to sit still, and
hoped that God would bless her in so good a work; and then pulling out a
Bible (which I brought on purpose in my pocket for him.) _Here Atkins_,
said I, _here is an assistant that perhaps you had not before_. So
confounded was the poor man, that is was some time before he could
speak; at last turning to his wife, _My dear_, he said, _did I not tell
you that God could hear what we said? Here's the book I prayed for, when
you and I kneeled under the bush: God then heard us, and now has sent
it_. The woman was surprised, and thought really God had sent that
individual book from heaven; but I turned to the young woman, and
desired her to explain to the young convert, that God may properly be
said to answer our petitions, when, in the course of his providence,
such particular things came to pass as we petitioned for. This the young
woman did effectually; but surely Will Atkins's joy cannot be expressed;
no man being more thankful for any thing in the world, than he was for
his Bible, nor desired it from a better principle.

After several religious discourses, I desired the young woman to give me
an account of the anguish she felt when she was starving to death with
hunger; to which she readily consented, and began in the
following manner:

"Sir," said she, "all our victuals being gone, after I had fasted one
day, my stomach was very sickly, and, at the approach, of night, I was
inclined to yawning and sleepy. When I slept upon the couch three hours,
I awaked a little refreshed: three hours after, my stomach being more
and more sickly, I lay down again, but could not sleep, being very faint
and ill. Thus I passed the second day with a strange variety, first
hungry, then sick again, with reachings to vomit: that night I dreamed I
was at Barbadoes, buying plenty of provisions; and dined heartily. But
when I awaked, my spirits were exceedingly sunk, to find myself in the
extremity of famine. There was but one glass of wine, which being mixed
with sugar, I drank up; but for want of substance to digest upon, the
fumes of it got into my head, & made me senseless for some time. The
third day I was so ravenous and furious, that I could have eaten a
little child if it had come in my way; during which time, I was as mad
as any creature in Bedlam. In one of these fits I fell down, and struck
my face against the corner of a pallet bed, where my mistress lay; the
blood gushed out of my nose, but by my excessive bleeding, both the
violence of the fever, and the ravenous part of the hunger abated. After
this, I grew sick again, strove to vomit, but could not; then bleeding a
second time, I swooned away as dead; when I came to myself, I had a
dreadful gnawing pain in my stomach, which went of towards night, with a
longing desire for food. I took a draught of water and sugar, but it
came up again; then I drank water without sugar, and that staid with me.
I laid me down on the bed, praying God would take me away: after I had
slumbered, I thought myself a-dying, therefore recommended my soul to
God, and wished somebody would throw me into the sea. All this while my
departing mistress lay by me: the last bit of bread she had, she gave to
her dear child my young master. The morning after, I fell into a violent
passion of crying, and after that into hunger. I espied the blood that
came from my nose in a bison, which I immediately swallowed up. At night
I had the usual variations, as the pain in the stomach, sick, sleepy,
and ravenous: and I had no thought but that I should die before morning.
In the morning came on terrible gripings in my bowels. At this time I
heard my young master's lamentations, by which I understood his mother
was dead. Soon after this, the sailors cried, _A sail! A sail!_
hallooing as if they were distracted for joy of that relief, which
afterwards we received from your hands."

Surely never was a more distinct account of starving to death than this.
But to return to the disposition of things among my people, I did not
take any notice to them of the sloop that I had framed, neither would I
leave them the two pieces of brass cannon, or the two quarter-deck guns
that I had on board, lest, upon any disgust, they should have separated,
or turned pirates, and so made the island a den of thieves, instead of
a plantation of sober pious people: but leaving them in a flourishing
condition, with a promise to send them further relief, from Brazil, as
sheep, hogs, and cows (being obliged to kill the latter at sea, having
no hay to feed them) I went on board the ship again, the first of May,
1695, after having been twenty days among them: and next morning, giving
them a salute of five guns at parting, we set sail for the Brazils. The
third day, towards evening, there happening a calm, and the current
being very strong, we were drove to the N.N.E. towards the land. Some
hours after, we perceived the sea covered as it were with something very
black, not easily at first to be discovered: upon which our chief mate
ascending the shrouds a little way, and taking a view with a perspective
glass, he cries out, _An army! An army! You fool_, said I, _what do you
mean? Nay, Sir_, said he, _don't be angry. I assure you, it is not only
an army, but a fleet, too, for I believe there are a thousand canoes
paddling along, and making with great haste towards us_.

Indeed every one of us were surprised at this relation; and my nephew
the captain could not tell what to think of it, but thought we should
all be devoured. Nor was I free from concern, when I considered how much
we were becalmed, and what a strong current set towards the shore;
however, I encouraged him not to be afraid, but bring the ship to an
anchor as soon as we were certain that we must engage them. Accordingly
we did so, and furled all our sails, as to the savages we feared
nothing, but only that they might se the ship on fire; to prevent which,
I ordered them to get their boats out, and fasten them, one close by the
head, and the other by the stern, well manned, with skeets and buckets
to extinguish the flames, should it so happen. The savages soon came up
with us, but there were not so many as the mate had said, for instead of
a thousand canoes there were only one hundred and twenty; too many
indeed for us, several of their canoes containing about sixteen or
seventeen men.

As they approached us, they seemed to be in the greatest amazement, not
knowing what to make of us. They rowed round the ship, which occasioned
us to call to the men in the boats, not to suffer them to come near
them. Hereupon they beckoned to the savages to keep back, which they
accordingly did; but at their retreat they let fly about fifty arrows
among us, and very much wounded one of our men in the long-boat. I
called to them not to fire upon any account, but handing them down some
deal boards, the carpenters made them a kind of fence to shield them
from the arrows. In half an hour after they came so near astern of us,
that we had a perfect sight of them; then they rowed a little farther
out, till they came directly along-side of us, and then approached so
near, that they could hear us speak; this made me order all our men to
keep close, and get their guns ready. In the mean time I ordered Friday
to go out upon deck, and ask them in his language what they meant. No
sooner did he do so, but six of the savages, who were in the foremost
canoes, stooping down, showed us their naked backsides, as much as to
say in English, _Kiss our_----: but Friday quickly knew what this meant,
by immediately crying out they were going to shoot; unfortunately for
him, poor creature, who fell under the cloud of three hundred arrows, no
less than seven piercing through his body, killing one of the best
servants, and faithfullest of companions in all my solitudes and

So enraged was I at the death of poor Friday, that the guns, which
before were charged only with powder, to frighten them, I ordered to be
loaded with small shot; nor did the gunners fail in their aim, but at
this broadside split and overset thirteen or fourteen of their canoes,
which killed numbers of them, and set the rest a swimming, the others,
frightened out of their wits, little regarding their fellows drowning,
scoured away as fast as they could. One poor wretch our people took up,
swimming for his life, an hour after. He was very sullen at first, to
that he would neither eat nor speak; but I took a way to cure him, by
ordering them to throw him into the sea, which they did, and then he
came swimming back like a cork, calling in his tongue, as I suppose, to
save him. So we took him on board, but it was a long time before we
could make him speak or understand English; yet when we had taught him,
he told us, 'they were going with their kings to fight a great battle;'
and when we asked him, what made them come up to us? he said, _to makee
de great wonder look_; where it is to be noted, that those natives, and
those of Africa, always add to _e_'s at the end of English words, as
_makee, takee_, and the like, from which it is very difficult thing to
make them break off.

Being now under sail, we took our last farewell of poor honest Friday,
and interred him with all possible decency and solemnity, putting him in
a coffin, and committing him to the deep, at the same time cauling
eleven guns to be fired at him. Thus ended the life of one of the most
grateful, faithful, honest, and affectionate servants, that ever any man
was blessed with in the world.

Having now a fair wind for Brazil, in about twelve days time we made
land in the latitude of five degrees south of the line. Four days we
kept on S. by E. in sight of shore, when we made Cape St. Augustin, and
in three days we came up to an anchor off the Bay of all Saints. I had
great difficulty here to get leave to hold correspondence on shore; for
neither the figure of my partner, my two merchant trustees, nor the fame
of my wonderful preservation in the island, could procure me the favour,
till such time as the prior of the monastery of the Augustines (to
whom I had given 500 moidores) obtained leave from the Governor, for me
personally, with the Captain & one more, together with eight sailors, to
come on shore; upon this condition, that we should not land any goods
out of the ship, nor carry any person away without licence; I found
means, however, to get on shore three bales of English goods, such as
fine broad cloths, stuffs, and some linen, which I brought as a present
for my partner, who had sent me on board a present of fresh provisions,
wine and sweetmeats, worth about thirty moidores, including some
tobacco, and three or four fine gold medals.

[Illustration: Revenging the death of Friday.]

Here I delivered my partner in goods to the value of 100L sterling, and
obliged him to fit up the sloop I bought for the use of my island, in
order to send them refreshments; and so active was he in this matter,
that he had the vessel finished in a few days, to the master of which I
gave particular instructions to find the place. I soon loaded him with a
small cargo; and one of our sailors offered to settle there, upon my
letter to the Spanish governor, if I would allot him tools and a
plantation. This I willingly granted, and gave him the savage we had
taken prisoner to be his slave. All things being ready for the voyage,
my old partner told me there was an acquaintance of his, a Brazil
planter, who having fallen under the displeasure of the church, & in
fear of the Inquisition which obliged him to be concealed, would be glad
of such an opportunity to make his escape, with his wife & two
daughters; & if I would allot them a plantation in my island, he would
give them a small stock to begin with, for that the officers had already
seized his effects and estate, and left him nothing but a little
household stuff and two slaves. This request I presently granted,
concealing him and his family on board our ship, till such time as the
sloop (where all the effects were) was gone out of the bay, and then we
put them on board, who carried some materials, and plants for planting
sugar-canes, along with them. By this sloop, among other things, I sent
my subjects three milch cows and five calves, about 22 hogs, three sows
big with pig, two mares and a stone horse. I also engaged three Portugal
women to go for sake of the Spaniards, which, with the persecuted man's
two daughters, were sufficient, since the rest had wives of their own,
though in another country; all which cargo arrived safe, no doubt to
their exceeding comfort, who, with this addition, were about sixty or
seventy people, besides children.

At this place, my truly honest and pious clergyman left me; for a ship
being ready to set sail for Lisbon, he asked me leave to go thither, but
I assure you it was with the greatest reluctance I parted from a person,
whose virtue and piety merited the greatest esteem.

From the Brazils, we made directly over the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape
of Good Hope, having a tolerable good voyage, steering for the most part
S.E. We were on a trading voyage, and had a supercargo on board, who
was to direct all the ship's motions after she arrived at the Cape, only
being limited to a certain number of days, for stay, by charter party,
at the several ports she was to go to. At the Cape we only took in fresh
water, and then sailed for the coast of Coromandel; we were there
informed, that a French man of war of 50 guns, and two large merchant
ships were sailed for the Indies, but we heard no more of them.

In our passage, we touched at the island of Madagascar, where, though
the inhabitants are naturally fierce and treacherous, & go constantly
armed with bows & lances, yet for some time they treated us civily
enough; and, in exchange for knives, scisors, and other trifles, they
brought us eleven good fat bullocks, which we took partly for present
victuals, and the remainder to salt for the ship's use.

So curious was I to view every corner of the world where I came to, that
I went on shore as often as I could. One evening when on shore, we
observed numbers of the people stand gazing at us at a distance. We
thought ourselves in no danger, as they had hitherto used us kindly.
However, we cut three boughs cut of a tree, sticking them at a distance
from us, which it seems, in that country, is not only a token of truce
and amity, but when poles or boughs are set up on the other side, it is
a sign the truce is accepted. In these treaties, however, there is one
principal thing to be regarded, that neither party come beyond one
another's three poles or boughs; so that the middle space is not only
secure, but is also allowed as a market for traffic and commerce. When
the truce is thus accepted, they stick up their javelins and lances at
the first poles, and come on unarmed; but if any violence is offered,
away they run to their poles, take up their weapons, and then the truce
is at an end. This evening it happened that a greater number of people
than usual, both men and women, traded among us for such toys as we had,
with such great civility, that we made us a little tent, of large boughs
of trees, some of the men resolving to lie on shore all night; but, for
my part, I and some others took our lodging in the boat, with boughs of
trees spread over it, having a sail spread at the bottom to lie upon.
About two o'clock in the morning we were awakened by the firing of
muskets, and our men crying out for help, or else they would all be
murdered. Scarce had we time to get the boat ashore, when our men came
plunging themselves into the water, with about four hundred of the
islanders at their heels. We took up seven of the men, three of them
very much wounded, and one left behind killed, while the enemy poured
their arrows so thick among us, that we were forced to make a barricade,
with boards lying at the side of the boat, to shield us from danger:
and, having got ready our fire-arms, we returned them a volley, which
wounded several of them, as we could hear by their cries. In this
condition we lay till break of day, and then making signals of distress
to the ship, which my nephew the captain heard and understood, he
weighed anchor, & stood as near the shore as possible, and then sent
another boat with ten hands in her to assist us; but we called to them
not to come near, informing them of our unhappy condition. However they

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest