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Chapter 10 Tames Goats

  • I cannot say that after this, for five years, any extraordinary thing happene_o me, but I lived on in the same course, in the same posture and place, a_efore; the chief things I was employed in, besides my yearly labour o_lanting my barley and rice, and curing my raisins, of both which I alway_ept up just enough to have sufficient stock of one year's provision_eforehand; I say, besides this yearly labour, and my daily pursuit of goin_ut with my gun, I had one labour, to make a canoe, which at last I finished: so that, by digging a canal to it of six feet wide and four feet deep, _rought it into the creek, almost half a mile. As for the first, which was s_astly big, for I made it without considering beforehand, as I ought to hav_one, how I should be able to launch it, so, never being able to bring it int_he water, or bring the water to it, I was obliged to let it lie where it wa_s a memorandum to teach me to be wiser the next time: indeed, the next time, though I could not get a tree proper for it, and was in a place where I coul_ot get the water to it at any less distance than, as I have said, near half _ile, yet, as I saw it was practicable at last, I never gave it over; an_hough I was near two years about it, yet I never grudged my labour, in hope_f having a boat to go off to sea at last.
  • However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the size of it was not a_ll answerable to the design which I had in view when I made the first; I mea_f venturing over to the terra firma, where it was above forty miles broad; accordingly, the smallness of my boat assisted to put an end to that design, and now I thought no more of it. As I had a boat, my next design was to make _ruise round the island; for as I had been on the other side in one place, crossing, as I have already described it, over the land, so the discoveries _ade in that little journey made me very eager to see other parts of th_oast; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing round th_sland.
  • For this purpose, that I might do everything with discretion an_onsideration, I fitted up a little mast in my boat, and made a sail too ou_f some of the pieces of the ship's sails which lay in store, and of which _ad a great stock by me. Having fitted my mast and sail, and tried the boat, _ound she would sail very well; then I made little lockers or boxes at eac_nd of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, ammunition, &c., into, to b_ept dry, either from rain or the spray of the sea; and a little, long, hollo_lace I cut in the inside of the boat, where I could lay my gun, making a fla_o hang down over it to keep it dry.
  • I fixed my umbrella also in the step at the stern, like a mast, to stand ove_y head, and keep the heat of the sun off me, like an awning; and thus I ever_ow and then took a little voyage upon the sea, but never went far out, no_ar from the little creek. At last, being eager to view the circumference o_y little kingdom, I resolved upon my cruise; and accordingly I victualled m_hip for the voyage, putting in two dozen of loaves (cakes I should call them) of barley-bread, an earthen pot full of parched rice (a food I ate a good dea_f), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder and shot for killin_ore, and two large watch-coats, of those which, as I mentioned before, I ha_aved out of the seamen's chests; these I took, one to lie upon, and the othe_o cover me in the night.
  • It was the 6th of November, in the sixth year of my reign - or my captivity, which you please - that I set out on this voyage, and I found it much longe_han I expected; for though the island itself was not very large, yet when _ame to the east side of it, I found a great ledge of rocks lie out about tw_eagues into the sea, some above water, some under it; and beyond that a shoa_f sand, lying dry half a league more, so that I was obliged to go a great wa_ut to sea to double the point.
  • When I first discovered them, I was going to give over my enterprise, and com_ack again, not knowing how far it might oblige me to go out to sea; and abov_ll, doubting how I should get back again: so I came to an anchor; for I ha_ade a kind of an anchor with a piece of a broken grappling which I got out o_he ship.
  • Having secured my boat, I took my gun and went on shore, climbing up a hill, which seemed to overlook that point where I saw the full extent of it, an_esolved to venture.
  • In my viewing the sea from that hill where I stood, I perceived a strong, an_ndeed a most furious current, which ran to the east, and even came close t_he point; and I took the more notice of it because I saw there might be som_anger that when I came into it I might be carried out to sea by the strengt_f it, and not be able to make the island again; and indeed, had I not go_irst upon this hill, I believe it would have been so; for there was the sam_urrent on the other side the island, only that it set off at a furthe_istance, and I saw there was a strong eddy under the shore; so I had nothin_o do but to get out of the first current, and I should presently be in a_ddy.
  • I lay here, however, two days, because the wind blowing pretty fresh at ESE., and that being just contrary to the current, made a great breach of the se_pon the point: so that it was not safe for me to keep too close to the shor_or the breach, nor to go too far off, because of the stream.
  • The third day, in the morning, the wind having abated overnight, the sea wa_alm, and I ventured: but I am a warning to all rash and ignorant pilots; fo_o sooner was I come to the point, when I was not even my boat's length fro_he shore, but I found myself in a great depth of water, and a current lik_he sluice of a mill; it carried my boat along with it with such violence tha_ll I could do could not keep her so much as on the edge of it; but I found i_urried me farther and farther out from the eddy, which was on my left hand.
  • There was no wind stirring to help me, and all I could do with my paddle_ignified nothing: and now I began to give myself over for lost; for as th_urrent was on both sides of the island, I knew in a few leagues distance the_ust join again, and then I was irrecoverably gone; nor did I see an_ossibility of avoiding it; so that I had no prospect before me but o_erishing, not by the sea, for that was calm enough, but of starving fro_unger. I had, indeed, found a tortoise on the shore, as big almost as I coul_ift, and had tossed it into the boat; and I had a great jar of fresh water, that is to say, one of my earthen pots; but what was all this to being drive_nto the vast ocean, where, to be sure, there was no shore, no mainland o_sland, for a thousand leagues at least?
  • And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to make even the mos_iserable condition of mankind worse. Now I looked back upon my desolate, solitary island as the most pleasant place in the world and all the happines_y heart could wish for was to be but there again. I stretched out my hands t_t, with eager wishes - “O happy desert!” said I, “I shall never see the_ore. O miserable creature! whither am going?” Then I reproached myself wit_y unthankful temper, and that I had repined at my solitary condition; and no_hat would I give to be on shore there again! Thus, we never see the tru_tate of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, no_now how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it. It is scarcel_ossible to imagine the consternation I was now in, being driven from m_eloved island (for so it appeared to me now to be) into the wide ocean, almost two leagues, and in the utmost despair of ever recovering it again.
  • However, I worked hard till, indeed, my strength was almost exhausted, an_ept my boat as much to the northward, that is, towards the side of th_urrent which the eddy lay on, as possibly I could; when about noon, as th_un passed the meridian, I thought I felt a little breeze of wind in my face, springing up from SSE. This cheered my heart a little, and especially when, i_bout half- an-hour more, it blew a pretty gentle gale. By this time I had go_t a frightful distance from the island, and had the least cloudy or haz_eather intervened, I had been undone another way, too; for I had no compas_n board, and should never have known how to have steered towards the island, if I had but once lost sight of it; but the weather continuing clear, _pplied myself to get up my mast again, and spread my sail, standing away t_he north as much as possible, to get out of the current.
  • Just as I had set my mast and sail, and the boat began to stretch away, I sa_ven by the clearness of the water some alteration of the current was near; for where the current was so strong the water was foul; but perceiving th_ater clear, I found the current abate; and presently I found to the east, a_bout half a mile, a breach of the sea upon some rocks: these rocks I foun_aused the current to part again, and as the main stress of it ran away mor_outherly, leaving the rocks to the north-east, so the other returned by th_epulse of the rocks, and made a strong eddy, which ran back again to th_orth-west, with a very sharp stream.
  • They who know what it is to have a reprieve brought to them upon the ladder, or to be rescued from thieves just going to murder them, or who have been i_uch extremities, may guess what my present surprise of joy was, and ho_ladly I put my boat into the stream of this eddy; and the wind als_reshening, how gladly I spread my sail to it, running cheerfully before th_ind, and with a strong tide or eddy underfoot.
  • This eddy carried me about a league on my way back again, directly towards th_sland, but about two leagues more to the northward than the current whic_arried me away at first; so that when I came near the island, I found mysel_pen to the northern shore of it, that is to say, the other end of the island, opposite to that which I went out from.
  • When I had made something more than a league of way by the help of thi_urrent or eddy, I found it was spent, and served me no further. However, _ound that being between two great currents - viz. that on the south side, which had hurried me away, and that on the north, which lay about a league o_he other side; I say, between these two, in the wake of the island, I foun_he water at least still, and running no way; and having still a breeze o_ind fair for me, I kept on steering directly for the island, though no_aking such fresh way as I did before.
  • About four o'clock in the evening, being then within a league of the island, _ound the point of the rocks which occasioned this disaster stretching out, a_s described before, to the southward, and casting off the current mor_outherly, had, of course, made another eddy to the north; and this I foun_ery strong, but not directly setting the way my course lay, which was du_est, but almost full north. However, having a fresh gale, I stretched acros_his eddy, slanting north-west; and in about an hour came within about a mil_f the shore, where, it being smooth water, I soon got to land.
  • When I was on shore, God I fell on my knees and gave God thanks for m_eliverance, resolving to lay aside all thoughts of my deliverance by my boat; and refreshing myself with such things as I had, I brought my boat close t_he shore, in a little cove that I had spied under some trees, and laid m_own to sleep, being quite spent with the labour and fatigue of the voyage.
  • I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my boat! I had run s_uch hazard, and knew too much of the case, to think of attempting it by th_ay I went out; and what might be at the other side (I mean the west side) _new not, nor had I any mind to run any more ventures; so I resolved on th_ext morning to make my way westward along the shore, and to see if there wa_o creek where I might lay up my frigate in safety, so as to have her again i_ wanted her. In about three miles or thereabouts, coasting the shore, I cam_o a very good inlet or bay, about a mile over, which narrowed till it came t_ very little rivulet or brook, where I found a very convenient harbour for m_oat, and where she lay as if she had been in a little dock made on purpos_or her. Here I put in, and having stowed my boat very safe, I went on shor_o look about me, and see where I was.
  • I soon found I had but a little passed by the place where I had been before, when I travelled on foot to that shore; so taking nothing out of my boat bu_y gun and umbrella, for it was exceedingly hot, I began my march. The way wa_omfortable enough after such a voyage as I had been upon, and I reached m_ld bower in the evening, where I found everything standing as I left it; fo_ always kept it in good order, being, as I said before, my country house.
  • I got over the fence, and laid me down in the shade to rest my limbs, for _as very weary, and fell asleep; but judge you, if you can, that read m_tory, what a surprise I must be in when I was awaked out of my sleep by _oice calling me by my name several times, “Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe: poo_obin Crusoe! Where are you, Robin Crusoe? Where are you? Where have yo_een?”
  • I was so dead asleep at first, being fatigued with rowing, or part of the day, and with walking the latter part, that I did not wake thoroughly; but dozin_hought I dreamed that somebody spoke to me; but as the voice continued t_epeat, “Robin Crusoe, Robin Crusoe,” at last I began to wake more perfectly, and was at first dreadfully frightened, and started up in the utmos_onsternation; but no sooner were my eyes open, but I saw my Poll sitting o_he top of the hedge; and immediately knew that it was he that spoke to me; for just in such bemoaning language I had used to talk to him and teach him; and he had learned it so perfectly that he would sit upon my finger, and la_is bill close to my face and cry, “Poor Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Wher_ave you been? How came you here?” and such things as I had taught him.
  • However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that indeed it could b_obody else, it was a good while before I could compose myself. First, I wa_mazed how the creature got thither; and then, how he should just keep abou_he place, and nowhere else; but as I was well satisfied it could be nobod_ut honest Poll, I got over it; and holding out my hand, and calling him b_is name, “Poll,” the sociable creature came to me, and sat upon my thumb, a_e used to do, and continued talking to me, “Poor Robin Crusoe! and how did _ome here? and where had I been?” just as if he had been overjoyed to see m_gain; and so I carried him home along with me.
  • I had now had enough of rambling to sea for some time, and had enough to d_or many days to sit still and reflect upon the danger I had been in. I woul_ave been very glad to have had my boat again on my side of the island; but _new not how it was practicable to get it about. As to the east side of th_sland, which I had gone round, I knew well enough there was no venturing tha_ay; my very heart would shrink, and my very blood run chill, but to think o_t; and as to the other side of the island, I did not know how it might b_here; but supposing the current ran with the same force against the shore a_he east as it passed by it on the other, I might run the same risk of bein_riven down the stream, and carried by the island, as I had been before o_eing carried away from it: so with these thoughts, I contented myself to b_ithout any boat, though it had been the product of so many months' labour t_ake it, and of so many more to get it into the sea.
  • In this government of my temper I remained near a year; and lived a ver_edate, retired life, as you may well suppose; and my thoughts being very muc_omposed as to my condition, and fully comforted in resigning myself to th_ispositions of Providence, I thought I lived really very happily in al_hings except that of society.
  • I improved myself in this time in all the mechanic exercises which m_ecessities put me upon applying myself to; and I believe I should, upo_ccasion, have made a very good carpenter, especially considering how fe_ools I had.
  • Besides this, I arrived at an unexpected perfection in my earthenware, an_ontrived well enough to make them with a wheel, which I found infinitel_asier and better; because I made things round and shaped, which before wer_ilthy things indeed to look on. But I think I was never more vain of my ow_erformance, or more joyful for anything I found out, than for my being abl_o make a tobacco-pipe; and though it was a very ugly, clumsy thing when i_as done, and only burned red, like other earthenware, yet as it was hard an_irm, and would draw the smoke, I was exceedingly comforted with it, for I ha_een always used to smoke; and there were pipes in the ship, but I forgot the_t first, not thinking there was tobacco in the island; and afterwards, when _earched the ship again, I could not come at any pipes.
  • In my wicker-ware also I improved much, and made abundance of necessar_askets, as well as my invention showed me; though not very handsome, yet the_ere such as were very handy and convenient for laying things up in, o_etching things home. For example, if I killed a goat abroad, I could hang i_p in a tree, flay it, dress it, and cut it in pieces, and bring it home in _asket; and the like by a turtle; I could cut it up, take out the eggs and _iece or two of the flesh, which was enough for me, and bring them home in _asket, and leave the rest behind me. Also, large deep baskets were th_eceivers of my corn, which I always rubbed out as soon as it was dry an_ured, and kept it in great baskets.
  • I began now to perceive my powder abated considerably; this was a want whic_t was impossible for me to supply, and I began seriously to consider what _ust do when I should have no more powder; that is to say, how I should kil_ny goats. I had, as is observed in the third year of my being here, kept _oung kid, and bred her up tame, and I was in hopes of getting a he-goat; bu_ could not by any means bring it to pass, till my kid grew an old goat; an_s I could never find in my heart to kill her, she died at last of mere age.
  • But being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and, as I have said, m_mmunition growing low, I set myself to study some art to trap and snare th_oats, to see whether I could not catch some of them alive; and particularly _anted a she-goat great with young. For this purpose I made snares to hampe_hem; and I do believe they were more than once taken in them; but my tackl_as not good, for I had no wire, and I always found them broken and my bai_evoured. At length I resolved to try a pitfall; so I dug several large pit_n the earth, in places where I had observed the goats used to feed, and ove_hose pits I placed hurdles of my own making too, with a great weight upo_hem; and several times I put ears of barley and dry rice without setting th_rap; and I could easily perceive that the goats had gone in and eaten up th_orn, for I could see the marks of their feet. At length I set three traps i_ne night, and going the next morning I found them, all standing, and yet th_ait eaten and gone; this was very discouraging. However, I altered my traps; and not to trouble you with particulars, going one morning to see my traps, _ound in one of them a large old he-goat; and in one of the others three kids, a male and two females.
  • As to the old one, I knew not what to do with him; he was so fierce I durs_ot go into the pit to him; that is to say, to bring him away alive, which wa_hat I wanted. I could have killed him, but that was not my business, no_ould it answer my end; so I even let him out, and he ran away as if he ha_een frightened out of his wits. But I did not then know what I afterward_earned, that hunger will tame a lion. If I had let him stay three or fou_ays without food, and then have carried him some water to drink and then _ittle corn, he would have been as tame as one of the kids; for they ar_ighty sagacious, tractable creatures, where they are well used.
  • However, for the present I let him go, knowing no better at that time: then _ent to the three kids, and taking them one by one, I tied them with string_ogether, and with some difficulty brought them all home.
  • It was a good while before they would feed; but throwing them some sweet corn, it tempted them, and they began to be tame. And now I found that if I expecte_o supply myself with goats' flesh, when I had no powder or shot left, breeding some up tame was my only way, when, perhaps, I might have them abou_y house like a flock of sheep. But then it occurred to me that I must kee_he tame from the wild, or else they would always run wild when they grew up; and the only way for this was to have some enclosed piece of ground, wel_enced either with hedge or pale, to keep them in so effectually, that thos_ithin might not break out, or those without break in.
  • This was a great undertaking for one pair of hands yet, as I saw there was a_bsolute necessity for doing it, my first work was to find out a proper piec_f ground, where there was likely to be herbage for them to eat, water fo_hem to drink, and cover to keep them from the sun.
  • Those who understand such enclosures will think I had very little contrivanc_hen I pitched upon a place very proper for all these (being a plain, ope_iece of meadow land, or savannah, as our people call it in the wester_olonies), which had two or three little drills of fresh water in it, and a_ne end was very woody - I say, they will smile at my forecast, when I shal_ell them I began by enclosing this piece of ground in such a manner that, m_edge or pale must have been at least two miles about. Nor was the madness o_t so great as to the compass, for if it was ten miles about, I was like t_ave time enough to do it in; but I did not consider that my goats would be a_ild in so much compass as if they had had the whole island, and I should hav_o much room to chase them in that I should never catch them.
  • My hedge was begun and carried on, I believe, about fifty yards when thi_hought occurred to me; so I presently stopped short, and, for the beginning, I resolved to enclose a piece of about one hundred and fifty yards in length, and one hundred yards in breadth, which, as it would maintain as many as _hould have in any reasonable time, so, as my stock increased, I could ad_ore ground to my enclosure.
  • This was acting with some prudence, and I went to work with courage. I wa_bout three months hedging in the first piece; and, till I had done it, _ethered the three kids in the best part of it, and used them to feed as nea_e as possible, to make them familiar; and very often I would go and carr_hem some ears of barley, or a handful of rice, and feed them out of my hand; so that after my enclosure was finished and I let them loose, they woul_ollow me up and down, bleating after me for a handful of corn.
  • This answered my end, and in about a year and a half I had a flock of abou_welve goats, kids and all; and in two years more I had three-and-forty, besides several that I took and killed for my food. After that, I enclose_ive several pieces of ground to feed them in, with little pens to drive the_o take them as I wanted, and gates out of one piece of ground into another.
  • But this was not all; for now I not only had goat's flesh to feed on when _leased, but milk too - a thing which, indeed, in the beginning, I did not s_uch as think of, and which, when it came into my thoughts, was really a_greeable surprise, for now I set up my dairy, and had sometimes a gallon o_wo of milk in a day. And as Nature, who gives supplies of food to ever_reature, dictates even naturally how to make use of it, so I, that had neve_ilked a cow, much less a goat, or seen butter or cheese made only when I wa_ boy, after a great many essays and miscarriages, made both butter and chees_t last, also salt (though I found it partly made to my hand by the heat o_he sun upon some of the rocks of the sea), and never wanted it afterwards.
  • How mercifully can our Creator treat His creatures, even in those condition_n which they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can He sweeten th_itterest providences, and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons an_risons! What a table was here spread for me in the wilderness, where I sa_othing at first but to perish for hunger!