After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelv_ays, living very sparingly on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener to the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. M_esign in this was to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to sa_nywhere about the Cape de Verde, where I was in hopes to meet with som_uropean ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course I had to take, but t_eek for the islands, or perish there among the negroes. I knew that all th_hips from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brazil, o_o the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and, in a word, I pu_he whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must meet wit_ome ship or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, _egan to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as w_ailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look at us; we could als_erceive they were quite black and naked. I was once inclined to have gone o_hore to them; but Xury was my better counsellor, and said to me, “No go, n_o.” However, I hauled in nearer the shore that I might talk to them, and _ound they ran along the shore by me a good way. I observed they had n_eapons in their hand, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xur_aid was a lance, and that they could throw them a great way with good aim; s_ kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I could; an_articularly made signs for something to eat: they beckoned to me to stop m_oat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this I lowered the top of m_ail and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less tha_alf-an- hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dried flesh an_ome corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we neither knew wha_he one or the other was; however, we were willing to accept it, but how t_ome at it was our next dispute, for I would not venture on shore to them, an_hey were as much afraid of us; but they took a safe way for us all, for the_rought it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way of_ill we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends; bu_n opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully; for whil_e were lying by the shore came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it) with great fury from the mountains towards the sea; whether i_as the male pursuing the female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, w_ould not tell, any more than we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it was the latter; because, in the first place, those ravenou_reatures seldom appear but in the night; and, in the second place, we foun_he people terribly frighted, especially the women. The man that had the lanc_r dart did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two creature_an directly into the water, they did not offer to fall upon any of th_egroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if they ha_ome for their diversion; at last one of them began to come nearer our boa_han at first I expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gu_ith all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon a_e came fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head; immediately he sank down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged u_nd down, as if he were struggling for life, and so indeed he was; h_mmediately made to the shore; but between the wound, which was his morta_urt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached th_hore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor creatures at th_oise and fire of my gun: some of them were even ready to die for fear, an_ell down as dead with the very terror; but when they saw the creature dead, and sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took heart and came, and began to search for the creature. I found him b_is blood staining the water; and by the help of a rope, which I slung roun_im, and gave the negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found tha_t was a most curious leopard, spotted, and fine to an admirable degree; an_he negroes held up their hands with admiration, to think what it was I ha_illed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came; no_ould I, at that distance, know what it was. I found quickly the negroe_ished to eat the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them tak_t as a favour from me; which, when I made signs to them that they might tak_im, they were very thankful for. Immediately they fell to work with him; an_hough they had no knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of wood, they took of_is skin as readily, and much more readily, than we could have done with _nife. They offered me some of the flesh, which I declined, pointing out tha_ would give it them; but made signs for the skin, which they gave me ver_reely, and brought me a great deal more of their provisions, which, though _id not understand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to show that i_as empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They called immediately t_ome of their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great vesse_ade of earth, and burnt, as I supposed, in the sun, this they set down to me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three.
The women were as naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; an_eaving my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a grea_ength into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point. A_ength, doubling the point, at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainl_and on the other side, to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most certai_ndeed, that this was the Cape de Verde, and those the islands called, fro_hence, Cape de Verde Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and _ould not well tell what I had best to do; for if I should be taken with _resh of wind, I might neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin and sat down, Xury having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, “Master, master, _hip with a sail!” and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinkin_t must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, but I knew w_ere far enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediatel_aw, not only the ship, but that it was a Portuguese ship; and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea, for negroes. But, when I observed the cours_he steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some other way, and did no_esign to come any nearer to the shore; upon which I stretched out to sea a_uch as I could, resolving to speak with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to come in thei_ay, but that they would be gone by before I could make any signal to them: but after I had crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw by the help of their glasses that it was some European boat, which the_upposed must belong to some ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to le_e come up. I was encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ancient o_oard, I made a waft of it to them, for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both which they saw; for they told me they saw the smoke, though they did no_ear the gun. Upon these signals they very kindly brought to, and lay by fo_e; and in about three hours; time I came up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French, but _nderstood none of them; but at last a Scotch sailor, who was on board, calle_o me: and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that I had mad_y escape out of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee; they then bade me come o_oard, and very kindly took me in, and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will believe, that I was thu_elivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeles_ondition as I was in; and I immediately offered all I had to the captain o_he ship, as a return for my deliverance; but he generously told me he woul_ake nothing from me, but that all I had should be delivered safe to me when _ame to the Brazils. “For,” says he, “I have saved your life on no other term_han I would be glad to be saved myself: and it may, one time or other, be m_ot to be taken up in the same condition. Besides,” said he, “when I carry yo_o the Brazils, so great a way from your own country, if I should take fro_ou what you have, you will be starved there, and then I only take away tha_ife I have given. No, no,” says he: “Seignior Inglese” (Mr. Englishman), “_ill carry you thither in charity, and those things will help to buy you_ubsistence there, and your passage home again.”
As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the performance to _ittle; for he ordered the seamen that none should touch anything that I had: then he took everything into his own possession, and gave me back an exac_nventory of them, that I might have them, even to my three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me he woul_uy it of me for his ship's use; and asked me what I would have for it? I tol_im he had been so generous to me in everything that I could not offer to mak_ny price of the boat, but left it entirely to him: upon which he told me h_ould give me a note of hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it a_razil; and when it came there, if any one offered to give more, he would mak_t up. He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which _as loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but _as very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me s_aithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, h_wned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy a_bligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and I arrived in the Bay de Todo_os Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I wa_nce more delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; an_hat to do next with myself I was to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me I can never enough remember: h_ould take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for th_eopard's skin, and forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, an_aused everything I had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me; and wha_ was willing to sell he bought of me, such as the case of bottles, two of m_uns, and a piece of the lump of beeswax - for I had made candles of the rest: in a word, I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all m_argo; and with this stock I went on shore in the Brazils.
I had not been long here before I was recommended to the house of a goo_onest man like himself, who had an ingenio, as they call it (that is, _lantation and a sugar-house). I lived with him some time, and acquainte_yself by that means with the manner of planting and making of sugar; an_eeing how well the planters lived, and how they got rich suddenly, _esolved, if I could get a licence to settle there, I would turn planter amon_hem: resolving in the meantime to find out some way to get my money, which _ad left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of lette_f naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my money woul_each, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement; such a one as migh_e suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English parents, whos_ame was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call him m_eighbour, because his plantation lay next to mine, and we went on ver_ociably together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather plante_or food than anything else, for about two years. However, we began t_ncrease, and our land began to come into order; so that the third year w_lanted some tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready fo_lanting canes in the year to come. But we both wanted help; and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with my boy Xury.
But, alas! for me to do wrong that never did right, was no great wonder. _ail no remedy but to go on: I had got into an employment quite remote to m_enius, and directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which _orsook my father's house, and broke through all his good advice. Nay, I wa_oming into the very middle station, or upper degree of low life, which m_ather advised me to before, and which, if I resolved to go on with, I migh_s well have stayed at home, and never have fatigued myself in the world as _ad done; and I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as well i_ngland, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to do it amon_trangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never t_ear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I ha_obody to converse with, but now and then this neighbour; no work to be done, but by the labour of my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cas_way upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. But ho_ust has it been \- and how should all men reflect, that when they compar_heir present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them t_ake the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity by thei_xperience - I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life _eflected on, in an island of mere desolation, should be my lot, who had s_ften unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which, had _ontinued, I had in all probability been exceeding prosperous and rich.
I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying on the plantatio_efore my kind friend, the captain of the ship that took me up at sea, wen_ack - for the ship remained there, in providing his lading and preparing fo_is voyage, nearly three months - when telling him what little stock I ha_eft behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere advice:- “Seignior Inglese,” says he (for so he always called me), “if you will give m_etters, and a procuration in form to me, with orders to the person who ha_our money in London to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as _hall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will brin_ou the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but, since human affair_re all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but fo_ne hundred pounds sterling, which, you say, is half your stock, and let th_azard be run for the first; so that, if it come safe, you may order the res_he same way, and, if it miscarry, you may have the other half to hav_ecourse to for your supply.”
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but b_onvinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepare_etters to the gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration t_he Portuguese captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures - m_lavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portuguese captain at sea, th_umanity of his behaviour, and what condition I was now in, with all othe_ecessary directions for my supply; and when this honest captain came t_isbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of my story to a merchant in London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon she not only delivered th_oney, but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain a very handsom_resent for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in English goods, such a_he captain had written for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and h_rought them all safe to me to the Brazils; among which, without my direction (for I was too young in my business to think of them), he had taken care t_ave all sorts of tools, ironwork, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised wit_he joy of it; and my stood steward, the captain, had laid out the fiv_ounds, which my friend had sent him for a present for himself, to purchas_nd bring me over a servant, under bond for six years' service, and would no_ccept of any consideration, except a little tobacco, which I would have hi_ccept, being of my own produce.
Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture, such a_loths, stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in th_ountry, I found means to sell them to a very great advantage; so that I migh_ay I had more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was no_nfinitely beyond my poor neighbour - I mean in the advancement of m_lantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro slave, and a_uropean servant also - I mean another besides that which the captain brough_e from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our greates_dversity, so it was with me. I went on the next year with great success in m_lantation: I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more tha_ had disposed of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a hundredweight, were well cured, and laid by against th_eturn of the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing in business and wealth, m_ead began to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such a_re, indeed, often the ruin of the best heads in business. Had I continued i_he station I was now in, I had room for all the happy things to have ye_efallen me for which my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retire_ife, and of which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life t_e full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the wilfu_gent of all my own miseries; and particularly, to increase my fault, an_ouble the reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should hav_eisure to make, all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinat_dhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing tha_nclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself good in _air and plain pursuit of those prospects, and those measures of life, whic_ature and Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so I could not b_ontent now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich an_hriving man in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desir_f rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast mysel_own again into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, o_erhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health in the world.
To come, then, by the just degrees to the particulars of this part of m_tory. You may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in th_razils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, _ad not only learned the language, but had contracted acquaintance an_riendship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the merchants at St.
Salvador, which was our port; and that, in my discourses among them, I ha_requently given them an account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea: th_anner of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upo_he coast for trifles - such as beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bit_f glass, and the like - not only gold-dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes, for the service of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads, bu_specially to that part which related to the buying of negroes, which was _rade at that time, not only not far entered into, but, as far as it was, ha_een carried on by assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain an_ortugal, and engrossed in the public stock: so that few negroes were bought, and these excessively dear.
It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters of m_cquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly, three of them cam_o me next morning, and told me they had been musing very much upon what I ha_iscoursed with them of the last night, and they came to make a secre_roposal to me; and, after enjoining me to secrecy, they told me that they ha_ mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea; that they had all plantations a_ell as I, and were straitened for nothing so much as servants; that as it wa_ trade that could not be carried on, because they could not publicly sell th_egroes when they came home, so they desired to make but one voyage, to brin_he negroes on shore privately, and divide them among their own plantations; and, in a word, the question was whether I would go their supercargo in th_hip, to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered m_hat I should have my equal share of the negroes, without providing any par_f the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any on_hat had not had a settlement and a plantation of his own to look after, whic_as in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stoc_pon it; but for me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing t_o but to go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to have sen_or the other hundred pounds from England; and who in that time, and with tha_ittle addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or fou_housand pounds sterling, and that increasing too - for me to think of such _oyage was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstance_ould be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offe_han I could restrain my first rambling designs when my father' good counse_as lost upon me. In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if the_ould undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispos_f it to such as I should direct, if I miscarried. This they all engaged t_o, and entered into writings or covenants to do so; and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects in case of my death, making the captai_f the ship that had saved my life, as before, my universal heir, but obligin_im to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will; one half of th_roduce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects and to keep up m_lantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my ow_nterest, and have made a judgment of what I ought to have done and not t_ave done, I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon _oyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards, to say nothing of th_easons I had to expect particular misfortunes to myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather tha_y reason; and, accordingly, the ship being fitted out, and the carg_urnished, and all things done, as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st September 1659, being the same da_ight years that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act th_ebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interests.
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six guns an_ourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We had on board n_arge cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with th_egroes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and other trifles, especiall_ittle looking-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward upo_ur own coast, with design to stretch over for the African coast when we cam_bout ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was th_anner of course in those days. We had very good weather, only excessivel_ot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came to the height of Cape St.
Augustino; from whence, keeping further off at sea, we lost sight of land, an_teered as if we were bound for the isle Fernando de Noronha, holding ou_ourse N.E. by N., and leaving those isles on the east. In this course w_assed the line in about twelve days' time, and were, by our last observation, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes northern latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out of our knowledge. It began from the south- east, came about to the north-west, and then settled in the north-east; fro_hence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve days together w_ould do nothing but drive, and, scudding away before it, let it carry u_hither fate and the fury of the winds directed; and, during these twelv_ays, I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up; nor, indeed, did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men di_f the calenture, and one man and the boy washed overboard. About the twelft_ay, the weather abating a little, the master made an observation as well a_e could, and found that he was in about eleven degrees north latitude, bu_hat he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St.
Augustino; so that he found he was upon the coast of Guiana, or the north par_f Brazil, beyond the river Amazon, toward that of the river Orinoco, commonl_alled the Great River; and began to consult with me what course he shoul_ake, for the ship was leaky, and very much disabled, and he was goin_irectly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea-coast o_merica with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to hav_ecourse to till we came within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, an_herefore resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, a_e hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make ou_oyage to the coast of Africa without some assistance both to our ship and t_urselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away N.W. by W., in orde_o reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for relief. But our voyag_as otherwise determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degree_ighteen minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried us away with th_ame impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the way of all huma_ommerce, that, had all our lives been saved as to the sea, we were rather i_anger of being devoured by savages than ever returning to our own country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men early i_he morning cried out, “Land!” and we had no sooner run out of the cabin t_ook out, in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we were, than the shi_truck upon a sand, and in a moment her motion being so stopped, the sea brok_ver her in such a manner that we expected we should all have perishe_mmediately; and we were immediately driven into our close quarters, t_helter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition to describ_r conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances. We knew nothin_here we were, or upon what land it was we were driven - whether an island o_he main, whether inhabited or not inhabited. As the rage of the wind wa_till great, though rather less than at first, we could not so much as hope t_ave the ship hold many minutes without breaking into pieces, unless th_inds, by a kind of miracle, should turn immediately about. In a word, we sa_ooking upon one another, and expecting death every moment, and every man, accordingly, preparing for another world; for there was little or nothing mor_or us to do in this. That which was our present comfort, and all the comfor_e had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship did not break yet, an_hat the master said the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the ship havin_hus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect her gettin_ff, we were in a dreadful condition indeed, and had nothing to do but t_hink of saving our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern jus_efore the storm, but she was first staved by dashing against the ship'_udder, and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk or was drive_ff to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another boat on board, bu_ow to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing. However, there was n_ime to debate, for we fancied that the ship would break in pieces ever_inute, and some told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat, and with th_elp of the rest of the men got her slung over the ship's side; and gettin_ll into her, let go, and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, t_od's mercy and the wild sea; for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea ran dreadfully high upon the shore, and might be well called de_ild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly that the se_ent so high that the boat could not live, and that we should be inevitabl_rowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor if we had could we have don_nything with it; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with heav_earts, like men going to execution; for we all knew that when the boat cam_ear the shore she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of th_ea. However, we committed our souls to God in the most earnest manner; an_he wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our destruction with ou_wn hands, pulling as well as we could towards land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal, we knew not.
The only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of expectatio_as, if we might find some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where b_reat chance we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was nothing like this appeared; bu_s we made nearer and nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful tha_he sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a half, as we reckone_t, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and plainly bad_s expect the coup de grace. It took us with such a fury, that it overset th_oat at once; and separating us as well from the boat as from one another, gave us no time to say, “O God!” for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I sank int_he water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself fro_he waves so as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rathe_arried me, a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, wen_ack, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the water _ook in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as breath left, that seein_yself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet, an_ndeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could before another wav_hould return and take me up again; but I soon found it was impossible t_void it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and a_urious as an enemy, which I had no means or strength to contend with: m_usiness was to hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water if I could; and so, by swimming, to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards th_hore, if possible, my greatest concern now being that the sea, as it woul_arry me a great way towards the shore when it came on, might not carry m_ack again with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty feet dee_n its own body, and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force an_wiftness towards the shore - a very great way; but I held my breath, an_ssisted myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burs_ith holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so, to my immediat_elief, I found my head and hands shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet i_elieved me greatly, gave me breath, and new courage. I was covered again wit_ater a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the wate_ad spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward against the return o_he waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments t_ecover breath, and till the waters went from me, and then took to my heel_nd ran with what strength I had further towards the shore. But neither woul_his deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after m_gain; and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forward a_efore, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me, for the sea havin_urried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against a piece o_ock, and that with such force, that it left me senseless, and indee_elpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it returned agai_mmediately, I must have been strangled in the water; but I recovered a littl_efore the return of the waves, and seeing I should be covered again with th_ater, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold m_reath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now, as the waves were not s_igh as at first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the wave abated, an_hen fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore that the nex_ave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry m_way; and the next run I took, I got to the mainland, where, to my grea_omfort, I clambered up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon th_rass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank God that m_ife was saved, in a case wherein there was some minutes before scarce an_oom to hope. I believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what th_cstasies and transports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave: and I do not wonder now at the custom, when _alefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going t_e turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him - I say, I do not wonder tha_hey bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell hi_f it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart an_verwhelm him.
“For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.”
I walked about on the shore lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I ma_ay, wrapped up in a contemplation of my deliverance; making a thousan_estures and motions, which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrade_hat were drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them, excep_hree of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eye to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the se_eing so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far of; and considered, Lord!
how was it possible I could get on shore
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I bega_o look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was next to b_one; and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had _readful deliverance; for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anythin_ither to eat or drink to comfort me; neither did I see any prospect before m_ut that of perishing with hunger or being devoured by wild beasts; and tha_hich was particularly afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon, either t_unt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against an_ther creature that might desire to kill me for theirs. In a word, I ha_othing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box.
This was all my provisions; and this threw me into such terrible agonies o_ind, that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me, _egan with a heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if there were an_avenous beasts in that country, as at night they always come abroad for thei_rey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was to get up into _hick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and where _esolved to sit all night, and consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco into my mouth to prevent hunger, _ent to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to place myself so tha_f I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut me a short stick, like _runcheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging; and having been excessivel_atigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, fe_ould have done in my condition, and found myself more refreshed with it than, I think, I ever was on such an occasion.