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Chapter 3 Wrecked on a Desert Island

  • 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.