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Chapter 4 First Weeks on the Island

  • When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, s_hat the sea did not rage and swell as before. But that which surprised m_ost was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where sh_ay by the swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the roc_hich I at first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the wave dashing m_gainst it. This being within about a mile from the shore where I was, and th_hip seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself on board, that at least _ight save some necessary things for my use.
  • When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, an_he first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and the sea ha_ossed her up, upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked a_ar as I could upon the shore to have got to her; but found a neck or inlet o_ater between me and the boat which was about half a mile broad; so I cam_ack for the present, being more intent upon getting at the ship, where _oped to find something for my present subsistence.
  • A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far ou_hat I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship. And here I found _resh renewing of my grief; for I saw evidently that if we had kept on boar_e had been all safe - that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I ha_ot been so miserable as to be left entirety destitute of all comfort an_ompany as I now was. This forced tears to my eyes again; but as there wa_ittle relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get to the ship; so _ulled off my clothes - for the weather was hot to extremity - and took th_ater. But when I came to the ship my difficulty was still greater to know ho_o get on board; for, as she lay aground, and high out of the water, there wa_othing within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the secon_ime I spied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hung down by the fore-chains so low, as that with great difficulty I got hol_f it, and by the help of that rope I got up into the forecastle of the ship.
  • Here I found that the ship was bulged, and had a great deal of water in he_old, but that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or, rathe_arth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low, almost t_he water. By this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in tha_art was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search, and to see wha_as spoiled and what was free. And, first, I found that all the ship'_rovisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well dispose_o eat, I went to the bread room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and at_t as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found som_um in the great cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had, indeed, need enough of to spirit me for what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but _oat to furnish myself with many things which I foresaw would be ver_ecessary to me.
  • It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and thi_xtremity roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or thre_arge spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship; I resolved t_all to work with these, and I flung as many of them overboard as I coul_anage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might no_rive away. When this was done I went down the ship's side, and pulling the_o me, I tied four of them together at both ends as well as I could, in th_orm of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon the_rossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not able t_ear any great weight, the pieces being too light. So I went to work, and wit_ carpenter's saw I cut a spare topmast into three lengths, and added them t_y raft, with a great deal of labour and pains. But the hope of furnishin_yself with necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have bee_ble to have done upon another occasion.
  • My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care wa_hat to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf o_he sea; but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks o_oards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what I mos_anted, I got three of the seamen's chests, which I had broken open, an_mptied, and lowered them down upon my raft; the first of these I filled wit_rovisions - viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of drie_oat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little remainder of Europea_orn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat together; but, to my great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten o_poiled it all. As for liquors, I found several, cases of bottles belonging t_ur skipper, in which were some cordial waters; and, in all, about five or si_allons of rack. These I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put the_nto the chest, nor any room for them. While I was doing this, I found th_ide begin to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see m_oat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on the shore, upon the sand, swi_way. As for my breeches, which were only linen, and open- kneed, I swam o_oard in them and my stockings. However, this set me on rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for _ad others things which my eye was more upon - as, first, tools to work wit_n shore. And it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter'_hest, which was, indeed, a very useful prize to me, and much more valuabl_han a shipload of gold would have been at that time. I got it down to m_aft, whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew i_eneral what it contained.
  • My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very goo_owling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. _new there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where ou_unner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them dry an_ood, the third had taken water. Those two I got to my raft with the arms. An_ow I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I shoul_et to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; and the leas_apful of wind would have overset all my navigation.
  • I had three encouragements - 1st, a smooth, calm sea; 2ndly, the tide rising, and setting in to the shore; 3rdly, what little wind there was blew me toward_he land. And thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to th_oat - and, besides the tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, a_xe, and a hammer; with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile or thereabouts m_aft went very well, only that I found it drive a little distant from th_lace where I had landed before; by which I perceived that there was som_ndraft of the water, and consequently I hoped to find some creek or rive_here, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with my cargo.
  • As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a little opening of th_and, and I found a strong current of the tide set into it; so I guided m_aft as well as I could, to keep in the middle of the stream.
  • But here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, _hink verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, m_aft ran aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at th_ther end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off toward_he end that was afloat, and to fallen into the water. I did my utmost, b_etting my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but coul_ot thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir from th_osture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in tha_anner near half-an-hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me _ittle more upon a level; and a little after, the water still-rising, my raf_loated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, an_hen driving up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a littl_iver, with land on both sides, and a strong current of tide running up. _ooked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I was not willin_o be driven too high up the river: hoping in time to see some ships at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the coast as I could.
  • At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which wit_reat pain and difficulty I guided my raft, and at last got so near that, reaching ground with my oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here I ha_ike to have dipped all my cargo into the sea again; for that shore lyin_retty steep - that is to say sloping - there was no place to land, but wher_ne end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and the other sin_ower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again. All that I could d_as to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oa_ike an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece o_round, which I expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon a_ found water enough - for my raft drew about a foot of water - I thrust he_pon that flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her, by stickin_y two broken oars into the ground, one on one side near one end, and one o_he other side near the other end; and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe on shore.
  • My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place for m_abitation, and where to stow my goods to secure them from whatever migh_appen. Where I was, I yet knew not; whether on the continent or on an island; whether inhabited or not inhabited; whether in danger of wild beasts or not.
  • There was a hill not above a mile from me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some other hills, which lay as in a ridge from i_orthward. I took out one of the fowling-pieces, and one of the pistols, and _orn of powder; and thus armed, I travelled for discovery up to the top o_hat hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty got to the top, I saw any fate, to my great affliction - viz. that I was in an islan_nvironed every way with the sea: no land to be seen except some rocks, whic_ay a great way off; and two small islands, less than this, which lay abou_hree leagues to the west.
  • I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good reason t_elieve, uninhabited except by wild beasts, of whom, however, I saw none. Ye_ saw abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither when I killed the_ould I tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot a_ great bird which I saw sitting upon a tree on the side of a great wood. _elieve it was the first gun that had been fired there since the creation o_he world. I had no sooner fired, than from all parts of the wood there aros_n innumerable number of fowls, of many sorts, making a confused screaming an_rying, and every one according to his usual note, but not one of them of an_ind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind o_awk, its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no talons or claws mor_han common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
  • Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work t_ring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of that day. What to d_ith myself at night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest, for I was afraid t_ie down on the ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour me, though, as I afterwards found, there was really no need for those fears.
  • However, as well as I could, I barricaded myself round with the chest an_oards that I had brought on shore, and made a kind of hut for that night'_odging. As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that _ad seen two or three creatures like hares run out of the wood where I sho_he fowl.
  • I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of th_hip which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging an_ails, and such other things as might come to land; and I resolved to mak_nother voyage on board the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that the firs_torm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I resolved to se_ll other things apart till I had got everything out of the ship that I coul_et. Then I called a council - that is to say in my thoughts - whether _hould take back the raft; but this appeared impracticable: so I resolved t_o as before, when the tide was down; and I did so, only that I strippe_efore I went from my hut, having nothing on but my chequered shirt, a pair o_inen drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
  • I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having ha_xperience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it s_ard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, i_he carpenters stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, _reat screw- jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that mos_seful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured, together with severa_hings belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and tw_arrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, another fowling-piece, with som_mall quantity of powder more; a large bagful of small shot, and a great rol_f sheet-lead; but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get i_ver the ship's side.
  • Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and _pare fore-topsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded m_econd raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
  • I was under some apprehension, during my absence from the land, that at leas_y provisions might be devoured on shore: but when I came back I found no sig_f any visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of th_hests, which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and the_tood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked full in m_ace, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented my gun a_er, but, as she did not understand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not great: however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled at it, and at_t, and looked (as if pleased) for more; but I thanked her, and could spare n_ore: so she marched off.
  • Having got my second cargo on shore - though I was fain to open the barrels o_owder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks - I went to work to make me a little tent with the sail and some poles which _ut for that purpose: and into this tent I brought everything that I kne_ould spoil either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests an_asks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
  • When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some board_ithin, and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of th_eds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun a_ength by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly al_ight, for I was very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slep_ittle, and had laboured very hard all day to fetch all those things from th_hip, and to get them on shore.
  • I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one man: but I was not satisfied still, for while the ship sat upright i_hat posture, I thought I ought to get everything out of her that I could; s_very day at low water I went on board, and brought away something or other; but particularly the third time I went I brought away as much of the riggin_s I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine I could get, with _iece of spare canvas, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and th_arrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails, first an_ast; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a tim_s I could, for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere canvas only.
  • But that which comforted me more still, was, that last of all, after I ha_ade five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more t_xpect from the ship that was worth my meddling with - I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread, three large runlets of rum, or spirits, _ox of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to me, because _ad given over expecting any more provisions, except what was spoiled by th_ater. I soon emptied the hogshead of the bread, and wrapped it up, parcel b_arcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got al_his safe on shore also.
  • The next day I made another voyage, and now, having plundered the ship of wha_as portable and fit to hand out, I began with the cables. Cutting the grea_able into pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser o_hore, with all the ironwork I could get; and having cut down the spritsail- yard, and the mizzen- yard, and everything I could, to make a large raft, _oaded it with all these heavy goods, and came away. But my good luck bega_ow to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that, afte_ had entered the little cove where I had landed the rest of my goods, no_eing able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw m_nd all my cargo into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for _as near the shore; but as to my cargo, it was a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have been of great use to me; however, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of the cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip fo_t into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I wen_very day on board, and brought away what I could get.
  • I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board th_hip, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could wel_e supposed capable to bring; though I believe verily, had the calm weathe_eld, I should have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece. But preparin_he twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise: however, a_ow water I went on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin s_ffectually that nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a locker wit_rawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair o_arge scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks: in anothe_ found about thirty-six pounds value in money - some European coin, som_razil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.
  • I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: “O drug!” said I, aloud, “wha_rt thou good for? Thou art not worth to me - no, not the taking off th_round; one of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of us_or thee - e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creatur_hose life is not worth saying.” However, upon second thoughts I took it away; and wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to think of making anothe_aft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the win_egan to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from th_hore. It presently occurred to me that it was in vain to pretend to make _aft with the wind offshore; and that it was my business to be gone before th_ide of flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at all.
  • Accordingly, I let myself down into the water, and swam across the channel, which lay between the ship and the sands, and even that with difficult_nough, partly with the weight of the things I had about me, and partly th_oughness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it wa_uite high water it blew a storm.
  • But I had got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth abou_e, very secure. It blew very hard all night, and in the morning, when _ooked out, behold, no more ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised, bu_ecovered myself with the satisfactory reflection that I had lost no time, no_bated any diligence, to get everything out of her that could be useful to me; and that, indeed, there was little left in her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
  • I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything out of her, except what might drive on shore from her wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces o_er afterwards did; but those things were of small use to me.
  • My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against eithe_avages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; an_ had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling t_ake - whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth; and, in short, I resolved upon both; the manner and description of which, i_ay not be improper to give an account of.
  • I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement, because it wa_pon a low, moorish ground, near the sea, and I believed it would not b_holesome, and more particularly because there was no fresh water near it; s_ resolved to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
  • I consulted several things in my situation, which I found would be proper fo_e: 1st, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned; 2ndly, shelter from th_eat of the sun; 3rdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man o_east; 4thly, a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I migh_ot lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing t_anish all my expectation yet.
  • In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of _ising hill, whose front towards this little plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could come down upon me from the top. On the one side of th_ock there was a hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or doo_f a cave but there was not really any cave or way into the rock at all.
  • On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved to pitc_y tent. This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice a_ong, and lay like a green before my door; and, at the end of it, descende_rregularly every way down into the low ground by the seaside. It was on th_.N.W. side of the hill; so that it was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabouts, which, in those countries, is near the setting.
  • Before I set up my tent I drew a half-circle before the hollow place, whic_ook in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from the rock, and twenty yard_n its diameter from its beginning and ending.
  • In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into th_round till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of th_round above five feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows di_ot stand above six inches from one another.
  • Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them i_ows, one upon another, within the circle, between these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, abou_wo feet and a half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it or over it. This cost me a grea_eal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods, bring the_o the place, and drive them into the earth.
  • The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a shor_adder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over afte_e; and so I was completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from al_he world, and consequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise I coul_ot have done; though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of al_his caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.
  • Into this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the accoun_bove; and I made a large tent, which to preserve me from the rains that i_ne part of the year are very violent there, I made double - one smaller ten_ithin, and one larger tent above it; and covered the uppermost with a larg_arpaulin, which I had saved among the sails.
  • And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had brought on shore, bu_n a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and belonged to the mate o_he ship.
  • Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything that would spoil b_he wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods, I made up the entrance, whic_ill now I had left open, and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a shor_adder.
  • When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing al_he earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid them u_ithin my fence, in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised the groun_ithin about a foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind m_ent, which served me like a cellar to my house.
  • It cost me much labour and many days before all these things were brought t_erfection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took u_ome of my thoughts. At the same time it happened, after I had laid my schem_or the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain fallin_rom a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after tha_ great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not so muc_urprised with the lightning as I was with the thought which darted into m_ind as swift as the lightning itself - Oh, my powder! My very heart san_ithin me when I thought that, at one blast, all my powder might be destroyed; on which, not my defence only, but the providing my food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was nothing near so anxious about my own danger, though, had the powder took fire, I should never have known who had hurt me.
  • Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm was over I lai_side all my works, my building and fortifying, and applied myself to mak_ags and boxes, to separate the powder, and to keep it a little and a littl_n a parcel, in the hope that, whatever might come, it might not all take fir_t once; and to keep it so apart that it should not be possible to make on_art fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight; and I think m_owder, which in all was about two hundred and forty pounds weight, wa_ivided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to the barrel that had bee_et, I did not apprehend any danger from that; so I placed it in my new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen; and the rest I hid up and down i_oles among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefull_here I laid it.
  • In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once at least ever_ay with my gun, as well to divert myself as to see if I could kill anythin_it for food; and, as near as I could, to acquaint myself with what the islan_roduced. The first time I went out, I presently discovered that there wer_oats in the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it wa_ttended with this misfortune to me - viz. that they were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult thing in the world t_ome at them; but I was not discouraged at this, not doubting but I might no_nd then shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had found their haunts _ittle, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me in th_alleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would run away, as in _errible fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was upon th_ocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I concluded that, by th_osition of their optics, their sight was so directed downward that they di_ot readily see objects that were above them; so afterwards I took this method - I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had frequentl_ fair mark.
  • The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had _ittle kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; for whe_he old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her, till I came and took he_p; and not only so, but when I carried the old one with me, upon m_houlders, the kid followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which I laid dow_he dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes t_ave bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to kill it and ea_t myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I at_paringly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as much as possibly _ould.
  • Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide _lace to make a fire in, and fuel to burn: and what I did for that, and als_ow I enlarged my cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall give a ful_ccount of in its place; but I must now give some little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living, which, it may well be supposed, were not _ew.
  • I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away upon tha_sland without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm, quite out of th_ourse of our intended voyage, and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues, out of the ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason t_onsider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and i_his desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears would run plentifull_own my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would expostulat_ith myself why Providence should thus completely ruin His creatures, an_ender them so absolutely miserable; so without help, abandoned, so entirel_epressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.
  • But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts, and t_eprove me; and particularly one day, walking with my gun in my hand by th_easide, I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, whe_eason, as it were, expostulated with me the other way, thus: “Well, you ar_n a desolate condition, it is true; but, pray remember, where are the rest o_ou? Did not you come, eleven of you in the boat? Where are the ten? Why wer_hey not saved, and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it better to b_ere or there?” And then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considere_ith the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.
  • Then it occurred to me again, how well I was furnished for my subsistence, an_hat would have been my case if it had not happened (which was a hundre_housand to one) that the ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so near to the shore that I had time to get all these thing_ut of her; what would have been my case, if I had been forced to have live_n the condition in which I at first came on shore, without necessaries o_ife, or necessaries to supply and procure them? “Particularly,” said I, aloud (though to myself), “what should I have done without a gun, withou_mmunition, without any tools to make anything, or to work with, withou_lothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of covering?” and that now I had al_hese to sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in suc_ manner as to live without my gun, when my ammunition was spent: so that _ad a tolerable view of subsisting, without any want, as long as I lived; fo_ considered from the beginning how I would provide for the accidents tha_ight happen, and for the time that was to come, even not only after m_mmunition should be spent, but even after my health and strength shoul_ecay.
  • I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition being destroyed a_ne blast - I mean my powder being blown up by lightning; and this made th_houghts of it so surprising to me, when it lightened and thundered, as _bserved just now.
  • And now being about to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silen_ife, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall tak_t from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was by my account th_0th of September, when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upo_his horrid island; when the sun, being to us in its autumnal equinox, wa_lmost over my head; for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in th_atitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north of the line.
  • After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my thoughts tha_ should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen and ink, an_hould even forget the Sabbath days; but to prevent this, I cut with my knif_pon a large post, in capital letters - and making it into a great cross, _et it up on the shore where I first landed - “I came on shore here on th_0th September 1659.”
  • Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, an_very seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of th_onth as long again as that long one; and thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning of time.
  • In the next place, we are to observe that among the many things which _rought out of the ship, in the several voyages which, as above mentioned, _ade to it, I got several things of less value, but not at all less useful t_e, which I omitted setting down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, an_aper, several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's and carpenter'_eeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation, all which I huddled together, whether I might want them or no; also, I found three very good Bibles, whic_ame to me in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among m_hings; some Portuguese books also; and among them two or three Popish prayer- books, and several other books, all which I carefully secured. And I must no_orget that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history _ay have occasion to say something in its place; for I carried both the cat_ith me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam o_hore to me the day after I went on shore with my first cargo, and was _rusty servant to me many years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, no_ny company that he could make up to me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I found pens, ink, and paper, an_ husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, _ept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could no_ake any ink by any means that I could devise.
  • And this put me in mind that I wanted many things notwithstanding all that _ad amassed together; and of these, ink was one; as also a spade, pickaxe, an_hovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread; as for linen, _oon learned to want that without much difficulty.
  • This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was near _hole year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or surrounded m_abitation. The piles, or stakes, which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and preparing in the woods, and more, by far, i_ringing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing hom_ne of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground; for whic_urpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last bethought myself o_ne of the iron crows; which, however, though I found it, made driving thos_osts or piles very laborious and tedious work. But what need I have bee_oncerned at the tediousness of anything I had to do, seeing I had time enoug_o do it in? nor had I any other employment, if that had been over, at leas_hat I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food, which _id, more or less, every day.
  • I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstances I wa_educed to; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so much t_eave them to any that were to come after me - for I was likely to have bu_ew heirs - as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring over them, an_fflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despondency, _egan to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against th_vil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and _tated very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoye_gainst the miseries I suffered, thus:-
  • Evil: I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope o_ecovery.
  • Good: But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship's company were.
  • Evil: I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to b_iserable.
  • Good: But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's crew, to be spared fro_eath; and He that miraculously saved me from death can deliver me from thi_ondition.
  • Evil: I am divided from mankind - a solitaire; one banished from huma_ociety.
  • Good: But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place, affording n_ustenance.
  • Evil: I have no clothes to cover me.
  • Good: But I am in a hot climate, where, if I had clothes, I could hardly wea_hem.
  • Evil: I am without any defence, or means to resist any violence of man o_east.
  • Good: But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts to hurt me, as _aw on the coast of Africa; and what if I had been shipwrecked there?
  • Evil: I have no soul to speak to or relieve me.
  • Good: But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the shore, that _ave got out as many necessary things as will either supply my wants or enabl_e to supply myself, even as long as I live.
  • Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce an_ondition in the world so miserable but there was something negative o_omething positive to be thankful for in it; and let this stand as a directio_rom the experience of the most miserable of all conditions in this world: that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of the account.
  • Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and given ove_ooking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship - I say, giving over thes_hings, I begun to apply myself to arrange my way of living, and to mak_hings as easy to me as I could.
  • I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the side of _ock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables: but I might no_ather call it a wall, for I raised a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick on the outside; and after some time (I think it was _ear and a half) I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and thatche_r covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get, to kee_ut the rain; which I found at some times of the year very violent.
  • I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and int_he cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that at firs_his was a confused heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so the_ook up all my place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarg_y cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock, whic_ielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so when I found I wa_retty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked sideways, to the right hand, int_he rock; and then, turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made m_ door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification. This gave m_ot only egress and regress, as it was a back way to my tent and to m_torehouse, but gave me room to store my goods.
  • And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found _ost wanted, particularly a chair and a table; for without these I was no_ble to enjoy the few comforts I had in the world; I could not write or eat, or do several things, with so much pleasure without a table: so I went t_ork. And here I must needs observe, that as reason is the substance an_rigin of the mathematics, so by stating and squaring everything by reason, and by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time, master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life; and yet, in time, by labour, application, and contrivance, I found at last that _anted nothing but I could have made it, especially if I had had tools.
  • However, I made abundance of things, even without tools; and some with no mor_ools than an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that wa_efore, and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I ha_o other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before me, and hew i_lat on either side with my axe, till I brought it to be thin as a plank, an_hen dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make bu_ne board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, an_ore than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took me u_o make a plank or board: but my time or labour was little worth, and so i_as as well employed one way as another.
  • However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the firs_lace; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought on m_aft from the ship. But when I had wrought out some boards as above, I mad_arge shelves, of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another all alon_ne side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails and ironwork on; and, in _ord, to separate everything at large into their places, that I might com_asily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns an_ll things that would hang up; so that, had my cave been to be seen, it looke_ike a general magazine of all necessary things; and had everything so read_t my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in suc_rder, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries so great.
  • And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day's employment; for, indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, and not only hurry as to labour, bu_n too much discomposure of mind; and my journal would have been full of man_ull things; for example, I must have said thus: “30th. - After I had got t_hore, and escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for m_eliverance, having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water whic_ad got into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shor_ringing my hands and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, an_rying out, 'I was undone, undone!' till, tired and faint, I was forced to li_own on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being devoured.”
  • Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and got all tha_ could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a littl_ountain and looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship; then fancy at _ast distance I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and the_fter looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit dow_nd weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
  • But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having settled m_ousehold staff and habitation, made me a table and a chair, and all a_andsome about me as I could, I began to keep my journal; of which I shal_ere give you the copy (though in it will be told all these particulars ove_gain) as long as it lasted; for having no more ink, I was forced to leave i_ff.