Imatges de pÓgina
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wise a large bag full of small shot, and all the men’s clothes I could find, with a spare fore-topsail, a hammock, and some bedding. With these I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my great comfort. I now went to work, and made a little tent with the sail and some poles, which I cut for that purpose, and I placed within it everything that I knew would spoil, either with rain or sun ; piling all the empty chests and casks in a circle round the tent to fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast. After this, spreading out the beds upon the ground, and placing my two pistols and gun beside me, I lay down for the first time and slept very quietly all night, for I was fatigued after my labours. I possessed now a large quantity of goods, but I was not yet satisfied, and thinking that while the ship remained upright I ought to get everything out of her, I went on board frequently and brought away some articles at each visit, and, to my great surprise, after I thought I had taken everything of worth in the ship, I found a great hogshead of bread, and three large barrels of rum or spirits, a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine fiour. ' I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the vessel, bringing away all that one pair of hands could be supposed capable of effecting, though I believe that if the weather had continued calm, I should have carried away the whole ship in pieces; but, as I was preparing for my twelfth visit, I found that the wind was beginning to rise; however, at low water, I went on board, and while searching about saw a locker with drawers, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with a dozen pairs of good knives and forks. I also discovered about thirty-six pounds in money, besides a variety of gold and silver coins. I smiled to myself at sight of this money and cried aloud :-“ Oh drug! what art thou good for ? Thou art not worth to me one of those knives ! I have no manner of use for thee: remainwhere thou art, and go to the bottom of the sea!” However, upon second thoughts, I took it away. I now began to think of making another raft, but while I was preparing, the sky became overcast and it blew a fresh gale from the shore. I saw that I had better get away before the flood tide commenced, and accordingly let myself down into the channel which lay between the ship and the sands, and it was well I did so in time, for the wind became very violent, and a storm arose. I was, however, safe in my little tent, where I lay with all my wealth around me. It blew very hard all night, and in the morning, when I looked afar, the ship was not to be seen! I consoled myself, however, with the reflection that I had taken from her all that could be useful to me. I now resolved to find a more healthy and a more convenient spot for my dwelling, and I discovered a little plain, on the side of a rising hill, whose front was steep as a

house, so that nothing could fall down upon me from the top. On the side of this rock there was a hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance to a cave, and having set up my tent just before it, I entrenched myself by means of several rows of strong stakes, until I was completely fortified, as I thought, from the intrusion of man or beast, if there were any, although, as it afterwards appeared, there was no need of all this caution. Into this fortress, with great labour, I carried all my riches, provisions, ammunition and stores, and made a larger tent over the small one, with some sails I had brought from the vessel, to preserve me from the rains, which at times were very violent. Having thus enclosed all my goods, I fastened the entrance to my dwelling, and passed and repassed from thence, for better security, by a short ladder.

To divert myself, and to see if I could obtain anything for food, I went out, at least once every day, with my gun, and I soon discovered there were goats upon the island; but they were very shy and swift of foot, but by climbing the rocks above them I had frequently a fair mark, and at the first shot I killed a she-goat, with a kid beside her. These two supplied me with flesh for some time, for I ate sparingly, to preserve my provisions as long as I could, I had frequently sad thoughts on my desolate condition, but reason would reprove my repining, and tell me how often God had preserved me from death, and had bountifully administered to my comfort. It so happened that about ten or twelve days after I had been cast upon this island, I was fearful of losing my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen and ink, and that I should even forget to distinguish the Sabbath days. To prevent this, I cut a register with my knife upon a large post, in capital letters; and making the wood into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed. The inscription was:—" I came on shore here on the 30th of September, 1659." Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was twice as long as the others; and every first day of the month was longer still; and thus I kept my calendar, a weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning of time. But fortunately among the many things I had brought from the wreck, I had found, on examining the chests, pens, ink, and paper, together with three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspectives, charts and books of navigation, with three very good bibles, and several other articles. And I must not forget that we had in the ship a dog and two cats; the two latter I carried away with me, and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship and swam after me to shore, remaining a trusty servant for years afterwards. I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to me; I only wished he would talk with me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I found pens, paper, and ink, and while

the latter lasted I kept an exact journal of my life, but after the ink was used I could not continue it. The want of proper tools made every work in which I was engaged proceed heavily ; and it was nearly a year before I had entirely finished the fortification of my dwelling. The stakes, which were as heavy as I could well lift, required great labour in cutting them from the woods, so that I spent sometimes two days in bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground. I also began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found most wanted, particularly a chair and a table; for without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in the world. I had never handled a tool in my life, and yet in time, by labour, application, and contrivance, I made abundance of implements. I also placed large shelves on one side of my cave, upon which I laid all my tools, nails, and iron work. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hold my guns and other weapons, so that my cave looked like a complete magazine of all necessary articles, and I had everything so ready at hand, that I had no difficulty whatever. Having thus arranged my household matters, and made myselfas comfortable as possible, I began to keep a journal of my daily occupations. But however well matters had been managed, I found myself in need of several things ; for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I could neither put in the heads, nor join the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water. In 'the next place, I was at a great loss for some substitute for candles, so that as soon as it was dark I was obliged to go to bed. The only remedy I had was, that when I killed a goat, I saved the tallow, and with a little dirt made of clay, which I baked in the sun, and to which I added a wick of some oakum, I made a lamp, which gave me light, though not very clear or steady. A singular circumstance occurred about this time: I had shaken a few husks of corn out ofa bag, kept for the use of poultry on board the ship, and this had been done before the rains had commenced, without my noticing, or even scarcely remembering it, when about a month afterwards I saw some few stalks of something green shooting from the ground, and in a brief period, about ten or twelve ears of barley appeared. I carefully saved up the ears of this grain, resolving to sow them again, and hoping to have later, sufficient quantity to supply me with bread. Besides this barley, there were twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care. I had worked for several months at a wall to surround my habitation, and at length it was completed, being so contrived that I could scale it with a ladder when I entered or left the house, pulling the steps after me, and thus making a complete enclosure, by which any one thinking to molest me from without, would have first to. mount the wall. The

very next day after this was finished, my labours were almost overthrown, and myself nearly killed with fright, from repeated and violent shocks of an earthquake, which seemed to move the very foundation of the world. I found the earth came crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the side of the hill above, while two of the posts I had placed in the cave split with a terrible sound. I was afraid that the roof of my dwelling would fall in, and crush me beneath the ruins; I therefore ran to the ladder, and, getting over the wall, stood on open ground. The earth beneath me shook three several times at short intervals, with a force sufficient to have overturned the strongest building; and an enormous mass of rock, at the distance of half-a-mile from where I was standing, fell with a deafening crash into the sea. I perceived also that the waters were violently agitated. While I sat stupified with fear, the air became overcast, and soon after the wind arose, and a tempest such as I had never before witnessed broke forth.

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When these were over, and my mind was more composed, I considered that if I stayed where I was, in a cave, I should certainly one time or other be buried alive, and I therefore resolved to form a convenient

camp, and build a wall with piles and cables in a circle, as before, and set up my tent within, but to effect this I was at a loss about the tools, all of which required grinding, and although I had a stone, I could not turn it and sharpen my tools at the same time. At length I contrived a wheel with a string, acted upon by my foot, so that I might have both my hands at liberty. This machine, although very commonin England, cost me the labour of a week to bring to perfection.

. I had now been on this island about ten months, and feeling a great

desire to travel, and see what other productions could be found, l set forward, proceeding first to the creek where I had formerly brought my rafts on shore. Beyond this spot, I discovered many pleasant meadows covered with grass, and where the ground was high I found a great quantity of tobacco, besides other plants of which I had no knowledgeThere were also melons upon the ground and grapes on the trees, in very ripe and rich clusters. This was an important discovery, and gladdened me greatly, but I was warned by my experience to eat sparingly of them. I applied the grapes, however, to an excellent use by drying them in the sun, by which they still retained a wholesome and agreeable fiavour. That evening I did not return home, but got up into a tree, where I slept soundly, and the next morning I proceeded on my journey, travelling nearly four miles, as I could judge by the length ofthe valley. At the end of this march I came to an opening whence the country beyond appeared so fresh and luxuriant that it appeared like a planted garden; I descended into the delicious vale, surveying it with a secret pleasure, to think that all around me was my uwn-that I ruledas king and lord of all the country, by right of possession. I saw here abundance of cocoa, orange, lemon, and citron trees, lmtthey were all wild, and very few had fruit; at least, not at this season. However, the green limes that I gathered were not only agreeable to the taste but very wholesome. I resolved to lay up 3. store ofgrapes, limes, and lemons in readiness for the rainy season, which I knew was approaching. The thought of this fertile and beautiful part of the island occupied my mind on returning home, and! began to consider whether I could not remove my dwelling to 'a spot yielding such abundance. But upon second thoughts I determined to remain ~ the sea side, thinking it possible that something might happen to my advantage, and I might see a ship that would convey me home. I built a kind of bower, however, in this spot, and made it my temporary residence, so that I fancied I had now my country and my marine house. The rainy season now arrived; I returned to my primitive habitation, and being confined within doors I began to be straitened for food; but venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat, and I found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me. My meals were now regulated thus : I ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast, a piece of goat’s flesh or turtle, broiled, for my dinner (for I

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