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The further adventures of Robinson Crusoe - Revisits Island

1. Revisits Island

2. Intervening History of Colony

3. Fight with Cannibals

4. Renewed Invasion of Savages

5. A Great Victory

6. The French Clergyman's Counsel

7. Conversation Betwixt Will Atkins and his Wife

8. Sails from the Island for the Brasils

9. Dreadful Occurrences in Madagascar

10. He is Left on Shore

11. Warned of Danger by a Countryman

12. The Carpenter's Whimsical Contrivance

13. Arrival in China

14. Attacked by Tartars

15. Description of an Idol, which They Destroy

16. Safe Arrival in England

That homely proverb, used on so many occasions in England, viz.
"That what is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh," was
never more verified than in the story of my Life. Any one would
think that after thirty-five years' affliction, and a variety of
unhappy circumstances, which few men, if any, ever went through
before, and after near seven years of peace and enjoyment in the
fulness of all things; grown old, and when, if ever, it might be
allowed me to have had experience of every state of middle life,
and to know which was most adapted to make a man completely happy;
I say, after all this, any one would have thought that the native
propensity to rambling which I gave an account of in my first
setting out in the world to have been so predominant in my
thoughts, should be worn out, and I might, at sixty one years of
age, have been a little inclined to stay at home, and have done
venturing life and fortune any more.

Nay, farther, the common motive of foreign adventures was taken
away in me, for I had no fortune to make; I had nothing to seek:
if I had gained ten thousand pounds I had been no richer; for I had
already sufficient for me, and for those I had to leave it to; and
what I had was visibly increasing; for, having no great family, I
could not spend the income of what I had unless I would set up for
an expensive way of living, such as a great family, servants,
equipage, gaiety, and the like, which were things I had no notion
of, or inclination to; so that I had nothing, indeed, to do but to
sit still, and fully enjoy what I had got, and see it increase
daily upon my hands. Yet all these things had no effect upon me,
or at least not enough to resist the strong inclination I had to go
abroad again, which hung about me like a chronic distemper. In
particular, the desire of seeing my new plantation in the island,
and the colony I left there, ran in my head continually. I dreamed
of it all night, and my imagination ran upon it all day: it was
uppermost in all my thoughts, and my fancy worked so steadily and
strongly upon it that I talked of it in my sleep; in short, nothing
could remove it out of my mind: it even broke so violently into
all my discourses that it made my conversation tiresome, for I
could talk of nothing else; all my discourse ran into it, even to
impertinence; and I saw it myself.

I have often heard persons of good judgment say that all the stir
that people make in the world about ghosts and apparitions is owing
to the strength of imagination, and the powerful operation of fancy
in their minds; that there is no such thing as a spirit appearing,
or a ghost walking; that people's poring affectionately upon the
past conversation of their deceased friends so realises it to them
that they are capable of fancying, upon some extraordinary
circumstances, that they see them, talk to them, and are answered
by them, when, in truth, there is nothing but shadow and vapour in
the thing, and they really know nothing of the matter.

For my part, I know not to this hour whether there are any such
things as real apparitions, spectres, or walking of people after
they are dead; or whether there is anything in the stories they
tell us of that kind more than the product of vapours, sick minds,
and wandering fancies: but this I know, that my imagination worked
up to such a height, and brought me into such excess of vapours, or
what else I may call it, that I actually supposed myself often upon
the spot, at my old castle, behind the trees; saw my old Spaniard,
Friday's father, and the reprobate sailors I left upon the island;
nay, I fancied I talked with them, and looked at them steadily,
though I was broad awake, as at persons just before me; and this I
did till I often frightened myself with the images my fancy
represented to me. One time, in my sleep, I had the villainy of
the three pirate sailors so lively related to me by the first
Spaniard, and Friday's father, that it was surprising: they told
me how they barbarously attempted to murder all the Spaniards, and
that they set fire to the provisions they had laid up, on purpose
to distress and starve them; things that I had never heard of, and
that, indeed, were never all of them true in fact: but it was so
warm in my imagination, and so realised to me, that, to the hour I
saw them, I could not be persuaded but that it was or would be
true; also how I resented it, when the Spaniard complained to me;
and how I brought them to justice, tried them, and ordered them all
three to be hanged. What there was really in this shall be seen in
its place; for however I came to form such things in my dream, and
what secret converse of spirits injected it, yet there was, I say,
much of it true. I own that this dream had nothing in it literally
and specifically true; but the general part was so true--the base;
villainous behaviour of these three hardened rogues was such, and
had been so much worse than all I can describe, that the dream had
too much similitude of the fact; and as I would afterwards have
punished them severely, so, if I had hanged them all, I had been
much in the right, and even should have been justified both by the
laws of God and man.

But to return to my story. In this kind of temper I lived some
years; I had no enjoyment of my life, no pleasant hours, no
agreeable diversion but what had something or other of this in it;
so that my wife, who saw my mind wholly bent upon it, told me very
seriously one night that she believed there was some secret,
powerful impulse of Providence upon me, which had determined me to
go thither again; and that she found nothing hindered me going but
my being engaged to a wife and children. She told me that it was
true she could not think of parting with me: but as she was
assured that if she was dead it would be the first thing I would
do, so, as it seemed to her that the thing was determined above,
she would not be the only obstruction; for, if I thought fit and
resolved to go--[Here she found me very intent upon her words, and
that I looked very earnestly at her, so that it a little disordered
her, and she stopped. I asked her why she did not go on, and say
out what she was going to say? But I perceived that her heart was
too full, and some tears stood in her eyes.] "Speak out, my dear,"
said I; "are you willing I should go?"--"No," says she, very
affectionately, "I am far from willing; but if you are resolved to
go," says she, "rather than I would be the only hindrance, I will
go with you: for though I think it a most preposterous thing for
one of your years, and in your condition, yet, if it must be," said
she, again weeping, "I would not leave you; for if it be of Heaven
you must do it, there is no resisting it; and if Heaven make it
your duty to go, He will also make it mine to go with you, or
otherwise dispose of me, that I may not obstruct it."

This affectionate behaviour of my wife's brought me a little out of
the vapours, and I began to consider what I was doing; I corrected
my wandering fancy, and began to argue with myself sedately what
business I had after threescore years, and after such a life of
tedious sufferings and disasters, and closed in so happy and easy a
manner; I, say, what business had I to rush into new hazards, and
put myself upon adventures fit only for youth and poverty to run

With those thoughts I considered my new engagement; that I had a
wife, one child born, and my wife then great with child of another;
that I had all the world could give me, and had no need to seek
hazard for gain; that I was declining in years, and ought to think
rather of leaving what I had gained than of seeking to increase it;
that as to what my wife had said of its being an impulse from
Heaven, and that it should be my duty to go, I had no notion of
that; so, after many of these cogitations, I struggled with the
power of my imagination, reasoned myself out of it, as I believe
people may always do in like cases if they will: in a word, I
conquered it, composed myself with such arguments as occurred to my
thoughts, and which my present condition furnished me plentifully
with; and particularly, as the most effectual method, I resolved to
divert myself with other things, and to engage in some business
that might effectually tie me up from any more excursions of this
kind; for I found that thing return upon me chiefly when I was
idle, and had nothing to do, nor anything of moment immediately
before me. To this purpose, I bought a little farm in the county
of Bedford, and resolved to remove myself thither. I had a little
convenient house upon it, and the land about it, I found, was
capable of great improvement; and it was many ways suited to my
inclination, which delighted in cultivating, managing, planting,
and improving of land; and particularly, being an inland country, I
was removed from conversing among sailors and things relating to
the remote parts of the world. I went down to my farm, settled my
family, bought ploughs, harrows, a cart, waggon-horses, cows, and
sheep, and, setting seriously to work, became in one half-year a
mere country gentleman. My thoughts were entirely taken up in
managing my servants, cultivating the ground, enclosing, planting,
&c.; and I lived, as I thought, the most agreeable life that nature
was capable of directing, or that a man always bred to misfortunes
was capable of retreating to.

I farmed upon my own land; I had no rent to pay, was limited by no
articles; I could pull up or cut down as I pleased; what I planted
was for myself, and what I improved was for my family; and having
thus left off the thoughts of wandering, I had not the least
discomfort in any part of life as to this world. Now I thought,
indeed, that I enjoyed the middle state of life which my father so
earnestly recommended to me, and lived a kind of heavenly life,
something like what is described by the poet, upon the subject of a
country life:-

"Free from vices, free from care,
Age has no pain, and youth no snare."

But in the middle of all this felicity, one blow from unseen
Providence unhinged me at once; and not only made a breach upon me
inevitable and incurable, but drove me, by its consequences, into a
deep relapse of the wandering disposition, which, as I may say,
being born in my very blood, soon recovered its hold of me; and,
like the returns of a violent distemper, came on with an
irresistible force upon me. This blow was the loss of my wife. It
is not my business here to write an elegy upon my wife, give a
character of her particular virtues, and make my court to the sex
by the flattery of a funeral sermon. She was, in a few words, the
stay of all my affairs; the centre of all my enterprises; the
engine that, by her prudence, reduced me to that happy compass I
was in, from the most extravagant and ruinous project that filled
my head, and did more to guide my rambling genius than a mother's
tears, a father's instructions, a friend's counsel, or all my own
reasoning powers could do. I was happy in listening to her, and in
being moved by her entreaties; and to the last degree desolate and
dislocated in the world by the loss of her.

When she was gone, the world looked awkwardly round me. I was as
much a stranger in it, in my thoughts, as I was in the Brazils,
when I first went on shore there; and as much alone, except for the
assistance of servants, as I was in my island. I knew neither what
to think nor what to do. I saw the world busy around me: one part
labouring for bread, another part squandering in vile excesses or
empty pleasures, but equally miserable because the end they
proposed still fled from them; for the men of pleasure every day
surfeited of their vice, and heaped up work for sorrow and
repentance; and the men of labour spent their strength in daily
struggling for bread to maintain the vital strength they laboured
with: so living in a daily circulation of sorrow, living but to
work, and working but to live, as if daily bread were the only end
of wearisome life, and a wearisome life the only occasion of daily

This put me in mind of the life I lived in my kingdom, the island;
where I suffered no more corn to grow, because I did not want it;
and bred no more goats, because I had no more use for them; where
the money lay in the drawer till it grew mouldy, and had scarce the
favour to be looked upon in twenty years. All these things, had I
improved them as I ought to have done, and as reason and religion
had dictated to me, would have taught me to search farther than
human enjoyments for a full felicity; and that there was something
which certainly was the reason and end of life superior to all
these things, and which was either to be possessed, or at least
hoped for, on this side of the grave.

But my sage counsellor was gone; I was like a ship without a pilot,
that could only run afore the wind. My thoughts ran all away again
into the old affair; my head was quite turned with the whimsies of
foreign adventures; and all the pleasant, innocent amusements of my
farm, my garden, my cattle, and my family, which before entirely
possessed me, were nothing to me, had no relish, and were like
music to one that has no ear, or food to one that has no taste. In
a word, I resolved to leave off housekeeping, let my farm, and
return to London; and in a few months after I did so.

When I came to London, I was still as uneasy as I was before; I had
no relish for the place, no employment in it, nothing to do but to
saunter about like an idle person, of whom it may be said he is
perfectly useless in God's creation, and it is not one farthing's
matter to the rest of his kind whether he be dead or alive. This
also was the thing which, of all circumstances of life, was the
most my aversion, who had been all my days used to an active life;
and I would often say to myself, "A state of idleness is the very
dregs of life;" and, indeed, I thought I was much more suitably
employed when I was twenty-six days making a deal board.

It was now the beginning of the year 1693, when my nephew, whom, as
I have observed before, I had brought up to the sea, and had made
him commander of a ship, was come home from a short voyage to
Bilbao, being the first he had made. He came to me, and told me
that some merchants of his acquaintance had been proposing to him
to go a voyage for them to the East Indies, and to China, as
private traders. "And now, uncle," says he, "if you will go to sea
with me, I will engage to land you upon your old habitation in the
island; for we are to touch at the Brazils."

Nothing can be a greater demonstration of a future state, and of
the existence of an invisible world, than the concurrence of second
causes with the idea of things which we form in our minds,
perfectly reserved, and not communicated to any in the world.

My nephew knew nothing how far my distemper of wandering was
returned upon me, and I knew nothing of what he had in his thought
to say, when that very morning, before he came to me, I had, in a
great deal of confusion of thought, and revolving every part of my
circumstances in my mind, come to this resolution, that I would go
to Lisbon, and consult with my old sea-captain; and if it was
rational and practicable, I would go and see the island again, and
what was become of my people there. I had pleased myself with the
thoughts of peopling the place, and carrying inhabitants from
hence, getting a patent for the possession and I know not what;
when, in the middle of all this, in comes my nephew, as I have
said, with his project of carrying me thither in his way to the
East Indies.

I paused a while at his words, and looking steadily at him, "What
devil," said I, "sent you on this unlucky errand?" My nephew
stared as if he had been frightened at first; but perceiving that I
was not much displeased at the proposal, he recovered himself. "I
hope it may not be an unlucky proposal, sir," says he. "I daresay
you would be pleased to see your new colony there, where you once
reigned with more felicity than most of your brother monarchs in
the world." In a word, the scheme hit so exactly with my temper,
that is to say, the prepossession I was under, and of which I have
said so much, that I told him, in a few words, if he agreed with
the merchants, I would go with him; but I told him I would not
promise to go any further than my own island. "Why, sir," says he,
"you don't want to be left there again, I hope?" "But," said I,
"can you not take me up again on your return?" He told me it would
not be possible to do so; that the merchants would never allow him
to come that way with a laden ship of such value, it being a
month's sail out of his way, and might be three or four. "Besides,
sir, if I should miscarry," said he, "and not return at all, then
you would be just reduced to the condition you were in before."

This was very rational; but we both found out a remedy for it,
which was to carry a framed sloop on board the ship, which, being
taken in pieces, might, by the help of some carpenters, whom we
agreed to carry with us, be set up again in the island, and
finished fit to go to sea in a few days. I was not long resolving,
for indeed the importunities of my nephew joined so effectually
with my inclination that nothing could oppose me; on the other
hand, my wife being dead, none concerned themselves so much for me
as to persuade me one way or the other, except my ancient good
friend the widow, who earnestly struggled with me to consider my
years, my easy circumstances, and the needless hazards of a long
voyage; and above all, my young children. But it was all to no
purpose, I had an irresistible desire for the voyage; and I told
her I thought there was something so uncommon in the impressions I
had upon my mind, that it would be a kind of resisting Providence
if I should attempt to stay at home; after which she ceased her
expostulations, and joined with me, not only in making provision
for my voyage, but also in settling my family affairs for my
absence, and providing for the education of my children. In order
to do this, I made my will, and settled the estate I had in such a
manner for my children, and placed in such hands, that I was
perfectly easy and satisfied they would have justice done them,
whatever might befall me; and for their education, I left it wholly
to the widow, with a sufficient maintenance to herself for her
care: all which she richly deserved; for no mother could have
taken more care in their education, or understood it better; and as
she lived till I came home, I also lived to thank her for it.

My nephew was ready to sail about the beginning of January 1694-5;
and I, with my man Friday, went on board, in the Downs, the 8th;
having, besides that sloop which I mentioned above, a very
considerable cargo of all kinds of necessary things for my colony,
which, if I did not find in good condition, I resolved to leave so.

First, I carried with me some servants whom I purposed to place
there as inhabitants, or at least to set on work there upon my
account while I stayed, and either to leave them there or carry
them forward, as they should appear willing; particularly, I
carried two carpenters, a smith, and a very handy, ingenious
fellow, who was a cooper by trade, and was also a general mechanic;
for he was dexterous at making wheels and hand-mills to grind corn,
was a good turner and a good pot-maker; he also made anything that
was proper to make of earth or of wood: in a word, we called him
our Jack-of-all-trades. With these I carried a tailor, who had
offered himself to go a passenger to the East Indies with my
nephew, but afterwards consented to stay on our new plantation, and
who proved a most necessary handy fellow as could be desired in
many other businesses besides that of his trade; for, as I observed
formerly, necessity arms us for all employments.

My cargo, as near as I can recollect, for I have not kept account
of the particulars, consisted of a sufficient quantity of linen,
and some English thin stuffs, for clothing the Spaniards that I
expected to find there; and enough of them, as by my calculation
might comfortably supply them for seven years; if I remember right,
the materials I carried for clothing them, with gloves, hats,
shoes, stockings, and all such things as they could want for
wearing, amounted to about two hundred pounds, including some beds,
bedding, and household stuff, particularly kitchen utensils, with
pots, kettles, pewter, brass, &c.; and near a hundred pounds more
in ironwork, nails, tools of every kind, staples, hooks, hinges,
and every necessary thing I could think of.

I carried also a hundred spare arms, muskets, and fusees; besides
some pistols, a considerable quantity of shot of all sizes, three
or four tons of lead, and two pieces of brass cannon; and, because
I knew not what time and what extremities I was providing for, I
carried a hundred barrels of powder, besides swords, cutlasses, and
the iron part of some pikes and halberds. In short, we had a large
magazine of all sorts of store; and I made my nephew carry two
small quarter-deck guns more than he wanted for his ship, to leave
behind if there was occasion; so that when we came there we might
build a fort and man it against all sorts of enemies. Indeed, I at
first thought there would be need enough for all, and much more, if
we hoped to maintain our possession of the island, as shall be seen
in the course of that story.

I had not such bad luck in this voyage as I had been used to meet
with, and therefore shall have the less occasion to interrupt the
reader, who perhaps may be impatient to hear how matters went with
my colony; yet some odd accidents, cross winds and bad weather
happened on this first setting out, which made the voyage longer
than I expected it at first; and I, who had never made but one
voyage, my first voyage to Guinea, in which I might be said to come
back again, as the voyage was at first designed, began to think the
same ill fate attended me, and that I was born to be never
contented with being on shore, and yet to be always unfortunate at
sea. Contrary winds first put us to the northward, and we were
obliged to put in at Galway, in Ireland, where we lay wind-bound
two-and-twenty days; but we had this satisfaction with the
disaster, that provisions were here exceeding cheap, and in the
utmost plenty; so that while we lay here we never touched the
ship's stores, but rather added to them. Here, also, I took in
several live hogs, and two cows with their calves, which I
resolved, if I had a good passage, to put on shore in my island;
but we found occasion to dispose otherwise of them.

We set out on the 5th of February from Ireland, and had a very fair
gale of wind for some days. As I remember, it might be about the
20th of February in the evening late, when the mate, having the
watch, came into the round-house and told us he saw a flash of
fire, and heard a gun fired; and while he was telling us of it, a
boy came in and told us the boatswain heard another. This made us
all run out upon the quarter-deck, where for a while we heard
nothing; but in a few minutes we saw a very great light, and found
that there was some very terrible fire at a distance; immediately
we had recourse to our reckonings, in which we all agreed that
there could be no land that way in which the fire showed itself,
no, not for five hundred leagues, for it appeared at WNW. Upon
this, we concluded it must be some ship on fire at sea; and as, by
our hearing the noise of guns just before, we concluded that it
could not be far off, we stood directly towards it, and were
presently satisfied we should discover it, because the further we
sailed, the greater the light appeared; though, the weather being
hazy, we could not perceive anything but the light for a while. In
about half-an-hour's sailing, the wind being fair for us, though
not much of it, and the weather clearing up a little, we could
plainly discern that it was a great ship on fire in the middle of
the sea.

I was most sensibly touched with this disaster, though not at all
acquainted with the persons engaged in it; I presently recollected
my former circumstances, and what condition I was in when taken up
by the Portuguese captain; and how much more deplorable the
circumstances of the poor creatures belonging to that ship must be,
if they had no other ship in company with them. Upon this I
immediately ordered that five guns should be fired, one soon after
another, that, if possible, we might give notice to them that there
was help for them at hand and that they might endeavour to save
themselves in their boat; for though we could see the flames of the
ship, yet they, it being night, could see nothing of us.

We lay by some time upon this, only driving as the burning ship
drove, waiting for daylight; when, on a sudden, to our great
terror, though we had reason to expect it, the ship blew up in the
air; and in a few minutes all the fire was out, that is to say, the
rest of the ship sunk. This was a terrible, and indeed an
afflicting sight, for the sake of the poor men, who, I concluded,
must be either all destroyed in the ship, or be in the utmost
distress in their boat, in the middle of the ocean; which, at
present, as it was dark, I could not see. However, to direct them
as well as I could, I caused lights to be hung out in all parts of
the ship where we could, and which we had lanterns for, and kept
firing guns all the night long, letting them know by this that
there was a ship not far off.

About eight o'clock in the morning we discovered the ship's boats
by the help of our perspective glasses, and found there were two of
them, both thronged with people, and deep in the water. We
perceived they rowed, the wind being against them; that they saw
our ship, and did their utmost to make us see them. We immediately
spread our ancient, to let them know we saw them, and hung a waft
out, as a signal for them to come on board, and then made more
sail, standing directly to them. In little more than half-an-hour
we came up with them; and took them all in, being no less than
sixty-four men, women, and children; for there were a great many

Upon inquiry we found it was a French merchant ship of three-
hundred tons, home-bound from Quebec. The master gave us a long
account of the distress of his ship; how the fire began in the
steerage by the negligence of the steersman, which, on his crying
out for help, was, as everybody thought, entirely put out; but they
soon found that some sparks of the first fire had got into some
part of the ship so difficult to come at that they could not
effectually quench it; and afterwards getting in between the
timbers, and within the ceiling of the ship, it proceeded into the
hold, and mastered all the skill and all the application they were
able to exert.

They had no more to do then but to get into their boats, which, to
their great comfort, were pretty large; being their long-boat, and
a great shallop, besides a small skiff, which was of no great
service to them, other than to get some fresh water and provisions
into her, after they had secured their lives from the fire. They
had, indeed, small hopes of their lives by getting into these boats
at that distance from any land; only, as they said, that they thus
escaped from the fire, and there was a possibility that some ship
might happen to be at sea, and might take them in. They had sails,
oars, and a compass; and had as much provision and water as, with
sparing it so as to be next door to starving, might support them
about twelve days, in which, if they had no bad weather and no
contrary winds, the captain said he hoped he might get to the banks
of Newfoundland, and might perhaps take some fish, to sustain them
till they might go on shore. But there were so many chances
against them in all these cases, such as storms, to overset and
founder them; rains and cold, to benumb and perish their limbs;
contrary winds, to keep them out and starve them; that it must have
been next to miraculous if they had escaped.

In the midst of their consternation, every one being hopeless and
ready to despair, the captain, with tears in his eyes, told me they
were on a sudden surprised with the joy of hearing a gun fire, and
after that four more: these were the five guns which I caused to
be fired at first seeing the light. This revived their hearts, and
gave them the notice, which, as above, I desired it should, that
there was a ship at hand for their help. It was upon the hearing
of these guns that they took down their masts and sails: the sound
coming from the windward, they resolved to lie by till morning.
Some time after this, hearing no more guns, they fired three
muskets, one a considerable while after another; but these, the
wind being contrary, we never heard. Some time after that again
they were still more agreeably surprised with seeing our lights,
and hearing the guns, which, as I have said, I caused to be fired
all the rest of the night. This set them to work with their oars,
to keep their boats ahead, at least that we might the sooner come
up with them; and at last, to their inexpressible joy, they found
we saw them.

It is impossible for me to express the several gestures, the
strange ecstasies, the variety of postures which these poor
delivered people ran into, to express the joy of their souls at so
unexpected a deliverance. Grief and fear are easily described:
sighs, tears, groans, and a very few motions of the head and hands,
make up the sum of its variety; but an excess of joy, a surprise of
joy, has a thousand extravagances in it. There were some in tears;
some raging and tearing themselves, as if they had been in the
greatest agonies of sorrow; some stark raving and downright
lunatic; some ran about the ship stamping with their feet, others
wringing their hands; some were dancing, some singing, some
laughing, more crying, many quite dumb, not able to speak a word;
others sick and vomiting; several swooning and ready to faint; and
a few were crossing themselves and giving God thanks.

I would not wrong them either; there might be many that were
thankful afterwards; but the passion was too strong for them at
first, and they were not able to master it: then were thrown into
ecstasies, and a kind of frenzy, and it was but a very few that
were composed and serious in their joy. Perhaps also, the case may
have some addition to it from the particular circumstance of that
nation they belonged to: I mean the French, whose temper is
allowed to be more volatile, more passionate, and more sprightly,
and their spirits more fluid than in other nations. I am not
philosopher enough to determine the cause; but nothing I had ever
seen before came up to it. The ecstasies poor Friday, my trusty
savage, was in when he found his father in the boat came the
nearest to it; and the surprise of the master and his two
companions, whom I delivered from the villains that set them on
shore in the island, came a little way towards it; but nothing was
to compare to this, either that I saw in Friday, or anywhere else
in my life.

It is further observable, that these extravagances did not show
themselves in that different manner I have mentioned, in different
persons only; but all the variety would appear, in a short
succession of moments, in one and the same person. A man that we
saw this minute dumb, and, as it were, stupid and confounded, would
the next minute be dancing and hallooing like an antic; and the
next moment be tearing his hair, or pulling his clothes to pieces,
and stamping them under his feet like a madman; in a few moments
after that we would have him all in tears, then sick, swooning,
and, had not immediate help been had, he would in a few moments
have been dead. Thus it was, not with one or two, or ten or
twenty, but with the greatest part of them; and, if I remember
right, our surgeon was obliged to let blood of about thirty

There were two priests among them: one an old man, and the other a
young man; and that which was strangest was, the oldest man was the
worst. As soon as he set his foot on board our ship, and saw
himself safe, he dropped down stone dead to all appearance. Not
the least sign of life could be perceived in him; our surgeon
immediately applied proper remedies to recover him, and was the
only man in the ship that believed he was not dead. At length he
opened a vein in his arm, having first chafed and rubbed the part,
so as to warm it as much as possible. Upon this the blood, which
only dropped at first, flowing freely, in three minutes after the
man opened his eyes; a quarter of an hour after that he spoke, grew
better, and after the blood was stopped, he walked about, told us
he was perfectly well, and took a dram of cordial which the surgeon
gave him. About a quarter of an hour after this they came running
into the cabin to the surgeon, who was bleeding a Frenchwoman that
had fainted, and told him the priest was gone stark mad. It seems
he had begun to revolve the change of his circumstances in his
mind, and again this put him into an ecstasy of joy. His spirits
whirled about faster than the vessels could convey them, the blood
grew hot and feverish, and the man was as fit for Bedlam as any
creature that ever was in it. The surgeon would not bleed him
again in that condition, but gave him something to doze and put him
to sleep; which, after some time, operated upon him, and he awoke
next morning perfectly composed and well. The younger priest
behaved with great command of his passions, and was really an
example of a serious, well-governed mind. At his first coming on
board the ship he threw himself flat on his face, prostrating
himself in thankfulness for his deliverance, in which I unhappily
and unseasonably disturbed him, really thinking he had been in a
swoon; but he spoke calmly, thanked me, told me he was giving God
thanks for his deliverance, begged me to leave him a few moments,
and that, next to his Maker, he would give me thanks also. I was
heartily sorry that I disturbed him, and not only left him, but
kept others from interrupting him also. He continued in that
posture about three minutes, or little more, after I left him, then
came to me, as he had said he would, and with a great deal of
seriousness and affection, but with tears in his eyes, thanked me,
that had, under God, given him and so many miserable creatures
their lives. I told him I had no need to tell him to thank God for
it, rather than me, for I had seen that he had done that already;
but I added that it was nothing but what reason and humanity
dictated to all men, and that we had as much reason as he to give
thanks to God, who had blessed us so far as to make us the
instruments of His mercy to so many of His creatures. After this
the young priest applied himself to his countrymen, and laboured to
compose them: he persuaded, entreated, argued, reasoned with them,
and did his utmost to keep them within the exercise of their
reason; and with some he had success, though others were for a time
out of all government of themselves.

I cannot help committing this to writing, as perhaps it may be
useful to those into whose hands it may fall, for guiding
themselves in the extravagances of their passions; for if an excess
of joy can carry men out to such a length beyond the reach of their
reason, what will not the extravagances of anger, rage, and a
provoked mind carry us to? And, indeed, here I saw reason for
keeping an exceeding watch over our passions of every kind, as well
those of joy and satisfaction as those of sorrow and anger.

We were somewhat disordered by these extravagances among our new
guests for the first day; but after they had retired to lodgings
provided for them as well as our ship would allow, and had slept
heartily--as most of them did, being fatigued and frightened--they
were quite another sort of people the next day. Nothing of good
manners, or civil acknowledgments for the kindness shown them, was
wanting; the French, it is known, are naturally apt enough to
exceed that way. The captain and one of the priests came to me the
next day, and desired to speak with me and my nephew; the commander
began to consult with us what should be done with them; and first,
they told us we had saved their lives, so all they had was little
enough for a return to us for that kindness received. The captain
said they had saved some money and some things of value in their
boats, caught hastily out of the flames, and if we would accept it
they were ordered to make an offer of it all to us; they only
desired to be set on shore somewhere in our way, where, if
possible, they might get a passage to France. My nephew wished to
accept their money at first word, and to consider what to do with
them afterwards; but I overruled him in that part, for I knew what
it was to be set on shore in a strange country; and if the
Portuguese captain that took me up at sea had served me so, and
taken all I had for my deliverance, I must have been starved, or
have been as much a slave at the Brazils as I had been at Barbary,
the mere being sold to a Mahometan excepted; and perhaps a
Portuguese is not a much better master than a Turk, if not in some
cases much worse.

I therefore told the French captain that we had taken them up in
their distress, it was true, but that it was our duty to do so, as
we were fellow-creatures; and we would desire to be so delivered if
we were in the like or any other extremity; that we had done
nothing for them but what we believed they would have done for us
if we had been in their case and they in ours; but that we took
them up to save them, not to plunder them; and it would be a most
barbarous thing to take that little from them which they had saved
out of the fire, and then set them on shore and leave them; that
this would be first to save them from death, and then kill them
ourselves: save them from drowning, and abandon them to starving;
and therefore I would not let the least thing be taken from them.
As to setting them on shore, I told them indeed that was an
exceeding difficulty to us, for that the ship was bound to the East
Indies; and though we were driven out of our course to the westward
a very great way, and perhaps were directed by Heaven on purpose
for their deliverance, yet it was impossible for us wilfully to
change our voyage on their particular account; nor could my nephew,
the captain, answer it to the freighters, with whom he was under
charter to pursue his voyage by way of Brazil; and all I knew we
could do for them was to put ourselves in the way of meeting with
other ships homeward bound from the West Indies, and get them a
passage, if possible, to England or France.

The first part of the proposal was so generous and kind they could
not but be very thankful for it; but they were in very great
consternation, especially the passengers, at the notion of being
carried away to the East Indies; they then entreated me that as I
was driven so far to the westward before I met with them, I would
at least keep on the same course to the banks of Newfoundland,
where it was probable I might meet with some ship or sloop that
they might hire to carry them back to Canada.

I thought this was but a reasonable request on their part, and
therefore I inclined to agree to it; for indeed I considered that
to carry this whole company to the East Indies would not only be an
intolerable severity upon the poor people, but would be ruining our
whole voyage by devouring all our provisions; so I thought it no
breach of charter-party, but what an unforeseen accident made
absolutely necessary to us, and in which no one could say we were
to blame; for the laws of God and nature would have forbid that we
should refuse to take up two boats full of people in such a
distressed condition; and the nature of the thing, as well
respecting ourselves as the poor people, obliged us to set them on
shore somewhere or other for their deliverance. So I consented
that we would carry them to Newfoundland, if wind and weather would
permit: and if not, I would carry them to Martinico, in the West

The wind continued fresh easterly, but the weather pretty good; and
as the winds had continued in the points between NE. and SE. a long
time, we missed several opportunities of sending them to France;
for we met several ships bound to Europe, whereof two were French,
from St. Christopher's, but they had been so long beating up
against the wind that they durst take in no passengers, for fear of
wanting provisions for the voyage, as well for themselves as for
those they should take in; so we were obliged to go on. It was
about a week after this that we made the banks of Newfoundland;
where, to shorten my story, we put all our French people on board a
bark, which they hired at sea there, to put them on shore, and
afterwards to carry them to France, if they could get provisions to
victual themselves with. When I say all the French went on shore,
I should remember that the young priest I spoke of, hearing we were
bound to the East Indies, desired to go the voyage with us, and to
be set on shore on the coast of Coromandel; which I readily agreed
to, for I wonderfully liked the man, and had very good reason, as
will appear afterwards; also four of the seamen entered themselves
on our ship, and proved very useful fellows.

From hence we directed our course for the West Indies, steering
away S. and S. by E. for about twenty days together, sometimes
little or no wind at all; when we met with another subject for our
humanity to work upon, almost as deplorable as that before.

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